GUWAHATI: Scores of cattle in Assam have been infected with the Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD).
The outbreak of the exotic disease made the state government to issue an advisory to all district authorities to raise awareness among field veterinarians, veterinarian institutions, and cattle farmers. It also asked them to direct all concerned to investigate all the suspected cases on priority.
Official sources said the cases of LSD were first recorded in the last part of June. As of now, four districts such as Cachar, Karimganj, and Hailakandi in the Barak Valley and Kamrup in the Brahmaputra Valley are affected.
LSD is an infectious viral disease, transmitted by arthropod vectors such as mosquitoes, biting flies, and ticks. It cannot transmit from cattle to human beings.
The disease is characterized by mild fever for two-three days followed by the development of stiff, round cutaneous nodules (two-five cm in diameter) on the skin all over the body. These nodules are circumscribed, firm, round, raised, and involves the skin, subcutaneous tissue, and sometimes, muscles.
“The other symptoms may include lesions in mouth, pharynx and respiratory tract, emaciation, enlarged lymph nodes, oedema of limbs, abortion, infertility and sometimes, death,” Dr. Prodeep Gogoi, who is the deputy director (in-charge) of Animal Health Centre of the Guwahati-based North Eastern Regional Disease Diagnostics Laboratory, said.
Although infected animals often recover within two to three weeks, there is a reduction in milk yield in lactating cattle for several weeks. The morbidity rate is around 10-20% and the mortality rate is around 1-5%, Dr. Gogoi said.
He advised the state’s Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department to carry out clinical surveillance of susceptible cattle population for nodular skin lesions along with the recording of morbidity and mortality data in the LSD-suspected areas.
This is the second exotic disease to have hit the animals in Assam this year. Over 17,000 domesticated pigs had died of African swine fever in the recent months.