March 5, 2012

Today's Top News Stories


Technical Announcement: Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza Transmitted During Summer in California Wetlands

Waterfowl in California can spread low pathogenic avian influenza viruses during summertime when wetland temperatures are warm and waterfowl densities are low, according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey study.

Scientists from the USGS National Wildlife Health Center, the Wisconsin Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, the USGS Western Ecological Research Center, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison found that, rather than persisting primarily in colder northern wetlands as previously thought, low pathogenic avian influenza viruses can be carried within low-density waterfowl populations in high water temperatures. These findings indicate a previously unknown reservoir for low pathogenic avian influenza viruses and a potential source of infection for millions of wintering birds.

USGS National Wildlife Health Center -
27 Feb 2012

UGA Researcher Looking at Illness in Bald Eagles [avian vacuolar myelinopathy]

A University of Georgia faculty member in forestry and natural resources is trying to find out what is causing the disease killing off bald eagles.

Susan Wilde is leading a team examining food sources for the country's most famous bird, hoping to determine why so many eagles suffer from avian vacuolar myelinopathy. The disease, known as AVM, causes deadly brain lesions and neurological problems.

First Coast News -
28 Feb 2012
Location: Georgia, USA

Scientists: Mysterious Virus Blinds, Then Kills Kinneret Fish

An up to now unknown virus is blinding the Kinneret's remaining supply of Amnon (St. Peter's fish), scientists have determined. And the reason, they say, could be the overfishing of the Kinneret and the depletion of the lake's population of the popular fish.

Reports over the past year have documented many sightings by Kinneret fishermen of the mysterious disease, which actually causes fish to lose their eyes....

Experts say that the phenomenon was first observed a decade ago, but it is now estimated that it appears in some 10% of Amnon coming from the Kinneret. Scientists in Israel and abroad have confirmed that an until-now unknown virus has been found in fish that have lost their eyes.

The best they, and he, could come up with was that a mysterious virus in the fish was the cause, although the connection between the virus and the damage done to the fish was unclear. That the cause of the disease is a virus, as opposed to a parasite, ....

Israel National News -
01 Mar 2012
D Lev
Location: Kinneret, Israel

Bats Harbor Novel Type of Influenza

A new subtype diverged from known influenza viruses long ago and does not seem to pose an immediate health threat

Fruit bats in Guatemala are hosting a novel subtype of influenza A virus, according to a study published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The virus — designated H17 — appears to have diverged from known influenza viruses long ago, shedding light on their evolution. Therefore, it seems to pose no immediate threat to humans. However, it is similar enough to other subtypes that genetic exchange with them could pose a risk.

Scientific American -
27 Feb 2012
B Levine
Location: Guatemala


More Bat News

Photo courtesy of The Guardian feature The Week in Wildlife
Deer Disease News