Deer Disease This page contains links to news and research about the two major deer diseases, chronic wasting and hemorrhagic disease. Also a link to information about other deer diseases such as tuberculosis, rabies, worms, pesticides, Covid-19, eastern equine encephalitis, anthrax, and lice.

Also see information on Deer and Lyme Disease.

Chronic Wasting Disease: A prion disease that is currently 100 percent fatal and spreading to new areas. It has the potential to devastate the U.S. deer population. Evidence indicates the disease may have originated in Fort Collins, Colorado, during the 1960's when wild deer were penned in a research facility next to sheep from a scrapie project, a related prion disease. Deer at the facility showed signs of the illness in 1967. CWD was first identified in 1978 at the Wyoming Game and Fish Department's Sybile Research Unit at Wheatland, a facility that had traded deer with Fort Collins. The disease has spread from these locations.

Origin of Chronic Wasting

Hemorrhagic Disease: Three viruses that cause hemorrhagic disease affect deer populations: epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD), bluetongue, and adenoviral hemorrhagic disease (AHD). The EHD and bluetongue viruses are spread by a biting midge and causes extensive internal hemorrhaging in infected animals. Many deer exhibit appear perfectly healthy, while others may have symptoms such as respiratory distress, fever, and swelling of the tongue. Deer can be dead within 1-3 days. Affected deer are often found near low lying areas or water, likely due to the deer attempting to combat the high fever. AHD can be spread through direct contact between deer and contact with fluids and may be transmitted through contaminated food and water. Transmission by insects has not been confirmed.

Other Diseases Tuberculosis, Pesticides such as Neonicotinoids, Covid-19, Worms, Rabies. Eastern Equine Encephalitis, Anthrax, and Lice.