Deer to be tested for EEE today and Sunday
Volunteers with the Vermont Department of Health will be gathering blood samples from deer today and Sunday during youth deer hunting weekend to check for eastern equine encephalitis.
Samples will be taken from deer brought to check stations throughout the state for a project that has occurred over the last three years.
In the fall of 2010, the Health Department partnered with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets and a researcher with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the deer and moose survey to look for evidence of the EEE virus in Vermont.
This may be the last year of the deer survey, according to Erica Berl, a state infectious disease epidemiologist.
The project is not being modified or expanded because of two human deaths from EEE this year.
In 2010, deer and moose samples were collected from more than 500 animals during rifle season. Eleven percent of deer samples and 28 percent of moose samples tested positive.
Information on last year was not available.
2010 was the first time that evidence of EEE had been detected in Vermont.