Global 11/22/14 business-standard.com: Golf courses are prime habitats for ticks, the tiny bloodsucking creatures, says a new study. Ticks like to feed at the boundaries between the woods and open spaces – the kind of settings found in golf courses. “Golf courses are the perfect habitat for ticks. This is because people on golf courses scare away the animals that usually prey on small rodents, so these tick-harboring rodents flourish,” said Gregory Owens of the School of Health Sciences and Practice at the New York Medical College in the US.
In the study, Owens and his colleagues surveyed 29 golfers at a course in New York, where Lyme disease, an infection carried by certain ticks, is native. Nearly three-quarters of the golfers said they had found a tick on themselves after golfing, and 24 percent said they had been diagnosed with Lyme disease in the past. About one third of the golfers said they did not check themselves for ticks after golfing, and 72 percent did not use insect repellent while golfing, found the study.
Because the study was small, more research is needed to see how common tick-prevention behavior is among golfers, Owens said. Ticks are most active between April and September, but it is important to take preventive measures year-round. The study was presented at the American Public Health Association meeting in New Orleans.- See http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/golf-courses-are-hotspots-for-ticks-114112200181_1.html
Colorado 11/21/14 denverpost.com: by Electa Draper – A southeastern Adams County man died of hantavirus Nov. 15, the Tri-County Health Department reported Friday. The adult male, whose name was not released, likely was infected with hantavirus while doing home plumbing repairs in a small space with rodent droppings or in a rodent-infested garage, health officials said in a news release. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is a rare condition, with an average of four cases a year in Colorado, caused by a virus carried by rodents, especially deer mice. People are exposed to hantavirus by inhaling dust that contains the feces, urine or saliva of deer mice. It is fatal to humans in almost half the cases. – For complete article see http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_26988497/adam-county-mans-death-caused-by-hantavirus-health
Maine 11/22/14 outbreaknewstoday.com: by Robert Herriman – The number of cases of the tick borne bacterial disease, anaplasmosis, continue to climb in Maine as the state Centers for Disease Control reports 164 cases statewide as of Nov. 18. This number is up 70 from the entire 2013 when 94 cases were reported. Anaplasmosis was first recognized as a disease of humans in the United States in the mid-1990’s, but did not become a reportable disease until 1999. It is caused by the bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Anaplasmosis is most frequently reported from the upper midwestern and northeastern United States. The areas from which cases are reported correspond with the known geographic distribution of Lyme disease. The tick responsible for transmission of A. phagocytophilum in the upper Midwest and northeastern U.S. is the black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Along the West Coast, the western black-legged tick (I. pacificus) may transmit the organism. These tick species also transmit the agents of Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi) and babesiosis (Babesia species), and human co-infections with these organisms have occasionally been reported. – See http://outbreaknewstoday.com/maine-anaplasmosis-cases-nearly-double-last-years-count-65434/
(See “Are GRAY WOLVES returning to GRAND CANYON?” posted 11/18/14)
Arizona 11/21/14 tucson.com: by Felicia Fonseca – A female gray wolf from the Northern Rockies traveled hundreds of miles into Northern Arizona, marking the species’ first appearance in the region in more than 70 years and the farthest journey south, wildlife officials confirmed Friday. A wolf-like animal had been spotted roaming the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and the adjacent national forest since last month. Biologists collected its scat and sent it to a University of Idaho laboratory for testing, verifying what environmentalists had suspected based on its appearance and a radio collar around its neck. “The corroboration is really good to get,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity. Biologists don’t know the wolf’s age or from where it traveled. The radio collar wasn’t transmitting a signal, and cold weather forced biologists to suspend efforts to capture the animal and replace the collar.
The Idaho lab might be able to glean more details about the wolf from its DNA, but U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokesman Jeff Humphrey said that could take several weeks or months. “We’ll let this wolf be a wolf where it’s at, and if it decides it’s going to move back north, it can do that,” he said. “Or if somebody joins her, then that’s nature taking its course.” Wolves often roam vast distances in search of food and mates. But the farther they go, the less likely they are to find a mate, said Ed Bangs, who led recovery efforts for wolves in the Northern Rockies over two decades before retiring from the Fish and Wildlife Service in 2011. “It’s looking for love,” he said. “It leaves the core population and doesn’t know the love of its life is going to be right over the next hill, so it just keeps traveling.” For complete article see http://tucson.com/ap/national/dna-confirms-wolf-traveled-hundreds-of-miles-to-grand-canyon/article_66537d48-72f8-56cd-af01-3d00b4456c85.html
WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV):
California 11/19/14 CA Dept of Health: There were 19 new WNV human cases reported in California this week from the following counties: Fresno (1), Kern (1), Los Angeles (11), Orange (3), San Bernardino (1), Stanislaus (1), and Sutter (1). 27 WNV-related fatalities have been reported to CDPH from twelve local health jurisdictions: Glenn (1), Kern (1), Long Beach City (2), Los Angeles (5), Orange (7), Placer (1), Sacramento (2), San Diego (1), Shasta (1), Stanislaus (2), Sutter (3), and Tehama (1). 752 human cases from 31 counties have tested positive for WNV in 2014. – See http://www.westnile.ca.gov/
New Jersey 11/19/14 Somerset County: Officials have issued a Rabies Alert after a black, brown and white tabby kitten that scratched a resident in the vicinity of Emerald Place in Franklin Township tested positive for the virus. Anyone in contact with this kitten in the Emerald Place area or surrounding neighborhoods is asked to call county health officials at (908) 231-7155 as soon as possible. – See http://patch.com/new-jersey/bridgewater/rabies-exposure-reported-franklin-township-0
Pennsylvania 11/20/14 Dauphin County: A feral cat brought to the Steelton Community Cat program presenting neurological symptoms has tested positive for rabies. A Rabies Alert has been issued warning residents in the Steelton and Swatara Township areas of the possible presence of the virus in the local wildlife and especially the feral cat population. – See http://www.abc27.com/story/27442070/steelton-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies
Virginia 11/19/14 Chesapeake: A black and white female cat with yellow eyes that attacked three people on November 13th in the Warrington Hall community has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.bdtonline.com/news/cat-that-attacked-in-va-had-rabies/article_613eea08-6ff9-11e4-952e-4fbbcfe01033.html