Have you heard of the disease called EHD? During Wyoming Hookin' & Huntin' Outdoors, Wildlife Management Coordinator Justin Binfet and Public Information Specialist Janet Milek from Wyoming Game and Fish described that Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease is a virus that affects many of the deer and antelope population of Wyoming during dry times. The disease is a major factor for deaths of the animals during drought years when the animals have fewer options for water. EHD shares many of the same characteristics of the disease known to many as "Blue Tongue" (BTV). The two are similar diseases, but are not the same.

Because of the dry conditions many of the normal watering holes for deer and antelope are drying up and they have fewer to choose from. This causes them to use the same water holes, giving the blood sucking "midge" and better chance to spread the disease.The disease isn't spread from animal to animal, but is spread by the blood feeding "midge" taking the disease to the animals. Hopefully within the next couple of weeks the disease will stopped from spreading when the first major frost of the year kills off the problematic midge.

The disease is interesting because not all animals that are exposed, will actually die and may actually build up antibodies to the disease. Humans are not at risk of contracting the disease, but should be aware of it during the hunting season this year. Game & Fish says that an animal that contracts EHD can die within a short period of time and if you come across a dead animal to contact them with the information. This map shows the hot spots across the state.

WGFD via wgfd.maps.arcgis.com

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