Fluffy Ferret Forum

General Category => Announcements => Topic started by: kysher on September 23, 2014, 11:59:47 PM

Title: Ferret Corona Virus (ECE) Sept 2014
Post by: kysher on September 23, 2014, 11:59:47 PM
After other ferrets that had attended Fuzz Fest tested positive for the ECE Coronavirus, I sent samples off to be tested and we were indeed also positive, since then many others have tested and have either got results back or are awaiting results.  Most but not all have attended shows or PR events, others have either taken in ferrrets or adopted from rescues.
There are now 268 ferrets that have had confirmed positive results all over the UK.  Dr Libby Graham from the Glasgow Veterinary University has provided some information regarding the virus, this can be seen by clicking this link http://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_359796_en.pdf

I cannot stress enough how important it is to watch your ferrets closely and if you have been to any shows, rescues or PR events where it's known that someone has tested positive to get your ferrets tested.  The test costs £15 +VAT  I have had a very tough few weeks with my ferrets being poorly.. I was scared that I was going to lose a couple of mine at one point.  Mine were unlucky enough to have severe symptoms although many that have had a positive result had little or no symptoms.

In trying to help the work of the University we have been trying to collect some information through facebook groups

I have put together a pin map of all the testing results of Ferret Enteric Coronavirus (FRECV) Ferrets infected with Ferret Enteric Coronavirus can develop the Epizootic Catarrhal Enteritis (ECE) Click the link for full details

Please note the map shows positive results, awaiting results and negative results. As many details as I can share can be found by clicking on this link
https://www.facebook.com/groups/266878646845157/files/ Please comment on the above link if you would like your details adding or changing. Details are household / rescue, location and number of ferrets per household or rescue

ALL ferrets with a positive result or those awaiting results should be isolated from other people’s ferrets!

Red: (Positive result)
1. Rochdale, Manchester - 8 (Severe symptoms)
2. Edgware, London - 34
3. Stevenage, Hertfordshire - 11
4. Evesham, Worcestershire - 12
5. St Neots, Cambridgeshire – 6  (Severe symptoms)
6. Milton keynes, Northamptonshire - 6
7. Foulsham, Norfolk - 9
8. Worth, Kent - 7
9. Didcot, Oxfordshire - 6 (symptoms)
10. London - 8
11. Salisbury, Wiltshire - 13
12. Hallaton, Leicestershire - 4
13. Sittingbourne, Kent - 21 (Mild symptoms)
14. Heathrow, London - 4 (symptoms)
15. Maidstone, Kent - 7
16. Milton keynes, Northamptonshire - 17
17. Chippenham, Wiltshire - 28 (Mild – Severe symptoms)
18. Bath, Somerset - 17
19. Devizes, Wiltshire - 2 (symptoms)
20. Wimborne, Dorset - 3
21. Brislington, Bristol
22. Basingstoke, Hampshire - 2
23. Leytonstone, London - 5
24. Amersham, Buckinghamshire-7
25. Solihull, West Midlands - 10
26. Farnham, Surrey - 10
27. Kent - 3
28. Telford, Shropshire - 3
29. Witham, Essex – 8
30. Buckinghamshire - 7 (moderate Symptoms)
31. Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire – 6 (No Symptoms)
32. Tiverton, Devon - 7 (Mild Symptoms)

Total Positive Ferrets - 288

Ambers: (results pending)
Cheshire - 12
Cheshire -
Northants - 9
Luton, Bedfordshire - 19
Tiverton, Devon - 7
Northamptonshire - 70
Trowbridge, Wiltshire - 6
Trowbridge, Wiltshire – 3
Leicester - 10
Lowestoft, Suffolk- 17
Coventry - 4
Milton Keynes, Northamptonshire – 19 (very mild)
Chepstow, South Wales  - 6
Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire. - 2

Green: Negative Results
1. Ashford,Kent - Susan Burgess Riddle
2. Swindon, Wiltshire - Dawn
3. Salisbury - Suzie
4. Swansea in Wales - Rhian Carol Ballard
5 .Northampton - Maria Sebastian 
6. Northhamptomshire – Chrissy Hillyard


Title: Re: Ferret Corona Virus (ECE)
Post by: lazy-ferret on September 24, 2014, 11:59:18 AM

Thank you for taking the time to post this up. It's nice to see proper facts, rather than the more normal scaremongering that has been going on, and makes good informative reading.

One thing, the facebook links seem to require you to actually log into facebook to view them, would it be possible for you to unlock them, so anyone with out a facebook account (Like me :) ) can view them.
Title: Re: Ferret Corona Virus (ECE)
Post by: kysher on September 24, 2014, 10:20:44 PM
Hi Clive.. I would if i knew how lol I will try and upload a photo of the map (if I can remember how)  and all the other details are above anyway.  But if anyone would like adding to it then they can either leave a message here or private message me
Title: Re: Ferret Corona Virus (ECE)
Post by: kysher on September 24, 2014, 10:27:33 PM
Woohoo I managed to get it on there.. I have also update the list as results came in today for a few people
Title: Re: Ferret Corona Virus (ECE)
Post by: lazy-ferret on September 24, 2014, 10:51:31 PM
Well done on the picture.

Just as a matter of interest, are the results confirmed, e.g. a copy of the results have been seen, or is it just based on the word of the person.

I was just thinking, as an idea/suggestion, how about splitting the reds into 3 shades, Pink, no symptoms, Orange, mild symptoms, and red as severe. From the map it does look like a lot of people have had positive results, but then when you read the list, many seem to not have had any symptoms.

Lastly, I read a lot about ECE in the past, and as I understood it, they can get ECE as a younger ferret, show fairly mild symptoms, and fully recover (Some people on a US site were even recommending that you deliberately infect the younger ones, so they are immune to it from then on). Once they have it and for about 6 weeks or so after, they can still shed it to others, but after this time they stop shedding and it just lays dormant.  It is then only really likely to flair up again, if they are ill, or stressed. This is not quite the same as the PDF file from the university of Glasgow.

So based on this, could some of the ferrets showing as positive, actually have already had it some time ago, and the ECE is now just laying dormant? Did these people actually see any signs of ECE in their ferrets, or did they just do the test.

Please do not take these questions as any form of criticism, or me being obtuse, I am just trying to find out, and make available as much information as possible for our members (and Me!), and you seem to be doing a great job of collating and publishing the information, so I see it best left to you.
Title: Re: Ferret Corona Virus (ECE)
Post by: kysher on September 24, 2014, 11:38:56 PM
No Criticism taken :) 
Yes people have been posting their results along with an image of it, the test is actually testing for the Enteric Variant of the Corona Virus which causes Epizootic
Catarrhal Enteritis (ECE);
This can present in different  severities ranging from no symptoms to mild symptoms which appears as an upset tummy to more serious symptoms such as refusing to eat or drink, sickness and watery or bloody feces resulting in dehydration, Its because the symptoms are so varied that some people dismiss the chances of being positive when they have no symptoms or ones that can be assumed to be things such as stress or change of food (which of course it could be)  I have 8 ferrets aged between 4 months and 4 years all fit and healthy but all had different severities to the illness.  My baby had the worst of the symptoms including bloody diarrhea
A ferret that appears to be healthy but has tested positive is shedding coronavirus in the faeces, and is therefore infectious to other ferrets. 

Given that a positive ferret can pass this onto others who could then develop full blown ECE it is recommended that ferrets that are suspected of or have proved to be positive, should be isolated from others and treated as a positive result for ECE hence why all the confirmed results are red but the list shows severity of symptoms.  Also what starts out as mild can progress up the ranks to severe quite quickly.  ferrets have also seemed to be getting better and then taken a turn after a couple of days.  It was originally thought that symptoms would clear within a few days but mine and others have shown symptoms for 3 weeks or more even while being treated with Antibiotics.  It's believed that it can take 6 - 9 months for the virus to shed completely, and the University recommends retesting at regular intervals.

From what we've been able to find out and understand from the University and from other ferret owners is that a ferret does NOT become immune once they have had it.  I know of at least 2 people where this is the 2nd time their ferrets have tested positive in the last 2 years. But yes some could be carriers for some time and some ferrets could even have it lay dormant but this has not been confirmed yet and the University are still researching this.

I hope this helps :)  I have also posted some photos of the different variants of feces



/me sorted out the image tags
Title: Re: Ferret Corona Virus (ECE) Sept 2014
Post by: lazy-ferret on September 25, 2014, 11:53:07 AM
Thanks, seems like their research has moved things along now, and changed the goal posts. I will have a new read up on it all again.
Title: Re: Ferret Corona Virus (ECE) Sept 2014
Post by: kysher on September 29, 2014, 09:12:40 PM
I'm heartbroken to say that after seeming to be recovering from this I lost my darling Clinton yesterday  :cry:

Glasgow University will be carrying out a post mortem on his body to see if they can get any more information and answers about the Corona Virus (ECE)
Title: Re: Ferret Corona Virus (ECE) Sept 2014
Post by: lazy-ferret on September 29, 2014, 09:43:05 PM
So sorry... that is very sad.  :cry: :angel1: :fuzzyhug:
Title: Re: Ferret Corona Virus (ECE) Sept 2014
Post by: kysher on September 30, 2014, 07:54:48 AM
Thank you
Title: Re: Ferret Corona Virus (ECE) Sept 2014
Post by: kysher on October 11, 2014, 07:37:17 PM
This is the latest map .. there are now over 518 ferrets that have tested positive that I know of.  I know there are more :(

(http://i1270.photobucket.com/albums/jj617/kysher01/Corona%20Virus%20ECE/Mappinned24_zps3ec6e4a1.jpg) (http://s1270.photobucket.com/user/kysher01/media/Corona%20Virus%20ECE/Mappinned24_zps3ec6e4a1.jpg.html)
Title: Re: Ferret Corona Virus (ECE) Sept 2014
Post by: lazy-ferret on October 12, 2014, 02:13:20 PM
Thanks for the update. I guess the black pins are where a ferret has now died from a comfirmed case.
Title: Re: Ferret Corona Virus (ECE) Sept 2014
Post by: kysher on October 13, 2014, 09:19:08 PM
the fully black one.. was my confirmed.  The black with yellow dot in middle is a suspected.
Title: Re: Ferret Corona Virus (ECE) Sept 2014
Post by: Jan on October 31, 2014, 01:18:08 PM
This is the latest info from Glasgow

"First there is no CV1 or CV2 or anything else, just ferret coronavirus (FRCoV) at the moment.
We haven’t been able yet to genotype the strains in the UK, and whether some cause worse disease than others. But we are working on it....

1. FRCoV is a virus. It is not normal to have it.
So, what happens when ferrets become infected with FRCoV is likely to depend on:
i) FERRET factors (age, genetics, prior exposure??)
ii) VIRUS factors (strain, dose..)
Clinical signs following infection
· Some ferrets will show NO signs
· Some ferrets MAY develop ECE
· A small proportion of ferrets will develop systemic disease, usually at a later date

· Most ferrets should clear the virus, but will probably get re-infected if re-exposed
· A small number of ferrets won’t ever be able to clear the virus, probably won’t show any signs, and will provide a constant source of infection to other ferrets

2. Endemic? Don’t know yet. Get rid of it? I think this will be very hard for larger ferret colonies and rescues. Certainly some smaller households and breeders may choose this route. If I was virus-free now, I would certainly do my best to avoid getting the virus. If you are a rescue that has positive ferrets, I would re-home to households that are known to have the virus already, or to new households without other ferrets. If you have test-negative ferrets I would try to keep those apart and rehome to those without the virus/new households. In the future, you may want to be able to identify what strain you are carrying, and if that presents more or less risk of serious disease."
Title: Re: Ferret Corona Virus (ECE) Sept 2014
Post by: Jan on October 31, 2014, 02:39:13 PM

I have just been informed that this is not an announcement, but was written in an email to Starescue. It has been made public put on a fb forum though.
Title: Re: Ferret Corona Virus (ECE) Sept 2014
Post by: ferreter39 on January 27, 2015, 11:20:10 AM
Only just come across this topic.

Back in March/April 2010 I lost 5 ferrets to this particular virus. My friend in Bradford lost 11 so there's nowt new about it.

The National Ferret Welfare Society actually undertook an investigation - or perhaps I should say the vet who was treating Jean's ferrets set the ball rolling and the NFWS picked up the tab. At the time the chap who had brought the sick ferret to a show insisted it was CDV which both Jean and I disputed as the symptoms weren't right.

It took several weeks before the results of various tests came back from Glasgow and it was identified as Coronavirus. So as I said previously it's nothing new, it's been around for years and it'll still be going in 3, 9 or 12 months time. Just wanted to put the record straight as the NFWS has been accused of not doing anything - as it'd cost the NFWS just under £1K for the investigation and we'd already got the virus had already been identified. It had also been pointed out that we should be helping ferret owners to pay for testing... so far the NFWS has not been approached by any member requesting financial help.

It's been in the USA since the 1990s and as far as I know all their shows are still going ahead but with stringent hygiene practices in place - probably pretty much the same as the NFWS have had in place for 3 years and which has stood us in good stead since 2011. We had the judges and stewards wiping hands between ferrets prior to this but have gone a bit further these days, no walking ferrets, having wipes etc available to the exhibitors should they wish to handle other folks ferrets... basically just common sense.
Title: Re: Ferret Corona Virus (ECE) Sept 2014
Post by: star on April 05, 2015, 08:50:00 PM
I found today on Facebook a ferret rescue based in the Midlands that is only homing ferrets to households with this virus because they have it at the rescue centre!, should they really be taking in and rehoming ferrets in this case?
Title: Re: Ferret Corona Virus (ECE) Sept 2014
Post by: lazy-ferret on April 05, 2015, 10:32:06 PM
In a word.. yes.

There are unfortunately many people in the ferret world who like to blow things out of proportion. This is made worse when a university decides to use fear to make money.  Bring the two together and you get to the point that rescues will all have close as everyone will be scared of them.

ECE has been around for years and while some ferrets will unfortunately be killed by complications from getting it, most will have a couple of off days and then get back on with their lives with many owners never even noticing.

The chances are, if you have ever had a ferret from a rescue, or met anyone who has one from one,  then your guys have probably already had/have it anyway.
Title: Re: Ferret Corona Virus (ECE) Sept 2014
Post by: star on April 06, 2015, 10:07:30 AM
Thanks Clive for clearing that up :)
Title: Re: Ferret Corona Virus (ECE) Sept 2014
Post by: lazy-ferret on April 06, 2015, 06:04:44 PM
Sorry if it seemed a bit blunt, I am on holiday so typing on my tiny phone. Not easy with fingers the size of mine. :-)