The virus is very hardy and can survive in the environment for months. It can survive freezing temperatures and those up to 50 degrees C for an hour.
RVHD is highly contagious and can be spread in a number of ways, including;
- Contact with infected rabbits and contaminated surfaces
- Contact with the urine or faeces of an infected rabbit
- Insects (including flies, fleas and mosquitos) which can transport the virus
- Scavenger birds that have eaten the carcass of an infected rabbit can pass the virus on in their droppings
- Humans who have been in contact with infected rabbits transporting the virus on their clothes
Ingestion of contaminated food or water.