Joint risk assessment: New Orthobunyavirus isolated from infected cattle and small livestock ─ potential implications for human health

Risk assessment

This updated rapid risk assessment was prepared jointly with the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany, and the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Netherlands. Epidemiological and microbiological studies conducted by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) in Germany and the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in the Netherlands have confirmed that the zoonotic potential of SBV is absent or very low. ECDC fully supports the assessments results delivered by RIVM and RKI, which both conclude that it is very unlikely that SBV poses a risk to humans.

Executive summary

Animal and human health authorities, both at national and EU level, have been working together closely since the outbreak of the virus in ruminant animals. The collaboration is to ensure the rapid detection of changes in the epidemiology in animals and humans, particularly among people who had been in close contact with infected animals.

Epidemiological and microbiological studies conducted by the RKI and RIVM both conclude that it is very unlikely that the Schmallenberg virus poses a risk to humans. This confirms the preliminary assessment expressed by ECDC and RIVM.

As a general precaution, animal workers, farmers and veterinarians are advised to follow existing protective hygiene measures when working with livestock and abortion material.