Disease control operations

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Individual disease outbreaks have killed many thousands of animals on numerous occasions. Tens of thousands of migratory birds have died in single die-offs with as many as 1,000 birds succumbing in 1 day. In mammals, individual disease outbreaks have killed hundreds to thousands of animals with, for example, hemorrhagic disease in white-tailed deer, distemper in raccoon, Errington's disease in muskrat, and sylvatic plague in wild rodents.

The ability to successfully combat such explosive situations is highly dependent n the readiness of field personnel to deal with them. Because many disease agents can spread though wildlife populations very fast, advance preparation is essential in preventing infected animals from spreading disease to additional species and locations. Carefully though-out disease contingency plans should be developed as practical working documents for field personnel and updated as necessary. Such well-designed plans can prove invaluable in minimizing wildlife losses and costs associated with disease control activities.

Although requirements for disease control operations vary and must be tailored to each situation, all disease contingency planning involved general concepts and basic biological information. This chapter, intended as a practical guide, identifies the major activities and needs of disease control operations, and relates them to disease contingency planning.

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
Federal Government Series
Disease control operations
Year Published:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Publisher location:
Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s):
National Wildlife Health Center
38 p.
Larger Work Type:
Larger Work Subtype:
Federal Government Series
Larger Work Title:
Field guide to wildlife diseases: volume 1. General field procedures and diseases of migratory birds
First page:
Last page: