A bird-killing virus was found in Lappeenranta - it can also cause eye infections in humans
Birds carrying the disease were found in Konnunsuo, about 20 kilometers from the center of Lappeenranta. The infection spreads quickly, directly from one bird to another or through an infected bird's secretions, urine, and feces.
The disease is not dangerous for other animals or people, but for birds, it causes apathy and death at worst. Other symptoms include indigestion, diarrhea, and respiratory and nervous system symptoms.
Chickens are particularly susceptible to infection. The risk is most significant with outdoor chickens that may have contact with wild birds.
The infection spreads quickly, either directly from one bird to another or through an infected bird's secretions, urine, and feces.
- It also spreads with the wind or moves from one place to another with people and means of transport. The ND virus survives well in the environment, says Elina Sihvo, regional veterinarian of the Lappeenranta region's environmental department.
In humans, the virus can cause a mild eye infection.
There is no treatment
If the disease has already broken out, it cannot be treated. Only prevention works. For example, transferring the disease to a poultry farm would trigger strict restructuring measures ordered by the Food Agency. Therefore, the cattle should be slaughtered and the premises disinfected.
Keepers of poultry and especially chickens should ensure that farmed birds or their feed and drinking water do not come into contact with wild birds.
- There is no reason for general panic, but everyone who keeps poultry should take a critical look at where wild birds can come into contact with their own birds and fix everything they can.
The disease can also arrive on the farm due to imported birds or farm visits made abroad, so the quarantine periods of animal keepers must be strictly followed.
The disease occurs all over the world. In Finland, it was last observed in abundance in 2021.
Dead birds must be examined
Many diseases can cause symptoms similar to Newcastle disease. Live birds can also be examined using samples to see if they have Newcastle disease, but in this case, Sihvo advises contacting the Oulu Food Agency directly.
When individual exceptional dead wild birds are observed, they can be sent to the Food Agency for examination. Bird flu and Newcastle disease are being researched on them.
- Nothing can be investigated if two-week-old carrion is floating in the beach water. The dead birds found at the bird feeding place should be examined. Regional veterinarian Elina Sihvo gives examples.
You must contact the Finnish Food Agency and the municipal veterinarian if there are many dead wild birds. The municipal veterinarian should also be contacted quickly if the poultry gets sick more than usual or the livestock dies more than usual.