According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), the disease first appeared in June and the outbreak is ongoing. Dr Georgios Kyriakides, Cyprus’ veterinary services director, reported that a farm at Kokkinotrimithia, near the capital Nicosia, was first hit, with 241 birds initially dying of the disease and a further 71,259 being destroyed to help stop the disease spreading. This did not work, because another broiler house at the farm was soon affected, with 1,462 deaths and 66,538 birds destroyed.
An OIE note said: “The broiler farm showed an increased mortality rate, with respiratory and neurological signs. More specifically, this farm consists of five houses: two houses with around 50-day-old broilers, another two with around 35-day-old broilers and the last one with 23-day-old broilers.”
Cypriot authorities also quarantined the farm, imposed poultry movement controls across their area of the island, and disinfected the infected premises. There has been no vaccination or treatment for the infected birds.
The disease then spread to neighbouring farms. One, at Deneia, just 100 metres from the initial outbreak had 10,164 deaths and 33,336 birds were then destroyed. And another, at Agioi Trimithias witnessed 5,742 deaths, with 18,258 birds being destroyed.
There were subsequently nine smaller outbreaks at different locations, including in multi-species holdings with pullets, pigeons, quails, turkeys, ducks, geese and other birds. Samples were sent to the UK for confirmation that this was Newcastle Disease.