Minnesota officials confirm outbreak of deer-killing disease

A deadly deer virus has been confirmed in a group of whitetails in central Minnesota.

State wildlife officials say epizootic hemorrhagic disease isn’t contagious but can sharply lessen deer herds before the danger concludes with the first frost.

The outbreak in Stearns County is said to have killed up to 20 or more deer. Two deer carcasses fit for testing and tissue samples from both tested positive at National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa.

The Star Tribune reports that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced the lab results Wednesday.

The rapidly developing disease is carried by biting midges, also known as gnats and no-see-ums.

Most deer die within 36 hours of exhibiting signs of the disease. The virus isn’t known to cause disease in humans.

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