Lumpy Skin Disease outbreak in Ambala village, 100 cattle sick

The Indian Express | 3 days ago | 06-08-2022 | 10:50 pm

Lumpy Skin Disease outbreak in Ambala village, 100 cattle sick

A spread of a “mysterious disease” among milch cattle in Mullana area of Ambala has triggered worry among cattle owners of the area, with around a 100 animals being afflicted with the disease in and around Holi village so far.According to experts, the sick cattle have all been showing symptoms of Lumpy Skin Disease, an infectious disease in cattle caused by a virus of the family Poxviridae, also known as Neethling virus.According to a report by GAVI, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation, the Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) is caused by a virus called the Capripoxvirus and is “an emerging threat to livestock worldwide”. It is genetically related to the goatpox and sheeppox virus family.LSD infects cattle and water buffalo mainly through vectors such as blood-feeding insects. Signs of infection include the appearance of circular, firm nodes on the animal’s hide or skin that look similar to lumps.Infected animals immediately start losing weight and may have fever and lesions in the mouth, along with a reduced milk yield. Other symptoms include excessive nasal and salivary secretion. Pregnant cows and buffaloes often suffer miscarriage and in some cases, diseased animals can die due to it as well.Veterinary experts in Ambala have cautioned that LSD can spread quickly among the animals, and with no cure available at present, the only suggestion they have is to isolate the sick cattle from the healthy ones. A vaccination to prevent against the disease is, however, available.Veterinary doctors of Ambala said that once infected, a cattle usually takes anywhere between seven to fourteen days to recover. The disease, however, is not zoonotic, meaning it does not spread from animals to humans, and humans cannot get infected with it. The animal owners of Holi village have been advised by the doctors to seperate their sick cattle from the healthy ones to check the spread and to ensure that no other animals come in contact with the ones that are already afflicted.While the virus does not spread to humans, “milk produced by an infected animal will be fit for human consumption after boiling or pasteurisation as these processes will kill the viruses, if any, in the milk”, said experts.The deputy director of Ambala Animal Husbandry Department, Dr Prem Singh said that the farmers should contact the department if their cattle showed symptoms of LSD. “The only way to check the spread of the disease is by isolating the sick animals from the healthy ones. Teams of experts have been formed to conduct survey of the infected animals so that precautionary measures can be taken against the new disease. The experts will also figure out how the disease started in the first place,” Singh said.

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Mass vaccination of cattle needed to tackle lumpy skin disease in India: Indian American veterinary