In a post on the California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) website, California state veterinarian Dr. Annette Jones indicated that new cases of virulent Newcastle disease (VND) were detected on Nov. 14 at two neighboring residential properties in western San Bernardino County, Cal.
Jones said these are the first detections of VND in southern California since Sept. 4, and the cases were identified when a bird owner at one of the properties contacted a veterinarian.
VND response team members from CDFA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are working to establish control measures, including mandatory euthanasia of infected and exposed birds and surveillance testing near the property where infection was detected, Jones said.
"We are moving quickly to investigate the origin of disease," she added.
Detections of VND have decreased greatly over the last few months, Jones said, noting that CDFA's 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," she said
More information about VND, including biosecurity guidelines to keep birds healthy, is available on CDFA's VND webpage.
On Oct. 22, CDFA reported that the VND response team had moved into the "freedom of disease" phase of the response plan, with continued testing and surveillance to help determine VND eradication and allow the regional quarantine to be lifted.
The current VND outbreak in southern California began in May 2018 and has affected primarily backyard and exhibition poultry and birds, although four commercial operations were affected. Cases had also been detected in Utah and Arizona that were determined to have originated in southern California.