The public can now view a Web site showing current information about wild bird sampling for early detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in the United States: http://wildlifedisease.nbii.gov/ai/. Scientists are now using the newly developed database and Web application called HEDDS (HPAI Early Detection Data System) to share information on sample collection sites, bird species sampled, and test results.
The database is available to agencies, organizations, and policymakers involved in avian influenza monitoring and response. Scientists will use the data to assess risk and refine monitoring strategies should HPAI be detected in the United States. Public access is more limited, but shows the states where samples have been collected and includes numbers of samples collected from each state.
HEDDS is a product of the federal government's NBII Wildlife Disease Information Node (WDIN) housed at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center. With financial support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, and U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, and participation by State wildlife agencies, universities and nongovernmental organizations, the HEDDS Web site provides a current picture of where sampling has taken place and the results of testing. "HEDDS provides a critical comprehensive view of national sampling efforts at a time when the demand for this type of information is increasing, along with the growing interest in HPAI surveillance efforts in wild birds," said WDIN Project Leader Joshua Dein.
Between April 1 and August 18, 2006, 9,590 samples from wild birds tested for avian influenza have been entered into HEDDS. Scientists have tested over 10,000 wild birds so far. No HPAI H5N1 has been detected to date. The Eurasian strain of H5N1 avian influenza virus has caused 141 human deaths elsewhere in the world, as we
Contact: Gail Moede Rogall
United States Geological Survey