According to official sources in Berrien County, a Michigan deer was diagnosed with a lethal condition. It is called Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), and in the past, it severely affected deer populations. The Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Animal Health and The Wildlife Disease Lab announced the incident.
Previous reports show that the Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease rapidly spread among deer four years ago. It killed over twelve thousand individuals, causing a significant decline in the populations. As far as 2014 and 2015 are concerned, no cases were reported. However, it seems like Michigan deer are not lucky this year, as one of their members is already a victim of the disease. For the time being, only one case was reported.
Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease causes internal bleeding, which leads to the death of animals. Deer are infected with the disease by the bites of flies. Specialists say that in some cases, there are no symptoms of the disease. What the condition does it confuse deer, and make them grow weaker and weaker, until they become unconsciousness. Often, they seek for water because they are dehydrated and salivate a lot. The bodies of victims are often reported in the proximity of ponds, streams or other bodies of water.
Michigan deer went through hard times back in 2012, when thousands of them were killed by EHD. Specialists say that the situation was quite unusual, as such outbreaks normally make about one hundred victims. In addition to this, the animals were hit by the disease in summer (the first two months) although the usual season of the virus is the first two months of autumn.
Authorities hope that this is not the beginning of another outbreak. This time, it started in the right season, but they estimate that the death rate will be much lower. The first deaths caused by EHD were reported ten years ago, in 2006, after more than thirty years with no infection.
Biologists explain that new cases started to emerge again because of the climate conditions. Unfortunately, specialists can’t control the disease which affects wild animals, since they are hard to track and monitor. The disease can affect an individual for weeks or months before leading to its death. However, if only one area is affected, the chances for high mortality are also reduced. One of the few good news is that in this areas, deer which don’t get the disease improve their immunity system.
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