START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

Corals Are Dying — From Herpes?!

Corals Are Dying — From Herpes?!


Scientists have long been concerned about the decline of the world’s coral, and the fragile ecosystems that develop around them. There are a number of reasons for this decline — global warming, sewage runoff, human tampering, decline in algae populations among them — but new research is pointing to another possible culprit. And it’s one that humans are all too familiar with, the herpes virus.

A study published in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology reviews the research of Rebecca Vega-Thurber, an assistant professor of microbiology at Oregon State University (OSU). Vega-Thurber points out that, while scientists have long studied the effects of bacteria on coral reefs, viruses are a very logical culprit as well.

Her research uncovered that most of the viruses found in coral are herpes – quite similar to the ones found in humans. In a university press release, Vega-Thurber said,

“We were shocked to find that so many coral viruses were in the herpes family… But corals are one of the oldest animal life forms, evolving around 500 million years ago, and herpes is a very old family of viruses that can infect almost every kind of animal. Herpes and corals may have evolved together.”

Though the results were certainly unexpected, it has yet to be determined if the preponderance of herpes in coral is actually causing diseases. However, as Vega-Thurber notes,

“We have found that nutrient increases from pollution can cause increased levels of viral infection, as do warmer water and physical handling… Now we have to determine if those increases in infection cause actual diseases that are killing the coral.”

Vega-Thurber hopes that further research can lead to more effective ways of predicting, preventing and mitigating the disease’s affect on these crucial organisms.

8 Beautiful Endangered Plants (Slideshow)
8 of the World’s Rarest Mammals (Slideshow)
Billions of Planets Might Be Habitable

Read more: Environment, Green, Life, Nature, Nature & Wildlife, News & Issues, Pets, Wildlife, , , , ,

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.


+ add your own
9:59PM PDT on Jul 23, 2015

A great thanks to doctor aziegbe the man that work for me as a father I was having gentian herpes for 3year's I never found cure I was embarrassed every time I always have pain every time i was unhappy till i found dr aziegbe who God bring as helper to me, when I found his email on internet i was shock if it was true, seriously the man is real he ask me to choose from my choice of treatment i will need, he has the one for weeks or months for the cured he inform me about the herbs cure and the herbal treatment he will give to me the herbal treatment take about 2weeks to work which I applied for,that once i provide what he need for the preparation he will get the necessary things available for the cure and he will go on with the cure, he inform me that the cure is done at night that air freight courier service from his country will deliver the parcel to me he ask me to send my house address for the courier to take it to my door step which i immediately sent to him after 5days it was deliver to me and he instructed me on how i will go about the herbal medicine which i did after three weeks, he ask me to go and check my body in hospital for test I found out am negative thanks to doctor aziegbe you can reach him on his email now DRAZIEGBEHERBALHOMEOFSOLUTION@GMAIL.COM OR CALL HIM THROUGH HIS PHONE NUMBER +2348140581311.

4:42PM PDT on Jun 22, 2015

Good day every one i want to inform the public how i was cured of HSV 2 by a Doctor called Harrison.i visited different hospital but they gave me list of expensive drugs to treat the symptoms and never cured me. A closed friend of mine introduce me to a Herbal Doctor who cured her. I was scared to contact him because of what i experienced from fake doctors. she encouraged me and gave me his email i searched his email on net and i saw a lot of people testifying about his goodness. when i contacted him i asked him series of questions, i also ask him to show me his herbal certificate and license given to him by his Government, he gave me all the information i needed that gave me hope. He send a Herbal medicine to me that i took and it seriously worked for me. am now HSV negative. God bless you for being a sincere and great men. Am so excited, you can contact him if you have any problem Email: SACREDSPELLTEMPLE@HOTMAIL.COM.or add him on whatsapp +2348079540032. you can contact me for more information +1381-1541-3574 or email me on

2:12PM PST on Feb 18, 2013


10:15AM PDT on Jun 15, 2012

thank you...

2:48PM PDT on May 8, 2012

We need to stop polluting the oceans, and all other bodies of water.

6:14PM PDT on Apr 28, 2012

Thanks for the article.

3:35AM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

interesting article, thanks for sharing

8:51PM PDT on Apr 7, 2012

Interesting article, and I agree with Lydia P.

2:05PM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

maybe this will help to solve the problem!

1:35PM PDT on Apr 3, 2012

I doubt the decrease in the coral reefs are caused by the viruses. There are more viruses in the ocean than bacterias, and that's a lot. The fact that viruses from the Herpes family and the corals existed from a long time ago, and probably co-evolved side by side means that the corals have become 'resistant' to the viruses. The sudden death of the corals might probably be caused by another external factor.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

The "trick" is ... to start NOW, and do it every day. Way too soon, that 50th, 60th birthday may co…

They make great pets.

When both feels for it, no matter where and when :-)

Such good ideas - all mentioned make sense! Must increase hours sleeping though - being over 60 mak…


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.