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Oyster herpes killing scores of bivalves around the world

Updated: Jun 21, 2018

The virus can’t be transmitted to humans but has a nearly 100% mortality rate among Pacific oysters. Ostreid herpesvirus-1 microvariant, which is also called Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS), has been known to wipe out 10 million mollusks in three days and poses a threat to the global oyster industry, according to a report.

A mutated form of oyster herpes is leaving the industry shell-shocked.

Ostreid herpesvirus-1 microvariant has killed millions of mollusks in Europe and Australia and continues to jeopardize the $4.1 billion oyster industry, according to Bloomberg News.

The virus, which has been dubbed Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS), does not pose a threat to humans — you can’t get it from enjoying a few oysters during happy hour.

However, scientists report a nearly 100% mortality rate among Pacific oysters, according to the Australian government. At one point, it killed 10 million oysters over three days, Bloomberg reported.

“POMS represents a current and significant threat to the Pacific Oyster industry of (New South Wales), causing stock mortality of farmed oysters and loss of income in estuaries where it has been confirmed,” the NSW Biosecurity policy reads.

Oyster herpes has been around for years but it took a drastic turn in France in 2008, when it wiped out scores of baby mollusks.

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