The same source explained to Lusa news agency that an investigation into this situation is "underway" and that the livestock farms that report suspicious cases are located in the municipalities of Serpa, Moura, Barrancos, Mértola, Beja, Portel and Évora.

In the municipalities of Évora and Portel, so far, the suspicions have not been “confirmed in the laboratory”, added the same source, stressing that this animal disease “is not transmissible” to humans.

This detection of bluetongue cases in sheep has already led the General Directorate of Food and Veterinary Medicine (DGAV) to issue a statement, on Tuesday, in which it declares Alentejo as an “additional area of ​​restriction for serotype 4” of the virus .

With this declaration by the DGAV, Alentejo joins the Algarve region, which was already “subject to restrictions by serotype 1 and by serotype 4 of the bluetongue virus”.

In this note, published on the DGAV website and consulted by Lusa, the organization explains that the restriction in Alentejo is due to the “detection of positive results to serotype 4 [of the bluetongue virus] in the municipality of Serpa, in August” .

A mandatory vaccination area for serotypes 1 and 4 is established, covering the entire Algarve region, while the entire Alentejo is part of another mandatory vaccination area for animals for serotype 4.

“Mandatory vaccination of adult breeding sheep and youngsters destined for breeding has been the most effective measure to control the disease, and it is also advisable to vaccinate the remaining animals of sensitive species”, is also mentioned in a recent DGAV notice.

As for the remaining regions of the national territory, “they are blue-tongue free zones”, adds the DGAV.

Bluetongue or bluetongue is an epizootic disease of viral etiology that affects ruminants, with vector transmission, included in the list of mandatory national and European declaration diseases and in the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) list.