Disease threatens Wisconsin cattle - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Disease threatens Wisconsin cattle

MARSHFIELD (WAOW) - Animal health officials are warning about a cattle disease that's been found in Wisconsin.

The disease is called Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, or EHD.

It causes fever and lameness in cattle and is commonly found in southern states.

Recently, two Wisconsin cases have been confirmed in Lafayette and Crawford Counties.

EHD is commonly found in deer.

"It can't be transmitted from a deer which is the normal host to a cow directly. It needs some help," said Veterinarian John Borzillo.

That help can come from flying insects.

"It is passed by biting midges and flies. That's why we recommend farmers take preventive measures using insect control," said Raechelle Cline, public information officer for the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection.

Animal experts say that with colder weather moving in, the chances of cattle being infected are reduced because insects are dying off.

"I would say particularly this time of year as we go into fall, it's a minimal risk," added Borzillo.

One herdsman at a Marshfield dairy farm says he uses wind to keep insects away from his cattle.

"We have tunnel ventilation in the barn so there is probably between five and seven miles-per-hour winds all the time, so there's no flies whatsoever," said Roger Petri.

Wisconsin's Agriculture Department says samples from the two infected animals in southwest Wisconsin were tested in September.

According to animal experts, infected cattle will show symptoms.

"Sores, reasonable blisters or ulcers on the nose, around the mouth, even in the mouth, and sometimes you'll have very painful feet," said Borzillo.

Health officials say the disease does not infect humans.

Animal experts add that the disease will continue to remain a threat until Wisconsin receives a hard freeze, which will kill of the infected insects.

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