‘Zombie’ Disease Kills Shocking Number of Deer Across New York
Over 60 deer, many from the Hudson Valley recently died from a rare disease.
The DEC is currently monitoring an outbreak of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) affecting deer in multiple counties across New York.
"The outbreak started in the lower Hudson Valley in late July 2021, and has since been confirmed in Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Nassau, Oswego, Suffolk, and Ulster counties, with suspected cases in Albany, Jefferson, Oneida, Orange, Putnam, Rensselaer, Rockland, Sullivan, and Westchester counties," the DEC states.
Deer get infected after being bitten by small flies known as midges. The rare disease causes intense thirst prior to death which is most likely why the deer are often dead near water, officials say.
The disease is called by some a "zombie" deer disease because symptoms in deer may include difficulty standing, drooling, and emitting foam from the mouth or nose.
"Once infected with EHD, deer will begin to show signs 2-10 days later and usually die within 36 hours of showing signs of infection. Signs of EHD include fever, hemorrhage in muscles or organs, and swelling of the head, neck, tongue, and lips. A deer infected with EHD may appear lame or dehydrated. Often, infected deer will seek out water sources and many die near a water source. There is no treatment or means to prevent EHD," the DEC adds.
Over 60 deer across 15 counties in New York have been found dead from this virus in the past few months, the DEC confirmed. Below is the complete list from each county.
Last month, the Hudson City Police Department confirmed five dead deer were located at Oakdale Lake. DEC pathologists believe the deer contracted Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), police say.
In August, the DEC confirmed that two white-tailed deer in the town of Esopus died after contracting Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD).
From early September to late October 2020, a large EHD outbreak occurred in the lower Hudson Valley, centered in Putnam and Orange counties, with an estimated 1,500 deer mortalities, officials say.
Several white-tailed deer in the towns of Nelsonville and Cold Spring in Putnam County and near Goshen in Orange County died after contracting EHD in 2020.
DEC wildlife biologists told Husdon Valley Post in September 2020 211 deer from Putnam County, southwestern Dutchess County and northwestern Westchester County as well as another 237 from Orange County, southern Ulster County and northern Rockland County died from Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease.
The first hard frost is expected to kill the midges that transmit the disease, ending the 2021 EHD outbreak, according to the DEC.
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Albany 3 confirmed positives
Columbia 7 confirmed positives
Dutchess 7 confirmed positives
Greene 2 confirmed positives
Jefferson 7 confirmed positives
Nassau 1 confirmed positive
Onondaga 1 confirmed positive
Oswego 7 confirmed positives
Rensselaer 5 confirmed positives
Richmond 4 confirmed positives
Rockland 1 confirmed positive
St. Lawrence 3 confirmed positives
Suffolk 6 confirmed positives
Ulster 8 confirmed positives
Westchester 1 confirmed positives
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