- Associated Press - Thursday, August 17, 2017

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Two Louisiana scientists have a three-year grant to study two viral diseases that are spread by midges and cause bleeding in deer and cattle.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture is providing $490,000 to Lane Foil and Claudia Husseneder of the LSU AgCenter.

They’ll study bluetongue virus and epizootic (EP-ih-zoh-AH-tik) hemorrhagic (HEM-ohr-AJ-ik) disease. Both often kill deer but are less dangerous to cattle. Foil says both “can cause devastating losses in captive deer herds.”

An AgCenter news release Wednesday said that in cattle, symptoms include a crusty, peeling muzzle; sores and ulcers in the mouth; stiffness; lameness; and loss of appetite.

The study will include identifying insects that carry the viruses and studying how the viruses themselves survive the winter in insects and animals.

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