2014 Baker Institute News: Virus causing mass Cape Cod die-offs identified
Baker Institute for Animal Health
This news item from the Cornell Chronicle is about: Since 1998, hundreds and sometimes thousands of dead eider ducks have been washing up every year on Cape Cod’s beaches in late summer or early fall, but the reasons behind these cyclic die-offs have remained a mystery. Now a team of scientists from the Baker Institute, Tufts University, University of Georgia, the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have pinned down one of the agents responsible: a pathogen they’re calling Wellfleet Bay virus (WFBV). Their findings shed light on why eider ducks (also called common eiders) die on Cape Cod every year and offer hints about how the virus spreads. Lead author Andrew Allison, a postdoctoral fellow in Colin Parrish's lab at the Baker Institute, identified and named the virus. WFBV is a new orthomyxovirus, Allison said, which places it in the same family as influenza viruses. WFBV is most closely related to Cygnet River virus, another recently discovered virus known to infect ducks in Australia.
Cornell University, College of Veterinary Medicine
Cornell University. College of Veterinary Medicine -- Periodicals.; James A. Baker Institute for Animal Health -- Periodicals; Parrish, Colin; Allison, Andrew; Cornell Chronicle; Buckley, Merry R.