Buffalo blight

Published: Wednesday 15 May 1996

ANOTHER addition to the growing list of new maladies is the buffalo pox disease. The recent outbreak of the disease in Beed district of Maharashtra has raised concerns among Indian scientists about man-to- man transmission of buffalo pox virus. According to the scientists, there was nothing alarming about the recent outbreak which had affected five infants in Beed. The scientists have however cautioned against the virus which is a relatively harmless cousin of the small pox virus. it causes ulcers in the teats and udders of buffaloes and renders them unproductive.

Humans coming in close contact with the infected animals contract the virus which produces mild fever, pock lesions in hands and occasional swelling of the lymph nodes. Till now, no man-to-man transmission had ever been reported. But investigations by scientists at the National Institute of Virology in pone, showed the affected infants had never gone anywhere near buffaloes. They could only have got the virus from their parents.

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