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Emergency Management Warning 89:

Exotic Newcastle Disease Confirmed in the United States

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.

Current Statistics (as of 8:00 p.m. PST, April 30, 2003)

Operations in Progress

Current Statistics:
Personnel Assigned 1,034 84 1,118
Premises Currently Quarantined
Current Positive Premises
832 backyard
21 commercial
1 backyard
0 commercial
833 backyard
21 commercial
Current Contact Premises
685 backyard
1 commercial
39 backyard
0 commercial
724 backyard
1 commercial
Premises Pending Depopulation

Cumulative Statistics:
Total Premises Quarantined
17,068 (+68)
783 (+340)
17,851 (+408)
Total Premises Released
348 (+211)
0 (no change)
348 (+211)
Total Positive Premises
892 backyard (+1)
21 commercial (no change)
1 backyard (no change)
0 commercial (no change)
893 backyard (+1)
0 commercial (no change)
Total Premises Depopulated
Total Birds Depopulated
3,491,418 (+264)
2,006 (no change)
3,493,424 (+264)
Counties with Quarantined Premises
Los Angeles
San Bernadino
San Diego
El Paso

Completed Operations (Final Numbers)

Total Infected Premises


Total Contact Premises
Total Premises Quarantined
Total Premises Released
Total Premises Depopulated
Total Birds Depopulated
Last Infected Premises Deopulated

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.

• A quarantine was placed on a portion of New Mexico because of its proximity to the infected area in the State of Texas

• 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).

• DNA sequencing analysis confirms that the Texas END outbreak was caused by a separate introduction of virus and not by movement of virus from the affected areas in California, Nevada, or Arizona. Intensified surveillance in El Paso County, TX, and the surrounding areas has yielded no further positive cases, suggesting that our early detection and swift response has worked well to contain and eliminate this outbreak.

• On April 25, 2003, members of the El Paso ICP finalized the compliance agreement between the State of New Mexico and a large commercial egg-laying facility in that State. The company has agreed to enhance their biosecurity measures and submit samples to the Task Force to testing.

• APHIS’ enhanced surveillance plan includes the surveillance of 13,638 premises from the Central California Incident Command Post (ICP). Surveillance numbers for the Inland Desert and South Coast ICP’s were unavailable at the time this report was prepared.

Outreach Activities

• Over the next several weeks, the Task Force will be participating in celebrations in California's Hispanic and Latino communities to help educate citizens about End. Approximately 500,000 people will receive Spanish-language educational materials at the Fiesta Broadway event. The Task Force will also participate in the Cinco de Mayo celebrations in Lincoln Park.

• 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