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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and after African Swine Fever, Assam is now dealing with the Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) in cattle, officials said on August 28.

LSD is an infectious viral disease in cattle, transmitted by arthropod vectors such as mosquitoes and ticks. The disease is caused by Poxviridae family virus characterised by fever, multiple nodules on the skin and enlarged superficial lymph nodes with mortality ranging from one to three per cent.

The disease, however, causes economic losses in the form of drop in milk production, reduced skin quality and restriction of trade and movement.

LSD cannot transmit from cattle to humans. An Assam Animal Husbandry and Veterinary department official said the incidence of LSD was first reported in June.

At present, cattle in four Assam districts – Cachar, Karimganj, Hailakandi and Kamrup are affected.

Deputy Director (in-charge) of the Animal Health Centre of the Guwahati-based Regional Disease Diagnostics Laboratory, Prodeep Gogoi, said though the infected cattle often recover within two to three weeks, there is a reduction in milk production in cattle for several weeks.

Gogoi requested Assam’s Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services department to do clinical surveillance of the susceptible cattle population for nodular skin lesions along with the recording of morbidity and mortality data in the LSD-suspected areas.

In view of the reported emergence of LSD in Assam, the Nagaland government has sounded a high alert and asked the chief veterinary officers (CVOs) of all districts to strictly monitor the occurrence of the disease.

The Animal Husbandry department, in a statement in Kohima, said it has also instructed all district officers to issue a red alert to all check gates within their jurisdiction for the control of the disease and suspected animal movement.

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