MadSci Network: Virology

Re: Questions about PDV (Phocine distemper Virus)

Date: Fri Nov 11 00:54:51 2005
Posted By: Sean Hunt, Secondary School Teacher
Area of science: Virology
ID: 1131439249.Vi

Adam -

Please link to the URL here -

It gives lots of information on the problem and what is being done about it.

My own view is that the common seal population is facing a tragedy which we are powerless to prevent. When the virus hits a seal population about 50% of seals die. Not only that but they die slowly and painfully and end up as rotting carcases on our beaches which then become a health risk to humans. Vaccination programs are only useful to captive seals and have minimal effects on wild seal populations. Due to the limited effect of vaccination and the difficulty of treating wild seals, it is understandable why very little money is being spent on this problem. Fortuneately the seal population will eventually become resistant to the virus BUT this could involve the death of many thousands of seals.

Hope this helps

Sean Hunt

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