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First Aid Kit Myxomatosis  

Photo  Copyright 2005 G. Bradley
Photo: G. Bradley

UK Safari Tip:
For help with wildlife casualties telephone your nearest wildlife hospital - click here

Myxomatosis is a disease caused by the 'myxoma' virus which infects rabbits. It was deliberately introduced in some countries in an attempt to control the rabbit population.

It is spread by fleas and mosquitos. It reached the UK in 1953, and by 1955 about 95% of the rabbits here were dead.

Myxomatosis causes swellings and sores around the head and genitals, acute conjunctivitis and eventual blindness. Rabbits become lethargic and develop fever. Death can occur in less than two weeks.

It is believed the disease was deliberately spread around the UK by some individuals placing sick rabbits in the burrows of healthy rabbits.

Related Links:
Rabbit Fact File

  2006 G. Bradley. All Rights Reserved