Published Date: 2011-09-21 08:37:54
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> Paramyxovirus, pigeons - Australia (02): (VI)
Archive Number: 20110921.2862
PARAMYXOVIRUS, PIGEONS - AUSTRALIA (02): (VICTORIA)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: 20 Sep 2011
Source: Whittlesea Leader [edited]
Four Whittlesea properties have been quarantined as a rare bird virus
spreads across northern Melbourne, killing domestic and racing pigeon
The Department of Primary Industries last week confirmed avian
paramyxovirus was detected in 3 properties in Lalor and one in
Thomastown earlier this month [September 2011].
The department's Alan Everett said the quarantine order would be
lifted 30 days after the last detected death and that all cleaning and
sterilising of the sites had been done.
In total, 25 properties have been quarantined across Victoria, with 23
confirmed virus cases.
Victoria's acting chief veterinary officer Iain McLaren said the
quarantine figures were a timely reminder for all pigeon owners to
protect their birds. "Movement of infected birds constitutes the
highest risk of spreading the disease," Dr Cameron said.
"Affected pigeon flocks have experienced high mortality associated
with lethargy, gastrointestinal and neurological signs. The sick birds
were lethargic, not flying, vomiting a white-tinged fluid and then
dying within 3 days." He said the virus risk could be minimised by
introducing strict measures, including cleaning and control of contact
The department said human infection was unlikely and usually only
occurred in people who had direct contact with infected birds. The
virus could spread to poultry, with owners of backyard chickens
advised to confine their birds to coops.
All bird owners should report any groups of sick birds or dead birds
to their vet or the department on 136 186.
[Byline: Melissa Merrett]
ProMED-mail from HealthMap alerts
[For more information on this virus, readers are encouraged to see the
moderator's comments on ProMED-mail post 20110908.2735. - Mod.TG]