Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) Timeline*
1997... HPAI H5N1 virus is found in Hong Kong. Federal wildlife experts and public health officials begin to monitor its spread.
1998... USDA and the University of Alaska test over 12,000 wild migratory birds from Alaska, Pacific Rim, Central and South American countries; plus 4,000 wild migratory birds in the Atlantic Flyway. All birds test negative for HPAI H5N1.
2005... HPAI H5N1 begins to spread rapidly in wild birds overseas, prompting the Department of the Interior (DOI) and USDA to increase wild bird monitoring and testing programs.
August 2005... The President releases National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza , including emphasis on preparedness for human and avian influenza pandemics.
March 2006... Release of the Wild Bird Strategic Monitoring Plan, a collaborative effort between USDA, DOI and National Migratory Bird Flyway Councils and a number of states.
April 1- August 1, 2006... USDA samples and tests 1,805 wild birds in Alaska as part of the National Interagency Strategic Plan. All samples test negative for HPAI H5N1.
April 1- July 28, 2006... DOI tests 6,017 samples of both live wild birds and hunter-killed birds. All samples test negative for HPAI H5N1.
July 21, 2006... USDA completes cooperative agreements in 48 states and is on its way to finalizing the agreements in 2 states.
Currently... NWDP continues ever-expanding surveillance of wild bird populations in collaboration with state, federal, private and international partners, but has not yet detected HPAI H5N1 in the United States.
*Adapted from An Early Detection System for H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Wild Migratory Birds -- US Interagency Strategic Plan," USDA Press Office, August 2006.