The avian cholera death toll is up to 6,500 birds and counting in the Parma area in Canyon County, Idaho, according to Idaho Fish and Game.
The outbreak that began in early February has killed mostly ducks, but also some geese and other birds. Officials note that the infection is very often found in this area each year, according to Tyler Archibald, Fish and Game habitat biologist at Fort Boise Wildlife Management Area; however, this year’s outbreak is much larger than usual.
Fish and Game crews and volunteers are collecting the dead birds and burying them at nearby Fort Boise Wildlife Management Area to prevent, or reduce, further spread of the disease.
Avian cholera is the result of infection with the bacterium Pasteurella multocida. The bacterium kills swiftly – sometimes within 6 to 12 hours – and is released into the environment by dead or dying birds, or by birds carrying the disease.
Avian cholera is not considered a high-risk disease for humans, according to the National Wildlife Health Center.
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