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Other Names: Fowl Plague, Brunswick Disease, Bird Flu, Fowl Pest, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza, Peste Aviaire
Avian influenza (AI) is a highly contagious viral infection of birds. AI can be highly pathogenic or low pathogenic. Low pathogenicity avian influenza (LPAI) viruses cause the milder forms (mild respiratory signs) of avian influenza while highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses cause more severe forms (multi-systemic infections). Most birds infected with HPAI viruses do not survive, but many infected with LPAI viruses can recover.
Clinical signs can vary from a mild infection (chickens show loss of appetite, deceased egg production, mild respiratory disease, and diarrhea) for LPAI to severe respiratory, neurological, and gastrointestinal (GI) signs with HPAI (resulting in high mortality rates).
Avian influenza Diagnosis
AI is diagnosed in chickens through the use of rapid diagnostic methods, such as agar gel immunodiffusion (AGID) or rtPCR. Virus isolation is considered to be the "gold standard" in confirming that birds have been infected by the AI virus.
How Avian influenza is Transmitted
Avian influenza is transmitted through aerosol spread in the air, ingestion of influenza particles in nasal and respiratory secretions, fomites, or by direct contact with feces of infected birds. Since wild waterfowl are often carriers of the low pathogenic influenza virus, they are often a source of entry in flocks.
Avian influenza Incubation Period
The incubation period for avian influenza virus is 3-5 days and is dependent on the dose of the virus, the route of exposure, the species exposed, and the ability to detect clinical signs.
Decreased feed and water intake Unilateral facial swelling
History AGID RT-PCR Virus isolation Antigen detection ELISA HI
Name Summary Supportive care Isolate the bird from the flock and place in a safe, comfortable, warm location (your own chicken "intensive care unit") with easy access to water and food. Limit stress. Call your veterinarian. Amantadine Administered orally (25 mg/kg) or in drinking water (100 mg/L) x 10 days following infection B Speer Oseltamivir 0.5 mg/kg PO q12h x 5 days, administered prophylactically to healthy birds in the event of an outbreak. B Speer Rimantadine (Flumadine, Forest) 100 mg/L drinking water, must be used before and during exposure B Speer
Routinely test birds for AI Biosecurity Keep wild waterfowl away from chickens Prevent direct contact with free-flying birds or their feces
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