Fighting bird flu with big data

Every year mild bird flu is detected in the Netherlands in poultry farms, especially with free range. During the last outbreak of avian influenza in the Netherlands, tens of thousands of chickens were culled to prevent the virus from spreading. But there is always a risk that a virus adapts in such a way that it can be transmitted between people, leading to a global flu epidemic.

Insights on transmission

Our researchers unraveled the genetic code of the virus and combined it with big data: stacks of information about virus strains and farm data. This way the source of the last bird flu outbreak could quickly be traced back to migrating water fowl. It became clear that there was no transmission between farms, but that the infections took place independently of each other.

This is vital information that allows the authorities to take appropriate measures for an effective control of the disease.

Take a look at our dossier: