Thursday October 06, 2022

‘Lumpy skin disease not a risk to human health’

August 15, 2022

Islamabad : A campaign being run on social media advising people not to consume the meat of cattle at least for two to three months because of an increasing number of cases of lumpy skin disease virus in cattle that may cause severe health threats to humans which according to health experts and studies is a misconception as LSDV does not pose any risk to human health.

After the rumours, a number of people have started avoiding meat of cows, buffalo and veal in this region of the country that may pose an economic threat to the business of cattle meat in the local markets. If the rumours go on, there might be a tremendous increase in prices of poultry meat along with mutton.

There is just no chance of disease appearing in humans, the LSD is cattle specific and does not cross the species barrier, said epidemiologist Dr. Muhammad Najeeb Durrani who is Member Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) while talking to ‘The News’ on Sunday.

He added that there is no evidence of lumpy skin disease affecting humans and no human case affected by LSDV has ever been reported in Pakistan. However, the extremely diseased animals should not be slaughtered as any kind of infection in the animal may damage its organs, he said.

Studies reveal that lumpy skin disease is a viral disease of cattle and water buffalo and it does not pose any risk to humans. It is caused among cattle mainly by the bite of infected insects such as certain species of flies, mosquitoes, and possibly ticks and through contact with secretions.

Consuming milk and meat of an animal infected with LSDV does not transmit the infection to humans however as far as food safety is concerned, one should use well-boiled milk only and should thoroughly cook meat. Also one should wash hands with water and soap after handling meat, said Dr. Durrani.