There has been a lot of talk lately about a virus that turns English pigeons in zombie. This doesn’t really seem out of place, since zombie stories usually start with a virus or, in some cases, a parasite. But is there any truth in this case? And, very importantly, how dangerous is the disease for pigeons, for other birds and for people themselves?

Well, the first thing we need to keep in mind is that this is not a new disease. What these pigeons have is known as Newcastle disease. was opened in 1926although some of the largest outbreaks in pigeons have been described since 80s.

On the other hand, usually when we talk about pathogens that turn their hosts into zombies, it’s usually those that manipulate them to your advantage. One example is the simplest toxoplasmosis, which causes rodents to lose their fear of felines. Or rabies virus, which provokes aggressiveness to spread through bites. In this case, if it is said that it turns pigeons into zombies, it is more likely because they make erratic movements similar to the movements of these creatures in films. In addition, the virus does not control your behavior to its advantage. So what should we know about him?

Very dangerous for birds, but not very dangerous for humans

In 1926, a highly contagious disease caused by a virus was first described in Indonesia. paramyxovirus, which caused a wide range of symptoms in birds. However, it received its name only a year later, when it affected the bird population in the city. Newcastle-on-Tyne, in the United Kingdom. Thus he became known as Newcastle diseasealthough other names are given, such as avian pseudoplague or ranichet.

It is extremely contagious between birds, although it can be even more contagious depending on virus strainwhat kind of bird is in question and the state of its immune system. In addition, escapes can be harsher in winteras the virus persists longer in the environment at low temperatures.

It can spread through respiratory secretions infected birds, but also stool. And that is what makes it so contagious, because they can pollute the environment and cause infection between animals that have not been in direct contact.

This contagion occurs during Incubation period and in the early stages of recovery. However, according to the World Organization for Animal Health, pigeons can occasionally transmit the virus during another year.

Almost any type of bird can be infected. As far as humans are concerned, such transmission does not take place easily; because at best it can happen conjunctivitis in people who have been in contact with infected birds.

pigeon zombie virus

The symptoms are very variable because not all strains affect the same body systems. Some cause symptoms mainly respiratorysuch as wheezing, coughing, sneezing and wheezing.

Others, on the contrary, cause problems. digestivesuch as diarrhea. An outbreak currently affecting pigeons in Jerseycauses diarrhea with greenish stools in England, but also symptoms neurologicalsuch as neck twisting or erratic circular movements. For this reason, they are called zombie pigeons, but they are not really controlled, so they spread the virus.

Now yes, this is a disease that we must pay close attention to, since its mortality can reach 100%. In addition, the coldest time of the year is approaching, so the shoots can grow more.

As a rule, preventive vaccination is carried out in poultry farming. But when it comes to wild birds, avoiding infection is more difficult. Measures that have already begun to be implemented in England They identify sick birds and isolate or euthanize them. In addition, disinfection tasks must be carried out on affected areas. At the moment, this outbreak has just begun. We’ll have to wait to see how it develops. What is clear is that for more reason than ever, they are not zombies, they are infected.

Source: Hiper Textual

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