Wildlife officials have discovered three cases of bird flu in part of Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced on Thursday that the Division of Wildlife has confirmed Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza in two bald eagles and a herring gull in northwest Ohio.

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 dead.

The results were detected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Veterinary Services Laboratory.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza is a highly contagious serious disease often fatal to chickens.

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.

The disease has been detected in several states in recent months.

The Division of Wildlife is working with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and other state and federal agencies to monitor HPAI.

According to wildlife officials, 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). 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.