Panda death toll rises in Shaanxi after outbreak of contagious viral disease

By Cecilia Wang, January 6, 2015

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A giant panda named Dabao is confirmed yesterday to have died after contracting canine distemper virus at the Wild Animal Rescue and Research Center in Zhouzhi County, Shaanxi Province.

The death of Dabao has brought the panda death toll from the viral illness to two, after an eight-year-old panda named Chengcheng died on December 9, 2014.

Another two have been diagnosed with the disease and are under intensive care, while there are another four suspected cases.

More than 30 veterinarians from across the country have flown in to treat the sick pandas, when the 18 uninfected pandas at the center have been transferred to several different natural reserve centers throughout the province.

Canine distemper is highly contagious and serious, and there is no known cure.

According to the lasted research, there are fewer than 1,600 giant pandas in the world, with 273 in the province of Shaanxi.

[images via Ecns]

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