Virulent Newcastle’s Disease

Virulent Newcastle’s Disease, also known as exotic Newcastle’s Disease, is one of the most deadly diseases of poultry worldwide causing death in almost 100% of unvaccinated birds that become infected. However, it can also cause disease and death in vaccinated birds. In early April 2019, the first case of this disease was diagnosed in northern Arizona.


Clinical signs of this disease include: sneezing, gasping for air, nasal discharge, coughing, greenish/watery diarrhea, decreased activity, tremors, drooping wings, twisting of head and neck, circling, complete stiffness, sudden death and increased death loss in flock.

This virus is able to spread via both direct and indirect contact. Direct contact transmission occurs when a bird comes in contact with bodily fluids from sick birds. Indirect transmission occurs when the virus is spread on farming equipment, eggs, crates or individuals with the virus on their shoes or clothing.

Biosecurity measures are steps taken to help prevent introduction of harmful diseases in your flock. Important steps to help prevent Virulent Newcastle’s disease include limiting introduction of new birds (especially if vaccination status is unknown) to your flock, separating young birds from older birds, and disinfection of all materials, equipment, and people (shoes/clothes) that work on your farm/property. Our veterinary team can help you develop biosecurity protocols to help protect your flock. Additional information on biosecurity for all poultry flocks can be found at www.aphis.usda.gov/animalhealth/defendtheflock.


If you are concerned about this disease in your flock, please let our team member know when you call.