Deadly Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease confirmed in 2 New York deer

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Two bucks are seen at Cape Henlopen State Park, in Lewes, Delaware, on November 25, 2020. (Photo by Eva HAMBACH / AFP) (Photo by EVA HAMBACH/AFP via Getty Images)

NEW YORK (WWTI) — The New York State Department of Environment of Conservation has confirmed cases of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease in deer.

The EHD virus is an often-fatal disease of deer that is transmitted by biting midges. The disease is not spread from deer to deer and humans cannot be infected.

Once deer become infected with EHD, they usually die within 36 hours. These outbreaks are most common late in the summer and early fall because midges are abundant during these times. The symptoms of EHD include fever, hemorrhage in muscles or organs, and swelling of the head, neck, tongue, and lips.

EHD outbreaks do not have significant long-term impacts on deer populations. However, it can be intense in smaller geographical areas. Most deer in New York do not have any immunity to this virus, and because of this, most EHD-infected deer in New York are expected to die.

Sightings of sick or dying deer should be reported to the closest DEC Regional Office or Environmental Conservation Police Officer where the DEC will collect samples from deer to determine the extent of the outbreak.

Those interested can visit Cornell University’s Wildlife Health Lab website for more information.

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