Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease virus 2 found in rabbits in Las VegasChristian Fernsby ▼ | May 11, 2020
The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) in conjunction with the USDA has confirmed a case of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus 2 (RHDV2) in domestic rabbits in southern Nevada.
Disease Domestic rabbit
“RHDV2 is a non-zoonotic viral disease that causes sudden death in rabbits,” said NDA interim state veterinarian Dr. David Thain, DVM. “While it is not harmful to humans, it can spread quickly among rabbits and we have gotten reports of cases in nearby states recently.”
On March 25, the NDA Animal Disease Lab received information from the New Mexico state veterinarian confirming a case of RHDV2 in a domestic rabbit in New Mexico. On April 2, they also found RHDV2 in a wild black-tailed jackrabbit and several wild cottontails, representing the first detection of this virus in wild rabbits in the U.S. Since then, cases have also been confirmed in Arizona, Texas and Colorado.
RHDV2 can be spread through contact with infected rabbits, their meat or their fur, or other materials such as a handler’s clothing or shoes. While early detection is difficult, some infected rabbits may develop a fever, loss of appetite, or show respiratory issues. Good biosecurity can help mitigate the spread. ■