Disease that causes sudden death in rabbits reported in Multnomah Co.

Nearly 100 rabbits were rescued after excessive breeding had taken over a home in the Kansas...
Nearly 100 rabbits were rescued after excessive breeding had taken over a home in the Kansas City area.(Burge Bird Rescue)
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 2:40 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - State officials on Monday reported that a disease which causes rabbits to die suddenly had been detected in Multnomah County.

The Oregon State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory confirmed rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus 2 (RHDV2) in domestic rabbits living in Multnomah County after seven rabbits died over a 72-hour period. An ODA district veterinarian investigated, and OSU confirmed RHDV2 on July 28.

The owners of the rabbits report exposure to wild rabbits in the area. The property is under quarantine.

RHDV2 is a highly contagious virus that can spread quickly among rabbit populations. But poses no human health risk. RHD causes sudden death in rabbits and spreads through direct contact between live rabbits or exposure to contaminated materials (carcasses, pelts, food, water, and forage, etc.) Birds, rodents, flies, predators, and scavengers can spread the virus via their feet, fur/feathers, or feces without becoming infected themselves.

The virus is resistant to extreme temperatures and can survive in the environment for months under certain conditions.

People were urged to report rabbit deaths by calling the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) at 1-866-968-2600 or emailing Wildlife.Health@odfw.oregon.gov.