Researchers have discovered a previously unknown parasite while looking into the mass death of Asian oysters in local waters.
The parasite doesn't have a name and doesn't pose a health risk to humans. It's thought to be an interloper with its closest genetic relative a Bonamia parasite found in the Southern Hemisphere.
Researchers discovered the parasite after Asian oysters were found dead in Bogue Sound and more recently in Hewletts Creek in New Hanover County.
Researchers are especially worried about the possibility of finding the parasite in native Eastern oysters, a key component of the state's oyster fishery and a proposed hatchery program.
Troy Alphin with the University of North Carolina Wilmington says they're trying to answer many unknowns about the parasite.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.