As of August 26, 333 dolphins have washed up dead or dying on beaches from New York to North Carolina. These deaths are likely due to a disease outbreak called cetacean morbillivirus, NMFS announced on August 27, 2013. Cetacean morbillivirus is in the same family as the virus that causes measles in people. But this group of viruses tends not to jump from species to species. Even so, NMFS officials are warning the public not to approach stranded dolphins as they could have secondary bacterial or fungal infections that could pose a risk to people, especially those with open wounds.
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