Improving Preparation and Response to Virulent Newcastle Disease (vND) in Southern California
From Poultry Ponderings
Virulent Newcastle Disease or vND is the chicken equivalent of Ebola (aka it kills a lot of birds including domestic poultry). VND is highly contagious and causes high (typically over 70%) morbidity as well as significant drops in egg production in “well-vaccinated” layer hens. While vND is not endemic in the U.S., periodic outbreaks (including 3 outbreaks in Southern California over the last 50 years) have resulted in the death and/or depopulation of millions of birds and hundreds of millions of dollars in economic costs.
The introduction and spread of vND during these outbreaks typically follow a pattern from non-commercial chickens to commercial chickens. Therefore, working with non-commercial poultry owners in historically affected areas of Southern California is an essential step toward improving preparedness.
To address these challenges, UC Davis was recently awarded a 4-year, $1 million grant to leverage social media, disease modeling and extension to improve preparation and response.
Article authors include: Maurice Pitesky, Joseph Gendreau, Myrna Cadena, Alec Michael, Theresa Valdez, Ashley Railey and Jingwen Zhang