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Virulent Newcastle Disease (VND)
Other Names: Exotic Newcastle Disease
Virulent Newcastle disease (VND), formerly known as Exotic Newcastle Disease, is a serious, highly contagious viral disease caused by the avian paramyxovirus. It affects both domestic and wild birds, including chickens.
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.
VND 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.
VND is primarily transmitted by the movement of infected birds, but also by people who have the virus on their clothes or shoes, and by equipment or vehicles that can carry and transport the disease from place to place.
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.
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)
Exposure to wild birds
Living in areas where prior outbreaks have occurred.