Once it flew, but now it swims...
According to the Center for Infection & Immunity (CII) at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health a new avian influenza virus has developed in aquatic mammals and was responsible for an outbreak of fatal pneumonia that recently struck harbor seals in New England..
Read more at: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2012-07-avian-flu-virus-birds-mammals.html#jCp
“Wildlife officials first became concerned in September 2011, when seals with severe pneumonia and skin lesions suddenly appeared along the coastline from southern Maine to northern Massachusetts. Most were infants (less than 6 months), and a total of 162 dead or moribund seals were recovered over the next 3 months.”
"Our findings reinforce the importance of wildlife surveillance in predicting and preventing pandemics, says W. Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity and John Snow Professor of Epidemiology, at the Mailman School of Public Health. "HIV/AIDS, SARS, West Nile, Nipah and influenza are all examples of emerging infectious diseases that originated in animals. Any outbreak of disease in domestic animals or wildlife, while an immediate threat to wildlife conservation, must also be considered potentially hazardous to humans."