Dr. Michael Walsh, a veterinarian at the University of Florida School of Veterinary Medicine who leads the school’s marine animal rescue program.
By the time rescuers arrived, the dolphin was dead, he said. The team, which regularly dissects the dolphin, collected various samples from the dolphin and stored them until they could be analyzed in more detail.
Dr Walsh, who collaborated on the investigation with Dr Robert Ossiboff, a veterinary pathologist, said at the time, scientists had no reason to suspect that bird flu had invaded. enter the dolphin. and Andrew Allison, a veterinary virologist, both at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr Walsh said that when the results were published this summer, they revealed markers of inflammation in the dolphin’s brain and surrounding tissues. Scientists have previously documented encephalitis in fox kits infected with the virus, which can cause neurological symptoms in birds and mammals.
Subsequent laboratory testing detected Eurasian H5N1 in the dolphin’s brain and lungs. “The brain tissue actually shows a high viral load,” says Dr. Walsh.
It remains unclear what type of virus contributed to the dolphin’s death, nor how exactly the animal contracted the disease. But It’s not hard to imagine a young dolphin investigating Dr Walsh added: ‘These animals are always curious about their habitat and check things out. So if he comes across a bird that is sick, or dying or dead, he might be very curious about it. He will probably say it. “