Avian Influenza (AI)
Avian Influenza is an infectious viral disease of wild birds, poultry and turkeys.
This virus is world wide. It is readily spread by air currents, feces, humans, vehicles, flies, litter, bugs, birds dead from the disease, infected litter.
Infection can occur via the digestive tract and by bird to bird contact. Some recovered birds remain carriers for several weeks.
Clinical signs are usually classic respiratory involvement, listlessness, diarrhea, the acute form produces facial swelling, cyanosis and dehydration with respiratory stress.
There is no specific medication for AI, good biosecurity and husbandry with emphasis on hygiene and segregation of birds by age and class is the best treatment.
Wild birds and their excreta should be considered a major source of avian influenza.
Preventing direct contact with free-flying birds and protecting domestic poultry from contact with the feces of wild birds is an important way to prevent avian influenza.
Influenza viruses are very sensitive to most detergents and disinfectants. They are readily inactivated by heating and drying. However, flu viruses are well-protected from inactivation by organic material and infectious virus can be recovered from manure for up to 3 months. Complete removal of all organic material is required.