Undiagnosed bird die-off - Australia (NSW) (PROMED posting)

Subject: Undiagnosed bird die-off - Australia (NSW) (PROMED posting)
From: Robin Hide <>
Date: Wed, 29 Mar 2006 10:41:18 +1000
This item from PROMED earlier this week may be of interest to some list members.

Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2006 15:22:03 -0500 (EST)
From: ProMED-mail <>
Subject: PRO/AH> Undiagnosed bird die-off - Australia (NSW)

A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

Date: 27 Mar 2006
From: Jaimie Frazer <>
Source: Australian Veterinary Association (AVA), March edition [edited]

Wild birds -- paralysis, paresis and mortality
- ----------------------------------------------
The NSW [New South Wales] Department of Primary Industries is investigating
a spate of reports of bird deaths in the NSW Central Coast and Sydney Basin
regions. The species involved are mainly magpies and currawongs, but
reports are not limited to these species. Testing has ruled out avian
influenza or Newcastle disease, and further results are expected to be
completed by April 2006. The Department has advised that "birds presenting
with illness should not be rehabilitated but should be euthanized as soon
as possible. Birds should be disposed of appropriately. The ARWH
[Australian Registry of Wildlife Health] website provides advice on hygiene
and disposal protocol: <>."

The AVA is not aware of any reports of these conditions in the household
pet bird population at this time. Further information can be obtained from
the NSW Department of Primary Industries, phone: (02) 6391 3100.

- --
Jaimie Frazer
Veterinary Officer - Disease Surveillance
PIRSA Animal Health
PO Box 822, Clare SA 5453

[This posting does not give us much information about the clinical signs
observed in these birds. Certainly, the few signs that are listed would
make one think of avian influenza and Newcastle disease virus, both of
which have been ruled out. Other suggestions for a differential list are
botulism, eastern equine encephalitis (although I am unsure whether this
disease is in Australia, unless it is newly emerging), West Nile
encephalitis, avian encephalomyelitis, Marek's disease, and Paramyxovirus.

For maps on the NSW region of Australia see:
<> and

For pictures and more information about currawongs, see:

Photos and information about the magpie in Australia can be found at:
<>. - Mod.TG]

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