Infectious Diseases 2021

Infectious Diseases 2021

South Africa: Newcastle disease in wild birds

14 April, 2021

Birds found dead, mostly doves, in parts of the Eastern Cape have died of Avian Paramyxovirus and Newcastle diseases. The Eastern Cape department of Rural Development and Agrarian Reform confirmed the test results on Tuesday (13/4).
Hundreds of bird deaths have been reported in the Buffalo City Municipality since March, which prompted Neville’s Snake and Reptile Rescue to collect dead birds for testing at the SPCA. Wild birds found mysteriously dying in Gqeberha were also handed to state veterinarians for testing.
Testing and investigation included tracing of birds, collecting and conducting post mortems to identify the cause of bird deaths. Samples collected were sent to the Onderstepoort Veterinary Research (OVR) Laboratory for analysis.
On 7 April, test results came back indicating the birds were positive for Avian Paramyxovirus and Newcastle disease. The mortalities of the wild birds is therefore attributed to these viruses. 
Veterinarians specializing in birds have found a pattern in which wild doves seem to be highly susceptible to Paramyxovirus in cycles of four years.