CHeRI - Hemorrhagic Disease Diagnostics

What is Hemorrhagic Disease?

Hemorrhagic Disease (HD) is caused by bluetongue virus (BTV) and epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV). It is transmitted by blood-feeding flies called biting midges or no-see-ums. In Florida, most cases occur in late summer and early fall and can be an enormous source of mortality for farm-raised deer.

Understanding which virus is circulating is important because the type of virus found may not be controlled by available vaccines.

If you would like more information on Hemorrhagic Disease, check out this publication by CHeRI staff members:

Facts about Wildlife Diseases: Hemorrhagic Fever in White-Tailed Deer (pdf)

Free Diagnostic Testing

If you own a deer farm in Florida, we would like to test sick or dead animals that you suspect have Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease or Bluetongue. We will provide necropsy results for free and those results will be completely confidential. This effort will help our researchers determine which HD viruses are circulating in different areas of Florida, will provide information on important coinfections that may increase mortality, and ultimately will help us develop new and better vaccines for HD.

If you have a dead or sick animal, there are several ways you can get us samples:

  1. If you work with a veterinarian, we can negotiate a reimbursement rate for providing us with the needed tissues.
  2. If you have a cold room and can keep the carcass cold, but do not want to necropsy the animal, we can send a CHeRI staff member out to collect tissues.
  3. If you would like to collect tissues yourself, we can provide directions and you can follow the instructional video below.

If you have samples to submit for HD diagnostics call the following number: