Home News Southwest Ohio Reports Most EHD Zombie-Like Deer

Southwest Ohio Reports Most EHD Zombie-Like Deer


Ohio – More sightings are being reported on Deer with EHD, most reports have occurred in Southwest Ohio

Ohioans are reminded that Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) typically affects some white-tailed deer in the late summer and early fall. This is not unusual, as EHD is the most common ailment affecting deer in the eastern U.S., and the disease occurs annually in the late summer and fall in deer herds across North America.

The EHD virus is not infectious to people and is not spread from animal to animal. It is transmitted by the bite of small insects called midges, so EHD-associated deaths in deer can occur until the first frost of the year causes a decline in midge activity. Once infected, deer show symptoms within five to 10 days, and many deer die within 36 hours of the onset of symptoms. There is little that can be done to protect wild deer from the virus. Outbreaks of EHD can result in high deer mortality in some areas but populations typically increase within a few years.


• Symptoms vary and usually develop about seven days after exposure

• Deer appear disoriented and show little or no fear of humans.

• Animals may appear feverish.

• Pronounced swelling of head, neck, tongue and eyelids

• May have respiratory distress.Transmission

• EHD does not pose a serious threat to livestock (according to the Ohio Department of Agriculture).

• No risk has been shown to be associated with direct exposure to the virus or in consuming a deer that has been infected with the virus.

• To be cautious, never kill or eat a sick deer. Depending on the actual illness, the deer may be unfit for consumption. Without testing, we cannot be certain what a sick deer is suffering from.

• Use rubber gloves to field dress deer.General Information about EHD

• Does not affect humans nor does it impact the safety of consumed venison.

• Caused by the bite of an infected midge (a type of fly) and once there has been a hard freeze, these insects die off for the winter, eliminating new cases of EHD.

• One of the most common diseases of white-tailed deer in the United States.

• Outbreaks often associated with drought.

• Can result in high deer mortality in some areas but populations usually bounce back within a few years

.• Midwestern deer populations have developed little resistance to EHD and are likely to die within three days following the onset of symptoms.

• Carcasses are often recovered near water.

• There is currently no treatment for EHD in wild populations.

Please Continue to Report Deer with EHD https://apps.ohiodnr.gov/wildlife/speciessighting