Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) Information
EHD has been confirmed in Butler, Clermont, Clinton, and Highland counties in Ohio in 2013. If you suspect EHD in deer, please contact us.
EHD General Information:
- EHD does not affect humans, nor impact the safety of consumed deer.
- EHD is caused by the bite of an infected midge and once there has been a hard freeze, the insects die off fo r the winter, eliminating new cases of EHD.
- Most significant disease of white-tailed deer in the United States
- Virus identified and described in 1955 in NJ.
- Enzootic to Southeastern United States.
- Outbreaks often associated with drought.
- Can result in high deer mortality in some areas.
- Highly virulent strains may cause death in 1-3 days.
- Carcasses often recovered near water.
- Symptoms vary depending on virulence of the virus and resistance of the deer.
- Deer appear disoriented and show little or no fear of humans.
- Animals may appear feverish
- Have pronounced swelling of head, neck, tongue, and eyelids
- May have respiratory distress
- EHD does not pose a serious threat to livestock (according to the Ohio Department of Agriculture.)
- The virus deteriorates in <24 hours after death and cannot be spread from deer carcasses
- No risk has been shown to be associated with direct exposure to the virus or in consuming a deer that has been infected with the virus.
- However, never kill or eat a sick deer.
- Use rubber gloves to field dress deer.
- Mapping distribution of EHD outbreak.
- Estimating infection and mortality rates.
- Collecting blood samples of hunter harvested deer.
- Monitoring changes in deer populations.
- Examining fall bow hunter surveys and harvest statistics
- Conducting aerial deer surveys
See the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study’s Web site for more information.