Novel influenza A (H1N1) is a new flu virus of swine origin that was first detected in April, 2009. The virus is infecting people and is spreading from person-to-person, sparking a growing outbreak of illness in the United States. An increasing number of cases are being reported internationally as well.
The potential of emerging diseases such as Avian Influenza (bird flu) to spread rapidly world-wide is accelerating research on zoonoses, diseases that are transmitted between animals and humans. Plans to investigate and either prevent or control such disease outbreaks involve coordination of standardized animal and human health data; increased collaboration among veterinarians, doctors, and wildlife biologists; as well as the development of early warning systems. USGS is contributing expertise to these areas by describing and investigating the links between animal disease and public health threats. USGS is also contributing expertise to the study of vector-borne diseases such as West Nile Virus and Lyme disease. Arthropods, such as fleas, ticks, or mosquitos, are common vectors that transfer disease from an infected individual to others, be they wild or domestic animals or people