Tuesday, April 13, 2021

New rapid test will help monitor deadly rabbit disease


CHEYENNE, Wyo. (RELEASE) – Wyoming wildlife managers have a brand new device to watch the presence of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Illness Virus 2 (RHDV2), a illness that may be deadly in wild and home rabbits, hares and pikas.

The Wyoming Recreation and Fish Division’s Wildlife Well being Laboratory is now geared up to carry out a speedy DNA take a look at that reveals the presence of RHDV2 in tissue samples. The flexibility to rapidly take a look at samples allows Recreation and Fish and the Wyoming State Veterinarian to be taught extra in regards to the unfold of the illness.

Hank Edwards, Recreation and Fish Wildlife Well being Laboratory supervisor, mentioned that performing the take a look at in-house is a crucial step for monitoring Wyoming’s rabbit populations well being.

”Earlier than, every rabbit pattern needed to be despatched out for testing, which took as much as three days to listen to the outcomes. Now, the Recreation and Fish Wildlife Well being Laboratory can course of leads to a pair hours,” mentioned Edwards.

The timeliness is a lift to an ongoing effort to check rabbits submitted by the general public. Starting in July, Recreation and Fish requested folks to maintain a lookout for useless rabbits of their yards, rural property and different outside areas and name Recreation and Fish if discovering a carcass.

Because of the general public’s diligence, the division has confirmed the presence of the illness in Laramie and Albany counties. Nevertheless, extra samples are wanted all through each county to watch the illness.

The primary indication of a potential RHDV2 an infection in an space is a noticeable lower within the wild rabbit inhabitants, in addition to useless rabbits with out an apparent reason for dying.

”The general public helped tremendously by calling in experiences of useless rabbits. As you spend extra time outdoors within the hotter springtime climate, proceed to maintain look ahead to and report carcasses,” Edwards mentioned.

All of Wyoming’s rabbits, hares and pikas are prone — that features cottontail rabbits, jack rabbits and pygmy rabbits. An estimated 35-50% of contaminated wild rabbits succumb to the illness. Home rabbits are additionally in danger; nonetheless, different home pets and livestock will not be. RHDV2 has additionally been reported in Montana, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, California, Washington, Florida and New York. 

RHDV2 doesn’t pose a risk to people, however rabbits carry different illnesses, like tularemia and plague, which may be transmissible to people. The general public is suggested to not contact or decide up any useless wild rabbits. Somewhat, observe the situation and name the Recreation and Fish Wildlife Well being Lab at (307) 745-5865 or the closest Recreation and Fish regional office. Recreation and Fish personnel will consider the scenario and make plans to gather the rabbit.

Copyright 2021 Wyoming Information Now. All rights reserved.

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