Moderate levels of hemorrhagic disease (HD) activity in Missouri’s deer population this summer is reported by the Missouri Department of Conservation. HD is a general term for epizootic hemorrhagic disease and the bluetongue virus. MDC recently confirmed HD in Cole, Greene, Howell, Miller, St. Louis, and Webster counties, along with at least 305 reports of additional suspected cases from locations throughout the state.
MDC officials says Hemorrhagic disease is a naturally occurring virus that infects deer through the bite of a native midge commonly called no-see-ums or gnats. Outbreaks are most common in Missouri between July and October and will end after a heavy frost kills the midges.
Reports of deer with HD can help MDC biologists determine the impacts of the disease on deer numbers in specific areas. The most significant HD outbreak recorded in Missouri occurred in 2012 during an extreme drought.
The MDC asks the public to report suspected cases to their local MDC office or conservation agent.