Just confirmed EHD in Ohio deer... From Ohio Division of Wildlife HIGHLAND COUNTY DEER IMPACTED BY COMMON DEER VIRUS State animal health officials stress outbreak not related to Chronic Wasting Disease XENIA, OH - State wildlife officials have confirmed a localized outbreak of a common white-tailed deer virus in southeastern Highland Countys Brush Creek Township. Suspect cases have been reported in the southeastern Ohio counties of Athens, Hocking, Pike, Washington, Muskingum, Perry, Morgan, Gallia, Monroe, Ross, Belmont and Jackson. Ohio Department of Agriculture's Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory in Reynoldsburg confirmed the deer had epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD). State animal health officials stress EHD occurs annually in deer herds across North America and is not related to Chronic Wasting Disease. White-tailed deer contract EHD from the bite of gnats, which live near water. The onset of cold weather suppresses the disease as frosts drive the gnats into winter inactivity. The disease is not spread from deer to deer or from deer to humans. Once infected, deer show symptoms within five to 10 days. Infected deer initially lose appetite and fear of man, grow progressively weaker, often salivate excessively, and become unconscious. Many deer die within 36 hours of the onset of symptoms. Gnats can also spread EHD among cattle and sheep, and outbreaks may happen at the same time as deer are being impacted. However, this is not a case of the disease spreading from deer to livestock or vice versa, but is an indication that the biting gnats are present in large enough numbers to spread the disease, said David E. Kohler, Wildlife Management Supervisor. State wildlife officials stress to those planning to hunt in the Highland County area this fall that although this disease does not affect humans nor impact the safety of consumed deer, hunters should report deer that appear to be sick or diseased to their local wildlife officer. Deer that appear unhealthy should never be taken for human food. According to the University of Georgia's annual Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, EHD is the most common ailment affecting deer in the Eastern United States. Outbreaks of the disease have occurred in Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia this year. The most recent Ohio outbreaks occurred in 2003 Clermont and Brown counties. The disease is common in portions of the northern Great Plains and the Southeastern United States. It was first identified in 1955 in New Jersey. White-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep and pronghorn antelope are susceptible to the disease.