Science

Fatal mysterious infection destroying Florida’s corals

The threat to coral reefs is already known as this beautiful biodiversity of the Earth is gradually found to be dying out. At this point where scientists all around the world are striving to protect the coral reefs, the research team of Florida has discovered a strange new disease that is proving fatal for this ecosystem. This coral disease is reportedly a bacterial infection (yet to be identified), which is killing the 3rd biggest coral reef in the world, the Florida coral reef. As said by the researchers near about half of the coral species in the coral reef of Florida tend to be vulnerable to this disease.

Erinn Muller, who is the Science Director at the Mote Marine Lab’s Center for Coral Reef Research and Restoration at Florida, said that when the coral reefs get affected by the disease, their tissues slough off their skeleton. He further added that when a coral gets infected, it tends to kill the whole coral reef probably within a few weeks and that does not stop.

This coral reef stretched up to three hundred sixty miles, is an essential marine life which acts as a source of food for various sea creatures. This reef along the Atlantic Coast of the state is full of nutrients and beauty. The risks to coral reefs are increasing over the past decades and the researchers are in a hurry to seek the cure. The diseases infecting coral reefs are said to originate from pathogens which develop easily due to pollution and increasing temperature of oceans.  The Florida Department of Environmental Protection reportedly said that the growing overlay of corals from the north Pompano Beach in Broward County to the south Biscayne National Park is transforming into “watery graveyards.”

After studying the coral reefs thoroughly, the researcher William Precht witnessed that the infection was slowly circulating to all the corals. He revealed that the disease was seen to affect the star coral and brain coral more severely. William Precht said in a statement, “This is essentially equivalent to a local extinction, an ecological extirpation of these species locally.” He further added that when people go out for swimming on the Miami-Dade County coral reefs at the present day, they would get a narrow opportunity of seeing some 3 or 4 coral species that are dying off soon.

Muller said that the scientists at the Mote Marine Lab are trying hard to save the corals from this deadly disease. They are looking out at a wide range of medicines that could cure the corals. From the Chlorine-Laced Epoxy (an antiseptic) to the antibiotics, the scientists are trying on every possible thing.

About the author

Shivangi Sharma

Shivangi Sharma is a budding journalist who intends to build a bright career in the media industry. She is a health freak who loves to cover the latest news on health studies, besides science behind them.

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