Captive whales susceptible to mosquito-borne illnesses

05/29/2013 | ScienceMag.org

At least two captive orcas were infected with mosquito-borne illnesses, according to recently published research. One had a mosquito-transmitted encephalitis while the other contracted West Nile virus, according to the paper. Researchers observed captive orcas over thousands of hours, noting that their close proximity to the surface exposes them to mosquitoes. Additionally, sunburn and broken teeth may weaken their immune systems, making them more susceptible to infection, according to the researchers.

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