Friday, September 25, 2009

MICHIGAN NEWS: Dead Deer Probably Killed by EHD

Homeowners in the area around Hoisington and Bennett lakes have discovered dozens of dead white-tailed deer in their yards and waterways over the past few weeks.

Department of Natural Resources officials say it appears the deer are victims of epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD — an acute, infectious and often fatal viral disease that is spread by a biting fly or midge. However, no definitive lab tests have been conducted at this point to confirm it.

“I don’t think there’s any question that’s what it is, from what they’re describing and seeing. The problem is they’re finding most of these deer by smell when they’re already decomposing and the virus breaks down with decomposition. To confirm EHD we have to work on fresh samples,” said DNR wildlife biologist Tom Cooley.

Cooley and a wildlife technician were enroute to the site on Thursday morning with a field kit in hopes of finding a carcass fresh enough to at least be examined for internal bleeding, one telltale of the disease that isn’t externally visible.

September 30 2009 Update: EHD has been confirmed as the causative agent.

Source: MLive

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