Hello Jeff - We may have a new paramyxovirus outbreak
infecting Budgerigars aka (variety of small parrot.) There has been no
confirmation as to whether this is a brand new paramyxovirus disease or
older one, perhaps, newcastle or avian influenza. It does, however, sound
as though it could be either a new paramyxovirus or a mutated version.
I will keep you updated.
PARAMYXOVIRUS INFECTION, BUDGERIGARS - UK (SUSPECTED
1] Date: Fri, 20 Jun, 2003 From ProMED-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Budgerigar Fanciers In Crisis After Mystery Illness Sweeps UK
By Michael McCarthy Environment Editor The Independent - UK 6-20-3
Budgerigar fanciers all over Britain are facing a crisis after a mysterious
virus left hundreds of birds dead. Yesterday the Budgerigar Society advised
its members to stop trading birds and cancel shows. The decision was made
after one breeder in Middlesbrough lost his entire collection of more than
200 budgerigars, a stock he had built up over several years.
One senior figure within budgerigar circles said the mounting fear among
fanciers was similar to that felt by farmers afraid their animals would
be struck down during the foot and mouth disease epidemic. There have been
unconfirmed reports of outbreaks in Teeside, Humberside, East Anglia, West
Midlands, and the West Country. "This is a problem that has never
occurred before in our history," said David Whittaker, general secretary
of the Budgerigar Society. "We have had to ask members to stop showing
birds and to stop people moving their birds around until we can identify
There was no known cure for the condition and experts did not know how
it was transmitted, he said, adding: "It could be an existing virus
which has mutated. Work is carrying on at the moment and as soon as we
know we will post it on our website." Mr Whittaker asked people to
check the website, <www.budgerigarsociety.com> [see 2 further]. He
appealed for fanciers to share information and not to try to hide if they
believed their birds might be affected. "Only by working together,
and fanciers admitting they have a problem, will the society be able to
address the situation properly. Anyone making contact can be reassured
that their situation will be treated with the strictest confidence."
Roy Cooke, secretary of the Northern Budgerigar Society, said the disease
was similar to influenza. He added: "It is scary because it is a bit
like foot and mouth disease, you don't know when it is going to strike.
It is something that has come out of the blue and it can mean a lifetime's
work is thrown away."
******  Date: From ProMED-mail <email@example.com>
Source The Budgerigar Society website News 20 Jun 2003 [edited] http://www.budgerigarsociety.com
The New Budgerigar Disease
Dr Baker has advised that since the membership has become more aware of
the situation they are speaking to him more freely and sharing information.
He is also receiving more specimens, which will greatly assist in identifying
the disease and members should continue to contact the Office and or Dr
Baker direct to continue this trend.
He has indicated the disease is very probably caused by a paramyxovirus
infection (PMV), however, he still awaits confirmation of this. There are
at least 9 types of paramyxovirus and in many of these there are a large
number of subtypes, all of which can infect birds. The classical type affecting
budgerigars is type 5 (also known as Kinitachi virus) which caused high
mortality in aviaries in Japan in the mid 1970s; there was also a small
outbreak of this in the UK in 1993. Budgerigars are also susceptible to
PMV type 1 which is the cause of Newcastle disease, there is a subtype
of type 1 which affects pigeons; homing pigeons have to be vaccinated against
this if they take part in competitions. Two fanciers have independently
commented on the large number of domestic pigeons around at the time of
the outbreak but this may just be coincidence, PMV2 and PMV3 have also
been seen in psittacine birds including budgerigars.
Dr Baker further advises that it is important to identify the type of PMV
involved and this will be done. If it is type 1 of either the Newcastle
disease type or the pigeon type vaccination should be available with commercially
available vaccines, although these are not licensed for budgerigars this
should not be a major problem. Indeed one fancier who almost certainly
has the disease has very recently vaccinated his birds with the pigeon
vaccine, it will be interesting to see how he gets on.
There is no treatment for the other types apart from supportive therapy.
There is no information on carriers with regard to PMV5 or the other strains
in psittacines. In domestic poultry carriers do occur but not usually beyond
2 months after infection although prolonged carriage for over a year has
been reported. The strain of PMV1 affecting pigeons does produce carriers
but not for more than one month after infection.
Dr Baker has also confirmed that the disease is transmitted "bird
to bird" and it can be carried on shoes and clothing. Extreme care
should be taken in this respect at all times. Further information will
be communicated as soon as we receive it from Dr Baker and I once again
thank you for your support over this stressful period.
-- ProMED-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>
[Budgerigars, small parrots (family Psittacidae, subfamily Psittacinae)
are natives of the drier parts of Australia, found in the wild in great
numbers and now adopted worldwide as a very popular pet bird. Most probably,
the British veterinary authorities are currently seriously engaged in investigating
this outbreak. They should exclude at least two List A diseases, namely
Newcastle disease and avian influenza, and rule out any possible public
health risks. The identification of the involved disease agent is anticipated
with interest and concern. - Mod.AS].
Patricia A. Doyle, PhD Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message
board at: http://www.clickitnews.com/ubbthreads/postlist.php?Cat=&Board=emergingdiseases
Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa Go with God and in Good Health