Federal Officials Say Virus To Blame For Dolphin Deaths | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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

Weekend Musher Finds Dogs Keep Her Hanging On

Julia Bayly of Fort Kent, Maine, works as a reporter at the Bangor Daily News. Her passion outside of work is dog sledding. It's the latest installment in our hobby series "Alter Egos."
NPR

When Zero Doesn't Mean Zero: Trans Fats Linger In Food

One in 10 packaged foods still contains trans fats, according to a new study. The problematic oils give foods a rich taste and texture and extend shelf life, but have been linked to heart disease.
NPR

Rep. Ryan Calls For 'Culture Of Inclusion' To Tackle Poverty

Congressman and former Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan discusses his new book, The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea.
NPR

New Amazon Series Pilots Fall Short Of A TV Revolution

NPR TV critic Eric Deggans ranks Amazon's new batch of five series pilots, asking why none of them seem break the rules of TV quite enough to draw attention.

Leave a Comment

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