JACKSON, Miss — Mississippi wildlife officials said Wednesday they've received an increasing number of reports of sick or deceased deer over the past few weeks.
Biologists with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks suspect the state may be experiencing an outbreak of Hemorrhagic Disease also known as blue-tongue.
Dr. Bronson Strickland, a wildlife specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension, said hemorrhagic disease is caused by a virus and is transmitted from deer to deer by midges or gnats.
The department's Deer Program coordinator, William T. McKinley, said they track HD outbreaks via hunter reports and the occurrence of sloughing hooves from harvested deer each season.
McKinley said Mississippi has gone four straight years with low HD virus activity.