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Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) Identified in Salem County Deer

August 30, 2012

The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife has recently confirmed Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) serotype 2 virus as the cause of death in a deer in Salem County. Other possible cases have been reported in Cape May, Gloucester and Camden counties, although these have not been confirmed by laboratory testing.

EHD is not a public health issue. It 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; however, the Division of Fish and Wildlife strongly advises against consuming meat from any game animal that appears ill.

Although livestock can be infected with EHD, the disease is relatively benign in livestock and is likely to go unnoticed, with no health effects.

EHD is a common viral disease in deer that is contracted from the bite of a species of midge known as Culiocoides sonorensis. It does not spread from deer to deer. EHD outbreaks end with the onset of colder weather, which will kill midges that spread the disease.EHD outbreaks have occurred in various parts of New Jersey since 1955. Outbreaks in 1955, 1975 and 1999 were caused by the EHD serotype 1 virus, while outbreaks in 2007, 2010 and 2011 were caused by the EHD serotype 2 virus. The serotype 2 virus occurs every year in parts of the southern U.S.

Deer exhibiting signs of EHD in late summer and fall, such as difficulty standing, drooling, emitting foam from the mouth or nose, or dead deer with no apparent wounds observed in or near water should be reported to any one of the following numbers:

Office of Fish and Wildlife Health and Forensics:
   Bill Stansley, 908-236-2118

Bureau of Wildlife Management:
   Northern Region - Carole Stanko or Dan Roberts, 908-735-7040
   Central Region - Jodi Powers, 609-259-6965
   Southern Region - Joe Leskie, 609-748-2043

For more information on EHD visit

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Last Updated: August , 2012