Disease reported in Kentucky Deer

Published: Aug. 10, 2017 at 1:29 PM EDT
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Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease has been reported in white-tailed deer in several Eastern Kentucky counties, officials with the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources say.

Confirmation of the disease came from the Georgia- based Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study Wednesday morning.

“Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease is not transmittable to people or pets,” Dr. Iga Stasiak, state wildlife veterinarian for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “However, we always recommend that hunters avoid eating venison from deer that were obviously sick.”

A release from the department reads:

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) is a viral disease transmitted to deer through the bite of a midge or gnat. The disease has been present in the United States for more than 60 years. Kentucky Fish and Wildlife receives and confirms EHD deer mortalities sporadically, with a small number of mortalities each year. Larger outbreaks tend occur every 5-7 years. Outbreaks cease at the first frost, which kills the biting bugs.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources also urges hunters to report any observations of deer that appear to have died of natural causes.