Washington State University has confirmed bluetongue virus this fall in 42 animals, most of them white-tailed deer, submitted to its animal disease diagnostic laboratory from Eastern Washington and Idaho.
None of the animals were from the Mid-Columbia, but the state Department of Fish and Wildlife has received reports of suspected bluetongue disease killing deer in Walla Walla and Columbia counties.
Other animals found to have the disease include cows, domestic sheep, bighorn sheep, mule deer and a yak. Bluetongue disease can affect international trade.
Bluetongue is spread by insects, including gnats at watering holes used by animals. Symptoms can include profuse salivation, facial swelling and, in some cases, lung damage that turns tongues and lips bluer than normal.