Fowl Typhoid

Agricultural Disaster Preparedness and Recovery, Agricultural Disaster Preparedness and Recovery November 09, 2016 Print Friendly and PDF

Hens in a pen.

Fowl typhoid is a highly contagious disease of poultry caused by the Salmonella gallinarum bacteria. The disease is spread through the droppings of infected birds. The bacteria may also be spread through contaminated food, water, clothing and equipment. Fowl typhoid is an economically significant disease with mortality rates reaching 100 percent.

Although S. gallinarum may be present in backyard flocks, there hasn't been an outbreak of fowl typhoid in the United States since 1980.

Where Is the disease found?

Fowl typhoid is found in Mexico, Central and South America, Africa and India.

Can the disease affect people?

No. Fowl typhoid is NOT the same as typhoid fever in humans. Fowl typhoid is not a public health threat.

What are signs of the disease?

  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Huddling
  • Increased thirst
  • Ruffled feathers
  • Yellow or green diarrhea
  • Decreased egg production

Can it be treated?

Fowl typhoid may be treated with antibiotics but treatment does not eliminate the infection. Any bird suspected of having fowl typhoid should be reported to the State Veterinarians or USDA Federal Veterinarian immediately.

How can the disease be prevented?

Vaccines for fowl typhoid are available. The disease may be prevented from getting into the flock by purchasing birds certified as typhoid-free and following USDA-APHIS Biosecurity for the Birds program.

Where can I find additional information?

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.