DNR Investigates Potential EHD Outbreak

It’s a disease plaguing deer across the Hoosier State.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources confirms that deer in the Eastern part of the state are testing positive for Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, also know as EHD.

“It’s going to be a concern for all of us when we hear about the outbreak of a new disease,” says Shelby Hall, Wesselman Nature Society Natural Resource Director.

The virus cycle often occurs during late summer to early fall and experts say evidence shows the outbreaks are worse during drought years.

“We just have to monitor it as time goes on to determine how significant it is,” says Dr. Joe Caudell, DNR Deer Research Biologist. “That’s why we’re seeing more and more dead deer on the landscape. It’s just a combination of weather factors and the fact all these deer kind of pull together when it’s dry like this.”

This month DNR has been working to test deer in Central and South Central Indiana with deer in 16 counties already testing positive.

“Once we start hearing this pattern we try to get out and collect a sample from the deer,” says Caudell.

But here in the Tri-State, experts say there have already been some reports and this could impact hunters.

“It’s not going to be great cause it’s a new finding of an ecosystem imbalance. So that’s always hard for wildlife to figure out.”

Humans are not at risk for contracting EHD and some deer will survive the illness.

“We have a high population so I don’t know if it will hurt necessarily but then again when I say it’s a new disease in a new area anything could happen and we are concerned about what could come from it,” says Hall.

DNR officials are continuing to collect samples throughout the state. They’re asking anyone who comes in contact with deer acting abnormally to report it.



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