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Kenya’s Kiambu county reports Newcastle disease outbreak

Outbreaks of Newcastle disease has left poultry farmers in Kiambu county fearing for their livelihoods as hundreds of thousands of birds die.

8 April 2021, at 10:18am

Reporting from the Kenya News Agency (KNA) urges local poultry farmers to learn the signs of Newcastle disease and observe their flocks to detect any unusual behavior.

Alice Wangui, a lecturer at Katarina University told KNA that Newcastle disease is highly contagious, and that, “…urgent isolation of the infected chicken needs to follow immediately after the farmer detect[s] any of the symptoms.”

Though some chickens can survive being infected with Newcastle disease, they can potentially infect others in the flock. Veterinary professionals should be called to diagnose the disease and offer effective treatment.

“So far, I have about 60 chickens, and have isolated 13 of them since I began rearing in 2017. This disease has killed up to 10, which has put a dent in my pocket, but I was quickly able to recover from this when I sought advice from a veterinary from the county government of Kiambu offices,” Wanugi says.

“Some of the most common symptoms to look out for are diarrhea, which may seem watery and green- like, nasal flow, coughing, sneezing, and depression, where the infected foul is dull and not lively,” she noted.

For layers, their eggs may have thin shells, and may lay fewer eggs than usual which is a loss to the farmer as they may not accumulate enough to sell as is required. The eggs may also have a change in color, shape, size and may also have a less thick egg white (albumen).

Other symptoms may be physical such as a twisted head accompanied by muscle tremors, paralysis or swollen eyes or neck, twitching and bent wings. In more severe cases, sudden death.”

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