Veterinarian who suggests measles-related illness may be causing ‘abortion storm’ in dolphins admits virus “is NOT known for causing infected animals to abort”


Dolphin deaths in Alabama, Mississippi may be caused by measles-related illness, Press-Register, March 1, 2011:

Jerry Saliki, a University of Georgia researcher and veterinarian who has published a number of scientific papers on morbillivirus infections in dolphins, said the virus could be responsible for the current mass die off. ...

Most of the animals discovered in Alabama and Mississippi have been stillborn or aborted calves. Saliki said morbillivirus itself is not known for causing infected animals to abort.

“But, any animal that is really sick, it might abort, even though the infection might not be the actual cause,” Saliki said. “We could be seeing something like that.”


Baby dolphin deaths focused on Ala., Miss. coasts
, Associated Press, March 1, 2011:

Whatever is killing baby bottlenose dolphins in the area hit by the BP oil spill seems to be worst along Mississippi and Alabama - one-sixth of the affected coastline. ...

Although the oil spill is still being investigated as a possible cause of the deaths, that pattern [of most dolphins being found along MS and AL coastlines, rather than Louisiana] might move it lower down the list, said Ruth Ewing, a veterinary pathologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Miami. ...

But Randall Wells, head of the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, said he couldn't say whether it shows anything at all. Sick animals can swim long distances and winds and currents can wash them ashore a long way from where they died, he said. ...

Ewing said scientists don't know what causes "abortion storms" - large numbers of stillbirths and premature births - in dolphins.

2 comments to Veterinarian who suggests measles-related illness may be causing ‘abortion storm’ in dolphins admits virus “is NOT known for causing infected animals to abort”

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