Disease kills hundreds of seabirds in Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A disease has killed hundreds of seabirds on an island in the Bering Sea — the first documented outbreak in the state.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game says avian cholera is to blame for the birds found dead on the beaches of St. Lawrence Island, 200 miles from the mainland. The Anchorage Daily News reports (http://is.gd/yXJOYK ) that while the disease is common elsewhere, including in California, Nevada and Texas, this is the first confirmed outbreak in Alaska.

The disease doesn't pose much risk to people.

Most of the birds turned up on a 10-mile beach frequented by seal hunters. Authorities credited the hunters for quickly reporting the issue.

Officials warn anyone touching a sick bird or animal to wear gloves and wash hands with soap and water, and to never eat meat from a sick or diseased animal.

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Information from: Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News, http://www.adn.com

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