PIERRE, S.D. (KOTA TV) - South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks has confirmed the first deer deaths of 2017 due to Blue Tongue. A white-tailed deer in eastern Harding County and another white-tailed deer in western Butte County were found to have contracted the disease.
Blue Tongue is generally found in the late summer and early fall in white-tailed deer. Weather habitat conditions affect the severity of the disease.
A biting midge spreads the disease which causes internal hemorrhaging. Some deer with the disease will appear healthy while others will show symptoms such as fever, respiratory issues and a swollen tongue. The virus is not infections to humans.
Anyone that sees sick deer or finds several dead deer in the same area is urged to contact their local Game, Fish and Parks office or a conservation officer.
For more information, visit gfp.sd.gov/wildlife/diseases/epizootic-hemorrhagic-disease.aspx