Lumpy skin disease (LSD), is a viral virus that affects cattle and is extremely contagious. It has caused close to 57,000 cattle fatalities nationwide, according to the Centre on Thursday. Over 15.21 lakh cattle have been affected by the outbreak thus far. At least seven states, including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Delhi, have reported cases.
The Center has recommended states take concrete steps to segregate animals and stop the disease’s spread. In Rajasthan and Gujarat, where state governments have established control rooms in districts to monitor and engage in effective preventative initiatives, the illness is spreading quickly. Due to the viral illness, approximately 3,000 cattle died in these two states in August alone.
The Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said in a formal statement that the CM has directed officials to launch a disease awareness campaign and stay on-site in their assigned areas of responsibility to offer quick relief to citizens. Furthermore, the prime minister assured that every cattle will be fully immunised against the virus, and measures are being taken to monitor the movement of the animals in an effort to stop the spread.
The prime minister was especially concerned about animal diseases, which he described as a big issue because they have an effect on farmers’ incomes by lowering milk supply and quality.
Here are some FAQs regarding LSD as answered by physician DR. Balamurugan:
What are the causes?
Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a viral disease of cattle and buffalo caused by a capripox virus. It is transmitted by blood-feeding insects, such as certain species of flies and mosquitoes, or ticks. It causes fever, and nodules on the skin and can also lead to death, especially in animals that have not previously been exposed to the virus.
What increases the risk?
There is no treatment for Lumpy Skin Disease. It is difficult to stop cattle from being attacked by infected vectors (flies, etc.) once infection is within an area. Risk behaviours increase the probability of infection being carried between locations. In addition to this, lack of vaccine might also increase the risk.
How can we prevent the spread?
Control and prevention of lumpy skin disease relies on four tactics – movement control (quarantine), vaccination, slaughter campaigns and management strategies. At least 97 lakh doses of the vaccination against lumpy skin disease have now been given. Nearly 80,000 cattle have recovered from the viral illness out of these. A toll-free helpline was established in 1962 to assist dairy farmers and cattle herders in battling the viral illness.
Can the diseases affect humans?
No, the disease is not zoonotic, which implies that humans cannot contract the viral infection because it does not transfer from animals to humans. Hence, this rise in case may not be of much worry besides its effects on products procured from cattle.
LSD cases were first reported in India in September 2020, just before the current surge, when a strain of the virus was found in Maharashtra. Over the past few years, cases have also been documented in Gujarat, but they haven’t spread as quickly as they are now.
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