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Second fish virus hits state

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outdoors River Falls, 54022

River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

A second virus is sickening a growing number of fish in Wisconsin, but not as many as VHS a year ago.

The Department of Natural Resources says the new virus causes lympho-sarcoma in certain species, including muskies and northern pike.

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Like VHS, the disease poses no threat to humans.

Sue Marcquenski, fish health expert, says the condition most likely spreads during spawning and other instances of fish-to-fish contact.

Symptoms include cancerous sores on the skin and muscles.

Recently, the DNR found that a northern caught near Sturgeon Bay had lympho-sarcoma, and not VHS as originally feared.

The disease has been around for awhile, but experts say it's being reported more often, perhaps because of concern over VHS.

Officials say anglers can help stop the spread of lympho-sarcoma by cleaning their fishing equipment when they leave a lake, and not move fish between bodies of water.

Both are already illegal where VHS has been found.

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