Bluetongue is an animal disease that has not occurred in the Netherlands since 2009. It is spread by midges, which are small mosquitoes. The disease cannot be transmitted from animal to animal or from animal to human. It mainly occurs in sheep and cattle, but other ruminants such as camels or deer can also get it. The virus seems to strike particularly strongly in sheep and many of the sick animals die. Cows that are infected appear to be less affected, but can also become ill. If cows are infected, the disease can be spread further through midges.