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PESHAWAR: Reports circulating in press and social media claiming death of two persons of same family in Kafoor Dairi in Peshawar, due to consuming meat of a lumpy skin infected animal were rebuffed by experts on zoonotic diseases and officials of the Livestock and Dairy Development Department.

A news report appeared in press on Tuesday quoting Chairman Mathra Tehsil, Faridullah with claim that two persons of a family died after eating an infected animal which they brought from Punjab. Other members of the family are in hospital due to illness.

The press report was followed by circulation of a voice message on social media, warning people about impacts of lumpy skin disease on humans health.

The press report and voice message caused confusion and fear among people who have to purchase sacrificial animals for the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha.

Meanwhile, officials of Livestock and Dairy Department KP and expert on Zoonotic diseases have differed these reports and urged Health Department to hold probe into the incident to find out real causes of death and illness among the family members from Kafoor Dehri.

“Lumpy Skin disease of livestock is not zoonotic and there is no example around the globe regarding contraction of infection to humans from animals,” claims Dr. Asad Ali Shah, Epidemiologist Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Livestock and Dairy Development Department.

Through out its history in the world till appearance of first case of lumpy skin disease in 1929 at Zambia, there is no example of transmission of infection among humans and on basis of scientific research, this claim is incorrect, opined Dr. Asad.

Talking to APP, Dr. Asad said lumpy skin disease has been reported in Pakistan for the first time and its severity was observed in Sindh province, but no case of infection and mortality among humans is reported in the province.

“In Karachi more than 50,000 cases of lumpy skin is reported while in KP the total number of cases is 5137, affecting 24 districts out of 34,” Asad informed APP.

“The number of mortality among animals in KP is 95 while 1291 have recovered and 3750 are in process of recovery.”

“Lumpy skin is a viral diseases that spreads from animal to animal through close contact and through bite of vectors including mosquitoes, ticks and parasites while it cannot be transmitted to humans,” Dr. Asad reiterated.

Dr. Asad added“Meat and milk of affected animal can not transmit virus to human through its consumption.“

He stressed upon Health Department to take notice of the claim made by Chairman Methra Tehsil and find out reason behind death and illness of family members to remove misconceptions.

Dr. Farhan, a PhD scholar on Zoonotic diseases and faculty member Agriculture University Peshawar when contacted concurs with view point of Dr. Asad and said “lumpy skin can not affect humans.”

“Reports appearing in press are unique and alarming as well that needs investigation,” comments Dr. Farhan.

“There is no report received from any part of the world that lumpy skin disease caused death among humans,” Farhan added.

“This incident needs to be probed scientifically and investigated to find out causes of death for clarification of scientists and public as well,” he went on to say.

“In view of my experience, it is very hard to believe that human death are caused by lumpy skin because even in animals the mortality is very low,” Farhad continued.

Director Livestock and Dairy Development KP, Dr. Iftikhar informed that KP government has purchased a stock of around 270,000 vaccine and till today around 50,000 animals have been vaccinated.

He said“There are around nine million cattle which all will be vaccinated, but government needs resources because lumpy skin vaccine is quite expensive and is being imported in phased manner in KP.“

He said KP Livestock Department has set up around 54 check posts at different border points of the province to keep a check on all cattle brought from other parts of the country.

At check posts, he continued,“All animals are monitored and sprayed with insecticides. While teams are visiting different cattle markets for spray of animals and for creating awareness among dealers as how to deal with infected animals and protection of health ones.”

The KP government, he continued, has set up a Provincial Task Force on Lumpy Skin disease while field staff are using android apps for spreading information about animal health and disease symptoms.

He urged general public to thoroughly check animals before purchase for sacrifice and protect it from mosquitoes and other vectors by using insecticides.

In case of appearance of infection, the animal should be isolated from others and the owner forthwith inform Veterinary Department of Livestock for treatment, he advised.