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VIRAL HAEMORRHAGIC SEPTICAEMIA (VHS)

Definition

An acute or chronic viral disease, particularly of salmonids. It is found in Europe and the pacific Northwest region of the USA (with different strains in each continent). External signs include loss of appetite, loss of schooling behaviour, dark colour, bleeding, hyaline gills and exophthalmia. Outbreaks of the disease occur in rainbow trout pond farms usually during late winter or during spring when water temperatures are below 80C, but it is often associated with temperature changes. Prophylactic measures include restricting egg input to certified disease-free stock, disinfection of instruments, tanks, vehicles, boots and hands of farm personnel, the elimination of carrier females, and the destruction of affected stocks. VHS is sometimes referred to as Egtved disease.

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