It seems that not even the bald eagle can remain harmless in the face of bird flu. The illness that has led to millions of deaths across poultry is now affecting bald eagles as well, according to The Guardian.
Since February 2022, about 36 bald eagles from 14 states have died due to avian influenza infection. However, the horror for the beautiful animals might have just begun.
Here’s an official statement from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) about wild birds having the disease:
They can carry the disease to new areas when migrating, potentially exposing domestic poultry to the virus. APHIS anticipates additional avian influenza detections will occur in additional states as wild bird surveillance continues into the spring.
The Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) is a very cunning disease. Wild birds can be infected with it without showing any signs, according to the same source mentioned above.
Millions of chickens and turkeys from the American state of Iowa were awaited to be killed over fears of bird flu spread. If it passes somehow to humans, the disease can be extremely dangerous, although there were very few reported cases of such infections.
Behold what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said:
More than 700 human infections with Asian HPAI H5N1 viruses have been reported to WHO from primarily 15 countries in Asia, Africa, the Pacific, Europe and the Near East since November 2003. Indonesia, Vietnam and Egypt have reported the highest number of human HPAI Asian H5N1 cases to date.
Eagles are fantastic creatures, and there are plenty of reasons to believe so. For instance, they are able to fly at a staggering 30mph and dive at up to 100mph.