Avian Flu likely not behind deaths of waterfowl on Upper Mississ - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Avian Flu likely not behind deaths of waterfowl on Upper Mississippi River

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is doing tests to determine if the Avian Flu is behind the deaths of hundreds of birds from Pools 9 and 10 of the Mississippi River; officials don't think the bird flu killed the American coot and lesser scaup last week, but they're doing tests.

Hundreds of birds were found dead in Mississippi River pools 7, 8, 9 and 10 since last week; this is the sixth big waterfowl die off that's happened since 2002, and in each of the past instances, trematodes were the cause.

Trematodes are parasitic flat worms that have the ability to kill waterfowl that eat snails because trematodes spend much of their life inside snails.

The animals that died are getting tested at the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

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