Title: Bird Flu Not Responsible For Alaska Ice Seal, Walrus Illness
Source: KNOM Alaska
Author: Laureli Kinneen
Date: August 1, 2012
Scientists say a type of bird flu – H3N8 – is responsible for the death of the more than 160 harbor seals on the East Coast [New England area, from Maine to Massachusetts]. Reports of sick seals began in September, which coincided with the reports of diseased seals in Alaska’s northern coasts. KNOM’s Laureli Kinneen reports there is no relation between the avian flu on the East Coast and the disease affecting iced seals and walrus in Alaska.
Kinneen: Based on hunter observation, it is a new disease syndrome that we are observing, because based on traditional knowledge, as well as communication from the hunters, they had never seen anything like this before.
The researchers have not ruled out the radiation released from the Fukushima nuclear accident as the cause [...]
[Dr. Raphaela Stimmelmayr, a wildlife veterinarian and research biologist with the Department of Wildlife Management, has been one of the leading professionals trying learn more about what is happening to the seals] says they are now looking at whether the diseased seals carried cesium-134 and -137 [...]
Cesium-134 is the signature radionuclide that was released during the Fukushima accident.
Stimmelmayr: [...] I think one truly has to wait until we have the quantitative numbers [...]
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Published: September 1st, 2012 at 5:34 am ET