Spring Viraemia of Carp

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What is it[edit | edit source]

Spring Viraemia of Carp (Spring Viremia) (SVC) is a deadly virus that kills coldwater fish like common and ornamental Carp, Goldfish, Tench, Rudd, Pike and Wells catfish. SVC has no implications for human health.

Where does it come from[edit | edit source]

It seems to mainly come from suppliers in the far East who do not keep the fish in good quality conditions.

What are the symptoms[edit | edit source]

The virus causes visible signs including darkening of the skin, swollen eyes, abdominal swelling, pale gills, trailing faeces and protrusion of the anus. Infected fish can also be lethargic and may show areas of bleeding around the skin and gills.

Can it be treated[edit | edit source]

No, it's a virus and so it can not be killed. No known cure. The fish need to be terminated but not disposed of in the trash or down the toilet.

What to do if you suspected your fish is infected[edit | edit source]

Contact your fish shop where you got it. Perhaps also the police, Defra if in the UK or you local farm or fishing government body.

  • In the UK the movement of these fish across the country must be controlled in case the virus was to get into the local rivers and decimate wild and farmed fish.

Links[edit | edit source]

  • Defra - Isolation of Spring Viraemia of Carp Virus PDF file.
  • Defra - A guide to protecting freshwater fish stocks from spring viraemia of carp.