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Virginia Officials Say Deer Deaths Caused By Viral Outbreak

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has confirmed that a viral disease has killed a number of deer across the state.

Hemorrhagic disease is a common infectious disease of white-tailed deer. Outbreaks occur annually in the Southeast.

Virginia officials said they've received reports from 38 counties involving 180 deer. The worst-hit area is in and around Bedford and Franklin counties.

Outbreaks are characterized by otherwise healthy-looking deer being found dead or dying near or in the water during late summer and early fall.

There is no vaccine or medication to combat the disease. The best predictor of the disease activity is drought.

The disease does not pose a threat to humans or domestic pets. Outbreaks typically continue until the first frost kills insects that carry the disease.

(© Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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