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Disease kills over eight-thousand Michigan deer

Michigan DNR Seal.
Michigan DNR Seal.

LANSING (WKZO) -- A disease that began killing deer last summer has now wiped out more than eight-thousand whitetail deer in Michigan.  Officials believe the number will climb as farmers harvest corn and discover more carcasses.

The disease is not a threat to humans.  It's transmitted by a biting fly and causes internal bleeding, high fever, loss of appetite and weakness.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says summer drought and high temperatures have contributed to the number of cases.  Some hunters may actually hold their fire to allow the deer population to recover.