Having sick birds around you can be distressing. There’s the fear of catching the illness yourself or that your other birds will fall sick too.
Quarantining a sick bird timely is incredibly important so that you can heal it and prevent other birds from getting those symptoms.
Newcastle disease is one such disease that affects birds. Read on to learn about the disease, its symptoms, and how to cure it.
What is Newcastle disease?
Newcastle disease is one of the most contagious and viral diseases that affect domestic as well as wild birds, especially poultry.
The disease affects birds like turkey, fowl, geese, ducks, pheasants, partridges, and guinea fowl as well as some ratites like ostriches, emus, and rheas.
The disease is caused by a certain paramyxovirus. This highly infectious disease gets transmitted easily through direct contact with the infected birds.
The symptoms are serious and if not treated timely, the virus can cause the death of many birds.
What Causes Newcastle disease?
Newcastle disease is caused by the single-stranded and non-segmented RNA virus of genus Avulavirus in the family of paramyxoviruses. They generally cause diseases of three kinds:
- Lentogenic (mild disease)
- Mesogenic (moderate disease)
- Velogenic (severe disease)
Some pathotypes of the virus cause an effect on the nervous system while some cause an effect on the respiratory or digestive system. Velogenic NDV can cause mortality up to 90% whereas mesogenic results in a lower mortality rate, usually 10%.
The disease is caused due to the transmission of the virus from infected birds to healthy ones. This occurs either through direct contact or by infected birds’ droppings and secretions.
How does Newcastle disease spread?
Newcastle disease is spread through the droppings and secretions of already infected birds. The secretions can be of any form including that from the nose, mouth, and eyes.
If a healthy bird comes into contact with any of the above, it may catch the disease.
If the environment is warm and humid, the virus can survive for many weeks and be transferred during transport or any form of contact between infected birds and healthy ones.
What are the Symptoms of Newcastle disease?
There are a wide variety of signs and symptoms of the Newcastle virus when the poultry is afflicted by the viral disease.
They majorly depend on factors such as the strain of the NDV, age of the host bird, the species of the birds, immune status of the host, and environmental factors. The following is the list of all those symptoms:
- Body weakness
- Drooping wings
- Loss of appetite
- Nasal and eye discharge
- Laying of thin-shelled eggs
- Coughing and sneezing
- Greenish, whitish, or bloody diarrhea
- Abnormal shape or color of eggs
- Swelling of eyes and neck
- Twisted neck
- Circling and spasms
Can humans be infected by Newcastle disease?
In most cases, humans are not affected by Newcastle diseases. However, if a human stays in prolonged contact with an infected bird, he or she may develop a mild eye infection like conjunctivitis.
This is not serious and can be healed without medicines or treatment.
What are the consequences of Newcastle disease?
The major consequence of the Newcastle disease outbreak is high mortality rates and severe clinical signs which results in devastating economic losses, especially in the global poultry industry. It has high morbidity rates as well.
The other consequences include enormous global impact, the ability to spread in humans when exposed to high levels of virus, disturbance in birds ecosystem, adverse effect on the huge number of species, etc.
How to treat Newcastle disease naturally?
Some herbal plants are considered very effective for the treatment of Newcastle disease. In particular, Aloe vera is the most significant and well-known herbal plant used as a medicinal herb to treat this disease.
It is also believed that the use of Capsicum annum with ash and water shows satisfactory results in Newcastle disease control.
Certain concoctions of various natural ingredients have shown good results in the past to many farmers. Following are detailed information about the herbal plants used for the treatment:
1. Aloe Vera
Due to its medicinal properties, it is considered the most trusted treatment for the Newcastle disease. Primarily, aloe juice or latex is used as it contains antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties which work against Newcastle disease.
2. Azadirachta indica (neem)
Neem shows a wide range of therapeutic properties which help in treating many viral diseases including Newcastle. Its leaf extract is found to be effective in reducing the harmful effect of this disease. Hence, it shows anti-NDV (Newcastle disease virus) activity.
3. Commiphora swynnertonii (Burtt)
These tropical trees are majorly found in Asia and Africa. They show antifungal and antiviral properties. They help in reducing the severity of this disease and hence are used to treat the Newcastle disease naturally.
What is the Newcastle disease vaccine?
One of the most recommended prevention from the New castle disease is through the vaccine. Newcastle disease vaccines are generally available on the international market.
Some vaccines might get deteriorate after a few hours of storage which makes them unsuitable for use in remote areas.
Whereas thermostable Newcastle vaccines do not get deteriorated quickly. The vaccines are administrated to healthy birds as a prevention from the Newcastle virus.
Types of vaccines:
These vaccines contain a virus that is alive. The vaccine for chickens generally contains the LaSota strain of the virus, given by the eye drop route.
The viruses used in these vaccines are first treated to destroy their ability to infect cells through chemical or radiation means.