AR-News: (US) New York State Cormorants Infected by Newcastle Disease Virus

Ronda Roaring 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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