Adenovirus hemorrhagic disease is suspected to be the cause of death for more than 60 deer on the Gulf Islands. (Photo contributed by Jill Hayward)

Province tracks potential deadly deer virus outbreak on Gulf Islands

No known risk to human health from the virus

The province is tracking the outbreak of a possible new disease that has killed more than 60 deer on two Southern Gulf Islands.

Although Adenovirus hemorrhagic disease (AHD) is suspected as the cause, further testing is required to confirm a definitive diagnosis.

There is no known risk to human health from the virus and there is no evidence that it can be transmitted to humans, according to a news release from the province. Research also indicates the virus is not transmittable to livestock and pets. Hunters in the area, however, are advised not to eat the meat from dead animals or those that are ill or acting abnormally.

A network of wildlife professionals has been assisting provincial wildlife health staff to investigate the possible emergence of AHD since deer were discovered dead on Galiano Island in September. Samples from the dead deer were sent to laboratories in Canada and the U.S. to confirm the cause of the disease.

Since its initial discovery in California, AHD cases are recorded in western U.S. annually, with outbreaks monitored in some locations. Improved diagnostic tools have enabled wildlife health experts to recognize the disease more often than previously.

Cervids, i.e. mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, moose and caribou, are all susceptible to the disease. Members of the black-tailed deer family, including mule deer, appear to be the most severely affected. Fawns are more susceptible than adults and suffer much higher rates of death. The disease course is usually rapid and fatal as the virus damages small blood vessels in the lungs and intestines.

Acute signs of the disease include difficulty breathing, foaming or drooling from the mouth, diarrhea, which can sometimes be bloody, and seizures. More chronic symptoms include ulcers and abscesses in the mouth and throat. Anyone who sees a deer displaying these signs should report it to the Wildlife Health Laboratory at 250-751-7246.

Visit gov.bc.ca/wildlifehealth for more information on AHD and other wildlife diseases in B.C.


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Provincial GovernmentWildlife

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Signs at a new COVID-19 testing and collection centre at 14577 66th Ave. in Surrey. It was relocated from an urgent primary care centre near Surrey Memorial Hospital. This new centre allows for up to 800 tests per day, which is 550 more than the previous centre, according to Fraser Health. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
More than 200 new COVID-19 cases linked to Fraser Health region: Dr. Henry

Provincial health officer appeals to people to keep gatherings small

Reni Masi file photo
Former Surrey school trustee, Delta MLA dies at age 87

Reni Masi served as Liberal MLA for nine years, then as a Surrey school trustee for another nine

A mail-in ballot package for the 2020 B.C. provincial general election. (Liam Harrap photo)
Over 15,000 mail-in ballots in Delta could mean no clear winners on election night

About 18 per cent of voters in Delta North, 23 per cent of voters in Delta South, issued mail-in ballots

A driver pulls up to the new COVID-19 testing and collection centre at 14577 66th Ave. in Surrey. It was relocated from an urgent primary care centre near Surrey Memorial Hospital. This new centre allows for up to 800 tests per day, which is 550 more than the previous centre, according to Fraser Health. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Weddings, funerals have ‘potential to become a super-spreader’ event: Fraser Health

As of Oct. 21, health authority accounted for 70% of total provincial cases

(Delta Police Department photo)
Police investigating indecent acts in North Delta park

Police received two separate reports of a man masturbating near the Mackie Library on Oct. 21

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Vancouver police reactivated the search for Jordan Naterer Thursday Oct. 22. Photo courtesy of VPD.
Mom of missing Manning Park hiker believes her son is waiting to come home

‘He’s going to come out of a helicopter and say ‘what took you so long?”

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

More and more electric cars are on the road, but one Chevy Bolt owner was shocked to see how much his BC Hydro bill skyrocketed once he started charging the vehicle. (Black Press file photo)
Lower Mainland man sees significant spike in BC Hydro bill after buying electrical vehicle

An increase should be expected, but Brian Chwiendacz experienced a 200-plus per cent hike

Most Read