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Emergency Management Warning 32:

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 six 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 Force 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 States to consider additional resources to meet the labor demands. APHIS is developing a plan to enhance current national END surveillance.

Nevada Situation (as of 5:00 p.m. PST, January 30, 2003)

END has been confirmed in a backyard flock in Las Vegas, NV. Nevada does not have commercial poultry. Federal and State quarantines have been established for all of Clark County and a portion of Nye County, NV. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has also declared an extraordinary emergency. APHIS and the State of Nevada have begun surveillance efforts of the backyard bird population and have established a Task Force in Nevada.

Number of premises positive: 7 (no change from 1/30 report)

Number of contact premises: 79 (up 16 from 1/30 report)

Number of premises released: 0 (no change from 1/30 repot)

Number of premises depopulated: 78

Premises waiting to be depopulated: 8

Birds depopulated to date: 1,520

Counties with positive flocks: Clark

California Situation (as of 5:00 p.m. PST, January 30, 2003)

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.

Number of premises positive: 449 (up 12 from 1/30 report)

Number of contact premises: 987 (down 1 from 1/30 report)

Number of premises released: 28 (down 4 from 1/30 report)

Number of premises depopulated: 1,295

Premises waiting to be depopulated: 169

Birds depopulated to date: 1,667,542

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

Operational Update

* Of the 86 premises in Nevada designated for depopulation, 90.1% have been completed.

Of the 1,464 premises in California designated for depopulation, 88.5% 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.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has declared an extraordinary emergency for the States of California and Nevada. These declarations allow USDA to apply federal authority within California and Nevada.

Task Force personnel are conducting a door-to-door campaign to identify affected premises. Epidemiological investigations are ongoing. Entities that sell birds continue to be monitored in affected areas. If a flock tests positive, officials will quarantine the premises immediately and order the destruction of the flock as soon as it is logistically possible.

Once affected premises are identified and birds humanely depopulated, affected areas are being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Landfills, composting, and rendering are being used for safe disposal of affected birds and materials.

Outreach Activities

Tribal Nations in the States of Arizona, California, and Nevada have been contacted by APHIS representatives and have been updated about the END situation. Continued outreach information is being supplied to them on a continuous basis.

Task Force public information personnel are communicating daily information on Task Force surveillance, depopulation, and cleaning and disinfection operations to all affected City Managers in Southern California.

Currently, Task Force information personnel field approximately 450 calls per week from the public. This is a twenty-fold increase from the number of calls received in early October 2002.

Presently, the public information staff has nine public meetings scheduled between now and March 10th. This is exclusive of meetings scheduled with bird clubs and other industry associations.

Task force public information personnel are designing a door-hanger/information envelope for use by field crews at individual residences in affected areas.

The Task Force's request to establish a contract with a public relations firm for radio, direct mailing, print advertisement, and other specific minority outreach activities was submitted to the FSO yesterday.

The Task Force's public information staff, in cooperation with LPA in Riverdale, is preparing two new documents for distribution: The revised END brochure (which has been updated to include new information and photographs) and the END pest alert fact sheet. Delivery is anticipated within the next three weeks.

On a daily basis, the Task Force information staff provides media updates to approximately 35 media outlets in California.

In Area Command alone, Task Force public information personnel handle an average of 50 media calls per week.

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

Nevada Department of Agriculture