AVIAN species are susceptible to a wide range of viral diseases. With the increasing trade in psittacine species worldwide, more and more of these viruses are making their way to the shores of the UK. Practitioners are therefore more likely to be confronted with new avian viruses, a worrying thought considering the recent outbreak in the USA of West Nile virus, the main host of which is avian species. This article describes the viruses that may be encountered in birds in practice and highlights the species commonly affected. In each case, it outlines the clinical signs produced, and discusses how the virus spreads and how it might be diagnosed. It suggests control measures and, where available, methods of treatment which may be instituted in the event of an outbreak. The viruses are considered in order of decreasing incidence.
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