WVDNR confirms positive epizootic hemorrhagic disease test in deer

West Virginia

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) – The Division of Natural Resources has confirmed that a sample from a dead deer has come back positive for having epizootic hemorrhagic disease.

The disease is better known as E.H.D. and comes from the bite of an insect called a “biting midge.”

But wildlife biologist Steve Raugh said the disease is not as threatening as it sounds, nor does it pose a risk to human health.

The disease is more common in southern deer, who have built up antibodies against the disease, but in this region, E.H.D. has a very low transmission and mortality rate. Most deer recover from E.H.D. and Rauch said that meat from an infected deer is safe for human consumption.

“The vast majority of the deer that get infected will survive, and the vast majority of the deer out there on the landscape will not even be infected.”

Rauch says E.H.D. was also found in some deer in Harrison County as recently as 2017.

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