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Lots happening - latest tests on Raymond Hoser's dead Death Adder have yielded a report citing death cause as reovirus in the brain ... lovely.

(All reports, photos and the like will be posted once received and approval given by the pathologists for dissemination)

The (above) snake died in June and at this end, there have been no deaths since then (4 died then), but it's been a struggle and even now several are regarded as being moderately to highly "at risk", based on continuing symptoms.

Put another way, I've never come across anything like this in terms of herp ailments/complications.

Most other affected collections seem similar - worst seems over, but the worrying part is that the virus still has no known "use-by" date with three snakes here in a state of "relapse" - now - after first showing signs of infection in June or earlier, apparently recovering and now in an "ill phase", beating off respiratory infection and other signs of virus.

Relapsed snakes are now not regarded as at high risk of mortality due to the fact they are invariably larger than first round and hence better able to cope - all things being equal, and in terms of treating symptoms much progress has also been made, but it is worrying as it indicates either a general lack of long-term resistance, reinfection, continuing infection or any combination of these, the corollary being that contagion may be for extended periods.

As an aside I recently acquired four more adders and quickly cross-infected two due to a breach of quarantine (fed with infected tongs) - I must take full blame for this error.

Both were treated as known (see earlier draft paper) and so far neither have died with one (smaller) 18 cm snake being on death row for some weeks and now apparently recovering - having been treated daily for weeks. this is in fact a major victory and a combination of good luck and management.

Post infection symptom adults are recovered, mating and the like, but the impact on likely breeding results won't be ascertainable for up to two years.

More details will obviously appear in the final paper on this virus when published.

An earlier draft paper is at:


To the list of reptile papers and articles by Raymond Hoser

Large reovirus paper (draft) by Raymond Hoser

Back to the 2003 media release archive page

Back to main media release archive page (all years)


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