Rabbits in South Carolina, Connecticut suddenly drop dead from lethal virus

A highly-contagious and lethal virus is claiming the lives of rabbits in South Carolina.

Authorities detected Rabbit Hemorrhagic Illness Virus Sort-2 after a herd of feral bunnies immediately died at a homestead in Greenville County, the Clemson University Veterinary Diagnostic Center said Thursday.

Surviving members of the herd have been positioned in quarantine.

It’s the first time the vicious virus has been detected within the state. RHDV2 was first detected in 2018 and has shortly turn out to be an epidemic in Western states.

The illness was additionally detected earlier this month in Connecticut after 13 rabbits died in 24 hours, with the 14th member of the herd succumbing to the virus two days later, the state Department of Environmental Protection said.

Rabbits and hares contaminated with RHDV2 have a slim 30% probability of survival, the college stated. Signs embody anorexia, lethargy, conjunctivitis, respiratory indicators, and bloodstained noses or mouths.

Rabbits in a field.
Bunnies contaminated with the illness have a 30% probability of surviving.
Clemson College

“The introduction of RHDV2 to wild rabbits in South Carolina poses a critical menace to wild populations and has contributed to vital mortality occasions within the western United States. It will be significant that we do what we are able to to stop contact between contaminated feral rabbits and wild rabbits,” stated Will Dillman, Assistant Chief of Wildlife for the South Carolina Division of Pure Assets.

Although people can not turn out to be sick from RHDV2, they’ll unfold the killer virus. It is usually transmitted by direct contact with contaminated rabbits, bedding, water, feed, hay and different supplies used within the care and feeding of rabbits.

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