The Warwick Police Department recently called the Warwick Valley Humane Society about a deceased deer on a resident’s property in Warwick.
“The deer had orange foam from its mouth,” reported Suzyn Barron, president of the society. “We contacted and referred the information to the DEC officer. I thought we need to inform residents of this non-spreading disease affecting deer in our area.”
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has confirmed that several white-tailed deer in Putnam and Orange Counties died after contracting Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), a viral disease of white-tailed deer that cannot be contracted by humans.
A statement issued by the DEC explained that the EHD virus is carried by biting midges, small bugs often called no-see-ums or “punkies.”
Once infected with EHD, deer usually die within 36 hours. The disease is not spread from deer to deer or from deer to humans
EHD outbreaks are most common in the late summer and early fall when midges are abundant. Symptoms include fever, hemorrhage in muscle or organs, or swelling of the head, neck, tongue and lips. A deer infected with EHD may appear lame or dehydrated. Frequently, infected deer will seek out water sources and many succumb near a water source.
There is no treatment for nor means to prevent EHD. The dead deer do not serve as a source of infection for other animals.
However, the report added that EHD outbreaks do not have a significant long-term impact on deer populations.
For additional information visit www.dec.ny.gov/
- Roger Gavan