Message Number: YG3138 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Bruce Williams, DVM
Date: 2001-05-02 14:26:00 UTC
Subject: Re: Quarantines

--- In Ferret-Health-list@y..., katharine <shurcool@i...> wrote:
> I'm curious how all of you quarantine new ferrets
> in your household. Even though the ferrets can be
> kept in separate rooms, you can wash your hands,
> and change your clothes, how do you get around the
> airborne factor? I have central heat/air in my
> house. Wouldn't the disease/illness potentially
> travel through the duct system to other areas of
> the house? Also, when the heat or air is on, the
> house stays closed up with no fresh air coming in.
> How long do you quarantine? I have heard two
> weeks. When Dillon and Chester brought ECE into
> the house last fall, it was a full 3 weeks before
> Cedes showed any symptoms (that I noticed) and
> another week or two after that before Lany got
> sick. Champ never had any symptoms. And, yes, we
> are positive it was ECE.

There is no evidence that ECE can be transmitted in the air. Like
other coronaviruses - it has a fecal-oral transmission. However, the
tremendous contagiousness of this virus and its proclivity to be
transferred on inanimate objects such as clothing and shoes has led
many to believe it is tranferred in the air. Additionally, as
infected ferrets can shed virus for up to 6 months, most quarantine
schemes in which infected ferrets share a house with naive ferrets
are likely to fail.

With kindest regards,

Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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