The US government expanded the monitoring of wild migratory birds for a deadly bird flu virus across U.S. territories in the Pacific. The monitoring began before summer in Alaska, where the first migratory birds from Asia started arriving and nesting before their migration south through the continental United States.

Further monitoring and testing will be continued in the lower 48 states, Hawaii and other Pacific islands.
Although wild birds can’t be controlled, scientists will put their mind to building a warning system that will identify and control the virus if it ever arrives to the United States.

Feces and tissue samples from 75,000 to 100,000 wild birds will be collected, as well as 50,000 samples of the water and ground that birds come in contact with. The Agriculture and Interior departments provided $4 million to state agencies to collect samples and Congress $29 million for monitoring for the highly pathogenic strain of bird flu.

Although the outbreaks have decreased in the Asia, scientists still fear that the virus could mutate, pass from person to person and lead to a pandemic.