Fact Check: Can lumpy skin disease spread to humans through cow milk?

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A social media post recommends people not to drink the milk of a cow suffering from lumpy skin disease as the disease spreads to humans through milk. We fact-checked and found the claim to be Mostly False. The available evidence confirms milk of a cow with lumpy skin disease is safe for humans.

The Claim

Several images on Facebook show humans and animals having skin lesions due to the recent outbreak of lumpy skin disease in India. One of these Facebook images recommends people not to drink cow milk as it causes the disease.

Lumpy disease

Fact Check

What is lumpy skin disease?

Lumpy skin disease is a non-Zoonotic viral infection of cattle spread by an insect bite. Cow milk does not contain pus and blood to spread the disease. Mosquitoes or biting flies spread the disease to cattle through direct contact with skin lesions, saliva, nasal discharge, milk, or semen of infected animals.
A study published in 2016 shows cow milk contains pus and blood if some bacteria infect the udder. In such a scenario, the farmer discards the batch. But this scenario has nothing to do with the spread of lumpy skin disease.

Can lumpy skin disease in cow spread to humans through milk?

It does not seem so. No evidence confirms lumpy skin disease in cows spread to humans through milk. A document released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations clearly states lumpy skin disease affects only cattle and not humans.

Veterinary expert

We further checked with our Veterinary Expert Dr Vivek Arora, B.V.Sc. & AH, MIVIS, who informs that “Lumpy skin disease can’t come to humans from animals. It’s safe to drink cow’s milk suffering with lumpy skin disease. However, it should be noted that milk production of the affected cow goes down depending upon the immunity of the animal and severity of the disease.”

That being the case, we ran a Google reverse image search on the photo of the person with skin infection, as shown in the claimed post and found that the photo is fake. The image is of a man with monkey pox disease in Pakistan, published on Twitter in May 2022.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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