A deadly rabbit virus nicknamed “bunny ebola” is spreading across the southwest US, killing thousands of wild and pet rabbits.
Outbreaks of the rare and highly contagious virus have been reported in seven states across America’s Sun Belt, including Arizona, California and Texas.
The disease, RHDV2, has been referred to as “bunny ebola” by veterinarians because it replicates the severe bleeding and organ failure the ebola virus causes in humans.
In many cases the virus is only detected after an animal dies and its nose leaks blood.
The US Department of Agriculture confirmed cases of the RHDV2 in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Texas beginning in April.