A string of mysterious dolphin and whale deaths is sweeping across the east coast — and scientists fear bird flu is to blame.
Data from the Marine Mammal Stranding Center shows 22 dolphins and five humpback whales have washed ashore in New Jersey since January, but there are dozens more stretching down to North Carolina.
A spokesperson told DailyMail.com the dead marine animals are currently being tested at a lab for the cause of death. One dolphin in Florida was killed by bird flu last year.
Fears about a potential bird flu pandemic in humans has intensified in recent weeks after the first tor through global populations.
The virus has already killed more than 330 seals in New England in 2022,and several other mammals including foxes, raccoons and bear.
The concern is that as the virus spreads to more animals, it will acquire mutations that allow it to infect humans.
Read more: Is BIRD FLU behind mystery spate of whales and dolphins washing up on US beaches? Scientists are testing carcasses for the virus that is now jumping to mammals – adding to fears humans could be next