Malignant Catarrhal Fever

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Malignant Catarrhal Fever


of cattle, an acute viral disease characterized by croupous inflammation of the mucous membranes of the gastrointestinal tract and the respiratory tract and by affection of the eyes and central nervous system.

Under natural conditions, cattle and buffaloes, irrespective of breed, sex, or age, are susceptible. The disease is recorded in the majority of countries; it usually occurs in isolated cases. Malignant catarrhal fever is most often observed in spring and autumn. The pathways of natural infection and spread of the disease have not been sufficiently studied. The course is acute, more rarely subacute.

The clinical symptoms are chills, a rise in general temperature (up to 40°C–42°C) and local temperatures (at the base of the horns), increased thirst, and decreased appetite. Milk secretion ceases; the coat becomes scruffy, and the skin dry. The lymph nodes become enlarged. Shivering of certain groups of muscles is observed, as are wobbly gait and attacks of restlessness. Photophobia, epiphora, edema of the eyelids, and a purulent discharge from the eyes appear on the second to third day. In complicated cases there are ulcers on the cornea. The inflammatory process gradually embraces the nasal cavity and the frontal and maxillary sinuses; a cough appears, and there is dyspnea and difficulty in swallowing.

The diseased animals perish on the fourth to the tenth day in an acute course, and on the 14th to 20th day in subacute cases. Sick animals are isolated and treated with antibiotics and sulfanilamide preparations or are slaughtered in an abattoir. Use of the slaughtered meat is strictly regulated.


Epizootologiia. Edited by R. F. Sosov. Moscow, 1969.
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