Walrus Disease - What is the Cause?
It has been of deep concern to me since I heard about the walrus disease about 3 months ago. I waited and waited for an answer, none has come so far, so I started my research. I studied every disease that has ever affected the walrus from parasites to bacterias and viruses. I checked the symptoms of every condition to figure it out and the answer became very clear to me.
The results of my research of walrus disease led to a conclusion that I am quite certain is right on target. These animals are almost certainly infected with a form of morbillivirus known as (phocine distemper virus) or PDV. A form of this disease that affects seals is (canine distemper virus) and another form infects dolphins and porpoises known as (cetacean morbillivirus) or CMV. Morbillivirus is responsible for measles in humans. It causes distemper in dogs, is known to have killed thousands of cattle in the past and has even killed horses, camels, siberian tigers, and other land animals.
The symptoms of this disease are the same symptoms widely reported by the news media as affecting the walrus at Point Lay as well as the seals and sea lions in the area. These include skin lesions, as well as lethargy, difficulty breathing, and discharges from the eyes and nose. This could be an epidemic likely to cause the deaths of hundreds or even thousands of sea animals including pinnipeds like the walrus, seals, and sea lions. Polar bears are at risk from this disease as well as Narwhal and Beluga Whales. Other species are at risk as well including arctic fox, wolves, and bears.
- It was the cause of the 1987-1988 bottle-nose dolphin die-off.
- In 1987 Baikal Seals Died in massive numbers at Baikal Lake in Russia
- Harbor Seals died in the North Sea in 1988 (as many as 20,000 animals)
- In 1990 Striped dolphins died in the Mediterranean Sea
- It killed Long-Finned Pilot Whales in the Mediterranean Sea in 2006 and 2007.
- It has killed elephant seals in California
- In 2006 hundreds of Harbor Seals and Gray Seals died off the coast of Massachusetts, according to a report in the Boston Globe.
Each of these events resulted in the deaths of hundreds to thousands of animals
Samples of these animal carcasses in each event were tested by scientists and were POSITIVE for Morbillivirus, which was determined to have caused the deaths.
Do not let your dog have contact with these infected animals. Do not feed their meat to your dog! It can result in canine distemper that can result in the illness or death of your dog!
Do NOT handle the tissues or flesh of infected animals. Do not eat the meat. This includes walrus, seals, and sea lions, but can also include others such as beluga whales.
If the animal you touch is infected, it can infect you! This virus can cause viral pnemonia and encephalitis in humans. These conditions can cause death. According to The Arkansas State University Herald, 50% of humans infected can die! See link below to verify!
Here is what worries me most. Every scientific source I read tells me this disease is HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS! Here is a link to that article and this is stated in the bottom of the article just below the pictures.
This disease can affect not only sea animals, but also land mammals as well including dogs.
Here is how you can spot a sick animal:
- It has lesions or rash on the skin or sores.
- The animals behaves strangely, like wanders into a village or approaches humans it normally would avoid. It could have seizures.
- The animal is having trouble breathing
- You see pus coming from the eyes or nose of the animal.
- The animal is listless, has no energy, moves slow, acts sick.
If you see an animal behaving strangely or exhibiting the behaviors above, do not handle the animal. If you kill the animal do not shoot it in the head, the brain may need to be tested. Call authorities to report the death and to see if they want to remove or test the dead animal.
Where are these sick animals now in 2011? According to the information I am seeing, this can be affecting sea animals like sea lions, seals, and walrus from the pacific northwest, north to Alaska and Northern Canada to Greenland. Dead seals are coming ashore also on the East Coast of the United States in the Boston Area. Dead whales are coming in to beaches in Northern European Countries of Ireland, Scotland and the UK. They are showing up on African beaches near Ghana. Last year over 300 dead whales came ashore in Argentina. They have been beaching in New Zealand and Australia. I have not been able to determine the cause of the whale deaths. It appears many have not been tested.
I see no way that I can opt not to report what I am relatively certain is the truth about this. I have native friends living throughout the areas of Alaska where these infected animals are found. I spoke with friends from the Northwest Arctic Area of Alaska who tell me that dozens of dead animals that include seals, sea lions and walrus were hauled out this fall and samples of tissues sent to Juneau for testing. Results are still pending but the danger is clear. I would rather be wrong than not say anything and find out some of my friends are getting sick from this or worse.
Since 1970, 80% of the walrus population has died off. Now the 20% that remain are at risk from a deadly walrus disease. Several factors have led to this, including overfishing which is causing malnutrition and susceptibility to disease. Other factors include pollution and climate changes such as warming.
Currently, now in 2012, this disease is affecting ringed seals in northern Alaska. In spite of the fact that scientists have failed to identify this disease, they have gone as far as admitting it is a virus. It is in fact morbillivirus and many more animals are sick. I continue to update this article to let my readers know the current status of this disease.