Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) is killing off deer at an uncomfortable rate. It has now reached the Roseburg area.
According to a story on Mail Tribune, EHD has been spreading through Oregon since this summer, when it killed around 200 deer in urban settings over the summer.
EHD effects both whitetail and blacktail deer. Texas Tech has an entire research facility dedicated to studying this disease, as there is no cure for it so far. Read more about the facility and watch a video about it here.
Outbreaks of EHD in deer are deadly, and many deer can die at one time. This causes problems for their ecosystem and for the deer industry in general.
The reason why so many deer died at once in Roseburg is because they were very concentrated. Both whitetail and blacktail deer were found to have been effected by the disease, which is relatively new to southwestern Oregon.
So far, the only way to get rid of the disease is for nature to take its course. If there is a freeze that kills off the gnats, that’s about the only hope for an end to its spreading.
It is possible for cattle to contract the disease, but they are much less likely to show signs of being sick. Additionally, it is not possible for humans to contract EHD through animals.
There is a fear among local residents that the disease will jump the Rogue-Umpqua Divide and make its way into the Rogue Valley, but so far that area is in the clear.
Another disease among deer that is worrying people is the adenovirus. It is very similar to EHD; they both cause weakness, diarrhea and uncontrollable salivation. Because both diseases cause high fever in the deer, they are often found lying dead in water, which they sought in order to cool off.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife would definitely like to know about any dead deer found by people, but urge them not to touch the animals.
It is especially important to be on the lookout for dead deer in Jackson or Josephine Counties, as that would be an indication that the disease is spreading.
Please call the department to report any deer found, at 541-826-8774.