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California detects VND outside quarantine zone

Aug. 30 case was first in San Diego County since virulent Newcastle disease outbreak began in May 2018.

California state veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones announced Aug. 31 a new detection of virulent Newcastle disease (VND) on Aug. 30 at a property in central San Diego County, Cal.

According to Jones, "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 & Food Safety Laboratory System."

San Diego County had not been part of the regional VND quarantine put in place in February 2019.

Jones noted that VND response team members from the California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture worked through the Labor Day 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."

While this was the first case in San Diego County, it was the second case detected in California in August, after no VND detections since early June.

"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," Jones said. "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 webpage.

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