Deer in Berrien Co. found with EHD disease

deer buck hunting

BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. – A deer found in Berrien County has been found to have epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD), according to the Michigan DNR.

The sometimes-fatal viral disease is found in wild ruminants, according to investigators.  The disease is transmitted through the herd by a biting fly called a midge.  The disease is not transferable to people.

The DNR says that there have been sporadic outbreaks of EHD and generally kill between 50 and 1,000 deer per year in isolated affected areas.  In 2012, there was a severe outbreak that killed over 12,000 deer.  No confirmed cases of EHD were reported in Michigan in either 2014 or 2015.

“Due to the prolonged, dry, hot weather this year, we are not surprised to see EHD emerge,” said Tom Cooley, DNR wildlife biologist and pathologist in a press release. “Mortality numbers will depend on the strain of the virus, and how widespread the disease is – die-offs usually occur within one watershed area. If multiple watersheds are involved, the total mortality is higher.”

There is no known effective treatment for EHD in wild populations.  In areas where EHD is more common, deer acquire immunity to the disease.

Anyone who discovers a dead deer should report it to the DNR’s Diseased Wildlife Reporting database.


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