DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities are reporting that a virus, suspected to be the Epuzootic Hemorrhagic Disease has killed hundreds of white-tailed deer in south-central Iowa.
The Iowa Natural Resources Department released a statement that the outbreak of the disease is concentrated in and near Warren County.
The disease is transmitted by midges, also known as biting flies. Female midges pick up the viruses by ingesting the blood of an infected animal and they then transmit the viruses when they feed on an uninfected animal. The department said that the disease often kills many animals every year but not usually at this magnitude.
The Epizootic Hemorrhagic disease outbreak usually remains active until excessive rain scatters the deer or cold weather kills off the midges.
Ohio and surrounding areas had a similar but different outbreak last year resulting in a lot of deaths amongst deer, that disease was called the Chronic Wasting Disease which is a contagious neurological disease affecting deer, elk and moose.
Neither the Epizootic Hemorrhagic disease or Chronic Wasting disease has been known to transmit to people.