Game, Fish & Parks Officials Say Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease Reported In Hughes And Sully Counties

(KCCR) — Five counties across South Dakota including two in central South Dakota are seeing cases of a disease impacting the white-tail deer population. Hemorrhagic disease also known as epizootic hemorrhagic disease or blue tongue has been documented by the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department in deer from Hughes, Sully, Butte, Davison and Meade Counties. The disease is typically detected in late summer or early fall and weather and habitat conditions can dictate how severe the disease may get. Chad Switzer, the Wildlife Program Administrator for G-F and P says if hunters or landowners encounter dead deer they should report it to a conservation officer or to the G-F and P. Biting midges spread the disease that causes internal bleeding in deer. Affected deer can be found near water combating high fever. Outbreaks rarely affect high populations of deer, but can be locally severe. Hemorrhagic disease is not infectious to humans.