Madhapar, Munjka, Jamnagar Road, and Raiadhar in Kutch are witnessing a major outbreak of the lumpy virus which is creating havoc since a few weeks in the Saurashtra and Kutch regions of Gujarat. The disease has spread across 116 villages in Gujarat, and 4,143 cattle may have died so far forcing Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel to hold a meeting in Gandhinagar recently to review the status of Lumpy Skin Disease.
The virus affects the cattle, especially cows and buffaloes and becomes fatal at times. The economy based on cattle is severely affected due to the pandemic and the government had to rush to the firefighting operation to deal with the pandemic on an urgent basis.
The officials try to downplay the severity of the situation but the reports coming from the ground portray a different story. The death toll of cattle is much more than the figures given by the authorities, spreading panic amongst the cattle herder communities.
People traditionally involved in disposing off the carcasses of dead animals claim that more than 450 cattle carcasses have been disposed of in the last 45 days. They inform that the cowhide becomes so rotten due to the effects of the lumpy virus that it becomes unusable for any purpose.
Lumpy virus degrades the body of the animal, especially the skin. The advanced stage of the disease even creates holes in the skin of the cattle. While skinning the dead animal, one knows that a tumour started from the skin speeds inside the body of the cattle and ultimately kills it. Water starts filling up in the lungs of a cow affected by the lumpy virus. Also, the heart and liver are severely damaged.
The lumpy virus is considered highly contagious. It recently played havoc in Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer, Barmer, Jalore, Pali, Jodhpur and Bikaner districts and in parts of Pakistan where more than 570 cows had died in the province of Sindh. The virus is spreading like covid among cows and buffaloes like COVID since two months