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Wayne County has been recently affected by water levels, and weather as many ducks and other birds have been hit by a deadly bacteria.
According to the officials from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, 50 dead mallard ducks were found around Marsh Creek in Woodhaven, whereas several other wild waterfowl were discovered in the East Arm of Grand Traverse Bay.
Worse, about 20 dead mallards were found there as well. According to Julie Melotti, DNR WDL pathologist, it is not the first time authorities had to deal with such an issue so they will double their efforts to prevent more ducks and other wild waterfowl from dying.
It seems that the birds died because of type C botulism, a disease that occurs after the animals ingest a toxin produced by bacteria originating from the bottom sediments of water bodies.
Until now, officials have declared that there is no risk of human infection, but pets can ingest the toxin if they swim in the contaminated water or if they eat a dead bird.
Authorities prompt residents to keep their dogs on leashes and prevent them from swimming. Dogs swallow significant amounts of water while they are swimming, so it is a high chance that they could ingest a dangerous level of toxins.
People are also prohibited from feeding ducks and other birds in the area because more birds will get infected and the risk of an epidemic among them will be much higher. Health officials ask people that in case they see a dead bird, they should throw it away using rubber gloves, or they can call the DNR.
The agency will send qualified people that will know what needs to be done in this situation. Melotti underlined that botulism must be prevented from spreading because not just birds, but also other animals are at the risk of getting infected with this disease.
If more birds die, other animals will most likely try to eat them. According to the authorities, dead birds can be thrown away in a standard garbage pickup destined for a landfill, or people may simply bury the animals very deep.
Residents who encounter dead ducks or any other dying birds along the Grand Traverse Bay south shore are requested to contact the Traverse City DNR office at 231-922-5280. Also, citizens who find dead and dying birds in Wayne County should contact the Pointe Mouillee State Game Area headquarters at 734-379-9692.
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