How to detect EHD virus in deer?

How to detect EHD virus in deer

As archery season approaches, it’s important that Pennsylvania hunters are on the look out for these signs of possible virus in your herd. Many hunters are familiar with CWD, chronic waste disease, but today, we are focusing on Epizootic hemorrhagic disease, also referred to as EHD.

EHD is commonly found in whitetail deer and it can be deadly if not caught early and is commonly transmitted by gnats. The cycle begins by gnats/mosquitos hovering over shallow, warm creeks waiting for the next deer to drink. Then, they bite the deer and the following one after.

EHD: What signs should I look for?

The most common signs that tell if your herd has EHD are the following.

1.) High fever

Deer will spend time near bodies of water but more importantly they will literally get in the water to lay and drink. You may see live deer in water trying to break their fever.

2.) Bad Odors

Bad odors are important to follow out in the woods- it may lead to dead deer floating in the water. Infected deer tend to cool their fevers, as mentioned above, and highly infected deer end up passing in the body of water.

3.) Blue Tongue

Infected deer loose the oxygen in their blood and it effects the color of their tongue. Blue tongue is the easiest sign to distinguish a healthy and unhealthy deer.

Can I eat deer meat that was infected with EHD virus?

To date there has not been any cases reported where humans have been effecting by eating infected meat. So, long story short, yes, you can eat the meat, but I’d recommend to do so at your own risk.

Next steps:

If you do find a deer that is infected be sure to report the case. The commission encourages residents to call the Southeast Region office in Reading to report a dead, sick or injured deer.

Contact: 610-926-3136

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