Mass mortality of harbor seals: pneumonia associated with influenza A virus

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  26 Feb 1982:
Vol. 215, Issue 4536, pp. 1129-1131
DOI: 10.1126/science.7063847


More than 400 harbor seals, most of them immature, died along the New England coast between December 1979 and October 1980 of acute pneumonia associated with influenza virus, A/Seal/Mass/1/180 (H7N7). The virus has avian characteristics, replicates principally in mammals, and causes mild respiratory disease in experimentally infected seals. Concurrent infection with a previously undescribed mycoplasma or adverse environmental conditions may have triggered the epizootic. The similarities between this epizootic and other seal mortalities in the past suggest that these events may be linked by common biological and environmental factors.

Stay Connected to Science