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Newcastle Disease

What Is Newcastle Disease?

Newcastle Disease is a contagious and fatal viral disease affecting most species of birds. Clinical signs are extremely variable depending on the strain of virus, species and age of bird, concurrent disease, and preexisting immunity. It is caused by a Rubulavirus. Death rate can be close to 100 percent in unvaccinated poultry flocks.

Routes of Infection

Infection results from direct contact between healthy birds and the bodily discharges of infected birds. The disease is transmitted through infected bird’ droppings and secretions from the nose, mouth, and eyes. It spreads rapidly among birds kept in confinement.

Risks

In humans, Newcastle disease is rare and presents a mild to moderate and sometimes painful conjunctivitis as a result of an individual rubbing their eyes after having handled infective material. Very rarely does it present with respiratory symptoms as a result of having inhaled dust from infected material.

Treatment

There is no treatment for Newcastle disease. There is vaccination in use for prevention of this disease.