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Environment & Climate Change

Potentially fatal disease turns up in Michigan deer

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steve carmody
/
Michigan Radio

State officials confirm a Berrien County deer has died from a disease that killed more than 12,000 Michigan deer in 2012.

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, or EHD, is spread by flies. The disease causes extensive internal bleeding.

There have been no cases reported in Michigan during the past few years.

But four years ago, Michigan experienced its largest EHD outbreak ever, which devastated some deer herds.

However, that’s the exception.  Most EHD outbreaks kill fewer than 100 deer.  

“The 2012 die-off occurred much earlier than normal (June and July instead of September and October),” says Thomas M. Cooley, a state DNR Wildlife Biologist/Pathologist, “So from that standpoint one would expect that we would be much more likely to have what we saw in years other than 2012 where smaller areas were involved and the estimated mortality was relatively small.”

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