2 more dead dolphins wash ashore in Volusia County

Beach Patrol says 6 have washed ashore in last week

By Michelle Dendy - Web Editor
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VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - Two more dead dolphins washed ashore in Volusia County on Tuesday morning, marking six in the last week.

The first dolphin on Tuesday washed ashore at 6:30 a.m. at Ponce Inlet and the second was discovered at around 7:45 a.m. in Daytona Beach, according to Volusia County Beach Patrol.

No other details about the dolphins were immediately available.

According to environmentalists, a virus is going through the dolphins and since they are migrating south, Beach Patrol officials say more cases of dead dolphins are expected.

Since Nov. 7, 2013, Volusia County has had seven cases, officials said.

Last week, officials told Local 6 that a veterinarian was testing the dolphins for morbillivirus, an epidemic that has killed more than 800 dolphins all along the East Coast since June.

Officials said the outbreak began July 1 off New York and has since moved south.  Ninety-three percent of the more than 800 deaths were attributed to morbillivirus, official said.

In Florida, the deaths were tracked back to October 21 in Jacksonville.  In Central Florida, five dead dolphins have shown signs of the virus but only one animal has been confirmed to have the virus.

Officials said the virus cannot be stopped and dolphins cannot be vaccinated.  They urged, however, that no one touch a stranded dolphin because other infections dolphins with the virus are prone to can be transferred to humans. 

There was a similar outbreak from June 1987 to May 1988 in which 750 dolphins were killed. That was the first known outbreak of morbillivirus.

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