A highly contagious and deadly virus is killing rabbits in South Carolina.
Authorities have discovered Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus Type-2 after a herd of wild rabbits died suddenly at a home in Greenville County. There is the Clemson University Veterinary Center Thursday.
Surviving members of the herd were placed in quarantine.
This is the first time the virus has been detected in the state. RHDV2 was first discovered in 2018 and quickly became an epidemic in Western countries.
The disease emerged earlier this month in Connecticut after 13 rabbits died in 24 hours, with a 14th member of the herd contracting the virus two days later. There is a state department of environmental protection.
Rabbits and rabbits infected with RHDV2 have a slim 30% chance of survival, the university said. Symptoms include anorexia, lethargy, cataracts, respiratory symptoms, and bloody nose or mouth.
“The introduction of RHDV2 into wild rabbits in South Carolina poses a serious threat to wild populations and has contributed to significant mortality in the western United States,” said Will Dillman, assistant wildlife chief for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. It is important that we do what we can.
Although people cannot get sick with RHDV2, they can spread the deadly virus. It is also transmitted by direct contact with infected rabbits, bedding, water, feed, hay and other materials used to care for and feed rabbits.