- Hello, Jeff - We hear about reports from India of cattle
possibly dying from H5, and we hear reports of loss of poultry, we then
hear about vulture die off in India. My best guess is the vultures probably
have whatever the cattle, migratory birds and poultry have. Doesn't take
a genius to figure that one out.
- A ProMED mail post
ProMED-mail, a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
- A total of 38-40 white-backed vultures [WBVs] have been
reported dead since 18 May 2005 from the Mahua vulture colony in the Bhavnagar
District of Gujarat. 140-142 WBVs were spotted in this colony during a
vulture census conducted by GEER Foundation in Gujarat.
- A few days before this incident, there was a mass mortality
of birds in 50-60 poultry farms around the colony. There is a report of
more than 100 000 - 150 000 poultry deaths due to the highly infectious
viral disease, ranikhet [Newcastle disease].
- The vulture colony is situated very close to these poultry
farms, and after their death, these ranikhet-affected poultry were not
buried but were thrown in an open area nearby. Our information tells us
this is a airborne disease, so this is very likely the reason that vultures
were affected with ranikhet in this area.
- We request the attention of forest officials and other
officers in this matter and hope that detailed investigations will be done
Amit B. Jethava
Gir Nature Youth Club
Att: Khambha, Di: Amreli
Pin:365650 (Gujarat) India.
- If it was the virus affecting the chickens, the vultures
may have acquired it through consumption of the carcasses (rather than
by airborne spread). It could also be that the vultures' demise is unrelated
to the poultry.
- Previously, in ProMED-mail post 20030513459, it was reported
that "the catastrophic decline of griffon vultures in south Asia is
being caused not by a mysterious disease, as had been thought, but a common
painkiller given to sick cattle." I am not aware that this drug is
also used on poultry, but perhaps in India, it may be. Clearly, this more
recent die-off needs more thorough investigation.
- For additional information regarding the White-backed
Vulture of India, please see: Indian
White-backed Vulture - Gyps bengalensis - Mod.TG]
- Ranikhet disease is one of the names given to Newcastle
disease (NCD), a paramyxovirus infection initially reported from Java in
1926, followed soon by outbreaks in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the UK, Ranikhet
in India, and Colombo in Sri Lanka. Other names given to NCD over the years
include fowl pest, pseudofowl pest, and avian pneumoencephalitis. - Mod.AS
- Patricia A. Doyle, PhD
- Please visit my "Emerging Diseases" message board.
- Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
- Go with God and in Good Health