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Peru dolphin virus not official finding, says sea institute

By Manuel Vigo

Despite previous reports, a virus might not have been the cause of death of thousands of dolphins on Peru’s northern coasts.

Peru dolphin virus not official finding, says sea institute

(Photo: Peru21)

Despite previous reports, a virus might not have been the cause of death of thousands of dolphins on Peru’s northern coasts.


On Saturday, Peru’s Sea Institute (Imarpe), clarified comments made last week, regarding specialists from the Marine Mammal Center (MMC), in the United States, who said the dolphin deaths were caused by the ‘morbillivirus’.


According to Imarpe, the MMC’s comments were an unofficial consult, carried out via email.


Imarpe said such consultations amongst specialists were common, and said further testing was required before reaching a conclusion.


"It is worth noting that the communication was strictly on the professional level, in order to have an opinion of scientists with extensive experience on the issue […],” Imarpe said, according to Andina.


The agency said it had not sent any samples to the MMC, and added they were awaiting results of the molecular analysis carried out by the Cayetano Heredia University, in Lima.


Previously, Raul Castillo, scientific director at the Peruvian Sea Institute, revealed the MMC’s comments to local media.


"The Peruvian laboratories found an immune depression that could be caused by a virus, so we asked the United States to determine what type of infection it was," he said, according to Peru21.