August 31, 2019
Virulent Newcastle Disease Update from State Veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones
There was a new detection of virulent Newcastle disease (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 incident began in May 2018. This case was identified when a private veterinarian submitted dead birds to the California Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS) Laboratory System.
VND response team members from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are working through the holiday 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. We are moving quickly to investigate the origin of disease as well as any movement of birds or equipment that could carry infection.
Detections of VND have decreased greatly over the last few months. Our priority remains to stop the spread of the virus and eradicate the disease. We have made significant progress toward this goal by identifying and clearing remaining pockets of disease, but this case reminds all bird owners in Southern California to remain aware of VND signs, practice good biosecurity, stop illegal movement of birds from property to property, and report any sick birds immediately to the Sick Bird Hotline, 866-922-2473. More information about VND, including biosecurity guidelines to keep birds healthy, is available on the CDFA virulent Newcastle disease web page.