A virus that has killed thousands of seals
in Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden appears to be spreading more
slowly than expected in Germany, authorities said Wednesday.
Some 100 seals have been found dead on Germany's North Sea coast
since mid-July but health authorities in the state of Lower Saxony
said the mortality rate appeared to be about normal.
Seven of the 95 animals found showed clear symptoms of the virus
and tests were being carried out on four other carcasses, they
The state food safety office said the epidemic was spreading
much slower than the last epidemic in 1988, which destroyed
two-thirds of the North Sea's 25,000-strong seal population.
The disease causes a fatal inflammation of the animals' lungs.
The latest outbreak was discovered in Denmark on May 30 and has
killed around 2,500 seals.