Amid rumours discouraging milk consumption, Lumpy Skin Disease can’t be transmitted to humans: govt - Hindustan Times
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Amid rumours discouraging milk consumption, Lumpy Skin Disease can’t be transmitted to humans: govt

ByNamrata Devikar
Sep 13, 2022 11:12 PM IST

Amid messages being circulated on social media asking people not to consume milk owing to the rising cases of Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) in cattle, animal husbandry department officials have now clarified that the disease cannot be transmitted to human beings as it is not ‘zoonotic’

Amid messages being circulated on social media asking people not to consume milk owing to the rising cases of Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) in cattle, animal husbandry department officials have now clarified that the disease cannot be transmitted to human beings as it is not ‘zoonotic’.

A cow suffering from Lumpy Skin Disease at Wagheri village in Karad. (HT PHOTO)
A cow suffering from Lumpy Skin Disease at Wagheri village in Karad. (HT PHOTO)

Sachindra Pratap Singh, commissioner, animal husbandry, on Tuesday said that there are no chances of LSD spreading to human beings. “We are in touch with other institutions that are researching the disease, and it has been confirmed that LSD is not ‘zoonotic’. This also means that the disease cannot be contracted by human beings. Lumpy Skin Disease cannot be transmitted to human beings through milk or other means. While human beings can physically transmit the disease to other cattle, they themselves will not be harmed. The disease is limited to cows and bulls,” Singh said.

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Cattle of both genders have been infected, he said. “Cows and bulls have been infected. Among the primary symptoms are fever and reduction in milk production. However, as of now there is no scientific evidence that suggests that the milk produced by such cattle can be harmful if used,” Singh said.

About the rumours and misinformation being spread on social media, he said, “If there is misinformation and rumours being circulated regarding the spread of LSD, appropriate action will be taken against the individuals responsible.”

A spokesperson from the National Institute of Virology (NIV), also present at the press interaction, confirmed that the disease cannot be transmitted to human beings based on the studies carried out so far.

Singh said that the cattle in organised dairies are being vaccinated on a priority basis as a preventive measure. “We have seen in the case of other states like Rajasthan and Gujarat that the spread of the disease was more as cattle from organised dairies were infected. In the case of Maharashtra, we have started complete vaccination of such dairies,” Singh said. Officials on ground confirmed that farmers and cattle-owners have been advised to boil the milk from infected cattle and not send it further to collection centres till the cattle have recovered completely.

Till Tuesday, Maharashtra has reported more than 2,664 cases of LSD with 43 cattle deaths across 21 districts including 338 villages, and the animal husbandry department is on its toes vaccinating cattle in and around the epicentre of the disease. As per officials, 515,120 livestock have been vaccinated in over 1,755 villages. Out of 2,664 infected cattle, 1,520 have recovered. The available stock of vaccines is 1,638,800 while there are 1,449,741 cattle still to be vaccinated.

Meanwhile, Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, animal husbandry minister, on Monday said that the 262 posts of ‘livestock supervisor’ in the state that are lying vacant will be filled up immediately. “These 262 posts will be filled immediately by outsourcing in order to control the LSD epidemic in livestock,” he said.

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