Officials have announced the latest cases of the "highly contagious" rabbit disease are the first in Connecticut

Officials have announced the latest cases of the “highly contagious” rabbit disease are the first in Connecticut

On Monday, state officials confirmed the first cases of rabbit haemorrhagic disease type 2 (RHDV2) in Connecticut.

Or not specified in the United States In 2018, RHDV2, which is believed to possess I grew up in Europe or AsiaIt is not a threat to humans but can be fatal to rabbits and other lagomorphs, according to officials. Officials said the disease had previously been detected in domestic rabbits in New Jersey and New York.

The sudden deaths of 13 of 14 pet rabbits in a private home in Hartford County were reported to the Connecticut Department of Agriculture on September 6; The 14th rabbit died two days later, according to officials. Officials said tests at the US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory confirmed the animals had died of RHDV2.

Officials explained that the symptoms of the highly contagious disease include fever, anemia, loss of appetite and internal bleeding that leads to blood spots on the nose. RHDV2 infection can only be confirmed by analyzing tissue samples collected after the animal’s death, officials said.

Given the potential seriousness of the disease, officials are advising owners of Connecticut rabbits to take steps to protect the health of their pets. Recommended safety measures include washing hands thoroughly before handling rabbits; prevent contact between wild and domestic rabbits, as well as pet rabbits that do not live in the same household; And ask visitors to wear protective clothing when handling or spending time with rabbits.

Vaccination against RHDV2 has also been an option for rabbits since Connecticut vet Jane Lewis agreed to sell a vaccine Manufactured by Medgene Labs in November 2021 after the USDA Center for Veterinary Biology vaccine ear For emergency use, according to officials. However, the vaccine can only be given to domestic rabbits by licensed Connecticut veterinarians, and vaccinated rabbits must be identified with a tattoo or microchip mentioned in their veterinary registry, officials said.

Experts say an outbreak of RHDV2 in the wild could spell disaster for Connecticut’s only domestic wild rabbit species, the New England Cottontail at risk. Once abundant throughout the region, the cottonwood suffered a sharp population decline, mainly due to habitat loss. was even Considered a protection filter under the Endangered Species Act between 2006 and 2015, according to the New England Cottontail Conservation Initiative.

RHDV2 cases were previously detected in Most of the US states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. The disease is particularly prevalent in the southwest and west. the first Wild cases have been reported He wears a black-tailed jackrab and several cotton pads in New Mexico in April 2020. The border states of Arizona, Texas and Colorado soon followed suit.

Infection of wild rabbits with RHDV2 die rate By 40 to 80 percent, according to Cornell University’s Wildlife Health Lab. Those who survive can get rid of virus For 30 days or more after recovery, the pathogens are likely to spread widely. The virus is so deadly that its predecessor, RHDV, was Deliberately introduced to Wardang Island In Australia in the 1990s as a form of rabbit population control.

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