Since the outbreak of lumpy skin disease (LSD) among cattle in early June, 6,804 cases have been recorded with the first detected infections in Preah Vihear and Oddar Meanchey provinces followed by more cases in other provinces bordering Thailand.

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Veng Sakhon said on July 31 that from the beginning of June until July 29, of the cattle diagnosed with LSD, 65 per cent have been cured and the remainder are undergoing treatment. Fatalities – mostly calves – were one per cent.

According to Sakhon, LSD is caused by the virus capripoxvirus of the poxviridae family. The virus is robust and can live for up to three months on scabs, dry skin and up to six months on unwashed skin. It easily dies in sunlight and can be removed by soap and water or by disinfectant.

The disease can be transmitted by insects and close contact. The infection is distinguished by the appearance of lumps of cattle’s skin. The virus is genetically similar to the measles and mumps viruses.

According to Sakhon, the virus has infected five to 45 per cent of cattle in affected areas with less than 10 per cent mortality. Animal symptoms include fever, sluggishness, loss of appetite and runny nose.

The male cattle can become infertile and pregnant cattle can miscarriage.

“The disease is transmitted by insects such as mosquitoes and flies, direct or indirect exposure, breeding, transportation and veterinary equipment,” he said.

The disease is affecting many cattle and causing serious economic damage to cattle farmers. However, the disease is not transmittable to humans.