The virus responsible for the disease is transmitted by biting midges of the genus Culicoides. It cannot be transmitted to humans. However, in cattle, this disease is potentially fatal. It causes fever, anorexia, lameness and respiratory distress. Small ruminants can also carry the virus but no symptomatic cases have been reported so far.
The virus has been present in Europe since October 2022, when it was reported in Italy and Spain. Analyses have confirmed that the serotype of the virus that arrived in France is the same as the one circulating in these countries, i.e. serotype 8. There is currently no effective vaccine against this serotype, although industry is considering development of a suitable vaccine.
Regulation (EU) 2016/429 on transmissible animal diseases requires outbreaks of epizootic haemorrhagic disease to be reported to the French authorities.