Central Queensland producers are actively vaccinating their cattle against three day sickness, putting preventative measures in place to prevent a second "unprecedented" outbreak.
After experiencing an extensive outbreak of Bovine Ephemeral Fever (three day sickness) in 2023, Emerald producers are taking measures into their own hands and vaccinating stock against the disease.
Emerald Vet Group veterinarian Alice Bowden told Queensland Country Life, she had seen an increase of graziers purchasing vaccines in recent months.
"We had a really bad season for three day sickness last year and it went on a lot longer than expected, from January through to August and September," Dr Bowden said.
"There was 20-30 clients with bad cases that we went out and saw, but there were a lot of graziers, upwards of 50, self managing conditions, which is quite a lot when you think about one grazier having no just one or two head down but a large proportion of their herd down with the disease.
"It was really knocking cattle around and we had a lot of cattle dying, so I think people are a bit more aware and treating more preemptively and vaccinating this year. We've been selling a lot of vaccines and not seeing as many cases at this stage. We've maybe had two cases so far."
Dr Bowden said vaccination rates around Central Queensland were varied leading into this season
"Some producer will vaccinate for it while others will treat it symptomatically when it comes, but it is very dependent on the producer and what their goals are and costs they're willing to incur.
"I think previously it was a 50/50 ratio but I have definitely seen an increase in vaccinations this year."
Clermont region has also seen an increase in vaccinations this year after seeing a surge in cases in 2023.
Clermont Veterinary Surgery veterinarian Caitlyn Mittelstadt is worried they could see another surge of cases this season, with late tropical cyclones predicted.
"Last year we had an unprecedented season, with late rain came an increased season of three day sickness. We (too) saw three day cases extending into the winter months instead of just in the summer months," Dr Mittelstadt said.
"We are expecting to see another increase of cases this season, with the prediction of late cyclones. With cyclones on the coast it usually brings rain in the centre.
"Three day is present in herds every year, we just get fluctuations of how many are hit by it."
Dr Mittelstadt warns north west Queensland could also see a surge in cases following flooding from ex-tropical cyclone Kirrily.
"Those north west areas that have been dry for the last few years are going to suffer with three day sickness over the next few months, because there is a lot of water just sitting around in places that it hasn't been for a while," she said.
"The mosquitos can move in and spread the disease which can lay dormant for quite a while, so I would be cautious to those western places that have not recognised the disease so commonly, they are going to start seeing these cattle down and need to chat to their vets and find out if it's three day or something else stirred up in the soil."
Dr Mittelstadt urged producers to vaccinate against three day sickness where possible.
"A lot of people don't vaccinate for it in the area because it is so seasonal and they farm in such large numbers that when one or two go down with it, it isn't the biggest deal,"
"However when they have been coming to us when they're getting losing 15 head or more at a time, you've paid for your vaccine already in several fold."