Development of an early-warning system based on real-time risk assessment, producers self-assessment of biosecurity & educational tools for the prevention, early detection & rapid control of AI outbreaks in the US poultry industry

The goal of this interdisciplinary, multi-institution, research-extension project within the "Critical Anifagricultural Research and Extension (CARE)" priority is to develop an innovative early-warning system for better prevention and control of Avian Influenza (AI) outbreaks in US poultry industry. The specific objectives are: i) produce accurate, continuosly updated, high-resolution AI risk maps and identify key factors (e.g., environmental, climatic and anthropogenic factors) associated with AI occurrence in US, ii) integrate those risk maps into a web-based platform for easy visualization and with capabilities to send automatic notifications to producers if changes of AI risk are detected at local or regional level, iii) develop a self-assessment tool where producers can quantify the risk of AIV exposure for their operations at any time given their specific location, biosecurity and management practices, iv) poultryhealthdesign, implement and test the value of outreach activities, workshops and interactive educational tools to increase awareness, training and responsiveness of small-scale and large scale producers about biosecurity practices and early detection of AI. To accomplish those goals high resolution risk maps will be produced using the cutting-edge method of maximum entropy ecological niche modeling. Data and methods will be integrated into a user-friendly web-based and mobile “app” interface to facilitate the long-term access, visualization, analysis and communication of the AI risk to producers and to provide customized recommendations and educational tools for implementing risk-mitigation measures. This work will provide valuable knowledge and operational tools for poultry producers and other stakeholders to better prevent and control AI outbreaks in the US.

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