Reuters
WASHINGTON
Scientists investigating a huge die-off of starfish along North America's Pacific coast have identified a virus they say is responsible for a calamitous wasting disease that has wiped out millions of the creatures since it first appeared last year.
The scientists said on Monday they identified the pathogen as the Sea Star Associated Densovirus, or SSaDV, after ruling out other possible culprits including certain bacteria, protozoans and fungi.
More than 20 species of starfish , also called sea stars, from southern Alaska to Baja California are dying from a wasting disease that causes white lesions to appear before the animal's body sags, ruptures and spills out its internal organs.