The New York TimesThe New York Times

Bird Flu Found in Dolphin in Florida and Porpoise in Sweden

By Emily Anthes

08 Sep 2022 · 3 min read

Editor's Note

A highly pathogenic form of the virus has already devastated birds this year and is spreading to cetaceans. So far the risk to human health is minimal.

A bottlenose dolphin found dead in a Florida canal this past spring tested positive for a highly virulent strain of bird flu, scientists said Wednesday. The announcement came a week after Swedish officials reported that they had found the same type of avian influenza in a stranded porpoise.

This version of the virus, which has spread widely among North American and European birds, has affected an unusually broad array of species. But these findings represent the first two documented cases in cetaceans, a group of marine mammals that includes dolphins, porpoises and whales.

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