The USDA Animal and Plant Health Service has established the occurrence of a virulent strain of Newcastle disease in a minor flock of chickens in Los Angeles County in mid-May. Since then, another flock tested positive for the virulent strain of Newcastle disease in San Bernardino County. These are the first cases since 2003 in the United States.
The virulent strain of Newcastle disease is a very contagious and very fatal viral disease that mainly affects the digestive, respiratory and nervous systems of poultry and birds. The virus can be so virulent that some affected birds may die without even showing symptoms. The death rate in unvaccinated flocks is 100%. There are some cases of death even in vaccinated poultry.
The Animal and Plant Health Service states that there are no cases of human cases of the disease so far and that properly and fully cooked poultry products are safe for consumption.
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