By: KDKA-TV News Staff
FOX CHAPEL (KDKA) — A mysterious disease that is killing birds in large numbers in neighboring states is raising alarm bells for the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania.READ MORE: Allegheny County Health Director Says Delta Variant Is Fueling Rising Cases, Hospitalizations
They are urging people in Western Pennsylvania to take preventative steps in order to help contain the spread of any disease into our region.
The Audubon Society, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Game Commission, are urging people to remove their bird feeders from their yards until researchers can find out more about what’s causing the problem. The request includes hummingbird feeders, too.
Audubon Nature Stores will also be discontinuing the sale of bird feeders and seed for the time being.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, reports of the disease started in late May.
They say wildlife managers in Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia started getting “reports of sick and dying birds with eye swelling and crusty discharge.” They were also showing signs of neurological problems.READ MORE: 'Itchy Mites:' Preventing Bites And The Itch That Comes With A Mite Bite
In addition to Maryland and West Virginia, there are now reports of the disease in Ohio. All states surrounding Pennsylvania.
The Ohio Division of Wildlife is also urging people to “take down and clean bird feeders and birdbaths with 10% bleach solution.”
The are getting reports of the disease in blue jays, common grackles, European starlings, American robins and house sparrows.
The USGS is also offering these tips:
- Cease feeding birds until this wildlife mortality event has concluded.
- Clean feeders and birdbaths with a 10% bleach solution.
- Avoid handling birds, but wear disposable gloves if handling is necessary.
- Keep pets away from sick or dead birds.
If you encounter sick or dead birds, the USGS urges you to contact your local or state wildlife conservation agency. “If you must remove dead birds, place them in a sealable plastic bag to dispose with household trash,” they add.MORE NEWS: Pittsburgh Weather: Temperatures Continue Rising On Thursday
The National Park Service is working with a number of state agencies and laboratories to pinpoint the cause of the disease.