Deer in Genesee County tests positive for EHD - WNEM TV 5

Deer in Genesee County tests positive for EHD

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The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has confirmed a free-ranging white tailed deer in Genesee County died from Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD).

This report comes from the DNR’s Wildlife Disease Laboratory and the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory.

The disease can be found in wildlife such as white-tailed deer, mule deer, and elk.

EHD is transmitted by a biting fly called a midge. The infection does not always result in the disease. Signs of illness in an infected animal can range from none to extensive internal bleeding and fluid accumulation.

There is no evidence that humans can contract the EHD virus.

The sickness can come suddenly and severely for weeks or months in a low-grade state. When in a severe form, infected animals lose their appetite and fear of humans, grow progressively weaker, salivate excessively, and become unconscious. Due to the high fever and hydration, the infected wildlife will seek water and then be found sick or dead next to the body of water.

Tom Cooley, a DNR wildlife pathologist, asks hunters to be on the lookout for dead deer.

“Although this has been a single deer death at this point, we are asking for hunters to look around as they hit the field to let us know if they find dead deer, especially any near water,” Cooley said.

Deer deaths from EHD in Michigan have occurred sporadically since 2006. Before 2006, EHD outbreaks in the state occurred in 1955 and 1974.

There is no known effective treatment for EHD in wild populations. The disease has been seen for decades in many areas of the U.S.

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