KHV (Koi Herpes Virus) is a virus which can be transmitted through contact with contaminated animals. In addition an environment strongly contaminated with the virus can also result in infection. If a koi survives this disease it carries the virus all its life and this can result in infection at any time.
But this virus isn’t transmitted to the koi’s offspring. This only happens when the animals come in direct contact with the KHV during a new outbreak. If there is no host carp for them the viruses survive for a maximum of two weeks in the water.
Once the koi has been infected you can expect a mortality rate of up to 100 %. Carriers which fall ill again don’t die in such high rates because they already have developed antibodies. If the keeper suspects KHV, they are obliged to inform the authorities in Germany, because it has been classified as a notifiable animal disease since 2005. The incubation period can last up to several months, depending on the condition of the fish. In case of initial contact the incubation period lasts up to 21 days.
Kind regards, Mr. Koi
Photos: Dr. med. vet. Sandra Lechleiter – FISHCARE