Virus Found in 6 Goodhue County Deer

Virus Found in 6 Goodhue County Deer Photo: KSTP

October 17, 2018 01:07 PM

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health reports a known deer disease has made its way into Minnesota.

Six of seven white-tailed deer that had died in Goodhue County were tested and found to have been carrying Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD).


The board reported the cases were the first detection of the disease in deer in the state, although it is widespread across North America. EHD had previously been detected in two Brown County and Murray County cattle.

EHD is reportedly transmitted between deer by biting midges or gnats, which are typically most active in fall.

"These bugs can't travel far on their own and we're concerned by this detection because the herd owner hasn't moved deer onto the property for several years," Board of Animal Health Senior Veterinarian, Dr. Mackenzie Reberg said in a statement.

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EHD poses no known health risks to humans.

Many different deer species can become infected with EHD, with white-tailed deer being the most susceptible. Most deer die within 36 hours of displaying symptoms, which include fever, anorexia, lethargy, stiffness, respiratory distress, oral ulcers, and severe swelling of the head and neck, according to the Minnesota Board of Animal Health.

The board has notified the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources about the cases of EHD.


Rebecca Omastiak

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