Las Vegas, Nev. - May 04, 2020
Department of Agriculture (NDA) in conjunction with the USDA has confirmed a
case of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus 2 (RHDV2) in domestic rabbits in
On April 27th, the NDA received a report of
sudden death in domestic rabbits at a household in Las Vegas. Samples were
collected and sent to the Foreign
Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (FADDL) and were reported back as
positive cases on April 30, 2020. The
infected household is under quarantine, per state quarantine officer NDA
Director Jennifer Ott. RHDV2 is not a COVID-19 related disease.
“RHDV2 is a non-zoonotic viral disease that
causes sudden death in rabbits,” said NDA interim state veterinarian Dr. David
Thain, DVM. “While it is not harmful to humans, it can spread quickly among
rabbits and we have gotten reports of cases in nearby states recently.”
On March 25, the NDA Animal
Disease Lab received information from the New Mexico state veterinarian
confirming a case of RHDV2 in a domestic rabbit in New Mexico. On April 2, they
also found RHDV2 in a wild black-tailed jackrabbit and several wild
cottontails, representing the first detection of this virus in wild rabbits in
the U.S. Since then, cases have also been confirmed in Arizona, Texas and
RHDV2 can be spread through contact with
infected rabbits, their meat or their fur, or other materials such as a
handler’s clothing or shoes. While early detection is difficult, some infected
rabbits may develop a fever, loss of appetite, or show respiratory issues. Good
biosecurity can help mitigate the spread. Recommended biosecurity practices
- Keep outside pet, feral or wild rabbits
separated from your existing rabbits.
- Use separate equipment for newly acquired or
sick rabbits to avoid spreading disease.
- Sanitize all equipment and cages moved on or off
premises before they are returned to the rabbitry.
- Always wash hands with warm soapy water before
entering your rabbit area, after removing protective clothing and before
leaving the rabbit area.
- Do not allow visitors in rabbitries or let them
handle pet rabbits without protective clothing (including coveralls, shoe
covers, hair covering, and gloves).
Additional information on RHDV2 can be found
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Per NRS Chapter 571.160, any
animal owner or practicing veterinarian who has knowledge of a confirmed case
of a reportable disease, shall immediately notify the NDA Animal
Disease Laboratory. A list of reportable
diseases can be found at agri.nv.gov.
About the Nevada Department of Agriculture
The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) mission is to
preserve, protect and promote Nevada’s agriculture. The department has 150
dedicated employees providing services in its five divisions, Administration,
Animal Industry, Consumer Equitability, Food and Nutrition, and Plant Industry.
The department’s $232 million budget facilitates regulatory and administrative
work in agriculture and food manufacturing industries, protecting public and
environmental health and worker safety, and providing food distribution and
oversight for the United States Department of Agriculture’s school and
community nutrition programs.