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    Deadly Fish Virus Spreads Through Great Lakes

    Viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) is a fatal disease that causes anemia and hemorrhaging in freshwater fish species. This deadly virus was first discovered in the Northeast in 2005, but a recent report validates the rapid spread of VHSV as it has now been found in Lake Superior–thought to be the last of the Great […]

    Viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) is a fatal disease that causes anemia and hemorrhaging in freshwater fish species. This deadly virus was first discovered in the Northeast in 2005, but a recent report validates the rapid spread of VHSV as it has now been found in Lake Superior–thought to be the last of the Great Lakes to harbor the disease.

    Healthy Walleye Top v. Walleye infected with VHSV

    In the study, 874 fish from seven sites were tested. Of those sites, fish from Skanee, Michigan and Superior Bay and St. Louis Bay of Wisconsin tested positive for VHSV, though additional testing is still underway for other locales. At this time the virus has been found to infect 28 freshwater species and is seen as a significant threat to the fishing industry in the area.

    To help prevent the spread, in ’08 the U.S. Department of Agriculture prohibited the transport of these 28 species within the greatlakes.¬†Although this preventative measure did little to slow the spread of the virus, scientists note that there were no signficant fish mortalities observed in 2008 and 2009. Scientists have said the disease poses no direct threat to humans, but it is unknown if it can effect marine fishes. Yikes.

    [physorg]

    4 Comments

    1. Ryan K
      January 28, 2010 at 3:50 PM | Permalink

      VHS is baaadd stuff man…many fish farms have been shut down because of it over the years.

    2. Jerry
      February 3, 2010 at 12:53 PM | Permalink

      We wouldn't have this being spread around if the fish farmers followed the rules. Look at the Wisconsin Fishfarmers that the feds just fined and slapped on the hand for hauling untested fish in and out of many states. These guys are your real problem here and are probably why vhs is as far along as it is. Blame the ag dept for siding with the fish farmer rather than the public which the dnr wanted to protect in this matter years ago. We should be stopping all interstate movement of all kinds of fish . Minnows to game fish. We tried to tell our politians this also but they sided with fish farming and money over enviroment.It's really sad what coming in the future now that we have let these people ruin it.

    3. jmaneyapanda
      February 5, 2010 at 5:35 AM | Permalink

      There have actually been some recent advancements in halting this plague. A disinfectant used to clean salmon eggs in commercial fisheries has been found to halt the transmission of this problematic disease. It is being tested in Walleye (as in the pic above) and hopefully will be instituted soon.

    4. jmaneyapanda
      February 5, 2010 at 11:35 AM | Permalink

      There have actually been some recent advancements in halting this plague. A disinfectant used to clean salmon eggs in commercial fisheries has been found to halt the transmission of this problematic disease. It is being tested in Walleye (as in the pic above) and hopefully will be instituted soon.

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