Rabbit haemorrhagic disease,
United States of America
Information received on 22/04/2010 from Dr John Clifford, Official Delegate, Chief Trade Advisor, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, United States Department of Agriculture, Washington, United States of America
Report type Immediate notification
Date of start of the event 07/02/2010
Date of confirmation of the event 20/04/2010
Report date 22/04/2010
Date submitted to OIE 22/04/2010
Date event resolved 14/05/2010
Reason for notification Recurrence of a listed disease
Date of previous occurrence 28/03/2008
Manifestation of disease Sub-clinical infection
Causal agent Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus
Nature of diagnosis Laboratory (advanced)
This event pertains to the whole country
Related reports Immediate notification (22/04/2010)
Follow-up report No. 1 (18/05/2010)
New outbreaks (1)
Outbreak 1 Pine County, Pine County, Minnesota
Date of start of the outbreak 07/02/2010
Outbreak status Resolved (14/05/2010)
Epidemiological unit Farm
Affected animals
Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Killed and disposed of Slaughtered
Rabbits 25 25 25 0 0
Affected population The index premises is a private residence that receives donated rabbits to use as a food source at a wildlife centre. This is a non-commercial incident.
Summary of outbreaks Total outbreaks: 1
Total animals affected
Species Susceptible Cases Deaths Killed and disposed of Slaughtered
Rabbits 25 25 25 0 0
Outbreak statistics
Species Apparent morbidity rate Apparent mortality rate Apparent case fatality rate Proportion susceptible animals lost*
Rabbits 100.00% 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%
*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 The USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Services (APHIS) and the Minnesota Board of Animal Health are conducting a comprehensive epidemiological investigation of this event. Donated rabbits are received at a wildlife centre in Washington County then transferred to the index premises, a private residence, where they live until they are needed as a food source at the wildlife centre. Twenty rabbits died suddenly on the index premises approximately two months ago, and feed contamination was suspected as the cause of death. All new rabbits taken to the index premises after the initial rabbit deaths also died suddenly without exhibiting clinical signs. Tissue samples were submitted to a private laboratory which suspected rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD). Tissue samples were subsequently submitted to the National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (FADDL). Trapping or surveillance of free ranging rabbits will occur at the index premises and the wildlife centre. Note: in Minnesota the predominant wild rabbits are eastern cottontails and black-tailed jackrabbits, not known to be susceptible to RHD.
Control measures
Measures applied
  • Disinfection / Disinfestation
  • 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
NVSL Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (National laboratory) Rabbits antigen (Ag) detection ELISA 20/04/2010 Positive
Future Reporting
The event is continuing. Weekly follow-up reports will be submitted.
Map of outbreak locations