HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — An outbreak of a disease that is deadly to deer and other wild cervids is being reported in one Pennsylvania county.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission announced that 30 to 40 deer were found dead during the week of Sept. 8 in the area of State Game Lands 214 in North Shenango and Sadsbury townships in Crawford County. The deer all succumbed to hemorrhagic disease.
The disease is caused by a virus that is spread by insects called biting midges. These insects are typically abundant in the late fall which is when outbreaks of the disease occur.
White-tail deer are more likely to catch the disease and are found to have large-scale mortality events which have been recorded in the state over the past few years. According to the Game Commission, there have been no significant negative impacts from the viral strains and local populations quickly recover after an outbreak.
While the disease is not a present danger to humans or pets, the Game Commission warns the public to keep a safe distance and not handle wildlife unless they are hunting or trapping.
If two or more dead deer are found in the same area at the same time, it can be reported to the Game Commission by calling 1-833-PGC-WILD (1-833-742-9453) or by using the Game Commission’s Wildlife Health Survey tool online.