Rabbit haemorrhagic disease,
Information received on 01/04/2020 from Dr Sigurborg Dađadóttir, Chief Veterinary Officer, Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority, Ministry of Industries and Innovation, Selfoss, Iceland
Report type Immediate notification
Date of start of the event 23/03/2020
Date of confirmation of the event 30/03/2020
Report date 01/04/2020
Date submitted to OIE 01/04/2020
Date event resolved 01/06/2020
Reason for notification Recurrence of a listed disease
Date of previous occurrence 2002
Manifestation of disease Clinical disease
Causal agent Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus
Serotype RHDV2
Nature of diagnosis Laboratory (advanced)
This event pertains to the whole country
Related reports Immediate notification (01/04/2020)
Follow-up report No. 1 (23/11/2020)
New outbreaks (1)
Outbreak 1 Reykjavik, Gullbringu
Date of start of the outbreak 23/03/2020
Outbreak status Resolved (01/06/2020)
Epidemiological unit Other
Affected animals
Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Killed and disposed of Slaughtered
Rabbits 140 104 104 0 0
Affected population Feral rabbits
Summary of outbreaks Total outbreaks: 1
Total animals affected
Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Killed and disposed of Slaughtered
Rabbits 140 104 104 0 0
Outbreak statistics
Species Apparent morbidity rate Apparent mortality rate Apparent case fatality rate Proportion susceptible animals lost*
Rabbits 74.29% 74.29% 100.00% 74.29%
*Removed from the susceptible population through death, destruction and/or slaughter
Source of the outbreak(s) or origin of infection
  • Unknown or inconclusive
Epidemiological comments Sudden death in a flock of feral rabbits in one area. Number of susceptible rabbits in the area is estimated to be around 140. 104 carcasses have been found, 22 rabbits have been saved and about 10-15 live rabbits are still in the area. Signs of the disease have not yet been detected in other areas. Rabbit owners have been advised to avoid the area and apply biosecurity measures in caring for their rabbits. Vaccination of domestic rabbits will be advised when vaccine will be available in the country. There has only once been an outbreak of RHD before in Iceland, it was in 2002. The serotype of the virus at that time is not known.
Control measures
Measures applied
  • Official disposal of carcasses, by-products and waste
  • Vaccination permitted (if a vaccine exists)
  • No treatment of affected animals
Measures to be applied
  • Vaccination in response to the outbreak (s)
Diagnostic test results
Laboratory name and type Species Test Test date Result
National Veterinary Laboratory of Sweden, SVA (Foreign laboratory) Rabbits polymerase chain reaction (PCR) 31/03/2020 Positive
Institute of experimental pathology at Keldur, University of Iceland (National laboratory) Rabbits histopathological examination 27/03/2020 Positive
Future Reporting
The event is continuing. Weekly follow-up reports will be submitted.
Map of outbreak locations