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Deadly Seal Virus Can Spread More Than Arctic Ice Melting



A deadly virus affecting seals can spread faster due to the loss of Arctic sea ice from warmer temperatures.

The Focin Destroyer Virus (PDV), which was responsible for the deaths of thousands of seals in European ports in 2002, was discovered in northern Alaska otters two years later, leading scientists to wonder how the virus reached them.

According to a 15-year study published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports and led by researchers at the University of California-Davis, "radical transformation" of sea ice may open a new route for contact between seals in the Arctic and Subarctic regions, which -It wasn't possible early.

"The loss of sea ice is leading the marine wildlife to seek and nourish new habitats and remove this physical barrier, allowing new pathways to be moved for them," said author Tracy Goldstein, associate director of the

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"As animals move and come into contact with other species, they bring opportunities to introduce and transmit a new infectious disease with a potentially detrimental effect," she added.

Scientists inspect marine mammals for exposure to the virus from 2001 to 2016 – with mammalian samples including ice seals, northern seals, Steller's sea lions and northern sea otters. They appreciated the Arctic high seas ice and high seas from the North Atlantic to the North Pacific.

Researchers found widespread infection and exposure to the virus, starting in 2003, and found another peak in 2009. These peaks coincide with the decline in the extent of Arctic sea ice. LEARNED OUTSIDE

"As sea ice continues its melting tendency, the ability of this virus and other pathogens to cross between North Atlantic and North Pacific marine mammals is becoming more common," the first statement said in a statement. Van Wormer is a doctoral student at UC Davis and is currently an assistant professor at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

"This study emphasizes the need to understand the transmission of VAT and the potential for outbreaks of sensitive species in this rapidly changing environment. “

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