Pigeon Deaths Linked to Avian Virus24 October 2012
US - The recent increase in pigeon deaths in West Texas has been connected to an avian virus that affects pigeons and poultry, according to a press release from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.
The virus was discovered during lab tests by the US Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center and US Department of Agriculture's National Veterinary Services Laboratories.
The virus -- pigeon paramyxovirus-1 (PPMV-1) -- belongs to a larger group of viruses -- avian paramyxovirus serogroup 1 (APMV-1).
Though PPMV-1 has never been known to infect humans, some strains of viruses in the APMV-1 group can cause mild conjunctivitis in people who handled large numbers of infected birds, according to the release.
There is no sign of transmission of PPMV-1 to other mammals, such as domestic pets.
Some strains of PPMV-1 have shown signs of virulence in poultry and it is advisable to minimize contact between doves and poultry in affected areas until the dove mortality event has ended, said Annaliese K. Scoggin, private lands biologist.
This is the first time that the virus has been found in white-winged doves, even though Eurasian-collared doves also were involved in this outbreak.
TPWD will monitor the spread of the virus, though it is not considered a significant danger for Texas dove populations.
Further ReadingFind out more information on this disease by clicking here.