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Deadly rabbit disease persists and spreads in San Juan Islands, Wash.

Christian Fernsby |
State and federal labs have confirmed another occurrence of rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus 2 (RHDV2) in domestic rabbits in the San Juan Islands, Wash. this time on San Juan Island near Friday Harbor.

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Topics: RABBIT    DISEASE   

The findings are part of the ongoing investigation into confirmed RHDV2 cases on the Orcas Island last month.

RHD is a viral disease that causes sudden death in rabbits and can be spread through contact with infected rabbits, their meat or their fur, or materials coming in contact with them. It poses no human health risk.

The San Juan Island case involved 2 domestic rabbits near Friday Harbor that that died suddenly. The owner reported the suspected case directly to the State Veterinarian and submitted the dead rabbit for testing. The rabbits had direct contact with feral rabbits.

The disease has also been confirmed in the feral populations on the Islands.

Although this most recent case is still isolated in the San Juan Islands, the fact that it occurred on a different island than the original outbreak shows that it can spread in spite of geographical barriers.


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