Deadly deer virus found in Minnesota for the first time

Published 8:35 am Friday, October 19, 2018

ST. PAUL — Deer from a private herd on a Minnesota farm have contracted a deadly virus that until now has not yet been seen in the state.

Minnesota Board of Animal Health officials say the virus was confirmed in seven deer on a Goodhue County farm and six have died. The virus, called epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD, is carried by biting flies and causes rapid death from internal bleeding. No vaccine is available for infected animals.

State wildlife officials say there’s no indication the virus is present in the wild deer population. And, although it’s the first time the virus has been detected in deer in Minnesota, it has been present in the Dakotas, Wisconsin and Iowa.

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The Star Tribune reports there are no known health risks to humans.