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[1] Wisconsin
[2] Oregon

[1] Wisconsin
Date: Mon 17 Sep 2012
Source: Wisconsin DNR [edited]

About 50 sick or dead ducks reported on Beaver Dam Lake in Dodge County in early August [2012] tested positive for botulism, federal wildlife health officials have confirmed.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wildlife officials investigated reports of ducks that appeared paralyzed and could not lift their heads or fly from 10-13 Aug [2012]. Staff collected duck carcasses and samples were submitted to the U.S. Geological Survey National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin. The center confirmed on 17 Sep 2012 that the ducks tested positive for botulism type C toxin.

State officials say that no more carcasses have been found or reported since this outbreak occurred in mid-August.

Avian botulism is a neuromuscular illness caused by a toxin that is produced by the bacterium _Clostridium botulinum_. These bacteria typically live in lake, pond or wetland substrates, and sporadically produce toxin when certain environmental conditions develop such as low water levels in combination with warm temperatures.

Affected waterfowl typically show signs of weakness, dizziness, inability to fly, muscular paralysis and respiratory impairment. While this group of bacteria can produce several types of toxin, wild birds are typically affected by botulism types C and E. Usually type C is associated with waterfowl die-offs on smaller lakes and wetlands.

Botulism only poses a risk to human health through consumption of the bacteria or toxin. While thorough cooking of food destroys the botulism toxin, state wildlife health specialists recommend as a safety precaution, any waterfowl that appear sick should not be eaten and hunters should wear gloves while handling harvested game and wash hands after processing. All game should be cooked thoroughly.
Additionally, pets should be kept away from wildlife carcasses that are found dead from unknown causes.

Communicated by:

[2] Oregon
Date: Thu 20 Sep 2012
Source: OPB.org [edited]

Government officials say an outbreak of avian botulism has killed at least 1200 birds at a popular Portland, Oregon, wetland.

A few days after a birdwatcher found dead birds at Smith and Bybee Lakes, officials had closed lake access and sent bird carcasses to a Wisconsin wildlife lab. Officials say the lab confirmed that avian botulism killed the birds.

Dan Moeller with Metro said there's no known risk to humans, but he says the disease is often fatal for birds. "They can recover from it, but it's more likely that it overtakes them, relatively quickly,"
Moeller said.

The state's top wildlife veterinarian says avian botulism tends to break out when fall bird migrations meet warm water and dry weather.

State wildlife officials and veterinary experts from Oregon State University are trying to reduce the bacteria in 2 ways. They're collecting all the dead birds they can, and they're drawing down water levels to clear out bacteria and steer migrating birds elsewhere.
Officials say some cool, wet weather would help, too.

[Byline: Rob Manning]

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts

[Avian botulism is a paralytic disease caused by ingestion of a toxin produced by the bacterium _Clostridium botulinum_. Spores of these bacteria are widespread in soil and require warm temperatures, a protein source, and an anaerobic (no oxygen) environment in order to become active and produce toxin. Decomposing vegetation and invertebrates combined with warm temperatures can provide ideal conditions for the botulism bacteria to activate and produce toxin.

There are several types of toxin produced by strains of these bacteria; birds are most commonly affected by type C and to a lesser extent type E. Outbreaks of botulism in wild aquatic birds are a natural phenomenon in North America. Botulism epidemics typically occur in late summer or autumn and often recur at the same locations year after year.

Maps of the affected areas can be accessed at <http://healthmap.org/r/3vHO>; <http://healthmap.org/r/3vHV>. - Mod.PMB]

[see also:
Botulism, avian - USA (07): (MI) aquatic birds 20120912.1290085 Botulism, avian - USA (06): (MD) aquatic birds 20120829.1271009 Botulism, avian - USA (05): (WY) pheasants 20120824.1262052 Botulism, avian - USA (04): (CA) waterfowl, susp. 20120802.1225667 Botulism, avian - USA (03): (OH) waterfowl, susp 20120706.1192230 Botulism, avian - USA (02): (HI) 20120624.1178706 Botulism, avian - USA: (CA) 20120430.1117985 Botulism, avian - New Zealand: (CB) susp 20120213.1040575
Botulism, avian - USA: (CO) 20110914.2797 2010
Botulism, avian - USA (05): (FL) susp. 20100817.2848 Undiagnosed die-off, avian - USA (08): (CA) botulism susp.
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