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Emergency Management Warning 52:

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. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) personnel and other federal government personnel are working with the States to consider additional resources to meet the labor demands at the Task Forces. APHIS has developed a plan for national END surveillance. This plan will enhance the already extensive surveillance underway.

* Situation Update (as of 5:00 p.m. PST, March 3, 2003)

Grand Total
*Number of premises positive 1 (no change from 3/3) * 744 (up 23 from 2/28) 9 (no change from 3/3) * 759 (up 5 from 3/3)
*Number of contact premises 3 (no change from 3/3) * 1,500 (up 16 from 3/3) 126 (no change from 3/3) * 1,629 (up 16 from 3/3)
*Number of premises depopulated 4 * 1,929 135 * 2,068
*Premises waiting to be depopulated 0 * 320 0 * 320
*Birds depopulated to date 239 * 3,114,908 2,563 * 3,117,710
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 2,388 premises designated for depopulation, 86.6% have been completed.

* In conjunction with the outreach efforts of the Central California Command post, Stanislaus County personnel have begun END surveillance efforts. This cooperative approach was finalized in an agreement signed by Task Force and County officials last week. Similar agreements with approximately 15 other counties in that region should soon follow.

* The California Department of Fish and Game is in the process of providing educational material about END to State hunting license vendors for distribution in their establishments. The Department is also hosting a Turkey Hunting Expo this weekend and plans to distribute information about the disease to attendees. Additionally, on March 8, 2003, the officials from the Department will be distributing END information to participants attending a wildlife rehabilitation seminar in Santa Barbara. A representative from the Department serves as an Agency Representative to Area Command.

* 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, the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Ohio State University, and the University of California at Davis.

* Task Force personnel, in close collaboration with the California State Highway Patrol, have agreed to establish an inspection station at the commercial truck weighing station on Interstate 5 at Castaic. Personnel will perform visual inspections of commercial vehicles that contain birds or poultry. Further, California State Highway Patrol officers will remain alert for commercial poultry vehicles they see in and around quarantine zones and those officers will notify the Task Force with any information pertinent to the Task Force mission.

Outreach Activities

* This week, Task Force personnel from the Las Vegas Incident Command Post met with officials from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Las Vegas. Chamber of Commerce officials plan to assist the Task Force mission by distributing END educational materials at Hispanic grocery stores.

* Task Force personnel at the South Coast Incident Command Post have begun distributing END educational materials in the utility bills of residents who live in areas highly affected by the virus.

* 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 through the Joint Information Center phone bank. 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 Inland Desert or South Coast Incident Command Posts.

* The Task Force information staff provides daily updates to approximately 35 media outlets in California. In addition, in Area Command alone, the information staff fields approximately 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