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Mathias Ackermann and Jean-Michel Hatt respond
  1. Jean-Michel Hatt and
  2. Mathias Ackermann
  1. Clinic for Zoo Animals, Exotic Pets and Wildlife, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  2. Institute of Veterinary Virology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
  1. email: jmhatt{at}

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Thank you for the opportunity to comment on Fieke Molenaar’s and Willem Schaftenaar’s letter about our recent case report in Vet Record Case Reports.1

As stated at the end of our article, we feel that it is of utmost importance to publicly discuss cases like ours, particularly because of the principal ethical questions that arise as soon as a disease becomes ‘treatable’ but when the reasons for or against the decision to treat remain obscure. This is not only the case with endotheliotropic elephant herpesviruses (EEHV) and treatment with antivirals, but with many other emerging diseases and possible treatments.

Molenaar and Schaftenaar specifically address EEHV and its predominantly lethal syndrome, elephant haemorrhagic disease (EHD). There is no question that the loss of a young elephant due …

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