Third dolphin washes ashore in Volusia County

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VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - For the third time in a week, another dead dolphin washed ashore in Volusia County. Biologists responded to the dolphin found in Daytona Beach shores Monday morning that they believe was caused by an incurable virus.

Experts said there is no cure for what they call the Morbillivirus, a dolphin measles or canine distemper. The disease started in New York several weeks ago and worked its way down the east coast.

"It's just something that has to work its way through the population and those animals that survive are immune to the virus," NOAA Fisheries Marine Biologist Erin Fougeres said.

Fougeres said the same virus killed dolphins in the 1980's. The virus took out half the dolphin population on the east coast.

"That whole event was about 750 animals and we're in over 800 animals now and we're about halfway through the event," Fougeres said.

Experts predict that many more dolphins will die in the winter months. They're hoping to see fewer dolphins stranded on the beach by late next spring.

NOAA biologists said if you spot a stranded dolphin, you should not touch the animal and report it immediately.