Lumpy Skin Disease: More than 75 thousand cattle dead in India

Union animal husbandry Minister Sanjeev Balyan on Wednesday said about 18.5 lakh bovines are affected across the country by lumpy skin disease. Of these, 12.5 lakh cases are only from Rajasthan.

Despite the fact that the virus that primarily affects cows, buffaloes, and even deer has spread to 15 states, the Union minister, who is on a two-visit to Rajasthan, said the situation is acute there. He said about 30 lakh vaccine doses against the virus have been provided to the Rajasthan government by the Centre

The disease, which mostly affects cattle, has now spread to over ten states in India. Reportedly, it has already killed 75,000 cattle in the country. 

Lumpy skin disease is caused by the lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV), which belongs to the genus capripoxvirus, a part of the poxviridae family (smallpox and monkeypox viruses are also a part of the same family). The LSDV shares antigenic similarities with the sheeppox virus (SPPV) and the goatpox virus (GTPV) or is similar in the immune response to those viruses. It is not a zoonotic virus, meaning the disease cannot spread to humans. It is a contagious vector-borne disease spread by vectors like mosquitoes, some biting flies, and ticks and usually affects host animals like cows and water buffaloes. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), infected animals shed the virus through oral and nasal secretions which may contaminate common feeding and water troughs. Thus, the disease can either spread through direct contact with the vectors or through contaminated fodder and water. Studies have also shown that it can spread through animal semen during artificial insemination.

LSD affects the lymph nodes of the infected animal, causing the nodes to enlarge and appear like lumps on the skin, which is where it derives its name from. The cutaneous nodules, 2–5 cm in diameter, appear on the infected cattle’s head, neck, limbs, udder, genitalia, and perineum. The nodules may later turn into ulcers and eventually develop scabs over the skin. The other symptoms include high fever, sharp drop in milk yield, discharge from the eyes and nose, salivation, loss of appetite, depression, damaged hides, emaciation (thinness or weakness) of animals, infertility and abortions. The incubation period or the time between infection and symptoms is about 28 days according to the FAO, and 4 to 14 days according to some other estimates.

The disease was first observed in Zambia in 1929, subsequently spreading to most African countries extensively, followed by West Asia, Southeastern Europe, and Central Asia, and more recently spreading to South Asia and China in 2019. As per the FAO, the LSD disease is currently endemic in several countries across Africa, parts of West Asia (Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syrian Arab Republic), and Turkey

The current outbreak started in Gujarat and Rajashthan around July and had spread to Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar and Uttarakhand by early August. It then spread to Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. In recent weeks, it was reported in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, and Jharkhand. The virus has infected over 16 lakh cattle in 197 districts as of September 11. Of the nearly 75,000 cattle that the disease has killed, more than 50,000 deaths, mostly cows, have been reported from Rajasthan.

Source- The Hindu

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *