While there have been reports of deer suffering, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is warning Cattle farmers about EHD.
EHD, or epizootic hemorrhagic disease, is a virus that is spread by biting midges and black flies that primarily affects deer, but can also infect cattle and other ruminants.
State veterinarian Robert Ehlenfeldt says, “So far we haven’t seen any cases of EHD in Wisconsin cattle, but until we have a hard freeze to kill the midges and flies, the virus is still a potential threat to our cattle population.”
Signs of EHD in cattle, though rare, include fever, ulcers in the mouth and gums, swollen tongue, excessive salivation, and lameness or stiffness when walking. Death loss is uncommon in cattle and there is no evidence that the EHD virus can infect humans.
The department recommend cattle farmers use insect control as a preventative measure to reduce the risk of having cattle that become infected. Farmers who notice signs of illness in cattle are encouraged to immediately contact their veterinarian.”
Eight Wisconsin counties have confirmed cases of the disease in deer. Prior to this year, the last EHD observation was back in 2002 in Iowa County where 14 deer died from the virus.