Newcastle disease has been confirmed in Costa Rica for the first time in 25 years, according to a report from the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

Tests conducted at the U.S. National Veterinary Services Laboratory on April 26 proved positive for Newcastle disease in a backyard flock of birds in a rural area near the northern edge of Costa Rica along the Pacific Ocean. The case was reported on April 22 after unusually high morbidity was reported in the flock. Of 84 birds in the flock, 71 were confirmed to have contracted the disease and 65 of those birds died. The remaining 19 birds are considered susceptible and will be depopulated.

A quarantine zone has been established, and movement control restrictions inside the country have been put in place. The affected property will be disinfected.


OIE, in its report, described the affected property in the Costa Rican province of Guanacaste as being in a very rural area with very bad access and means of communication. The land is surrounded by forest, where animals roam freely.

OIE stated that it will submit follow-up reports on the Costa Rica Newcastle disease outbreak -- the country’s first since 1990 – on a weekly basis.