Hunter Local Land Services (HLLS) is urging producers to report any suspicious cases of three day sickness.
It is uncommon for this time of the year, but with the incessant dry conditions the sickness usually arrives mid to late summer but has been pushed back.
It is a viral disease of cattle transmitted by mosquitos and midges. Animals affected by BEF experience a sudden onset of fever over 40 degrees, become stiff in their joints, lame and are often reluctant to move. They may drool, have watery eyes and a nasal discharge.
District HLLS Vet Dr Jane Bennett said cattle literally lie down for three days.
"It causes them to be lame, off colour, have high temperatures and they'll actually just lie down for three days."
"In the same way as you treat influenza in yourself, it's a virus so its basically anti inflammatory and good nursing care. It's not so bad at this time of the year because its a bit cooler during the day but of course providing shelter as it gets windy and cold is important, but also give them anti inflammatory so we can bring their temperatures down and make them more comfortable."
HLLS is urging producers who notice any suspicious cases of the sickness to let them know.
"As much as anything we like to get a picture of what's happening in the area and we can come out and take a blood test to confirm that's what it is."
As of mid-May, the sickness is circulating around the Kempsey area but hasn’t progressed further south as yet.
But Dr Jane Bennett said she has heard whispers of it already being seen in the Hunter region.
"I'm getting some anecdotal reports around Singleton and Muswellbrook area and I have had a couple that sound very similar up around Stewarts Brook"
Producers with questions regarding Three Day Sickness or to report suspect cases can contact a Hunter Local Land Services District Veterinarian on 1300 795 299 or their local vet.
Image credit: HLLS