HD update: number of deer dead in Cook County approaches 100

August 28, 2012 at 11:12 AM

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is issuing a status update on hemorrhagic disease in Illinois as soon as staff reports are compiled later this week.

Tom Micetich, deer project manager with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said Tuesday that 90 deer had been reported dead in Cook County so far.

“A high number have also been reported along the Sangamon River between Lake Decatur and Springfield; mostly in Macon County,” he said.

Micetich said DNR field staff has been asked to submit reports by the end of the week.

“A color-coded map and news release are being put together,” he said. “Each phone call and/or email message changes the statewide count and number of counties affected.”

Thirty-nine Illinois counties have reported at least one likely hemorrhagic disease death, he said.

Hemorrhagic disease is the general name given to two viruses spread by biting midges.

Infected deer often are found dead near water sources as they seek relief from high fever.

The last significant outbreak was during 2007, when DNR received 449 reports of 1,966 deer in 54 counties.

Outbreaks usually end with the onset of cold weather, ending the activity period for the midges.