A total of 109,255 chickens were killed in northern Philippines due to Newscastle disease, the regional office of the Department of Agriculture in the Ilocos Region said recently.
The Newcastle outbreak occurred in 65 towns in the region's four provinces (Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan)
Dr. Annie Bares, chief of DA's field operations division, said that as of last week some 11,700 birds including native chickens were still at risk and the subject of vaccination by livestock inspectors.
"We are now controlling the new cases and have already disposed to local government units (LGUs) 206, 000 doses of NCD vaccines [which are used for chickens afflicted with Newcastle disease]. Our livestock inspectors are helping the LGUs on how to handle those infected with the virus" Bares, said as quoted by Northbound Philippines News Online.
Slight decrease in supply
The disease has led to a slight decrease in supply of native chickens as well as a slight increase in prices, Bares said, adding the disease did not affect big industries engaged in contract growing for commercial chickens because they had their own vaccines to prevent the spread of the disease.
Bares said that Newcastle disease, a regular ailment of chicken, is caused by a highly contagious virus in the environment that can "blow- up" when the weather condition changes from extreme hot to extreme cold, causing a breakdown of the bird's immune system.
Symptoms of the disease include balance problems when the bird moves in circle, tremors, bloody diarrhea, weakness, and partial or total paralysis.