Chapter

Prototype System for Tracking and Forecasting Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Avian Influenza Spread in North America

A. Townsend Peterson

in Emerging Avian Disease

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780520272378
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520952201 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520272378.003.0006
Prototype System for Tracking and Forecasting Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Avian Influenza Spread in North America

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The recent emergence of a highly pathogenic strain (H5N1) of avian influenza that affects both birds and humans has raised global concern about its spread. Given the rapid spread of the disease and the desire for proactive monitoring and preparedness, I present a prototype forecasting framework for H5N1 dispersal for when/ if it arrives in North America via migratory bird movements. The prototype summarizes movement patterns by six species of arctic-breeding Anseriformes and emphasizes the importance of spread along all coasts of North America, as well as along the lower Mississippi River. This forecasting system is applicable only to the extent that migratory birds are the principal mode of dispersal and spread of the disease. The H5N1 situation calls for considerable effort in (1) understanding details of bird migration globally, (2) sharing avian biodiversity data globally, and (3) exploring novel approaches to data analysis and interpretation.

Keywords: avian influenza; forecasting; H5N1; migratory birds; waterbirds

Chapter.  7570 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Vertebrates

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