Dutch seals dying from severe flu

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. Picture: WIkimedia Commons/Boyd Amanda, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Seal sanctuary Pieterburen and scientists from Erasmus University have confirmed that seal flu is now also in the Netherlands.

In September and October 10 to 15 percent of the seal population in Germany and Denmark died because of this flu. The expectation is that the H10N7 virus will cause as much damage to the seal population in the Netherlands.

In the past week 10 dead seals washed up in the Dutch Wadden area. A veterinarian from Pieterburen took monsters and scientists at the Erasmus University subsequently confirmed that all these animals were suffering from H10N7 virus.

The H10N7 virus is an influenza virus that originates from birds. The virus is not dangerous to birds, but is very dangerous for seals. There is no connection between this virus and the current outbreak of .

The virus is most probably not dangerous to humans, says virologist Ab Osterhaus. "We are working on a vaccine, but we first have to get permission to vaccinate the seals."

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