DEC continues testing dead Lake Ontario waterfowl

Dec 1, 2015

Testing is still underway on dead birds found along the shore of Lake Ontario. Jim Farquhar with New York's Department of Environmental Conservation says all signs indicate the cause of death is type E botulism.


According to Farquhar, the disease does not pose much danger for humans.
 

"We would obviously tell anyone that handled them say, cleaning them up on private property, to protect themselves with gloves or whatever. But you wouldn't contract botulism simply by coming in contact. You'd need to essentially consume uncooked meat...in order to contract the disease," he said. 

Farquhar says botulism deaths peak in the fall. It appears waterfowl are getting sick from eating infected fish and mussels.

Migrating common loons and long-tailed ducks are most affected.