Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Epizootic hemorrhagic disease

I received an e-mail a few hours ago that contained the following information:

With the deer season open, news that outbreaks of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) has been found in deer from Albany, Rensselaer and Niagara counties [in New York state], is distressing. The diseased deer from Niagara County was reported from the Youngstown area.

When I read the first paragraph I immediately said, "OK, but what is Epizootic hemorrhagic disease?"

Here is what I found out:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) is an arthropod-borne viral (arbovirus) of White-tailed Deer in the southeastern United States.

The EHD virus is closely related to the Bluetongue virus and crossreacts with it on many blood tests.

External links
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Michigan Department of Natural Resources


Here is the rest of the e-mail I received:

Although EHD is not a threat to human health, hunters are advised to wear rubber gloves when field dressing deer. They are also advised to not eat organ meats such as heart or liver and to wash thoroughly any instruments such as knives that come in contact with deer tissue.

Eating any organ meat poses a risk of infections of various types to humans. Hunters are advised to have deer boned out professionally to assure as much fat, connective tissues and lymph nodes [as possible] are removed.

In general, any animal suspected to be ill should not be consumed. If the deer you drop doesn't seem healthy, notify a DEC [Department of Environmental Conservation] officer and if the deer is considered unfit for human consumption, you will be issued another deer tag.Generally, symptoms of an infected animal would be swollen head, neck or tongue, ulcers within the mouth, peeling of hooves and intestinal bleeding and possibly staggering when walking or running.

Animals contract EHD from bites of flies called midges. A heavy frost kills the midges, eliminating the danger of further incidents.[Whether] the deer you take appears healthy or not, the main thing you should always think of is to be as clean as possible.

You cannot wash your hands often enough. Also, check your clothing for any deer ticks that may have jumped from the deer to your clothing. Some deer ticks can carry Lyme disease, which can be fatal to humans.

Don't take a chance. If the deer appears suspicious, call a DEC officer to be on the safe side.

Here are some links to News stories I found about this issue:

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease Diagnosed in West Virginia

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) Killing Idaho Deer

Disease hits Tennessee deer populations : Outdoors : Commercial Appeal

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, or EHD, Detected in Pennsylvania ...

I will continue to look into this. If anyone else has more information, please forward it to me at:
tsrk30@sbcglobal.net

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 12:16 PM   0 comments links to this post

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