Sat. May 28th, 2022

: A young desert cantaloupe rabbit looking for food near Santa Fe, New Mexico.

: A young desert cantaloupe rabbit looking for food near Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Pictures: Robert Alexander (Getty Images)

Across the country, wild and domesticated rabbits are battling a deadly and highly contagious viral disease that can kill up to 80% of the prey. Known as the hemorrhagic disease of rabbits, a relatively new type of disease has been reported in more than a dozen different states since 2020. Officials are warning the rabbit Owners should keep them indoors, vaccinate them if possible, and report sick or dead rabbits suspected of having the virus..

The disease is caused by the hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) of rabbits, a cotton-shaped member. Lagovirus. It is not harmful to humans, but it can seriously affect European rabbits, as well as cotton and rabbits. The highly contagious virus can be transmitted through direct contact as well as contact with contaminated surfaces and even through insect bites. Once inside the rabbit, it attacks the liver, causing hepatitis, which is characterized by fever, weight loss, and jaundice. This can then lead to more severe symptoms, such as liver failure and convulsions, heart palpitations, and heavy bleeding, or head bleeding.

Affects only the classic version of RHDV European rabbits, And although it has been established in most parts of Europe and Asia, it did not become common in the United States in 2010, however, a new strain of the virus, now called RHDV-2, Was discovered and began to spread like wildfire. RHDV-2 can affect a wide range of rabbits and it has a gain Keep your feet up In the United States and other countries outside Europe. It was initially thought to be less deadly than other forms of the virus, but recently its mortality rate has increased.

This week, the Kentucky Wildlife Officer Report That two pet rabbits recently contracted and died from RHDV-2. Oregon officials earlier this month Report Further exposure to the virus, including the latest case in mid-December, when there was a case Found Also in New York last month. In an update Release The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services this week, officials noted that RHDV-2 was found in 18 states, including Florida. The state found two cases, most recently in October 2021, involving both domestic pets.

Although the prevalence of RHDV may be seasonal, the virus can withstand severe environmental conditions, such as freezing cold for up to three months, or remain in the body of rabbits that die from it. Rabbits who survive their illness can remain infected for weeks or even months. So officials and experts To recommend Pet rabbits that stay indoors and avoid contact with new rabbits, especially if brought from another state. Hunter, Very, very Caution is being exercised, such as seeing sick and diseased rabbits or not hunting where outbreaks have been reported and washing hands after hunting before touching pet rabbits.

For some time there has been an available RHDV vaccine for older forms of the virus, but it does not seem to protect rabbits from RHDV-2. A recent experimental RVDV-2 vaccine is now available in the United States, though, and there are some affected states, such as Florida. Delivery It is Through the office of veterinarians.

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