General, Research, Technology

A virus spreads across the United States that kills rabbits

In 2020, humanity faced a pandemiccoronavirus and still can not cope with it, but problems arose in the animal world. Right now, in seven US states, thousands of rabbits are dying from a highly contagious disease. It is not dangerous to humans, but very quickly transmitted between animals and proceeds without any particular symptoms. Domestic and wild rabbits eat poorly for several days, and then suddenly fall dead. The fact that they have been infected all this time can only be found by the blood coming from the nose after death. The American rabbit population is at risk because there is no vaccine against a dangerous disease in the United States. But how does a terrible virus kill animals and how can you save eared creatures?

These cute creatures are in danger and something needs to be done.

Rabbit diseases

Scientific Report About the Dying USAScienceAlert, citing the Business Insider news portal. In the medical literature, the disease is known as rabbit viral hemorrhagic disease (HBV). The virus that provokes the development of the disease is already well known to scientists, because its variations have already been visited in almost all continents. For example, in China, cases of rabbit infection with this disease were recorded as many as 35 years ago. And in the United States, an outbreak of hemorrhagic disease has occurred for the fourth time.

In English language publications, this disease is known as rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV2)

It may seem that there is no particular disturbanceThe reasons - there were a lot of outbreaks, but the rabbits still live perfectly and have not died out? This is true, but before the disease only spread between domestic rabbits, and in 2020 it affected even wild individuals. According to Ralph Zimmerman, a veterinarian from the US state of New Mexico, scientists still do not know exactly where the new outbreak occurred. But one thing is clear - the disease spreads very quickly. In the state of New Mexico alone, about 500 animals were injured between March and June.

I know one person who kept 200 rabbits. The virus killed them all from Friday evening to Sunday evening, ”Ralph Zimmerman shared with reporters from The Cut.

Symptoms of the disease

Some researchers call the discoveredrabbit ebola disease. And all because these two diseases affect organisms in a similar way. The virus severely damages internal organs and causes internal bleeding. The disease proceeds without pronounced symptoms - some individuals simply stop eating and move less than usual. From the moment of infection to the onset of symptoms, only about three days pass. The virus damages the liver and spleen of rabbits, disrupts the process of blood clotting and, ultimately, kills the animal. Most individuals bleed after death from the nose.

Read also: Secrets of the Ebola virus

Mortality from rabbit hemorrhagic diseaseis about 90%. However, surviving individuals pose a strong danger to other individuals because they can spread the virus for up to two months. The virus spreads through blood, urine and feces, but can also be transmitted through insects. Even if two groups of rabbits live far apart, the virus can move from one place to another along with dirt that sticks to the soles of people's shoes. And it’s very difficult to kill the virus - it is not afraid of the cold and is able to withstand 50-degree heat for an hour.

RHDV2 vaccine exists, but not in the US

US authorities are already tryingtake measures to slow the spread of the virus. For example, in Mexico, if one rabbit was infected with a disease, people must kill all other individuals in the cage. Because of this, another 600 innocent rabbits were killed, but the method is very strange - the death of an animal does not mean the death of the virus? The virus can still spread through dirt and insects.

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Rabbit hemorrhagic disease vaccine alreadyexists, but the problem is that it does not exist in the USA. At the moment, US vets order them from Spain and France, but they only reach recipients in a month. But you still need to ask permission from the USDA, which is also a very long time. The development of an American vaccine is already underway, but it is reported that it could take a whole year.

Similar diseases can cause death.not only animals, but also plants. In 2019, I talked about parasitic fungi called Fusarium. They infect a huge number of bananas, because of which they can completely disappear from the face of the Earth. You can read more about the "Panamanian disease" in this material - in the middle of the 20th century, because of it, the world lost the Gro-Michel banana variety.