Most often, cattle get affected when a viral disease spreads. In addition to this, viral diseases affect the economy of the country dramatically. Despite the loss of animal lives, the stakeholders in the cattle industry experience the damages, but the poor farmers are suffered the hardest. In India, the outbreak of lumpy skin disease mainly in cows and buffalos has emerged in a few weeks. Our today’s blog is on lumpy skin disease along with its causes, symptoms and treatment options.
What is Lumpy Skin Disease?
According to the reports, lumpy skin disease is a virus that mainly affects cattle. Blood-feeding insects transmit this viral to other cattle, and in the category of blood-feeding insects, there are various species, such as ticks, biting-flies and mosquitoes. This skin disease is a threat to all lives in the world. It is genetically related to the sheeppox and goatpox virus family.
Causes of Lumpy Skin Disease
Lumpy skin disease affects water buffalo and cattle through blood-feeding insects. This disease is caused by the virus of the family known as Poxviridae, which is also called the Neethling virus. Basically, it also spreads through polluted water and food. According to studies, the cases of this disease increased dramatically during summer and with seasonal rains. Studies suggest that despite the increased movement of vectors across borders, increased illegal trade and climate change could be other causes of the spread of lumpy skin disease.
Symptoms of Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD)
Affected animals are having large superficial lymph nodes on the skin and are characterized by fever. In addition to this, affected cattle may have edematous swelling in their limbs, lower milk production and show lameness. This disease can also lead to animal death.
What possible measures should be taken on the farm if a suspected case is found?
Currently, there is no vaccination available for LSD, which is being treated depending on symptoms. Eradication of this disease is difficult, and it is essential to identify the symptoms of this disease at an early stage for successful control.
- If possible, try to separate the affected cattle or buffalo from other animals.
- Make sure to feed them separately and avoid shared grazing, if possible.
- Use any common disinfectant to disinfect your footwear, hands, and outfit and when you are at home, ensure to wash clothes.
- Ensure to disinfect materials and equipment used in the infected holding.
- For support and assistance, you can contact your veterinarian.
It is necessary to look after the disease onset at the farm level. If you are going to buy a new animal, then make sure to check whether the animal has affected by this disease or not because minor irresponsibility can cause a problem. Try to limit the introduction of new animals into other animals. Ensure to buy stock from reliable sources. If you want to buy new animals, then they should be examined properly, and if they are declared free from viruses, then you can buy them. After buying, they should be quarantined or separated from the rest of the herd for 28 days.
In villages that are affected, cattle herds should be kept quarantined or separated from other herds and avoid shared grazing. Cattle must be treated daily with insect repellents to reduce the risk of transmission of the disease. This measure can’t completely overcome transmission but can minimize the risk.
Restricting vector breeding sites like standing water sources, manure and slurry and improving drainage systems are affordable ways of minimizing vectors on and around cattle.
Can Humans Get Affected by Lumpy Skin Disease?
Lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) is host-specific and spreads disease only in water buffalo and cattle. It doesn’t affect humans. In addition to this, there is no risk of consuming dairy products or beef. According to experts, milk from affected animals can be consumed after the pasteurization or boiling process because these processes will kill the germs and viruses if there are any in the milk.
In short, this virus is not zoonotic and can’t transmit from animals to humans. However, still, there are concerns about spreading this virus dramatically among animals. The disease has spread in production systems across the world.
The significant increase in the cases of lumpy skin disease virus leads to significant economic losses and deaths of animals. In addition to this, the disease is also reducing milk production, infertility, growth, abortion, chronic debility, and sometimes death. The disease has been reported in various Indian states like Odisha, Maharashtra, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam, Chhattisgarh, etc. The number of cases has increased over the last few weeks.