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GLIN==> Botulism outbreak declared on lakeshore (Lake Erie)

Posted on behalf of Lauren Makeyenko <laurenm@greatlakesed.org>

>From Sharen Trembath, Lake Erie Coordinator - Great Lakes Beach Sweep


I don't know if you aware of the problem of dead birds and fish on our Lake
Erie shoreline.  Attached is a link to the Buffalo News Article from Friday,
December 1 as well as an additional article at the bottom of this page.

As you know, if these animals are not removed, more scavengers will be
attracted (raccoons, rats, etc.) and the problem will worsen.

I am trying to coordinate volunteers who would be willing to remove the
carcasses.   If you would be willing to help out, please give me a call at
716.549.4330.  If you need additional information, please contact:

John Eiss: Erie County Health Dept. - 716.858.6089
Jim Snyder: NYS DEC - 716.851.7000

Please take precaution if you are willing to help - wear gloves and boots
and use a shovel to pick up the animal.  Please do not go near sick or dying

In the meantime, please do not let your children or pets on the beach.

Thank you in advance for any help.

Sharen Trembath
Lake Erie Coordinator - Great Lakes Beach Sweep

Botulism outbreak declared on lakeshore (Excerpted from The Buffalo News -
11/30/00). Related: Scientists are at a loss over dying loons:

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has declared an outbreak
of type E botulism along the shores of Lake Erie in Hamburg.

Thousands of fish-eating birds have fallen prey to the outbreak - which has
moved down from Canada - and their carcasses can be seen along the
waterfront.  The bacteria don't die with the birds.

"We are at this time monitoring the extent of the outbreak," DEC spokeswoman
Jennifer Meicht said.  "We have wildlife professionals out in the field
collecting birds in an attempt to determine the extent of the outbreak and
also to dispose of the carcasses to prevent other scavenger animals and
birds from consuming them and spreading the bacteria."

Type E is a specific strain that most commonly affects fish-eating and
scavenger birds.  It can be spread to household pets who pick at the dead
birds, and it can even survive the winter months.  The bacteria can't be
transmitted simply through contact.

Humans would have to eat raw and infected birds or fish to be infected with
the bacteria.

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