Tigers in India face lurking threat from virus

  1. According to a recent study,86% of the tested dogs around the Ranthambhore National Park in Rajasthan carried Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) antibodies in their bloodstream. 
  2. These findings points out that there is an increased risk of disease transfer from the dogs to tigers and leopards that live in the park. 
  3. Wildlife biologists has also raised concern that virus can be transmitted from CDV-infected dogs living in wildlife sanctuaries to tiger’s.
  4. Canine distemper is a contagious and serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of both domesticated and wild animals. However,  it is more common in pet dogs and cats.
  5. The virus is a member of the genus Morbillivirus of the family Paramyxoviridae which is the same family of viruses that cause measles, mumps and bronchiolitis in humans.
  6. The virus has also been in foxes, wolves, raccoons, red pandas, lions, tigers, leopards and other wild cats as well as seals.The disease is highly contagious via inhalation.The virus can also be transmitted by sharing food and water bowls and equipment.
  7. Further,there is no cure for canine distemper infection.The treatment typically consists of supportive care and efforts to prevent secondary infections.