Infectious Bronchitis, a very common chicken disease worldwide, is a potentially lethal respiratory disease. It is also known as: Avian Infectious Bronchitis, mild cold, or IB. Infectious Bronchitis has very manifest and extreme symptoms, causes, prevention, transmission, and treatment.
The symptoms of Infectious Bronchitis are horrible. They include: gasping, coughing, sneezing, damp eyes, nasal discharge, and rattling. The incubation period before any symptoms occur is 1.5-2.5 days. The symptoms last for a short time because the disease is acute.
Infectious Bronchitis is caused by many different strains of coronavirus. Coronaviruses are unique because they are a type of virus in which the ribonucleic acid (RNA) stores the genetic information, not the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The viruses are also strangely shaped like a flower with a circular center and pedal-like edges on the sides. Thankfully, the virus is not very strong and is easily killed by disinfectants. The viruses that infect chickens and cause Bronchitis are completely different than those in humans. So there is no human health risk when handling birds with Infectious Bronchitis.
Prevention for Infectious Bronchitis is not as simple as most common chicken diseases. It is recommended to quarantine new birds and avoiding mixing birds of different ages together. There are vaccines available for Infectious Bronchitis but the vaccines are not very accurate because new strains of Infectious Bronchitis are constantly forming. The vaccine has also been known to cause Air-Sac Disease, and strange reactions in hens making them unproductive layers.
The transmission of Infectious Bronchitis is hard to avoid because it is so contagious. Usually, if one bird gets Infectious Bronchitis, the whole flock gets it within twenty-four hours. Since it is a respiratory disease, there is coughing and sneezing which allows viruses to spread through the air. It can even spread through the air far enough as fifty feet away to infect another bird. Infectious Bronchitis is the most contagious chicken disease currently known.
Treatment of Infectious Bronchitis is hard because there is no found cure. When having sick birds, give them electrolytes to boost their energy levels and to avoid stress and crowding.
Infectious Bronchitis infects and kills chickens everyday. It is up to flock owners, veterinarians, and other to help prevent, treat, and find a cure for this terrible disease.
The Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow