Charleston, W.Va. (AP) -- An insect-borne virus has killed deer in five West Virginia counties, and state officials are investigating reports of similar kills in nine additional counties.
The division of natural resources says that epizootic hemorrhagic disease has been confirmed in Hancock, Harrison, Marion, Monongalia and Wayne counties.
The disease, which cannot be contracted by humans, is spread to deer by biting midges and is normally fatal within five or 10 days.
Cold weather usually ends any outbreak by killing the insects that spread the virus.
The disease also has been confirmed in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia.