In news released by the media this morning, the presence of H5N1 (aka bird flu or avian influenza) has been confirmed in the US. While many dusted off communicable disease plans with last year’s (and continuing) Ebola threat, we need to ensure that we take into account the wildlife and agricultural implications of H5N1 along with the threat to human life. While one positive finding certainly does not make an epidemic, the confirmed presence should be putting certain actions into place for many public safety partners, including federal and state agricultural and fish and game offices. Hunters, farmers, and veterinarians need to be aware of signs and symptoms just as much as our health care providers.
Be on the lookout for more information from authorities on this. Consider the implications it can have within your area of responsibility and be sure to think broadly and consider cascading impacts.
© 2015 – Timothy Riecker
Emergency Preparedness Solutions, LLC