The Pryor Times


September 14, 2012

Disease connected to deer deaths

PRYOR — Biologists with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation say a viral disease has been confirmed in at least one deer and may be related to 10 others found dead near the Verdigris River in northeast Oklahoma.

According to Erik Bartholomew, big game biologist for the Wildlife Department, the disease that killed the deer has been in Oklahoma for several decades. The Wildlife Department receives scattered reports every year in Oklahoma and there are occasional small outbreaks like this one. The Department is continuing to monitor the area for other sick or dead deer.

“Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) is a hemorrhagic disease caused by a virus and spread by the bite of a midge or small fly, usually during the late summer or early fall, when the midge becomes active,” Bartholomew said. “This virus is not transmissible to humans.”

Bartholomew added that the virus is not known to be transmissible from an infected deer to other deer through individual contact.

There are several forms of EHD. In a completely separate case this month, biologists with the Wildlife Department confirmed a sick deer in southern Delaware Co. tested positive for a similar hemorrhagic disease called bluetongue virus.

According to Bartholomew, some forms of EHD kill deer quickly while others simply make the deer sick for a while before recovering. The virus can lead to high fever, causing infected deer to seek water to cool off. Dead deer usually are found in or near water. In most cases, infected deer are in good body condition because the disease usually runs its course and kills the animal quickly. EHD is not a threat to humans.

At present, there are no wildlife management tools or strategies available to prevent or control EHD. Bartholomew said there is little concern about the outbreak having a significant impact on deer populations, and any outbreaks will be curtailed by the onset of colder weather.

“It’s not something that we are worried about on a wide scale, but we do want to hear from people who see deer that appear to be sick,” Bartholomew said. “We urge everyone to help us be on the alert.”

The public should report any sick deer or deer that are acting abnormal to their county game warden. A listing of game warden phone numbers by county is available online at

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • The Porter Report

    Spousal abuse wasn't OK in February. It wasn't OK in July, when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell brought down his plastic toy gavel of justice on Ray Rice. And it won't be okay in the third week of the upcoming NFL season.

    July 31, 2014

  • Ex-Pirate Houser tries to dig out of rut

    Houston Astros prospect Adrian Houser is trying to get back on track since posting a 1.64 ERA during the month of May.

    July 31, 2014

  • Ladycats seek answers under new leadership

    Chouteau's Lady Wildcat softball team will hit the diamond Aug. 8 against Chelsea in its season opener.

    July 31, 2014

  • East takes two in baseball match-ups

    Monday-Tuesday OCA All-State notebook

    July 30, 2014

  • adair abbey stephens.jpg Adair aiming high in 2014

    Adair's Lady Warriors will have plenty of chances to earn respect and a shot at the program's third straight regional tournament appearance in 2013.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • dirtseller pirtle.JPG Locals take their game nationwide

    Five Locust Grove Pirates represented the United States over the weekend at the USA Football 16U/17U National Development Games in Towson, Md.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Patterson, McIntire named to rosters

    Salina's Cullen Patterson and Locust Grove's Cameron McIntire have been selected as replacements for this week's Oklahoma Coaches Association All-State events in Tulsa.

    July 27, 2014

  • kegley mug.jpg Pryor's Kegley serving with purpose

    Pryor's Taylor Kegley always knew he was destined for a career of service.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Chouteau approves athletic upgrades

    Chouteau High School is getting a head start on making upgrades to its athletic facilities.

    July 22, 2014

  • doty mug web.jpg Ex-Tiger Doty adjusting on and off the field

    Former Pryor Tiger Christian Doty joined the Oklahoma Baptist University football team for its first season in 73 years in 2013, and rejoined the team Friday to begin preparations for the school's sophomore season.

    July 19, 2014 2 Photos