(Lewis) There is a virus that is infecting and killing deer in Southwest Iowa.
The scientific name for it is “Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease,” or more commonly known as EHD. Bryan Hayes, Fisheries Biologist from the Iowa Department of Natural Resource Office in Lewis says the disease has killed 747 Iowa deer.
“It is a viral blood born disease that is common in wild ruminants like deer and very similar to blue tongue in domestic livestock,” explained Hayes, this disease is drought driven and can be spread animal to animal through a gnat called a “Biting Midge.”
“There is always a little bit of it in the state every year, but in a drought year deer begin to concentrate in smaller areas either to feed and get water,” Hayes said.
The DNR has been tracking the disease and so far 25-deer have died in Guthrie County, 2 in Adair County, 19-Page County, and 193-deer have been killed in Madison County, just to name a few.
The disease can also spread to cattle. It won’t kill cattle, but can cause fever swollen eyes, and mouth sores.
September 21, 2012
7:00 a.m. news