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Bird flu suspected of killing at least 400 geese in Washington state last week

More than 400 geese in Whatcom County have been found sick or dead along Wiser Lake in Lynden.

The Cascadia Daily News reports that Fish and Wildlife workers believe they got infected with the bird flu and started dying off en masse last week. Crews pulled several birds from the water Tuesday.

The number of dead birds is expected to grow because the geese flock together as they look for food in the cold weather.

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Thousands of wild and domestic birds also got infected with the virus over the summer. A fish and wildlife spokesperson told Cascadia that this year's virus is affecting more species of birds and is spreading faster. But it appears to be less lethal.

Washington's Department of Agriculture warned in September that the region could see an uptick in bird flu cases this fall as migrations began. The department knew of 34 infected flocks at that time.

The bird flu is spread through bird droppings and other secretions.