MDC Asking Public to Report Hemorrhagic Disease in Deer

The Missouri Department of Conservation reports moderate hemorrhagic disease (HD) activity in Missouri’s deer population this summer.

HD is a general term for epizootic hemorrhagic disease and the bluetongue virus.

MDC has recently confirmed HD in deer in Cole, Greene, Howell, Miller, St. Louis, and Webster counties.

MDC has also received at least 305 reports of additional suspected HD cases from locations throughout the state.

Clinical signs of HD in deer vary but may include an unwillingness to move, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the head, neck, or tongue.

There is no cure or vaccine for HD.

However, reports of deer with HD can help MDC biologists determine the impacts of the disease on deer numbers in specific areas.

MDC says humans do not get HD, so handling and consumption of meat from deer that have recovered from the disease poses no health hazard.

The most significant Missouri HD outbreak occurred in 2012 during an extreme drought.