Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease in White-Tailed Deer (Updated September 27, 2017)

White-tailed deer in water


In deer, the symptoms of EHD include fever; small hemorrhages or bruises in the mouth and nose; and swelling of the head, neck, tongue, and lips. A deer infected with EHD may appear lame or dehydrated. An infected deer may die within 1-3 days after being bitten by the midge or the disease may progress more slowly over weeks or months. Frequently, infected deer will seek out water sources and carcasses are often found near water. Often, a large number of dead or sick deer are found in a limited area. There is no treatment and no means of prevention for EHD. The dead deer do not serve as a source of infection for other animals because the virus is not long lived in dead animals.
EHD does not infect humans, and generally causes mild or inapparent infections in domestic cattle and small ruminants. Another similar virus called Blue Tongue can also infect deer, which is very difficult to tell apart from EHD without laboratory testing.

Update on states with reported EHD | September 27, 2017

PA, OH, MD, MI, CT, WV, KY, TN, and Ontario are all reporting EHD. PA has confirmed both EHD subtypes 2 and 6 in the state. PA and DE are asking the public to be alert for the disease. Results are pending from North Carolina and Virginia; testing was conducted at the Southeast Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study.

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This is the first case in domestic livestock so far this year. Jefferson Co. borders the little piece of WV that sticks up between OH and PA. PA has reported EHD in a white-tailed deer in Beaver Co., which is very close to Jefferson Co. OH.

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