How Does It Spread?
Infected migratory birds (primarily waterfowl) have been carrying the disease from infected areas to new locations as they migrate. Because Alaska is at the cross roads of bird migration flyways, scientists believe the Asian bird flu will most likely arrive there. If it spreads to North America via migratory birds. The testing of migratory birds is being signifi cantly increased in 2006. The USDA and its cooperators (including the State of Delaware and the University of Delaware) plan to collect and test samples from wild birds known to be susceptible to avian influenza virus infections.
How Is the U.S. Being Protected from the Asian Bird Flu?
Surveillance is being performed in wild birds to detect H5N1. Routine monitoring is also being done in commercial and non-commercial backyard poultry. Enhanced biosecurity and rapid containment plans for poultry, if needed, have been developed by State and Federal agricultural agencies and the poultry industry to safeguard the United States against H5N1 HPAI.
What is the U.S. government doing to protect consumers and
poultry flocks against H5N1 HPAI?
Although H5N1 HPAI is not present and has never been reported in the U.S., the USDA has imposed restrictions on the importation of poultry and poultry products to prevent the introduction of H5N1into the U.S. these restrictions include:
Finally the U.S Government has developed a National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza involving the USDA, the Dept. of Health & Human Services, the Dept. of Interior and the Dept. of Homeland Security.
For further information please visit these websites:
What is Being Done Locally on Delmarva in Poultry?
Low pathogenic avian infl uenza (LPAI) broke out on three farms on Delmarva in 2004. Good planning, prompt diagnosis, fast action (establishment of farm quarantine zones, rapid depopulation, inhouse composting and proper decontamination) prevented further spread. Team work involving the State and Federal governments, the
poultry industry, the trade group Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc., and the Universities of Delaware and Maryland made this work so well. The diagnostic laboratories at the University of Delaware (Lasher Laboratory, Georgetown and Allen Laboratory, Newark) were especially important using the latest rapid technologies to detect avian infl uenza.
The experience gained during the 2004 outbreak is extremely useful in planning for future outbreaks.