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Lumpy Skin Disease

  • 14 Jan 2021
  • 3 min read

Why in News

Recently, a Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) has been infecting India’s bovines.

  • The disease is being reported for the first time in India.

Key Points

  • Cause:
    • The LSD is caused by infection of cattle or water buffalo with the poxvirus Lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV).
    • The virus is one of three closely related species within the genus capripoxvirus, the other two species being Sheeppox virus and Goatpox virus.
  • Symptoms:
    • It appears as nodules of two to five centimetre diameter all over the body, particularly around the head, neck, limbs, udder (mammary gland of female cattle) and genitals.
      • The lumps gradually open up like large and deep wounds.
    • Other clinical signs include general malaise, ocular and nasal discharge, fever, and sudden decrease in milk production.
  • Effect:
  • Vectors:
    • It spreads through mosquitoes, flies and ticks and also through saliva and contaminated water and food.
  • Prevention:
    • Control and prevention of lumpy skin disease relies on four tactics - movement control (quarantine), vaccination, slaughter campaigns and management strategies.
  • Treatment:
    • There is no treatment for the virus, so prevention by vaccination is the most effective means of control.
      • Secondary infections in the skin may be treated with Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories (NSAIDs) and also antibiotics when appropriate.
  • Global Spread:
    • LSD is endemic to Africa and parts of West Asia, where it was first discovered in 1929.
    • In Southeast Asia the first case of LSD was reported in Bangladesh in July 2019.
    • In India, which has the world’s highest 303 million heads of cattle, the disease has spread to 15 states within just 16 months.
      • In India it was first reported from Mayurbhanj, Odisha in August 2019.
  • Implication:
    • This will have a devastating impact on the country, where most dairy farmers are either landless or marginal landholders and milk is among the cheapest protein sources.


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