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Archive for Friday, June 12, 2009

Nature center’s birds of prey vaccinated

June 12, 2009

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It was shot day for the birds at Lawrence’s Prairie Park Nature Center.

This week, nine of the center’s education birds were vaccinated against West Nile Virus, which can be lethal for many birds.

One by one, the center’s staff brought large birds in, found unique ways to hold them down while battling wings, tail feathers and talons, and gave them a booster shot. Most of the birds made noises back. The center’s crow — which can say certain words in English — even told the staff he wasn’t happy.

“Some of the birds carry a bit of a grudge for a day or two, so we’ll be dealing with that,” said Marty Birrell, nature education supervisor.

West Nile Virus usually circulates between birds and mosquitoes and can cause kidney and brain infections, and lead to death in birds, according to a 2003 report by Kansas State University medical and veterinary entomologist Ludek Zurek.

Birrell said the Prairie Park birds are vaccinated each year against the virus, which typically hits around mid-July and ends around October.

“It’s not a guarantee that they won’t be infected with West Nile, but we have seen many fewer birds infected since we started using the vaccination five years ago,” Birrell said.

Comments

gr 4 years, 10 months ago

“It’s not a guarantee that they won’t be infected with West Nile, but we have seen many fewer birds infected since we started using the vaccination five years ago,” Birrell said.

Ummm, do vaccinations work or not? Or do they maybe help in some cases under certain conditions? Why doesn't vaccination always work? Is something wrong with the basic concept? Or is this a global warming brain disorder of better safe than sorry so we'll make hocus pocus up as we go along.

I mean, wouldn't a serious question be if the vaccination concept really works, why wouldn't it work in almost all cases rather than resulting in "many fewer birds" being infected?

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