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Avian Pox Information

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  • Feather Forestwalker
    I gleaned this from another Yahoo Groups list, the crows list: AVIAN POX http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/facts/avepox.html Cause Poxvirus, several strains. Host
    Message 1 of 1 , May 24, 2002
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      I gleaned this from another Yahoo Groups list, the crows list:

      AVIAN POX http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/facts/avepox.html

      Cause

      Poxvirus, several strains.

      Host

      Variety of birds worldwide: upland gamebirds, songbirds, marine birds,
      parrot family, occasionally raptors, rarely waterfowl.

      Transmission

      Direct contact with infected birds, ingestion of food and water
      contaminated by sick birds or carcasses, or contact with contaminated
      surfaces such as bird feeders and perches. The virus enters through
      abraded skin. Insects, especially mosquitoes, may act as mechanical
      vectors.

      Clinical/Field Signs

      Avian pox can occur in two forms: cutaneous pox and diphtheritic or
      "wet" pox. In cutaneous pox (the most common form), wartlike growths
      occur around the eyes, beak or any unfeathered skin. This leads to
      difficulty seeing, breathing, feeding, or perching. In diphtheritic pox,
      the growths form in the mouth, throat, trachea and lungs resulting in
      difficulty breathing or swallowing. Birds with either type may appear
      weak and emaciated.

      Lesions

      Warty growths on unfeathered skin, sometimes in large clusters. Size and
      number of growths depend on the stage and severity of infection. Common
      sites include feet, legs, base of beak, and eye margins. Often emaciated
      due to inability to feed. In the diphtheritic form, there are raised,
      yellow plaques on the mucus membranes of the mouth and throat.

      Wildlife Management Significance

      The disease can be a significant mortality factor in some upland game
      bird (fall and winter), songbird (winter), and raptor populations. Birds
      can survive with supportive care, food and water, and protection from
      secondary infections. Warty scabs contain infectious viral material.
      Disease control recommendations are site specific, therefore contact the
      National Wildlife Health Center for assistance. Decontamination of bird
      feeders, birdbaths, transport cages and banding equipment with 10%
      bleach and water solution is recommended. In some situations, removing
      infected birds can be important to reduce the amount of virus available
      to vectors and noninfected bird populations. Vector control may be
      considered in affected areas.

      Public Health Significance

      There is no evidence of human risk.

      Domestic Animal Significance

      Poultry are susceptible and many are vaccinated against pox. The safety
      and effectiveness of this vaccine in wild birds is not currently known.

      Contact the National Wildlife Health Center for additional information
      on this or any other wildlife health topic.




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