Mediterranean dolphins threatened by 'deadly' virus

31st August 2007, Comments 0 comments

31 August 2007, MADRID - Experts at Spain's environment ministry have appealed for help abroad to track a potentially deadly virus that threatens a species of dolphins in the Mediterranean.

31 August 2007

MADRID - Experts at Spain's environment ministry have appealed for help abroad to track a potentially deadly virus that threatens a species of dolphins in the Mediterranean.

The morbillivirus, which causes measles in its human form, has been found in several striped dolphins washed up dead on beaches in Spain in recent weeks, said a ministry statement.

"According to analyses which were carried out, the virus identified is practically the same as the one that caused a massive epidemic in the 1990s and which can affect other species of cetacean such as whales," it said.

Spain has put its monitoring centres on alert and has asked other nations in the Mediterranean basin to collect samples from any animals that wash up on their shores.

The samples will then be analyzed at the University of Valencia in eastern Spain.

Spanish regional governments and environmental experts will meet to discuss the issue on September 13.

[Copyright AFP with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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