Amid the tensions related to lumpy skin disease in animals of the state, high seroprevalence of peste des petits ruminants (PPR) – one of the most contagious virus was found in ruminant animals of Saurashtra.
Also referred as sheep and goat plague, the disease had a high prevalence among the animals tested in a research conducted by animal husbandry department along with Navsari and Junagadh agricultural universities’ researchers. A sample from around 828 unvaccinated and 423 vaccinated sheep and goats were collected by them for PPR virus.
The symptoms of this highly contagious disease are sudden onset of depression, disturbed breathing, cough, fever, foul smelling diarrhoea, discharges from eyes and nose, sores in mouth, leading to death of the ruminant animals. The PPR virus is not contagious to the Human beings, it cannot infect humans.
As reported by the researchers, the circulation of PPR virus among sheep and goat population of Saurashtra region might be a result of intermixing vaccinated and unvaccinated animals.
The report claimed, “A clear vaccination strategy for control of disease is required,” adding that “the study showed varying antibody level in affected districts reflecting infection and vaccination profile of herds.”
The district-wise result of the research shows high seroprevalence of PPR antibodies in –
Bhavnagar: 84 per cent of unvaccinated; 96 per cent of vaccinated sheep and goats
Surendranagar: 73.6 per cent of unvaccinated animals
Amreli: 56 per cent seroprevalence in tested animals
Jamnagar: 32 per cent seroprevalence among tested unvaccinated animals
Rajkot: 27 per cent seroprevalence in tested unvaccinated animals.
Over 90 per cent of an animal herd can be infected, if the PPR turns into an outbreak as it is highly contagious. It can claim life of around 70 per cent of the total infected animals.
Meanwhile, the Government of Gujarat has launched a massive programme in Saurashtra and Kutch to vaccinate cattle against lumpy skin disease. Recently, the Animal Husbandry Department had placed an emergency procurement for around 2.4 lakh doses of goat pox vaccine.