The New Jersey DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife has recently confirmed Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease 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.
EHD is a common viral disease in deer that is contracted from the bite of a species of midge. EHD outbreaks end with the onset of colder weather, which will kill midges that spread the disease.
Deer exhibiting signs of EHD 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 visit www.njfishandwildlife.com/news/2012/ehd_salem12.htm on the division’s website.