Margaret A. Wissman, DVM
Posted: July 30, 2013, 4:15 p.m. PDT
Unweaned baby birds are most susceptible to this virus and if infected, the virus is usually fatal for the young birds. The virus is resistant to extreme environmental changes, including some disinfectants and excessive heat, making it difficult to rid of the virus in an area where it may have been spread. Because of this, chronic infections do occur.
Excessive bleeding or bruising due to liver damage may show in infected baby birds before they die. Infected adults may have vague signs of illness.
A vaccine is available and baby birds should receive the vaccination at 5 to 7 weeks of age. The unweaned bird should be immune and protected from the virus two weeks after the second vaccination.
Juvenile birds can still be infected with the virus but they are not likely to be affected by it unless they are suffering other diseases that may suppress their immune system. Adult birds may also become infected, but are much less likely to die from the virus.
Any infected bird can shed the virus, which could in turn infect other birds in a flock. Because of this it is important to quarantine new birds and take proper actions for sterilization if a bird is diagnosed with the virus.
Disclaimer: BirdChannel.com’s Bird Health section is intended for educational purposes only. It is not meant to replace the expertise and experience of a professional veterinarian. Do not use the information presented here to make decisions about your bird’s health if you suspect your pet is sick. If your pet is showing signs of illness or you notice changes in your bird’s behavior, take your pet to the nearest veterinarian or an emergency pet clinic as soon as possible.