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New deadly disease sweeps across Germany from Asia

by LLB Reporter
23rd Apr 20 3:33 pm

A deadly new disease from Asia dubbed the salamander plague is sweeping across Germany which has similarities to coronavirus.

The new deadly pathogen has emerged in Ruhr district, North Rhine-Westphalia which threatens certain types of animals.

According to German Press Agency DPA, the new disease is a skin fungus Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, more commonly known as Bsal.

The fungus is dangerous for fire salamanders and is dubbed the “salamander plague” by experts, which is rapidly spreading through the Ruhr district.

Dortmund animal welfare expert Hans-Dieter Otterbein, from the nature conservation organisation Agard, said it is believed the disease entered Europe through the importation of Asian salamanders.

The expert warned there is a connection to coronavirus and noticed the skin fungus appears mainly in densely populated areas.

Ne noted the difference between coronavirus and Bsal, which infects with fungal spores, and has called for the chain of infection to be broken quickly.

Otterbein has called on hikers, anglers, cyclists, and foresters or anyone walking through rural areas to disinfect their footwear and equipment, should they come into contact with the ground.

He has advised pet owners to keep them on leads as the spores can be spread by dogs.

Otterbein added, “It must be assumed that the fire salamanders often die unnoticed by us, for example during winter, and therefore a decline caused by Bsal happened undetected.”

The pathogen has spread across parts of Germany, currently there is no danger to humans.

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