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Emergency Management Warning 23:

Exotic Newcastle Disease Confirmed in the United States

Exotic Newcastle disease (END) was confirmed on October 1, 2002, in the State of California, and has now spread beyond backyard flocks to affect five commercial operations in California. On January 16, 2003, END was also confirmed in a backyard flock in the State of Nevada. Clinical signs in infected birds include respiratory, nervous, and gastrointestinal signs. Mortality is up to 90% of exposed birds. Investigations are on-going and all figures are pending final validation. Veterinary Services is working rapidly to expand staff on the Task Forces in the States of California and Nevada and is exploring all options to send Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) personnel, other federal government personnel, and is working with the states to consider additional resources to meet the labor demands.

Nevada Situation

END has been confirmed in a backyard flock in Las Vegas, NV. Federal and state quarantines have been established for all of Clark County and a portion of Nye County, NV. APHIS has also declared an extraordinary emergency. APHIS and the State of Nevada have begun surveillance efforts of the backyard bird population and have begun efforts to establish a Task Force in Nevada. The affected backyard flock is being depopulated.

Situation Update (as of 11:00 a.m. EST, January 17, 2003):

Number of premises positive: 1

Number of contacts: 1

Number of premises depopulated: 0

Premises waiting to be depopulated: 2

Operational Update (as of 11:00 a.m. EST, January 17, 2003):

Of the 2 premises designated for depopulation, 0% have been completed.

Effective January 17, 2003, APHIS imposed a federal quarantine that regulates the interstate movement of all species of birds and poultry products from all of Clark County and portions of Nye County, NV. The state has a quarantine of the same region.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has declared an extraordinary emergency. The extraordinary emergency allows USDA to apply federal authority within the State of Nevada.

The Forest Service has an Incident Management Team in place in Las Vegas, NV, working on standing up and staffing the Task Force.

Outreach Activities (as of 11:00 a.m. EST, January 17, 2003):

The State of Nevada had a press conference January 16, 2003, to announce the END situation in Nevada.

APHIS will be staffing the Task Force with a Public Affairs Specialist to conduct an outreach program to inform the public about END and how to avoid infection.

California Situation

Officials with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and APHIS continue to work closely on efforts to control the END outbreak in Southern California. USDA has instituted a federal quarantine zone that serves as a buffer around the END-affected area in Southern California. The department has also declared an extraordinary emergency to provide additional resources and authorities to the eradication campaign for END in Southern California.

Situation Update (as of 5:00 p.m. PST, January 16, 2003):

Number of premises positive: 358 (up 5 from 1/16 report)

Number of dangerous contacts: 878 (up 15 from 1/16 report)

Number of premises released: 4 (no change from 1/16 report)

Number of premises depopulated: 878

Premises waiting to be depopulated: 358

Birds depopulated to date: 734,138 (approximate)

Counties with positive flocks: Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura.

Operational Update (as of 11:00 a.m. EST, January 17, 2003):

Of the 1,240 premises designated for depopulation, 70.8% have been completed.

Effective January 7, 2003, APHIS imposed a federal quarantine that regulates the interstate movement of all species of birds and poultry products from Imperial, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties, CA. USDA has declared an extraordinary emergency. The extraordinary emergency allows USDA to apply federal authority within the State of California.

California Governor Gray Davis declared a State of emergency in the fight against the END outbreak in California. The emergency declaration will enable State agencies to pool resources and work cooperatively with CDFA in addressing the response to the incident.

Outreach Activities (as of 5:00 p.m. PST, January 16, 2003):

The Task Force is intensifying its already significant community outreach and communications efforts to better inform the public about END and how to avoid infection. A contractor has been hired to work to improve outreach. Public meetings are held regularly.

The only telephone number that will now appear on public handouts and information materials is 1-800-491-1899. Directing calls to this single number will facilitate public communications and Task Force responsiveness.

An 800 number has been established to answer commercial permitting questions. The number is 1-800-601-9327. This number will be manned Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and on Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Information will be posted on APHIS' web page notifying bird owners of the quarantine policy. The Task Force hotline is staffed by a Veterinary Medical Officer who is prepared to answer questions from bird owners about the quarantine.

Earlier in the week, Task Force personnel held a public meeting and information session with the largest regional game bird association in the area. Personnel distributed information and offered a multimedia presentation on the disease. This was the third such meeting with game bird groups. A fourth meeting is planned.

Task Force public relations personnel are in close contact with various city officials in affected communities. They regularly distribute information on Task Force activities.

Definitions

Emergency Management Issue is for information with no impact on APHIS
Emergency Management Notice is an ongoing incident with potential impact on APHIS
Emergency Management Warning is an ongoing incident with almost certain impact on APHIS

  Photo of chickens behind a wire fence.
For More Information

California END Hotline 800-491-1899

To contact APHIS Veterinary Services' Emergency Program Staff, call 301-734-8073, 800-940-6524 or email emoc@usda.gov

California Department of Food and Agriculture