There is no evidence of transmission of lumpy virus disease from animals to humans, said a veterinary expert on Wednesday.
The cumulative data on deaths of cattle by lumpy virus disease by the Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying is more than one lakh over the last few months.
Speaking to ANI, veterinarian Dr. Rita Goyale said, “There is no evidence that the disease can transmit from animals to humans. It is not a zoonotic disease. It is goat pox that has gone into the cow. That is how the transmission happened. It means it is transmissible from animals to animals. The buffaloes, cows, goats, and sheep are affected. No such case of transmission from animals to humans has been reported yet.”
The expert further said the infected animal catches a high fever and gets bumps on the nodules on their body and the skin. The virus goes into the immune system of the animal and causes respiratory trouble. She said the disease spread to other organs of infected animals gradually.
“As prevention, it is better to take pasteurized milk instead of unpasteurized milk for humans. The best thing is to boil the milk and put it on a sim and give it another boil for another minute. So that most of the viruses get destroyed,” added Dr. Rita.
Another expert from ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute (ICAR-IVRI) on the condition of anonymity said that lumpy disease cannot be transmitted to humans.
LSD is not a zoonotic disease and LSDV is not transmissible to humans. As such, humans are not at risk,” the expert told ANI.
On symptoms, the expert said, “Firm raised nodules up to 59 mm diameter on the skin around head, neck, genitalia, limbs and all around the body. Scabs develop in the center of nodules after which the scabs fall off leaving large holes that may become infected by secondary bacterial infections. Further swelling of the limbs, brisket, and genitals can also be seen. There are also watering eyes and increased nasal and salivary secretions. Some animals with the disease may be asymptomatic.”
He further said the infection typically causes an acute disease with fever, depression, and characteristic skin nodules. There may be a reduction in milk yield, as well as miscarriage in pregnant animals.
Recently, the preprint study conducted by CSIR-IGIB on lumpy virus said that the genome sequence of the Lumpy Skin Disease virus from the outbreak in India suggests a distinct lineage of the virus.
“In this study, we have reported the whole-genome sequences of 6 viral isolates of LSDV that were collected from the state of Rajasthan during an ongoing outbreak of infections in India. Analysis of the sic viral isolates shows that the genomes from the 2022 outbreak of the disease form contain a large number of genetic variants as compared to previous genomes available in the public domain. The presence of an additional variant (LSDVgp037:D286V) in the virus isolated from skin scab as compared to a nasal swab of the one host animal is suggestive of potential intra-host evolution of LSDV,” said the study conducted by Dr. Vinod Scaria and Dr. Bani Jolly.
“We need to accept that animal and plant health are key to human health and well-being and forms the basis of one’s health. As we move towards industrialized agriculture and animal husbandry in the era of climate change, the need has never been acute for preparedness with newer and better tools like genomics, molecular surveillance and digital technologies to warn, inform, identify and stop emerging pathogens in their tracks,” stated the study on the evolution of lumpy skin disease virus.