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  IHN AND VHS - Infectious haematopoietic necrosis and viral haemorrhagic septicaemiaslide

Description - Control measures - Notification and health situation - Diagnostic methods and sampling plans - Community Reference Laboratory - Links


Infectious haematopoietic necrosis virus is a bullet-shaped, enveloped rhabdovirus with a single-stranded RNA genome of negative polarity that can cause reduced food consumption and increased mortality. Some fish and shrimps that survive infection and/or epizootics apparently carry the virus for life and pass it onto their progeny and other populations by vertical and horizontal transmission.

Viral haemorrhagic septicaemia is a systemic infection of various salmonid and several non-salmonid fishes. The VHS virus is readily transmissible to fish of all ages, and survivors of infection can become lifelong carriers that shed virus with urine and sex products. The virus ostensibly gains access to the fish through the secondary gill lamellae. In the hatchery environment, mechanical transfer of VHS virus on the surface of animate or inanimate objects presents a substantial hazard. Prevention of contact between the virus and the host is the most effective method for controlling VHS.

For more details, click on the OIE technical cards on IHN and VHS

Control measures

Council Directive 93/53/EEC pdf introducing minimum Community measures for the control of certain fish diseases. All fish in an ISA infected farm shall be withdrawn in accordance with a scheme established by the official service and approved by the Commission.
   As amended by
    Council Directives 2000/27/EC pdf
    Commission Decision 2001/288/EC pdf

Notification and Health Situation

VHS and IHN are notifiable diseases according to Council Directive 82/894/EEC of 21 December 1982 on the notification of animal diseases within the Community.

Click on ADNS for a description of the notification system and the latest health situation table.

Diagnostic Methods and Sampling Plans

Commission Decision 2001/183/EC of 22 February 2001 laying down the sampling plans and diagnostic methods for the detection and confirmation of certain fish diseases and repealing Decision 92/532/EEC pdf

Disease free zones or disease free farms in non-approved zones. Approved zones, farms and zones/farms under program for achieving free status.

Commission Decision 2003/634/EC pdf of 28 August 2003 repealing Decision 2002/304/EC pdf of 19 April 2002 approving programmes with a view to obtaining the status of approved zones and of approved farms in non-approved zones with regard to one or more of the fish diseases viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS) and infectious haematopoietic necrosis (IHN). As amended by Commission Decision 2006/685/EC pdf.

Commission Decision 2002/308/EC pdf of 22 April 2002 establishing lists of approved zones and approved farms with regard to one or more of the fish diseases viral haemorrhagic septicaemia (VHS) and infectious haematopoietic necrosis (IHN).
   As amended by
   Commission Decision 2006/674/EC

Community Reference Laboratory

   Statens Veterinaere Serumslaboratorium
   Hangoevej 2
   8200 Aarhus

Other useful links

- OIE web site



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