Viscous Disease Killing Hudson Valley Deer This Fall
Record numbers of Hudson Valley deer are perishing this fall due to a disease that has no treatment. According to Scenic Hudson, the virus is known as Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease or EHD and is suspected as the culprit in more than 1,100 deer deaths. The outbreak is centered in the Hudson Valley with cases confirmed in Rockland, Dutchess, Orange, Dutchess, Putnam, Westchester, and Greene Counties.
The virus has only been seen in New York two other times with cases reported in Rockland County in 2011 and 2007 in the Capital District and upstate. EHD is more common in the south and was brought north when the midges that carry them blew north by storms.
Deer that are affected can appear to be aggressive and/or confused and have symptoms similar to rabies. They tend to seek out water when affected which explains why these dead deer are often found near ponds, lakes and streams.
Anyone who comes into contact or sees a deer with the mentioned symptoms are encouraged to call the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation by calling (845) 256-3098.
EHD does not affect humans at all and cannot be transferred from deer to deer. The midges that cause the virus will die off when the weather gets colder so there is not much concern about the long-term effects. However, a conservation scientist from Scenic Hudson, Alex Wolf suspects some external parasites and resulting diseases are moving further north due to shorter winters with less cold weather.