While no cases of rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus type 2 (RHDV2) have been found in Michigan, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is strongly encouraging rabbit owners to take every measure possible to keep the virus away from their animals as well as to vaccinate them against the virus \u201cNow is the time to take action to protect Michigan\u2019s domestic rabbits from RHDV2,\u201d State Veterinarian Nora Wineland, said. \u201cIf rabbits are not already vaccinated, consider vaccinating them as soon as possible. It will take 35 days from the first dose of the vaccine for rabbits to be fully protected against the virus.\u201d Preliminary data shows the vaccine to be safe and highly effective. RHDV2 is an extremely contagious and fatal disease for domestic and wild rabbits and hares. Fortunately, the disease does NOT affect people or other species of animals. Keeping pet rabbits safe and healthy begins with: Avoiding the purchase and\/or adoption of rabbits from areas with RHDV2. Isolating newly acquired rabbits from other rabbits for at least 30 days. Regularly cleaning and disinfecting all items\/surfaces a rabbit has touched, especially if a rabbit has been ill and the item is likely to be shared with another rabbit. Bleach is effective against RHDV2 but be sure to follow the label\u2019s instructions. If something cannot be disinfected, discard it. Not sharing items between different groups of rabbits. Limiting who has contact with rabbits. Washing one\u2019s hands before and after handling a rabbit. Taking off one\u2019s shoes after coming indoors and storing them in a place that is out of reach for a pet rabbit. Keeping domestic rabbits away from wild rabbits. Do not let domestic rabbits outdoors. Controlling for flies and rodents as they could indirectly spread the virus. Opting not to feed a domestic rabbit with vegetation from outside as it could be contaminated. Checking to ensure a rabbit\u2019s feed has not been grown or produced in an endemic area. Knowing the symptoms of RHDV2\u2014lethargy, reduced appetite, lack of coordination, breathing problems, bleeding, and unexpected death. Promptly isolating any ill rabbits and contact a veterinarian.