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Similar symptoms found in dead New England seals

October 24, 2011

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PORTSMOUTH, N.H.—Researchers investigating a rash of seal deaths along the New England coast say they have noticed similar symptoms among the dead mammals but still don't know what is causing the deaths.

Maggie Mooney-Seus, a public affairs official for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Northeast Region, said Monday that the seals collected over the last few weeks have all had pneumonia and lesions on their fins and bellies.

But she says it's unclear what those similarities could mean. Mooney-Seus told the Portsmouth Herald ( that the results of tests conducted on blood and tissue samples and the contents of the seals' stomachs may not be available for several more weeks.

At least 94 dead harbor seals have been found on beaches in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts since September.