Special Commentary-The 2022 IPPE


2022 IPPE To Proceed as Planned-With Safety Measures

Any large gathering at a time of an increasing incidence rate for a highly infectious viral disease, transmitted principally by the aerosol route, represents the potential to become a super-spreader event. This said, the organizers have elected to proceed with the IPPE as the benefits of holding the event apparently outweigh the risks and consequences.


According to the release by USPOULTRY on January 6th it was recommended but not mandated, that attendees be “fully” vaccinated against COVID without specifying the number of doses or requiring proof of immunization. It was recommended that attendees wear a mask and maintain “social distancing where appropriate”. The request that any person showing upper respiratory symptoms should refrain from attending is valid but probably ineffective. Infection with the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 may be asymptomatic and exposed individuals disseminate virus for at least 24 hours before demonstrating upper respiratory discomfort. Extra cleaning and disinfection and hand sanitizer stations will be more to reassure attendees than represent a meaningful method of suppressing an airborne infection.  Placing disinfectant foot-baths at entrances to the GWCC show floor is a relic from the concerns over avian influenza in past years and is irrelevant to COVID.


In all probability if attendees are masked and have received three doses of an mRNA vaccine with the last dose received before mid-January and if commonsense precautions are followed the risk of contracting COVID in the exhibition halls or in small group meetings will be low. The possibility of contracting infection in restrooms remains unless the GWCC installs UV equipment to suppress air-borne virus. Obviously hospitality events in hotel rooms, dining in crowded restaurants or visiting bars should be avoided, detracting from the pleasure and raison d’etre for participating in the IPPE. Attendees are advised to consider personal screening using an approved antigen detection test (if available) after returning from Atlanta. Those with predisposing conditions and seniors are advised to consult with their health providers before attending the IPPE or any large trade or entertainment event. 

It is hoped that conscientious adherence to the recommendations provided by USPOULTRY will be effective and that the 2022 IPPE will be well attended and beneficial to registrants and exhibitors as planned and anticipated, without resulting in dissemination of COVID.