Lumpy skin disease
Lumpy skin disease is a viral disease that affects cattle. It is transmitted by blood-feeding insects, such as certain species of flies and mosquitoes, or ticks. It causes fever, nodules on the skin and can also lead to death, especially in animals that that have not previously been exposed to the virus. Control options include vaccinations and culling of infected animals. Lumpy skin disease can lead to significant economic losses. The disease is present in many African countries. Since 2012, it has been spreading from the Middle East to south-east Europe, affecting EU Member States (Greece and Bulgaria) and several other countries in the Balkans.
December 2014– EFSA experts provide an overview of the latest available knowledge on lumpy skin disease. This includes mapping the areas of the world where the disease is present; evaluating the pathways of introduction into the EU and risk of spread; and reviewing prevention and control methods.
July 2016– Experts assess the effectiveness of different measures to control the spread of the disease in the EU. They recommend that mass vaccination of cattle should be implemented to minimise the number of outbreaks in the regions at risk from lumpy skin disease or where the disease had already been introduced.
April 2017 – EFSA experts conclude that the mass vaccination of cattle implemented in south-eastern Europe successfully contained the outbreaks of lumpy skin disease in the region in 2015-16.
February 2018 – A new report concludes that outbreaks of lumpy skin disease (LSD) in the Balkan region fell dramatically by 95% from 7,483 in 2016 to 385 in 2017. The figures confirm that vaccination of cattle – recommended by EFSA in 2016 – is the most effective way to contain the disease.