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Enhanced Avian Influenza Surveillance in Wild Birds Begins

Cara J

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Between now and March 2016, highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) surveillance in wild birds will increase as biologists with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services (WS) program and its State partners collect approximately 41,000 samples from apparently healthy wild birds from targeted areas throughout the United States. Samples will be collected primarily from live-captured and hunter-harvested dabbling ducks, such as American black duck, American green-winged teal, mallard, and Northern pintail. Additionally, environmental fecal samples from waterfowl and samples from morbidity and mortality events of all wild bird species will also be collected. Results from the surveillance effort will be incorporated into national risk assessments, and preparedness and response planning efforts to reduce HPAI risks to commercial poultry, backyard poultry, game bird farms, wild birds, wild bird rehabilitation facilities, falconry birds, and captive bird collections in zoos/aviaries. “The early detection of avian influenza remains key to controlling its spread and minimizing its effects,” states Dr. Tom Gidlewski, program manager for WS National Wildlife Disease Program. “Surveillance helps warn us of any re-assortments or changes in low or highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses in wild birds which may be detrimental to our country’s domestic flocks.” Since December 2014, the USDA has [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/enhanced-avian-influenza-surveillance-in-wild-birds-begins/

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