Virulent Newcastle Disease

Chickens in a backyard

Informational alert for bird and chicken owners

Update from the State Veterinarian about Virulent Newcastle Disease (vND):

This is a contagious and fatal viral disease affecting birds and poultry. No cases have been found in birds or chickens in Contra Costa County although a case in the spring of 2019 in Alameda County and many confirmed cases in southern California mean bird owners should be on alert. vND is not a food safety concern. In rare instances, people in close contact with infected birds may get a mild fever or redness around the eyes, symptoms that usually go away without medical treatment. If you think you have a sick bird, call the Sick Bird Hotline at 866-922-2473.


Below are helpful links that provide more specific information about the biology of the pathogen, how it is spread, and how to protect commercial and backyard poultry:

California Department of Food and Agriculture vND information

Fact sheet in English (PDF) 

Fact sheet in Spanish (PDF) 

University of California Cooperative Extension vND information

US Department of Agriculture vND information