Oh, great. Another deer disease to worry about.
Biologists in Oregon have determined that a recent die-off of black-tailed deer in that state were caused by a variety of adenovirus. According to the following Associated Press report, the virus has struck there before:
MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Oregon wildlife officials say blacktailed deer are being found dead in several rural communities in southern Oregon’s Jackson County.
Officials say this is likely a new outbreak of the naturally occurring adenovirus that killed hundreds of area deer more than a decade ago.
The Medford Mail Tribune reports that biologists on Tuesday learned of their first confirmed case of the adenovirus.
Several reports of similar deaths have come recently in Jacksonville, Eagle Point and elsewhere.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says the deaths are occurring at a rate not seen since 2002, when more than 1,000 blacktails died.
Wildlife biologist Mark Vargas says outbreaks tend to happen during hot, dry months. The virus is also associated with people leaving food and water for animals, which causes unnatural congregations of blacktails and other animals.
Humans and pets aren’t considered at risk.
More on adenoviruses (some of which can be transmitted to humans), can be found here.
Let’s hope the virus doesn’t show up here in West Virginia. With chronic wasting disease present in Hampshire and Hardy counties, and with periodic outbreaks of epizootic hemorrhagic disease, the last thing we need is something else that kills deer.