Deer virus confirmed in Coos County

ROSEBURG, Ore – Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife biologists confirmed one Coos County black-tailed deer died from a viral infection and suspect several others succumbed to the same disease this past summer.

Adenovirus Hemorrhagic Disease (AHD) is a virus transmitted by direct contact between deer, making it easier to spread in areas of high deer concentrations. This is particularly a concern where people feed and water deer since it unnaturally concentrates them in a small area.

Deer with AHD can have clinical signs common to other diseases and include: rapid or open mouth breathing, foaming or drooling at the mouth, diarrhea (possibly bloody), weakness and emaciation.

ODFW asks the public to report sightings of deer with these symptoms in Coos County and coastal Douglas County to 541-888-5515.

District Wildlife Biologist Stuart Love said his office received several reports of deer dying in yards in the past month that he suspects had AHD.

“If these deer died from AHD, then feeding them will potentially spread this disease to other deer rapidly. It’s very important people don’t provide water sources or feed for deer for this reason. Their bodies are built for browse and grass, not grain.”

Love said this is the first confirmed case of AHD in Coos County. In 2001, it was confirmed in deer from southwest Oregon, then spread to the central part of the state.

There are no known cases of humans getting sick from AHD or getting the disease from consuming the meat of a deer infected by AHD. With hunting season here, Love said it’s a good idea to wear rubber gloves when handling the carcass of harvested deer and to thoroughly cook the meat.