Lumpy Skin Disease | UPSC
Lumpy skin disease: The deadly pandemic that has taken root among India’s bovines
WHY IN NEWS:
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 source
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 3 :Diseases
LUMPY SKIN DISEASE
- All of a sudden, in the first week of January, lumps started appearing on their body accompanied by high fever.
- Within a week, they have become emaciated, says Joseph, adding that he loses Rs 700 a day because of reduced milk yield.
- Even infected bulls and buffaloes are unable to pull carts or perform farm activities.
- It appears as nodules of two to five centimetre diameter all over the body, particularly around the head, neck, limbs, udder and genitals.
- The lumps gradually open up like large and deep wounds. In some cases — under 10 per cent according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) — the infected animal succumbs to the disease.
- Lumpy skin disease virus causes a severe disease in cattle characterised by nodules in the skin.
- Transmission of LSD occurs via insect vectors and vaccination is the most effective means of control.
- It also blocks access of affected countries to lucrative export markets, compounding the financial impact of a LSD outbreak.
- The virus is one of three closely related species within the genus capripoxvirus, the other two species being Sheeppox virus and Goatpox virus.
ORIGIN AND SPREAD
- Over the next 85 years it steadily spread throughout the majority of Africa and into the Middle East.
- In 2015 the virus entered mainland Europe in Greece, and the Caucasus and Russia.
- In 2016 the virus spread further east into the Balkans, north towards Moscow, and west into Kazakhstan.
- It is currently considered a rapidly emerging disease of high consequence.
- It is notifiable with outbreaks causing significant damage to productivity and trade.
SOURCES : DOWNTOEARTH
- There is still a good deal of information lacking about the transmission of LSD.
- Experimental work has shown that direct transmission from an infected to a naïve animal is very inefficient.
- In addition, LSD epidemics are often characterised by new outbreaks occurring at distances over 50km from the nearest known disease focus.
- These characteristics strongly suggest insect-borne transmission, such as mosquitoes and ticks.
- However, it is unclear which vector species are involved in transmission of LSD.
- Movement of infected cattle can also be a significant factor in the spread of LSD over large distances.
- Other clinical signs include general malaise, ocular and nasal discharge, fever, and sudden decrease in milk production.
- Morbidity and mortality in the recent Eurasian epidemic has been approximately 10% and 1% respectively.
- The severity of disease in the 10% of affected cattle in the herd can vary from mild to fatal.
- Others develop innumerable nodules up to 3cm in diameter.
- The factors determining which cattle develop mild and which develop severe disease are unknown.
- Disease can be confirmed with a laboratory diagnosis, with tests available to detect the DNA of the virus or antibodies.
Control and prevention of lumpy skin disease relies on four tactics –
- Movement control (quarantine)
- Slaughter campaigns
- Management strategies.
- 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 (topical +/- injectable) when appropriate.
- 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 fact, in August 2019, when the first outbreak of LSD was reported from Odisha, five districts were grappling with the exotic cattle pox.
- Worse, studies suggest the virus could have already mutated in the country.
- Since LSD virus is related to sheep and goat pox, we need to understand whether it can transmit to sheep and goats as well.
SOURCES: DownToEarth | Lumpy Skin Disease | UPSC