Fish Farms Can Be Disease Accelerators

Much like terrestrial animal farms, fish farms are incubators for disease.

Last summer, more than half a million farmed salmon died from a sea lice outbreak in New Brunswick’s Passamaquoddy Bay. More than 250,000 died directly from the parasites, which attach themselves to the fish and feed on their skin, blood, and mucus, while another 284,000 were euthanized to try to contain the spread.

The outbreak, which affected two sites owned by Gray Group, a bankrupt aquaculture company that still had fish in its pens, was a “catastrophic loss,” says Matthew Abbott, an environmentalist who monitors Passamaquoddy Bay for the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. “Both sites were wiped out.” Read more in Hakai Magazine.

Rare enterovirus continues to circulate in North America

D68, an uncommon strain of enterovirus, has caused an unexpectedly high number of respiratory illnesses across the USA and has now appeared in Canada.

A rare strain of enterovirus that can cause severe respiratory illness in children is circulating throughout the USA and Canada, causing a higher than usual number of infections.

Between mid-August and Sept 26, 277 people in 40 states and the District of Columbia have tested positive for enterovirus D68, all but one of them children, reports the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)in Atlanta, GA. National numbers are not available for Canada, but the virus has been detected in several provinces, including Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. Read more in The Lancet.