Small South Dakota company making big waves with animal vaccines
Medgene's technology has origins in research from SDSU
In the early months of 2020, a highly transmissible novel virus appeared in the United States.
No, not COVID-19. It was RHDV2, a hemorrhagic disease in both wild and domestic rabbits.
Like Covid, it spreads easily. Unlike Covid, RHDV2 had a fatality rate of 70 percent or higher. Death was sudden – sometimes within 24 hours, and there was often no sign of illness.
As the world focused on the scramble by vaccine developers to make a vaccine to fight Covid in humans, a similar scramble was under way in the world of animal vaccine makers. Rabbits are the third most common companion animal behind dogs and cats. They are a mainstay of 4-H programs, and as the disease spread from state to state, rabbit enthusiasts grew alarmed.
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