Sunday, February 5th, 2023
Sunday, February 5th, 2023

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DNR: more than 700 cases of EHD reported

Ralph LoosReports of epizootic hemorrhagic disease involving more than 700 deer in 51 counties had come through DNR offices as of the end of August, the agency said today.

According to DNR, calls about dead deer began to ramp up in July, primarily from the southern half of the state.  However, through the end of August, DNR biologists had logged reports of 721 dead deer from 51 counties.  And the highest numbers of EHD-related deer mortality have come from Cook (256), Macon (69) and Calhoun (59) counties.  

“Problems related to EHD can become more pronounced during drought years,” Tom Micetich, DNR's Deer Project Manager, said in a press release.  "Exposed mudflats provide conditions that favor hatches of the disease-carrying insects.  Later in the summer, deer become more concentrated around the limited water sources, and the disease may begin to spread more quickly.  Mild winters may also contribute, resulting in higher gnat populations the following summer.”

HD is similar to “blue tongue,” but is not the same disease. 

"Symptoms of EHD in deer may include sluggishness, difficulty breathing, loss of appetite, salivation, a high fever and swelling of the head, neck, tongue or eyelids.  Infected animals will seek water and are often found close to ponds, lakes and creeks," the DNR release explained.

Read more about the EHD outbreak in the Sept. 21 issue of Illinois Outdoor News.

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