Newcastle disease outbreak records are a concern in Botswana

Malebogo Ratladi

The Department Of Animal Production District Agricultural Coordinators released a communique that there has been an increase of Newcastle disease in the country observed in the last quarter of 2021.

The cases have been recorded in Northwest, Kgatleng, Central and South East District. The disease has been diagnosed in wild doves, indigenous chickens and small scale broiler production holdings.

The last outbreak that almost caused havoc was in 2014 in which most cases occurred in the eastern half of the country. Three of the cases recorded then were in backyard poultry flocks. In total, 42,315 birds were susceptible, 3,966 were confirmed to have the disease, and 1,049 birds died that year.

According to founding’s by Biomed the general approaches to the control of Newcastle disease are hygiene and vaccination, this is always important, especially in the control of NCD in semi-intensive systems where birds are confined within a fenced yard or house. The study further said even though there is no specific treatment for Newcastle disease. Antibiotics can be given for three to five days to prevent secondary bacterial infections. Increasing the brooding temperature for chicks by 5°F may help reduce losses. Whether is safe to consume chickens which were infected It is particularly contagious and harmful to poultry, especially chickens. Human infection with Newcastle disease is uncommon, but people exposed to infected birds may experience headaches, flu-like symptoms and conjunctivitis for 1-2 days. There is no risk to human health from eating poultry or poultry products.

The communique by the department further cautioned the farming community to vaccinate for Newcastle disease. It further encouraged farmers to report any suspect of the outbreak of the disease to the department of animal production their area.

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