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RABBIT haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) causes a highly infectious and lethal disease in European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus). In Portugal the disease was first reported on the island of Madeira in 1987 and, in the following year, in the Azores. The first report of the disease on the mainland occurred in 1989. Since then, the disease has become endemic throughout the country.
The genetically distinct RHDV variant 2 (RHDV-2) was reported on the Portuguese mainland …