The increase of Alaska walruses and seals suffering from a mysterious, lesion-causing illness has not yet been understood, but there is some potentially helpful news from East Coast researchers.
KNOM reports, H3N8 has been fingered as the responsible party for more than 160 East Coast harbor seal deaths between September and December of last year. The seals in New England, like the ones in Alaska, displayed strange skin lesions and symptoms of severe pneumonia. However, H3N8 is not the virus causing Alaska's pinnipeds and their cousins to become sick, according to state biologists. The jury is still out on what exactly is.