Lumpy skin outbreak in the north

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Helvy Shaanika

Ongwediva-Farmers in the northern regions are faced with the skin lumpy disease outbreak which affects mostly cattle.

Lumpy skin disease is a viral infection of cattle characterised by the appearance of nodules on the skin and other parts of the body. The disease is transmitted among animals by mosquitoes and biting flies.

Symptoms of the disease become visible after four to fourteen days after the animal has been infected.

According to the Ondangwa based state Veterinarian Dr. Helena Vaino, some farmers from Oshana, Oshikoto, Omusati and Ohangwena regions have reported that their cattle were suffering from the lumps that had developed all over their bodies.

As a result samples were taken from the sick animals and they all came out positive.
“Infection is very high this time as there are many mosquitoes and flies. We know that separating infected animals from the rest in impossible in communal areas, but the best farmers can do is to keep mosquitoes away from their livestock by spraying with insecticides in the surroundings of kraals and by vaccinating their livestock. They also need to treat the affected animals,” said Vaino.

He said mortality from lumpy skin disease is not very high as with the right treatment, animals usually recover.

At the moment a pharmacies in the north do not have medicine, as most of them are still waiting for their orders to arrive.

Vaino has advised that farmers can still get medicine from other Agra shops of which the nearest is at Oshivelo.

She said although there is no evidence that lumpy disease can be transmitted to human beings, people are advised to always desist from consuming sick animals.

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