There has been a measles-like outbreak that is killing dolphins. As of August 26, it had killed 333 dolphins on the east coast, between New York and North Carolina. According to an August 27 report by NBC News, the morbillivirus is much like the viruses that cause distemper in dogs, measles in humans and rinderpest in cattle.
The was another outbreak of the measles-like virus from June 1987 and March 1988. More than 700 dolphins died during that outbreak.
It is believed that this RNA virus has been striking dolphins for millennia. The measles-like virus attacks the immune system of dolphins. This causes dolphins to be susceptible to other infections and diseases. Researchers are seeing very thin animals that have other health issues.
People who find stranded dolphins are being urged to take precautions. No one should touch the stranded dolphin or allow tier pets to approach or come in contact as well. Make sure to observe the dolphin from a safe distance of at least 100 yards. People are being asked to call the local authorities if they find a dead or stranded dolphin.