PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Veterinarians determined the virus that killed seven rabbits in Multnomah County has also killed two domestic rabbits living in Lane County. 

The Oregon Department of Agriculture on Tuesday said the laboratory at Oregon State University confirmed one of the rabbits died because of rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus type 2 (RHDV2). 

The news comes about a week after the rabbits in Multnomah County died from the virus. 

The owner of the rabbits in Lane County said one of the rabbits became lethargic, refused to eat, then experienced convulsions shortly before it died suddenly on the morning of July 29. A second rabbit in the house also died later that day. 

The owner only submitted one of the animals to OSU for testing. 

ODA said no other rabbits lived in the household, but that wild rabbits live near the home and the owner’s cat spends time outside and inside near the domestic rabbits. 

The virus is not dangerous to humans and is only known to infect rabbits and hares. It spreads through direct contact between infected and susceptible live rabbits or by exposure to contaminated materials. 

Birds, rodents, flies, predators and scavengers can spread the virus on their feet, fur and feathers or through their feces without becoming infected themselves. 

Anyone raising domestic rabbits should minimize their exposure to wild rabbits by keeping them in hutches or cages that are elevated off the ground. Owners should keep rabbits inside to avoid exposure to environments that have potentially been contaminated by the disease. 

The ODA recommends people shower and change their clothes before handling their rabbits if they visit a show or fair where rabbits were commingled

Any hunters who come across sick or dead rabbits should not hunt or run their dogs in the area. Dead or sick rabbits should be reported to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife by calling (866) 968-2600. People should avoid hunting in areas where RHDV2 outbreaks have been documented. 

After handling wild rabbits, hunters should wash their hands and change their clothes and shoes before handing domestic rabbits. 

All game should be thoroughly cooked to an internal temperature of 165. 

All rabbit mortalities should be reported to the Oregon Department of Agriculture to help track the virus’ presence. Call 1-800-347-7028 or go online to report any domestic rabbits you suspect may have died from RHDV2.