Emerging Capripoxvirus disease outbreaks in Himachal Pradesh, a northern state of India.
Both sheep and goat pox are contagious viral diseases and affect small ruminants and are caused by sheep pox virus and goat pox virus respectively that belong to genus Capripoxvirus of Poxviridae family. Huge economic losses emanating from the disease outbreaks are the results of the wool and hide damage, subsequent production losses and also the morbidities and mortalities associated with the disease. This communication highlights clinico-epidemiological observations from the two sheep pox and one goat pox outbreaks. Grossly, multisystemic nodular lesions, mucopurulent nasal discharges and respiratory symptoms were observed in the affected animals. The morbidity, mortality and case fatality rates were 5.18%, 2.45% and 32.37%, respectively. Histopathological, haematological, molecular and serological techniques and also isolation of virus in embryonated chicken eggs were used for the diagnosis of the diseases. The spatial distribution of the disease signifies the role of common pasturelands used for grazing the animals while temporally all three outbreaks occurred in winters and were probably associated with cold stress and fodder scarcity. This is the first recorded report of Capripoxvirus infection in recent times and it highlights the disease as one of the emerging diseases in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh in India.