Twenty-two peacocks in Bhondsi, Haryana have died in the last fortnight reportedly due to Newcastle Disease. The Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Bareilly has established the presence of the Newcastle disease virus in the infected birds following which an outbreak of Virulent Newcastle Disease among peacocks has been confirmed by authorities, reported the TOI on Saturday.
Here are 10 salient points about Newcastle disease.
- Newcastle disease is a highly contagious and fatal zoonotic viral disease of domestic poultry, cage and aviary birds and wild birds.
- It is caused by the Newcastle virus, a paramyxovirus, which is antigenically distinct from any of the human paramyxoviruses.
- It was first identified in 1926 in Java, Indonesia and in 1927, in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England, from where it derives its name.
- Clinically, the infection in birds presents with digestive, respiratory and/or neurological signs. The incubation period is usually 5–6 days, but can vary from 2–15 days.
- Humans can acquire the infection via direct physical contact with infected birds. The virus can also be transmitted through contaminated equipment, carcasses, water, food and clothing.
- No cases of human infection have been reported yet from eating poultry products
- In humans, the infection is mild and presents as unilateral or bilateral reddening, excessive lachrymation, edema of the eyelids, conjunctivitis and subconjunctival hemorrhage. It may also cause influenza-like symptoms, but otherwise poses no hazard to human health.
- Laboratory workers or those living in close vicinity of the birds are mainly at risk of acquiring the infection.
- Infection can be prevented by using standard personal protective equipment.
- Virulent Newcastle disease is a notifiable disease.