Epizootic haemorrhagic disease (EHD) is a viral disease of wild and domesticated ruminants. It can cause high rates of disease and death in certain deer species. Humans are not affected by the disease.
North and South America, Asia and Africa (including countries bordering the Mediterranean such as Israel, Turkey, Jordan, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) and Australia.
Wild and domesticated ruminants. Classically, the disease affects white-tailed deer in North America. Cattle may also become clinically ill, whereas disease of small ruminants (e.g. sheep, goats) does not occur.
Mode of transmission
Transmission occurs via the bite/sting of insects (gnats). Unborn foals can be infected in the womb. In temperate zones, infection usually occurs in late summer/autumn, whereas in tropical zones it can occur all year round.
Clinical disease mainly affects certain deer species, but may also occur in cattle. Fever, oedema, respiratory and swallowing problems, haemorrhage, inflammation of mucous membranes and hoof ligaments, lameness, lassitude may occur. Abortions and stillbirths also occur.
A specific therapy is not possible. Diseased animals can only be treated symptomatically.
Vaccines are occasionally used in Japan and the USA. These are attenuated live vaccines or inactivated vaccines.