New York, NY, United States (AHN) – An infectious disease is spreading among farm-raised fish, and scientists are warning it could spread to wild fish coming in close proximity to marine pens.
Columbia University researchers said the disease — heart and skeletal muscle inflammation — was first detected in salmon on a farm in Norway in 1999. It has been reported in 417 fish farms in Norway and in some farms in the United Kingdom.
A team of researchers led by Dr. Ian Lipkin of Columbia University, said in a statement that the disease may be caused by a previously unknown virus that could spread to wild salmon populations. The researchers said there is no evidence the disease could spread to people.
Norwegian researchers are trying to develop a vaccine to protect farm-raised salmon from the illness.
A study on heart and skeletal muscle inflammation is published in the Public Library of Science’s journal One.