Taiwan reports first Lumpy skin disease cases in cattle, likely from China

Viral disease allegedly imported from China's Fujian province, 23 cattle culled

Cattle with lumpy skin disease (Council of Agriculture photo)

Cattle with lumpy skin disease (Council of Agriculture photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan has confirmed its first lumpy skin disease (LSD) cases in cattle on its outlying islands of Kinmen, and the authorities suspect the disease may have been imported from China.

A total of 23 of the 549 cattle at a government-operated farm in Kinmen were found to have contracted the infectious disease, the Kinmen County Animal and Plant Disease Control Center reported Wednesday (July 8). The sick animals have been culled, and more culling is expected for better containment.

Genome sequencing suggests the virus that caused the illness has a 99 percent similarity with one that led to an outbreak in China last year. There is reason to believe the virus may have been transmitted via mosquitoes or flies from Fujian, a province on the southeastern coast of China where the virus reportedly emerged in June, according to Huang Chin-cheng (黃金城), deputy minister of the Council of Agriculture.

No other cases have been found at the 47 cattle farms within 3 kilometers of the farm where the outbreak occurred, but mosquito control will be reinforced in surrounding areas, and disinfection will be stepped up on airplanes and ships departing from the outlying islands. Meanwhile, a tightened ban has been imposed on the import of fresh beef and pork from Kinmen to the main island of Taiwan, wrote CNA.

Lumpy skin disease, which afflicts cattle and buffalo, has an incubation period of 28 days and a fatality rate of 1 to 5 percent. Symptoms include fever, enlarged lymph nodes, and multiple nodules on the skin measuring 0.5 to 5 centimeters in diameter, said Tu Wen-jane (杜文珍), director-general of the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine.