Gold Coast council says botulism killed scores of birds
The Gold Coast City Council says it believes avian botulism has been responsible for the death of scores of water birds in a local flood channel. The birds which were mainly ducks have been removed from the Benowa flood channel.
... "We believe it's caused by a combination of stormwater run-off, pollutants in that stormwater and also the unusually cold snap of weather that we've had," he said.
"We had something like this going back about four years ago in the racecourse lakes, and we had about 40 dead birds there, but we're up to about 160 now."
Novel Disease in Songbirds Demonstrates Evolution in the Blink of an Eye
A novel disease in songbirds has rapidly evolved to become more harmful to its host on at least two separate occasions in just two decades, according to a new study. The research provides a real-life model to help understand how diseases that threaten humans can be expected to change in virulence as they emerge.
"Everybody who’s had the flu has probably wondered at some point, 'Why do I feel so bad?'" said Dana Hawley of Virginia Tech, the lead author of the study to be published in PLOS Biology on May 28, 2013. "That’s what we’re studying: Why do pathogens cause harm to the very hosts they depend on? And why are some life-threatening, while others only give you the sniffles?"
Warmer seas could lead to more dolphin deaths in South Australia
Dead dolphins and rotting fish could become a frequent feature on South Australian beaches due to warming seas.
Record high sea surface temperatures from summer to April caused thousands of small fish to wash up dead in SA gulf waters. It stressed 33 dolphins to the point they succumbed to a virus normally suppressed by immunity....
Fish that littered beaches on both sides of the Spencer Gulf and Gulf of St Vincent from 6 March to 26 April were linked to warm waters prolonging the life of naturally occurring algae caused by a three-day “upwelling” event – when winds work against the earth’s rotation to suck nutrient-rich waters from beyond the continental shelf and into shallow waters.
...Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins also washed up dead throughout the Gulf of St Vincent and surrounding waters from 1 March until 7 May.
University of Adelaide veterinary diagnostic laboratory operational manager Dr Stephen Pyecroft said the dolphins were likely to have been killed by the morbillivirus, a virus transmitted by close contact between dolphins.
Affected dolphins were mostly juvenile and likely to have been immuno-suppressed for a variety of reasons, including heat stress, although pathological results remained pending.
New Tools to Hunt New Viruses
In past years, this might have been occasion for panic. Yet chicken and pork sales have not plummeted, as they did during flus linked to swine and birds. Travel to Shanghai or Mecca has not been curtailed, nor have there been alarmist calls to close national borders.
Is this relatively calm response in order? Or does the simultaneous emergence of two new diseases suggest something more dire? Actually, experts say, the answer to both questions may well be yes.
“We’ve done a great job globally in the last 10 years,” said Dr. William B. Karesh, a wildlife veterinarian and chief of health policy for the EcoHealth Alliance, which tracks animal-human outbreaks. “Compared to H5N1 and SARS, we’re getting on top of these diseases much, much faster.”
But he added that “people have become desensitized over time — it’s ‘Oh, O.K., another one.’ ” And scientists say the world cannot afford to relax. The threat is real. New diseases are emerging faster than ever.
OTHER WILDLIFE HEALTH RELATED NEWS
Montana agency rules out fever in 1 bison death [Gardiner, Montana, USA - Map It ]
Virus Causing Fish Kill in Irondequoit Bay [Irondequoit Bay, New York, USA - Map It ]
Salamanders are like the canary in the coal mine
Moose population drop studied [Canada]
|Map of confirmed chronic wasting disease cases in farmed and wild herds|
- Chronic Wasting Disease concern in whitetail deer grows in Pennsylvania [Pennsylvania, USA]
- FWC considers rule banning importation of live deer to avoid disease [Florida, USA]
- Disease threatens Va. deer, moose and elk [Virginia, USA]
One Health News Corner
Avian Influenza News
- Scientists worry about bird flu's potential to mutate
- Estimates reveal low population immunity to new bird flu virus H7N9 in humans
- New Human Case Of Avian Influenza H7N9 Reported In Beijing: Hong Kong Health Officials Report
- Study: New Bird Flu Capable Of Spreading Between Humans
- First documented case of West Nile in East Texas prompts health officials to advise caution, promote repellant use [Texas, USA]
- Five cases of West Nile fever confirmed in Russia
- CDC Declares Another Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Small Turtles Over [Outbreaks found in 11 states in the USA]