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HomezoosWith Fall Migration, Bird Flu Flies Back Into Town

With Fall Migration, Bird Flu Flies Back Into Town

When a highly contagious strain of avian influenza began racing across the United States this spring, the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota prepared for an influx of ailing birds.
“But we never could have anticipated the flood of patients that arrived,” said Dr. Victoria Hall, executive director of the center, which provides medical care for birds of prey.
From late March to early June of this year, Dr. Hall and her colleagues saw more than 180 flu-afflicted birds, including scores of great horned owls, red-tailed hawks and bald eagles. Many were severely ill, suffering from seizures or unable to see or stand. Caring for these animals — just one of which survived — was emotional, draining work that required long hours in personal protective equipment, including Tyvek suits and respirators.
So it came as an immense relief when cases tailed off this summer, falling to just one in July and zero in August.



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