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Rabbit Virus Reaches Highlands

A virus deadly to rabbits has been spreading through the southwest United States since 2018 and has now reached our area. Residents have observed the sudden passing of multiple wild rabbits in a single day. Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus serotype 2 (RHDV2) spreads quickly and is highly lethal, but does not affect humans or other animals. It can cause fever, bleeding near nose and mouth, or sudden fatality with no apparent symptoms. The virus can remain viable for months and can spread via scavengers or feces, so it is recommended to bury remains at least two feet deep in a plastic bag. Incidents can be reported online to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to help track the disease. For further details, see the California Quick Facts sheet.

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