Authorities from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources investigated the reason for the death of hundreds of fish which were found dead in Michigan's Lake Orion in July. Koi Herpesvirus is a deadly fish disease that kills off carp and is the main reason for the death of those fish.
The incident was reported when local people found out that around 250 to 500 dead fish were floating in Lake Orion, a lake located north of Detroit. Officials from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources collected carp samples for testing. The Aquatic Animal Health Laboratory at Michigan State University also helped in the investigation.
Gary Whelan, program manager at the Michigan Fisheries research division said, "As the case with most Herpesviruses, koi Herpesvirus is very specific on which fish species it will infect and only affects common carp, koi, and goldfish."
"This is only the third detection of this non-native virus in Michigan waters, and it is known to kill large numbers of its host species at times. Koi Herpesvirus does not affect any other fish species and has no implications for any other birds, mammals, or humans." he added.
Experts from the University of Florida's Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences department said that this virus is highly contagious among fish. It is spread to fishes who are vulnerable through the skin, including gill tissue. It has the ability to kill a fish within 24 to 48 hours after being affected.
Researchers said that this virus cannot affect human beings but freshwater fish like the carp should be fully cooked before being eaten.