Sabato, 20 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Dolphin deaths linked to measles virus epidemic

English
© ANSA

Rome, April 19 - A rash of deaths among dolphins
washed up on Italy's shores from the Tyrrhenian sea since the
beginning of the year is being attributed to a possible outbreak
of Morbillivirus, the virus that causes measles in humans,
scientists said on Friday.
Between 30% to 40% of the dolphin carcasses analyzed
tested positive for the virus, which scientists believe created
a gateway for other illnesses among the animals.
"The mortality rate that now appears to have abruptly
dropped means that the outbreak could have run its course," a
report by the National Institute of Marine Scientists said.
The epidemic mostly affects young dolphins under the age
of 15-20 years.
"Animals born after the 1990-92 epidemic are therefore
devoid of the antibodies needed to defend them against the
disease," according to scientists.

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