A Deadly Virus May Lead To Fish Extinction

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All the Great Lakes proved to be affected by a deadly fish virus, the scientists at Cornell discovered recently.

The first clues of the virus were found in 2005, in the North-Eastern lakes (Lake Superior among them).

We are speaking about a VHSV (viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus) which causes the fish to lose all their iron resources and die as a cause of severe hemorrhage. Luckily, the virus is not a treat for humans but it has been identified in 28 species of fish already, many collaborating institutes having tests on the way still.

The main industry that shall be affected by this discovery will probably be the New York sport fishing market, which is contributing to America’s economy with about 1.4 million dollars every year. But the virus is not present only in the lakes, but also in some inland waters, including ponds owned by families.

On a planetary scale, VHSV is known to cause some of the most severe diseases in fish, killing a great part of them while humans can not respond with any treatment.

Although the American Department of Agriculture has been trying to prevent the spreading of the virus since early 2008 by federal orders, it is expected that the rate of sick fish will continue to grow, since the infection keeps spreading even if no deaths are occurring at the time of the observation.

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