NEW DELHI, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) — More than 57,000 cattle have died in India over the past four-and-a-half months due to the lumpy skin disease (LSD), which is continuing to spread in the South Asian country.
The affected areas include the capital region of Delhi, and the states of Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
The first case was reported in April from the western state of Gujarat, which has seen over 4,000 cattle deaths till date. Gujarat’s neighboring state Rajasthan has reported around 27,000 cattle deaths so far.
Over the past 24 hours, several cases have been detected in the national capital, though no deaths have been reported so far from here.
More than 170 cases have been detected among cattle in the south and the southwest of the Indian capital, Delhi’s Environment Minister Gopal Rai said on Saturday evening. “In the past few days, symptoms similar to infection of lumpy virus have been found in cattle of Delhi,” he told reporters.
According to Rai, the Delhi government is taking measures to control the spread of lumpy virus. The animal husbandry department has set up mobile veterinary clinics, a special isolation ward and a round-the-clock emergency helpline number to combat the spread of infection, he added.
On Saturday, Rai chaired a meeting to review preparedness and implementation of measures to arrest the virus’ spread. “So far everything is under control. Two mobile veterinary clinics are being sent to affected areas. People can also contact on helpline numbers for treatment of infected cattle,” said the official.
Eleven rapid response teams have been formed for the treatment of infected cattle, which will also collect samples, and four teams for raising awareness among farmers and cattle herders, he added.
Experts say that the LSD is a viral infection that affects cattle, and can be transmitted by flies, mosquitoes and ticks. It causes fever and nodules on the skin and can lead to death.
Taking a serious note of the evolving situation, the Indian government has asked states to boost the vaccination process in a bid to control the spread of the viral disease.
The federal government has issued an advisory for cattle owners, listing nine key measures to contain the LSD, including proper hygiene, not moving infected cattle outside, hand sanitization by caretakers, use of disinfectants to kill mosquitoes and flies, nutritious food to infected, isolated cattle, and burying the dead cattle with salt and lime.
People should contact the emergency helpline in case the cattle is ill, consult a vet and not try to treat the cattle on their own, the advisory said.
A month ago, federal Minister for Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar launched the indigenous vaccine Lumpi-ProVacInd to protect livestock animals from the LSD. The vaccine is developed by the National Research Center on Equines in the northern state of Haryana in collaboration with the Indian Veterinary Research Institute, based in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.
The outbreak of the LSD was first reported in India in 2019, after which research institutes in the country had been engaged in developing the vaccine. by Pankaj Yadav. Enditem