First Report that was received
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U.S.D.A. / A.P.H.I.S. Emergency Management Warning Issued October 3, 2002
Newcastle Disease (ND) Confirmed in California
ND has been confirmed in game fowl in the Los Angeles, CA area.ND is a contagious and fatal viral disease affecting domestic, wild, and caged birds. This disease in poultry is characterized by respiratory signs accompanied by nervous manifestations, gastrointestinal lesions, and swelling of the head.
On September 27, 2002, the National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) received tissue specimens from game fowl suffering high (90%) mortality; the owner lost 200 game fowl in 4-5 days. On September 29, 2002, NVSL isolated an avian paramyxovirus type-1 from the tissues. On October 1, 2002, NVSL confirmed that the virus has multiple basic amino acids at the fusion protein cleavage activation site, a sequence compatible with that of mesogenic/velogenic pathotypes. Reisolation of the virus from the original specimen is in progress.
The State of California has disease response teams in the field and are placing hold orders on all involved premises. Currently, there are six premises, three with clinical signs, involved in the ND situation in California. The premises are located in Compton, Lancaster, Norco, and Pico Rivers, CA, and a shipment that was intercepted in route to Ontario, CA. Two premises have already been depopulated and a third premises is waiting depopulation. None of the six premises involved are adjacent to any commercial poultry facilities. Preliminary epidemiological findings do not indicate that ND has spread to any other areas outside of the areas stated.
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is working with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to assess the extent of the spread and to contact bird owners about the disease.
Bird owners are urged to contact their local or State veterinarian immediately to report birds showing suspicious clinical signs.
States are urged to notify their industry and veterinary counterparts to be vigilant for clinical signs consistent with ND.
The following URL contains the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Fact sheet on ND.
CDFA will issue a press release today notifying the public of the ND outbreak.
If you have any additional questions, please contact the USDA, APHIS, Veterinary Services, Emergency Programs staff at 301-734-8073, 800-940-6524, or EMOC@APHIS.USDA.GOV.
Please forward this information to other Federal, State, and industry counterparts as necessary.

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