Deadly dis­ease found in On­tario deer

Kenora Daily Miner and News - - LOCAL NEWS -

A deadly dis­ease found in deer has been found in the south­ern part of the province.

The Cana­dian Wildlife Health Co­op­er­a­tive (CWHC) said on Wed­nes­day, Sept. 27 that two white-tailed deer from Lon­don, Ont. had sys­temic bleed­ing at au­topsy con­sis­tent with epi­zootic haem­or­rhagic dis­ease (EDH), which is highly fa­tal.

“To our knowl­edge, these are the first cases of this dis­ease di­ag­nosed in On­tario,” a post on the CWHC said.

The On­tario Fed­er­a­tion of An­glers and Hunters also is­sued an alert about the dis­ease di­ag­no­sis on their web­site.

A rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Re­sources and Forestry said they are only aware of the two cases found in Lon­don and aren’t aware of any deer car­ry­ing the dis­ease fur­ther north.

There are two closely re­lated viruses – EHD virus and blue­tongue virus – that may cause haem­or­rhagic dis­ease in deer, and they are spread by bit­ing midges that are also known as “no-seeums.”

The CWHC said deer in­fected with the virus can de­velop fever, de­pres­sion and breath­ing prob­lems be­fore dy­ing. In­fected deer of­ten seek out wa­ter to re­lieve fever and thirst, which is why dy­ing or dead deer can be found in wa­ter bod­ies.

The dis­ease is com­mon in south­ern U.S. states, but be­cause EHD is new to On­tario, deer pop­u­la­tions lack herd immunity, which may lead to higher num­bers of in­fected deer and greater rates of trans­mis­sion. How­ever, bit­ing midges are of­ten killed off after the first frost of the sea­son.

Peo­ple who see a sick or dead deer can re­port it to the CWHC at 866-673-4781 or on-nu@cwhc-rcsf.ca, or the MNR at 1-800-667-1940 or mnr.nric.mnr@on­tario.ca.

FILE PHOTO

Two cases of a highly fa­tal dis­ease in deer has been de­tected in Lon­don, Ont. The Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Re­sources says they aren't aware of any cases fur­ther north.

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