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New York DEC Confirms Additional Cases of EHD

From New York Department of Environmental Conservation

-- Recent tests for Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) in several additional Albany, Rensselaer and Niagara County deer have come back positive, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The disease was first detected in New York State in October 2007. EHD does not present a threat to human health.

Following the first New York detection in Voorheesville, Albany County, DEC solicited the assistance of those who may be outdoors in helping to report any deer that are found sick, dying or dead. This resulted in additional deer mortality reports from Selkirk in Albany County, Castleton in Rensselaer County, and Youngstown in Niagara County, and DEC has recently confirmed EHD as the cause of death.

EHD is predominantly a disease affecting deer and is transmitted by certain types of biting flies called midges. It mainly affects deer in late summer and fall, but the flies die and the disease subsides when frosts and colder temperatures occur. Recent frosts throughout New York are anticipated to have reduced the likelihood of a large-scale outbreak this year, but DEC will continue to monitor the deer herd.

EHD is common in many southeastern states and has been reported throughout the mid-Atlantic this summer. In states where the disease has been detected, it has not had a significant negative impact on long-term health of the deer herd, and infecting instead only localized pockets of animals within a geographic area. There are several symptoms of EHD, all of which are not necessarily present in an infected deer.

They include:
swollen head, neck, tongue or eyelids; erosion of the dental pad or ulcers on the tongue; hemorrhaging of the heart, lungs, rumen and intestines; peeling of hooves; and high fever, leading infected deer to sometimes be found near water sources.

DEC continues to request the assistance of hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts in providing information to the Department about any sick, dying or dead animals encountered in the field. Sick or groups of dead deer should be promptly reported to the nearest DEC regional wildlife office. For more information about EHD, go to http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/38979.html on DEC's website.

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