Lumpy skin disease is killing thousands of cows across India.


Lumpy skin disease caused by the lumpy virus is wreaking havoc in India with the number of deaths already being over 75000, The disease largely targets cows and buffalos.

In this article:

  • What is Lumpy skin disease?
  • What are the symptoms/characteristics of Lumpy skin disease?
  • Reason for the sudden outbreak and increased mortality of Lumpy virus.
  • Nurturing even when suffering.


What is Lumpy skin disease?

Lumpy skin disease is a disease caused by a lumpy virus in cattle animals and spreads mostly through blood-sucking insects like certain species of mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, etc. The disease spreads through either direct touch or can also spread through the contamination of the food and the water that is consumed by the cattle.

A virus from the family Poxviridae, and the genus Capripoxvirus is the cause of the lumpy skin disease. Due to a morbidity rate ranging from 2 to 45% and even up to 100% in some places and a mortality rate of around 10% but it seems to be increasing the Lumpy virus is very devastating.


What are the symptoms of Lumpy skin disease?

Lumpy skin disease in cattle has a wide range of symptoms/characteristics, In most cases, the cattle get a fever, the production of milk is reduced greatly in infected cattle, and the formation of the skin noodles is also rather common.

As a result of the infection female castles can also develop mastitis and another infection-based condition that can also develop is swelling of the peripheral lymph nodes.

Some of the more common symptoms are a loss of appetite, a considerable increase in nasal discharge, and watery eyes. In some cases, the fertility of the cattle is also affected with varying severity from temporary infertility to permanent infertility.


Reason for the sudden outbreak and increased mortality of Lumpy virus.

The virus responsible for the Lumpy skin disease has been around for over a century in the world but the outbreak in India has been especially bad with the mortality rate up by almost 5 percent, from around 10% to around 15%. But why? The main reason for the increased mortality rate can be attributed to the mutations of the virus.

The virus mutates to better adapt to its surroundings and the more a virus spreads the more it mutates as we saw in the case of another very famous virus. While most mutations are not very significant some mutations can have deep effects.

The virus is spreading a lot more than it normally would and the reason for that is the weather and the rain that comes with it causes the population of the insects that spread the virus to grow. The growth of the insect population directly increases the spread of the virus giving it more opportunity to mutate.

An increase in the population of virus carriers combined with a morbidity rate as high as 50 % is what makes this outbreak of the virus especially bad and also is the reason for the increased mortality rate.


Nurturing even when suffering.

The Lumpy skin disease in cattle is a non-zoonotic disease which in simple terms means it cannot be transmitted to humans from the cows. So while the cows are suffering from Lumpy skin disease and very painful nodules on their skin, the milk they provide is perfectly fine for humans.

The milk of the cows that have been affected by the Lumpy skin disease is healthy for human consumption, only the amount of the milk produced is affected due to the strain the disease puts on them.

We have grown up drinking the milk of the cows so it is safe to say they have nurtured us and continue to do so even when suffering.


Lumpy skin disease does not have a known cure yet. And whatever immunity a cattle might have come either from already suffering from the infection or through the maternal antibodies from a mother cow to its calves.

Over 80000 cattle have already died due to the lumpy skin disease and more and more are dying as you read this article but we still do not have a cure for it. #savegaudhan

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