Status as of 08/21/03
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Exotic Newcastle Disease (END), confirmed on October 1, 2002 in California, is now in the final phase of eradication. The incidence of disease has dropped significantly and the END Task Force has released many individual properties from quarantine and the regional quarantine has been reduced. The disease has not been found in commercial poultry facilities since late March 2003, and all commercial poultry producers within the regulated area continue to participate in a weekly monitoring program.
In addition, birds are being tested within the quarantine zone in Southern California to confirm that the disease is no longer present, with the goal of releasing state and federal quarantines. If you, as a resident, are asked to have your birds sampled, your cooperation can help speed-up the process. While it is not known exactly when the regional quarantines will be lifted, it is likely that some areas may be released over the next few months and potentially, all quarantines may be removed by the end of the year, providing that no additional disease is found.
Although it appears that END is near total eradication in the United States, nothing should be taken for granted. The infectious nature and hardiness of this disease is an ever-present reality, and we should all continue to take precautions to avoid the reintroduction of the disease.