Aujeszky's Disease

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Aujeszky’s Disease

 

pseudorabies, an acute viral disease of animals characterized by lesions of the nervous system and respiratory organs and by intense itching at the site of penetration of the causative agent; itching does not occur in swine. It is named after the Hungarian scientist A. Aujeszky, who in 1902 was the first to describe the disease in cattle, dogs, and cats. Under natural conditions Aujeszky’s disease strikes swine (mainly suckling pigs), cattle, dogs, cats, foxes, polar foxes, and mink. Man is also susceptible to the disease. The source of infection is sick and convalescent animals from which the virus is released into the environment. Before Aujeszky’s disease appears among farm animals, it usually attacks and kills rodents on the farm. It generally occurs in the fall or early winter owing to the migration of rodents. The economic damage done by the disease is substantial. Almost every newborn pig that becomes infected dies. Cases of cattle and sheep recovering are very rare. The incubation (latent) period is one to 15 days and the course of the disease is acute. Affected animals have a high temperature, lose their appetite, sometimes vomit, and have an unsteady gait. Swine frequently assume the position of a sitting dog and are afflicted by nervous convulsions. The body temperature of horned cattle is above 41° C. They suffer from loss of appetite, do not chew the cud, and develop convulsions. Treatment consists in administering gamma globulin, antiserum, and immune serum. Prevention consists in the control of rodents on farms, observance of requirements of hygienic care and feeding, prompt quarantine, and disinfection.

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