Poultry experts are turning to sophisticated computer imaging to help them prepare for the expected arrival of the deadly bird flu virus in the United States later this year.
Geographic Information System (GIS) technology is being used to pinpoint the location of commercial poultry flocks, feed mills and processing plants, said Sherrill Davison, professor of avian medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
The information will be used to help create buffer zones around an infected flock and contain the H5N1 strain when it makes its U.S. appearance.
Since the beginning of the year, experts have also been using Google Earth, which combines satellite imagery, maps and the company’s search engine to span the globe. It gives extra details including the location of buildings, schools and roads near large chicken and turkey farms and production facilities.