Lumpy Skin Disease: Can It Spread To Humans? Know Symptoms, Causes And Preventions

The lumpy skin disease is briskly spreading among the cows in over eight states of India. The disease is 'zoonotic.'

By Prerna Targhotra
Updated: Wed, 14 Sep 2022 03:24 PM IST
Minute Read
Lumpy Skin Disease: Can It Spread To Humans? Know Symptoms, Causes And Preventions
Image Courtesy: Reuters

Lumpy skin disease has become a matter of concern as the country is experiencing increased cases of the disease in recent times. The lumpy skin disease is briskly spreading among the cows in over eight states of India. Around 67,000 cattle have died because of this disease since July. The first lumpy skin disease case was reported on April 23, in Gujarat's Kutch region in India. Rapid cases since then have been reported in Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Jammu & Kashmir.


The lumpy skin disease was first seen as an epidemic in Zambia in 1929. There was an LSD outbreak in Israel in 1989 which was conceptualized to be the result of infected Stomoxys Calcitrans carried away by the wind from Ismailia in Egypt. Around fourteen to seventeen dairy herds were infected by LSD between August and September 1989. Countries like Bangladesh in 2019 and Pakistan in 2022 also suffered from lumpy skin disease. LSD cases have been reported in Middle Eastern, European and West Asian regions in the past decade.

In India, in July 2022, the outbreak spread in 14 out of 33 districts of Gujarat. More than 37,000 cases and 1,000 deaths of cattle due to lumpy skin disease have been reported. Since August 1, 2022, more than 25,000 cases have been reported in Rajasthan with around 1200 cattle deaths.


Lumpy skin disease (LSD) is a contagious disease in cattle caused by a virus known as Neethling Virus. The virus is transmitted by insects that feed on blood, such as mosquitoes, ticks and certain species of flies. The disease also spreads through contaminated food or water.

Symptoms of Lumpy skin disease:

Symptoms of lumpy skin disease can include fever, excess salivation, blisters on the body of the cattle, discharge from the eyes and nose, trouble eating and reduced milk production.


The prevention of lumpy skin disease confides on four tactics which are movement control, vaccination, slaughter campaign and management strategies. A toll-free helpline number was established in 1962 to assist dairy farmers and cattle herders suffering from the viral disease.

Effects on Humans:

The disease is 'zoonotic' which means that humans cannot catch the disease as it is not transferrable from animals to humans according to officials and medical experts. The officials of the National Institute of Virology (NIV) also that the disease cannot be transferred to humans based on the studies carries out so far. Other officials mentioned that the mortality rate of lumpy skin disease is 1-2 per cent and it does not affect humans.

The government is taking concrete measures to save cattle and forbade the disease from spreading. The Chief Minister's Office (CMO) said in a formal statement that the CM has directed to launch a disease awareness campaign and stay on-site in their allocated areas to offer quick relief to the citizens. The PM vouched that every cattle will be completely immunized against the virus.


Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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