Reports of an infectious disease called the Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD), which affects cattle and bovine animals, have been surfacing from Palghar district. The administration has stepped in action with a mass vaccination drive. “So far, 5,300 cattle have been vaccinated with the Goat Pox vaccine,” said Dr Prashant Kamble, District Veterinary Officer (DVO), Palghar. “We have ample stock (45,000 doses). These have been distributed in 88 centres in the district for farmers to vaccinate their cattle,” he added.
A dozen samples have been sent to the Disease Investigation Section (DIS) in Pune. “We are waiting for the report,” informed Dr Kamble. Symptoms of the disease include 2cm to 5 cm (in diameter) nodules on the skin, fever and lesions in the mouth. The administration has also been conducting studies to check if it has impacted milk production in milch cattle. Cases have been reported in Dahanu, Talasari, Mokhada and Jawhar, amongst others.
The virus is spread by vector insects, such as mosquitoes. It does not infect humans through the consumption of meat or milk.
The farmers have been told to follow precautions, like disinfecting sheds, spraying insect repellents at regular intervals and keeping infected animals away from healthy ones. Mhatre, a dairy farmer from Makunsar, who owns a herd of 60 milch cattle, said at least 2 to 3 cows displayed such symptoms. Some had swollen feet and were unable to walk. Others had developed nodules on their skin and also milk production had reduced. The officials have also appealed to the villagers to report every such case to them, so cases can be traced and the vaccine can be administered.
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