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Deadly Salmon Virus Spreads

Researchers have discovered that a deadly marine virus from aquaculture farms has spread into wild populations of salmon.


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Researchers in British Columbia announced Monday that a lethal, contagious virus from fish farms has been found in wild salmon in the Pacific Northwest. The virus, infectious salmon anemia, originated in commercial aquaculture farms, where it can wipe out 70 percent or more of fish populations, although it is not dangerous to humans. Environmental scientist Richard Routledge, who was on the research team from Simon Fraser University, says that salmon farms may have released the pathogen into wild fish populations through open nets in saltwater pens. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claim that the virus morphed from a benign form into a deadly strain due to densely packed salmon farms in Norway.

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