Risk mapping for HPAI H5N1 in Africa - Improving surveillance for virulent bird flu: Final report and maps uri icon


  • More than 85 percent of households in rural Africa raise poultry for food, income, or both, and many people live in close contact with their birds. The possibility of an epidemic of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 is therefore a major concern. Since 2006 bird fl u has been introduced into at least 11 countries in Africa, and over 600 outbreaks reported. Vigilance is key to limiting the disease but animal health personnel cannot monitor everywhere at once. This risk-mapping project was designed to help prioritize their efforts by showing in which places outbreaks are more likely to occur. A risk map is a complex, computer-generated image that shows the spatial distribution of the predicted risk of a disease. It is based on the spatial distribution of ?risk factors? associated with an increased risk of disease, and the relative importance of each of these factors. In the case of virulent bird fl u, risk factors include major transport routes, markets where poultry may be traded, and wetlands with the possibility of contact between poultry and wild birds. Researchers in this project have prepared risk maps for bird fl u in Africa using multi-criteria decision modeling (MCDM). In this way they have integrated data and information from such diverse sources as published scientific literature, maps available in the public domain, field surveys and expert consultations

publication date

  • 2010