Thursday, August 2, 2012

Bird Flu Has Jumped To Baby Seals

A new strain of avian flu that jumped from birds to mammals is responsible for the death of more than 160 seals off the New England coast last year. Scientists say the virus could theoretically pose a threat to human health.

 Harbor seals — most of them babies less than 6 months old — began appearing with severe pneumonia and skin lesions in September of last year, the researchers said.

Over the next few months, at least 162 dead seals were recovered along the coast from Maine to Massachusetts, they said.

Testing pointed at a new strain of the H3N8 flu virus being called seal H3N8.


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