Virus kills nearly 100 deer in Jackson and Josephine Counties

, Written by Kassi Nelson, Posted: Mon, August 11 2014 at 5:34 PM, Updated: Mon, August 11 2014 at 5:46 PM

Medford, Ore. -- The hot and dry weather in Southern Oregon is causing the resurgence of a virus fatal to deer.

The disease, called adenovirus, has killed 85 black tailed deer in Jackson and Josephine Counties since June.

It's the largest number of fatalities since the disease hit the region in 2002.

Adenovirus causes deer to internally bleed to death and mostly affects deer that live in herds around suburbs.

The virus is spread from nose to nose contact. Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife District Wildlife Biologist, Mark Vargas, said they're asking people not to leave food or water out for the animals.

"We're concerned because of the levels that it can affect the deer population, it can affect hunting opportunities," Vargas said. "We can be concerned but it's a natural disease. you just got to let it run it's course."

Vargas said at this point the die-offs shouldn't affect hunting season, but August is just getting started and the virus gets worse with heat.

The virus can not be spread from deer to other pets, livestock, or humans.

If you see a deer that seems to have died from natural causes report it to ODFW.

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About the Author

Kassi Nelson

NBC5 News reporter Kassi Nelson was born and raised in Nebraska. She graduated from the journalism school at University of Nebraska Lincoln where she studied broadcasting.

She also studied philosophy in the Czech Republic. Kassi has visited nine other countries including Sochi, Russia, where she reported on the preparations for the 2014 Olympic Games.

She loves skiing and live concerts!

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