Last week epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) was found in white-tailed deer in Pennsylvania. The diagnosed deer were from Northampton County, in eastern Pennsylvania. The county is across the Delaware River from New Jersey, which is also reporting cases of EHD.
One captive deer in Erie County, in the northwestern corner of the state, has also died of EHD, according to a Pennsylvania Game Commission press release.
Read a story from the Wayne Independent here.
The always informative moderator’s comments from the ProMED listserv can be found here. (Scroll down to the end to find the comments in square brackets.) It contains background info on EHD from Iowa State University.
The important background information is that EHD is endemic to North America. The disease can infect most ruminants, but it it most common in white-tailed deer. A mild form of the disease is found in the southeastern U.S., where few deer die from the disease. Periodic outbreaks in the Midwest and Northeast can range from a small outbreak with few deaths to something more widespread. The severity of the outbreak depends on several things, including the weather (wet weather favors breeding midges), how many of the biting midges are around, and herd immunity.
Read the details in the Iowa State University fact sheet.
Photo: A healthy white-tailed deer. Credit: Ryan Hagerty, courtesy of US Fish and Wildlife Service