Virulent Newcastle Disease confirmed at live bird market

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(Calilfornia Department of Food and Agriculture screenshot)

United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed three additional cases of virulent Newcastle disease in Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, California, last week.

Live bird market

One of the three cases was at a live bird market. Birds from the affected live bird market have been depopulated and the market has been cleaned and disinfected to prevent additional spread of the disease. As a precautionary measure, all 34 markets in the Los Angeles area have also been cleaned and disinfected.

Containment efforts

Over the past few weeks, the response team intensified its efforts and identified additional cases of vND within existing disease-control areas. Affected flocks are quickly euthanized. Together, these actions will help us prevent additional disease spread and eradicate the disease more quickly.

USDA is announcing confirmed vND cases weekly. Cases are still being tested and confirmed as they are identified. If there is a finding in a new state or a different segment of the industry, USDA will issue an announcement for that case immediately. A complete list of confirmed cases is available on USDA’s website at www.aphis.usda.gov/animalhealth/vnd.

More information

Virulent Newcastle disease has not been found in commercial poultry in the United States since 2003.

No human cases of Newcastle disease have ever occurred from eating poultry products. Properly cooked poultry products are safe to eat. In very rare instances, people working directly with sick birds can become infected. Symptoms are usually very mild and limited to conjunctivitis. Infection is easily prevented by using standard personal protective equipment.

Samples from the flocks were tested at the California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory System (CAHFS). The APHIS National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, confirms all findings. APHIS is working closely with the California Department of Food and Agriculture to respond to these findings and to conduct an epidemiological investigation. Federal and State partners are also conducting additional surveillance and testing in the area. 

In addition to practicing good biosecurity, all bird owners should report sick birds or unusual bird deaths to State/Federal officials, either through their state veterinarian or USDA’s toll-free number at 1-866-536-7593. Additional information on biosecurity for backyard flocks can be found at Biosecurity for Birds.

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