The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has been closely monitoring two diseases affecting deer heading into the fall of 2012 – Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease and Chronic Wasting Disease.
The DNR created a webpage off the Deer Hunting tab in the Hunting section to go in to more detail on the diseases. The direct link is http://www.iowadnr.gov/Hunting/DeerHunting/CWDEHDInformation.aspx. The page will be updated as new information becomes available.
Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, or EHD, has been widely reported throughout Iowa and neighboring states. Losses due to EHD occur annually, usually at low levels and in localized areas. In dry years it can be worse as deer are more concentrated around water, and since the disease is spread by a biting midge, more deer can become infected.
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a neurological disease affecting deer and elk. It is caused by an abnormal protein - known as a prion - that essentially eats holes in the brains of infected animals. In the latter stages of the disease, animals appear disoriented, lethargic and emaciated. They often exhibit excessive thirst, salivation, urination and drooping head and ears. It is always fatal to the infected animal.