Hemorrhagic Disease

Reports for 2013 will appear soon

Reports of Suspected Hemorrhagic Disease for 2012

Total = 10,177

This map represents reports of deer with suspected hemorrhagic disease (HD) that been conveyed to MDC as of the date indicated. Although the map might specify that a county has few or no reports, this does not mean that HD is not present, but that MDC is not receiving reports. Also, just because a county shows high report numbers, often these are localized, therefore the whole county might not experience HD.

HD cases 09-05-2013

What HD is

Hemorrhagic disease is a general term for epizootic hemorrhagic disease and bluetongue virus. Both diseases are closely related, have similar clinical signs and are spread by a small, biting midge fly. White-tailed, mule, black-tailed deer, elk, and pronghorn antelope are susceptible to hemorrhagic disease. The viruses may cause disease of varying severity in cattle, but are not believed to be pathogenic to goats. Sheep are thought to be susceptible only to the bluetongue virus.

Tends to occur in summer

Hemorrhagic disease outbreaks tend to occur from August to September and may go unnoticed because carcasses quickly decompose and are scavenged. Some infected deer may not show obvious symptoms, while others may die in one to three days. Typical symptoms include fever; excessive salivation; swollen neck, tongue or eyelids; sloughed or interrupted growth of hooves; reduced activity and/or emaciation. Because sick deer are feverish, they are often found near water. Not all deer die from the disease, but losses of up to 50 percent have been documented. Researchers speculate that 20 percent of the deer herd was lost in some areas of Missouri during past outbreaks.

Signs of deer survival

The most common evidence that deer have survived the disease is sloughing, or cast and regrowth of the hooves. Their hooves are rough and may regrow much like a fingernail regrows after falling off. The deer are generally in good shape, and the hoof problem is simply a residual effect of the disease. In some cases, the deer have sores on their tongues, dental pads or insides of their cheeks. Their health may vary from excellent to poor depending on the degree to which the sores affect feeding.

No health risks to humans. Please report suspected HD deer deaths

Humans do not get hemorrhagic disease, so handling and consumption of meat from deer that have recovered from the disease pose no health hazard. Any animal in a poor, diseased condition, regardless of the cause, may be unfit for consumption. If you find a dead deer and the cause of death is not apparent, report it to your local conservation agent.

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