Taiwan to buy 150,000 vaccine doses to ward against lumpy skin disease

Kinmen has reported no new cases of the insect-borne bovine disease since July 28

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COA thanking participants in vaccination campaign against lumpy cow disease. 

COA thanking participants in vaccination campaign against lumpy cow disease.  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Council of Agriculture (COA) will spend NT$8 million (US$272,000) to buy 150,000 vaccine doses in order to keep lumpy skin disease from spreading to cattle outside Taiwan's island of Kinmen, reports said Wednesday (Aug. 19).

In early July, it is believed that mosquitoes or flies brought the bovine illness from the Chinese province of Fujian to a government-operated farm on Kinmen.

A campaign to inoculate the cattle started on July 23, with 6,342 animals receiving shots on 472 farms, CNA reported. The government noted that since July 28, not a single new case of the disease has been found.

As a result, the COA pronounced the outbreak on Kinmen to be under control, and the emergency committee has been disbanded. Nevertheless, the authorities are maintaining a ban on transporting beef between Kinmen and Taiwan’s main island.

The 150,000 doses of vaccine will be stored as a preventive measure in case the disease does somehow spread beyond Kinmen, according to the COA.

Lumpy skin disease has an incubation period of 28 days, with the fatality rate ranging from 1 to 5 percent. The main symptoms are fever, nodules on the skin, and enlarged lymph nodes.