October 2018 California Newcastle Disease Update

Virulent Newcastle Disease (vND) continues on at a low level in California backyard chicken flocks, illustrating how difficult it is to effectively control this disease, especially when it is disseminated in the backyard flock community.  Because it is such a serious disease, all bird owners should be vigilant.
vND has not been found in commercial poultry in the US since 2003, according to the USDA.  The disease can be spread via contaminated workers’ hands and clothing, equipment, or directly bird-to-bird.  While symptoms similar to several other diseases may occur (respiratory signs, abnormal gait, diarrhea), birds may also die without showing any clinical signs.  Please investigate and report unusual losses of birds to your state vet or to Extension, and please follow good biosecurity practices (see summary on the USDA website).

For more information and an update on confirmed cases please see the USDA website at www.aphis.usda.gov/animalhealth/vnd.