We investigated temporal and spatial trends in reporting of hemorrhagic disease (HD) in the midwestern and northeastern US using a 33-yr (1980–2012) questionnaire-based data set. This data set was supported by an additional 19 yr (1994–2012) of bluetongue virus (BTV) and epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) isolation results from clinically affected white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in these regions. Both the number of counties that were reported positive for HD and the northern latitudinal range of reported HD increased with time. A similar increase was observed with both the number of states annually reporting HD and the number of counties where HD was reported. Large-scale outbreaks occurred in 1988, 1996, 2007, and 2012, and the scale of these individual outbreaks also increased with time. The predominant virus isolated from these regions was EHDV-2, but the prevalence of EHDV-6, which was first detected in 2006, appears to be increasing. Temporally, the extent of regional HD reporting was correlated with regional drought conditions. The significance of increases in reported HD and the incursions and establishment of new BTV and EHDV in the US currently are unknown.
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Vol. 51 • No. 2