In the Dutch town of Heerenveen dozens of ducks have died from botulism. The illness struck in the middle of a heat wave currently affecting the Netherlands. The Frisian government has advised residents to notify the authorities in case dead birds are found in open water and to avoid swimming where dead birds have been found.
Most types of botulism are not dangerous for humans, but most do cause some symptoms of illness. In water fowl the disease is almost always fatal. The botulism has spread by bacteria dispersed on the warm, nutrient-rich surface of the water.
The dead ducks were discovered last weekend. Twelve ducks were removed on Sunday. Dead ducks were also found in other Frisian towns over the weekend, but the cause of death is not yet confirmed.