Home / News / India /  Lumpy Skin Disease: No evidence of transmission to humans, say experts

India continues to face the wrath of Lumpy Skin Disease, which has claimed the lives of more than 1 lakh cattle. Meanwhile, veterinary experts have dismissed the concerns regarding the transmission of the disease from animals to humans and informed that there is evidence of animal-to-animal transmissions, but not of animal-to-human transmission.

"There is no evidence that the disease can transmit from animals to humans. It is not a zoonotic disease. It is goat pox that has gone into the cow. That is how the transmission happened. It means it is transmissible from animals to animals. The buffaloes, cows, goats and sheep are affected. No such case of transmission from animals to humans has been reported yet," Dr. Rita Goyale told news agency ANI.

The doctor further mentioned that the infected animal initially suffers from high fever and bump nodules on the body. The virus then travels to the immune system of cattle creating respiratory troubles and ultimately affecting multiple organs leading to the death of the animal.

"As prevention, it is better to take pasteurized milk instead of unpasteurized milk for humans. The best thing is to boil the milk and put it on a sim and give it another boil for another minute. So that most of the viruses get destroyed," added Dr. Rita.

The opinion of Dr. Rita is seconded by other experts from reputed institutes like ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute (ICAR-IVRI).

"Firm raised nodules up to 59 mm diameter on the skin around head, neck, genitalia, limbs and all around the body. Scabs develop in the center of nodules after which the scabs fall off leaving large holes that may become infected by secondary bacterial infections. Further swelling of the limbs, brisket and genitals can also be seen. There are also watering eyes and increased nasal and salivary secretions. Some animals with the disease may be asymptomatic," said experts on symptoms of Lumpy Skin Disease.

The disease can also affect the milk yield of the cattle or even cause miscarriage in pregnant cattle.

According to a recent preprint study on the lumpy virus conducted by CSIR-IGIB, the genome sequence of the Lumpy Skin Disease virus from the outbreak in India suggests a distinct lineage of the virus.

India is currently using the 'goat-pox' vaccine against the virus, which is proving to be completely effective.

As of September 23, data from the Union Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry, and Dairying showed that lumpy skin disease had spread to 251 districts in 15 states, affecting over 20 lakh cattle.

India has a cattle population of 192.5 million and is the world's largest producer of milk, producing 210 million tonnes of milk.

With inputs from ANI.

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