Hemorrhagic rabbit disease found in Calif. for 1st time

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A highly contagious and deadly rabbit disease has been found in California for the first time.

The state Fish and Wildlife Department says a laboratory confirmed the presence of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease virus type 2 in a wild black-tailed jackrabbit found dead near Palm Springs this month. The department says the disease is lethal to wild and domestic rabbits, but does not affect humans or domestic animals other than rabbits.

Infected rabbits may exhibit no symptoms before suddenly dying, or they may suffer fever, swelling, internal bleeding and liver failure.

The disease has spread quickly in several other states and experts say it could  impact species that prey on rabbits for food.

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