Mapping H5N1 highly pathogenic avian influenza risk in Southeast Asia

The highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 virus that emerged in southern China in the mid-1990s has in recent years evolved into the first HPAI panzootic. A central question is to understand the factors favoring the continuing reoccurrence of the virus. The abundance of domestic ducks, in particular free-grazing ducks feeding in intensive rice cropping areas, has been identified as one such risk factor based on separate studies carried out in Thailand and Vietnam. In addition, recent extensive progress was made in the spatial prediction of rice cropping intensity obtained through satellite imagery processing.