Attention! This is a potentially life-threatening condition for your bird and possibly your flock. Time is of the essence, contact your veterinarian immediately.Find me a Vet
Fowl Pest, Fowl Plague
Avian Influenza Overview
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), initially known as 'fowl plague' is a complex infection of birds caused by viruses of the Influenza A genus. HPAI in poultry is characterized by a sudden onset, severe illness of a short duration, and a mortality approaching virtually 100% in vulnerable species. Due to excessive economical losses to the poultry industry, HPAI receives immense attention in the veterinary world and is globally treated as a disease immediately notifiable on suspicion to the authorities. Because of their potential to give rise to HPAIV, LPAI caused by subtypes H5 and H7 is also considered notifiable.
Recently, however, avian influenza acquired worldwide attention when a highly pathogenic strain of the subtype H5N1, which probably arose before 1997 in Southern China, gained enzootic status in poultry throughout South East Asia and unexpectedly 'traversed interclass barriers' when transmitted from birds to mammals (cats, swine, humans).
Wild aquatic birds, notably members of the orders Anseriformes (ducks and geese) and Charadriiformes (gulls and shorebirds), are carriers of the full variety of influenza virus A subtypes, and thus, most probably constitute the natural reservoir of all influenza A viruses. While all bird species are thought to be susceptible, some domestic poultry species - chickens, turkey, guinea fowl, quail and pheasants - are known to be especially vulnerable to the sequelae of infection.
Following an incubation period of usually a few days (but rarely longer than 21 days).