By Tom Place For Daily Mail Australia
Published: 09:35 BST, 1 May 2020 | Updated: 09:36 BST, 1 May 2020
Hundreds of rainbow lorikeets have been paralysed and killed by a mysterious disease that is spreading at an alarming rate.
The disease, known as lorikeet paralysis syndrome or clenched-foot syndrome, has left birds immobile on the sidewalks of suburban Brisbane where they die horrific deaths.
Darryl Jones from Griffith University told Daily Mail Australia the disease spreads similar to coronavirus through close contact in the community.
Experts said the newly discovered lorikeet paralysis syndrome has killed hundreds of birds this season. Pictured are some of the 24 birds found dead under a single tree in Brisbane
'They fight each other like crazy and when they are biting and breathing on each other they spread the virus,' he said.
'It's very much like the coronavirus itself, it's brand new and we don't know much about it and it seems to be happening where the birds are gathering in large numbers.'
Professor Jones said lorikeet paralysis syndrome slowly spreads through the body of the beloved Australian bird until their lungs seize and they suffocate.