The major problem for scientists is they still don't know what causes the disease or how it spreads, the current outbreak covers a lot more shoreline and is a lot more severe than past outbreaks (killing 95% of sea stars in an area), and it can have compounding effects on other species in coastal ecosystems. For example, in some areas sea stars are considered a keystone predator - they help control mussel populations, so if the sea stars die in an area, the mussels may take over and crowd out other species. There may also be effects on nutrients and aeration of the seafloor.
Researchers want citizen's help in tracking the disease, so if you go tidepooling on the coast or scuba diving, please report any observations! A link is provided at the bottom of the article.