Bay View bald eagle tests 'presumed positive' for bird flu

The pathology reports of the Bay View bald eagle euthanized last weekend show a presumed positive test result for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), a report from the Wisconsin Humane Society said Friday, April 15.

A second confirmatory avian influenza test is underway to determine the virus strain, and it will take several days for results. It won’t technically be a "confirmed positive" until those results are finalized, a release said.

The female eagle was found in distress in Bay View on April 8 and was deemed in critical condition and beyond treatment. 

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it is not of immediate concern for human health as the bird flu spreads through Wisconsin.

In a statement, the WHS said: 

We have received many questions about the eagle’s mate, who at this time has not been admitted to WHS. We understand HPAI to be highly contagious but hope he was spared from the virus. The DNR is asking the public to contact them with reports of waterfowl, waterbirds, raptors (especially Bald Eagles) and avian scavengers such as crows, ravens and gulls showing tremors, circling movement, or holding their heads in an unusual position. These symptoms may be a sign of HPAI.  These reports can be made to the DNR Wildlife Hotline by emailing DNRWildlifeSwitchboard@wi.gov or by leaving a voicemail message for a return phone call at 608-267-0866.

Due to the current prevalence and serious risk of HPAI in our region, our admission processes have changed. It is of vital importance that you do not bring in an animal to the Wildlife Hospital until our team has talked with you directly via phone and has instructed you how to safely do so. If you have found a sick, injured, or potentially orphaned wild animal in our service area, please call us at 414-431-6204 and leave a message. Our staff will respond to your call as soon as we are able. Thank you so much for caring for wildlife and for your support.

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