Avian Pox

Disease

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Avian Pox In A Wild Turkey
Avian Pox In A Wild Turkey
Daniel Shaw, MU College of Veterinary Medicine

Commonly Infected Wildlife

Several species of birds can be infected.

Is This Animal Infected?

Wartlike growths occur on the unfeathered parts of the bird’s body.

In some cases, these lesions may extend into the mouth and/or trachea.

Can I Get It?

No. There is no evidence avian pox can infect humans.

How bad can it get?

There is no known risk to humans.

Symptoms in humans

There is no evidence that people are at risk.

Protect Myself and Others

  • Avian pox is not known to affect humans, but it is highly contagious between birds.
  • If you suspect your local birds have this illness, stop artificial feeding for several days in order to help slow or stop the spread of the disease. Feeders can concentrate birds and hasten the spread of disease.
  • As part of routine maintenance, clean and decontaminate bird feeders and baths weekly with a 10 percent bleach solution.
  • Eliminating standing water helps control the primary vector, the mosquito.
  • Infected birds should be isolated or culled to remove the source of the virus.

Safe for Pets?

There is no evidence that mammals are affected, so after trimming away affected tissue and properly cooking the meat, it is safe for pets to eat. However, all pet and domestic birds, including poultry, are at risk.

What Causes It?

Avian pox is caused by a virus and has been shown to infect numerous species of birds worldwide.

The disease is most common in warm and humid parts of the world, and it is usually observed in relation to seasonal mosquito cycles.