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

careless hygiene when processing deer.

"As a routine precaution, all hunters are encouraged to wear rubber or latex gloves when handling or field-dressing any animal, and wash their hands and tools thoroughly after field dressing," Dr. Cottrell said. "As with any wild game, meat should always be thoroughly cooked."

Dr. Cottrell stressed that even though some EHD symptoms are similar to those of chronic wasting disease (CWD) - such as excessive drooling, weakness and a loss of fear of humans - there is no relationship between EHD and CWD.

"However, because these diseases coexist, as many of the deer as possible that are submitted for EHD testing also are being tested for CWD," Dr. Cottrell said. "It also is worth noting that like CWD, EHD is one of those diseases whose mortality rate can be amplified by anything that serves to congregate deer, such as supplemental feeding, and placement of salt or mineral blocks. While the disease is not spread through deer to deer contact, congregating animals through feeding does make transmission easier by allowing midges that carry the virus greater access to a larger number of animals in a more confined area. Therefore, such feeding activities should be discontinued immediately.

"The good news from this situation is that the public is reporting these sightings to the Game Commission. Should the state's deer herd be infected with other serious diseases, the Game Commission will need to rely on the continued vigilance of the public so that we can respond in a timely manner."

EHD was first confirmed in Pennsylvania in 2002, when an outbreak caused the death of 70 deer in Greene and Washington counties. That same year, EHD was confirmed in Maryland, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.

In 1996, EHD was suspected to be the cause of death in nearly 25 deer in Adams County, but test results in that case were inconclusive.

It is rare for this virus to cause clinical signs in traditional livestock, such
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Game Commission
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