White-tailed deer in Franklin County have tested positive for Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
The presence of the disease was confirmed after DNR sent samples to Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study labs.
According to DNR, EHD is transmitted to deer from infected midge flies. After becoming infected, deer often develop a fever and die within 36 hours. Infected deer often seek bodies of water to relieve their fever and die nearby.
The disease is not known to affect humans.
Cases of EHD typically peak in the late summer and early fall but decline quickly after the first frost, when insect populations are greatly reduced.
Signs of EHD in deer can include:
• deer walking in circles
• general weakness
• loss of fear of humans
• swollen or blue-tinged tongue
• swollen eyelids
• swollen neck or head
• respiratory distress
DNR has received several reports of suspected EHD, primarily from counties in the southern part of the state. There is no known effective treatment or control for EHD in wild deer populations. The agency said it does not expect the outbreak to affect deer hunting season.
“If you see a deer acting strange or if you find multiple dead deer in a single area, we would like to hear about it,” said Michelle Benavidez Westrich, wildlife health biologist for southern Indiana.
To report a suspected case, go to DNR's Sick or Dead Wildlife Reporting System website.