Biology Reference
In-Depth Information
to collect more in-depth information about the bird sampled and details
about its enclosure environment at the zoo. If the institution does not have
Internet access, data forms can be faxed or mailed to LPZ. By collecting these
additional details, the system hopes to perform epidemiological analyses
to determine whether certain characteristics correlate with the presence of
avian influenza viruses.
Diagnostic results from the NAHLN laboratories will be sent to the data-
base in real time via Health Level 7 (HL7) messaging. This is a technol-
ogy of growing popularity among diagnostics labs, hospitals, doctors, and
pharmacies that allows health information to be shared instantly among
relevant parties. As such, participating zoological institutions will have the
ability to log onto the ZAHN Web site and retrieve their sample test results
as soon as they are known. Though each institution will have access to
their results only, quarterly reports will be sent to all participants sum-
marizing the findings to date, with identifying information removed prior
to distribution.
5.4.4 Current Status
At the time of this writing, the USDA APHIS AZA Management Guidelines
for Avian Influenza: Zoological Parks & Exhibitors Surveillance Plan is near-
ing the launch of its pilot operation. For the system, the country has been
divided into three geographic regions, each with its own coordinator and
NAHLN lab. For the pilot, one institution in each of the three regions is
scheduled to begin sampling and submitting to their regional NAHLN lab
for testing. Once the system is running efficiently, it could be opened up to
all AZA-accredited facilities.
5.4.5 Future Directions
Once the pilot for the USDA APHIS AZA Management Guidelines for Avian
Influenza: Zoological Parks & Exhibitors Surveillance Plan has launched and
the system has been improved, it may be expanded to additional zoological
institutions and NAHLN laboratories. The objective is to have enough partici-
pating institutions such that geographic coverage of the United States is suf-
ficient to detect a disease wherever it may be introduced. If this infrastructure
is already in place when the next zoonoti c disease of concern emerges, then
the system will be swiftly modified in order to conduct surveillance for this
disease. With a database and communication system already in place, the tran-
sition should be relatively smooth. Outbreak management guidelines for any
new disease will be facilitated by the relationship each zoo has made with its
animal and public health agencies at both the local and state level as a result of
the AI Surveillance Plan.
While both the AI Surveillance Plan and the AI Outbreak Management
Plan are in place, ZAHN will soon be working with the USDA and AZA to
Search WWH ::

Custom Search