Sep 11, 2019

Virus Causes Death in Two Deer in Stearns County

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed the first cases in a disease that is attacking white-tailed deer in Minnesota.

The DNR says that the first two cases of epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD, have been identified in deer in the St. Stephen area. Several deer have died recently in the area, and the DNR suspects it to have stemmed from EHD. The outbreak so far has been limited to Stearns County.

EHD first arrived in Minnesota in October of 2018, and most recently have confirmed EHD to have attacked two captive deer in southeastern Minnesota. The cases in Stearns County are not believed to be connected to any previous cases.

While EHD is new here in Minnesota, it has been in all of the neighboring states for several years according to Lou Cornicelli, the DNR wildlife research manager. He says that it was always a question of when it would show up here in Minnesota.

EHD is a viral disease that is spread by the bite on insect called a midge. The disease incubates inside the deer for 5-10 day and then most infected deer will die within 36 hours of showing symptoms.

If you find a dead deer, you should report it to your nearest DNR area wildlife office.

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