Avian Pox Information
- I gleaned this from another Yahoo Groups list, the crows list:
AVIAN POX http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/facts/avepox.html
Poxvirus, several strains.
Variety of birds worldwide: upland gamebirds, songbirds, marine birds,
parrot family, occasionally raptors, rarely waterfowl.
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
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.
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.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]