Twenty-five cattle have died of the virus in the state since the disease first broke out in August.
With the exception of Bhupalpally, cattle in 32 districts have been affected even as the animal husbandry department has swung into action by immunising 5.48 lakh cattle. Adilabad has the highest number of LSD cases (2,513), followed by Jogulamba Gadwal (1,502) and Wanaparthy (1,134).
Senior officials said cases were detected initially in districts (Gadwal and Nagarkurnool) bordering Karnataka and now, the disease is spreading to other districts such as Khammam and Warangal.
Recently, 45 cattle in Hyderabad tested positive, while authorities are waiting for the test results of 100 more from nearby districts. Sources said testing was finally happening in the state as earlier samples were being sent to Bengaluru and other cities. “There is no threat of infection spreading from animals to humans,” said Mohammad Shakeel Ahmed, assistant director, animal husbandry department.
He said the situation was under control in the state. “We are taking up surveillance as per the central guidelines. We have taken up fogging operations in a big way and hope to bring the situation totally under control within a month,” Ahmed said. LSD, which is a contagious viral disease, is transmitted by blood-feeding insects such as certain species of flies and mosquitoes or ticks. It causes fever, nodules on skin and can also lead to death.
Officials are planning to vaccinate another 20 lakh cattle in the next 20-25 days. Telangana has approximately 35 lakh cattle and an additional 35 lakh buffaloes. According to officials, over seven lakh cattle are highly susceptible and they will be excluded from the vaccination drive since they are in vicinity of the infected animals.
“They may have an asymptomatic infection. In such cases, vaccination is not recommended,” a senior official said.