Record number of dolphins dying off East Coast in ‘measles’ outbreak

November 9, 2013 OCEANThe deadliest known outbreak of a measles-like virus in bottlenose dolphins has killed a record number of the marine mammals along the U.S. Atlantic coast in recent months, officials said Friday. A total of 753 bottlenose dolphins have washed up from New York to Florida from July 1 until Nov. 3, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The figure represents a 10-fold increase in the number of dolphins that would typically turn up dead along East Coast beaches, said Teri Rowles, program coordinator of the NOAA Fisheries Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program. “Historic averages for this same time frame, same geographic area, is only 74, so you get an idea of the scope,” she told reporters. The cause of death is morbillivirus, a form of marine mammal measles that is similar to canine distemper and can cause pneumonia, suppressed immune function and brain infections that are usually fatal. The virus spreads among dolphins in close contact to one another. The death toll is also higher than the 740-plus strandings in the last major Atlantic morbillivirus outbreak in 1987-1988. And they have come in a much shorter time period, leading officials to anticipate this event could get much worse. “It is expected that the confirmed mortalities will be higher,” said Rowles.  “If this plays out similar to the ’87-88 die-offs, we are less than halfway through that time frame.”
Rowles said efforts are underway to try to determine if the virus might have been introduced into wild bottlenose dolphins from another species, like humpback whales or pygmy sperm whales. “There are still a lot of unanswered questions about that,” she told reporters. Among bottlenose dolphins, immunity to the virus has been decreasing, particularly in the younger animals as time has gone by since the last outbreak 25 years ago. “So we know we had a susceptible population, but just being susceptible alone is not how the outbreaks go,” she said. “We are trying to understand where this virus came from and how it got into the population in which it is now circulating.” In the meantime, the process of dealing with all the dead carcasses has been “overwhelming,” particularly for local recovery teams, Rowles said. The Virginia Aquarium alone has had to pick up and do necropsies on 333 animals in the space of just a few months, said Ann Pabst, co-director of the University of North Carolina Marine Mammal Stranding Program. Five percent of the dolphins have been found alive on the beaches, but died soon after, NOAA said. The virus has appeared to infect dolphins of all ages, from young to old. But since the number of dolphins washing up on shore may not represent all of the creatures that are dying, it is difficult to estimate what proportion of the population is sick. And without a way to vaccinate the wild population, there is little that officials can do but collect the carcasses and continue to study them. While NOAA hasn’t determined a cause for the deaths, other scientists have speculated that mass die-offs like this one are becoming increasingly common as climate change causes water to warm, and human-produced pollution weakens dolphins’ immune systems. –Al Jazeera
This entry was posted in Acquatic Ecosystem crash, Black Swan Event, Disease outbreak, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Environmental Threat, Food chain unraveling, High-risk potential hazard zone, Marine animal strandings, Mass animal deaths, New virus reported, Pestilence Watch, Prophecies referenced, Time - Event Acceleration. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Record number of dolphins dying off East Coast in ‘measles’ outbreak

  1. sewhite333 says:

    Even if they prove that the dolphins all died of a measles virus, it won’t let TEPCO or the nuclear industry off the hook for the mass extinction events that are now occurring in the Ocean. Radiation can decimate the immune system of any species, The Pacific Ocean is wasting away and we humans are also beginning to die from Fukushima’s poison. You won’t hear about it in the press, but very soon people will wake up to the horrifying truth, this is the beginning of the end of the world as we know it, we have murdered our own Mother, and she is dying a very slow and painful death.


    • M.a.d says:

      I see it and agree, it’s a Sade thing to see, and feel,


    • English says:

      This has all the symptoms of Fukushima, the immune system is compromised by radiation and plutonium and caesium, we humans are next with ignorance.


    • Gina says:

      Completely agree.


    • Deoacveritati says:

      I agree with you about the Fukushima poison leaking the Pacific Ocean and most definitely we won’t hear about this in the press.

      It is sad what is happening but the reality of the Apocalyptic is here, and the Second Angel sounded the trumpet: and as it were a great mountain, burning with fire, was cast into the sea, and the third part of the sea became blood: [9] And the third part of those creatures died, which had life in the sea, and the third part of the ships was destroyed.

      The Apocalypse Of Saint John (Revelation)
      Chapter 8:8-9


  2. tonic says:

    I was very fortunate in my life to have spent a little time with these animals. The difference between us and them is not so far apart as you might suppose.
    They revel in the joy of life. And can infuse it into you.
    Now they are washing up dead on beaches. Maybe this is as should be, just for them to build up immunity for the next generation. But it is heartbreaking to witness.


  3. gaiamethod says:

    According to SETH (channelled through Jane Roberts) mass die-offs like this are a species way of saying that their quality of life is just not good enough for them to stick around! So…with that in mind, what are we doing to ensure that these beautiful creatures enjoy the quality of life they should be enjoying? Unfortunately, people do not even look after each other and people die off in mass numbers too for the same reason as the dolphins: no quality of life! So so sad.


  4. er, i cannot like or comment on FB…? wtf? i researched this over the summer and i found that out of like 1,000 dolphins only about 3% had been diagnosed with the virus, while MOST tested positive for deafness. this is not covered at all in this article, and it should be. the sonar and ocean weapons testing MUST END but if people do not know the real impacts, how can we bring awareness?


  5. rod says:

    Corexit! Stupied Humans


  6. Seriously Why says:

    Seriously? The final comment is how “global warming” is to blame ?! PLEASE! Global warming is pure fraud and a money grab made up by power hungry globalists. The loss of these beautiful animals is tragic and likely caused on purpose to take away human rights and extract money. Agenda 21 is working toward this end today. (See the UN website if want to know the plans) Not all mankind is evil, only those who wish to control your freedom, strength and wealth.


  7. This is very sad we are really killing this planet (Earth). I also suspect from Fukushima.


  8. tonic says:

    Awareness in this generation seems almost impossible. There are so many other things to think about. The mortgage, the car, the wallpaper, the kitchen, pilates, recycling, and all other media dictated concerns, and above all else money.
    It must surely be the most stressful period of history, that people are now being forced to live through. And money lies at it’s core. The worries people have just getting by, blinds them to the reality that is happening outside of their lives, in this moment of time.
    There is little that can really be done, outside of occasional highlights the media might point to, on some subject they choose as important.
    Dolphins do not sell newspapers, nor do they sponsor any tv channel. So they carry no weight.


  9. ann says:

    How sad. I live on a river in Florida and just last Sat. was watching three dolphins playing and jumping. Beautiful, intelligent creatures. We had a small whale wash up on Clearwater Beach a few weeks ago too. It just makes a person feel so bad.


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