AR-News: (US) New York State Cormorants Infected by Newcastle
rondaroaring at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 8 08:52:22 EDT 2003
> NEW YORK POST>> UPSTATE WILDLIFE TRAGEDY AS VIRUS FELLS BIRDS>> By FREDRIC U. DICKER>>> October 5, 2003 -- EXCLUSIVE>> ALBANY - Cormorants in upstate New York are being killed by a rare> virus not seen here for more than a decade, The Post has learned.>> Authorities say the virus is not a danger to human health and will> not threaten poultry.>> The virus has already killed hundreds of cormorants nesting upstate> on Lake Champlain and Oneida Lake. Thousands more cormorants are in> danger of getting the virus, sources said.>> There is so far no evidence of other birds being infected.>> Federal researchers, who have joined an ongoing state investigation> of the outbreak, have determined the disease is not the strain known> as Exotic Newcastle, which has caused the death and culling of> thousands of commercial birds in Europe and Asia in recent years.>> "We have found Newcastle disease in cormorants and it is a> significant threat to wildlife in the state," said
state> Environmental Conservation wildlife pathologist Ward Stone.>> "Because of the isolation of where these birds are located, it is not> a threat to poultry raising and it is a different strain of the virus> than the one that threatens the poultry industry," he said.>> Cormorants are large fish-eating birds that nest in tight colonies> along the ocean and on islands in large freshwater lakes.>> Newcastle disease, for which there is no known treatment, is spread> through direct contact between healthy birds and discharges from> infected birds, Stone said. Symptoms include respiratory failure,> diarrhea, drooping wings and muscular tremors.>> Graduate students studying cormorants on Lake Champlain, which shares> a border with Vermont, and on Oneida Lake, near Syracuse, discovered> the first signs of the disease earlier this year.>> Several dead birds were then recovered and brought to a laboratory> near Albany, where a series of tests began that eventually confirmed>
the Newcastle virus.
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