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Deadly rabbit virus confirmed in Comox Valley, B.C.

Staff Writer |
Testing has confirmed that dead feral rabbits, found in the Comox Valley, British Columbia, suffered from rabbit haemorrhagic disease, caused by a calicivirus.

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Feral rabbits in Nanaimo and Delta also have died from the disease. All dead rabbits have been feral European or domestic rabbits, so pet rabbits are at risk.

Rabbit haemorrhagic disease is an extremely infectious and lethal disease of rabbits.

This is the third confirmed diagnosis of this virus in Canada, and the first in British Columbia. The disease is exclusive to rabbits.

Humans and other animals, including dogs and cats, cannot be infected.

The virus affects only European rabbits, and is not known to affect native North American rabbits.

B.C. veterinarians will have access to vaccinations for the disease in the coming weeks, and will be able to vaccinate pet rabbits.

Pet owners should monitor their rabbits daily for signs of illness, and contact their veterinarian immediately with any concerns.

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