Bald Eagle Deaths Soar as Bird Flu Outbreak Grips US

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bald eagle, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Robin Silver This photo is available for free use by media with credit to © Robin Silver

According to data from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, 36 bald eagles have died in 14 different states since February. Agriculture Department (USDA).

The bald eagle, America’s national bird, is one of millions of birds across the country infected with avian influenza, a highly contagious viral disease that causes significant mortality rates in hens.

Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wisconsin are among the states that are affected.

The death toll among bald eagles is expected to rise to 16 states, with two more eagles apparently becoming ill as a result of the stress.

H5N1, a particularly dangerous type of avian flu, has been sweeping the country. In fact, the USDA fears that this current outbreak could be as deadly as the 2015 outbreak, which resulted in millions of deaths on commercial farms due to an avian illness.

While the bulk of 2022 bald eagle deaths have been documented east of the Mississippi River, the virus has several sources in the western states.

According to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, bald eagles were removed from the endangered species list in August 2007 when their populations had recovered sufficiently. Fish and Wildlife Service is a federal agency that protects wildlife.

According to the USDA, the outbreak has taken a huge toll on the poultry business, resulting in higher egg and poultry costs across the country.

In the previous week alone, about 23 million fowl, including chickens and turkeys, have been exposed to the bird flu strain.

When these hens and turkeys come into contact with the feces of wild birds, they can become infected with the flu and succumb swiftly.

The risk of people catching avian flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), remains minimal.