Waukesha County deer test positive for EHD
State wildlife officials have confirmed that samples submitted from deer found dead in Dane, Sauk and Waukesha counties have tested positive for epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD). A number of citizens in southern Wisconsin contacted the Department of Natural Resources with recent observations of small groups of dead deer. EHD has now been confirmed in Columbia, Rock, Sauk, Dane and Waukesha counties.
“Our neighbor states have been seeing EHD outbreaks for the last several weeks and now it has made its way into southern Wisconsin,” said Eric Lobner, DNR southern Wisconsin wildlife supervisor. “It is a fairly common disease carried by midges, commonly referred to as no see ums, which are not a threat to humans, so there is no cause for alarm."
EHD is often fatal, typically killing an infected deer within seven days. The last EHD observation in Wisconsin was in 2002 in Iowa County where 14 deer died from the virus. EHD is common across southern states and occasionally shows up as far north as the upper Midwest. This year, outbreaks of EHD have been reported in Michigan, Illinois, Indiana and Iowa. The disease is typically short lived as the flies that transmit the disease die with the first hard frost.
Wildlife officials say there is no risk to people or pets from deer that have died of EHD and that the venison is safe to eat. Deer carcasses can be left on the landscape to decompose. The DNR will not be collecting or removing deer that have died as a result of this outbreak.
To report a sick deer observation call the DNR call center at (888) WDNR- INFo (1-888-936-7463), send email DNRInfo@Wisconsin.gov, or use the chat feature on the DNR website at dnr.wi.gov/contact. Staff members are available seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Be prepared to provide details about the condition of the deer and the exact location where the deer was observed.
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