Thursday, February 3, 2011

CCHF -Do not cross breed Indian cows indiscriminately

CCHF is a zoonotic disease that spreads to human’s through ticks more so from domesticated in animals such as cows etc. It is very significant here to remind ourselves that Indian breeds of cows have their sweat glands spread all over the body. With the sweat the skin oil exuded by Indian cows act as natural repellaet for ticks. Thus one important observation is known to veterinary experts that Indian breeds of cows are free of ticks. From WHO reported distribution of CCHF in the world it is clear that this disease is more widespread in areas that do not have Bos Indicus the ancient breed of cows- basically the Indian breeds of cows.
In this finding Indian veterinary experts are urged to rethink about their strategies on cross breeding of Indian cows with exotic Bos Taurus breeds.
In India CCHF cases have been reported to be emanating from Gujarat, headquarters of India’s white revolution and great promoters of HF for cross breeding of Indian breeds of cows.
It would be far more sensible to promote Gir breed in India rather than embark on short sighted HF cross breeding to increase average milk yield of Indian Cows.
(See clipping below from WHO note on CCHF )

Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic fever is a viral haemorrhagic fever transmitted by ticks. It can be responsible for severe outbreaks in humans but it is not pathogenic for ruminants, their amplifying host.

The disease was first described in the Crimea in 1944 and given the name Crimean haemorrhagic fever. In 1969 it was recognized that the pathogen causing Crimean haemorrhagic fever was the same as that responsible for an illness identified in 1956 in the Congo, and linkage of the two place names resulted in the current name for the disease and the virus.

CCHF spreads to humans either by tick-bites, or through contact with viraemic animal tissues during and immediately post-slaughter. CCHF outbreaks constitute a threat to public health services because of its epidemic potential, its high case fatality ratio (10-40%), its potential for nosocomial outbreaks and the difficulties in treatment and prevention. CCHF is endemic in all of Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and in Asia south of the 50° parallel north, the geographic limit of the genus Hyalomma, the principal tick vector