Largemouth bass virus re-emerges in downstate lake

Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials are reporting that, after a 15-year hiatus, largemouth bass virus has re-emerged in a new northern Lower Peninsula water. This virus has been confirmed as a factor in a fish kill in Cedar Lake in Alcona and Iosco counties, Michigan, with additional lakes in the area being examined. This virus previously affected adult largemouth bass in the early 2000s in southern Michigan lakes.

Largemouth bass virus is one of more than 100 naturally occurring viruses that affect fish and is closely related to viruses found in frogs and other amphibians. Its origin and how it is spread are unknown, but anglers are considered a likely path for transmitting the virus through the movement of live, infected fish from one water to another, or by using contaminated and uncleaned gear or boats in uninfected waters. The virus is not known to infect humans, and infected fish are safe to eat – as long as the fish is thoroughly cooked DNR officials said in a release.

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