WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Federal Officials Say Virus To Blame For Dolphin Deaths

Play associated audio
Dolphins are a common sight all along the East Coast, but hundreds have been found dead this year.
Chuck Allen: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7475921@N05/2723537458/
Dolphins are a common sight all along the East Coast, but hundreds have been found dead this year.

Federal officials say they know what's killing hundreds of bottlenose dolphins that have washed ashore along the coast of Virginia.

More than 300 dolphins, most dead or near death, have been found on the shore between New York and North Carolina since July. One-hundred seventy-four of those off the coast of Virginia alone—nine times the historic average for this region during July and August.

Now scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say they've identified the disease as Morbillivirus. The viral infection is spread through inhalation or direct contact between dolphins. NOAA's Dr. Terry Roll explains Morbillivirus is common amongst a broad range of mammals, including people.

"Humans have their own Morbillivirus which is measles, and you probably read about the outbreak in Texas, but this virus has never been shown to be infected to people and it is unlikely that it would ever happen," he says.

The scientists say right now there s nothing they can do to stop the virus. They expect the deaths could spread southward and last through spring 2014.

NPR

'The Innocent Have Nothing To Fear' Echoes Real-Life Republican Race

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Stuart Stevens, a former strategist for Mitt Romney, whose new novel, The Innocent Have Nothing to Fear, tells the story of a neck-and-neck Republican primary campaign that ends up at a brokered convention.
WAMU 88.5

How History Influences Diets In D.C. And Around The World

Kojo and chef Pati Jinich look at how history -- and famous names like El Chico, Azteca and even Fritos -- shaped modern Mexican-American cooking in the Washington region and beyond.

WAMU 88.5

Implications Of The Supreme Court's Immigration Ruling

Many undocumented immigrants are living in fear after a Supreme Court ruling effectively barred deferred deportation for 4 million people. What the ruling means for families across the country and how immigration policy is playing out in 2016 election politics.

NPR

Click For Fewer Calories: Health Labels May Change Online Ordering Habits

Will it be a hamburger or hummus wrap for lunch? When customers saw indications of a meal's calorie content posted online, they put fewer calories in their cart, a study finds.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.