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UVI Researchers ID Virus as Possible Cause of White Plague Coral Disease; Papers Garner National Attention

The Virgin Islands are known as a hot spot for tourism – snorkeling, diving, deep sea fishing, sailing and cruise ship visits. Unfortunately, say researchers at the University of the Virgin Islands, the territory is also a hotspot for coral disease. They have turned their attention to a specific threat to the territory’s coral reefs, known as white plague, which is one of the more abundant diseases killing coral here. Recent investigations of the causes of severe coral diseases in Virgin Islands waters, led by Dr. Marilyn Brandt of UVI’s Center for Marine and Environmental Studies, have identified viruses as a potential coral pathogen. A news release is available from the Media Section of the UVI website – http://www.uvi.edu – and from this direct link.