The California Department of Food and Agriculture, the US Department of Agriculture and local government partners continue their work to eradicate a virulent Newcastle disease outbreak in Southern California. There are now 138 cases of the disease that have been detected in backyard birds in California – 92 in San Bernardino County, 21 in Riverside County, 23 in Los Angeles County and one (1) in Ventura County.

A reminder that virulent Newcastle disease is a highly contagious and deadly virus in birds. The virus is found in respiratory discharges and feces. Clinical signs in birds include:

  • Sneezing
  • coughing 
  • nasal discharge 
  • green watery diarrhea 
  • depression 
  • neck twisting 
  • circling 
  • muscle tremors 
  • paralysis
  • decreased egg production 
  • swelling around eyes and neck 
  • sudden death

Important Message to Bird Owners in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties

If you own backyard birds, it is imperative that you restrict movement of your flock. Do not bring in any new birds or move out any existing birds. It is essential that good biosecurity measures are set in place for those who own backyard birds. These include simple steps like:

1) Washing hands and scrubbing boots BEFORE and AFTER entering poultry areas

2) Cleaning and disinfecting tires and equipment before moving them off the property

3) Instituting a 30-day isolation/quarantine of birds in your flock in which you have noticed symptoms, AND PLEASE CALL THE STATE BIRD HOTLINE, 866-922-2473.