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Virus kills over 1,000 bottlenose dolphins along US east coast

Published on Dec 24, 2013 6:45 AM

ORLANDO (REUTERS) - More than 1,000 migratory bottlenose dolphins have died from a measles-like virus along the US Eastern Seaboard in 2013 and the epidemic shows no sign of abating, a marine biologist said on Monday, Dec 23, 2013.

The death toll exceeds the 740 dolphins killed during the last big outbreak of the then-unknown virus from 1987 to 1988.

"It is having a significant impact and that is something we're monitoring closely," said Ms Erin Fougeres, a marine mammal biologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

An estimated 39,206 bottlenose dolphins populated the eastern seaboard, to a depth of 7.6m, from New Jersey to Central Florida in 2010, according to the latest NOAA census.

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