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Dolphin deaths in Alabama, Mississippi may be caused by measles-related illness

March 2, 2011 Comments off

http://blog.al.com/live/2011/03/dead_dolphins_measles_related.html

dead-dolphin-map.jpg

MOBILE, Ala. — With six new dolphin carcasses discovered in Mississippi and Alabama since Saturday, a review of the scientific literature associated with similar mass die-offs of marine mammals around the world suggests a common culprit: a morbillivirus.

In the same family as the viruses that cause measles in humans and canine distemper in dogs, there are well-documented outbreaks of fatal morbillivirus infections in dolphins, whales and seals around the world since the 1980s.

Jerry Saliki, a University of Georgia researcher and veterinarian who has published a number of scientific papers on morbillivirus infections in dolphins, said the virus could be responsible for the current mass die off.

“It is certainly possible. In the past, there have been significant die offs in the Gulf with dolphins that were attributed to morbillivirus,” Saliki said Monday. “But, there are Read more…