EPIwild researcher discusses Newcastle disease and risk to humans

Daniela Contreras
30 April 2024

Dr. Claudio Verdugo, Director of the Institute of Animal Pathology of the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences and principal investigator of EPIwild, spoke in an interview with Radio SAGO Osorno about Newcastle disease, emphasizing the importance of prevention and epidemiological surveillance and highlighting the role of wild birds as possible reservoirs of the virus.

Dr. Claudio Verdugo, academic and Director of the Institute of Animal Pathology, shared his knowledge about Newcastle disease, a viral disease that has impacted wild birds in various regions of the country during this season. In the interview, conducted in the program Campo al Día, of Radio SAGO OsronoDr. Verdugo discussed the fundamental aspects of this disease, its history, clinical manifestations and implications for both poultry farming and public health.

Newcastle disease, first identified in 1927, has been studied worldwide due to its capacity to cause important problems in poultry production. It has been associated mainly with respiratory and nervous disorders in domestic poultry, generating significant economic losses for the agricultural industry. It is in this context that Dr. Verdugo highlights the importance of prevention and epidemiological surveillance to understand and effectively control the spread of this disease.

Dr. Verdugo emphasizes the crucial role played by wild birds, particularly those of the columbiform order such as turtledoves, aplomos and torcazas, in the spread and maintenance of the virus. Their ability to inhabit a variety of environments, from rural to urban areas, makes them potential reservoirs of the disease, which requires special attention in terms of monitoring and control.

In addition, Dr. Verdugo addresses the aspect of zoonosis associated with Newcastle disease, noting that although it is considered of low to medium danger to humans, it is essential to maintain basic safety measures, especially for those working directly with animals or with the virus in laboratory settings. Collaboration with entities such as the Agriculture and Livestock Service (SAG) is crucial to properly identify and manage cases of the disease, ensuring the implementation of appropriate preventive and control measures.

In conclusion, the participation of Dr. Claudio Verdugo in this interview reflects the continuous commitment of the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences of the Universidad Austral de Chile in the dissemination of scientific knowledge on topics relevant to society. His experience in the field of animal pathology contributes significantly to strengthen the position of the FCV as a reference in veterinary sciences, both nationally and internationally.

Source: Communications Faculty of Veterinary Sciences UACh

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