Officials: Unprecedented disease outbreak killed 27 bald eagles — Virus may have “mutated” — “This is a major development.. really kind of undocumented” — Brains hemorrhaging, immune systems not fighting it off, why are they now more susceptible? — “Mix of factors” converged (VIDEO)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014
By Paul Martin

ENENews.com
January 1st, 2014

Los Angeles Times, Dec. 28, 2013: At first, the [Utah Division of Wildlife Resources] disease scientists guessed that the illness could be encephalitis, which is caused by the West Nile virus, but later ruled out that possibility.

Though according to the Dec. 28 report in the L.A. Times, scientists “ruled out that possibility” it appears Utah officials have ruled it in:

Reuters, Dec. 31, 2013: An unprecedented wintertime outbreak of West Nile virus has killed more than two dozen bald eagles in Utah and thousands of water birds around the Great Salt Lake, state wildlife officials said on Tuesday. […] Some 20,000 of the water birds have died in and around the Great Salt Lake since November in an outbreak that may be a record in North America, [Leslie McFarlane, Utah wildlife disease coordinator] said. […] the epidemic in Utah may be unprecedented in North America for the masses of birds killed over a broad geographic area and for the number of bald eagles affected, said McFarlane. […] Additional testing of grebes and eagles is underway to shed more light on the mix of factors that converged to trigger the extensive die-off […]

NBC News, Dec. 31, 2013: State wildlife officials announced Tuesday that a rare seasonal outbreak of West Nile virus is to blame for the recent spike in deaths of […] 27 bald eagles over the past few weeks. “It’s actually very surprising that this is the conclusive result,” Leslie McFarlane, wildlife disease coordinator for the Utah DWR told NBC News. Officials were not certain how the eagles contracted the virus, but said they believe they may have been exposed by consuming infected eared grebes, a member of the grebe family of water birds, that recently died on Great Salt Lake. The disease usually affects birds during warmer months, when the mosquitoes that carry it are active, according to the report. “So this is an unusual time to document West Nile viruses because it’s cold and we don’t have mosquitoes circulating,” McFarlane said, calling the winter outbreak “pretty rare.”

The Rest…HERE

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