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Speeding Bird Flu Vaccine Development

Since mid-December 2014, USDA agencies, poultry producers, and other State and local governments worked cooperatively to combat an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), or bird flu, in commercial poultry, wild birds, captive wild birds, and backyard poultry. The virus quickly spread across 21 States in 2015, resulting in the loss of 7.5 million turkeys and 42.1 million chickens, at a cost of more than $950 million to U.S. taxpayers.

In response to the December 2014 detection of new HPAI viruses (H5N8 and H5N2) affecting wild waterfowl and captive raptors in the United States, ARS refocused its avian influenza research team and within 2 weeks developed an emergency avian influenza vaccine.

Related Information

Research Program: Intervention Strategies to Control and Prevent Disease Outbreaks Caused by Avian Influenza and Other Emerging Poultry Pathogens
Briefing Paper: Avian Influenza