Published On: Tue, Jul 31st, 2012

Pakistan: Dozens of peacocks succumb to probable Newcastle disease

Public domain photo/ Arpingstone at the English Wikipedia project

At least 83 peacocks have died  in Pakistan’s Sindh province according to a Khaleej Times report Sunday. The sudden mass death of the wild peacocks have wildlife experts suspecting the fatal avian disease, Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV), or what is known locally as ‘ranikhet’.

A spokesperson for the Pakistani wildlife ministry said the wild peacocks had been weakened by starvation, deforestation and a lack of safe drinking water blamed on delays to the annual monsoon rains according to the Daily Mail. The report continues by saying Lajpat Sharma, an official in the provincial wildlife ministry said:  ‘Wild peacocks have become susceptible to bacterial and fungal attack, which further suppressed the immunity of the birds that paved the room for viral attack.

The wildlife department said distribution of medicines for the suffering peacocks was underway. However, locals said the department’s four teams had only one doctor who was dispensing medicines.

According to Avianbiotech.com:

NDV is a strain of avian paramyxoviruses. Also known as Avian Distemper, NDV is a contagious and fatal viral disease affecting most species of birds.

NDV is so virulent that many birds die without showing any clinical signs. A death rate of almost 100 percent can occur in unvaccinated poultry flocks.

NDV is spread primarily through direct contact between healthy birds and the bodily discharges of infected birds. The disease is transmitted through infected birds’ droppings and secretions from the nose, mouth, and eyes. NDV spreads rapidly among birds kept in confinement, such as commercially raised chickens.

NDV affects the respiratory, nervous, and digestive systems. Symptoms are very variable depending on the strain of virus, species of bird, concurrent disease and preexisting immunity. 

There is no known treatment for Newcastle Disease.


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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63


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