Dead Birds Probably Don't Have Flu

1 decade 2 years 6 months ago Friday, March 24 2006 Mar 24, 2006 Friday, March 24, 2006 5:27:41 PM CST March 24, 2006 in News

Chris Diestel was just doing his job when he stumbled upon the birds' bodies.

"I estimated dozens, possibly up to the hundreds," he said. "I just wasn't sure, and I'd figured I'd get it in the hands of someone who would be more able to find out the reason for the death."

Health officials said the dead grackles probably don't have Bird Flu because, purple grackles don't migrate. Migratory birds near U.S. coasts are most likely to get the disease.

But, the Missouri Conservation Department took samples for testing. Those results should be available next week. And, Columbia's Environmental Health Department said it's still important to report incidents like this one.

"Somebody may see a dead bird, and of course we're always worried about West Nile Virus and mosquitoes breeding," said Stephanie Browning, environmental health director. "So, we just encourage people, if they have birds that they're concerned about that they find, to call us."

The Conservation Department says residents should be aware of, but remain calm about, bird flu for now.

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