Lumpy Skin Virus: Can Infected Animal Milk, Meat Affect Human Health?
“There were small rashes on my cow’s body. I told the doctor and he advised me to apply antibiotics, but it didn’t make any difference. Within a few days the rash began to spread on the cow’s body and its size also got bigger and then the cow got fever, her hind legs became inflamed and she stopped eating fodder, she started losing weight fast. She finally died in a few days. ‘
Muhammad Azam from Sindh had brought about 20 cows from South Punjab for Eid-ul-Adha so that they could be sold in the market. But one of the 20 animals is now dead.
According to Mohammad Azam, the veterinarian told him that his cow had a disease called ‘Lumpy Skin Virus’.
According to the Sindh Livestock Department, the disease has so far killed 67 animals across the province and affected about 20,000.
What is Lumpy Skin Virus?
Lumpy skin virus has been diagnosed in animals for over a century. Dr Abdullah Arejo, a professor of veterinary medicine at the Sindh Agricultural University Tando Jam, told the BBC that just as humans get smallpox or chicken pox, or animals get ‘sheep pox’ and ‘goat pox’. There is a similar disease in which rashes appear on the body of the animal which spread inside the body and also reach the tongue.
Over time, these days the grains fill with pus and the animals cannot sit up because of the pain in these grains.
Dr. Arejo said the disease was first diagnosed in Africa in 1929. This was followed by reports of the disease in India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
He said that some time ago an article was published in a research journal in which it was warned that Pakistan should be cautious about this animal disease as the disease in the region also affects animals and livestock in Pakistan. Can
“When fruits and other commodities are traded through transport from around the world, it is accompanied by flies and mosquitoes, which cause the spread of diseases in the region,” said Dr. Arejo. Among them are blood-sucking flies, AIDS mosquitoes, which cause the spread of diseases such as yellow fever and dengue virus, and Lumpy Skin Disease virus.
Outbreak of the disease in Sindh
The Sindh Livestock Department said that the Lumpy Skin Disease virus is currently spreading in different districts of Sindh but its prevalence is higher in Karachi and Thatta districts.
Dr. Nazir Hussain Kalhoro, Director General, Sindh Livestock Department, said that it has been observed that the native cow breed is recovering from this disease as soon as possible while the foreign and cross breeds are more susceptible to this virus. The number of animals is higher in Thatta and Karachi, so the intensity is higher there.
Difficulties and precautions in treatment
Bari Potafi, provincial minister for the Sindh Livestock Department, said the first case of limp skin disease in animals was reported in November last year. no.
He said that the provincial government was trying to export the vaccine as soon as possible and sought the approval of the federal government in this regard.
Dr. Abdullah Arejo says the animals and those who treat them need isolation. “Not only do animals that have the disease have to be isolated, but the doctor treating the animal should not treat any other animal because it can spread the virus.” Similarly, staff cleaning dung or other items should be kept away from healthy animals.
He said the death rate in cattle due to the virus could range from 3% to 60%. “If there are large herds or herds, the death rate may be higher.”
According to him, if it is treated, the animal will be healthy in three to six days and it can be treated with sheep packs or gout packs vaccine and antibiotics.
Decreased meat sales
After the pictures of sick cows went viral on social media, the consumption of beef in Karachi has come down and the consumption of chicken has increased due to which the price of chicken has reached Rs. 500 per kg in some areas. Is.
The Met Merchant Welfare Association says beef sales have been affected by 60 percent. Nasir Hussain, chairman of the organization, said there are two legal slaughterhouses in the city where 9,000 large animals, including buffaloes, are slaughtered daily, while the city consumes 20,000 animals.
The Sindh government has banned cattle markets across the province, including Karachi, affecting animal procurement.
According to Nasir Hussain Qureshi, 3,000 to 5,000 animals are brought to Karachi daily for meat. “On the Super Highway, DMC Malir charges Rs. 200 to Rs. 500 per animal and issues health certificates to the animals,” he said.
The livestock team should have been present at the spot, but only healthy cattle should be allowed to enter the village where the disease is found. The ban on markets has spread panic and put businesses at risk.
Can this virus infect humans?
Sindh Livestock claims that the virus does not infect humans. Director General Nazir Hussain Kalhoro says, “There is no danger to human life. Drink milk, eat meat, it is not harmful to human health.”
Professor Abdullah Arejo also agrees with his position. “According to existing research on the disease, the infection is not transmitted to humans through milk and meat,” he said.
“Every virus has its own temperament. The virus that lives in an animal does not necessarily infect humans. There are some viruses that can infect both humans and animals, some that infect only one. ۔ ‘
The Meat Merchant Welfare Association says meat exports continue. Their slaughterhouses are very different. According to Pakistan’s statistics department, about 96,000 tonnes of meat was exported last year.
Karachi is also a major market for Eid-ul-Adha animals where cows and calves are brought from all over the country for sale and citizens are interested in large animals of local and foreign breeds.
The Met Merchant Welfare Association says the disease has persisted until cows develop immunity, while the vaccine is far from over.