NEW DELHI, Aug. 5 (Xinhua) -- Lumpy skin disease outbreak has hit two western Indian states of Rajasthan and Gujarat, officials said Friday.
According to animal husbandry department officials in Rajasthan, the disease has spread to 16 districts and has infected the cattle, especially cows. Some buffaloes are also found to be infected.
"More than 5,800 cattle have died so far in the state due to this disease. According to the data released by the animal husbandry department, more than 120,000 cattle mostly cows have been infected so far," India's state-run broadcaster All India Radio (AIR) said Friday.
Cases of lumpy skin disease have been reported in large numbers from Jodhpur, Barmer, Jaisalmer, Jalore, Pali, and Nagaur. Sirohi and Bikaner districts.
A federal government team from Bhopal has collected dozens of samples from five cow shelters in highly affected Nagaur districts.
"Special teams have been deployed for the survey and treatment of the cattle," local government minister for animal husbandry Lal Chand Kataria told media after taking stock of the situation in a high-level meeting.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has urged the federal government to provide financial and necessary assistance to tackle the outbreak.
In the wake of the infection, the government is considering banning cattle movement from other states and is contemplating to impose restrictions or cancel the upcoming animal fairs.
Lumpy skin disease is a viral disease that spreads through blood-feeding insects like certain species of flies, mosquitos or ticks and through contaminated food and water. The disease causes acute fever, discharge from the eyes and nose, salivation, soft blister-like nodules all over the body and difficulty in eating.
The disease is marked by a reduction in milk yield and leads to the animal's death.
In Gujarat over 1,800 heads of cattle have been killed and nearly 70,000 cows have been affected due to lumpy skin disease across 20 districts. Reports said the state has reported a drop in milk production by around 50,000 litres a day because of the disease. ■