With at least 173 cases of lumpy virus, Delhi has reported first such infections among cattle. Most of the cases were reported in southwest district, however no death has been recorded.
The first case was detected around eight to 10 days ago.
The government will adopt the ring vaccination strategy in which healthy cattle in a 5 km radius of the affected areas will be given goat pox vaccine with the Uttarkashi strain of the virus, a senior official told PTI.
Addressing a press conference, Development Minister Gopal Rai said 45 cases of lumpy skin disease have been detected in the Goyla dairy area, 40 in Rewla Khanpur area, 21 in Ghumanhera and 16 in Najafgarh.
Rai asked owners to isolate cattle showing symptoms of the lumpy virus, which may include high fever, reduced milk production, skin nodules, loss of appetite, increased nasal discharge and watery eyes, among others.
He said the Delhi government has deployed two mobile veterinary clinics and set up 11 rapid response teams to collect samples. Four teams will make people aware of the virus.
The city government has also set up a special control room with helpline number 8287848586 for queries related to the lumpy virus.
An isolation ward has been set up in Rewla Khanpur Gau Sadan in southwest Delhi for abandoned cattle suffering from lumpy skin disease, Rai said.
The senior official said the lumpy virus has been found in 40 abandoned cows which have been shifted to the isolation ward.
The cow shelter can accommodate 4,500 cattle. The isolation ward has been set up away from healthy cattle and mosquito nets have been installed there.
“In Delhi, it is unlikely to spread to proportions seen in other states as the number of cases is low and manageable. We have responded promptly and taken all the necessary steps to curb the spread,” he said.
Another official said the virus doesn’t normally lead to the death of cattle and the mortality rate is just one to two per cent.
The high number of deaths in Rajasthan and Gujarat could be due to poor health of those cattle and the development of secondary infections, he said.
“Deaths are unlikely if the infected cattle are isolated and proper care is taken. Wounds should be disinfected regularly,” the official said.
Lumpy skin disease is a contagious viral disease that spreads among cattle through mosquitoes, flies, lice and wasps by direct contact, as also through contaminated food and water. The disease causes fever and nodules on the skin, and it can be fatal.
Union Minister for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Parshottam Rupala on Thursday said the outbreak has spread in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
He said around 57,000 cattle have died till Thursday due to lumpy skin disease and told states where cases have been reported to boost vaccination efforts.
With PTI inputs