Rabbit haemorrhagic disease,
United States of America
Information received on 12/12/2018 from Dr Jack Shere, Deputy Administrator Chief Veterinary Office r, USDA-APHISVeterinary Services, USA United States Department of Agriculture, WASHINGTON, United States of America
Report type Immediate notification
Date of start of the event 17/11/2018
Date of confirmation of the event 07/12/2018
Report date 11/12/2018
Date submitted to OIE 12/12/2018
Date event resolved 16/04/2019
Reason for notification Recurrence of a listed disease
Date of previous occurrence 05/10/2018
Manifestation of disease Clinical disease
Causal agent Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus
Serotype RHDV
Nature of diagnosis Laboratory (advanced)
This event pertains to a defined zone within the country
Related reports Immediate notification (11/12/2018)
Follow-up report No. 1 (15/05/2019)
New outbreaks (1)
Outbreak 1 Jefferson County, Jefferson, Pennsylvania
Date of start of the outbreak 17/11/2018
Outbreak status Resolved (16/04/2019)
Epidemiological unit Farm
Affected animals
Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Killed and disposed of Slaughtered
Rabbits 41 40 1 0
Affected population Non-commercial pet rabbits.
Summary of outbreaks Total outbreaks: 1
Total animals affected
Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Killed and disposed of Slaughtered
Rabbits 41 ** 40 1 0
Outbreak statistics
Species Apparent morbidity rate Apparent mortality rate Apparent case fatality rate Proportion susceptible animals lost*
Rabbits ** 97.56% ** 100.00%
*Removed from the susceptible population through death, destruction and/or slaughter
**Not calculated because of missing information
Source of the outbreak(s) or origin of infection
  • Unknown or inconclusive
Epidemiological comments RHDV-1 was identified in pet rabbits that died suddenly. Some of the rabbits had slight bloody discharge around the nares. The rabbits were housed in pens in a barn. No rabbits were introduced into the colony in over one year. There have been no known wild rabbit deaths in the area. Note: in Pennsylvania the predominant wild rabbits are eastern cottontails which are not known to be susceptible to RHDV-1. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture and the USDA, Animal Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) are conducting a comprehensive epidemiological investigation of this event.
Control measures
Measures applied
  • Disinfection
  • Stamping out
  • Quarantine
  • Vaccination prohibited
  • No treatment of affected animals
Measures to be applied
  • No other measures
Diagnostic test results
Laboratory name and type Species Test Test date Result
National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) (National laboratory) Rabbits antigen (Ag) detection ELISA 07/12/2018 Positive
National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) (National laboratory) Rabbits reverse transcription - polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) 07/12/2018 Positive
Future Reporting
The event is continuing. Weekly follow-up reports will be submitted.
Map of outbreak locations