Gnat-borne disease turns up in Minnesota deer for 1st time

Animal health officials say a disease carried by gnats has turned up in Minnesota deer for the first time.

The Minnesota Board of Animal Health confirmed the first cases of Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease – or EHD – in a small herd of captive white-tailed deer in Goodhue County.

Officials say six of seven animals died of the disease earlier this month. The remaining buck appears health and is showing no signs of the disease.

While this is the first detection of the disease in Minnesota deer, it is widespread across North America. The disease was previously detected in two Minnesota cattle in Brown County in 2012 and Murray County in 2013.

The virus is transmitted between deer by biting midges, or gnats. There are no known health risks to people.

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