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expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
West Nile Virus

Here in LA (Lower Alabama), West Nile has definitely been a player. About a month or so a dead bird was found in my neighborhood that tested positive for West Nile. I agree with what's been said about normal transmission, but the way the authorities reacted to the discovery made me wonder.

They said if you find a dead bird to use gloves, bag it, put it in the freezer, and call the authorities. This suggests that they think it could somehow be transmitted via contact. But then again, it may just be that they don't want some idiot throwing unbagged roadkill in his freezer. Bag or no bag, my wife would freak if I did such a thing.

But I digress. I haven't heard a thing about what to do if the bird's dead because you killed it. They say West Nile can be transmitted via breast milk, so it makes you wonder about eating an infected bird. I've never got into bird hunting, but I imagine if anybody could answer this question it'd be someone from the Eastern seaboard or South.

PS -- I can't remember the species, but the bird found in my neighborhood wasn't a raven, crow, or jay (no magpies in AL), and it definitely wasn't in the zoo.

[ This Message was edited by: expatriate on 2002-10-31 21:45 ]

maineguide's picture
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Location: Downeast, ME USA
Joined: 09/03/2002
Posts: 330
West Nile Virus

I just got my new DU magazine and they had an article in it about the west nile virus.
They tested some mallards and it seems that the ducks exposed to the virus it had no effect on them.
So it sounds like waterfoul will be OK.
But the article also said that the birds of pray were effected and dieing

expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
West Nile Virus

Sounds like they're only telling half the story. I'll accept the statement that the ducks aren't infected by it. But can they carry it? There's a difference between having the disease in your system vs. being sick from it. Typhoid Mary comes to mind. I don't care if the duck gets sick or not; I care whether the duck has West Nile virus in its system and I'll get sick from it. I'm curious if anyone has said anything about ducks' ability to carry the virus after exposure, versus being infected from it.

[ This Message was edited by: expatriate on 2002-11-06 15:56 ]

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Joined: 01/27/2002
Posts: 7916
West Nile Virus

Mallards and wood ducks can carry west nile virus, but they appear to not become ill from the virus.

expatriate's picture
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Location: Arizona
Joined: 10/26/2002
Posts: 3207
West Nile Virus

So if I eat a Mallard or Wood Duck that's carrying West Nile Virus, will I get infected? Can a mosquito pick it up from a bird that's carrying, but not infected? Seems like a slim difference -- if it's in the bloodstream, you'd think the mosquito could pick it up.

[ This Message was edited by: expatriate on 2002-11-07 17:25 ]

cob
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Location: Texas panhandle
Joined: 10/28/2002
Posts: 65
West Nile Virus

carrying and infected are basically the same thing. if something is carrying it, they are infected with it, it just doesn't affect them. I would think cooking a duck would kill the virus if they had it. Also you're really in very minimal danger unless you're really old, really young, or already have some imune deficiency.

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