Pennsylvania Producers Battling Coryza Disease

March 21, 2019

Twenty-four separate farm cases of infectious Coryza have been confirmed in both layers and broilers in the Harrisburg/Lancaster area of Pennsylvania.    While the disease does not affect humans and is not a food safety concern, it can be transmitted to unaffected birds by humans who have come in contact with birds affected by the disease.  The primary method of transmission to other birds is by direct contact with infected birds.

The first clinical sign of the disease in flocks is a significant drop in feed and water consumption. Affected birds appear depressed and have facial swelling, swollen wattles, mucoid nasal discharge and respiratory rales. There are both commercial and autogenous vaccines available to prevent the disease and antibiotics are used to reduce the clinical signs.  Producers should, as always, practice best biosecurity management practices.

Layer flocks currently affected by the disease have seen decreases in egg production ranging between 8 to 43 percent, with mortality approximately 3 to 4 times higher than average.  Producers should contact their state diagnostic lab if they suspect birds in their flock may be affected.

Veterinarians, the PennAg Industries Association, producers and many others in the industry are doing everything they can to control the disease and prevent it from spreading to other farms.