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)

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

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Interior Health reports 2 more deaths, 83 new COVID-19 cases

Health authority also identifies new virus cluster in Fernie

South Columbia Search and Rescue called in the Nelson Search and Rescue and Kootenay Valley Helicopters to provide a long line rescue. Photo: BCSAR submitted.
Long-line rescue needed for injured hiker near Trail

Members of South Columbia and Nelson SAR and Kootenay Valley Helicopters did a long-line evacuation

A sign indicating a COVID-19 testing site is displayed inside a parking garage in West Nyack, N.Y., Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. The site was only open to students and staff of Rockland County schools in an effort to test enough people to keep the schools open for in-person learning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
4 more deaths, 54 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

This brings the total to 66 deaths in the region

Surrey RCMP are investigating after a pedestrian was struck and killed at 183 Street and Highway 10 Friday night. (File photo)
Castlegar Sculpturewalk 2020 – 10 Year Anniversary Sand Sculpture. (Submitted/CBT)
CBT arts and culture grant program now accepting applications

Apply through the Kootenay Columbia Cultural Alliance

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kamloops hospital grows to 66 cases

A majority of cases remain among staff at Royal Inland Hospital

Kamloops RCMP covered the animal with a blanket and dragged it out of the home on a carpet. (Kamloops This Week)
Oh ‘deer’: Bambi breaks into Kamloops home

A deer got trapped into a Kamloops home and had to be escorted out by RCMP

Most Read