Animals: The Cough Of the Seal

The Cough Of the Seal

The first hint that something was amiss came last April, when harbor seals along the coast of northern Europe began showing symptoms of a mysterious viral infection. Before long, dead or dying seals were washing up on the shores of Britain, Holland and West Germany. To date, 11,000 seals have died, including an estimated 70% of the seal population in parts of the North Sea and Baltic Sea coasts.

Last week Dutch Virologist Albert Osterhaus announced he had located the cause: the same virus that produces distemper in dogs. Osterhaus believes the seals contracted the virus after contact with canines and...

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