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Hemorrhagic rabbit disease found in California for 1st time


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) A highly contagious and deadly rabbit disease has been found in California for the first time.

The state Fish and Wildlife Department says a laboratory confirmed the presence of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease virus type 2 in a wild black-tailed jackrabbit found dead near Palm Springs this month. The department says the disease is lethal to wild and domestic rabbits, but does not affect humans or domestic animals other than rabbits.

Infected rabbits may exhibit no symptoms before suddenly dying, or they may suffer fever, swelling, internal bleeding and liver failure.

The disease has spread quickly in several other states and experts say it could  impact species that prey on rabbits for food.

California News / News / Top Stories

The Associated Press



  1. Is there a reason for this story? Other than to panic everyone until it gets read?
    Humans are not susceptible to it. But the headline is almost apocalyptic, like ‘Oh My God, NOW WHAT?!?”
    My guess, like most ‘news’ this last decade, that was exactly the intent. It’s a non-story, except maybe in some AG report for farmers or people who raise rabbits. Not a HEADLINE at KION.

  2. I hope my little furry cottontail friends on Camp Pendleton they are not too far from their Jackrabbit cousins. This is different than Tularemia AKA Rabbit Fever and is less dangerous for humans but more dangerous for our rabbit friends.

    “Rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHD), also known as viral hemorrhagic disease (VHD), is a highly infectious and lethal form of viral hepatitis that affects European rabbits. Some viral strains also affect hares and cottontail rabbits. Mortality rates generally range from 70 to 100 percent.[3] The disease is caused by strains of rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV), a lagovirus in the family Caliciviridae.”

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