Pathogenic avian influenza discovered in Ohio


COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife has confirmed highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in two bald eagles and a herring gull in northwest Ohio. The results were detected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory.

The herring gull was confirmed HPAI positive in Erie County on Wednesday, March 9. The first bald eagle was confirmed HPAI positive on Friday, March 11, and the second on Tuesday, March 15. Both bald eagles came from Ottawa County. All three birds are deceased. Additional tests are pending.

HPAI has been detected in several states in recent months. The Division of Wildlife is working closely with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other state and federal agencies to monitor HPAI. The virus does not present an immediate public health concern but avoid handling sick or dead birds as a precaution.

All Ohioans can report sick or dead wild birds suspected of HPAI at 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543) or The following bird species should be reported:

—Any raptor, such as a bald eagle.

—Multiple waterfowl, such as geese or ducks.

—Any other large congregation of sick or dead birds.

HPAI occurs naturally in bird populations and is monitored closely by the U.S. Geological Survey. Native Ohio birds such as shorebirds, raptors, and waterfowl are vulnerable to HPAI. Domestic chickens and turkeys are also vulnerable to HPAI. The virus is transmitted from bird to bird through feeding and interactions. More information about HPAI is available at

The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit to find out more.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at

Highly pathogenic avian influenza was confirmed in a herring gull in Erie County, Ohio, on March 9. pathogenic avian influenza was confirmed in a herring gull in Erie County, Ohio, on March 9. Courtesy photo

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