RHDV2 was first detected in France in 2010 and quickly spread to the majority of Europe.  Unlike the previous strain (RHDV1) that only affected adult rabbits, RHDV2 affects both young and adult rabbits, in addition to young and adult hares.  The first reported cases of RHDV2 in North America occurred in Canada in 2016 (Québec) and 2018 (British Columbia).  That same year, the first case was reported in the United States (Ohio) in pet rabbits, with subsequent cases occurring in Washington (feral rabbit case) and New York (domestic rabbit case).

In the March 2020, the disease was first reported in wild rabbits and hares in the southwestern United States.  Since then, RHDV2 has spread rapidly across the western U.S. with outbreaks in both domestic and wild populations.  As of March 31st, 2022, RHDV2 has been confirmed in 19 states. 

See our Where Is It page for more details.