NRS virus outbreak widens

Norwegian Food Safety Authority tests have confirmed that Norwegian Royal Salmon has a larger outbreak of ISA virus than could be confirmed a days ago, when three of its north Norwegian grow-outs were thought to be in danger.

Analysis suggested the virus present at Lille Kvalfjord is not of the HPRO-type, officials said, although this only added to the suspicion the virus was present and had spread.

On November 21st, NRS said it feared 1.4 million fish of about 3 kilograms were at risk of  exposure to salmon anemia, or ISA, at three sites near Alta. Late Thursday night health officials made it clear all three neighbouring facilities — Pollen, Lille Kvalfjord and Store Kvalfjord — are within 10 kilometres of each other and could have the virus.

On Nov. 20th, health authorities could only confirm an outbreak at Store Kvalfjord and they were suspicious of one at Pollen. On Thursday Lille Kvalfjord was added to the list of possible sick fish groups in grow-out. All three sites are run by NRS Finnmark.

Tests at Pollen and Lille Kvalfjord have been carried out, but it’ll be a few days before the full health status of all three sites is known. In the meantime, no fish transports are allowed. Whenever the virus is confirmed at a site, its pens are “emptied”, although the illness is not a threat to humans.


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