According to the Des Moines Register, there were 16 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the state of Iowa as of August 25, and at-risk Iowans continue to receive the vaccine for it as it becomes available. We now have news of another animal-borne disease that is spreading, and the Iowa Department of Agriculture is making residents aware.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship has confirmed the state's first case of a disease deadly to rabbits. Via a press release, the Department states that Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus Type 2 (RHDV2) has been detected within the state of Iowa. While currently, they do not consider the disease risk to humans or other animal species, including cats and dogs, it is highly contagious and deadly to rabbits.

The confirmed case is in Story County, and the affected rabbits in this isolated case had not recently traveled to any exhibitions or fairs.

Further details from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

RHDV2 is a viral disease fatal to lagomorph species (rabbits, hares, and pikas). It does not affect humans or other animals. It was first detected in wild rabbit populations in the United States in March 2020.

Courses of action for rabbit owners and veterinarians

Again, the disease is not currently considered a threat to humans or other animals. If you own rabbits, you should consult your veterinarian. If you suspect a rabbit in your possession or on your premises has died as a result of RHDV2, please contact your local veterinarian.

According to the Iowa City Press-Citizen, the disease in its most acute form will affect 12 to 36 hours of the appearance of symptoms, which can include bleeding from the mouth, nose, or rectum, fever, and difficulty breathing.

Veterinarians with concerns or a suspected case should immediately contact the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship.

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