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New cases of livestock virus

Schmallenberg causes birth defects in cattle and sheep Credit: SXC

New cases of the Schmallenberg virus have been reported at farms in Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk. For the first time it has also being found on a farm in Cambridgeshire.

The virus, which causes birth defects and miscarriages in sheep and cattle, first emerged in Holland and Germany last year.

New cases have been reported at nine farms in the UK since Monday - bringing the total number to 121 farms affected. Scientists say it's very unlikely the Schmallenberg virus could spread to humans.