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Seal killed by distemper

Seal killed by distemper

Z936/0118

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Credit

DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) killed by phocine distemper virus (PDV). The harbour seal is the most widespread of all the seals, and is found in cold and temperate waters throughout much of the northern hemisphere. In 1988, an outbreak of PDV killed around 18,000 harbour seals in European waters, over half the population in some areas. The population had recovered fully by 2002, when a second outbreak began. Several thousand seals died in this outbreak, although it is hoped that numbers will increase as they did after the 1988 epidemic. There is no cure or prevention for the disease. Photographed in Norfolk, England, in September 2002.

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