The plague abates?

As of today, I am cautiously optimistic that the Pisaster wasting disease I’ve been dealing with for the past couple of weeks has run its course. There has been quite a cost, however, as a mortality rate of 90% leaves me with one lonely star remaining.

The sole survivor of an outbreak of Pisaster wasting disease. Photo credit:  Allison J. Gong 2013

The sole survivor of an outbreak of Pisaster wasting disease.
© 2013 Allison J. Gong

This lone survivor reminds me of Brother John Clyn, a Franciscan monk and chronicler in Ireland who recorded the deaths of his fellow brothers during the Black Death in the 14th century and may have been the only inhabitant of his monastery not to die of the plague. It remains to be seen whether or not my star eventually succumbs and starts wasting away. But given how quickly all the other Pisasters were affected and killed, I think it’s a good sign that this individual isn’t sick already.

In the meantime, the quarantined Patiria miniata (bat stars) and Dermasterias imbricata (leather star) remain apparently unaffected. Keep your fingers crossed!

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2 Responses to The plague abates?

  1. Ralph Wolf says:

    Scuba divers have recently noticed the same thing happening at several sites in the Monterey Bay affecting Sunflower Stars. It’s quite dramatic out there….

    See the conversations at http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ba_diving/conversations/topics

  2. algong says:

    I’ve also heard first-hand accounts of wasting disease in stars at the Santa Cruz wharf and at Hopkins. It is definitely out in the field, too.

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