Follow KDKA-TV: Facebook | Twitter

READING, Pa. (KDKA/AP) – The Pennsylvania Game Commission is investigating reports of dozens of dead deer in two counties.

Commission officials say game wardens have been confirming the reports and taking viable samples of the dead deer in Berks and Chester counties for laboratory testing.

“We are aware of a significant deer mortality event in northern Chester and southern Berks counties and have submitted numerous samples to the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS) laboratory in Georgia to determine the cause,” said Southeast Region Director, Bruce Metz.

Previous deer die-offs were caused by epizootic hemorrhagic disease. The commission suspects the recent deaths may be linked to another EHD outbreak.

The often-fatal disease affects white-tailed deer populations and is caused by insect bites. EHD is less common in northern states like Pennsylvania, and kills infected deer within two weeks.

EHD is not transmissible to humans, but infected deer are not recommended for consumption. The commission is recommending hunters also wear gloves when handling animals in the field.

(TM and © Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)