News & AnalysisInfectious Disease

Scientists Rush to Find Clues on New Animal Virus

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Science  02 Mar 2012:
Vol. 335, Issue 6072, pp. 1028-1029
DOI: 10.1126/science.335.6072.1028

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A new animal virus first detected in Germany and the Netherlands late last year is taking a heavy toll on livestock across Europe, causing the birth of dead or deformed animals. Scientists are scrambling to figure out where the virus has come from and exactly how it is transmitted. Named Schmallenberg after the German town where it was first detected, the virus has now also been found in France, Belgium, the United Kingdom, and most recently, Italy and Luxembourg. Animal health experts are bracing for an uptick in cases in the next few weeks.

  • * Kai Kupferschmidt is a science writer in Berlin.