Veterinarians are racing to save domestic and wild rabbits from a devastating virus. The virus, called RHDV2, is a form of hepatitis that causes hemorrhagic health issue in rabbits. Throughout North America, RHDV2 is rapidly progressing through rabbit populations. The virus moves from one animal to another through close contact and exchange of body fluids. Some symptoms include fever, lethargy, bleeding from the nose or mouth and difficulty breathing, although in many matters the health issue does not show any symptoms until gone. The virus is 90% fatal in infected rabbits, Tatum McConnell reports in Scientific American.
Now, a new vaccine developed by Medgene Labs in collaboration with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) can help protect rabbits. In 2021, the USDA center for veterinary biologics used an emergency permit to use the vaccine against the health issue. More than 40 andash States
“We are excited to expand the use of our platform technology and obtain emergency approval for our RHDV2 vaccine from the USDA. We have worked closely with their team to reach this milestone since the great epidemic. We are committed to helping rabbit owners and veterinarians action this devastating foreign animal health issue,” says Mark Luecke, Managing director of Medgene Lab.
Rabbit hemorrhagic health issue was initial detected in European rabbit populations in 1980. In 2010, the RHDV2 variant was detected in France in wild and breeding rabbits. Since then, officials have seen the virus in the United States three times since 2018. The virus has caused epidemics on all five continents, according to a 2021 study published in transboundar. The virus does not affect humans. However, veterinarians are pushing for domestic rabbits to be vaccinated against RHDV2. An estimated 1.7 households in the United States. have a rabbit as a pet, according to Scientific American.
“This is a 100 percent fatal health issue for rabbits, and it’s a really scary gone,” said Susan Keller, a veterinarian in Broard. “They suddenly die with a high fever and blood from the nose and mouth. It is important to vaccinate our domestic rabbits.”Keller also explains W
Currently, RHDV2 is endemic in 11 southern and western states, including California, Arizona and Te. Nineteen other matters of wild and domestic rabbits have appeared in 19 states in the past year, according to a USDA map that tracks rabbit hemorrhagic health issue.
Researchers are more concerned about the health issue, which affects endangered species such as the bush rabbit, a type of white-tailed rabbit and other rare lagomorphic species.
The long-term effects of the Virus and the vaccine are not known. Carlos Rouco Zufiaurre, Ecologist at Cr University
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) about 700 rabbits from the protected area have been vaccinated to keep in the middle of 15 and 20% of the population vaccinated in the event of an epidemic, said Deana Clifford, veterinarian at CDF dice