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Researchers Discover 6 Variants of Lumpy Skin Disease That Killed Nearly 100,000 Cattle in India

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Researchers Discover 6 Variants of Lumpy Skin Disease That Killed Nearly 100,000 Cattle in India

Researchers Discover 6 Variants of Lumpy Skin Disease That Killed Nearly 100,000 Cattle in India

In 1929, the first case of the contagion Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) was recorded in Zambia, further spreading from Africa to several parts of Europe. In South… 30.09.2022, Sputnik International

2022-09-30T15:51+0000

2022-09-30T15:51+0000

2022-09-30T15:51+0000

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Amid the outbreak of the lumpy skin disease creating havoc in India, researchers have discovered six variants of the virus causing death to nearly 100,000 cows and buffaloes and over 2 million more infected in 15 states.The disease spreads through blood-sucking mosquitoes and ticks bite that leaves the cows and buffaloes with high fever and developing lumps on their skin.As per the official figures, the number of cows and buffaloes dying has doubled in three weeks while spreading across 15 states including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, and the Jammu & Kashmir union territory. Rajasthan state has witnessed the worst impact of the LSD epidemic with over 60,000 cattle reportedly found dead, and nearly 1.4 million sickened.As per the reports, several carcasses of cows and buffaloes rot in the open and the cries of pain of the sick animals resound in villages. Deadly Variant of LSD In 2019, the LSD epidemic struck India for the first time. But, due to mild severity, the animal husbandry unit of several states brought it under control.In 2022, the LSD started showing COVID-like symptoms among cattle as in past two years the virus has evolved with time.While the animal husbandry authorities of every state are continuously monitoring and tracking the diseases, researchers also suspect that there is more to the virus being communicable.”It has been said that the virus is communicable and spread due to vector. However, there can be some other carriers of the virus as well, as there have been cases reported from the Himalayan region of Uttarkashi, which had no scope of the virus reaching that region. It’s more than just a communicable factor,” Dr. Sharma opined. Vaccination and Treatment The Uttarakhand authorities have been following a holistic approach that includes mass vaccination, and spreading awareness to the locals about how to prevent their cattle, and what to do to the ones who have been infected with LSD.”Out of 27,000 cases, 13,000 have recovered which is more than 50% of the ratio. the death rate of the cows and buffaloes have come down to 1.8 %,” Dr. Sharma added.The vets have been playing a big role in trying to treat the symptoms and build immunity in cattle. “For fever, paracetamol is given to them. To prevent the lumps from burst, we are giving antibiotics. Good immunity is helping the cattle to recover in five days, thus we are giving them immunity booster (traditional Indian) Ayurvedic supplements and mineral supplements,” Dr. Sahrma stated. He shared that though the local scientists have developed a vaccine to control LSD in cattle, it is yet to come to the market. “For next year, we are planning to incorporate the new vaccine in the annual cattle vaccination programme,” he said.Impact on the Milk Production BusinessIndia is considered to be the world’s largest milk producer and dairy farming is among the largest agricultural commodities in India, employing 80 million people and contributing to 5 per cent of its economy, as per official data. However, due to the rise in LSD virus in India, the industry has seen a worse hit as the cattle farmers are facing huge income loss not just by the loss of their cows and buffaloes, but several infected cattle are having a decrease in milk production, emaciated animals, and birth issues.“There are several people who recently ventured into the dairy business or switched their career completely and for them, the LSD epidemic has been a big setback,” Dr. Sharma said.Farmers association in Himachal Pradesh state and others have also urged the state government for financial aid.

https://sputniknews.com/20220912/indian-scientists-develop-lumpy-skin-disease-vaccine-for-cattle-modi-states-at-world-dairy-summit-1100688656.html

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Sangeeta Yadav  - Sputnik International

In 1929, the first case of the contagion Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) was recorded in Zambia, further spreading from Africa to several parts of Europe. In South Asia, the first case of LSD was reported in 2019 in Bangladesh. It later spread to the neighboring countries — India, China, and Nepal.

Amid the outbreak of the lumpy skin disease creating havoc in India, researchers have discovered six variants of the virus causing death to nearly 100,000 cows and buffaloes and over 2 million more infected in 15 states.

The disease spreads through blood-sucking mosquitoes and ticks bite that leaves the cows and buffaloes with high fever and developing lumps on their skin.

As per the official figures, the number of cows and buffaloes dying has doubled in three weeks while spreading across 15 states including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh, and the Jammu & Kashmir union territory.

“The need of the hour is to control the spread of the virus,” Dr. Devendra Sharma, Joint Director of Disease Control at Uttarakhand state’s Animal Husbandry Department told Sputnik, adding that the situation is getting slightly better in his state.

Rajasthan state has witnessed the worst impact of the LSD epidemic with over 60,000 cattle reportedly found dead, and nearly 1.4 million sickened.

As per the reports, several carcasses of cows and buffaloes rot in the open and the cries of pain of the sick animals resound in villages.

Deadly Variant of LSD

In 2019, the LSD epidemic struck India for the first time. But, due to mild severity, the animal husbandry unit of several states brought it under control.

In 2022, the LSD started showing COVID-like symptoms among cattle as in past two years the virus has evolved with time.

“It has become difficult for us to control this time as what we suspect is the deadliest variant of virus that has infected the cattle. Researchers have got the genome sequence test done on the infected cattle and found six different variants of LSD. But which one is the deadliest variant, it’s yet to figure out,” Dr. Sharma said.

While the animal husbandry authorities of every state are continuously monitoring and tracking the diseases, researchers also suspect that there is more to the virus being communicable.

“It has been said that the virus is communicable and spread due to vector. However, there can be some other carriers of the virus as well, as there have been cases reported from the Himalayan region of Uttarkashi, which had no scope of the virus reaching that region. It’s more than just a communicable factor,” Dr. Sharma opined.

Vaccination and Treatment

The Uttarakhand authorities have been following a holistic approach that includes mass vaccination, and spreading awareness to the locals about how to prevent their cattle, and what to do to the ones who have been infected with LSD.

“To prevent the cows from getting infected, we have been vaccinating them with goatpox vaccine which has resulted in developing antibodies to fight the virus,” he said, adding that the situation is coming under control now.

“Out of 27,000 cases, 13,000 have recovered which is more than 50% of the ratio. the death rate of the cows and buffaloes have come down to 1.8 %,” Dr. Sharma added.

A man herds his cattle on the outskirts of Gauhati, India, Saturday, April 30, 2022. - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.09.2022

The vets have been playing a big role in trying to treat the symptoms and build immunity in cattle.

“For fever, paracetamol is given to them. To prevent the lumps from burst, we are giving antibiotics. Good immunity is helping the cattle to recover in five days, thus we are giving them immunity booster (traditional Indian) Ayurvedic supplements and mineral supplements,” Dr. Sahrma stated.

He shared that though the local scientists have developed a vaccine to control LSD in cattle, it is yet to come to the market.

“For next year, we are planning to incorporate the new vaccine in the annual cattle vaccination programme,” he said.

Impact on the Milk Production Business

India is considered to be the world’s largest milk producer and dairy farming is among the largest agricultural commodities in India, employing 80 million people and contributing to 5 per cent of its economy, as per official data.

However, due to the rise in LSD virus in India, the industry has seen a worse hit as the cattle farmers are facing huge income loss not just by the loss of their cows and buffaloes, but several infected cattle are having a decrease in milk production, emaciated animals, and birth issues.

“There are several people who recently ventured into the dairy business or switched their career completely and for them, the LSD epidemic has been a big setback,” Dr. Sharma said.

Farmers association in Himachal Pradesh state and others have also urged the state government for financial aid.

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