Latest News

A review of vaccine efforts against SARS-CoV-2
The Journal of Virology published a review by Moore and Klasse that summarizes the herculean efforts...
Read more
What does being immune to an infectious disease mean?
There is a ton of talk, justifiably so, about developing immunity to SARS-CoV-2, and whether is it long-lasting?...
Read more
Latest News on COVID-19
Hydroxychloroquine The NIH halted trials of hydroxychloroquine. While the drug did not show significant...
Read more
A chapter on COVID-19
In one of the microbiology courses that I teach, my students will be learning about SARS-CoV-2 (the virus...
Read more
COVID-19
All of humanity is rightfully concerned about the coronavirus pandemic that is sweeping the globe. Popular...
Read more
News

News

A measleslike virus is responsible for the recent Dolphin die-off

Created by paustian on Sep 6, 2013, 9:21 AM

 

Over 300 dolphins have washed up along the eastern coast of the U.S. since July 1st of this year. Scientists at the NOAA declared a Unusual Mortality Event, allowing them to use fund and perform an extensive investigation of the cause. A combination of classic of tissue investigation along with molecular techniques  that assayed for the presence of the virus, revealed the cause to be a Morbillivirus. The Morbillivirus family includes viruses such as measles, that infects humans, and distemper, that infects dogs. The dolphin virus poses no threat to humans.

A similar outbreak in 1987 killed more 700 dolphins. This recent outbreak was probably caused by a large enough population of young, susceptible dolphins being being to now sustain another epidemic of the disease. The virus is likely to continue to cause illness until the population of susceptible individuals declines, either by them gaining immunity to the virus or dying.