Deer Killing Disease Now in 17 Counties - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Deer Killing Disease Now in 17 Counties

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LANSING, Mich (WLNS) - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Michigan State's Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health has confirmed that Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, or EHD, in white-tailed deer is now in 17 counties.

Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Ionia, Jackson, Kent, Montcalm, Muskegon, Ottawa, Shiawassee, and St. Joseph have all had reports of the disease. There has been a national increase as well due to the hot and dry conditions.

Officials say over 1,700 deer have been killed this summer. EHD is not transmissible to humans, but is an acute, infectious and fatal disease for deer.

"This is not a coincidence," said State Veterinarian Dr. Steven L. Halstead.  "Owners of cervid facilities should make themselves aware of EHD cases occurring in wild White-tailed deer in Michigan and other states and take measures to manage biting insects around these valuable animals."

EHD is contracted most often by wild white-tailed deer, but was reported in domesticated deer in 2006.  EHD is transmitted via blood feeding flies.  The disease cannot be transmitted from one animal to another by direct contact.  EHD typically is detected in late summer and early fall.

Deer infected with the virus are often sluggish, confused, lame and unresponsive to humans.  As the disease progresses, the deer may have discharge from the nose and mouth along with sores in the mouth and a swollen tongue. 

Some animals may die suddenly without displaying any clinical signs.  Animals that do die from disease or injury in a privately owned cervid facility must be submitted for Chronic Wasting Disease testing. 

Owners of POC facilities who find sick or dead animals should submit them for examination at DCPAH.  Veterinarians can submit lung, kidney and spleen and liver tissues for testing.  For further instructions, call DCPAH at (517) 353-1683.

Visit the DNR's website for weekly updates on EHD.

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