Veterinary Hospital Kohima
Avian influenza is an infectious disease of poultry caused by an RNA virus. In short it is also termed as AI. Avian influenza viruses can infect chickens, turkeys, quail, ducks, geese and guinea fowl.
Chicken are most susceptible to the disease either by direct contact from bird to bird or indirect contact with migratory birds, aerosol transmission, manure, equipment,vehicles, egg flats, crates and farm workers whose clothing or shoes have come in contact with the virus. The disease has zoonotic importance as it transmit from chicken to human and vice versa
Signs and Symptoms in Chicken-
1. Sudden death without clinical signs in per- acute forms
2. Swelling of the head, eyelids, comb, wattles and hocks
3. Cyanosis of featherless skin
4. Huddling of the chicken together
5. Coughing, sneezing, eye discharge
6. Increased broodiness in hens
7. Soft shelled or misshapen eggs and decreased egg production
Steps for Prevention and Control of Avian influenza in Chicken
1. Follow ALL- IN, ALL-OUT system of rearing
2. Protect chicken from coming in contact with insect, rodents, wild or migratory birds
3. Allow only farm workers to enter the shed, restrict visitors to the farm
4. Isolation of sick birds from the healthy flock
5. Proper disposal of death birds and used litter materials
6. The feeder and water trough, equipment and appliances in the farm should be thoroughly washed and disinfected.
7. Always keep the shed clean, dry, airy and well ventilated
8. Farm workers should wear protective gowns, face mask and after work should thoroughly wash hand and shoes
The chicken farmer should immediately report to the nearest Veterinary Health Centre for any unusual signs of disease or unexpected deaths in the farm.