An official website of the United States government.

The .gov means it’s official.
Federal government websites always use a .gov or .mil domain. Before sharing sensitive information online, make sure you’re on a .gov or .mil site by inspecting your browser’s address (or “location”) bar.

This site is also protected by an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate that’s been signed by the U.S. government. The https:// means all transmitted data is encrypted — in other words, any information or browsing history that you provide is transmitted securely.

Home / Aquatic Invasives / Aquatic Pathogens and Diseases / Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia

Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia

View all resources
Viral hemorrhagic septicemia symptoms
Fish infected with VHS like this Lake St. Clair shad bleed from their organs and skin - Mohammed Faisal Professor of aquatic animal medicine at Michigan State University
Scientific Name: 

Novirhabdovirus sp. (Family Rhabdoviridae) (Kim and Faisal 2011)

Common Name: 

Viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHS), Egtved virus

Native To: 

First detected in Europe (Bain et al. 2010)

Date of U.S. Introduction: 

First isolated in the Great Lakes in 2005; had most likely been present for several years (Bain et al. 2010)

Means of Introduction: 

Unknown, possibly through ballast water (Bain et al. 2010)


Viral disease of fish that infects a wide range of species and can cause large fish kills (Bain et al. 2010)

Current U.S. Distribution: 
Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River



Google. YouTube; University of Minnesota. 

Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source. Or, to display all related content view all resources for Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia.

Council or Task Force

Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Washington Invasive Species Council.

Western Regional Aquaculture Center.
See also: WRAC Extension Publications for more fact sheets.

DOC. NOAA. Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory; DOI. USGS. Wetland and Aquatic Research Center.

Federal Government
International Government
State and Local Government

Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

See also: Aquatic Invasive Species for more action plans

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Vermont Agency of Natural Resources. Fish & Wildlife Department.


Purdue University. Indiana Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory.

University of Minnesota. Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center.

Iowa State University. Center for Food Security and Public Health.

Pennsylvania State University. Pennsylvania Sea Grant.
See also: Aquatic Invasive Species: Resources for additional species information