Deer in Indiana – 09/23/2006

  • November 25, 2013 at 3:26 am #1301

    Mysterious Deer Deaths Attributed to Virus

    ( Air Date: 9/20/2006 )

    Some deer in the Wabash Valley are dying from a virus called Epizooic
    Hemoragic Disease, better known as EHD.

    There is no cure for it but right now the Department of Natural
    Resources says there`s no reason for concern either.

    The Minnehaha Fish and Wildlife Area in Sullivan County is just one
    D.N.R. Office that has received curious phone calls about dead deer.

    “We have had reports from Sullivan, Greene, Vermillion, Parke, Vigo
    counties,” says Certified Wildlife Biologist, Ron Ronk.

    Ronk, and many other Conservation Officers say the deer are dying
    from E.H.D. It’s hard to scientifically confirm because it’s
    difficult to get a fresh blood sample.

    “The virus breaks down in the animal shortly after death, so if you
    don`t get the sample real quick, they end up with negative results,”
    says Ronk.

    Hard to confirm, but easy to recognize.

    “The deer can get lesions on their tongue, lips,” lists Ronk, “Deer
    can have a lot of salavation.”

    Deer with E.H.D. also suffer from extremely high fever, that`s why
    they are often found dead near bodies of water, trying to cool
    themselves off. A high body temperature can cause delirium, so if a
    deer is easy to sneak up on, it’s a good sign that it’s not healthy.

    Ronk compares E.H.D. in deer to West Nile virus in humans: it can`t
    be transferred from mammal to mammal. It`s only transferred when a
    tiny insect bites an infected animal and spreads contaminated blood
    to a healthy one.

    The D.N.R. says E.H.D. has been around for a long time, so many deer
    have built up an immunity. If they haven`t, though, one good freeze
    will help kill off the insect that spreads the disease.

    As Ronk said, the virus dies soon after the death of the host, so
    there is no concern that it will spread through water.

    E.H.D. offers no threat to humans, but the D.N.R. doesn`t reccommend
    eating any meat from a sickly animal.

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