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Disease: Fowl Pox

Fowl pox is a disease of poultry caused by viruses with mild to severe

effects. The viruses causing fowl pox are distinct from one another
but antigenically similar. There are two forms of the disease- those
spread by biting insects and those by inhalation of the virus. Mortality
losses in both vaccinated and non-vaccinated flocks occurs

Fowl pox is a disease of poultry caused by viruses. The viruses causing

fowl pox are distinct from one another but antigenically similar,
possible hosts including chickens, and many other species of birds.

There are two forms of the disease. The first is spread by biting insects
(especially mosquitoes) resulting in wounded contamination and
lesions on the comb, wattles, and beak. Birds affected by this form
usually recover within a few weeks.

The second form is spread by inhalation of the virus and causes

a diphtheritic membrane to form in the mouth, pharynx, larynx, and
sometimes the trachea. The prognosis for this form is poor.

Outbreaks of wet pox have caused severe mortality losses in both

vaccinated and non-vaccinated flocks. Wet pox alone can cause high
mortality of up to 50-60% in unvaccinated chickens. The disease can
start out as wet pox and then spread to birds in the dry pox and vice

The virus is present in large numbers in the lesions and is usually

transmitted by contact through abrasions of the skin. Skin lesions
(scabs) shed from recovering birds in poultry houses can become a
source of aerosol infection. Mosquitoes and other biting insects may
serve as mechanical vectors. Transmission within flocks is rapid when
mosquitoes are plentiful. The disease tends to persist for extended
periods in multiple-age poultry complexes because of slow spread of
the virus and availability of susceptible birds.

Often, the course of the disease in a flock is protracted. Extensive

infection in a layer flock results in decreased egg production.
Causes of Fowl Pox

1. From an insect or other blood sucking bug. .

2. Through cuts or wounds on the skin.

Symptoms of Fowl Pox

Warty, spreading eruptions and scabs on comb and wattles.

Caseous deposits in mouth, throat and sometimes trachea.



Poor growth.

Poor egg production

Treatment, Control and Prevention of Fowl Pox:

There is no effective treatment for fowl pox. In many cases, the
disease may resolve itself. In order to stop or slow down the spread of
this disease, sick birds should be separated from those that appear to
be healthy and provided supportive care to maximize its chances of a
quick recovery. Disease control is accomplished best by preventative
vaccination since ordinary management and sanitation practices will
not prevent it. Birds intended for laying purposes should be vaccinated.
Birds whose resistance has been weakened through any condition or
disease should not be vaccinated until they are healthy.
1. Vaccination of broilers is not usually required unless the
mosquito population is high or infections have occurred
previously. The chicks may be vaccinated as young as one day of
age by using the wing-web method and using a one needle

2. Infected birds are susceptible to secondary infections that often

lead to death. Therefore, sanitation is of utmost importance.

Vaccines are available as treatment of this disease.

Chicken are usually vaccinated with pigeon pox virus. This vaccine is
usually given to chickens when between the ages of 12-16 weeks of
age, via the wing web method of injection. When a bird is given the
vaccine they are exposed to a mild version of the active virus, so
they should be completely healthy to prevent severe illness. Just
preventative measures including the vaccine and mosquito