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Exotic Newcastle Disease (END)
Exotic Newcastle Disease (END) is another name for Velogenic Viscerotropic Newcastle Disease (VVND), which is one of the most infectious diseases of poultry worldwide, caused by a particularly virulent strain of the newcastle disease virus. It is a very contagious and fatal disease which affects all species of domestic and wild birds. Some species do not show any or have limited signs of disease if they become infected, including parrots and other psittacine birds. Most infected chickens and turkeys eventually die from this disease but there is a period before they succumb when they can easily spread the virus.
END has historically been a problem in California. The virus has been detected nearly every year in California, primarily in psitticine and free-flying wild-bird species. Major outbreaks have occurred in 1971 and again in 2002, in which the source was tracked back to illegally imported gamefowl. Within the first week of the outbreak response alone, more than 5,000 noncommercial birds were depopulated and 30 backyard flocks placed under quarantine in a three-county area. Ultimately, nearly 300,000 premises were visited during the outbreak, and 90,000 of them had avian species, primarily poultry.
How is the disease transmitted?
The NDV is primarily transmitted to birds via inhalation or ingestion of virus particles, which can be found in feces or respiratory secretions from infected birds (many of whom may not actually show any signs of being infected), or from exposure to fomites (objects such as clothes and equipment used by humans), or humans. The virus can survive for several weeks in a warm, humid environment, and indefinitely in frozen material. It is however, rapidly destroyed by dehydration and sunlight, 1 minute at boiling temperature, or by common household disinfectants
What is the incubation period?
The incubation period is typically 2–15 days post-exposure. Poultry can shed the virus in their feces for up to 1-2 weeks following infection. Psittacine birds (parrots, parakeets, and macaws) can shed the virus for several months to 1 year following infection (who most often show no signs of being infected).
Pedersen, Janice C., et al. Phylogenetic relationships among virulent Newcastle disease virus isolates from the 2002-2003 outbreak in California and other recent outbreaks in North America. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 42.5 (2004)
Pearson, G. L., and M. K. McCann The role of indigenous wild, semidomestic, and exotic birds in the epizootiology of velogenic viscerotropic Newcastle disease in southern California, 1972-1973.. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 167.7 (1975)