GIBSON CO., Ind. (WFIE) - Wildlife officials have confirmed the presence of avian cholera in geese in Gibson County.
Avian cholera, which poses minimal risk to humans and the commercial poultry industry, is common among North American waterfowl. This is the second time the disease has been documented in wild birds in Indiana.
Avian cholera is highly contagious among wild birds, especially waterfowl. Officials say it is caused by the bacterium Pasteurella multocida and is unrelated to avian influenza.
We are told about 176 snow geese have been found dead in Gibson County since the beginning of January.
Avian cholera spreads through bird-to-bird contact, birds ingesting food and water containing the bacteria, and birds scavenging infected carcasses.
To help prevent the spread of avian cholera, waterfowl hunters in southwest Indiana should consider cleaning and disinfecting their gear, including waders and decoys, using warm, soapy water. Waterfowl hunters should also use gloves when cleaning birds they harvest, avoid eating, drinking, or smoking while cleaning harvested birds, and thoroughly wash their hands afterward.
Animals known or suspected to be ill should not be consumed. Anyone who sees sick or dead wildlife in Indiana is encouraged to report it to the DNR using the online reporting application at on.IN.gov/sickwildlife.