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The Killing Spree

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It is not just the coronavirus that is on a killing spree but rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus 2 (RHDV2, also called L. europaeus/GI.2) is doing the same.

The virus is spreading quickly among wild rabbits in south-western North America, threatening populations and possibly endangered species. Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus first spread worldwide in the 1980s.This killed domestic rabbit populations in China and Europe. In Australia it killed feral rabbits. In 2010 new strain emerged in France that kills wild species. The new strain kills young rabbits too. The virus also caused decline in two predators that depend on rabbits. The virus can persist in the environment, surviving in dead animals for at least 3 months. Predators and insects can spread it through their faeces.

Experts have warned that all North American species of lagomorph, including rabbits, hares, and distant relatives called pikas can be susceptible. The virus is already affecting species in northern Mexico, a centre of lagomorph diversity that is home to rare and endangered species such as the volcano rabbit and the Davis Mountains cottontail.

Though vaccine might protect, it cannot be used in the wild species as it has to be injected.

Read also: https://careercore.in/muc6-rough-and-tough-gene.html

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