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Morbillivirus epidemics in marine mammals first gained prominence in 1988 when an outbreak of phocine distemper virus (PDV) occurred in European harbor seals (Phoca vitulina vitulina). Prior to 2001, all serosurveys for morbilliviruses in sea otters (Enhydra lutris) in California, Washington and Alaska documented a 0% seroprevalence. The first published serodetections of morbillivirus in sea otters occurred in 2001–2002 in live-captured Washington sea otters with a documented 80% seroprevalence. We conducted a retrospective study of sea otter cases from 1989–2010 compiled at the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center to identify cases of morbilliviral disease in Washington sea otters, and to characterize...