DNR Confirms Dead, Sick Deer from EHD in Clark County

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DNR Confirms Dead, Sick Deer from EHD in Clark County

EHD is a viral disease that may affect white-tailed deer to some degree every year.

CLARK COUNTY, Ind.--A sample of dead deer preliminarily tested positive for epizootic hemorrhagic disease earlier this month in Clark County, says the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. 

EHD is a viral disease that may affect white-tailed deer to some degree every year. It typically occurs during the late summer and early fall. The DNR also says there is evidence that outbreaks may be worse during drought years. EHD is transmitted by flies commonly known as biting midges, sand gnats, and "no-see-ums." Hemorrhagic disease is often fatal to deer, but some will survive it. 

“Deer infected with EHD may appear depressed or weak and often seek out water. Other signs may include a blue-tinged tongue, swelling of the head, neck or eyelids, ulcers on the tongue and the oral cavity, or sloughed hooves,” said Dr. Nancy Boedeker, DNR wildlife veterinarian.

Humans cannot get hemorrhagic disease. 

The testing happened because the DNR has received reports of sick or dead deer in both central and south-central Indiana, with Clark County experiencing the most intense outbreak so far. 

The DNR says 10 reports have come from 10 Indiana counties. 

“Although the reports DNR is receiving are consistent with EHD episodes of past years, it’s important for testing to be done on samples before it can be confirmed,” said Dr. Joe Caudell, DNR deer research biologist. “Samples need to be collected as soon as possible after the deer dies to be most useful for testing.” 

Additional testing is required to determine the strain of EHD virus. Results of tested samples from deer in other counties are pending. 

The DNR monitors for EHD every year. The most recent significant outbreaks were in 2007 and 2012. 
“If you see a deer that you suspect may have died from EHD, you can report it directly to the DNR through our website at deer.dnr.IN.gov,” Caudell said. “Just click on the link for Report a Dead or Sick Deer.” 

(PHOTO: Steve Dykes/Getty Images) 

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