Lumpy Skin Disease – UPSC Prelims

  • Lumpy Skin Disease: It is an infectious disease in cattle caused by a virus of the family Poxviridae, also known as the Neethling virus.
  • Vector: Blood-feeding insects such as mosquitos and flies act as mechanical vectors to spread the disease. The outbreak of the disease is associated with high temperature and high humidity.
  • Origin: Lumpy skin disease was first seen as an epidemic in Zambia in 1929. In India, the case was first reported from Odisha in August 2019 and currently, it has spread to 15 states within just 16 months.
  • Symptoms: The disease is characterized by fever, enlarged superficial lymph nodes and multiple nodules on the skin and mucous membranes. Infected cattle also may develop oedematous swelling in their limbs and exhibit lameness.
  • Mortality Rate: Morbidity varies between 2 and 45% and the mortality rate is usually less than 10%.
  • Treatment: There is no treatment for the virus, so prevention by vaccination is the most effective means of control.
  • Implications: The virus has important economic implications since affected animals tend to have permanent damage to their skin, lowering the commercial value of their hide.
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