Research Continues for Cause of Tumors in Sea Turtles
WESLACO – Researchers are joining an effort to figure out what's causing tumors in sea turtles.
"A number of threats out on the water as well as a new virus is bringing these sea turtles here, so that people who take care of them, can figure out what's wrong with them", explains Nina Nahvi, a technician with Sea Turtle, Inc.
The newest growing threat now is a virus that attacks from the inside, creating tumors in the green sea turtles we see along our shores.
"It can eventually lead to organ failure and death,” says Nahvi.
At Texas Healthcare Imaging in Weslaco they're trying to figure out why this virus is spreading so much.
The fibropapoloma virus is a form of herpes, also known as FP, and didn't even show up on the radar in Texas until about 10 years ago.
There is no cure.
And so far, only hints as to what's causing it.
Nahvi says data shows links to pollution and UV light.
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley has now joined the effort to decode the genetics behind the problem.
They hope to get them healthier enough to be released from captivity into the wild.
Watch the video for the full story.