HEALTH

DWR suspects avian botulism outbreak killed birds in northern Utah

Oct 5, 2023, 9:00 PM

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources suspects an outbreak of avian botulism as the cause of deat...

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources suspects an outbreak of avian botulism as the cause of death for thousands of birds in northern Utah. Photo credit: Division of Wildlife Resources.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources says a recent suspected avian botulism outbreak in northern Utah has killed thousands of birds. 

Biologists with the DWR first discovered the infected birds during the middle part of September. The birds were found in the Harold Crane and Willard Spur waterfowl management areas.

Many of the affected birds were tested for avian influenza. The DWR says those test results came back negative. 

Additionally, the DWR also says that while final test results are still pending, biologists believe the birds died of avian botulism.

What is avian botulism?

According to a press release from the DWR, the illness is a paralytic disease that results in the ingestion of a toxin produced by a bacteria. The disease is usually fatal. 

The bird species usually impacted by the disease are shorebirds, waterfowl, and gulls.  Signs of the disease include the following:

  • In ability of a bird to hold its head up.
  • Bird is unable to flap its wings.
  • No strength to take off and fly.

Safety tips

Due to the large number of birds impacted by the disease, the DWR is offering individuals with some safety tips. The DWR stresses the risk of avian botulism transmitting to humans is low.

“It is still important to practice the following safety precautions if you encounter sick or dead birds,” the news release said.

The tips are as follows:

  • As an indication that they are healthy, harvest only waterfowl that are actively flying.
  • If a bird appears sick or weak, avoid harvesting it.
  • Thoroughly cook the meat.
  • Dogs can be affected by botulism. Keep dogs away from any waterfowl you suspect may be sick.

 

 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Health

FILE - A number of 5-mg pills of Oxycodone are displayed on June 17, 2019. Data released Tuesday, S...

Britt Johnson

New Central Utah crisis center will be “life-changing” for those struggling with opioids

An area of Utah struggling with opioid overdose deaths is getting help as a new crisis center opens in Central Utah. 

8 hours ago

The new ABS Kids center in Ogden will provide therapeutic services to children with autism in Utah....

Britt Johnson and Emma Keddington

Autism rates are surging in Utah, new treatment center to open in Ogden

1 in 36 children are diagnosed with autism in Utah. ABS Kids, a therapeutic center, is adding an Ogden location to keep up with treatment demand.

12 hours ago

(Canva)...

Michelle Lee

Don’t skip the sunscreen before heading outside!

Let’s Get Moving Host Maria Shilaos spoke with Dr. Dekker Deacon with the Huntsman Cancer Institute to learn all about sunscreen products.

1 day ago

someone taps on facebook icon, utah lawmakers working to protect kids from social media...

Curt Gresseth

Utah lawmaker talks about his work to shield kids from social media

State Sen. Mike McKell discusses the legislation he has sponsored to undo the harm to Utah children from social media.

3 days ago

donating platelets at the American Red Cross on April 12, 2023. Murray facility approved for cold-s...

Heather Peterson

New platelet storage program could save lives, Red Cross says

The American Red Cross has secured new funding to support their new cold-storage platelet program. They say being able to extend the shelf-life from five days to 14 could be a life-saving matter. 

4 days ago

Katy Welkie, vice president of Intermountain and CEO of Intermountain Primary Children's Hospital, ...

Eric Cabrera, Amie Schaeffer

Intermountain Health to open behavioral health center in Taylorsville

Intermountain Health is expanding its behavioral health services. A new center for children and teens will open in Taylorsville in 2025.

7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Underwater shot of the fisherman holding the fish...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Your Bear Lake fishing guide

Bear Lake offers year-round fishing opportunities. By preparing ahead of time, you might go home with a big catch!

A group of people cut a purple ribbon...

Comcast

Comcast announces major fiber network expansion in Utah

Comcast's commitment to delivering extensive coverage signifies a monumental leap toward a digitally empowered future for Utahns.

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

DWR suspects avian botulism outbreak killed birds in northern Utah