This is huge topic of discussion and I certainly recommend snake buyers research this topic extensively and consult their reptile vet for the latest information.
If you are only keeping one or a few snakes you probably don’t need to be too concerned. If you are planning a build a bigger collection or have concerns as to the health or source of your snakes than read on and take action.
The snake world is has always had a range of viruses and disease. Fortunately now we have the ability to test for some of the more common and dangerous viruses. I won’t go into a long story about all of the viruses but the most common found in collections these days in Sunshine virus.
A few others are becoming more common and basically all of them are fatal for a snake that tests positive for these viruses. Unfortunately these viruses are also very easy to spread to other snakes. Simply handling an infected snake and then handling another can spread the virus.
The need to quarantine new animals has never been more important. Until a snake can be tested and cleared of any disease or virus it should not enter the main collection. At minimum 2 month quarantine will ensure a mite cycle can be killed off. I always treat any new snakes for mites regardless if I see any mites or not. People have many different time periods that they feel is needed to quarantine, from 3 months to 2 years.
The fact remains that you cannot ‘out quarantine’ these viruses so testing is a must. It is important to immediately quarantine a new animal and organise testing as soon as possible. Once the snake has tested negative and has not shown any health issues during the quarantine period it can enter the main collection. These days I quarantine everything for 12 months, testing as soon as possible. To be 100% sure experts are now saying conducting two test 3 months apart is the best way to be sure the snake is free from any viruses.