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Wednesday, 12 September 2012 13:04

Potentially fatal disease could pose risk to deer

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out buckAn outbreak of a disease spread by biting gnats has turned up deer populations in several foothill counties.

N.C. Wildlife Commission biologists first began seeing deer afflicted with the disease this summer in Wilkes and Surry counties. In August, reports of the disease also began coming from Caldwell, Burke, McDowell, Rutherford and Buncombe counties.

The disease has no human health implications, but is one of the most significant endemic viral and sometimes fatal diseases of white-tailed deer in the southeastern U.S.

Spread by a biting midge (or gnat), the virus enters deer through the blood stream. Common symptoms include emaciation, loss of motor control, fever, lameness and swelling of the neck and head. Infected deer often seek relief near bodies of water, resulting in a higher frequency of dead deer near creeks, rivers and ponds than on adjacent uplands.

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This Must Be the Place

  • This must be the place

    art theplaceWhat to do?

    That was the question I posed to myself when I found out my girlfriend was visiting from Upstate New York. She is someone who has never been to Western North Carolina, never been to Southern Appalachia, let alone anywhere in the South for that matter. 

    Written on Wednesday, 27 August 2014 03:36 Read more...