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Morgan Vance, Chief of Communications
October 10, 2021
ODAFF Authorizes Veterinarians to Offer RHDV2 Vaccine
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry has authorized veterinarians to offer the Medgene Labs vaccine for rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus 2 (RHDV2).
Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease is a highly contagious, fatal disease in rabbits and is currently classified as a reportable foreign animal disease in the United States. There have been no confirmed cases of RHDV2 in Oklahoma, but it has been confirmed in neighboring states.
“Rabbit owners and veterinarians have asked for this measure since RHDV2 first became a concern in the United States,” said Dr. Rod Hall, Oklahoma state veterinarian. “We are excited to offer this proactive, preventative option to rabbit owners and producers, rather than only have the choice to be reactive if the virus enters our state.”
The virus is not transmitted from rabbits to humans. ODAFF recommends rabbit owners continue to practice strict biosecurity measures to prevent the spread of RHDV2. Often, the only signs of the disease are sudden death or some rabbits may have bloodstained noses caused by internal bleeding. Infected rabbits also may develop a fever, be hesitant to eat or show respiratory or nervous signs. Contact a local veterinarian immediately if symptoms of illness are observed. You can find more information on RHDV2 in the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service fact sheet at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/publications/animal_health/fs-rhdv2.pdf.
Dr. Hall recommends rabbit owners who are interested in having their rabbits vaccinated contact their veterinarians for more information. Veterinarians may order the vaccine by contacting Medgene Labs directly at 605-697-2600. Additional information on the vaccine, can be found at: https://medgenelabs.com/rhdv2-vaccine/.