USDA, DOI, and HHS Expand Screening for Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Avian Influenza in Migratory Birds

News Article -

        Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns, Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton, and Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt announced further measures to ensure the protection of people, domestic poultry and wild birds by unveiling an enhanced national framework for early detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in wild migratory birds in the United States. This readiness plan and system builds on, significantly expands and unifies ongoing efforts among federal, state, regional, and local wildlife agencies. Those agencies have been monitoring and testing for the presence of the highly pathogenic H5N1 virus in migratory birds for several years.
        The increased efforts come as the spring migration of migratory birds is underway and the spread of avian influenza continues across continents. Intensifying monitoring of migratory bird populations increases the likelihood of early detection, which is key to controlling the spread of the virus, particularly in domestic poultry. It is important to note that a detection of Asian H5N1 in a migratory bird in the United States would not signal the start of a human pandemic and properly prepared poultry is safe to eat, because proper cooking will kill the virus. (Contact: Bob Ehart)

Contact Information

Bob Ehart