October 2, 2012
MADISON - State wildlife officials have confirmed that samples submitted from deer found dead in Jefferson, Marquette, and Iowa counties have tested positive for Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, or EHD. EHD has now been confirmed in Columbia, Rock, Sauk, Dane, Waukesha, Jefferson, Marquette and Iowa counties.
Department of Natural Resources wildlife health specialists submitted the samples for testing to Michigan State University's Diagnostic Center for Population & Animal Health or Southeastern Wildlife Disease Study, which confirmed they died of EHD. Additional tests of a deer from Marinette County are pending.
EHD outbreaks have been confirmed in at least 15 states this year, including neighboring states of Michigan, Iowa and Illinois, 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. We are optimistic, with the cold overnight temperatures recently that we will soon see this outbreak come to an end," Lobner said
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.
Individuals that observe deer exhibiting the following signs are encouraged to report their observations to the DNR:
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.
As a result of this confirmation, the DNR is no longer collecting samples from dead deer found in Columbia, Rock, Dane, Sauk, Waukesha, Jefferson, Marquette and Iowa counties; however, officials do want to take samples from dead deer reported in counties where EHD has not been confirmed. Also, in order to monitor the geographic distribution and the number of deer affected by this EHD event, the DNR does want people to continue to report sick or dead deer within Columbia, Rock, Dane, Sauk, Waukesha, Jefferson, Marquette and Iowa counties.
To report a sick deer observation please call the DNR call center toll free at 1-888-WDNR- INFo (1-888-936-7463), email DNRInfo@Wisconsin.gov, or use the chat feature on the DNR website. Staff are available seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Please be prepared to provide details about the condition of the deer and the exact location where the deer was observed. Individuals interested in finding more information on sick deer in Wisconsin can visit the Wisconsin DNR website at dnr.wi.gov keyword "sick deer."
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Eric Lobner 608-235-0860 or Bill Cosh, DNR spokesperson, 608-267-2773