MADISON (WKOW) -- A new viral deer disease transmitted by a biting fly known as a midge is suspected of killing deer in Wisconsin.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on Friday reported the suspected outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD.
EHD is a disease that is passed to deer by small biting flies. Often fatal, it typically kills the deer that is infected within 7 days. The last EHD observation in Wisconsin was in 2002 in Iowa County where fourteen deer died from the virus. EHD is common across southern states and occasionally shows up as far north as the upper Midwest.
District wildlife supervisor Eric Lobner says the outbreak appears to be centered in Columbia County, but dead deer have also been reported in Waukesha, Walworth and Rock counties.
Officials say about 30 deer have been affected so far.
Lobner says there is no way to treat or control the spread of EHD in deer but it is not a threat to humans. He says any impact on deer population will be minimal and isolated.
Anyone who comes across a sick (see signs below) or dead deer is encouraged to contact the DNR at 1-888-963-7463 or by email.
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