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Game Commission Announces EHD Confirmed in Fayette County
Date:11/1/2007

/www.pgc.state.pa.us) under the "Regional Information" section at the bottom of the right-hand side of the homepage.

To provide the public with more information about EHD, the agency has posted an "EHD Update" page on its website (http://www.pgc.state.pa.us). The website also chronicles the agency's news releases issued about this outbreak since Aug. 27.

EHD is a common but sporadic disease in white-tailed deer populations of the United States, and is contracted by the bite of insects called "biting midges." In more northern states, such as Pennsylvania, EHD occurs less often and the deer are less able to mount an effective immune response. The virus usually kills the naive animal within five to 10 days. It is not spread from deer to deer by contact. While EHD is not infectious to humans, deer displaying severe symptoms of EHD are usually not suitable for consumption because of the rapid deterioration of the meat and secondary bacterial infection.

"This outbreak of EHD is more significant than the one in 2002 and has impacted more deer in a larger area," Dr. Cottrell said. "The fact that we found EHD in early August means that the disease has had the opportunity to be active longer this time prior to the first good frost, which is what is needed to kill the insects responsible for spreading the virus.

"Reports of dead or dying deer are important to us. Though an actual body count of afflicted deer is almost impossible to obtain, because of the rapid decomposition and the area where the outbreak is occurring is large, we still value these reports. Also, tissue samples must be extracted within 24 hours of death to be suitable for conducting tests. That is why it is so important that we hear from residents as soon as possible after they find a suspect deer."

Dr. Cottrell noted that, while there is no evidence that humans are at risk from EHD, other diseases could be transmitted by
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Game Commission
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