Cuba has reported to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) two outbreaks of rabbit hemorrhagic disease.
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHD) is an extremely contagious and fatal viral disease of domesticated and wild rabbits belonging to the Oryctolagus cuniculus species, according to OIE. Outbreaks have been reported at farms in Baragua and Venezuela. Both municipalities are located in Cuba’s Ciego de Avila province.
In Baragua, Cuba’s ministry of agriculture reported 2345 rabbits as susceptible, 945 cases, 945 deaths and 1,400 rabbits as destroyed. In Venezuela, the ministry reported 140 rabbits as susceptible, 41 cases, 41 deaths and 99 destroyed.
The first confirmation of the disease occurred on May 18. The outbreaks are still recorded as unresolved, according to OIE. Weekly follow-up reports will be submitted.
The last outbreak of rabbit hemorrhagic disease reported in Cuba was in August 2005. According to OIE, the disease has always been confined to Cuba’s western provinces, but the recent occurrence has taken place in a province in the central-eastern region of the country.
A disease emergency has been declared in the region and the neighboring areas. A disease alert has been declared for the entire country. The use of vaccines for protecting populations at risk is not to be precluded.