Deer Deaths in several states Caused by EHD

January 2, 2014 by  
Filed under Bowhunting Tips

Deer Deaths in NE Oklahoma Caused by EHD
Biologists with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation say a viral disease has been confirmed in at least one deer and may be related to 10 others found dead near the Verdigris River in northeast Oklahoma.According to Erik Bartholomew, big game biologist for the Wildlife Department, the disease that killed the deer has been in Oklahoma for several decades. The Wildlife Department receives scattered reports every year in Oklahoma and there are occasional small outbreaks like this one. The Department is continuing to monitor the area for other sick or dead deer.

“Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) is a hemorrhagic disease caused by a virus and spread by the bite of a midge or small fly, usually during the late summer or early fall, when the midge becomes active,” Bartholomew said. “This virus is not transmissible to humans.”

Bartholomew added that the virus is not known to be transmissible from an infected deer to other deer through individual contact. There are several forms of EHD. In a completely separate case this month, biologists with the Wildlife Department confirmed a sick deer in southern Delaware Co. tested positive for a similar hemorrhagic disease called bluetongue virus.

According to Bartholomew, some forms of EHD kill deer quickly while others simply make the deer sick for a while before recovering. The virus can lead to high fever, causing infected deer to seek water to cool off. Dead deer usually are found in or near water. In most cases, infected deer are in good body condition because the disease usually runs its course and kills the animal quickly. EHD is not a threat to humans.

At present, there are no wildlife management tools or strategies available to prevent or control EHD. Bartholomew said there is little concern about the outbreak having a significant impact on deer populations, and any outbreaks will be curtailed by the onset of colder weather.

“It’s not something that we are worried about on a wide scale, but we do want to hear from people who see deer that appear to be sick,” Bartholomew said. “We urge everyone to help us be on the alert.”

The public should report any sick deer or deer that are acting abnormal to their county game warden. A listing of game warden phone numbers by county is available online at

EHD Now Confirmed in Eight Michigan Counties
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health have announced the death of deer in Ionia and Branch counties was due to epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD), bringing the total number of counties where EHD has been confirmed to eight.The two organizations have confirmed EHD in six additional counties: Barry, Calhoun, Cass, Clinton, Eaton and Montcalm. There has been a nationwide increase of EHD outbreaks due to the extended hot and dry conditions.

The often-fatal viral disease, found in wild ruminants, causes extensive internal bleeding within deer and is transmitted by a midge, or type of biting fly. A constant characteristic of the disease is its sudden onset. Deer lose their appetite and fear of humans, grow progressively weaker, salivate excessively and finally become unconscious. Due to a high fever, infected deer often are found sick or dead along or in bodies of water. There is no evidence that humans can contract the EHD virus.

EHD outbreaks killing deer in Michigan have occurred in isolated areas almost every year since 2006. Prior to 2006, EHD outbreaks in Michigan occurred in 1955 and 1974. The estimated mortality has varied from 50 to 1,000 deer per year in the affected areas.

“We are seeing a large die-off of deer in local areas. To date we have over 900 reports of dead deer across all counties,” stated Tom Cooley, DNR wildlife biologist and pathologist. “Although it is difficult to see so many dead deer, this is still a localized issue and the regional deer population should not be impacted.”

The DNR would like to remind hunters that they may not see as many deer in the areas where EHD is occurring. Deer numbers in the affected areas should rebound within a few years.

There is no known effective treatment for, or control of, EHD. Where EHD is more common, deer have built up antibodies to the disease, and population recovery does not take long. Michigan deer do not have the benefit of these antibodies. Losses may be severe but are typically restricted to localized areas. Population recovery may take longer than has been experienced in other states.

EHD Confirmed in Captive Ohio Deer
The Willoughby (Ohio) News-Herald reported Monday that the Ohio Department of Agriculture has confirmed drought-driven Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) is responsible for the death of 13 captive deer on a farm in Middletown Township.Outdoors writer Jeffre

y Frischkorn reports Mike Tonkovich, the Ohio Division of Wildlife’s deer management administrator, said the Ohio Department of Agriculture confirmed the 13 deaths from a herd of about 120 captive-raised animals.

The report is significant on two fronts: it appeared to mark the arrival of the fatal viral disease in The Buckeye State, and it was confirmed by the state Department of Agriculture. The latter is noteworthy because of the recent passage of legislation that removed the oversight ofcaptive deer-breeding operations from the Division of Wildlife and placed it with the Department of Agriculture, effective July 1.

Further, Frischkorn writes that a northern Portage County landowner has reported dead deer along the Upper Cuyahoga River, just downstream from Geauga County.

Other dead deer have been found along a watercourse in Monroe County as well, Tonkovich said.

EHD Continues to Kill Nebraska Deer

LINCOLN, NE – Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) continues to kill deer over much of Nebraska, spreading from the Missouri River to as far west as Garden County.

This disease historically has occurred in the state since the 1970s, but this year seems to be particularly prevalent. EHD normally occurs in late August to early September when hot and dry conditions exist. This year it started in mid-July, and because the disease is spread by biting insects, it usually does not persist much beyond the first frost.

The disease poses little threat to cattle and no problems for humans. Because of this year’s outbreak, some hunters may expect to see fewer deer in their area this fall. The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission will not know the full impact of the disease until after the close of the deer seasons. However, deer populations typically have recovered fairly quickly following past EHD die-offs. Game and Parks has no plans to modify 2012 deer seasons in response to EHD losses.

Deer killed by EHD often are found near water and sometimes show evidence of bleeding from the eyes, nose or mouth. Game and Parks remains interested in determining the extent of the disease and its possible effects on the deer population.

The public should report any deer deaths that may be attributed to this disease to their nearest Game and Parks office: Alliance, 308-763-2940; North Platte, 308-535-8025; Kearney, 308-865-5310; Bassett, 402-684-2921; Norfolk, 402-370-3374; and Lincoln, 402-471-0641.

Originally posted 2012-08-22 15:57:36. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Incoming search terms for the article:

Comments are closed.

© 2009-2014 All Rights Reserved