Bovine ephemeral fever: Three Day Sickness


Bovine Ephemeral Fever (BEF) is a viral disease of cattle and buffalo. Typically, affected animals are only sick for a few days, hence the alternative name - Three Day Sickness.

There is a sudden onset of fever- as high as 410C compared with the normal temperature of about 380C. The temperature returns to normal within 36 hours.

The first sign in milking cows is a sudden and severe drop in milk production. Cows in advanced pregnancy may abort. This is probably because of the fever, rather than a specific effect of the virus.

Animals stop eating and drinking and become depressed. They usually drool saliva, develop a stringy nasal discharge, and may have watery eyes.

This Primefact covers the following topics:

  • Clinical signs
  • How is BEF spread?
  • Where does the disease occur?
  • When does it occur?
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment
  • Immunity
  • Prevention


Primefact 1423 First Edition

Published: Oct 2016