IRON RIVER AND KINGSFORD, Mich. (WJMN) – The Dickinson-Iron District Health Department (DIDHD) announced Friday that the first cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) have been confirmed in two bald eagles, one of which is from Dickinson County while the other is from Iron County. No human illness has been associated with the detection at this time.

DIDHD says it shared the information to alert people who own or work with birds, including poultry, or are exposed to wild birds to the possibility of infection and the need to take recommended precautions. 

Both wild and domestic birds, including chickens, are susceptible to avian influenza viruses. In Michigan, HPAl has been detected in both backyard domestic birds and wild birds. DIDHD says HPAl in birds is not a food safety concern if poultry and eggs are handled and cooked properly.

To stay up to date on detections in domestic birds, you can visit the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) at michigan.gov/birdflu. For the latest information regarding detections in wild birds, DIDHD recommends you to contact the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

To report possible cases in domestic birds:

Domestic bird owners and caretakers should watch for unusual deaths, a drop in egg production, a significant decrease in water consumption, or an increase in sick birds. If avian influenza is suspected in domestic birds, you should contact MDARD immediately at(800) 292-3939 during the day or (517) 373-0440 after-hours.

To report possible cases in wild birds:

If you notice what appears to be unusual or unexplained deaths among wild bird populations, you can report these cases to the DNR by: Using the DNR’s Eyes in the Field app. Choose the “Diseased Wildlife” option among the selections for “Observation Forms.” You may also call the DNR Wildlife Disease Laboratory at (517) 336-5030.

You can learn more about HPAI and how to protest domestic birds here.