Ailing St. Louis Zoo elephant recovering

Feb. 23, 2009 at 12:56 PM
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ST. LOUIS, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- A St. Louis Zoo official said Monday that Jade the elephant appears to be responding positively to medication for a herpes virus strain.

Zoo Curator of Mammals Martha Fischer said in a news release that the ailing elephant, which has been diagnosed with Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus, appears to be recovering from the potentially deadly disease.

"We are beginning to see some changes in Jade's laboratory results that suggest for the first time that she is not just holding her own against this illness but may be making some progress in overcoming it," Fischer said.

Fischer also said Maliha the elephant, which also tested positive for the herpes strain, has yet to show any clinical signs of the disease.

The curator also praised those scientists working to find a potential cure for the virus.

"A whole lot of very good people have been pouring their heart and soul into studying this virus and trying to unravel its mysteries," Fischer said. "We have been so fortunate to have so many talented and dedicated scientists to draw upon for advice on Jade and Maliha's care."

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