Vet investigates eastern Illinois turtle illness

2013-08-20T20:00:00Z Vet investigates eastern Illinois turtle illness The Southern
August 20, 2013 8:00 pm

DANVILLE, Ill. (AP) — A wildlife veterinarian from the University of Illinois is worried about an outbreak of a fatal virus among turtles near Kickapoo State Park in eastern Illinois.

Matt Allender has found several dead turtles this month in Vermilion County that tested positive for ranavirus. The county is on the Illinois-Indiana state line.

Allender told The News-Gazette in Champaign on Monday that the presence of the illness is a source of concern. He says ranavirus can kill almost any kind of amphibian.

He isn't sure yet why the outbreak began or how widespread it is. Allender said it could be a naturally occurring event or it's possible that an animal carrying the illness such as a pet turtle or frog was released in the area.

Ranavirus doesn't affect people.

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