MISSOULA - Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks reported that lab results received on Monday showed white-tailed deer deaths in the Missoula Valley can be attributed to Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, which is also known as EHD.
Nearly 400 dead deer were reported since the outbreak began in mid-September, and FWP sent in samples from several dozen deer for testing.
Most deer deaths were concentrated in the Clark Fork River Valley west of Missoula from Harper's Bridge to about 10 miles downstream and in the Mill Creek area northeast of Frenchtown.
EHD is a naturally occurring virus spread by tiny biting midges-it is not spread from deer to deer. The virus causes hemorrhaging that can kill the infected animal within a day or two after approximately a six day incubation period from the time of being bitten. Dead animals frequently are found near water, where they go to alleviate a high fever caused by the disease.
Other parts of Montana reported outbreaks of EHD this late summer, but this is the first time the disease has been confirmed west of the continental divide in Montana.