By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Idaho state officials announced last month the first cases of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease (RHD), or “Rabbit Ebola” in two wild jackrabbits located southwest of the Boise Airport in Ada County.


RHD is not known to affect humans, livestock or any other species of pets. RHD has been identified in other states only in species of wild and domestic rabbits.

RHD is a highly contagious and often deadly virus in rabbits. It is spread through direct contact with an infected animal, carcass, contaminated food/water source or other material coming into direct with an infected rabbit. The virus may also be transmitted by insect vectors such as flies, fleas or mosquitos and can persist in the environment for an extended period of time, making it extremely difficult to eradicate in wild rabbit populations. RHD is known for having a high degree of mortality where, in many cases, the only clinical sign displayed by an infected rabbit is sudden death. In less acute cases, clinical signs may include dullness, loss of appetite, nasal hemorrhage (bloody nose) and congestion of the conjunctiva. Some affected rabbits may develop neurologic signs such as incoordination or seizure-like episodes. Infections in young or adolescent rabbits are usually less severe and death is not as likely.