An often fatal viral disease, Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, has been found in white-tailed deer in Berrien, Cass and Ottawa counties in the past two weeks, according to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
The disease, relatively rare this far north, is characterized by extensive hemorrhages and is transmitted by a biting fly called a midge. White-tailed deer usually show signs of being sick about seven days after exposure, with their symptoms developing fast.
The disease is common in the southern U.S. where deer population appear to have evolved some immunity. It is still rare in the northern U.S. and is often fatal.
Cooley said owners who discover dead deer suspected of having EHD should call their nearest DNRE office to report it. DNRE officials can collect more fresh specimens to test the disease to determine its spread. Carcasses also can be buried at a sufficient depth so that body parts are not showing, or they can be disposed of at landfills that accept household solid waste.
The first documented case of EHD in white-tailed deer in Michigan was in 1955.
Additional cases occurred in 1974 and 2006, 2008 and 2009 in various counties in the state.
I suspect EHD outbreaks in the northern U.S. will become more common in the coming decades with climate change, but I do not have any good data to back this speculation up.
Source: South Bend Tribune