The Department of Environmental Conservation have discovered New York State's very first case of a virus that has proven to be deadly to the deer population. There is no available treatment and no way to prevent this virus from infecting White-tailed deer. What about our pets? What about you and me?

Here's what we know about the Buetongue virus.

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The DEC is reporting that three deer have tested positive for Bluetongue in Suffolk County. This is the first time the bluetongue virus was detected in New York deer. According to the National Deer Association, this disease is deadly for White-tailed deer and is transmitted by small insects biting deer.

When deer search for and drink water from shallow, murky and stagnant bodies of water they are likely to be bitten by these pests.  Once infected the deer often develop a fever, have trouble breathing and their head and tongue start to swell. Many infected deer die within 2 days.  These infected deer are often found in bodies of water.

Photo by Julie Marsh on Unsplash
Photo by Julie Marsh on Unsplash

If other animals come in contact with the dead deer they are unlikely to become infected. Bluetongue can infect cattle and sheep. Sheep can suffer greatly from Bluetongue while cattle don't typically exhibit signs of the disease. The NYS DEC reports that outbreaks are most common this time of year, late Summer and early Fall. This virus is not transmittable to humans or our pets.

If you feel you have discovered an infected or deceased deer, please report to you nearest DEC office. Find yours HERE.

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