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Zoo elephant still being treated for herpes virus

A young elephant that tested positive for the elephant herpes virus is still undergoing treatment at the Oklahoma City Zoo.

Achara, who was born in December 2014, tested positive for EEHV1A Friday. That particular strain can be life threatening. EEHV1A claimed the life of another zoo elephant, Malee, in October.

"Treatments and around the clock monitoring will continue until her virus levels decline. Her virus level remains elevated, but Achara’s behavior and activity level are normal and she continues to show no clinical signs of illness, which are all positive signs. The EEHV virus was detected last week in Achara through routine testing. Since it was the first time she tested positive for this particular strain, the animal and veterinary teams took no risks and began administering antiviral treatments on Friday," the zoo said in a statement Thursday.

Achara tested positive for another strain of the virus in April. The level of virus in her blood gradually decreased over a several week period, zoo veterinarian Jennifer D'Agostino said.

There are eight known strains of the virus.


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Matt Patterson

Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun.... Read more ›