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Emergency Management Warning 81:

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 13, 2003)

Grand Total
Number of premises
2 16,128

154 33 16,317
Number of premises released 58 90 0 0 148
Number of premises positive *1 884 (up 3 from 4/11)
** 10 1 (no change since 4/10) 896 (up 3 from 4/11)
Number of contact premises 3 1,534 (up 1
from 4/11)
128 27 (up 19 from 4/11) 1,692 (up 20 from 4/11)
Number of premises depopulated 4 2,372 138 27 2,541
Premises waiting
to be depopulated
0 46 0 1 47
Birds depopulated
to date
269 3,455,610 2,746 1,876


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.

Effective April 10, 2003, APHIS imposed a federal quarantine that regulates the interstate movement of all species of birds and poultry products from all of El Paso and Hudspeth Counties, TX, and Dona Ana, Luna, and Otero Counties, NM. The federal quarantine was placed on counties beyond the infected county due to their proximity to the infected county.

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

* 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 2,588 premises designated for depopulation, 98.2% have been completed.

* APHIS' enhanced surveillance plan includes the surveillance of 22,410 premises from the Central California Task Force, 3,474 premises from the Inland Desert Task Force, and 750 premises from the South Coast Task Force. All of these premises currently reside outside the quarantined area in the State of California.

* 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

* The Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) distributed a 5,550 piece END mail-out to veterinarians, bird owners, producers, and agriculture teachers who do not have access to e-mail or fax machines. TAHC also faxed to approximately 3,300 sites and e-mailed to an additional 30,000 sites information regarding the END outbreak in Texas.

* TAHC veterinarians held a local news conference with the El Paso County, TX, emergency preparedness officials to brief the public on the END situation.

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

Texas Animal Health Commission