Lumpy skin disease has rapidly spread among cattle in more than 10 states and Union Territories of India. The death rates are rising and it continues to have a disastrous impact on the herd of cattle. Being the world’s largest milk producer, the dairy industry of India is facing a huge challenge as a result of the current outbreak. Of lumpy skin disease. The milk production has been severely reduced and states like Rajasthan, Gujarat and Punjab have already reported a drop in milk yield. Reports indicate a reduction of 5-6 lakh litres a day in the milk yield of Rajasthan. The disease poses a serious danger to the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and farmers in various regions have suffered losses as a result of the deaths of their cattle.
Current outbreak of Lumpy skin disease
The current outbreak started in Gujarat and Rajasthan around July and had spread to Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Andaman & Nicobar and Uttarakhand by early August. It then spread to Jammu and Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. In recent weeks, it was reported in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, and Jharkhand. Over 16 lakh cases of Lumpy Skin Disease in cattles have been reported so far in 197 districts. However, data on the total number of infected animals is still being collated of the nearly 75,000 deaths. More than 50,000 deaths, mostly cows, have been reported from Rajasthan only.
What is Lumpy skin disease ?
Lumpy skin disease is an infectious viral disease caused by Lumpy skin disease virus of Capripoxvirus genus, subfamily Chordopoxvirniae, family Poxviridae. It is a non-zoonotic, vector borne and transboundary disease with limited host range and currently restricted to ruminants viz. cattle and water buffaloes. Calves are more susceptible and develop lesions within 24 to 48 h.
Transmission of Lumpy skin disease in Cattle
- Mechanically through arthropod vectors such as biting flies, mosquitoes and ticks.
- Indirect transmission through milk, nasal secretions, saliva, blood and lachrymal secretions for animals sharing feeding and watering troughs.
- From infected mother to calf via milk secretions and skin abrasions
- Through use of single needle for mass vaccination that can acquire the virus from the skin scabs or crusts
Incubation Period of Lumpy skin disease
- 2-5 weeks in natural conditions
- 7-14 days in experimental conditions
Treatment of Lumpy skin disease
- Symptomatic treatment including the treatment of secondary infection (if any)
- Based on the symptoms and clinical signs:
- Use of anti-inflammatory drugs (preferably non-steroids) to treat the inflammatory condition.
- Use of anti-histamine preparations / drugs to treat allergic conditions.
- Use of Paracetamol in case of high fever.
- In case of secondary bacterial infections like respiratory infections, skin infections antibiotics may also be used judiciously.
- Parental/oral multivitamins
- Oral treatment with 0.1% Methylene Blue (MB) solution (1 gram of MB powder in 1 litre of water)
Preventive measures of Lumpy skin disease in Cattle
- Control of animal movement – In order to minimize the economic impact of the outbreaks and to control LSD, the movement of animals to and from the infected area and from affected states should be completely banned. This will check the transmission/spread of LSD.
- Restriction with affected animals and persons dealing with such animals – The movement of people to and from the affected area should be restricted. The animal handlers and those attending to the affected animals should be advised to keep away from healthy animals. It is, therefore, of utmost importance to ensure these safety measures.
Lumpy skin disease Treatment in Homoeopathy
Homeopathy as a complimentary medicine has shown to be effective in the management of some cases and although more research needs to be done on the same. Its treatment with application of Homeopathic medicine made by Goel Homeo vet pharma named LSD kit has shown marvellous result in many cases, the following medicines can be used for quick recovery of the infected cattle along with prevention of spread:
- Thuja– The great Anti-sycotic remedy is useful in cases of lumps, tubercles and warts. It is most effective in conditions with Eruptions only on covered parts; worse after scratching. Infected patient can be very sensitive to touch.
- Sulphur– Another Polychrest remedy, it is useful for all types of skin ailments with symptoms such as Pimply eruption, pustules, rhagades, hang-nails.
- Acidum fluoricum– Suggested for growths such as tubercles, it is also known to be effective in cases of bloating of tissues making it a helpful remedy for Lumpy Skin Disease
- Psorinum– It is an effective remedy for skin conditions that are worse by warmth and eruptions are seen mostly in the joints. There is also excessive and offensive perspiration especially in fever
- Dulcamara– A great remedy for conditions worse in damp conditions, it helps with symptoms of swelling and induration of glands.
What government is doing against LSD in India
The affected States have prohibited movement of cattle and are quarantining infected cattle and buffaloes, spraying insecticides to kill vectors like mosquitoes, with some affected States such as Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh also setting up dedicated control rooms and helpline numbers to guide farmers whose cattle have been infected. 97 lakh vaccine doses had been given as of the first week of September. Delhi government procured 25,000 doses of goat pox vaccine and started a vaccination drive to prevent the spread of lumpy skin disease in cattle.
Vaccine for Lumpy skin disease
Advisories have been issued by DAHD for using Goat pox vaccine for the vaccination of cattle and buffaloes. However, affected animals should not be vaccinated. In a major breakthrough, ICAR’s National Research Centre on Equines (NRCE) at Hisar, Haryana and the Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) at Izatnagar, jointly developed Lumpi-ProVacind, an indigenous vaccine for LSD, which the Centre plans to commercialise and roll out in the next three to four months.
Being an agriculture-based economy, it is a matter of great concern for the livestock rearing sector. Despite severe reduction in milk production, LSD can also lead to reduction in export of livestock and livestock products. Therefore, strict implementation of advisories and biosecurity measures should be followed along with undertaking door to door awareness and vaccination drive to regulate the spread of disease.