In a significant development, Nagaland has officially been designated as a Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) positive state following the identification of the disease in four of its districts. According to The Prevention and Control of Infectious and Contagious Diseases in Animals Act, 2009, the Directorate of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Services, in conjunction with the relevant state department, will take prompt actions to implement preventive measures. Lumpy skin disease, caused by the Capripox virus, poses a considerable threat to cattle, leading to significant morbidity. While the mortality rate is generally low, the disease results in substantial economic losses due to various factors such as loss of condition, reduced milk production, abortions, infertility, and damage to hides.
The World Animal Health Organization (OIE) recognizes Lumpy Skin Disease as a notifiable disease due to its potential for rapid spread and the associated economic consequences. The virus, also known as the “Neethling” virus, can wreak havoc on the livestock industry by causing increased mortality, reduced productivity, elevated control costs, trade disruptions, decreased market value, and food security challenges. Furthermore, the disease is not limited to domestic animals alone; it poses a threat to wildlife populations, including Deer, Bison, and Mithun.
Lumpy skin disease is transmitted primarily through flies, ticks, and mosquitoes, making vector control measures crucial to curb its dissemination. Clinical manifestations of the disease include high fever, skin nodules, loss of appetite, nasal and eye discharges, and the formation of nodules on the animal’s body.
The current situation calls for swift and coordinated efforts by the authorities to contain the spread of LSD in Nagaland, safeguarding both the livestock industry and wildlife populations.