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What does the HEDDS System Do?
Provides a data repository into which partners from different organizations and agencies can voluntarily contribute their AI surveillance data. This data can then be rolled together and summarized for mapping and reports.
Capable of holding data from national and state agencies, universities, and other nongovernmental organizations. Data from tests conducted at the local level may not appear in HEDDS if the regional submitting agencies or organizations choose not to participate in the system.
Displays test results for H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), although not in real time. Test results are updated regularly as the data is made available to HEDDS by the contributing partners. Positive results will likely be revealed through the media and contributing agency press releases before appearing on HEDDS.
Assists scientists in evaluating surveillance activities and refining monitoring strategies should HPAI be detected in the United States.
Allows researchers to share information on sampling locations, bird species sampled, and test results. See the Core Data Fields document for a full list of the data being collected.
HEDDS Mission
One goal of the U.S. Interagency Strategic Plan (requires Adobe Reader to view) for the development of an “Early Detection System for Asian H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Wild Migratory Birds" is to develop a National database, that can contain HPAI data collected in accordance with Plan guidelines, and can be used by all agencies, organizations, and policy makers. As part of its Wildlife Health Monitoring Network, the NBII Wildlife Disease Information Node has created this National HPAI Early Detection Data System for this purpose. We expect that the content and format will change frequently based on the contributions and needs of the many collaborators in this effort.
Background on HEDDS
Avian influenza (AI) is a type A influenza virus naturally found in certain species of waterfowl and shorebirds. The occurrence of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) subtype H5N1 circulating in Southeast Asia has raised concerns regarding its potential impact on wild birds, domestic poultry, and human health, should it be introduced into the United States. At the request of the White House Policy Coordinating Committee for Pandemic Influenza Preparedness, the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Interior, along with other partners, developed an early detection plan for HPAI in the United States. The plan calls for the establishment of a national database for use by all agencies, organizations and policy makers. WDIN, housed at the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Wildlife Health Center, has created the HPAI Early Detection Data System to meet this goal. An Interagency Steering Committee (ISC) has been established to direct the operation and content of the system.
HEDDS Data Collection

HEDDS was developed to manage animal and specimen collection data taken by many groups and individuals, and analyzed by multiple laboratories. It provides a secure, accessible platform for the generation of reports, graphs, and maps and can be used for spatial modeling. The U.S. Interagency Strategic Plan for Early Detection of Asian H5N1 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in Wild Migratory Birds describes five surveillance strategies:

  • Investigation of morbidity and mortality events,
  • Surveillance of live wild birds,
  • Surveillance of hunter-killed birds,
  • Surveillance of sentinel species, and
  • Environmental sampling.

HEDDS is a versatile system that can hold data from these surveillance strategies as well as accommodate future surveillance plans, and it can provide a critical comprehensive view of national sampling efforts. Managing data includes ensuring the resulting data are available for viewing and analysis by all contributors. For this purpose, incorporating appropriate standards into the data system is essential to facilitate information sharing and to improve surveillance strategic planning.

For More Information
Please contact nwhcoutreachdb@usgs.gov for more information.

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