HPAI Outbreaks in Ohio’s Bird Populations Raises Much Concern
A Herring gull in Erie County and two Bald eagles in Ottawa County were recently tested and confirmed positive for the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI). All three birds are now deceased. The ODNR Division of Wildlife will continue their efforts in conjunction with other agencies in the effort to monitor this imminent concern. You can find the complete story under the “Latest News and Events” section on the ODNR home page.
Occurring naturally in bird populations, HPAI H5 viruses infect the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts of birds. This disease can spread rapidly and can even cause high mortality in infected poultry.
Ohio’s raptors, waterfowl, and shorebirds are particularly vulnerable to HPAI. As far as we know at this point, the virus does not present an immediate health concern to people, although handling any sick or dead bird directly without protection should be avoided. If you witness any birds that appear sick or have expired, contact the Division of Wildlife to report your findings at 800-WILDLIFE or at wildohio.gov.
More information about HPAI can be found at www.aphis.usda.gov. You can also find out more about signs to look for with regard to bird disease and how to go about reporting it on the DOW’s website.