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Emergency Management Warning 92:

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 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 also 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 10:00 p.m. PST, May 11, 2003)

Operations in Progress

Current Statistics:
Personnel Assigned 1,027 40 1,067
Premises Currently Quarantined
Current Positive Premises
355 backyard
19 commercial
1 backyard
0 commercial
356 backyard
18 commercial
Current Contact Premises
352 backyard
1 commercial
2 backyard
0 commercial
354 backyard
1 commercial
Premises Pending Depopulation

Cumulative Statistics:
Total Premises Quarantined
Total Premises Released
Total Positive Premises
894 backyard (no change)
21 commercial (no change)
1 backyard (no change)
0 commercial (no change)
895 backyard (no change)
0 commercial (no change)
Total Premises Depopulated
2,430 (+7)
41 (no change)
2,471 (+7)
Total Birds Depopulated
3,492,545 (+465)
1,823 (no change)
3,494,368 (+465)
Counties with Currently Positive and/or Contact 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 still 19 commercial premises 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), 6 premises in San Diego County (6 infected), and 9 premises in San Bernardino County (9 infected).

A backyard premises near the town of Mojave in eastern Kern County, CA, has tested positive for END. The premises has epidemiological links to Los Angeles County, CA, which is currently in the quarantine zone. The virus had at the fusion protein cleavage site a multiple basic amino acid sequence (SGGRRQKR/FVGAI) compatible with and similar to that of previously isolated END viruses in Southern California. The positive premises and contact premises have been depopulated. APHIS is developing an expansion of the federal quarantine zone to encompass the southeast corner of Kern County.

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.

Outreach Activities

The Task Force recently participated in celebrations in California' Hispanic and Latino communities to help educate citizens about END. Approximately 500,000 people received Spanish-language educational materials at the Fiesta Broadway event. The Task Force also participated in the Cinco de Mayo celebration in Lincoln Park.

END Task Force personnel will pass out educational materials at their booth during a Mother's Day celebration in Bakersfield, CA. The sponsor of the celebration is a local Spanish-language radio station.

In conjunction with the Task Force, the Texas Animal Health Commission in Austin continues to send out information packets to stakeholder organizations; most recently, the commission has mailed materials to feed stores, veterinary clinics and pet stores.


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