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Disease killing hundreds of deer in south-central Iowa

Posted at 3:05 PM, Aug 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-28 16:05:57-04

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Authorities say a virus has killed hundreds of deer in south-central Iowa.

The Iowa Natural Resources Department says the outbreak of epizootic hemorrhagic disease is concentrated in and near Warren County. The disease is spread by female midges that feed on the dead animals.

The disease causes high fever in deer. The cell membranes in their hearts, lungs and diaphragms weaken and burst. The department says the disease kills animals every year but not usually at the rate of this outbreak.

The disease outbreak remains active until rain disperses the deer, wind disperses the midges or a heavy frost kills them.

Experts say epizootic hemorrhagic disease has not been shown to affect people.