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THE purpose of this letter is to draw urgent attention to a case of fatal haemorrhagic disease attributable to elephant endotheliotropic herpesvirus type 5 (EEHV-5) infection in a captive Asian elephant (Elephas maximus), as a prelude to more detailed reports of the clinical and pathological findings (in preparation).
The affected animal was a 20-month-old captive-bred Asian elephant born and living at a collection in the UK within a herd of four adult female Asian elephants. It developed a rapidly progressive disease characterised by severe oedema, haemorrhage of mucosal membranes and cyanosis. Treatment followed protocols for extensive antiviral and supportive therapy and included drainage of the pericardial effusion under ultrasonographic guidance. Despite all efforts, the health of the animal deteriorated necessitating euthanasia. Postmortem findings were consistent with previously reported fatal …
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