About Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease

Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) is caused by a virus in the genus Orbivirus. There are two distinct types of EHD in North America, and about 16 types of BT. The virus is spread between susceptible animals by biting midges (Culicoides spp.).
Commonly Affected Species:
Signs Of Disease
Clinical signs in infected deer include sluggishness, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the head, neck and tongue. Ulcers or erosions of the tongue or gums may be present. Internal lesions include swelling and fluid accumulation in the lungs, ulcers in the abomasum an d hemorrhages on the heart and intestines. Animals with chronic EHD can have abnormal hoof growth, hoof sloughing and sometimes are emaciated..
Where is Disease Found?
EHD is found throughout North America from the southeast to the northwest. EHD and bluetongue have been documented in most areas of Idaho with large outbreaks in white-tailed deer in the Clearwater Region.
How Can I Protect Myself?
Humans are not susceptible to either EHD or BT. Wear rubber or latex gloves when field dressing or butchering carcasses.
Samples to Collect
If there is concern about this condition, contact a conservation officer or an Idaho Department of Fish and Game Regional Office. Appropriate samples can be collected for testing if deemed necessary.
Can I Eat The Meat?
Meat of animals that die of EHD or bluetongue are not suitable for human consumption.
What is IDFG doing to help manage this disease?:

EHD and BT are sporadic diseases, especially of white-tailed deer in Idaho.  The severity of the disease is largely dependent on the level of herd immunity and animal density.  This disease is very difficult to manage on a large scale.