ODNR: Disease already killed hundreds of deer in Youngstown area

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A deadly disease is threatening to wipe out deer across Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) is a disease spread by midge flies. The flies lodge themselves into deer and cause them to hemorrhage internally and die.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources said hundreds have already died in our area.

EHD is usually caused by a lack of rainfall.

“We only experience this in our deer population in years where we are suffering from a drought, or at least such as this year, not very much rainfall,” said Jamey Emmert, with ODNR. “Oftentimes, it affects many deer because they’re concentrated on the few water holes that exist.”

Emmert said the disease only shows up every few years here and stops when winter and frost hit.

Landowners and hunters are urged to report sick or dead deer to ODNR.

EHD has also appeared in deer in Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia.