Exotic Newcastle Disease or VelogenicViscerotropic Newcastle Disease is a highly contagious and fatal viral disease affecting mostly domestic, wild and caged birds. It is probably the most serious disease of chickens worldwide.
The symptoms vary and will depend on the type of bird, their age, immune status level of stress, as well as the virulence of the virus. In most species of birds, the typical signs are severe depression, swelling of the head and neck, respiratory distress, gasping, coughing, nasal discharge, sneezing, rales, green diarrhea and loss of appetite. Nervous signs may include dropping wings, paralysis of the legs, twisting of the head, circling and depression. Death sometimes occurs without visible lesions or clinical disease. Some strains of the virus cause predominantly respiratory and nervous signs. An early sign of infection in laying flocks may be a sudden marked decrease in egg production. Laying hens may produce abnormal or irregularly shaped thin-shelled eggs with poor quality yolk and watery albumin.
Confusion with other Diseases
Newcastle Disease can be easily confused with Avian Influenza. The disease may also clinically resemble other disease of poultry such as:
• Avian Encephalomyelitis
• Marek's Disease
• Fowl Cholera
• Vitamin E and Selenium Deficiency
• Infectious Bronchitis
• Infectious Laryngotrachectis
• Avian Influenza
• Fnwl Pnx
How the Disease Spreads
The following methods of spread of Newcastle Disease Virus have been implicated in various outbreaks around the world:
• Movement of infected live birds, wild birds, pet and exotic birds. racing pigeons and commercial poultry.
• Other animals and birds transporting the virus from farm to farm.
• Movement of people and equipment.
• Transportation of uncooked poultry products from one place to the next.
• Airborne spread
• Contaminated poultry feed and water.
• Contaminated poultry vaccines.
Where is the Disease?
Since 2002, outbreaks of the disease have occurred in several countries including USA , Mexico and Honduras .
How you can help to Prevent Newcastle Disease
Observe your birds daily for any changes in appetite or behaviour. Call your veterinarian or Animal Health Official immediately if you suspect Newcastle Disease. Inform the RADA Extension Office in field area and the Livestock supplier representative. In addition:
• Permit only essential persons to enter your farm. Do not allow visitors to enter your poultry house.
• Place a disinfectant foot bath at the entrance of your poultry house. All who enter should use it.
• Thoroughly wash down, clean and disinfect your poultry house between each lot of poultry.
• Maintain an "all in all out" management policy. (Only one age group birds should be kept on the farm at any one time).
• Control insects and rodents on the farm.
• Make sure that all vehicles and equipment entering or leaving your premises have been disinfected.
• Ensure that wild birds including pigeons cannot enter your poultry house. Protect feed and water from contamination by faeces of wild birds.