With the Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus claiming at least three human lives in West Michigan on Saturday, 21st of September, deer hunters are faced with a dilemma. The white-tail deer is susceptible to the virus, which brings the question of whether these animals are safe to eat or not.
Doctor David Davenport, the Medical Director of Infection Prevention at Ascension Borgess says no. According to him, deer who are infected with the triple-E virus can be eaten without fear of being infected. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that the EEE virus is one of the most dangerous viruses transferred from one host to another via mosquito bites. However, the virus cannot be transmitted from one person to another.
The Department of Natural Resources encourages that if hunters are harvesting deer, they must use rubber gloves for field dressing. Deer can only be harvested by hunters during the antler-less season on private lands, designated for deer management units.