LINCOLN, Neb. – A viral disease is killing deer along the Platte River and possibly over a much wider area, according to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. There have been reports of dead deer in and near the river in eastern Nebraska.
Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) is a hemorrhagic disease caused by a virus. EHD is similar to bluetongue, another viral disease that can affect deer. It spreads from deer to deer by the bite of a small insect known as a midge. The disease quickly kills the deer through hemorrhaging within the body. A high fever may result, causing the deer to seek water to cool off. Dead deer usually are found in or near water. Deer may show bleeding from body openings, although they usually are in good body condition because of the quickness of the disease. EHD is not a threat to humans.
Game and Parks is interested in determining the extent of the disease and its possible effects on the deer population. The public should report any deer deaths that may be attributed to this disease to their nearest Game and Parks office: Alliance, 308-763-2940; North Platte, 308-535-8025; Kearney, 308-865-5310; Bassett, 402-684-2921; Norfolk, 402-370-3374; and Lincoln, 402-471-0641.