Virus that’s deadly to rabbits detected on Maui

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – For the first time, the state has confirmed a virus in Hawaii that’s deadly to rabbits.

The hemorrhagic disease virus was first confirmed in a neutered hare on Maui.

Department of Agriculture inspectors conducted testing after a string of rabbit deaths on a Maui farm.

The virus has been confirmed in at least 20 states nationwide.

Officials said they began investigating last week after nine rabbits died. The state ordered the farm to quarantine for 120 days and prohibited the movement of rabbits on and off the farm.

According to the Department of Agriculture, the virus cannot be spread to humans.

The only sign a rabbit is infected are sudden death and blood stained noses from internal bleeding. Officials also said infected rabbits may also develop a fever, be hesitant to eat, or show respiratory or nervous signs.

Investigators said rabbit owners should discuss the need for vaccination of their rabbits for RHDV2 with their veterinarians.

To report any loss of rabbits, contact the Department of Agriculture’s Animal Industry Division at (808) 483-7100.

For more information on the rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus, click here.

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