What is Newcastle disease, Newcastle disease is known as one of the most severe forms of disease that affects birds, and it is a viral disease caused by the Paramexo virus.
The name "Newcastle" is due to the name of the first region in which the disease spread severely in 1926 on a British farm after it spread to Indonesia on the same day.
All wild and municipal birds are susceptible to infection, but chickens are the most common, and mortality rates in chickens may reach 100%. The spread of the virus is not limited to a specific geographical area, but the Middle East region is the most affected.
The virus is transmitted from one bird to another through respiratory secretions such as mouth and nose secretions, or ingestion of food contaminated with excreta that incubates the virus or drinking contaminated water, and the disease can also be transmitted to birds when they come into contact with pieces of cloth and contaminated surfaces.
This disease is rare to affect humans, but if it occurs, it can cause severe pain in the conjunctiva (white eye membrane) after 3 to 4 days of infection. In most cases, the disease passes to humans without serious and complex consequences.
Paramyxoviruses belong to the genus Avulavirus of the Paramyxoviridae family, and 12 species of these viruses (Paramexovirus 1 to Paramexovirus 12) have been identified in birds.
Paramexo-1 viruses usually cause moderate symptoms or infect birds without showing any symptoms. However, viruses may sometimes develop into the severe viral strains that cause Newcastle disease. Paramexo-1 (Newcastle) virus in chickens has been classified according to its severity into 3 classes, which are:
- Lentogenic virus, i.e. weak virulence.
- Mesogenic virus, i.e. medium virulence.
- And the Velogenic virus, which is highly pathogenic.
Newcastle viruses (Paramaxo-1 virus of various classifications) can cause clinical signs or symptoms in varying degrees, depending on the type and severity of the virus and the type of bird affected.
Newcastle virus symptoms
- Early signs may include lethargy, loss of appetite, blown feathers, redness of the conjunctiva (the white layer of the eye), and full body tissues with water.
- Severe decrease in egg production, watery, green or white diarrhea, and respiratory signs including cyanosis.
- Neurological symptoms including muscle spasms, paresis or paralysis of wings and/or legs, tremors, neck twisting, and sudden death.
- Respiratory signs, decreased egg production, and in some cases neurological signs, and relatively low death rates.
- Mild respiratory symptoms such as coughing, panting, sneezing, and purring.
Newcastle virus treatment
There is no cure for these types of viruses, including Newcastle. But the bird’s health and the strength of its immunity will help it cope with the disease, and the most important thing is the support and care that the breeder provides to his birds during the illness.
For example, support the bird with vitamins and minerals, the most important of which are vitamin A (A), E (E), C (C), and zinc mineral (Zinc) because they enhance and increase the bird’s immunity. Use a food supplement or industrial vitamins for birds by drinking, especially if the bird lacks appetite or if the food that the bird eats does not contain the required.
For prevention, a vaccination is available. You only have to ask your veterinarian.