2 new vND cases detected in California

Two new cases of virulent Newcastle disease (vND) have been detected in San Bernardino County, California, making them the first vND detections in the United States since September 4.

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(Dave Gostisha | Freeimages.com)
(Dave Gostisha | Freeimages.com)

Two new cases of virulent Newcastle disease (vND) have been detected in San Bernardino County, California, making them the first vND detections in the United States since September 4.

According to an alert issued by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), the cases were found at two neighboring residential properties in the western part of the county. One bird owner contacted a veterinarian.

Response team members from CDFA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are working to establish control measures including mandatory euthanasia of infected and exposed birds and surveillance testing near the property where infection was detected. CDFA stated it is moving quickly to investigate the origin of disease. 

The new cases come less than one month after CDFA announced the vND response team had started its “Freedom of Disease” phase, in which it would continue surveillance and testing of birds to detect and quickly eradicate any small pockets of infestation, if present.

The current outbreak began in May 2018, when vND was confirmed in a backyard exhibition chicken in San Bernardino County. Since that time, it has been detected in more than 450 premises in California. Counties affected include San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, Ventura, Alameda and San Diego. One case each has also been confirmed in Utah County, Utah, and Coconino County, Arizona.

Three of the vND detections occurred in commercial poultry flocks in Riverside County.

Prior to this outbreak, the last time vND, formerly known as exotic Newcastle disease, had been detected in the United States was in 2003.

While CDFA said vND detections have been on the decline, its priority remains to stop the spread of the virus and eradicate it. The agency urges all bird owners to remain aware of vND symptoms, practice good biosecurity, refrain from illegal movement of birds from property to property, and to immediately report any sick birds.

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