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Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease

  • 11/21/2023 11:52:00 AM
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Iowa is experiencing the third worst outbreak of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease
(EHD), behind only the outbreaks in 2012 and 2019 in severity. The disease appears to have hit southeastern Iowa the hardest, but has been reported in 74 counties, which is the highest number of counties to report the disease in one year.

“Most of the highest-impacted counties have deer populations that exceed our management goals. Historically, Iowa deer herds impacted by EHD outbreaks have bounced back fairly quickly, typically recovering to prior levels within two or three years. Unless we detect a sustained decline in deer numbers, we don’t anticipate any changes to our management strategy resulting from this EHD outbreak,” Elliott said.

What’s unique for the current outbreak is that it occurred later in the year due to the prolonged warm weather allowed midges to keep spreading. A killing frost will end the outbreak by eliminating the midges that cause the disease.

“The vast majority of what we know about annual EHD outbreaks come from the public. Hunters and landowners who suspect EHD is on their property are encouraged to contact the DNR to improve our disease monitoring efforts,” he said.