EHD confirmed in Montana white-tailed deer

Outbreak is widespread, but apparently not killing a high
percentage of deer

BILLINGS, MT – Laboratory tests of white-tailed
deer found dead along the Yellowstone River east of Billings have
confirmed that the animals died of epizootic hemorrhagic disease,
or EHD.

The contagious virus is spread by a tiny biting gnat that
apparently is thriving throughout the region as a result of high
runoff this spring.

Earlier this month, samples taken from deer found dead in
Yellowstone, Phillips and Valley counties were sent to the
Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Studylaboratory. The test
results confirmed that “EHD is definitely at work in eastern
Montana.”

White-tailed deer, which biologists suspect died of EHD, also were
found along the Musselshell River, Flatwillow Creek and Crooked
Creek in Petroleum County and in Musselshell and Golden Valley
counties and along the Missouri River as far west as Fort Benton.
One mule deer is being tested. Laboratory results from those
samples still are pending.

Wildlife officials believe that, while the EHD outbreak is
widespread in Montana, it is not killing a high percentage of
white-tailed deer. Spread of the disease normally is stemmed when
the first frost of autumn kills the offending gnats.

For more scientific information about EHD, click here.

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