ATLANTA — Georgia wildlife officials want nature lovers to be on alert for a disease that could kill birds.
In late May, sick and dying birds with crusty, swollen eyes and neurological symptoms were reported in a number of states. Although there are no confirmed cases in Georgia, officials want people to look out for any sick or dead birds with the symptoms.
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Most of the reported birds were fledgling blue jays, American robins, common grackles and European starlings.
Wildlife disease labs are testing affected birds for several toxins, parasites, bacterial diseases and viral infections. Salmonella bacteria, several families of viruses, and Trichomonas parasites have been ruled out.
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Officials said there no issues have been reported with human health or domestic livestock and poultry.
Wildlife managers and veterinarians first received reports in late April and May of sick birds in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Washington, D.C. More recent reports have come from Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Ohio and Indiana.
Georgia DNR said they are not recommending taking bird feeders down, but they remind that it is important to clean feeders and baths with a 10% bleach solution every two weeks.
If you find sick or dead birds in Georgia with these symptoms, contact DNR Wildlife Biologist Todd Schneider by phone or email: 478-994-1438; firstname.lastname@example.org.
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