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Emergency Management Warning 79:

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 22 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. * On April 9, 2003, END was confirmed in backyard fowl in Texas. 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 implemented a plan for enhanced national END surveillance.

* Situation Update (as of 8:00 p.m. PST, April 9, 2003)

Grand Total
Number of

Number of
premises released
58 83 0 0 141
Number of
premises positive
881 (no
change from
** 10
893 (up 1
from 4/9)
Number of
contact premises
1,533 (up 1
from 4/9)
1,664 (up 1
from 4/9)
Number of
premises depopulated
Premises waiting
to be depopulated
Birds depopulated
to date


Counties with quarantined
La Paz

Los Angeles
San Bernardino
San Diego

El Paso  

* The last infected premises in Arizona was depopulated on February 7, 2003.
** The last infected premises in Nevada was depopulated on January 29, 2003.

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.

• * END has been confirmed in backyard fowl near El Paso, TX. The sequencing at the cleavage site of the fusion protein gene is RRQKR/F, which is identical with that found in the Arizona, California, and Nevada isolates of ENDV. The nucleotide sequence of the 180 bp segment flanking the cleavage site is 100% identical with the Arizona, California, and Nevada isolates of ENDV. Additional sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of a larger segment of the matrix and fusion genes is in progress and should be available sometime next week. The infected flock contained 164 backyard fowl. The premises has been depopulated and depopulation of adjacent and dangerous contact sites has begun.

• * APHIS is proceeding with a declaration of extraordinary emergency and the establishment of a federal quarantine for the Texas counties of El Paso and Hudspeth, and the New Mexico counties of Luna, Dona Ana and Otero. An Incident Command Post is being established in El Paso, Texas, for task force activities in TX and NM.

•Currently there are 22 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), 7 premises in San Diego County (7 infected), and 11 premises in San Bernardino County (11 infected).
• * Of the 2,556 premises designated for depopulation, 98.1% have been completed.

* The Inland Desert and South Coast ICP's have realigned their service territories so that all of Los Angeles County will now be handled by the South Coast ICP. The South Coast ICP also will be responsible for all of San Diego County, except in cases involving commercial premises. Previously, the Inland Desert ICP handled portion of Los Angeles County, as well as certain areas of San Diego County (both backyard and commercial premises).

* 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.

Outreach Activities

• On a daily basis, Task Force 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 in 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 50 media outlets in California. In addition, in Area Command alone, the information staff field 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, 800-601-9327 or email

California Department of Food and Agriculture

Nevada Department of Agriculture

Arizona Department of