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Emergency Management Warning 49:

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 17 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 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 has developed a plan for nation END surveillance. This plan enhances the already extensive surveillance underway.

* Situation Update (as of 5:00 p.m. PST, February 26, 2003)

Grand Total
*Number of premises positive 1 (no change from 2/26) * 709 (up 5 from 2/26) * 9 (up 1 from 2/26) * 719 (up 6 from 2/26)
*Number of contact premises 3 (no change from 2/26) * 1,300 (up 1 from 2/26) * 126 (down 1 from 2/26) 1,429 (no change from 2/26)
*Number of premises depopulated 4 * 1,851 135 * 1,990
*Premises waiting to be depopulated 0 * 158 0 * 158
*Birds depopulated to date 239 * 2,485,461 2,560 * 2,488,260
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.

* Currently there are 17 commercial flocks in the State of California affected by END. The breakdown of the commercial premises involved is as follows: 4 premises in Riverside County (3 infected and 1 contact), 5 counties in San Diego County (5 infected), and 8 premises in San Bernardino County (8 infected).

* * Of the 2,148 premises designated for depopulation, 92.6% have been completed.

* The Central Valley Incident Command Post in Modesto, CA, is staffed and working cooperatively with approximately 15 20 county officials to implement efficient surveillance measures throughout the Central Valley.

* * The Agriculture Multi-Agency Coordination (AgMAC) Group met on February 26, 2003, to discuss the END situation, resource availability, State personnel legislation, and future personnel needs. The AgMAC is scheduled to have a follow-up meeting March 5, 2003, and will meet weekly to address issues as they emerge.

* * Three Veterinarians from the Mexican State of Baja California arrived for duty with the Task Force. The veterinarians are part of an eight-member volunteer unit, ad they will be stationed at the Inland Desert Incident Command Post (ICP).

* * An expert panel on poultry diseases visited the Inland Desert ICP, the South Coast ICP, and the San Bernardino laboratory locations to discuss testing, permitting, risk assessment, and industry relationships. Members of the group include representatives from the Agriculture Research Service, Penn State University, Ohio State University, and the University of California at Davis.

* APHIS has developed a distributed a plan to enhance national END surveillance. This plan will enhance the already extensive surveillance underway in Arizona, California and Nevada.

* Outreach Activities

* * An interview was taped with Dr. Collazo-Mattei to air in March on the Clark County, NV public access channel.

* * Public service announcements were recorded in both English and Spanish to air on local radio stations in Nevada.

* * Information was electronically mailed to gamefowl breeders in the United States.

* * An END handout was mailed to 350 veterinarians in Nevada.

* * A full page public service announcement was placed in the Nevada Spanish-language weekly newspaper, "El Mundo."

* * Surveillance operations have contacted area feed stores, pet stores, and post offices to distribute information materials in the State of Nevada.

* * A community meeting was held at Von Tobel Middle School (just outside the containment area in Nevada). A PowerPoint program was presented followed by a brief question and answer period. There were 35 community members in attendance.

* * Weekly media updates are held at the staging area in Nevada to brief the press about END. The most recent update focused on a new agreement for pet stores to begin selling birds under special circumstances.

* * An informational booth at the western States Veterinary Association's Annual Conference was staffed to distribute information and recruit veterinarians to assist in the current outbreak. The conference was held at the Mandaley Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, NV.

* On February 16, 2003, informational materials were distributed at a Wal-Mart store in Nevada adjacent to the 3K buffer zone and a park within the 3K buffer zone.

* On February 15, 2003, a meeting was held with the Silver State pigeon racing association located within the 3K buffer zone in Nevada. A short presentation was followed by questions and answers.

* On February 9, 2003, a presentation was given to the Las Vegas Bird Club explaining the current outbreak of END and its impact on the transportation and health of exotic birds.



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