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

Internet service in the West Kootenay is improving thanks to provincial government grants. File photo
COVID-19 support program brings faster internet to rural communities

The province has provided grants to local internet providers

A daycare in Kaslo says it has been overlooked by a provincial grant to add more child-care spaces in B.C. File photo
Kaslo daycare’s expansion plans fail to meet funder’s test

Periwinkle Children’s Centre had hoped to get a provincial grant

First responders at a crash scene near Rossland on Thursday, Oct. 22. Photo: Trail RCMP
First snow in West Kootenay causes vehicle collisions

The Trail and Greater District RCMP’s weekly brief contains details on collisions

The Regional District of Central Kootenay is no fan of the provincial STEP Code. File photo
RDCK board encouraged to ‘STEP’ forward with building code

RDCK directors have twice delayed adopting STEP Code standards

L-R, Kootenay mountain biking pioneer Mark Holt, Touchstones executive director Astrid Heyerdahl, and Deb MacKillop of the Nelson Cycling Club at the 2018 Touchstones exhibit. Photo: Louis Bockner
Touchstones Museum wins award for 2018 mountain bike exhibit

Exhibit responded to an unexplored yet vital part of Nelson’s identity

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. records 217 more COVID-19 cases, mask use urged

Infection spike continues, 21 senior facilities affected

Premier-elect John Horgan and cabinet ministers are sworn in for the first time at Government House in Victoria, July 18, 2017. (Arnold Lim/Black Press)
Pandemic payments have to wait for B.C. vote count, swearing-in

Small businesses advised to apply even if they don’t qualify

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The duffel bags were found to contain 84 pounds of cocaine, valued at approximately $1.2 million and 198 pounds of methamphetamine, valued at approximately $960,000. Photo courtesy U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
2 men accused of fleeing border agents near U.S.-B.C. border with $2M in drugs

Cocaine and methamphetamine seized by U.S. law enforcement in remote Idaho area near Canadian border

Pixabay photo
‘Horrific’ abuse of volunteers, staff by parents must stop: Chilliwack soccer club

Parents have become abusive after being told COVID-19 rules, email says

FILE – The Queen of Alberni ferry leaves the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in Delta bound for Vancouver Island, Sunday, July 29, 2007. (CP PHOTO/Richard Lam) CANADA
Mechanical failure leaves nearly 200 passengers stranded on BC Ferries ship for hours

A tug arrived after dark to safely nudge the vessel into a berth so travellers could finally disembark

Ridge Meadows RCMP (Black Press)
Maple Ridge X-ray tech convicted of sexual assault dating back 30 years

Allen James Brooks is expected to be sentenced in January 2021

Most Read