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Posts Tagged ‘bottlenose dolphins’

Ebola of the Sea? Dolphins Still Dying Off Coast

Friday, November 14th, 2014

By: Lindsay McNamara, Communications Coordinator


A live bottlenose dolphin on Tobay Beach in Nassau County, New York. (Photo Credit: APP/Riverhead Foundation for Research and Preservation)

Bottlenose Dolphins, their numbers impacted last year from a nasty virus that rivals the death rate of Ebola in West Africa, are still dying, researchers have found.

The outbreak of morbillivirus, a measles-like virus that causes pneumonia, skin lesions and brain infections, has killed roughly twice as many bottlenose dolphins as the last big outbreak in 1987-88. In New Jersey, 151 bottlenose dolphins died last year — nearly 10 times this year’s toll so far, according to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine.

Morbillivirus is highly contagious. It’s spread through respiration (via blowholes) and direct contact. Experts think the virus may also be spread through skin contact.

Asbury Park Press Reporter Todd B. Bates explores the unusual mortality event:

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Lindsay McNamara is the Communications Coordinator for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey.