Whitetail Deer Articles/Newsletter

Iowa Hit by EHD

Iowa recently was added to the growing number of states experiencing EHD (epidzootic hemorrhagic disease) outbreaks. This is a serious disease of whitetails, transmitted by biting midges (gnats) that emerge from mud adjacent to streams, ponds and lakes. EHD is caused by a virus that is not communicable to humans, but affects deer similar to the way Ebola virus affects humans. About 10-14 days after being bitten on the belly by a EHD carrying midge, a deer comes down with high fever and most of its organs begin to deteriorate and bleed (hence the origin of the term "hemorrhagic"). High fever causes deer to go to water to cool off, further helping spread the disease. "Although there continues to be a great deal of concern about CWD in whitetails by many state agencies, no scientific study has demonstrated a significant population decline due to this disease," cautions Dr. Kroll; "yet, EHD has killed millions of deer over the last five years throughout the nation, forcing some states to reduce tag numbers!" The often-heard argument from biologists is that CWD is an exotic disease and EHD is "natural." "This isĀ  total nonsense," says Kroll, "the strain of EHD currently affecting deer was imported from Australia and is anything but native." CWD also is a natural disease, whose origin is not known. For more information on the Iowa situation click here.

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