Newcastle Disease By: Katie Murray
Causes/Origin • Newcastle disease, also known as Avian Distemper or Velogenic Viscerotropic Newcastle Disease is caused by the virus, paramyxovirus 1. • It first originated in Newcastle-on-Tyne, England in 1926, and was first found in the U.S. in 1944. • There are mild to very severe cases of the disease, classified as lentogenic, mesogenic, and velogenic. • The most common found in poultry is a velogenic viral strain called exotic Newcastle’s disease (END). • Exotic Newcastle’s disease first prominently appeared in the U.S. in 1972, when a major outbreak caused by infected exotic aviary birds passed the disease to neighboring poultry farms.
Symptoms • All types of poultry of all ages can contract the disease, but chickens are the most susceptible to it. • Physical symptoms include: eye and nasal discharge, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, breathing problems, tremors in the head and neck, and trembling. Depending on the severity of the virus strain, however, there may be no physical signs or even sudden death.
How It’s Spread • Newcastle is extremely contagious and can easily spread through the air, direct contact with feces and nasal/eye discharge of infected birds, and contaminated objects, such as shoe soles, food, and cages.
Treatment • Unfortunately, there is no treatment for the disease, but vaccines can be given to birds before they shows signs of infection, and antibiotics can be given to unaffected birds for 3-5 days to prevent secondary bacterial infection.
Prevention • Prevention methods include specific vaccinations that can be given to the birds, as well as cautious sanitation and maintenance of their environment. • Sanitation and maintenance practices include allowing only specific personal in or around poultry houses and on the farm, avoiding visits to other poultry operations, maintaining the “all-in, all-out” philosophy of poultry operations, and maintaining strict practices on disposal of carcasses, litter, and manure. • Because quarantine requirements were introduced after the major outbreak in the 70’s, the number of cases of Newcastle has greatly reduced.
References • http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=15+1829&aid=2264 • http://www.cfsph.iastate.edu/FastFacts/pdfs/newcastle_F.pdf • http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044 • http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/avian-atlas/search/disease/507 • http://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/supported/programs/peph/prog/rta/silbergeld/index.cfm • http://bepast.org/dataman.pl?c=lib&dir=docs/photos/avian%20flu