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Lumpy skin disease spreads to 25,000 bovines in Rajasthan

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    5th Aug, 2022

Context

With the lumpy skin disease spreading fast among bovine animals in western and northern Rajasthan, cattle-rearers in the State are suffering heavy losses.

Background

  • 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.

Key Points

  • Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a viral disease of cattle and water buffalo.
  • Virus: Poxvirus Lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV).
  • The virus is one of three closely related species within the genus capripoxvirus, the other two species being Sheep pox virus and Goat pox 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: According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) the mortality rate is less than 10%.
  • 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.
    • Implications: 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.

Measures to be taken

  • Community awareness
  • Educating cattle holders
  • Incentives for disease treatment
  • Insurance of Cows
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