Lumpy Skin Disease An emerging transboundary Viral Disease

Divya Sharma
Lumpy skin disease is a rapidly spreading viral disease in several Indian regions, alarming the dairy farmers. Cattle and buffaloes have been affected. This disease is caused due to Capri pox virus that belongs to the poxviridae family. The virus is not zoonotic and does not spread to people by eating meat or milk. Basically, it affects cows and buffalos both, but it’s possible that the illness in the buffaloes is mild in nature.
The symptoms of Lumpy Skin Disease are as follows:
* High Fever of 41°C
* Swollen Lymph Nodes
* The appearance of multiple nodules on the skin
* The nodules are well circumscribed, round, slightly raised firm, painful involving the entire cutis, the mucosa of the GI, respiratory, and genital tracts.
* Discharge from eyes and nose.
* Loss of movement or lameness.
* Edema develops in the udder, brisket, and legs.
Incubation Period
* The incubation period for Lumpy Skin Disease is around four to fourteen days after the infection. The initial symptom is a high fever which is followed by swelling in limbs.
* The nodules appear next and are the most defining characteristic of this disease. These nodules may become necrotic and ulcerate, increasing the risk of flystrike.
* Note: Flystrike is a condition in which the flies lay eggs on the animal skin, and the hatching maggots eat into the skin as they grow up. It is a potentially fatal infection for the animal.
How does the disease gets transmitted?
Infection transmission is by arthropod vectors mainly biting flies, mosquitoes and ticks.
Disease also gets transmitted from bringing in diseased animals from infected regions. It does not pose a risk to human health.Morbidity of the disease is 5%-50%. Mortality is usually low. The greatest loss is due to reduced milk yield, loss of condition, and rejection or reduced value of the hide.
Prevention and Control
* Attenuated virus vaccines may help to control spread.
* Quarantine restrictions have proved to be of limited use. Vaccination with attenuated virus offers the most promising method of control and is effective in halting the spread of the disease.
* Many of the affected animals can be managed/cured with commercially available antipyretics like vetalgin, meloxicam and ketoprofen etc. If fever persists or the animal shows nasal discharge/ respiratory signs, antibiotics like ceftiofur, enrofloxacin or sulphonamides should be administered to check secondary infection. Antiseptic ointment with fly-repellent properties can be applied over the skin
* Good nursing care are recommended, but the large number of affected animals within a herd may preclude treatment.
As per the govt. advisory, carcasses of animals are not to be disposed of in the open and their skinning is prohibited. They are to be disposed of within two days under the supervision of officials from the animal husbandry department. The order directed them to clean and disinfect the infected premises using phenol, sodium hypochlorite and formalin. The district administration has also issued a helpline number 18001807205.