Deer with Bluetongue Virus Reported in Eastern Kentucky

Reports of deer infected with the bluetongue virus have surfaced in recent weeks in eastern Kentucky. The disease commonly effects white-tail deer. Bluetongue is one of two viruses that cause hemorrhagic disease and is contracted from animal to animal through the bite of an infected midge. Symptoms vary depending on virulence, but can include pronounced swelling of head, neck, tongue and eyelids, respiratory distress, internal hemorrhaging, and lesions in the mouth. While there are no known treatments or control of the disease, it does infect humans and people will no contract the disease from eating the meat of infected animals. Deer with hemorrhagic disease may be more susceptible to other diseases and consumption of a sick-looking animal is not advised.

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