A disease that caused the depopulation of more than 1 million California birds looks to be on the decline.
According to USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, the last confirmed case of the disease was a June 4 detection in Riverside County, the 448th such premises in California to have a reported outbreak. Infections have primarily been in the Los Angeles area and in surrounding counties. Single detections were also reported in Utah and Arizona.
According to a report from the American Veterinary Medical Association, four commercial flocks made up around 820,000 of the approximately 1.2 million birds depopulated because of the disease. The rest were primarily from small backyard flocks described by APHIS as “exhibition chickens.”
The disease spreads through feces, feathers, respiratory secretions, and materials like clothing. According to AVMA, the virus has a 21-day life cycle, and “once APHIS officials determine the virus likely has been eradicated, they plan for at least two rounds of surveillance testing on 21-day cycles.”
APHIS says the disease poses no food safety concern and no human cases have ever occurred from eating poultry products. Cases of human infection from those working directly with affected birds are rare and can be “easily” prevented with personal protective equipment.
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