MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Wildlife officials say a midge-borne disease is responsible for the death of a deer in southeastern Minnesota.
The Department of Natural Resources says epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) was confirmed in the death of a wild deer near Caledonia, in Houston County. The infection is also suspected the deaths of other nearby deer.
Earlier this month, EHD killed two deer in central Minnesota, in Stearns County.
Wildlife officials say EDH is common in the American south and parts of the Midwest, including in Wisconsin. However, the virus hadn’t been detected in Minnesota until last year.
While the disease generally results in a short-term drop in an area’s deer population, there’s a risk of more severe outbreaks in Minnesota, due to the historic lack of exposure.
EHD is a viral disease spread by midges. It is not a threat to humans or animals outside the deer family.
The disease generally manifests in late summer and early fall as the insects spread from deer to deer. The midges die with the coming of cold weather.
Wildlife officials say those who find multiple dead deer in an area are asked to report it to the nearest DNR office.