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

Co-owner, Baani Arora (pictured) celebrated the grand opening of Maharajah Grocerz in Penticton Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020. (Jesse Day - Western News)
Penticton’s first South Asian supermarket celebrates grand opening

Maharajah Grocerz carries foods found across South Asian countries as well as North American staples

Jordan Naterer, 25, was last seen Saturday Oct. 10. He planned a hike in the Manning Park area, and has not been seen since. Photo Facebook.
Family devastated as search for missing Manning Park hiker suspended

‘It was an extremely difficult meeting with the parents when we had to tell them.’

NDP candidate Toni Boot has had multiple campaign signs vandalized in Penticton. However, she doesn’t believe the vandalism is targeting a specific party or candidate, she told <em>Black Press Media </em>in an Oct. 17, 2020 interview. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Vandals target Penticton campaign signs

NDP candidate Toni Boot says she’s had multiple signs vandalized since the start of her campaign

Stefano Bottini of the Penticton Vees had much to celebrate this weekend, as his team pushed their win streak to eight games with a pair of blowout victories over the West Kelowna Warriors. (Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography)
Penticton Vees dominate West Kelowna in back-to-back games

The Vees remain undefeated in the Okanagan Cup, Warriors fall to 3-4-0-1

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau takes part in a press conference during the COVID pandemic in Ottawa, Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says provinces have to do more work to address racism in the health-care system. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
VIDEO: Provinces need to address racism in the health-care system, Trudeau says

Minister Miller said feds can use financial leverage over health care to fight anti-Indigenous racism

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Smoke pours from abandoned Kelowna heritage building

The cause of the blaze remains unknown at this time

Vernon Fire Rescue Services and Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP were called to a report of an electrical fire at the temporary shelter operated by Turning Points Collaborative Society on 37th Street Sunday, Oct. 18, just before 5:30 p.m. A fire was discovered in the building’s attic, forcing the evacuation of temporary residents and staff. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Reported electrical fire evacuates Okanagan temporary shelter

No visible smoke or flame but Vernon firefighters discover small blaze in former warehouse’s attic

FILE - Nathan Cullen speaks to media in Smithers, B.C., Friday, February 28, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, Cullen apologize for NDP candidate’s comments about Haida candidate

Nathan Cullen had made insensitive comments about Roy Jones Jr. Cheexial

The view from Donald Bridge, looking east on Highway 1, about 28 km north of Golden at 11:50 a.m. Oct. 18. (DriveBC)
UPDATE: Expect delays on highway east of Revelstoke

A vehicle incident occurred near the Quartz Creek bridge

Salmon Arm Silverbacks defenceman William Lavigne (left) tries to rub out Vernon Vipers forward Max Bulawka in B.C. Hockey League Okanagan Cup action. Vernon completed a home-and-home sweep of the Gorillas with a 4-3 overtime win Saturday, Oct. 17, at the Shaw Centre. (Lisa Mazurek - Vernon Vipers Photography)
Vernon Vipers sweep Salmon Arm

Snakes win 5-2 at home Friday, 4-3 in overtime Saturday at the Shaw Centre

A winning Lotto 649 Guaranteed Winning Prize ticket worth $1 million in the Saturday, Oct. 17 draw was purchased in the Shuswap. (File photo)
Million-dollar lotto ticket bought in Okanagan

Ticket bought in Shuswap wins Lotto 649 Guaranteed Winning Match game from Saturday, Oct. 17

Six Mile Beach outside Nelson is known for its perfect sand, clear water and unique sand spit. But the drowning death of a man in July has residents asking if the dangerous spot has become too popular. Photo: David Grantham/Kootenay Drone Services
Dangerous oasis: The fatal history of a popular Kootenay Lake beach

Six Mile Beach near Nelson is known for its unique sand spit. But locals have feared it for decades

In this photo illustration, a provincial election mail-in ballot sealed in an Elections B.C. return envelope is seen before being deposited in a Canada Post mailbox, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. The final result of British Columbia’s provincial election won’t be known for at least two weeks because more than 700-thousand mail-in ballots have to be counted by hand. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s snap election means 700k ballots will be counted manually, delaying results

Elections BC spokesman said employees in 87 electoral districts will count mail-in ballots one by one

Most Read