Sunday, September 23, 2018

PRO/AH/EDR> Rabbit hemorrhagic disease - UK: (England) RHDV2 strain susp.

RABBIT HEMORRHAGIC DISEASE - UK: (ENGLAND) RHDV2 STRAIN SUSPECTED
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Date: Sat 22 Sep 2018
Source: Lincolnshire Live [edited]
<https://www.lincolnshirelive.co.uk/news/local-news/deadly-killing-rabbit-virus-suspected-2030791?utm>


A veterinary practice has warned animal lovers of a deadly virus
suspected of killing a number of rabbits.

Elwood, Briggs and Turner Vets in Kirton, near Boston, has issued
warnings on its Facebook page after a number of pet rabbit deaths.

The Facebook post states: We have, unfortunately, seen a few cases
lately that we suspect were the newest strain of viral haemorrhagic
disease, VHD2/RHDV2. This viral infection usually leads to the death
of pet rabbits. We now have a vaccine available which can help protect
your rabbit, which is separate to the myxomatosis and VHD1 vaccine.

There are 2 strains of RVHD, known as RVHD1 and RVHD2 [OIE's
terminology in the commentary below]. Both strains are lethal, and you
must vaccinate to protect your rabbits. It is known as rabbit
haemorrhage disease.

The virus can be caught from other infected rabbits, and the risk of
spreading it is highest where there are a lot of rabbits in one place,
such as rabbit shows, rescue centres, boarding kennels, or in houses
with gardens that wild rabbits visit.

The RHDV2 can also be present in rabbits that are carrying the
infection but are not showing signs of the disease. They could be
incubating or fighting the disease, so they are infectious to rabbits
they come in contact with. Only a few virus particles are needed to
infect another rabbits so infection can be transmitted by cages,
carriers, food bowls or bedding that have been used by infected
rabbits.

Although RHDV2 is not spread by air-borne infection like flu or foot
and mouth disease, it is spread by animals that eat the carcasses of
rabbits that have died from the disease.

The virus can pass through the bodies of crows, foxes and flies and
out in their faeces, so if there is an RHDV2 outbreak in wild rabbits
in your neighbourhood, your rabbit is at risk.

RVHD2 has been in the UK since 2013 and in time is expected to
overtake classic RVHD as the primary strain.

Rabbits can currently be protected by injection anytime at or after 5
weeks of age, then a booster every 12 months against RVHD1. This is
when it is part of the combined Myxo-RHD vaccine.

RVHD2 requires a separate vaccination, every 6 to 12 months.

RVHD1 is a swift and efficient killer; almost all unvaccinated rabbits
who catch RVHD1 die within a day or 2. The virus causes massive
internal bleeding.

Some rabbits bleed from the nose and back passage before death, others
die so quickly there may be no outward sign of disease at all.

RVHD2 is often fatal, although some rabbits have recovered with
veterinary care.

What makes it more dangerous in some ways is that it has a longer
period in which the rabbit is infectious, this results in the disease
spreading more widely.

The strain can also be less easy to recognise because there is often
no visible bleeding, so rabbits can simply be found dead or ill with
no obvious cause.

Due to the lack of obvious symptoms, owners often do not realise their
rabbit has an infectious disease, and this results in:
- The rabbit not being given treatment early enough.
- Precautions not being taken to contain the infection.

Both strains of RVHD are spread by direct contact with infected
rabbits, or indirectly via their urine or faeces. The viruses can
survive for months in the environment and are terrifyingly easy to
bring home to your pets. They survive cold very well.

Both strains of RVHD have been recorded all over the UK. All pet
rabbits should be vaccinated against both strains.

[Byline: Lisa Porter]

--
Communicated by:
ProMED-mail
<promed@promedmail.org>

[Rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) is a highly contagious and acute
fatal hepatitis of the European rabbit (_Oryctolagus cuniculus_),
caused by a calicivirus (genus _Lagovirus_). Up to 2010, all RHD
viruses (RHDV) isolated belonged to one of the 6 identified genotypes
(GI-GVI), among which the GVI is an antigenic subtype (RHDVa). In
2010, an additional RHDV was identified, phylogenetically and
antigenically distinct from RHDV and provisionally called RHDV2 or
RHDVb. A similar disease, termed European brown hare syndrome (EBHS),
has been described in the hare (_Lepus europaeus_).

RHD is characterised by high morbidity and a mortality rate of 70-90
percent for RHDV/RHDVa and 5-70 percent for RHDV2. Infection mainly
occurs by the oral route. In wild rabbits in particular, insects are
considered an important route of infection or transmission and are
often the source of long-distance spread. The incubation period of RHD
varies from 1 to 3 days, and death usually occurs 12-36 hours after
the onset of fever. The main clinical manifestations of the acute
infection are nervous and respiratory signs, apathy and anorexia. In
rabbits younger than 4-6 weeks, the RHDV/RHDVa infection course is
subclinical, but when the causative agent is RHDV2, clinical signs and
mortality are observed even in young animals from 15 to 20 days of age
onwards.

For the above and additional information on the disease, including
diagnostic techniques and requirements for vaccines, subscribers are
referred to OIE's Terrestrial Manual chapter 2.6.2. "Rabbit
haemorrhagic disease," adopted by the General Assembly in May 2016,
available at
<http://www.oie.int/fileadmin/Home/eng/Health_standards/tahm/2.06.02_RHD.pdf>.

For more information on rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus 2 (RIPv2),
readers can refer to ProMED-mail postings
http://promedmail.org/post/20150708.3494836 and
http://promedmail.org/post/20160525.4243548.

For OIE's multi-annual RHD outbreaks map as accumulated since January
2015, see <https://tinyurl.com/y84nchnk>. Notably, no outbreaks of RHD
have been reported to the OIE during the said time frame from the UK.
In the UK's annual report for 2017, RHD is included among the animal
diseases "Present in the Country." It is not notifiable. - Mod.AS

HealthMap/ProMED map available at:
England, United Kingdom: <http://healthmap.org/promed/p/279>]

[See Also:
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease - Israel: multiple outbreaks
http://promedmail.org/post/20180530.5828947
2017
----
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease - UK (02): England
http://promedmail.org/post/20171125.5465175
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease - Sweden: (SN) mountain hare, OIE
http://promedmail.org/post/20170121.4781967
2016
----
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease - Ireland: (WW,CE) RHDV 2 strain, new
strain, OIE http://promedmail.org/post/20161021.4576680
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease - Europe: UK, Ireland, pet & wild, alert
http://promedmail.org/post/20161014.4560412
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease - Norway: (VA) hares, rabbits, OIE
http://promedmail.org/post/20160723.4365338
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease - UK (02): pet rabbit deaths
http://promedmail.org/post/20160720.4357316
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease - Australia (02): (SA,VI) wild, RHDV2
strain, OIE http://promedmail.org/post/20160701.4319975
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease - Switzerland: (ZH,VS) domestic, new
strain, OIE, http://promedmail.org/post/20160525.4243548
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease - Finland: wild rabbits, 1st report, OIE
http://promedmail.org/post/20160517.4228040
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease - UK: (Scotland) wild rabbits
http://promedmail.org/post/20160224.4046329
Rabbit calicivirus - Australia: (VI) RHDV2 strain
http://promedmail.org/post/20160219.4033343
2015
---
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease - Sweden: (VG) domestic, new strain, OIE
http://promedmail.org/post/20150922.3661562
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease - UK (02): (England)
http://promedmail.org/post/20150821.3593921
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease - UK: (England) susp.
http://promedmail.org/post/20150820.3591864
1999
----
Viral hemorrhagic disease, rabbits - Cuba
http://promedmail.org/post/19990326.0473
1998
----
Rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease - Australia
http://promedmail.org/post/19981124.2272
1997
----
Rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease (14)
http://promedmail.org/post/19970928.2048
Rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease (13)
http://promedmail.org/post/19970924.2010
Viral hemorrhagic disease, rabbits - Cuba (03)
http://promedmail.org/post/19970722.1539]
.................................................arn/msp/lm
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