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Wildlife Officials: Screwworm Infestation Declining In Keys

Judy Gallagher
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

Wildlife officials say a screwworm infestation in the Florida Keys seems to be declining, which is good news for a unique deer herd threatened by the flesh-eating parasites.

In a statement Monday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said no Key deer have died because of screwworms in the last two months. There's also been a drop in the number of screwworm infections among the dog-sized deer found only in the island chain.

Since the infestation has slowed, officials say they'll be removing devices applying anti-parasite medication to deer stopping at feeding troughs in the National Key Deer Refuge.

Officials say individual deer being monitored in the refuge will continue to receive oral medicines. Increased surveillance of the herd also will continue as the fawning season begins.