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Federal Officials Say Virus To Blame For Dolphin Deaths

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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.

WAMU 88.5

The Music And Legacy Of Motown

Motown founder Berry Gordy and director Charles Randolph-Wright of “Motown the Musical" join Diane for a conversation about the history of Detroit's famous sound.


New York City To Require Sodium Warnings On Restaurant Menus

New York City has implemented a new rule requiring chain restaurants to put sodium warnings on their menus. Menu items that contain lots of salt will be marked with an icon of a salt shaker.
WAMU 88.5

Chicago Police Chief Firing And Efforts To Boost Public Trust Of Police Nationwide

Chicago's mayor fires the city's police chief amid protests over the response to the police killing of a black teenager. An update on efforts to boost public trust in police forces across the country.

WAMU 88.5

Computer Guys And Gal

Another year is coming to a close and the Computer Guys And Gal are here to discuss this year's biggest technology news, including the growth of virtual reality and the "Internet of Things."

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