Authorities across the nation are on high alert as a major viral outbreak of lumpy skin disease is affecting several states of the nation. To date, the virus has killed over 80,000 cattle across India. Blood-feeding insects like mosquitoes, flies, lice, and wasps commonly spread the disease through direct contact as well as tainted food and water.
The development of nodules in the skin, which may cover the entire body of the animal, and lesions, which are frequently found in the mouth and upper respiratory tract, are the disease’s hallmarks. In April, the Kutch region of Gujarat received the first reports of the disease. Since then, it has quickly spread to states including Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, and Punjab, among others. The worst-affected state is Rajasthan, where there are 600–700 cattle deaths every day, compared to fewer than 100 in other states.
The severity of the outbreak is demonstrated by the over 21% decrease in milk production that Rajasthan has seen in August. According to a representative of Rajasthan Cooperative Dairy Federation (RCDF), the outbreak has had an impact on milk production, and collection has decreased by 5-6 lakh litres per day throughout the state.
That the virus causing the current outbreak’s genome showed little similarity to global genomes or when compared to genetic sequences from earlier outbreaks of the disease is cause for concern.In response to the state’s Congress administration’s failure to address the issue, the BJP staged a protest in Jaipur. According to CM Gehlot, the Center must provide the disease’s vaccines.
The central government will provide the vaccines and medications, but Gehlot tweeted that the priority is to save the lives of cows from lumpy skin disease. “I called a meeting regarding lumpy skin disease on August 15 and called the leaders of the opposition,” Gehlot wrote. To stop the spread in Maharashtra, the government established a task force at the state level.