Viral Disease Outbreak Among Wild and Domestic Rabbits
A viral disease outbreak is affecting wild and domestic rabbits in the Western US, with most recent detection in domestic rabbits in Alberta.
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus type 2 (RHDV-2) is highly contagious and fatal to rabbits and hares. It causes internal bleeding and sudden death. Bleeding from the eyes or nose may also be observed.
The virus does not affect humans, livestock or domestic pets, other than rabbits. However, the public is advised to handle dead rabbits with caution, as they may carry other diseases that are infectious to humans.
To date, there have been no recorded cases of the disease here in Saskatchewan. The public is asked to report any rabbits that appear to be bleeding, or instances of multiple dead or dying rabbits to: the ministry’s Inquiry Centre at 1-800-567-4224; or the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative at 1-306-966-5815 or email@example.com
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