Blue tongue disease reported in region’s white-tailed deer


From Montana FWP

  Reports from a few Montana locations indicate EHD has surfaced in the resident white-tailed deer populations. Reports of EHD deaths have come from Billings, in the Glendive area along the Yellowstone River and east of Roundup on the Musselshell River. Locally dead deer have been found along the Tongue River above 12 Mile Dam Fishing Access Site and in the Kinsey area. 

EHD is an infectious viral disease of white-tailed deer and outbreaks can occur annually. EHD and the bluetongue virus are basically indistinguishable. Biting midges transmit both diseases and the disease is seasonal and usually occurs late summer or early fall. A hard freeze can kill the insects and stop the spread of the disease.
Usually EHD infects the deer and incubates for 7 – 10 days and when the virus matures it results in death within 24 hours. Normally infected deer gravitate to water.  No extensive die-offs have been reported in southeastern Montana to date.
Information is limited concerning the affect of EHD in domestic livestock. EHD virus has been isolated from sick cattle and surveys have shown that cattle often have antibodies to this virus, indicating frequent exposure. 
Contact the Miles City FWP office at 234-0900 should abnormal acting or dead deer be noticed.  

Sept. 21, 2011

Article Type: 
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