Negligible risks to humans from new animal virus: OIE


Junior Member
The Schmallenberg virus that infected animals in five European countries and prompted Russia to ban some livestock imports from these countries poses negligible risks to humans, the world animal health body OIE said on Thursday.

The virus, named after the German town where it was first discovered in November, has infected cattle, sheep, and goats in Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium, causing birth defects in offspring including deformation of the head, neck and limbs.

"Based on current available information, experts concluded that the risk for human health is negligible," the OIE, or World Organization for Animal Health, said in a statement.

In terms of trade, the experts who had been asked to review existing knowledge on the virus that emerged in the second half of last year, concluded that there were also only negligible risks of disease spreading from trade in meat and milk.

The assessment was not as clear-cut for semen, embryos and live animals for which the experts detailed some technical trade recommendations on the OIE website.