Deer virus in eastern Oregon – 10/07/2006

  • November 25, 2013 at 3:43 am #1315

    LA GRANDE, Ore. (AP) — A virus outbreak is being blamed for an
    unusually large number of deer found dead in south La Grande.

    Ten white-tailed deer and three mule deer have been found dead in the
    past month, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

    Blue tongue, a virus that periodically hits deer populations and
    poses no threat to humans, is the likely culprit, said Jim Cadwell,
    an ODFW biologist. The disease typically strikes between late August
    through October and primarily hits whitetails. The outbreaks, which
    occur during dry years, are related to the abundance of tiny biting
    flies known as midges.

    “When the weather cools the insect is suppressed,” Cadwell said. “The
    cause of the disease is shot down.”

    The ODFW was finding about two dead deer a day in south La Grande
    until the weather cooled a week ago. Then another dead deer was
    spotted Monday.

    Samples taken from the deer were sent to Oregon State University to
    be tested. Samples from other deer were not submitted because they
    were found well after their deaths. Cadwell said biologists need to
    reach a deer within hours after its death for it to be tested for the
    virus, which kills by causing internal bleeding.

    Dead deer have also been reported at Ladd Marsh this month. Dave
    Larson, manager of the Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area, said that a number
    of people reported seeing dead deer there during a youth pheasant
    hunt Sept. 9-10.

    Information from: The (La Grande) Observer,’

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