Virulent Newcastle disease spreads into San Diego County

A new case of virulent Newcastle Disease has been detected in California, but this one was found in a county where the virus had not yet been detected.

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California State Veterinarian Annette Jones announced virulent Newcastle disease has been detected in San Diego County for the first time. (California Department of Food and Agriculture)
California State Veterinarian Annette Jones announced virulent Newcastle disease has been detected in San Diego County for the first time. (California Department of Food and Agriculture)

A new case of virulent Newcastle disease (vND) has been detected in California, but this one was found in a county where the virus had not yet been detected.

California State Veterinarian Annette Jones announced there was a new detection of vND on August 30 at a property in central San Diego County. This is the first detection of vND in San Diego County since this outbreak began in May 2018.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), 260 cases of vND have been confirmed in Riverside County, while San Bernardino has had 142 cases and Los Angeles County has had 45, as of August 23. Ventura and Alameda counties have each had one case, while Utah County, Utah, and Coconino County, Arizona, have also each had one.

Jones said the San Diego County case was identified when a private veterinarian submitted dead birds to the California Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS) Laboratory System.

In mid-June, following a full week without new vND detections, Jones told WATT Global Media a quarantine in place in San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles counties that prohibited bird movement could be attributed to the slowing down of the disease’s spread, along with cooperation from communities, diligent work from veterinary crews and added resources to combat vND’s spread. However, San Diego County was not part of that quarantine.

Jones, in her recent announcement, said vND response team members from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and USDA worked through the Labor Day weekend to establish control measures including restriction of bird movement, mandatory euthanasia of infected and exposed birds, and surveillance testing near the property where infection was detected. She further stated CDFA is moving quickly to investigate the origin of disease as well as any movement of birds or equipment that could carry infection.

Prior to this case, the last vND detection occurred on August 14 at a retail feed store in San Bernardino County.

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