Researched & Posted: July 2019
What is vND?
vND, or Virulent Newcastle disease, is a severely contagious viral disease that affects the respiratory, nervous, and digestive systems of birds and poultry. Formerly known as exotic Newcastle disease, this disease is so fatal that many birds die without ever showing any clinical signs.
When did the current outbreak start in Southern California?
The most recent outbreak of vNDstarted in May of 2018. A backyard chicken owner brought several sick show chickens to a vet clinic in southern California. Biological samples were collected and on May 17, 2018, it was confirmed by the National Veterinary Services Lab (NVSL) that these birds were positive for vND.
What are the signs of vND?
Clinical signs in chickens:
- Sudden death and increased death loss in flock;
- Sneezing, gasping for air, nasal discharge, coughing;
- Greenish, watery diarrhea;
- Decreased activity, tremors, drooping wings, twisting of head and neck, circling, complete stiffness; and
- Swelling around the eyes and neck.
What should I do?
If you notice that your birds are sick or dying, or showing any signs of vND, report it right away! Early detection is crucial to preventing a large-scale outbreak.
Ag Extension Office: 858-822-7711
How does vNDspread?
The disease spreads through the bodily fluids of sick birds. It affects the majority of birds and poultry, even when vaccinated.
The virus can travel on manure, egg cartons and flats, farming materials and equipment, and people who have been in contact with the virus on their shoes, hands, or clothing.
How can I prevent vND?
The best way to keep your birds safe and healthy is to practice good biosecurity.
- Restrict traffic onto and off of your property.
- Disinfect shoes, clothes, hands, egg trays or flats, crates, vehicles, and tires.
- Avoiding visits to other poultry farms or bird owners. If you do, be sure to change clothes and clean your hands and shoes before entering your own bird area.
- Wash your hands and scrub your boots before and after entering a poultry area.
- Isolate any birds returning from shows for 30 days before placing them with the rest of the flock.
What’s the current status? (As of July 2019)
According to CA State Vet, Dr. Annette Jones:
As of July 2, 2019, there have been no new positive detections of the disease since June 4, 2019. We are still urged to be diligent with biosecurity to avoid any setbacks.
According to the USDA:
As of July 5, 2019, USDA has confirmed 448 premises in California as infected with vND, including 141 in San Bernardino County, 260 in Riverside County, 45 in Los Angeles County, 1 in Ventura County, and 1 in Alameda County. USDA also confirmed 1 infected premises in Utah County, Utah and 1 infected premises in Coconino County, Arizona.
Get up to date alerts here: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/ahfss/animal_health/newcastle_disease_info.html