Alarming Number of Deer Found Dead Near Water in Hudson Valley
A large number of deer were all found dead near a large body of water in the Hudson Valley.
The Hudson City Police Department confirmed five dead deer were located on Thursday at Oakdale Lake. DEC pathologists believe the deer contracted Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), police say.
Deer get infected after being bitten by small flies known as midges. The rare disease causes intense thirst prior to death which is most likely why the deer were found dead at Oakdale Lake, officials say.
The virus has also been identified in Dutchess, Ulster, Putnam, Orange, Rockland and Westchester counties.
In August, the DEC confirmed that two white-tailed deer in the town of Esopus died after contracting Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD).
The DEC is currently investigating reports of several other dead deer in Dutchess, Ulster and Westchester counties. From early September to late October 2020, a large EHD outbreak occurred in the lower Hudson Valley, centered in Putnam and Orange counties, with an estimated 1,500 deer mortalities, officials say.
Several white-tailed deer in the towns of Nelsonville and Cold Spring in Putnam County and near Goshen in Orange County died after contracting EHD in 2020.
DEC wildlife biologists told Husdon Valley Post in September 2020 211 deer from Putnam County, southwestern Dutchess County and northwestern Westchester County as well as another 237 from Orange County, southern Ulster County and northern Rockland County died from Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease.
EHD is a viral disease of white-tailed deer that cannot be contracted by humans, officials say. The disease is not spread from deer to deer or from deer to humans. Once infected with EHD, deer usually die within 36 hours, according to the DEC.
EHD outbreaks are most common in the late summer and early fall when midges are abundant. EHD symptoms include fever, hemorrhage in muscle or organs, and swelling of the head, neck, tongue, and lips. A deer infected with EHD may appear lame or dehydrated. Frequently, infected deer will seek out water sources and many succumb near a water source. There is no treatment or means to prevent EHD. The dead deer do not serve as a source of infection for other animals.
EHD outbreaks do not have a significant long-term impact on deer population, officials say. EHD outbreaks occur sporadically and deer in New York have no immunity to this virus. Most EHD-infected deer in New York are expected to die, officials note.
Hunters should not handle or eat any deer that appears sick or acts strangely. The DEC will continue to monitor the situation.
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Officials say Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease is to blame after five dead deer were found near Oakdale Lake in Hudson. Experts say the disease can't be spread to humans, adding deer become infected after being bitten by a small flies known as midges. It causes intense thirst prior to death and that's likely why the deer were found near a large body of water. The EHD virus has also been identified in Dutchess, Ulster, and Westchester counties.