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> Ebola-like virus killing Great Lakes fish


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Posted: May 11 2007, 08:55 PM
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I just found out about this one...


QUOTE
Ebola-like virus killing Great Lakes fish   
By: Katie Allison Granju, Producer
4/30/2007
By Dennis Cauchon
USA TODAY
QUOTE
A deadly Ebola-like virus is killing fish of all types in the Great Lakes, a development some scientists fear could trigger disaster for the USA's freshwater fish.

Because of a lack of genetic resistance to viral hemorrhagic septicemia, fish populations could be damaged in the same way the smallpox virus struck Native Americans and Dutch elm disease decimated elm trees, says Jim Winton, chief of fish health at the U.S. Geological Survey in Seattle.

The disease has been found in Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Lake Huron, the St. Lawrence Seaway, the Niagara River and an inland lake in New York. The aggressive virus, which causes fish to hemorrhage, was unexpectedly found in the Great Lakes in 2005. Last year, it resulted in large fish kills that struck at least 20 species. Scientists are watching to see whether the disease returns in mid-May when water in the lakes warms to temperatures at which the virus attacks.

"VHS is the most important and dangerous fish virus known worldwide," Winton says. "Its discovery in our fresh water is disturbing and potentially catastrophic."

The United States and Canada try to contain the virus by restricting the transporting of fish and live bait and telling boaters to wash their boats when moving them between lakes. Michigan's Department of Natural Resources has taken the most dramatic action: closing hatcheries that produce three important sport fish - walleye, northern pike and muskellunge.

"The last thing you want to do is get the virus into the hatcheries and become a vehicle for spreading the virus," says Gary Whelan, who runs the state's hatcheries and chairs the multistate Great Lakes Fish Health Committee.

"What's so disturbing is that it's killing fish from so many species and with amazingly high mortality levels," says Paul Bowser, professor of aquatic animal medicine at Cornell University. The virus does not threaten humans, Bowser says. "If you cook the fish, heat will kill the virus," he says.

How VHS got into the Great Lakes is unclear. The dumping of ocean water from an international cargo ship is a suspected cause. Also not ruled out: spawning fish swimming upstream or a bird carrying a diseased fish.

Genetic tests show that the strain of VHS found in the Great Lakes probably originated in the Atlantic Ocean, near New Brunswick, Canada. That places the virus' origin near the start of the St. Lawrence River shipping route that leads to the lakes.

VHS thrives in water of 40 to 59 degrees. Most water in the Great Lakes, which contain about 20% of the world's fresh water, has not hit that temperature yet this year.

"The best-case scenario is that the virus becomes something that lurks in the background and attacks only when conditions are ripe," Whelan says. "I'm not expecting that, but I am hoping."
QUOTE
Virus killing Great Lakes fish?
Thu, May 3, 2007
By NORMAN DE BONO
SUN MEDIA† † 
QUOTE
They're two fishermen on opposite sides of a debate over a killer virus in the Great Lakes.

The two lakes they fish account for the lion's share of all the fish caught in Ontario.

One, a commercial fisherman who plies Lake Erie, says the catches are the biggest he's seen in years -- and he dismisses talk of the virus killing off massive fish stocks.

The other, a charter fisherman in Lake Huron, has seen the size and quantity of his catch dwindle -- and he worries. Separating their outlook on the bounty from the water is a deadly, Ebola-like virus some scientists fear could spell disaster for the Great Lakes fishery, an international industry worth more than $4.5 billion US.

Last May, tens of thousands of dead fish washed up on beaches around the Great Lakes as a result of the virus, say scientists with Ontario's natural resources ministry and the federal department of fisheries. †

CAUSES HEMORRHAGING

Now, with temperatures right, some observers are bracing for a similar die-off.

Called hemorrhagic septicemia virus, or VHS, it causes hemorrhaging in fish and organ failure.

But Jose Cabral of Wheatley, a Lake Erie commercial fisher, isn't biting on the doom-and-gloom.

"It's total (baloney)," he said. "Right now, the catches are astronomical -- I have never seen catches like this."

Cabral owns a fishing trawler, the Theresa Maria, and has been fishing 29 years.

Barry Nash begs to differ. He's operated a fishing charter service out of Kincardine and Port Bruce, along Lake Huron. "There is something going on. It is terrible now, I don't know what's happening," said Nash.
QUOTE
Nonnative species threaten state’s fisheries
Submitted by Journal Staff
May 11, 2007
QUOTE
If spiny water fleas (a small crustacean zooplankton) aren’t bad enough, there are even worse things out there that threaten our fisheries.
A viral disease known as viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) was diagnosed as the cause of huge fish kills in Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River in 2005 and 2006. Thousands of muskies, walleye, lake whitefish, and yellow perch died. Many Chinook salmon, smallmouth bass, bluegill, black crappie, burbot, emerald shiners and northern pike were diseased but did not die in large numbers.

This is the first time a virus has affected so many different fish species from so many fish families in the Great Lakes. VHS virus is an invasive species, but scientists are not sure how it arrived. It may have come in with migrating fish from the Atlantic Ocean or may have hitch-hiked in ballast water from ships.

VHS was first known as a disease of farmed rainbow trout in Europe in the 1930’s.

In 1988 the virus was detected in wild herring and cod from the U.S. Pacific Coast and also in salmon and steelhead that returned to Washington hatcheries to spawn. Since then, the virus has been confirmed in several species on the Atlantic Coast and in Japan.

Virus particles in the water infect gill tissue and then move to the internal organs and blood vessels. The blood vessels become weak, causing hemorrhages in the internal organs, muscle and skin. Fish can also become infected when they eat an infected fish.

Fish that survive the infection will develop antibodies to the virus. Antibodies will protect the fish against new VHS virus infections for some time. However, the concentration of antibodies in the fish will drop over time. This may create a cycle of fish kills that occur on a regular basis.

Based on the diagnosis of VHS virus in Chinook, walleye and lake whitefish from Lake Huron in 2006, fisheries biologists believe the virus is probably already in Lake Michigan, and ballast water discharged from ships may have moved the virus to port cities on Lake Superior. A number of fish from Lake Michigan and Lake Superior were tested in the fall of 2006 and VHS virus was not detected. More testing is planned for 2007. It is important to note that VHS virus is not a human health concern.


http://www.ifallsdailyjournal.com/node/3027

This post has been edited by Mark J. Harper on May 12 2007, 04:14 PM


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Posted: May 11 2007, 09:08 PM
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More Information...

Help STOP the Spread of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia virus (VHSv)
user posted image
Original Image
http://dnr.wi.gov/fish/images/vhsexternalhem.jpg

QUOTE
Signs a fish has VHS

The clinical signs of VHS may include hemorrhaging (bleeding), unusual behavior, anemia, bulging eyes, bloated abdomens, and the rapid onset of death; however, these symptoms could apply to many different fish diseases. VHS must be confirmed by lab tests. Additionally, some infected fish may not show any signs and transporting these fish to new locations could spread the disease to new waters.


QUOTE
Additional Information about VHS virus

The VHS virus is a serious pathogen of fresh and saltwater fish that is an emerging disease in the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada.

VHS virus is a rhabdovirus (rod shaped virus) that affects fish of all sizes and ages. It does not pose any threat to human health. VHS causes hemorrhaging of skin, muscle, and internal organs, and death follows. Some fish infected with VHS will develop antibodies to the virus and will survive. However, after a period of time the fish may start shedding virus again and spread the disease to other fish.


http://dnr.wi.gov/fish/pages/vhs.html

This post has been edited by Mark J. Harper on May 12 2007, 04:08 PM


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Posted: May 12 2007, 04:10 PM
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QUOTE
VHS virus is a rhabdovirus (rod shaped virus) that affects fish of all sizes and ages. It does not pose any threat to human health.


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"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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Posted: May 13 2007, 02:18 PM
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It's bad right now and getting worse...

QUOTE
Menasha waters in health crisis; DNR closes lock over fish kill, virus spread
May 13, 2007
By Michael King
Post-Crescent staff writer
MENASHA
QUOTE
A deadly fish virus that could threaten more than two-dozen game fish in the Lake Winnebago System led to swift action Saturday by the state Department of Natural Resources.

"This is a major fish health crisis," said Mike Staggs, fisheries director with the DNR, which ordered the Fox Locks Authority to close the Menasha lock, where numerous dead fish were found.

The DNR announced Saturday that two fish from Little Lake Butte des Morts had tested positive for a deadly fish virus called viral hermorrhagic septicemia, or VHS. Additional dead fish samples taken from Lake Winnebago also appear to have the virus.

Though VHS is not a health threat for people who eat or handle fish infected with the virus, it can infect more than 25 game fish, pan fish and bait fish species.

Little Lake Butte des Morts is part of the lower Fox River that flows from Lake Winnebago to the bay of Green Bay.

"Yesterday (Friday) was the first day of boating," said Steve Collier, a lock tender at Menasha. "I came down on the 4 (p.m.) to midnight shift and I noticed all the dead fish floating around. I'd never seen that before, especially at this time of the year. I couldn't believe how many there were."


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Posted: May 13 2007, 04:25 PM
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This one was also disturbing....

Million Fish Die In Colorado At Once
http://www.puppstheories.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=7899

user posted image




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"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
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Posted: May 14 2007, 11:27 PM
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shock.gif Yes that is very disturbing PuPP... It seems that since the 1st of the year there have been quite a few fish kills both in the US and Canada and some of them have been rather mysterious without any cause being found as to why they happened... A couple cases occurred in small lakes and ponds and were blamed on either low oxygen, low water, a bacteria called columnarius and a water mold called Saprolegnia or toxic chemicals that they can't find any trace of. Others are occuring in rivers and streams with one report of what's being described as an Immunity disorder in the Shenandoah River in Virginia...


QUOTE
Shenandoah fish dying unceasingly
By: Charity Corkey
05/10/2007
QUOTE
Fish kills in the Shenandoah River watershed are no longer discernible incidents, but one continuous event.

"They are dying all over," said Shenandoah riverkeeper and fish kill task force member Jeff Kelble. "We get several reports a day."

For the past two weeks, Kelble has put-aside his other duties and focused primarily on the river.

"What we are seeing is another long-term chronic fish kill developing, and if it matches the pattern from previous years it will go on for another month," he said.

Contrary to years past, fish kills this spring are affecting both the North and South Forks of the Shenandoah.

"You can go over the river everywhere and see sick fish," said Keble. "We have covered most of the watershed."

Currently, the Department of Environment Quality, Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and members of the Fish Kill Task Force are continuing their investigation of the occurrences, primarily the smallmouth bass and redbreast sun species.

"We're working very closely with several other state agencies as well as fisherman and people who have an interest in the rivers to do several things," said DEQ spokesman Bill Hayden. "We're following reports of dead fish, we're conducting water tests [and] we're analyzing some of the fish to send them out to labs."

At this point, the general consensus is that the fish have an immunity problem, which "seems more and more clear as we look at our fish," said Kelble.

Due to this immunity disorder, fish are dying of various conditions including organ failure, parasites and fungus. Many dead and dying fish are affected with lesions and sores.

Although there is not a way to determine the number of deaths, it is clear the problem is claiming a large percentage of the river's fish. In 2005 alone, it was estimated that 80 percent of the river's redbreast sunfish and smallmouth bass died. Since then, the condition has grown more aggressive.

"In 2004 and 2005 we lost smallmouth adults," said Kelble. "The juvenile fish were spared. But in this kill, they are not spared."

Despite the situation's gravity, Kelble believes more answers will be discovered shortly.

"We have enough scientists from various disciplines here that if we're going to figure out what's killing these fish, it's going to be this year," he said.


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Posted: May 18 2007, 10:50 PM
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This is definitely not good...

QUOTE
Virus Infects Area Lake's Fish Population

An invasive virus has killed thousands of fish in a Northern Michigan Lake.  Budd Lake in clare County has become the first inland lake in Michigan to test positive for Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia.  The virus kills fish in a short period of time by causing internal organ failure.  Fish infected with it typically have red patches on their skin and swim in circles or just below the surface of the water.

Department of National Resources officials believe the virus originally came to Michigan waters from Europe by way of ballast water dumped from ocean going freighters.  The DNR is urging boaters to make sure they do not spread the deadly disease to other inland lakes.  "Seeing that it is local, I will certainly take measures to help them try and prevent the spread of it," says local fisherman Erwin Hankes. 

The DNR wants every boater to to follow Erwin's example and take measures to keep this disease from spreading.  "What we're asking boaters and anglers to do is to try and thoroughly clean their boats before going from one lake to another," says DNR fisheries biologist Mark Tonello.  That includes emptying the live wells and the engine cooling systems.  Most importantly, the DNR says do not transfer fish from one lake to another.

Even though Budd Lake is the first inland lake to have the VHS virus, it is still affecting numerous other lakes throughout the state.  Lake Cadillac will not be stocked at all this year.  The DNR says the virus only affects fish and does not pose any threat to humans.  They say despite the number of fish that died on lake budd, there are still plenty of fish in the lake for anglers. 


http://www.tv7-4.com/Global/story.asp?S=6538755&nav=1vrj

I did a little digging and discovered that there were a few references of a mysterious fish virus (VHS) hitting fisheries in the Pacific North West in 1989...

I couldn't get the full articles but I was able to piece together some of the info...

QUOTE
Fish and Eggs Destroyed in West After Disease Strikes Hatcheries

information. March 7, 1989, Tuesday
By TIMOTHY EGAN, SPECIAL TO THE NEW YORK TIMES (NYT); Science Desk
Late City Final Edition, Section C, Page 4, Column 1, 927 words
DISPLAYING ABSTRACT - LEAD: An untreatable fish disease, never before found in North America, has been detected at two salmon hatcheries in the Pacific Northwest, prompting biologists to kill nearly four million eggs and young fish in an effort to halt the spread of the virus.
QUOTE
MYSTERY VIRUS MENACES FISHERIES

Source: Michael Zielenziger, Mercury News Seattle Bureau
A deadly virus never before detected among the fish of North America is contaminating oceangoing salmon in Washington state. The bullet-shaped virus, as incurable and mysterious as the AIDS virus, does not affect human health. But already, the discovery of viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) in several coho and chinook salmon has spread panic among fish pathologists and fish breeders in the Pacific Northwest.

http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archiv...ackval=GooglePM

Then on January 27th 1990, VHS made another appearance...

QUOTE
COHO SALMON EGGS DESTROYED
The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), COAST ZONER; Pg. C02
January 17, 1990
From correspondent and wire repo
144 words

Wednesday, January 17, 1990 COHO SALMON EGGS DESTROYED More than 2.7 million coho salmon eggs were destroyed at the Lummi Indian tribal hatchery after detection of a virus at the facility during routine testing. Lummi hatchery officials said the virus, Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia, has been known to wipe out cultured trout stocks...

http://alacarte.lexisnexis.com/partners/in...s&sa=N&start=20


Then it pops up somewhere else in February of 1990...

QUOTE
FISH VIRUS DISCOVERY RAISES CONCERNS
The Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), NORTHWEST; Pg. D11
February 13, 1990
The Associated Press
314 words

Tuesday, February 13, 1990 FISH VIRUS DISCOVERY RAISES CONCERNS The recent discovery of a rare fish-killing virus at a hatchery near Forks has revived questions about how the virus entered the state and whether it could affect the salmon industry. The discovery last week marked the first time wild fish have...
QUOTE
STATE HATCHERIES DESTROY NEARLY 600,000 FISH TO STEM PARASITE

Published on November 5, 1994

More than 400,000 young rainbow trout and 170,000 Skamania-strain steelhead were destroyed this week at state hatcheries in an effort to curb a parasite-borne disease.

"Whirling Disease" is an affliction that has begun infecting trout at the Caledonia, Rome and Chateaugay hatcheries, the Department of Environmental Conservation said. "We hope to contain the outbreak in those hatcheries . .


http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archiv...ackval=GooglePM

It seems that up until 1989, VHS was only a concern of European fish farmers... Odd how it was able to make its way to the Pacific North West... It is a virus that affects only cold and cool water fish...

The so-called experts are still stating that VHS infected fish are not a heath concern for humans... even when eaten... EmoticonGoodnight.gif They also say that it doesn't pose a threat to animals either... I should mention that they worked out the complete Genomic Sequence of VHS in Germany in 1999...

Complete genomic sequence of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus, a fish rhabdovirus.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...1&dopt=Abstract

Then someone was playing around with it in Norway in 2005...

Sequential pathology after experimental infection with marine viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus isolates of low and high virulence in turbot (Scophthalmus maximus L).
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.f...7&dopt=Abstract



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Posted: May 21 2007, 12:06 AM
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QUOTE
Deadly fish virus found in fish from Lake Winnebago
By Ben Wasserman-foodconsumer.org
May 19, 2007 - 9:09:19 AM

   
The Wisconsin State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on Friday May 17 announced that fish collected in several Lake Winnebago locations preliminarily tested positive for viral hemorrhagic septicemia or VHS, a deadly fish virus that officials have suspected for years may have already appeared in Lake Michigan and Superior and the Mississippi River.

The fish virus has already been found in two drum, or sheepshead, collected on May 2 from Little Lake Butte des Morts, the DNR announced May 12.  Dead fish were discovered in Lake Winnebago earlier.  Since May 2, DNR has been receiving reports of hundreds of freshwater drum dying on Lake Winnebago, according to the state agency.

Little Lake Butte des Morts is in downstream from Lake Winnebago and separated by one dam and one functioning lock.  The Lake Winnebago chain is home to Wisconsinís unique sturgeon population. The finding of VHS in Little Lake Butte des Morts and dead fish in Lake Winnebago prompted state officials to immediately close the lock effective May 12 to prevent the fish virus from spreading to Lake Winnebago.

As fish from Lake Winnebago have been found infected with the fish virus, officials on Friday ordered re-opening of the Menasha lock because the closure does no longer help prevent the spreading of the fish virus.

The fish virus does not pose any risk to people who eat the infected fish.  However, it is lethal to more than 25 fish species in Wisconsin Waters.  State Officials worry that VHS could spread to many lakes in the state, potentially devastating fish populations and affecting the 2.3 billion fishery industry in the state.

The fish virus caused major fish kills in 2005 and 2006 in lakes St. Clair, Erie, Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, and the virus was discovered in Lake Huron fish in February, according to Mike Staggs, Wisconsinís fisheries director.

The latest discovery of the fish virus in some Wsiconsin lakes does not come as a surprise to the officials who are aware that the risk is always there for the virus to spread.  Because of this, the state Natural Resources Board already convened on April 7 to address the potential spread of VHS to fish in Wisconsin's inland waters.


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Posted: May 21 2007, 07:08 AM
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As we kill off all natural lifeforms on Earth and cause the extinction of thousands of species of life... I guess we can always eat sand... or each other?

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QUOTE
"Ye shall know them by their fruits"
~ Matthew 7:16

"Believe nothing. No matter where you read it, or who said it, even if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
~ Buddha
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