Exotic Newcastle Disease
Exotic Newcastle disease (END) is a contagious and fatal viral disease affecting all species of birds. Previously known as velogenic viscerotropic Newcastle disease (VVND), END is probably one of the most infectious diseases of poultry in the world. END is so virulent that many birds die without showing any clinical signs. A death rate of almost 100 percent can occur in unvaccinated poultry flocks. END can infect and cause death even in vaccinated poultry.
In 1971, a major outbreak occurred in commercial poultry flocks in southern California. The disease threatened not only the California poultry industry but the entire U.S. poultry and egg supply. In all, 1,341 infected flocks were identified, and almost 12 million birds were destroyed. Eradication efforts cost taxpayers $56 million ($228 million in 2002 dollars), severely disrupted the operations of many producers, and increased the prices of poultry and poultry products to consumers.