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Emergency Management Warning 40:

Exotic Newcastle Disease Confirmed in the United States

All information in the following Notice marked with an asterisk (*) identifies changes since the last Notice was sent out.

Exotic Newcastle disease (END) was confirmed on October 1, 2002, in the State of California, and has now spread beyond backyard flocks to affect eight commercial operations in California. On January 16, 2003, END was also confirmed in a backyard flock in the State of Nevada. A backyard flock was confirmed with END on February 4, 2003, in the State of Arizona. 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 Arizona, 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.

* Situation Update (as of 5:00 p.m. PST, February 11, 2003)

  Arizona California Nevada Grand Total
Number of premises positive 1 (no change from 2/11) 560 (up 25 from 2/11) 8 (no change from 2/11) 569 (up 25 from 2/11)
Number of contact premises 3 (no change from 2/11) 1,188 (down 1 from 2/11) 106 (up 8 from 2/11) 1,297 (up 7 from 2/11)
Number of premises released 0 (no change from 2/11) 10 (no change from 2/11) 0 (no change from 2/11) 10 (no change from 2/11)
Number of premises depopulated 4 1,476 110 1,590
Premises waiting to be depopulated 0 282 4 286
Birds depopulated to date 289 2,071,442 1,819 2,073,550
Counties with positive flocks La Paz Los Angeles
San Bernardino
San Diego

Operational Update

* 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.

* Effective February 10, 2003, APHIS imposed a federal quarantine that regulates the interstate movement of all species of birds and poultry products from all of La Paz and Yuma Counties and a portion of Mohave County, AZ.

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

* * Of the 1,876 premises designated for depopulation, 84.8% have been completed.

* Currently there are seven commercial premises in the State of California infected with END and an additional premises considered to be a contact premises to an infected premises. The affected premises are located in Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties, CA.

* 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.

* 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.

* Task Force personnel, in close collaboration with the California State Highway Patrol, are exploring the possibility of establishing inspection stations on Interstate 5. Personnel are also discussing border control and voluntary compliance issues.

* APHIS is developing a plan to enhance national END surveillance. This plan will enhance the already extensive surveillance underway in California and Nevada. Currently, an ICP is being established in Arizona.

* CDFA's Division of Fairs and Expositions has issued an official recommendation that the California Fairs Boards adopt a local policy to suspend all poultry shows for the 2003 fairs seasons.

Outreach Activities

* * Task Force information staff distributed five public service announcements in English and Spanish to radio stations in the greater Las Vegas, NV, area. Information personnel are also currently working with Las Vegas cable access channels to promote Task Force activities.

* * Public information officers provided on-site support to depopulation crews within the designated area in Little Rock, CA.

* * Reporters from National Geographic interviewed Task Force Co-Area Commanders for use in a 4 to 5 minute news segment on END and Task Force activities that will air on the "National Geographic Today" program on the National Geographic Channel. The public information staff provided National Geographic with footage of field work.

* Task Force information staff sent Power Point presentations on biosecurity for commercial and backyard premises to all Incident Command Posts.

* Task Force information personnel are sending information materials to the Central Valley Incident Command Post (ICP) for use in surveillance. In addition, a public information officer has been identified for assignment to the Central Valley ICP.

* Task Force information personnel coordinated a joint press release with the Colorado River Indian Tribe to announce the newly designated infected backyard premises in Arizona. Since the announcement, the information staff has received over 20 media calls related to the newly designated infected premises in the State.

* Public information staff provided liaison work for the Task Force with the Garden Grove Police Department in anticipation of Area Command's and the South Coast ICP's move later this month to a new facility.

* 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 have reviewed all publications currently used by field crews and are in the process of revising these documents to make them more reader-friendly. Task Force information personnel are designing and preparing for distribution a door-hanger/information envelope for use by field crews at individual residences in affected areas.

* PowerPoint presentations designed to help inform the public about END have been revised and distributed to all ICP's.

* On a daily basis, Task Force public information personnel are communicating information concerning 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. On average, approximately 300 of these calls require follow-up action by the ICP's.

* The Task Force information staff provides daily updates to approximately 35 media outlets in California. In Area Command alone, Task Force public information personnel handle an average of 70 media calls per week.


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

California Department of Food and Agriculture

Nevada Department of Agriculture

Arizona Department of