SUMMARY: A study by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found company affiliation to be the greatest driver of farm-to-farm avian flu transmission risk. Typical multiple-farm contacts included workers, feed distributors, waste handlers and social contacts. The researchers used the model to analyze how an outbreak of H5N1 at a single farm on the Delaware-Maryland peninsula might spread through the poultry farm-dense region.

The cited study examined how disease spreads in a region with a concentration of poultry farms that are a major economic presence.  Incidents of avian flu are particularly damaging to this industry because practice is to destroy infected flocks.  While the specific focus of this study was chicken farms, the applicability to other businesses, communities, and families is significant.  Communicable disease is spread by various means:  person to person, by vectors such as fleas or mosquitoes, and environmentally.  Understanding the patterns of travel and interactions of your employees or family members can be a meaningful tool in limiting potential exposure.  When is it appropriate to limit movement or contact?  Conversely, needless restrictions can have an adverse impact on the ability to conduct business.  Too often, decisions are based on emotional reaction versus a sound analysis of the potential danger.  Opting too far in either direction can have dire consequences.  An accurate risk assessment is a core characteristic of a Culture of Preparedness.  Understanding exposure is the first step toward reducing risk.  Reducing risk builds resiliency, an attribute that will keep you in business when the unexpected occurs.

- Donald A. Donahue, DHEd, Executive Director, Center for Health Policy and Preparedness


The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies
Ballston Metro Center Office Towers
901 North Stuart Street, Suite 1200
Arlington, VA 22203
Tel 703.525.0770

Click here for map  

Our Mission

The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies is an independent, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit public policy research institute. The Institute identifies and aggressively shepherds discussion on key science and technology issues facing our society. From these discussions and forums, we develop meaningful science and technology policy options and ensure their implementation at the intersection of business and government.


Follow Us on Facebook  Follow us on Twitter Connect with us on LinkedIn  See us on YouTube