August 22, 2007

Disease Suspected in Rash of Duck Deaths
The Daily Herald
21 Aug 2007
S Ahern
Photo Courtesy of Gilbert Boucher II/Daily Herald

More than 20 have died at Arlington Hts. pond

It's been one tough month for duck lovers Judy Cook and Vicki Hilden. Sitting on a bench Tuesday near their large Arlington Heights pond, the two watched a flock of 10 ducks paddle past a single duck. "That one is sick," Cook said, pointing to the lone duck. "He's not going to make it. The rest of them know it." Since Aug. 9, about 20 ducks and one goose have died at the pond at the Central Park East Apartments at Central Road and Arthur Avenue.

The cause probably is avian botulism - a paralytic disease caused by ingesting a certain type of toxin - said James McCalister, director of the village's health department.It's painful to see. The disease affects the ducks' nervous system by preventing impulse transmission to muscles. Birds are first unable to use their wings and legs. They also lose control of their eyelids and neck muscles. Birds with paralyzed neck muscles cannot hold their heads up and often drown.

West Nile Hits Durham Region
21 Aug 2007
E Hatfield

A nearly West Nile-free summer was shattered this week with the Region's first positive test result for the virus. The Region's health department received confirmation a dead crow picked up in Pickering was positive for West Nile virus, according to Laura Freeland, a manager of environmental health with the Region. The bird was picked up during the week of Aug. 13 and submitted for testing to the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre (CCWHC) in Guelph on Aug. 17. In 2006, the first positive test was on Aug. 1.

"This is the latest we've had a positive result for a bird," Ms. Freeland said. "Generally in the province it seems they are occurring later in the season." It's very difficult to say what led to the slow start this season, according to Ms. Freeland. She said it would be difficult to say if initiatives encouraging residents to remove areas of standing water where mosquitoes can breed and teaching precautions against bites have impacted area mosquito populations and incidents of West Nile.

Grant to DNA Solutions Will Help Develop Test
21 Aug 2007

DNA Solutions Inc. has received a $700,000 Phase II SBIR grant from the Defense Department in collaboration with Oklahoma State University to develop a live test for chronic wasting disease, officials said. Chronic wasting disease is an infectious disease that affects mule deer, white-tailed deer, Rocky Mountain elk and moose, said Dr. Brandt Cassidy, director of laboratory operations for the Oklahoma City-based company.

The research will help develop a sensitive detection system that will be able to detect chronic wasting disease before death. Currently, the disease is only detected after the animal's death. The detection system also will reduce the need for animal experimentation and provide a model for scientific research into the components of the disease, Cassidy said.

Periodic Wildlife Disease More Severe in Drought
Associated Press (Posted by News Channel 18)
21 Aug 2007

Wildlife biologists say a periodic disease that's likely killing deer in Indiana and other states is being made more severe by drought and the heat wave. A veterinary pathologist at Murray State University in Kentucky say there's a widespread outbreak of epizootic (eh-pih-ZOO'-tic) hemorrhagic (hem-or-A'-jic) disease across Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana this summer. The malady is spread by small biting flies, sometimes called "no see-ums". They're active from August until the first frost.


Homeland Security Seeks Input on Plum Island Disease Lab


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