Fatal disease threatens Indiana deer population

August 15, 2019

A virus known as epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD, may result in significant local losses to deer populations, according to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

On Monday, a confirmed case of EHD was determined in Clark County. The infected deer was found dead with symptoms of the disease.

Each year, many white-tailed deer are infected with EHD, which is spread through biting gnats. Not every deer infected with the virus will die, although many do. Population losses can exceed up to 50%. Significant outbreaks also took place in 2007 and 2012.

EHD symptoms include swelling around the head and neck, “rosy or bluish” color of the mouth and tongue, dehydration, weakness and loss of appetite. The virus, which cannot infect humans, is identified in a laboratory using blood tests. EHD has no treatment.

The DNR recommends reporting deer that exhibit symptoms of the disease.

Fatal disease threatens Indiana deer population