Sun Dec 24, 2006 01:15

Folks, here's some VERY INTERESTING and CONCERNING information that I have not seen posted here; last Tues (12/12) and Wednedsday (12/13) in an area in southern Idaho, close to the Utah border, a total of 3,400 dead ducks were found (2,300 on Tuesday and 3,100 on Wednesday).

The "preliminary" medical examination on the ducks found "hemoraging around the heart. . . .. very thick yellow mucus in the lungs. . . "

FIRST speculation was pesticide in grain;

THEN, mold and/or funguses in grain the ducks had eaten;

NOW> > > you can't even get any current information as to the cause of the deaths.

NO chicken or other fowls were found dead OFFICIALS CLAIM;BUT they stated early on they were not ruling out avian ("bird") flu.

These ducks were domestic and migrating "mallard" ducks.

ALSO, as of 12/22/06, in Vietnam, there are 3 communes that have had to kill (and some died from avian flu)8,300 so far this month!!!

Here are some news articles:

HANOI, Dec. 22 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam has detected one more commune hit by bird flu, raising the total of affected communes nationwide to three with nearly 8,300 fowls killed by the disease or culled by local veterinary agencies, according to local newspaper Youth on Friday.
A bird flu outbreak was spotted in Khanh Hai commune, Tran Van Thoi district, southern Ca Mau province on Dec. 20. It made 26 chickens sick and killed 13 others in the commune.
Since early December, the disease has stricken three communes in two districts in Ca Mau and southern Bac Lieu province, killing and leading to the forced culling of 1,092 chickens and 7,202 ducks, the newspaper quoted the Department of Animal Health under the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as saying.
After seeing no bird flu outbreaks for nearly one year, Vietnam detected that two communes in two districts in the two southern provinces of Ca Mau and Bac Lieu were affected by the disease early this month.
The disease first broke out in Tran Van Thoi district on Dec. 6, killing 490 chickens and 2,033 ducks, and stroke Bac Lieu's Hoa Binh district on Dec. 7, killing 3,550 out of 4,450 ducks.
All the poultry were over one month old, which had been hatched unlawfully by local people and had not been vaccinated against bird flu, the department said, noting that the risk of the disease spreading in the southern Mekong Delta is very high because local people have thrown dead fowls in canals, which could have distributed viruses elsewhere.
Bird flu outbreaks, starting in Vietnam in December 2003, have killed and led to the forced culling of dozens of millions of fowls. The last outbreak of bird flu among poultry in the country in 2005 was in December.
Editor: Xia Xiaopeng

HANOI, Dec 22 (Reuters) - Vietnam has ordered a mass slaughter of chickens and ducks in two Mekong Delta provinces where bird flu outbreaks were confirmed this week, officials said on Friday.
1. A total of 250 ducks were found dead in two communes in Ca Mau and Bac Lieu provinces where nearly 8,400 chickens and ducklings have been killed by the H5N1 virus or slaughtered to stop it spreading, the Agriculture Ministry said.
On Friday, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Sinh Hung ordered the mass slaughter of fowl in the infected areas, Hoang Van Nam, deputy head of the ministry's Animal Health Department, said in a report seen by Reuters.
"The recurrence of bird flu in these two provinces is extremely serious," Nam quoted Hung as telling officials at an extraordinary meeting in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday.
Hung ordered animal health workers in Ca Mau and Bac Lieu to finish slaughtering fowl by the end of Saturday and said more monitoring of public health was needed to ensure safety in the poultry-infected areas.
The outbreaks of the H5N1 virus were the first in Vietnam since August. The initial eruptions killed around 6,000 newly hatched chickens and ducklings that were not vaccinated against bird flu.
Farmers have since thrown dead birds into water channels or let ducks roam on rice fields, helping spread the virus that first arrived in the Delta in late 2003 and has since killed 42 of the 93 people infected in Vietnam.
Vietnam, which has had no human bird flu cases since late 2005, has a human death toll second only to Indonesia's 57, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
WHO says bird flu has killed 154 people out of 258 infected globally since late 2003.
Officials say temperatures now falling in the southern region incorporating the Delta would help the spread of a virus that thrives best in cooler temperatures.
Experts fear the virus could mutate into a form that is easily transmissible among humans and spark an influenza pandemic that would kill millions.
Vietnam has banned the hatching of waterfowl -- which can carry bird flu without showing any symptoms -- since early last year, but Mekong Delta farmers say the lost income had made life has much harder.
Agriculture officials have said the ban on breeding ducks in the Mekong Delta food basket has also affected production of the recent summer-autumn rice crop because ducks are the natural enemy of rice-eating brown grasshoppers.
The problem with the pests booming in the delta has cut part of this year's rice output, prompting the government to ban the signature of all rice export contracts since Nov. 12.
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More Than 1,000 Dead Ducks Found In Central Idaho
1. "TYPE=PICT;ALT=MoreThan1,000DeadDucksFoundInCentralIdaho"

Story Created: Dec 13, 2006
By Fish and Game News Release
More than 1,000 mallard ducks have been found dead along Land Creek Springs, about 15 miles southeast of Burley near the town of Oakley, and officials with Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Homeland Security, Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Agriculture, and South-Central District Health are trying to find out why.

The first ducks were found dead by a hunter Friday, December 8. Fish and Game was notified, and conservation officers found 10 dead ducks near the spring and along the stream’s edge. Officers returned to the area on December 10 to find more than 500 dead ducks. The number has grown to more than 1,000 mallards as of Tuesday afternoon and more are dying.

“All responsible agencies are doing everything in their power to ascertain the cause of mortality,” said David Parrish, Magic Valley regional supervisor for Fish and Game. “Tissue and water samples have been collected by local, state and federal investigators, and we are currently running tests.”

The symptoms do not look like avian influenza, but samples were sent to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service laboratory in Wisconsin for testing. Idaho departments of Agriculture and Environmental Quality have sent intestinal tract and water samples to University of Idaho and Washington State University laboratories to screen for organophosphate and zinc phosphide compounds – both pesticides known to affect birds.

“Preliminary diagnosis is a bacterial infection is the likely cause of mortality,” Parrish said. “State veterinarians in Boise have found the lung tissue of the ducks to be full of white and yellowish bacterial abscesses. They also found hemorrhaging around the heart. At this point in time, however, we are not ruling out any potential cause.”

Signs have been posted in the area, warning hunters not to eat the waterfowl until the cause of death has been determined, Parrish said. Fish and Game also is collecting and disposing of carcasses.

“We will continue to monitor the area for any additional mortality,” he said. “We would appreciate the public reporting concentrations of dead waterfowl to any of the above listed agencies.”

For more information, contact Fish and Game at 208-324-4359.

Over 3400 Dead Ducks in Idaho
Recombinomics Commentary
December 14, 2006

They went out and cleaned up about 2,200 of the ducks Tuesday night. Wednesday morning Fish and Game agents cleaned up 1,200 more.

The investigation includes Fish and Game, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Agriculture and South Central District Health.

The dead birds include local and migrating ducks.

One disease they fear is the avian flu, so the Department of Homeland Security is involved.

They also found hemorrhaging around the heart. At this point in time, however we are not ruling out any potential cause.

The above comments from media reports describe a massive die-off of over 3400 local and migratory mallards in Land Creek Springs near Oakley, Idaho 20 miles from the borders of Nevada and Utah. This die-off has led to a multi-agency investigation, which includes Homeland Security.

Although the birds have bacterial lesions on their lungs, the hemorrhaging around the heart signals an acute infection, which has been seen in H5N1 patients, such as the 1. index case in Iraq, which was caused by the Qinghai strain of H5N1.

The mounting death toll is also similar to the die off of bar-headed geese at Qinghai Lake in May, 2005. Bird flu was initially ruled out, but by the time the OIE report was filed, the number of dead birds grew from 178 to 519 and within a few weeks exceeded 6000.

These parallels have contributed to the level of attention this die-off is receiving. Canada has also issued a warning to residents north of the Idaho outbreak to report dead birds. Similar requests were made of Toronto residents late last month.

Although the United States and Canada have had increased surveillance programs this year, most of the effort has focused on live or hunter killed birds. Over 45,000 have been tested and all reported H5N1 has been North American low path, which was also found last year in Canada. However, only about 1000 dead or dying birds have been tested in the United States even though all prior reports of H5N1 live wild birds from other countries have been preceded by reports of H5N1 in dead birds. Thus, an emphasis of testing of more dead birds is warranted. H5N1 positive samples were identified in September in Montana, although only H5N3 was isolated. In May a dead goose on Prince Edward Island was H5 PCR positive, but the size of the insert was withheld. and the PCR positive was not confirmed in Winnipeg. This was followed by a large number of influenza positive wild birds on Prince Edward Island.

Details of test results would be useful, as would requests for more reports of dead or dying wild birds in the United States and Canada.

1. Science and Technology news

In this December 2006 photo provided by the Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game, Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game biologists look at a cluster of dead ducks discovered in Land Springs Creek, near Oakley, Idaho. State wildlife agencies and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2006, were testing the tissue samples from more than 1,000 mallard ducks that are dying in a bizarre cluster along a southeastern Idaho creek bed, hoping to rule out an avian flu outbreak. (AP Photo/Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game)

Dec. 14, 2006, 10:17PM
Infection may have killed Idaho ducks
By JESSE HARLAN ALDERMAN Associated Press Writer
2006 The Associated Press
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BOISE, Idaho — Officials still don't know why as many as 2,500 mallard ducks have died in a bizarre cluster along a southeastern Idaho creek bed, but preliminary test results indicate a bacterial or fungal infection could be to blame, a state game official said late Thursday.
More tests are now planned on water and grain, said David Parrish, supervisor for the Magic Valley region of the Idaho Department of Fish and Game.
"We have some preliminary results," he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "It could be some type of bacterial infection or a fungal-related infection. But we haven't confirmed that for sure."
Parrish and members of the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, the state Department of Agriculture, the federal Homeland Security Department and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conferred by conference call late Thursday.
He declined to say specifically what was discussed, but didn't rule out that more ducks might die in the area.
"We may have a few more, but that's a little difficult to predict right now until we can determine the exact cause of the mortality," he said.
He said the die-off was not typical.
"It's fairly uncommon, especially in these types of numbers and in such a confined area," he said.
The tests were being performed at the Fish and Wildlife Service's national laboratory in Wisconsin, the University of Idaho and Washington State University.
The ducks mysteriously began dying last week around Land Springs Creek, near the remote town of Oakley, about 180 miles southeast of Boise. On Thursday, state workers cleared the last remaining duck carcasses from the area in pickup trucks. They brought the bodies to a nearby incineration site.
Migratory mallards from Canada and their local cousins staggered and struggled to breathe before collapsing, Parrish said. He said every mallard in a radius of several miles has died _ approximately 2,500, up from an earlier estimate of 1,000.
"I've never seen anything like this in 20 years here," he said. "There were dead mallards everywhere _ in the water and on the banks. It was odd; they were in a very small area."
The massive outbreak is puzzling scientists because only mallard ducks are dying. Golden eagles, geese, magpies, crows and other birds in the area all remain healthy.
In the past, small outbreaks of botulism have killed water birds in Idaho, but the disease quickly spreads among different species.
"Typically, you'd see this spread into other types of waterfowl as well," Parrish said.
Mark Drew, a wildlife veterinarian with the state Department of Agriculture, said earlier that investigators were not ruling out any cause of death, but bird flu virus remained unlikely.
The symptoms _ bacterial lesions in the lungs and hemorrhaging in the heart wall _ probably point to a bacterial infection, he said.
Drew said the ducks likely were exposed to a single contamination source and gathered at the creek, their mutual roosting point, to die.
No dead ducks have been spotted anywhere besides the creek. Investigators did not find any dead marine life in the shallow stream.
The ducks might have contracted a bacterial or fungal infection by eating grain treated with pesticides by local cattle farmers, Drew said earlier. Farming chemicals might also have spilled into the small spring-fed creek, which measures just 3- to 6-inches deep.
Farmland surrounds the backwoods waterway. A cattle feedlot is close by. Parrish said there are no factories in the area that discharge toxins into local streams and rivers. Wastewater does not run into the creek, he said.
The investigating agencies posted signs warning hunters not to eat any birds killed near the creek.

I find this very CONCERNING as to the source of the Idaho duck deaths; the HEAVY bird flu situation in Vietnam.

IS bird flu air borne? Could it have traveled across the Pacific via the strong wind storms that the Northwest has expereinced in the past 6 weeks?

Here in Seattle, we have had SO MANY RAIN/WIND/SNOW fronts move in from the Pacific, would it have traveled here?

There are SO many people in this area currently ill w/upper respiratory "uck"--head, throat, lungs, nausea, etc.

IS this an "experiment" by the gov on the ducks in Idaho for some bazare reason to SEE if they could get the bird flu started in the U.S.?

If you do a google "Idaho dead ducks" you will see pictures of these birds being picked up and carried away by persons ONLY USING GLOVES--NO masks of any kind who arer dressed in REGULAR civilan clothes (i.e., blue jeans, shirts, etc.).

SO> > > > > what do YOU think?

Is the next "breaking news" story going to be: AVAIN FLU CONFIRMED IN THE U.S.?


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