Newcastle Disease Symptoms and Treatment

Newcastle disease, also known as Avian Paramyxovirus, is a highly infectious and contagious viral illness that affects birds, including chickens, turkeys, geese, ducks, pheasants, partridges, guinea fowl, and other wild and captive birds, such as ostriches, emus, and rhea. 

This disease is caused by a para-myxo virus, which can spread rapidly among birds in close quarters, resulting in outbreaks that can cause significant damage to flocks and wild bird populations.

Disease Sings

When birds are affected by Newcastle disease, the symptoms can range from mild to severe and can take on various forms. Some birds may show acute symptoms with sudden onset, high mortality, and rapid death, while others may display only mild respiratory distress or a drop in egg production.

In some cases, birds may be asymptomatic or have sub-clinical forms of the disease, which can make it more difficult to detect and control outbreaks.

The main symptoms of Newcastle disease in birds include

  • Sneezing
  • Nasal discharge
  • Coughing
  • Greenish, watery diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Muscular tremors
  • Drooping wings
  • Complete paralysis
  • Swelling of the tissues around the eyes and neck
  • Sudden death
  • Increased death loss in flocks
  • A drop in egg production and the production of thin-shelled eggs in laying birds

How Newcastle disease is spread

Newcastle disease is a highly contagious illness that affects birds and can spread rapidly through flocks and wild bird populations. The virus is transmitted through infected birds’ bodily fluids, such as droppings and secretions from the nose, mouth, and eyes, as well as through contact with contaminated materials, such as clothing, equipment, feed, water, and manure.

One of the main ways the disease is spread is through direct contact between healthy birds and the bodily discharges of infected birds. The virus can survive for several weeks in warm and humid environments, such as on birds’ feathers, manure, and other materials, making it possible for it to be carried from one location to another.

How To Prevent

To prevent the spread of Newcastle disease, it is important to practice good biosecurity measures, such as limiting the movement of birds and equipment, keeping birds in isolated and well-ventilated areas, and regularly monitoring birds for signs of illness. If Newcastle disease is suspected, prompt veterinary diagnosis and treatment can help to prevent the spread of the disease to other birds. Treatment options include antiviral medications and supportive care, such as keeping infected birds warm and dry, providing adequate nutrition, and controlling secondary infections.

Effects on human health

In terms of human health implications, people may become infected with the Newcastle disease virus, which can result in a form of conjunctivitis. However, recovery is typically rapid and the virus is no longer present in eye fluids after four to seven days. Such infections are most commonly reported among laboratory workers and vaccination crews, and there is no evidence of transmission to humans through handling or consuming poultry products.

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