Livestock Owners Urged to Be Aware of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) After Recent Detections in White-Tailed Deer in Connecticut
The Connecticut Department of Agriculture (CT DoAg) is urging livestock owners to be aware of signs of epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD). This follows the recent announcement by Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) that EHD has been confirmed in white-tailed deer for the third year since first detected in our state in 2017.
EHD is considered endemic in the United States and occurs sporadically, primarily in white-tailed deer. Because the disease is spread by biting Culicoides midges, the disease occasionally spills over to domestic livestock. Outbreaks of hemorrhagic disease are often associated with wet weather, which provides breeding areas. Drought conditions which may concentrate animals and vectors around diminishing water sources may also be linked to some outbreaks occurring in the late summer and early fall due to an increase in midge numbers. Hemorrhagic disease outbreaks cease with the onset of a hard frost, which kills the midges carrying the virus.
Hemorrhagic disease does not infect humans, and rarely causes illness in domestic animals, such as cattle, sheep, goats, horses, dogs, and cats.