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NJ residents asked to report deer exhibiting EHD symptoms

NJ residents asked to report deer exhibiting EHD symptoms
From New Jersey Dept. of Environmental Protection

-- Residents and hunters in the East Amwell, Hopewell and Hillsborough areas of west-central New Jersey are asked to be alert for white-tailed deer wildlife biologists believe are experiencing Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), a localized virus that spreads among deer though of midge fly bites.

EHD is not a public health issue, and it cannot be transmitted to people. Humans are not at risk by handling infected deer, being bitten by infected midges or eating infected deer meat, although the Division of Fish and Wildlife strongly advises against consuming meat from any game animal that appears ill.

Although livestock can be infected with EHD, the disease is relatively benign in livestock and is likely to go unnoticed.

The Division of Fish and Wildlife is asking the public to report any deer showing symptoms of the disease to help monitor the impact on the local deer herd.

EHD is a common viral disease in deer contracted from the bite of a species of midge, Culiocoides sonorensis. It does not spread from deer to deer. EHD outbreaks end with the onset of colder weather, which will kill midges that spread the disease

Deer typically die within 5 to 10 days of infection. Infected deer initially lose their appetite and fear of people. Deer exhibiting signs of EHD, such as difficulty standing, drooling, emitting foam from the mouth or nose, or dead deer with no apparent wounds, observed in or near water should be reported to the Division's Office of Fish and Wildlife Health Forensics by calling Bill Stansley at (908) 236-2118 or Carole Stanko at (908) 735-7040.

Livestock infected with EHD may show clinical signs similar to a number of other livestock diseases. People suspecting these diseases should test their animals and can seek information from the State Veterinarian's Office at (609) 292-3965.

New Jersey has documented occasional, localized outbreaks of EHD in different parts of the state for more than 50 years. The last occurred in the fall of 2010 in Salem County (http://www.state.nj.us/dep/fgw/news/2010/ehd_outbreak10.htm).

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