APHIS confirms Newcastle disease case in California

-The Hagstrom Report

The Agriculture Department’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service today confirmed virulent Newcastle disease in a third commercial poultry flock in California.

The latest case is in a commercial layer flock in Riverside County. This finding is part of an outbreak in southern California that began in May 2018 in backyard exhibition birds, APHIS said.

“Virulent Newcastle disease is not a food safety concern,” APHIS noted. “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 and/or influenza-like symptoms. Infection is easily prevented by using standard personal protective equipment.”

APHIS said it is working closely with the California Department of Food and Agriculture to respond to the finding, limit the disease’s spread in commercial poultry, and then eradicate it.

“Federal and state partners are conducting additional surveillance and testing in the area, and are working with nearby commercial farms to increase biosecurity to prevent additional disease spread,” APHIS said.