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Save cattle from contagious LSD virus before it is too late

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19th-Jun-2020       
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WHILE humans are trying to fight the deadly novel coronavirus across the globe, cattle in the country's northern districts, under Rangpur division, are getting infected at an alarming pace by another highly contagious virus - lumpy skin disease (LSD). According to independent sources and affected cattle owners, at least 50 cattle, mostly calves have died and nearly 20,000 infected with LSD in seven out of eight districts in the division over the last several months.
According to their official tally, Thakurgaon so far saw the highest number of deaths, 15, and 2,000 infections; Kurigram 7 deaths and 3,000 infections; Dinajpur 5 deaths and 3,000 infections; Nilphamari 4 deaths and 2,000 infections; and Lalmonirhat 2 deaths and 2,000 infections. The livestock officials in Rangpur and Gaibandha said their districts had 3,100 and 420 infections respectively with no incidents of death. Many owners of infected cattle said within two to three days after numerous rounded lumps become evident under the skin of an animal, the lumps turn into open sores that show signs of discharge. It also develops a high fever, general malaise and a strong aversion to food before dying within a few days.
Transmission of LSD occurs via insect vectors and vaccination is the most effective means of control. The disease causes substantial losses in affected herds with significant economic consequences. It also blocks access of affected countries to lucrative export markets, compounding the financial impact of an LSD outbreak.
There is no specific treatment available for the treatment of LSD at the moment and they are prescribing symptomatic medications such as paracetamol for fever and pain. The LSD is not native to Bangladesh and the country's first LSD infection was reported last year in Chattogram. Since there is no treatment available for LSD, vaccinating cattle is the only way out. The government has to bring six lakh cattle under goat pox vaccination in the Northern region, otherwise, farmers in the area would be in great loss. When the food crisis is creeping to embrace, the LSD will bring a new blow on farmers. The government should be supportive of the farmers.


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