Measles-Like Virus Now Infecting Whales after Killing Dolphins
It has been revealed that a measles-like virus has not only become a serious threat for dolphins, but whales too. It all started with bottlenose dolphin die-off in July. Now, it has been slowly travelling to south with migrating Atlantic herds. As a result, diseased and dead dolphins are turning up in Florida. The virus has already killed 753 victims and is still contributing to the death toll.
NOAA researchers recently revealed that the virus was also spotted in two species of whales. The virus claimed lives of three humpbacks and two pygmy whales after stranding them.
Teri Rowles, of the NOAA Fishers Marine Mammal Stranding Response Program, told to reporters that they are trying to figure out if the virus was attributable to those deaths. He also expressed his woes over detecting the virus because of much decomposed dead bodies.
Rowles said the virus can be contracted by resident Florida bottlenose herds because of close contacts or shared air. Rowels added, "Currently there is nothing that can be done to prevent the infection spreading, or prevent animals that get infected from having severe clinical disease". No vaccine has been developed as of now that can be used to better the plight of large bottlenose dolphin population.
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