However, the U.S. Congress wants assurances from the USDA the country is prepared if it does.
Ron DeHaven, USDA: "The implementation Plan takes the major components of the President's National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza and breaks them down into more than 300 critical actions."
Ron DeHaven, Administrator of USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, or APHIS, says among the U.S. initiatives is to support the coordinated efforts overseas to slow the spread of bird flu in poultry ... expand domestic surveillance and early warning systems ... and ensure a guide for a swift, decisive response to any eventual detection of H5N1 strain in American poultry.
Ron DeHaven, USDA: "We have a cadre of 450 specially trained veterinarians who will be on site within four hours to conduct an initial examination and submit samples for additional laboratory testing."
As for preventative measures being taken in the private sector, Tyson Foods, this week said its 67-hundred poultry farms in the U.S. have been under "code yellow" precautions for several months. "Code Yellow" includes banning nonessential visitors from the farms. It is the company's second highest stage of security before "code red" – which would call for a virtual lockdown in health emergencies.
While industry and government may be preparing for the worst case scenario, they are also trying to not create a panic.
Ron DeHaven, USDA: "We want to inform while not alarming."