MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Agriculture officials warned farmers to watch for signs of a cattle disease that can cause fever and lameness after two cases were found in Wisconsin.
Epizootic hemorrhagic disease, or EHD, is unlikely to kill cattle, according to the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. But its symptoms include fever, ulcers in the mouth, a swollen tongue, excessive salivation, and lameness or stiffness when walking.
Dr. Paul McGraw, the state veterinarian, said in a statement that the disease will remain a threat until a hard freeze kills the insects that spread the virus. EHD does not infect humans.
One concern is that EHD's symptoms are similar to foot-and-mouth disease, so officials want to make sure animals are tested to rule out the more serious illness, McGraw said.
DATCP spokeswoman Raechelle Cline said Friday that samples from two infected animals were submitted for tests in September. A rapid test done by a state lab identified the disease, and confirmation tests are pending at a federal lab.
This is the first year that EHD in cattle has been reported in Wisconsin. The disease is more common in southern states and among white-tailed deer.
There is no vaccine for EHD, Cline said. Veterinarians can proscribe anti-inflammatory medication and antibiotics to prevent problems with secondary bacterial infections. It's also important for farmers to provide palatable food for infected animals because of the pain cause by mouth sores, she said.