NEW JERSEY – The Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife is asking the public to report dead deer and deer with possible Epizootic Hemorrhagic symptoms.
According to the Division of Fish and wildlife, Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) is not a threat to public health but they continue to ask residents to report findings of sick or dead deer using their new online reporting form.
EHD and Bluetongue are contracted from the bite of insects called midges (Culicoides). They cannot be transmitted to people, and humans are not at risk by handling infected deer, being bitten by infected midges or eating infected deer meat, officials said.
The Division of Fish and Wildlife said they always advises against consuming meat from any game animal that appears ill.
EHD outbreaks typically begin in late summer. Symptoms in deer may include difficulty standing, drooling, and emitting foam from the mouth or nose. Since the disease causes a fever, sick or dead deer are often seen in or near water. Disease transmission ends when the first hard frost kills midges, officials said.
The clinical signs of disease caused by the EHD and Bluetongue viruses are identical and can only be differentiated by testing and virus isolation.
There have been multiple outbreaks of EHD in New Jersey deer since 1955. Bluetongue virus was isolated from one deer that died in Basking Ridge, Somerset County and another that died in Stirling, Morris County in 2014.
The public is strongly encouraged to report deer with any of the symptoms to the Division of Fish and Wildlife at one of the following contacts:
- Office of Fish and Wildlife Health and Forensic
Dr. Nicole Lewis, Wildlife Veterinarian,(908) 735-6398 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bureau of Wildlife Management
Jodi Powers, (609) 223-6073 or email@example.com
To report online, click here.
Bluetongue and EHD are reportable diseases to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture Division of Animal Health, but only Bluetongue is a significant concern in livestock.
Livestock issues should be directed to the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Animal Health at (609) 671-6400.
The New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Animal Health Diagnostic Laboratory can assist in diagnosing suspected Bluetongue cases in livestock by offering testing and necropsy services. Call the lab at (609) 406-6999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.