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Avian flu kills more than 100 vultures in Maryland near Lancaster County

The birds were found in Maryland just south of Lancaster County, where multiple outbreaks of the flu have been reported.

More than 100 black vultures have been confirmed dead due to the avian flu just south of Lancaster County in Maryland. 

Officials with the the Delaware-Maryland HPAI Joint Information Center confirmed the dead birds were found in Maryland's Harford County. The first detection of the virus there occurred on April 22.

Officials say they cannot confirm the exact amount of infected vultures since wild birds often get sick and die where people cannot see or find them. 

"These birds are also known to fly long distances, which means vultures infected in this area may die in other locations and could transmit the virus to birds along the way," said Stacey Hofmann with the DE-MD HPAI Joint Information Center. 

Outdoor organizations in the Harford County area are now also taking precautions due to the vulture discovery. 

Constellation, which operates Conowingo Dam in Maryland, announced it will temporarily close some areas of the Mason Dixon trail near the dam due to the presence of black vultures there.

According to a media release from the agriculture departments in Maryland and Delaware, "HPAI is known to be carried by wild birds, especially waterfowl, raptors, and vultures." 

Thus, the public should not touch or move any wild birds that look sick or dead; instead, they should report them to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wildlife Services at (877) 463-6497. 

According to the USDA, the avian flu has been detected at seven Lancaster County farms and nine total in Pennsylvania. The two farms with confirmed avian flu outside of Lancaster County are both in Berks County. 

Nearly four million ducks and chickens have been impacted throughout the Commonwealth. 

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