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Deer deaths tied to virus in four counties; suspected in Brown
Updated on: 09.20.12

From the Indiana Department of Natural Resources:

 

Amid widespread reports of dead deer being found around the state, DNR deer management biologist Chad Stewart said today that laboratory tests have identified a deadly virus as the culprit in four counties.

 

EHD, or epizootic hemorrhagic disease, was confirmed in samples collected from dead deer in LaGrange, Miami, Morgan and Sullivan counties. In addition, the State Board of Animal Health has identified EHD at captive cervid facilities in Adams, Marshall, Putnam and Vanderburgh counties and in cattle in Ripley County.

 

“Our list is over 40 counties now where it has been reported or suspected in deer,” Stewart said.

 

Although citizen reports to the DNR of dead deer were consistent with EHD episodes of past years, Stewart was cautious until lab tests were complete in order to rule out the possibility of bluetongue, a disease similar to EHD that affects mainly sheep but also cattle, goats, deer and other ruminants.

 

The final lab report was received this week from the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study at the University of Georgia. Other samples were tested at Purdue University.

 

The tests confirmed two strains of the virus – EHD V-2 and EHD V-6.

 

“Basically, 10 years ago we didn’t have the EHD V-6 strain in Indiana,” Stewart said. “It’s just recently been documented, so it’s still relatively new on the landscape. It may be an explanation for some of these harder hit pockets.”

 

In addition to the counties where EHD is confirmed, Stewart said the virus is suspected in reports of dead deer in Adams, Bartholomew, Brown, Cass, Carroll, Clay, Crawford, Daviess, Dearborn, Decatur, Delaware, Dubois, Elkhart, Fayette, Franklin, Gibson, Hendricks, Henry, Jay, Jefferson, Jennings, Johnson, Knox, Lawrence, Marion, Monroe, Ohio, Owen, Parke, Perry, Pike, Porter, Posey, Putnam, Randolph, Ripley, Shelby, Spencer, Steuben, Switzerland, Tippecanoe, Union, Vermillion and Warrick counties. 

 

“If it’s not as bad this year as it was in 2007, it’s getting close,” Stewart said, noting an outbreak five years ago in which EHD was reported in 59 Indiana counties and confirmed by lab tests in 17. “We did a lot more testing and confirming in 2007. This year we’re lying back because the tests are so expensive and we know what it is.”

 

EHD is a non-contagious virus that likely affects white-tailed deer every year. Severity and distribution of the disease is highly variable and unpredictable. It typically occurs during late summer and early fall. There is evidence that outbreaks may be worse during drought years.

 

EHD is not transmitted from deer to deer but instead by flies commonly known as biting midges. Deer infected with EHD may appear depressed or feverish. They often seek comfort in or around water. Other signs may include blue-tinted tongue or eyes, ulcers on the tongue, sloughed hooves, or an eroded dental pad.

 

Hemorrhagic disease is often fatal to deer, but some will survive the illness. Not every deer will contract hemorrhagic disease, which can be present or absent in any area. Death losses during an outbreak can range from negligible to greater than 50 percent. Severe outbreaks rarely occur in subsequent years due to immunity gathered from previous infections.

 

The onset of freezing temperatures often brings a sudden halt to EHD outbreaks.

 

EHD is confirmed or suspected this year in at least 10 other states: Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

 

Humans are not at risk for contracting hemorrhagic disease.

Obituaries
See Full List »

George R. Osborn, 69, Brown County
  Husband of Sharon L.G. “Sherry” (Ford) Osborn of Nashville

Glenda Leonard, 75, Nineveh
  

Mary Elizabeth Vehslage, 97, Seymour
  Helped establish Happy Hollow Children's Camp in Brown County

  • March 3
    Euchre
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  • March 3
    CSCD Building Commission
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  • March 3
    Nashville Redevelopment Commission
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  • March 3
    Bean Blossom Sewer Board
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  • March 4
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
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  • March 4
    Nashville Main Street Committee
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  • March 4
    Brown County SWCD
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    Nashville Town Council
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    Brown County Schools Board of Trustees
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    WRAPS
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 6
    Bingo
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  • March 6
    'SpongeBob Movie' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • March 7
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • March 7
    Meet your legislators at County Office Building
    10 a.m. County Office Building, 201 N. Locust Lane
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    Meet 'Wilderness Plots' author at the library
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 7
    Music celebration at the Playhouse
    7:30 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • March 7
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    7:30 p.m. Brown County State Park, State Road 46 East
  • March 8
    'Wilderness Plots'-themed concert planned
    4 p.m. BCHS, 235 School House Lane
  • March 8
    Brown County bridal tour slated
    10 a.m. to 6 p.m. various locations
  • March 8
    'SpongeBob Movie' at the Playhouse
    4 p.m., 7 p.m. BC Playhouse, 70 S. Van Buren St.
  • March 9
    Beeline beekeepers club
    7 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 10
    Euchre
    6 p.m. Sycamore Valley Center, 746 Memorial Drive (fairgrounds)
  • March 10
    Soil & water conservation district to celebrate 62 years
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  • March 10
    Peaceful Valley Heritage meeting
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  • March 10
    CSCD Roads, Security commissions
    6 p.m., 7:30 p.m. CSCD Office, 8377 Cordry Drive; CSLOA Clubhouse, 8751 Nineveh Road
  • March 11
    Jeff Foster at Hobnob restaurant
    6 to 8 p.m. Hobnob, 17 W. Main St.
  • March 12
    Go Club at the library Thursdays
    3:30 to 5 p.m. Brown County Public Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 12
    BC photography club
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 13
    Bingo
    5 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North.
  • March 14
    Free community breakfast at Sprunica church
    8 to 10 a.m. Sprunica Baptist Church, 3902 Sprunica Road
  • March 14
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    7:30 p.m. Brown County State Park, State Road 46 East
  • March 19
    WRAPS
    7 to 9 p.m. Library, 205 N. Locust Lane
  • March 20
    Bingo
    6 p.m. Fruitdale Fire Station, 5200 State Road 135 North, Bean Blossom
  • March 21
    Dave Miller at Abe Martin Lodge
    5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown County State Park
  • March 21
    Jackson Township VFD yard sale
    8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jackson Township Fire Department, 4831 Helmsburg Road
  • April 24
    Wildflower foray slated at historic site
    TC Steele State Historic Site, 4220 T.C. Steele Road, Belmont
  • April 25
    Wildflower foray slated at historic site
    TC Steele State Historic Site, 4220 T.C. Steele Road, Belmont
  • April 26
    County history center dedication slated
    2 p.m. Brown County History Center, 90 E. Gould
  • April 26
    Wildflower foray slated at historic site
    TC Steele State Historic Site, 4220 T.C. Steele Road, Belmont