China / Society

Another panda dies from virus in NW China

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-01-05 22:06

Another panda dies from virus in NW China

A photo taken on February 23, 2006 depicts a veterinarian from Wuhan Zoo vaccinating a panda against canine distemper. [Photo/CFP]

XI'AN -- Another giant panda has died after contracting a measle-like virus, bringing the panda death toll from the disease to two in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, local authorities confirmed on Monday.

The panda, eight-year-old Da Bao, developed a twitch after being infected with canine distemper virus (CDV), a viral disease that affects a wide variety of animals including dogs, primates and large cats, on December 24 of last year. Da Bao died on Sunday afternoon from heart failure and lung edema.

The first panda, eight-year-old Cheng Cheng, died on December 9, 2014.

Another two pandas are ill, with one in critical condition.

More than 30 experts from across China are caring for the pandas.

Four other pandas showed fever symptoms and were quarantined for further diagnosis.

Canine distemper is a viral disease that affects the gastrointestinal and respiratory tract, as well as the spinal cord and the brain. The infected animals usually have symptoms including high fever, eye inflammation, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. It is highly contagious with a high fatality rate and commonly spread through contact with infected body fluids or contaminated food and water.

Prior to the epidemic, the wildlife rescue, breeding and research center of Shaanxi was home to 25 giant pandas. After the outbreak, the center sent its healthy pandas to nature reserves elsewhere in the province.

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