Contagious disease found in Gulf Coast bird

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — “A fatal disease that is contagious for birds, but virtually harmless to humans, was found at a bird sanctuary on the Gulf Coast. Florida wildlife officials said Tuesday that they are monitoring the spread of Exotic Newcastle Disease, after it was found in a cormorant at Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary last week. Officials say the cormorant is the only bird so far to be diagnosed with the disease. It causes minor skin irritation in humans but can be spread from infected birds to domestic poultry and pet birds. Symptoms for infected birds include coughing, muscular tremors, drooping wings, paralysis, eye-swelling and neck and eye or beak discharge.” –Miami Herald

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