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Due to progression and duration of a virulent Newcastle Disease (vND) outbreak in parts of Southern California, the State Veterinarian has ordered mandatory euthanasia of birds in some neighborhoods within or near:
Compton and Whittier (Los Angeles County)Menifee, Mira Loma/Jurupa Valley, Norco, Nuevo, Perris, and Riverside City (Riverside County)Hesperia, Muscoy, and Ontario (San Bernardino County)
Unfortunately, even birds and flocks that previously tested negative, but now fall within a designated mandatory euthanasia area, must be euthanized. USDA/CDFA staff will contact affected bird owners with orders specific to their property.
While this action is difficult for all involved, it MUST be done to eradicate VND. Otherwise, the disease will continue to spread and kill additional flocks.
For more information please refer to: Virulent Newcastle Disease FAQs or call the Sick Bird Hotline at 866-922-2473
February 4, 2019: Two additional ranches with egg laying hens have been confirmed positive for vND. The first is a small ranch in San Bernardino County that was confirmed on January 22, 2019. The hens have been euthanized. The second is a larger commercial facility in Riverside County that was confirmed positive on February 1, 2019.
These findings are part of the vND outbreak that began May 2018 in backyard birds. For a list of cases visit the USDA website at: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animalhealth/vnd
By moving quickly, to humanely euthanize affected flocks, we are eradicating the disease to prevent further spread and unnecessary suffering of these birds that would otherwise die from the virus.
Virulent Newcastle disease is a fatal respiratory virus in poultry. It is highly contagious, and birds die within days of being infected. There is no cure. Euthanasia is the only way to stop the spread of the virus and eradicate the disease. VND is primarily transmitted by the movement of infected birds, but also by people who have the virus on their clothes or shoes, and by equipment or vehicles that can carry and transport the disease from place to place.
It is critical that all bird owners follow good biosecurity practices to protect their birds and to stop the spread of the disease.
Virulent Newcastle disease is not a food safety concern, and no human cases of the virus have occurred from eating poultry. Properly cooked poultry products are safe to eat. Human infection is easily prevented by using standard personal protective equipment and following sound biosecurity practices. In very rare instances, people working directly with sick birds can develop mild symptoms that are like conjunctivitis or the flu.
USDA/APHIS and CDFA will remain diligent in our joint efforts to stop the spread of the disease and eradicate the virus when, and where, it’s found.
Virulent Newcastle disease (VND), previously known as exotic Newcastle disease and sometimes referred to as Asiatic or Doyle's form of Newcastle disease, is a contagious and fatal disease affecting all species of birds. Definition: VND is a virulent strain of the Newcastle disease virus and is one of the most serious disease of chickens throughout the world. It is characterized by the lesions produced in the gastrointestinal tract or the brain. In susceptible chickens, morbidity rates approach 100% and mortality rates may exceed 95%. Host: All birds, both domestic and wild, are susceptible to VND. The mortality and morbidity rates vary drastically between species and with the strain of virus. In poultry, chickens are very susceptible to the disease, while ducks and geese tend to be resistant. Mortality rates in psittacine birds have ranged from zero up to 75% prior to depopulation. Certain psittacine birds, especially Amazon parrots, have been demonstrated to shed VND virus intermittently in excess of one year. Transmission: Within an infected flock, VND is transmitted by direct contact, contaminated feeding and watering equipment, and by aerosols produced by coughing, gasping, and other disturbances of respiration. Dissemination between flocks over long distances have been due to movement of contaminated equipment and service personnel such as vaccination crews. Movement of carrier birds and those in an incubating stage account for most of the outbreaks in the pet bird industry. Clinical Signs: There may be considerable variation in the severity of clinical signs, depending on species, age, vaccination, and natural resistance of the birds, as well as the virulence of the VND strain. Certain species demonstrate a period of depression, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. Clinical signs are more pronounced in susceptible chickens. Edema of the tissues around the eye, especially of the lower eyelid, are common. Straw colored exudate may flow from the mouth or nasal openings. Respiratory distress may vary from mild to severe. Clinical signs in turkeys and pet birds are usually mild. Neurologic symptoms, such as twisting of the head and neck (torticollis) and paralysis of the wings and/or legs are commonly seen 10-20 days following onset of clinical signs. Human Health: VND is not a food safety concern; properly cooked poultry products are safe to eat. In rare cases, humans that have exposure to infected birds may get eye inflammation or mild fever-like symptoms. These signs generally resolve without treatment, however, medical care should be sought if symptoms persist. Infection is easily prevented by using standard personal protective equipment. Reporting: This is a reportable disease under emergency conditions; suspect cases must be reported to CDFA within 24 hours. CDFA Animal Health Branch Headquarters - (916) 900-5002 Redding District - (530) 225-2140 Modesto District - (209) 491-9350 Tulare District - (559) 685-3500 Ontario District - (909) 947-4462 USDA-APHIS-VS (916) 854-3950 or (877) 741-3690 For more information and updates on VND, please visit: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/Animal_Health/ Newcastle_Disease_Info.html To report an unusual number of sick or dead birds, call: Sick Bird Hotline (866) 922-2473
Sick birds are inactive, dull, and tend to separate themselves from other healthy birds in the flock. Some signs of disease are: • Coughing • Sneezing • Nasal discharge • Green watery diarrhea • Reduction in egg production • Twisting of the head and neck • Paralysis • Circling • Muscle Tremors • Depression • Swelling around eyes and neck • Sudden Death To report an unusual number of sick or dead birds, call: Sick Bird Hotline (866) 922-2473 For more information, please click the following: Animal Health Branch Avian Health Program The California Department of Food and Agriculture encourages responsible bird ownership. Please consult with a veterinarian on a regular basis regarding the health of your birds or flock. Good health for California poultry and pets is beneficial to everyone!
Last Modified: Feb 1, 2019 Print
Virulent Newcastle disease, formerly known as exotic Newcastle disease, is a contagious and fatal viral disease affecting the respiratory, nervous and digestive systems of birds and poultry. The disease is so virulent that many birds and poultry die without showing any clinical signs.
Virulent Newcastle disease is not a food safety concern. No human cases of Newcastle disease have ever occurred from eating poultry products. Properly cooked poultry products are safe to eat. In very rare instances, people working directly with sick birds can become infected with mild symptoms, such as conjunctivitis. These are easily prevent with personal protective equipment.
Since May 18, USDA has confirmed 340 cases of vND in California, including 108 in San Bernardino County, 190 in Riverside County, 41 in Los Angeles County and 1 in Ventura County. USDA also confirmed 1 case in Utah County, Utah: View Table
Virulent Newcastle disease is one of the most serious poultry diseases worldwide. A death rate of almost 100 percent can occur in unvaccinated poultry flocks. Virulent Newcastle disease can infect and cause death even in vaccinated poultry.
Virulent Newcastle disease spreads when healthy birds come in direct contact with bodily fluids from sick birds. The disease affects almost all birds and poultry, even vaccinated poultry. The virus can travel on manure, egg flats, crates, other farming materials or equipment, and people who have picked up the virus on their clothing, shoes, or hands.
A domestic introduction could cause devastating effects on the poultry industry and have a significant impact on trade. A large vND outbreak would have long-term economic consequences and an extensive recovery period.
Clinical signs in chickens include:
It is essential that all poultry owners follow good biosecurity practices to help protect their birds from infectious diseases. These simple steps include:
All bird owners should report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to State/Federal officials right away, either through their state veterinarian or through USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593.
For more information about biosecurity practices, visit USDA's Defend the Flock website.