Oh great...now there's a virus wiping out rabbits...100% fatal

Annie Deighnaugh

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/07/06/the-rabbit-outbreak?utm_source=nl&utm_brand=tny&utm_mailing=TNY_Daily_063020&utm_campaign=aud-dev&utm_medium=email&bxid=5be9f3302ddf9c72dc86b19e&cndid=27055284&hasha=965d4c72e3ee283b51cb1333aefce9df&hashb=1a164c77364ce045414a05e93249562899911ced&hashc=c6b9dc79c9ebfa1968b9c09f5d28656382517ef224a0f51b8ee10f65b677c4a6&esrc=&utm_term=TNY_Daily


One of the lagoviruses of the family Caliciviridae causes a highly contagious illness called rabbit hemorrhagic disease. RHD is vexingly hard to diagnose. An infected rabbit might experience vague lethargy, or a high fever and difficulty breathing, or it might exhibit no symptoms at all. Regardless of the symptoms, though, the mortality rate for RHD can reach a gloomy hundred per cent. There is no treatment for it. The virus’s ability to survive and spread is uncanny. It can persist on dry cloth with no host for more than a hundred days; it can withstand freezing and thawing; it can thrive in a dead rabbit for months, and on rabbit pelts, and in the wool made from Angora-rabbit fur, and in the rare rabbit that gets infected but survives. It can travel on birds’ claws and flies’ feet and coyotes’ fur. Its spread has been so merciless and so devastating that some pet owners have begun referring to it as “rabbit Ebola.”


We got locusts, a plague, global warming, a massive dust storm heading our way, murder hornets....what next? Mother Nature seems to be out to rid the Earth of the plague known as humans.

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Comments (11)
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Uptown Gal

Oh no...poor little guys. I have a couple that visit me and my flowers and they are a nuisance for sure, but wouldn't want them to just sicken and die.

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seagrass_gw

My dog killed one in our garden - not a common occurrence since we have good fencing. The bunny got in but couldn't get out once the chase was on. I wonder if the virus is transmittable to other animals? I don't think I saw that mentioned in the article.


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amicus

seagrass, apparently the virus is not transmissible to other animals or humans.

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bpath reads banned books too

Not yet, amicus.

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dedtired

Thats sad. Bunnies are cute.

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graywings123

Wow, I had no idea. I have three rabbits in my yard these days. The dog used to keep them away, but now without a dog, the rabbits just cruise around the yard nibbling.

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nickel_kg

Wild rabbits are such an important part of the ecosystem. Or should we say, an important part of the current ecosystem. Future unknown....

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sheilajoyce_gw

Wild rabbits live on the slope behind our house. They kill the grass. Their area is a fenced in, safe slope. No critters can get to them. And since we don't have dogs or cats, they come to our yard and kill the sod.

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Elmer J Fudd

Yes, rabbits are cute and all that. But they're wild animal. While I'm sorry about the situation, I was glad to read that what threatens them is NOT a result of human activity. I trust nature in these situations. There really isn't an alternative but to allow it to run its course to whatever outcome there is.

An aside. I know that the New Yorker is a long-established, well-respected and upmarket publication. Every encounter I've had over the years leaves me with the impression that its style is to produce articles that seem to be 2X or 3X or more too long than would be needed to adequately cover the subject matter. I get bored before getting to the end and that's what happened to me with this linked article, I couldn't finish it. New Yorker's loyal readers, and I know there are a lot of them, must like the style or demand the lack of conciseness but I find it off-putting.

A favorite story a propos the aside. A university professor gets a call from his department chair:

Dept Chair- "Fred, Prof Anderson has taken ill and I need to find someone to cover his 90 minute time slot in tomorrow's seminar schedule. I hate to hit you with this at such a last minute, but might it be possible for you to fill in for him"

Fred - "Yes, no problem. I'm happy to help out and can handle that easily"

Dept Chair - "Oh, and one other thing. In two days, there's a visiting group of professors from Oxford coming for an orientation. Prof Anderson was going to give a 15 minute presentation to them. Can you handle that too?"

Fred- "Sorry, no, that would be quite impossible. I can give a 1-2 hour presentation at any time with ease but if you want me to do a good job with a 15 minute presentation, that normally would take me 7 days or more to prepare.

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laceyvail 6A, WV

Deer around here are subject to a hemorrhagic disease called locally 'Blue tongue'. It's always something of a relief when it hits and reduces the population for a while.

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