Source: Photo of deer and logo via California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW)

According to several news sources, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has released a statement confirming outbreaks of a resurgence of an adenovirus hemorrhagic disease that they’ve found in deer in several northern California counties.

According to the CDFW press release, they began receiving increased reports of deer fatalities since the beginning of May (both of free-ranging deer, and those staying at deer rehabilitation facilities). The investigation was done via the CDFW, California Animal Health and Food Safety Laboratory, and local wildlife rehab facilities, and they found cervid adenovirus 1 (CdAdV-1) as the cause of hemorrhagic disease outbreaks have been reported in Kern, Napa, and Nevada counties.

Adenoviruses (AHD) in this case, is a virus variant from the Adenoviruses family that can infect a wide variety of animals, both wild and domestic, and was first discovered in black-tailed deer in California in 1993 -1994. This disease is very fatal to young deer and can be spread by animals in close contact with each other. The affected deer may have signs of excessive salivation (by drooling or with foam at the mouth), diarrhea, regurgitation, and/or seizures – at least those that have been studied at local wildlife rehabilitation facilities – whereas those that have been found dead out in the wild showed no obvious symptoms.

As of now; the virus is not currently known to affect people, pets, or domestic livestock – just deer. This is not the first time that an outbreak in deer has happened in California though, one such similar outbreak was as recent as 2019. As it is, the CDFW has urged California residents to help curb the spread by not feeding wild animals, and report potential cases immediately to their local wildlife departments in their area.

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