So far 43 cattle have died and 21 districts have been affected due to Lumpy virus in Maharashtra. According to state’s animal husbandry department, the government has started vaccination drives for cattle and there has been no effect on milk production and consumption.
Apart from Maharashtra, the virus has also affected largely other states like Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, and Gujarat.
As far as Maharashtra is concerned, till Sunday, a total of 42 infected cattle have died due to Lumpy Skin Disease in different districts including 17 in Jalgaon, 13 in Ahmednagar, 1 in Dhule, 1 in Akola, 3 in Pune, 3 in Buldhana, 3 in Amravati, and 1 in Washim till Sunday, according to the department.
The first case of Lumpy was reported on August 4 in Chinawal village of Raver taluka of Jalgaon district.
The virus has been found only in cows and buffaloes. There is no danger to humans in using milk of animals that do not have the symptoms of the disease. Animals can be cured of the disease, however, the milk of such animals may get affected due to the virus.
Here’s you need to know about lumpy virus?
The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI) in its report states that Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) disease is caused by a virus called the Capripoxvirus and is “an emerging threat to livestock worldwide”. It is genetically related to the goatpox and sheeppox virus family.
The disease infects cattle and water buffalo mainly through vectors such as blood-feeding insects. Signs of infection include the appearance of circular, firm nodes on the animal’s hide or skin that look similar to lumps.
Once an animal is infected with disease it starts losing weight and may have fever and lesions in the mouth, along with a reduced milk yield. While other symptoms include excessive nasal and salivary secretion. Pregnant cows and buffaloes often suffer miscarriage and in some cases, diseased animals can die due to it as well.
Does the disease pose any risk to humans?
The diseases has already been reported in India. In September 2020, a strain of the virus was discovered in Maharashtra. Gujarat too has reported cases over the last few years sporadically, but currently, the point of concern is the number of deaths being reported, and whether vaccination catches up to the rate at which the disease is spreading.