The following has come from a recent meeting by the Animal Health and Welfare Board:
“There is a 5% possibility of the virus already having reached here, rising to a 30 to 50% possibility by July and an 80% probability of it arriving here by September, but the latter two forecasts are to be viewed with a high degree of uncertainty.
In fact since then, the weather in France has been cold and VERY wet. Importantly, the winds for the last two weeks in the infected area of France have been north westerlies, effectively blowing midges away from the UK rather than towards it, and cooling them down considerably, which will be likely to reduce the build up of infected midges considerably. I suspect that the forecasts are as a result likely to be revised downwards in time.There is apparently considerable conjecture as to where the virus has come from. It is virtually identical to the strain of BTV8 seen from 2009, and the most popular theory is that it has remained in France at a low level since that outbreak was contained, probably being kept going by infected wild animals. Interestingly, the cases this year have all been found on serology from active surveillance, and no clinical cases had been reported up to May 25th.”