Drake's Bay Oyster Co. owner Kevin Lunny holds a Pacific oyster. Photo: Eric Risberg/AP

A strain of herpes is threatening Pacific oysters worldwide, according to Smithsonian Magazine.

  • Humans cannot contract the virus, Ostreid herpesvirus 1 (OsHV-1) from eating the oysters, but it can be transferred to other bivalve species.
  • An outbreak of OsHV-1 began in France in 2008, and has spread to England (where it killed over 8 million oysters in 2010), New Zealand and Australia. It was detected in Tomales Bay, California, but has not yet spread in U.S. waters.
  • Oysters cannot be vaccinated. Instead, "disease-resistant oyster lines" are being bred in places the virus already exists and researchers are trying to identify any genes involved in resistance to the virus, writes University of Maryland, Baltimore County professor Colleen Burge.

Why it matters: Oysters are a multi-billion-dollar industry. Aside from being high in demand for eating, they filter sea water and oyster reefs are home to numerous species.

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Updated 18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 p.m. ET: 20,412,501 — Total deaths: 744,649— Total recoveries: 12,629,465Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 p.m. ET: 5,163,509 — Total deaths: 164,994 — Total recoveries: 1,714,960 — Total tests: 63,252,257Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi on state of coronavirus stimulus talks: "It's a chasm"
  4. Business: U.S. already feeling effects of ending unemployment benefits.
  5. Public health: America is flying blind on its coronavirus response.
  6. Education: Gallup: America's confidence in public school system jumps to highest level since 2004.

Pelosi on state of coronavirus stimulus talks: "It's a chasm"

Democrats and the Trump administration remain "miles apart" on negotiations over a coronavirus stimulus deal, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Wednesday.

Driving the news, via Axios' Dion Rabouin: Congress' failure to renew enhanced unemployment measures for millions of Americans at the end of July is already affecting consumer spending patterns, holding down retail purchases and foot traffic, economists at Deutsche Bank say.

3 hours ago - World

U.S. threatens to veto UN peacekeeping in Lebanon over Hezbollah concerns

Peacekeepers with Lebanese troops in southern Lebanon. Photo: Jalaa Marey/AFP via Getty

The Trump administration is threatening to veto a resolution to extend the UN's long-standing peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon if its mandate isn't changed, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: The U.S. is the main funder of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which has an annual budget of $250 million. The veto threat is a tactical move, and part of a broader effort to put pressure on Iran and its proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah.