Elephant Seals across the Coast of California Catch Swine Flu
As per recent reports, the elephant seals living off the coast of California have caught the swine flu strain. It emerged that it is the same strain that caused pandemic in 2009.
For the first time the strain of H1N1 virus has been found in a marine animal. Dr. Tracey Goldstein, who led the US team behind the discovery, said that they thought that they might find influenza viruses. But the team was very surprised by the discovery of H1N1 strain.
Dr. Goldstein said that from the discovery they confirmed that influenza viruses can transmit among the species. The infection was found in two seals along the coast. In addition, 28 other seals showed immune reaction to the virus from where the scientists concluded that they had more widespread exposure.
Also, it was seen that the infected seal didn't appear to be sick. This asserted that marine mammals may carry strain without exhibiting any symptoms of the same.
The discovery has raised concerns for the people who had been in contact with these creatures. "The seals on land in early 2010 tested negative before they went to sea, but when they returned from sea in spring 2010, they tested positive", said D. Goldstein, from the University of California at Davis.
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