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Avian Influenza

USDA has both an international and a domestic role in controlling the spread of avian influenza (AI) and reducing its effects on both agriculture and public health. USDA is aware of and prepared for the emergence of new types of AI virus. The nature of the influenza virus is such that mutations occur easily. Therefore, new strains can occur naturally at any time within avian hosts. The concern is whether the changes would impart the potential to cause severe disease or increase transmissibility between birds or mammals. Regardless of these changes, the USDA plans that are currently in place, which include surveillance, reporting, biosecurity, movement control, vaccination and depopulation, can be adjusted and applied to effectively control any new virus outbreak.

USDA Poultry Surveillance

Scenarios and Q&A

Questions and Answers: Avian Influenza

Educating the media and the public about the complexities of avian influenza as a disease among birds is one of USDA's primary communications objectives.

As part of this effort, USDA, in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services, Department of the Interior, and Department of Homeland Security, have developed three scenarios in the event of a detection and/or outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in the United States.

The scenarios are:

Each of these scenarios contains a series of key questions and answers about animal health, guidance for the public, as well as a summary of the actions USDA would take in the event of a highly pathogenic avian influenza detection in the United States.

Fact Sheets



Video and Audio

USDA Avian Influenza PhotosThis is an external link or third-party site outside of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) website. can be viewed on Flickr. Photo inquiries should be sent to user.photo@usda.gov.