WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Preliminary test results confirm that a stranded dolphin on Kure Beach did have morbillivirus.
Further tests are being done to see if the dolphin had the same strain of the virus that has killed hundreds of other dolphins up the east coast. Past results have shown that most dolphins that test positive for morbillivirus are also infected the same strain.
Ann Pabst, with UNCW's Marine Mammal Stranding Program, says for that reason it is "highly likely" that the dolphin has the same deadly disease as the more than 300 other dolphins that have washed up on shores from New York to North Carolina.
The virus is similar to measles in humans.
The group says it doesn't know for sure yet, but if this is the same strain of morbillivirus, they expect and plan for more dolphin standings.
They don't know for sure when the results will come in, but say it could be anytime from a couple of days to a week.