Zombie deer have been located in parts of Ohio and there is a concern by hunters some of these deer could cross the Michigan border and affect the herd.

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What is a Zombie Deer?

Gareth Liewellyn/PA Images via Getty Images
Gareth Liewellyn/PA Images via Getty Images
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No, it's not an episode of "The Walking Dead" where deer are trying to eat other deer or even human brains.

chainatp/Getty Images/iStockphoto
chainatp/Getty Images/iStockphoto
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No, it's not an evil power possessing deer and turning them into zombies in order to infect the Ohio State Football players so both Michigan and Michigan State have better seasons but would be more fun if it were true.

Mickilu/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Mickilu/Getty Images/iStockphoto
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A zombie deer is a name given to a deer that has a disease called Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD).

What is Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease?

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Mikilu/Getty Images/iStockphoto
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According to the Department of Environmental Conservation of New York State, EHD is a viral disease that white-tailed deer get by biting midges, also called no-see-ums or punkies. A midge is a tiny fly that lands on deer and like mosquitos, the females need blood in order to reproduce and when they bite the deer, this is how the whitetail can catch the disease.

An unhealthy Deer
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Unlike Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) where a deer can transmit the virus to another deer by eating off the same food source. EHD is not transmittable from deer to deer because the animal bitten by the midge usually dies or develops immunity.

Where is the Zombie Deer?

HollenderX2/Getty Images
HollenderX2/Getty Images
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According to WOOD, zombie deer have been located in the Ohio counties seen below:

  • Athens
  • Butler
  • Champaign
  • Franklin
  • Greene
  • Hamilton
  • Highland
  • Madison
  • Perry
  • Preble
  • Ross
  • Union
  • Warren
Mule deer suffering the effects of Chronic Wasting Disease
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The Ohio counties listed above are in the southern part of the state. Indiana and Wisconsin have both been known to have deer with EHD.

How to Spot a Zombie Deer

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JMrocek/Getty Images/iStockphoto
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Deer with EHD usually die within 36 hours once the disease sets in. To spot a deer with the virus, the deer will have signs of a fever, small hemorrhages, or bruises in the mouth and nose. The deer may have swelling of the head, neck, tongue, and lips. The deer get dehydrated and drink a lot of water and are often found dead near areas of water.

Hopefully, EHD does not become a problem as CWD has for the herd of deer in Michigan.

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