Debilitating Livestock Lumpy Skin Disease Outbreak in Lari
Livestock farmers in Lari sub-county in Kiambu County have continued to incur huge losses due to the lumpy skin disease that has been affecting their livestock for the better part of this year.
Speaking to KNA, the sub-county deputy livestock officer Dr.Willy Mbale stated that the disease struck the region early this year and it is still afflicting most livestock; forcing farmers to buy expensive medicine to treat them.
Dr. Mbale noted that the disease is known to attack livestock once a year, around June and not throughout as has been the case.
Lumpy skin disease is an infectious and occasionally fatal disease that affects cattle regardless of the age, thus causing economic constraints to the farmer.
The disease is caused by a virus called lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) and is characterized by eruptions and nodules on the skin and other parts of the body. It spreads primarily between animals through biting insects such as mosquitoes and flies.
Some of the symptoms of the disease include the unwillingness to eat and discharge from the eyes and nose of the infected cattle as well as weight loss.
“Unfortunately there is no specific antiviral drugs available for the treatment of this disease. We only have supportive care drugs to treat skin lesions whereby we use wound care sprays and antibiotics to prevent secondary skin infections and pneumonia,” Dr. Mbale revealed.
He said the livestock department has secured vaccines from the Kenya’s Veterinary Vaccines Production Institute (KEVEVAPI) to contain the disease.
He however said the vaccines were not enough due to the large livestock population and needy farmers who can hardly afford the dose.
The livestock officer thus appealed to willing donors and the two levels of government to also assist.