Health FAQs 2024

This page will be updated as we receive new information. Please check back regularly.

 

Regarding The Source of The Outbreak

 

Does Blue Ridge’s disposal of all fish on the Kernersville facility mean that all of the fish in Kernersville were confirmed to be infected?

Disposal of all fish in Kernersville does not confirm that all fish were infected. All fish that were on the Kernersville facility were at risk of infection, and we continue to recommend that no one sell any fish received from April 15, 2024, through May 10, 2024.

Is there any way to know which facility the fish I recently purchased came from? It seems like the fish I recently received do not appear to have the virus. 

All fish are shipped out of our Kernersville, NC, shipping facility. Out of an abundance of caution, we are recommending that no one sell any more fish that have been received after April 15th, 2024.

The absence of symptoms does not indicate definitively that fish do not have the virus. Out of an abundance of caution, we are recommending that no one sell any more fish that have been received after April 15th, 2024.

Is all of Blue Ridge’s current stock of koi and butterfly koi affected?

At this time we have no evidence to show that the virus is present on any of the Blue Ridge production farms. 

Blue Ridge Koi comprises several different properties. One quarantine and shipping facility in Kernersville, NC, plus several more production farms. The virus appears to be contained to the Kernersville, NC, shipping facility only. We are conducting further testing on fish on the production farms to ensure that none of our stock on those farms is affected.

When will you have fish again? Will you be out of fish until 2025?

We anticipate that we will have fish to ship by mid-June 2024. 

We will not be out of fish until 2025.

Are you working with Dr. Erik Johnson?

No one at Blue Ridge Koi has spoken to Dr. Erik Johnson, and Dr. Johnson has no direct knowledge of our situation. Your best resource for information and answers is and will continue to be emails from Blue Ridge Koi, this FAQ, and direct communication with Casey LeFever, Carla LeFever, Aaron and Lisa in the Blue Ridge office.

Are the fish that I received infected with KHV?

It is not possible with the information that we currently have to tell you with any degree of certainty if fish that you have recently received are infected with KHV.

Out of an abundance of caution, we are recommending that no one sell any more fish that have been received after April 15th, 2024.

I just received my fish. Do I need to do anything?

Our office has contacted anyone who has received fish between April 15h, 2024 and May 10th, 2024 to advise them to stop selling any fish that they have received.

Continue to monitor any fish that you have recently received and notify us of any symptoms or mortality that you observe in your fish.

How do I know if my koi or butterfly koi are infected with KHV?

KHV shares many of the same symptoms that are caused by other routine and treatable parasitic and bacterial issues. If you have fish with symptoms, it is important to rule out other possible causes via microscopy and treatment before assuming that you have a KHV infection.

KHV symptoms can include “difficulty breathing, gathering near oxygen-rich areas (such as waterfalls or aerators), excessive mucous production from gills, swollen gills, gill necrosis/discoloration, ulcerations, reddened skin/fins/tail, pale patches, sloughing of scales, increased/decreased mucous production, ‘sandpaper’ texture to the skin, decreased appetite/refusal of food, lethargy, sunken eyes, erratic swimming, and ‘hanging’ with a head down position.”1

The only way to know for certain if a fish is infected is to submit a biological sample for pcr testing. Information on pcr testing can be found below in a separate answer.

What fish are affected? Are goldfish affected also?

All Koi and Butterfly Koi are the same species of common carp and are susceptible to KHV infection. It is our current understanding that goldfish cannot be infected and cannot transmit the KHV virus. While goldfish cannot become infected and shed the virus, it is possible the virus can exist on any surface in an aquatic environment, which includes goldfish.

You said the KHV only affects koi and butterfly koi, so why did I get a credit for goldfish, tadpoles or snails?

Although it is understood that goldfish and aquatic species other than koi and butterfly koi cannot be infected and cannot shed the virus, the virus can live on any surface in an aquatic environment for a period of time. For this reason, we cannot in good conscience charge you for goldfish, tadpoles or snails that were received within the affected period. Doing so would incentivize you to sell those items and increase future risk to your business–however minimal that risk may be.

Are you shipping non-koi products, such as goldfish, snails, tadpoles or catfish?

We are in the process of fully disinfecting our shipping facility in Kernersville, NC, which requires us to shut down every system completely. We do not have any goldfish, snails, tadpoles or catfish that are able to be shipped at this time.

What happened?

We submitted a total of 31 samples from each recirculating system at our facility for KHV testing. 14 of the 31 samples returned a positive KHV test result, indicating that the virus is present in some systems.

When we received these test results, out of an abundance of caution, we stopped new orders and halted shipping fish.

What can I do?

If your fish are still in quarantine, you can leave them there until more information is available and we all have a better understanding of the situation.

If you made the decision to forgo quarantine and add new fish directly to your sales tanks or pond, we are not aware of any action that you can take to reduce or eliminate the possibility of infection in previously existing fish.

What are the symptoms of KHV?

KHV shares many of the same symptoms that are caused by other routine and treatable parasitic and bacterial issues. If you have fish with symptoms, it is important to rule out other possible causes via microscopy and treatment before assuming that you have a KHV infection.

KHV symptoms can include “difficulty breathing, gathering near oxygen-rich areas (such as waterfalls or aerators), excessive mucous production from gills, swollen gills, gill necrosis/discoloration, ulcerations, reddened skin/fins/tail, pale patches, sloughing of scales, increased/decreased mucous production, “sandpaper” texture to the skin, decreased appetite/refusal of food, lethargy, sunken eyes, erratic swimming, and “hanging” with a head down position.”1

Can my fish be tested?

Yes. You can submit a sample or samples to the real-time PCR research and diagnostics core facility at UC Davis for testing. Healthy fish that are not presenting symptoms are less likely to test positive but could still be infected.

While several different types of samples can be submitted for testing, it may be easiest to submit a gill cutting. To submit a gill cutting, use small surgical scissors to remove a portion of the gill. Enclose the gill tissue in a sealed container, and send the sample along with the required paperwork to the UC Davis lab via UPS or Fed Ex. Further instructions and the mailing address can be found at the link above.

If you do submit a sample for testing, please share the results with us once they are returned to you.

Will Blue Ridge pay for testing?

Blue Ridge is not able to pay for testing at this time. 

We will begin sending credit memos today for any live product received from April 15th, 2024 through May 10th, 2024. We will be sending refunds or credit memos toward future purchases as soon as we are able to customers who have already paid.

How do I disinfect a tank or pond that is affected?

If you have a confirmed infection or if you otherwise feel that you must disinfect a tank or pond, the recommendations for disinfection that we have received from a veterinary expert are as follows:

In order to disinfect a tank or pond, dispose of every fish. Run bleach solution through the entire system for 24 hours at dosage of 1 cup per 1,000 gallons. Drain system and spray tank or pond with bleach solution, let sit for 24 hours and then rinse well. Fill system or pond back up and treat with Cloram X or other sodium thiosulfate product to neutralize chlorine and make the system safe for fish again. Follow manufacturer’s recommended dosage for Cloram X or other sodium thiosulfate product.

Can KHV be cured?

There is no known cure for a KHV infection. Heating tank or pond water to 86°F has been shown to stop mortality in infected fish and help the fish to recover. Fish that recover after heat treatment may still be carriers of the virus and contagious to other fish.

What was the initial source of infection?

At this time, we do not have enough information to say with any degree of certainty what the initial source of infection was. We are submitting additional samples for testing to gain more information and ultimately try to form an idea of the initial source. More information will be made available as we have it.


1 https://healthtopics.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/health-topics/koi-herpesvirus-khv/