HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Game Commission officials today announced that test results from a wild deer have confirmed that epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) has been found in Northampton County. This sample was collected Aug. 18.
EHD also has been confirmed in captive deer in Northampton County in the vicinity of the wild deer. Additionally, one captive deer in Erie County was confirmed to have died of EHD, based on a sample collected Aug. 13.
Residents are encouraged to call their respective Game Commission region office to report dead or sick deer. Contact information is available on page 5 of the 2011-12 Pennsylvania Digest of Hunting and Trapping Regulations, which is presented to each license buyer, and also on the agency’s website (www.pgc.state.pa.us) by clicking on “About Us” in the menu bar at the top of the page and then selecting “Regional Information.”
To provide the public with more information about EHD, the agency has posted an EHD information page on its website (www.pgc.state.pa.us). To view the information, place your cursor over “Wildlife” in the menu bar at the top of the page, then put your cursor over “Wildlife Diseases” in the drop-down menu listing and then click on “Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD).”
EHD is a common but sporadic disease in white-tailed deer populations of the United States, and is contracted by the bite of insects called “biting midges.” In more northern states, such as Pennsylvania, EHD occurs less often and affected deer are less likely to mount an effective immune response. The virus usually kills the deer within five to 10 days. It is not spread from deer to deer by contact. While EHD is not infectious to humans, deer displaying severe symptoms of EHD are usually not suitable for consumption because of the rapid deterioration of the meat and secondary bacterial infection.