The presence of a deer disease, always lethal to white-tails but not contagious to humans, has been confirmed in Beaver County.
Two carcasses found in Greene Township and Ohioville Borough and sent to the University of Georgia for testing were found to be infected with the virus responsible for Epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD), The Pennsylvania Game Commission was told results were not available for tests on another deer carcass found in Summerhill Township, Cambria County.
Two weeks ago 35 dead deer were found in Beaver and Cambria counties. Last week two were discovered in Westmoreland County near Murrysville and Jeannette. Most of the carcasses were too badly decomposed to provide viable testing samples.
EHD is a common deer disease spread by mites and other biting insects. Outbreaks normally end when the first frost kills the insects.
An early antlerless archery deer season opens Saturday in Wildlife Management Unit 2B, which includes parts of Beaver and Westmoreland counties. No venison consumption advisory has been issued, but the Game Commission advises hunters to avoid shooting deer that appear disheveled or sick. Hunters who suspect a legally harvested deer may be unfit for consumption can deliver the full carcass, excluding entrails, to a Game Commission officer and receive written authorization to kill a second animal of the same species during the hunting season.
Sightings of dead deer or live deer that appear to be sick, particularly those found near water, should be reported to the Game Commission at 724-238-9523.