Mysterious disease affecting birds in Mid-Atlantic region

Virginia News

RICHMOND, Va. (WFXR) – There’s growing concerns for the health of birds in the region.

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (VDWR) says agencies in Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and the District of Columbia started receiving reports of birds dying from a mysterious illness that causes their eyes to swell.

Agencies from the Mid-Atlantic region are working with diagnostic laboratories to investigate the cause of death for these birds.

The VDWR says birds gathering at feeders and baths can transmit the disease to one another.

To help to combat the outbreak, agencies recommend the following:

  • Cease feeding birds until this wildlife mortality event has concluded;
  • Clean feeders and birdbaths with a 10-percent bleach solution;
  • Avoid handling birds, but wear disposable gloves if handling is necessary; and
  • Keep pets away from sick or dead birds as a standard precaution.

If you come across a sick or dead bird in Virginia, you are asked to submit an event report.

VDWR officials say that if you need to remove a dead bird, place it in a sealable plastic bag and dispose of it with household trash.

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