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Sun Dec 14, 2014, 10:49 AM


Virus killing dolphins along East Coast confirmed in Keys - Not BP!

Virus killing dolphins along East Coast confirmed in Keys

Published: December 13, 2014

BIG PINE KEY – Scientists say a virus that has killed Atlantic bottlenose dolphins along the East Coast has reached the Florida Keys.

The remains of a dolphin that died Nov. 7 after stranding in Bahia Honda State Park have tested positive for morbillivirus. It’s a measles-like disease that is highly contagious among sea mammals.

The virus has killed over 1,560 dolphins from New York to central Florida since July 2013. Laura Engleby of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration tells The Miami Herald that with the confirmation of morbillivirus in the Keys, Florida’s Gulf coast is now considered a “surveillance area” for the outbreak.

In 1990, the virus killed 290 dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico. Scientists say it possibly was the same strain that killed 742 dolphins on the East Coast in 1987 and 1988.

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