Michigan reports more cases of disease that can kill deer -- What to do if you see a dead deer

FILE - A whitetail deer looks for food in the woods.

Six deer from four Michigan counties have died from epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD).

There have been three deaths in Oakland County, one case in Macomb County, one case in St. Clair County, and one case in Shiawassee County. They were all free-ranging, white-tailed deer.

The Department of Natural Resources said it has also received reports of 150 likely cases of EHD. Most of these reports were from counties that have confirmed cases.

The viral disease is transmitted to deer, mule deer, and elk by a biting fly called a midge. There is no evidence that humans can contract it.

Severe forms of the illness cause deer to lose their appetite and fear of humans, grow progressively weaker, salivate excessively, and become unconscious.

While it isn't always fatal severe cases of EHD dehydrate the animal and cause fevers, causing them to seek water. The deer are then found dead near water.

There is no known way to control EHD in wild populations, the DNR said.

"We are asking for hunters to look around as they hit the field this fall to let us know if they find dead deer, especially any near water," said Tom Cooley, DNR wildlife pathologist.

Dead deer can be reported to the DNR here or by calling a DNR Customer Service Center.