Breaking news: New viral disease in dolphins in the Swan River. Can it affect humans?

A new viral disease has been discovered according to research from the Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit (MUCRU).

It is a cetacean morbilivirus (CeMV). Already we have seen morbiliviruses jump from animal to human as in the case of the Hendra virus in horses (equine morbilivirus), that originates from bats.

Lab tests testing showed that this CeMV is closely related to similar viruses that infect land mammals! Could it potentially jump into humans? Thankfully, the marine mammal morbiliviruses are more closely related to the canine distemper. So we need to at least keep dogs away from dolphins. But based on the Hendravirus, we still need to take precautions when interacting with dolphins, particularly those that are sick. So perhaps no more kissing dolphins for me 😦



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