Busia, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | At least 8,976 birds have succumbed to the Newcastle disease outbreak in Busia district. Newcastle disease is a highly contagious caused by a paramyxovirus. It spreads through direct contact with body fluids from infected birds and can be carried on shoes and clothings among others.
The chicken develops symptoms like loss of appetite, gasping, nasal discharge, excretes bright green diarrhoea, paralysis, falling feather, the swollen head among others and it dies within four to five days.
The most affected are poultry farmers in Bumwenge, Bukalikha, Muganiro in Masafu sub-county, Buwuma ‘A’, Nangwe North, Buwuma ‘B’ and Mululumbi villages in Dabani sub-county and Butote and Buyengo in Masinya sub-county among others.
According to the poultry farmers, they have tried to vaccinate their birds against the disease in vain. Christine Akumu Mangeni, a resident of Masinya sub-county says that she lost 40 chickens within one month. She explains that she tried to vaccinate the birds in vain.
Florence Nabwire Makaali, a resident of Bukalikha village says that she had more than 120 chickens she got from their farming groups but has only remained with 50 chickens due to the outbreak of the disease.
Grace Nabwire Akumu, another poultry farmer says that this is the first time for her to lose her poultry birds in the last 10 years she has been in the poultry business. She says that a few survived when she started mixing water with vitamin C tablets.
Moses Nyegenye, the chairperson of Masafu-Masinya poultry farmers association, says that they had stocked about 15,000 chickens that were distributed to members but most of them have died.
Dr Patrick Barasa, the Busia District Veterinary Officer says that they confirmed the outbreak of Newcastle disease by November last year. He says that they have embarked on sensitizing farmers on possible measures to manage the disease and encourage them to vaccinate their birds and isolate the infected chicken.