Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, a virus that is killing dear in southwest Oregon, could be dangerous to livestock, as well, wildlife officials warn. The disease, which is spread by gnat bites, can cause excessive saliva production, bloody diarrhea and weakness in deer. It also causes fevers and elevated heart and respiration rates. The animals will eventually become too weak, and they die.
The disease can also infect cattle and sheep, and there is no vaccine that can be given to the infected animals. Unlike deer, the animals rarely show clinical signs. However, some can develop fever, loss of appetite and lamness. Ulcers or sores on the nose, mouth and teats are also signs of the disease. Fortunately, the disease is harmless to humans.
So far, more than 100 deer have died in Douglas County, Ore., this year and more have been reported in neighboring counties, as well.
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