Study of an epidemic of sheep pox and foot rot in indigenous sheep of Karnataka
Dr. Amitha Reena Gomes, Ranganatha S, BM Chandranaik, Praveen Kumar GR, Kavitha G, Sumathi BR, Saritha NS, Sumanth Kumar R and Raveendra Hegde
Sheep pox, caused by a poxvirus, is an extremely contagious illness that affects sheep. Among all the animal pox diseases, it is considered the most severe. The disease carries substantial economic implications as it can lead to reduced quality of wool and leather, impacting the financial aspects of sheep farming. It is prevalent in various regions across the globe, including India, where it is considered endemic. An epidemic of sheep pox, accompanied by foot rot, was detected in indigenous sheep of Karnataka, resulting in the infection of a significant number of animals. Upon the observation of high mortality rates, accompanied by symptoms such as nasal discharge, ocular discharge, dyspnea, lameness, and widespread skin lesions throughout multiple villages in the district, an investigation team was promptly dispatched to investigate the situation. The investigation was conducted with the objective of assessing the severity of the infection, determining its causative factors and risk elements, and recommending control and preventive measures to halt the further transmission of the disease. The infected animals showed high fever, anorexia, mucopurulent ocular and nasal discharges, swollen eyelids, papules and necrotic skin lesions. During the post-mortem examination, pock lesions were observed, which were found to be distributed uniformly and in a focal manner throughout the lungs. The lameness observed was attributed to the acute inflammation affecting the skin and surrounding soft tissues of the interdigital space In addition to lameness, there was swelling and, in the majority of cases, a malodorous necrotic lesion present on the interdigital skin. In the current study, the morbidity rate was recorded at 28%, indicating the proportion of individuals affected by the disease. The mortality rate stood at 8%, representing the proportion of individuals who succumbed to the illness. Furthermore, the case fatality rate was determined to be 30%, denoting the percentage of fatal incidences of the total number of diagnosed cases. Incidence of morbidity and mortality was found to be higher in lambs compared to adult sheep. The possible sources of transmission of the epidemic infection were attributed to mixing of animals from different flocks or villages during grazing activities, as well as through direct contact with sick or deceased animals. The indirect transmission of the infection could have occurred because of the open-air disposal of dead animals. Additionally, the lack of vaccination as a preventive measure served as a contributing factor to the severity of the outbreak.
How to cite this article:
Dr. Amitha Reena Gomes, Ranganatha S, BM Chandranaik, Praveen Kumar GR, Kavitha G, Sumathi BR, Saritha NS, Sumanth Kumar R and Raveendra Hegde. Study of an epidemic of sheep pox and foot rot in indigenous sheep of Karnataka. The Pharma Innovation Journal. 2023; 12(7S): 2468-2472.