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Emergency Management Warning 34:

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. Laboratory confirmation for END was received today, February 4, 2003, for samples that were taken from a backyard flock in the State of Arizona. All birds on the infected premises in Arizona have been depopulated. 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 the States to consider additional resources to meet the labor demands. APHIS is continuing to develop a plan for national END surveillance. This plan will enhance the already extensive surveillance underway in California and Nevada.

Nevada Situation (as of 5:00 p.m. PST, February 3, 2003)

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. 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 2/3 report)

Number of contact premises: 89 (up 5 from 2/3 report)

Number of premises released: 0 (no change from 2/3 report)

Number of premises depopulated: 89

Premises waiting to be depopulated: 7

Birds depopulated to date: 1,648

Counties with positive flocks: Clark


California Situation (as of 5:00 p.m. PST, February 3, 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: 483 (up 10 from 2/3 report)

Number of contact premises: 1,038 (up 14 from 2/3 report)

Number of premises released: 28 (no change from 2/3 report)

Number of premises depopulated: 1,382

Premises waiting to be depopulated: 167

Birds depopulated to date: 1,790,466

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

Operational Update

Of the 96 premises in Nevada designated for depopulation, 92.7% have been completed.

Of the 1,549 premises in California designated for depopulation, 89.2% have been completed.

Samples taken from backyard birds from the State of Arizona came back positive for END. The sequencing identical to the END virus being found in California and Nevada.

The infected premises in Arizona has already been depopulated.

A short Incident Command Team has been dispatched and is working on surveillance in Arizona to assess the situation in Arizona.

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.

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

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.

Additional commercial premises are currently under investigation. Samples have been submitted for diagnostic testing. Virus isolation is pending.

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.

Veterinary officials from Mexico are observing Task Force surveillance, depopulation, and cleaning and disinfection operations in California and Nevada through the end of this week.

Outreach Activities


Public information staff has nine public meetings scheduled between January 30, 2003 and March 10, 2003. This is exclusive of meetings scheduled with bird clubs and other industry associations. Today, Task Force information personnel are holding a public meeting and information session for the Bloomington Advisory Counsel in San Bernardino County, CA.

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 on a continuous basis.

Task Force information personnel coordinated plans for the distribution of outreach materials and information in the State of Arizona.

Task Force information personnel prepared and distributed PowerPoint presentations and program documents to the Las Vegas Incident Command Post. Information personnel also reviewed and drafted responses for two letters from the public regarding Task Force activities.

The Task Force information staff implemented a new referred system for action items from the Joint Information Center's phone bank in the South Coast and Inland-Desert Incident Command Posts.

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 from early October 2002.

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.

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