- About the disease
Epizootic hemorrhagic disease is a viral disease that is contracted from the bite of a species of midge known as Culiocoides sonorensis. A midge is similar to a mosquito.
Outbreaks occur in late summer and early fall. They end with the onset of cold weather, which kills the midges.
Infected deer initially lose their appetite, grow progressively weaker, salivate excessively and may have difficulty standing. They breathe heavily and develop a fever as the disease progresses. Fever-ridden deer may go to water to drink in an attempt to cool off.
Eight to 36 hours following the onset of observable signs, infected deer pass into a shocklike state, become prostrate and die. Deer typically die within five to 10 days of infection.
EHD is not a public health issue. The disease cannot be transmitted to people, and humans are not at risk by handling infected deer, being bitten by infected midges or eating infected deer meat.
There have been outbreaks of the EHD serotype 1 virus in New Jersey in 1955, 1975 and 1999. Confirmed cases of EHD serotype 2 virus, which normally occurs in Southern states, occurred in 2007, 2010, 2011 and this year.
- To report a deer
People seeing deer with signs of EHD, or deer that are dead in or near water with no apparent wounds, should call the state Office of Fish and Wildlife Health and Forensics at 908-236-2118. South Jersey residents can also call the state Bureau of Wildlife Management Southern Region at 609-748-2043. More information on EHD can be found at www.njfishandwildlife.com
Posted: Monday, September 24, 2012 11:21 pm
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Monday, September 24, 2012 11:21 pm.