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Sunday, May 22, 2022
EditorialLSD epidemic

LSD epidemic

The miseries of those dealing in cattle farming are multiplying day-by-day as the Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is spreading rapidly. It is a highly infectious disease of cattle caused by a virus and its prevalence has affected the consumption of meat which has dropped by 70 percent, as claimed by the Meat Merchant Association (MMA) of Karachi. Unfortunately, the disease is not limited to Karachi; rather, it is also spreading in different cities of Sindh and some areas of Punjab. According to experts, the disease is transmitted by blood-feeding insects, such as certain species of flies and mosquitoes, or ticks. It causes fever, nodules beneath the skin and can also lead to death. Since its start, experts are doing research and it has been found that there is no evidence of its transmission to humans. Among the livestock, only cows are infected with LSD and after contracting the disease, they stop producing milk. As the number of deaths is climbing, the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) has allowed the import of two different types of vaccines from Turkey and Jordan to contain and prevent the spread of disease among cattle. However, the dark shadow of the epidemic is hovering not only in Sindh but also across the country.

Besides meat consumption, it has also been affecting the milk business which can lead to a crisis. It is the government’s responsibility to take timely action before worsening the situation. The majority of people associated with cattle farming are uneducated and they do not know how to take preventive measures to contain the spread of the disease. Besides, their knowledge about animal vaccines remains scanty leading to further complications.

In order to contain deaths among the cattle due to this disease, the concerned provincial governments need to take preventive measures. A countrywide awareness campaign needs to be launched on an immediate basis that could educate cattle farmers about the symptoms of the disease and inform them about curative measures. As most cases are being reported from Sindh, the provincial government needs to take all necessary measures to protect the cattle from this deadly disease. The government needs to arrange vaccines and other necessary medicines by setting up temporary health centres for early detection and treatment of the disease. There is also a need to improve the level of coordination among the authorities concerned. Quick measures are needed at the provincial and federal levels to prevent the Lumpy skin disease epidemic from spreading to other parts of the country.

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