New strain can kill 80 percent of an oyster bed in a week, experts say. Don’t worry — oyster herpes isn’t a new side effect of eating “the food of love.”
The incurable, deadly virus is, however, alarming fishing communities in Europe, where oyster herpes seems to be spreading — and could go on spreading as seas continue to warm, experts say.
In July lab testing of farmed oysters detected the first known United Kingdom cases of herpes in the shellfish. The virus has already killed between 20 to 100 percent of breeding Pacific oysters in some French beds in 2008, 2009, and 2010, according to the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea.
Read More: National Geographic News