The first lab tests confirming Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) in the state of Montana have been received, according to Neil Anderson, supervisor of Montana's Wildlife Lab.

While EHD more commonly affects wildlife, cattle may show mild symptoms. EHD does not usually cause fatalities in domestic livestock but it may reduce productivity.

“We've had a hemmoragic disease die-off in the eastern part of the state,” said Anderson.

Study teams in the area have confirmed EHD in one initial sample and are currently testing others. Wyoming has no reported cases of EHD at this time.

Across the state of Montana and Wyoming, livestock producers watch for diseases that can pass from wildlife to their animals.

They know that watching and understanding can help them combat problems. Anderson said the Montana Wildlife Lab works closely with the Montana Department of Agriculture to understand diseases that can affect both domestic and wild animals.

Together they are working to domestic animals and wildlife avoid problems.

The EHD virus is transmitted by Culicoides midges. Midges are small, gnat-like insects which bite the animal and feed on their blood.

Once the virus enters the host's bloodstream it begins to cause damage and hemorrhaging to the walls of the blood vessels. Five to 10 days after exposure the infected animal begins to show symptoms.

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