EHD Disease Confirmed in Wisconsin Cattle

Wisconsin Ag Connection - 10/04/2013

Animal health officials are urging cattle producers to take preventive measures against Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease in their livestock in light of two recent confirmed illnesses in Wisconsin. State Veterinarian Dr. Paul McGraw says farmers should use insect control to eliminate biting midges and black flies, which are common carriers of the disease.

"We already have reports of EHD in Wisconsin cattle, and until we have a hard freeze to kill the midges and flies, the virus will continue to be a threat to our cattle population," Dr. McGraw said.

EHD primarily affects deer, but can also infect cattle and other ruminants when environmental conditions support insect growth. Signs include fever, ulcers in the mouth and gums, swollen tongue, excessive salivation, and lameness or stiffness when walking.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture says death loss is uncommon in cattle and there is no evidence that the EHD virus can infect humans or that it is transmitted between animals.

"The symptoms of EHD are similar to those of Foot and Mouth Disease," McGraw noted. "So, farmers who notice signs of illness in cattle are encouraged to immediately contact their veterinarian to rule out a possible foreign animal disease."

This is the first year that cases of EHD in cattle have been reported in Wisconsin.