- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 31, 2017

MILTON-FREEWATER, Ore. (AP) - State and federal wildlife managers are investigating a possible outbreak of avian cholera in the Stanfield and Milton-Freewater area after several hundred ducks were spotted dead on private wetlands there.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said Tuesday it’s awaiting test results on the dead birds, but a recent outbreak of the avian cholera around Burbank, Washington, has officials concerned. The dead ducks were spotted over the weekend.

Avian cholera is common among ducks, geese and other North American waterfowl.

It can kill birds within 12 hours after infection and is highly contagious.

Symptoms include lethargy, convulsions, swimming in circles, and erratic flight plus mucous discharge from the mouth and nose.

Risk to humans is low but hunters should wear gloves when cleaning birds and disinfect all hunting equipment.

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