Wild turkeys may have died from viruses in NH town

NEWINGTON, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire Fish and Game biologists say wild turkeys in the Newington area may have been infected with a couple of viruses.

They’ve sent specimens from dead turkeys found last week to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Biologists tell the Portsmouth Herald (http://bit.ly/1e5u6ur) the turkeys may be been infected with the avian pox virus or one referred to as LPDV.

Avian pox, present in southern states for decades, causes turkeys to develop lesions that block their eyes and throat. The other has symptoms similar to avian pox; it also causes lumpy growths on the turkeys’ feet. It’s relatively new in the Northeast.

Both diseases usually are spread among birds by biting insects. Sometimes they can be passed by birds inhaling each other’s dander.

Biologists said last year, they recorded dead turkeys with the viruses in 23 New Hampshire towns.

Mark Ellingwood, wildlife division chief for the Fish and Game Department, said any time turkeys are gathered together, it increases the chance of disease being passed on.

Ellingwood said his office get reports of turkeys with the symptoms periodically. He said residents who see the turkeys should not be alarmed.

“There’s no known human implications regarding the virus,” he said.

There are about 50,000 turkeys in the state. Ellingwood said they are subject to periodic maladies or diseases.

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Information from: Portsmouth Herald, http://www.seacoastonline.com

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