As of October 29, the Department of Natural Resources had received reports of 432 suspected cases of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) in white-tailed deer so far in 2018.
EHD appears to be at low to moderate levels in counties on or near the Illinois River, extending from Schuyler County to the southwest through Bureau County to the northeast. Peoria County has had the worst of it with 77 cases, followed closely by Fulton County with 71 cases.
Scattered suspected cases of EHD have also been reported across central and southern Illinois, with slightly higher levels reported in the southeastern Illinois counties of Lawrence (35 cases), Crawford (15), Jasper (13 cases), and Richland (10). In all, reports have come from 49 counties.
The EHD virus has been confirmed in tissue samples submitted for testing from Cass, Edwards, Macon, Peoria, Putnam, Rock Island and Sangamon counties (serotyping is still pending).
The worst year for EHD in Illinois was 2012, when 2,968 cases were reported from 87 counties. In 2013, the IDNR received reports of 1,224 cases from 64 counties. EHD was virtually absent in 2014 and at low levels in 2015, 2016, and 2017. The DNR continues to ask landowners, hunters, and concerned citizens to be on the lookout for dead or dying deer, and to report suspected EHD cases to their local DNR field office, or to the Wildlife Disease and Invasive Species Program.
The Department is especially interested in sick or recently dead animals as staff may attempt to collect tissue samples in order to confirm the presence of the EHD virus.
Contact information for local DNR biologists is available online.
To contact the Wildlife Disease and Invasive Species program, call (815)369-2424, or send an email to email@example.com. Be sure to include your name and contact information, as well as the county, number of dead/sick deer, sex of the deer (if known), age (fawn or adult), and the specific location of the deer (distance/direction from the nearest town or intersection of two roads).