Blood tests on pigeons establish that the half of the birds have antibodies against the herpes virus. So probably half of them are latent infected birds. This means that they are carrying the virus, but do not show any sign of disease. Clinical cases where the pigeons show signs of disease are not common.
Infected birds remain lifelong carriers. Under stress conditions, the excretion of the virus increase. For youngsters between two and ten weeks, the herpes virus causes symptoms of malaise. In older birds is a limited role attributed to the herpes virus in the coryza contagiosa complex.
Herpes can cause acute mortality without any symptoms with nestlings. Older birds with clinical herpes infections can have a difteroïd batter in the throat, mouth and esophagus and crop gain. This should not be confused with canker, Candida diphtheria or smallpox.
There is no therapy except experimental treatments with antiviral drugs.
The treatment of the affected birds should be to isolate the birds. The difteroide studded with iodine. Prevention of secondary infection with Marbocap and AMX tablets given for one week to ten days. In severe cases, the birds must be artificially fed and a liquid amino acid / electrolyte solution is recommended.