Study finds TICKS like to hang out at GOLF COURSES ~ COLORADAN succumb s to HANTAVIRUS ~ TICK-BORNE ANAPLASMOSIS cases nearly double in MAINE ~ FOLLOW-UP REPORT: Test confirms first GRAY WOLF near GRAND CANYON in 75 years ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) report from CALIFORNIA ~ RABIES reports from NJ, PA & VA.

Courtesy of TickEncounter Research Center, University of Rhode Island.

Courtesy of TickEncounter Research Center, University of Rhode Island.

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.

1319561v3v1In 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.

Deer aka Black-legged Tick stages.

Deer aka Black-legged Tick stages.

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

HANTAVIRUS:

Deer mouse.

Deer mouse.

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

ANAPLASMOSIS:

ana_incid.cdcMaine 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/

FOLLOW-UP REPORT:

GRAY WOLF:

(See “Are GRAY WOLVES returning to GRAND CANYON?” posted 11/18/14)

12A Canid, a wolf or wolf hybrid seen near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Photo taken Oct. 27, 2014. Courtesy Arizona Game and Fish Dept.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.

A Northern Rockies gray wolf hadn’t been seen in the Grand Canyon area since the 1940s.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):

logo_CDPH_v.1_colorCalifornia 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/

RABIES:

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

IMG4336e-L-001Pennsylvania 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

COYOTE attacks NEW HAMPSHIRE WOMAN walking 90 pound DOG ~ Are GRAY WOLVES returning to GRAND CANYON? ~ Scientists say new device filters EBOLA VIRUS from patient’s blood.

Stalking coyote. Courtesy U.S. National Park Service.

Stalking coyote. Courtesy U.S. National Park Service.

New Hampshire 11/17/14 seacoastline.com: by Jason Schreiber – A woman and her dog are recovering after they were attacked by a vicious coyote while walking in a field on their property Monday morning. The woman was returning to her house on Post Road in Greenland around 9:15 a.m. after taking her dog out for a morning walk when the two were attacked. “It came charging across the field and was hell-bent on attacking them,” said the woman’s husband, who was armed with a gun when he rushed to their aid. The attack happened in an open field on the property about 100 yards from the house. The woman’s husband, who asked that their names be withheld, said he was inside their house when he heard his wife screaming. He jumped into his pickup truck and raced over to help. As he drove toward them, he kept thinking, “I’ve got to get this coyote away from them and I’ve got to be careful.” Coyotes have been seen around the property many times before, but this was the first time one has attacked. He estimated the coyote weighed about 60 pounds; it was the largest he’s seen.

greenland_nh“It was very aggressive. I have never ever seen a coyote attack a person and a 90-pound dog. He was attacking them for a full 10 minutes. He was just circling and circling,” he said. His wife tried to fend it off while the couple’s dog, a Chesapeake Bay retriever, struggled to protect her. “There was something wrong with it,” she said of the coyote. “It just charged at us.” Her husband said he fired his gun at the coyote a few times but missed. The gunshots eventually scared the animal off. His wife and the dog then got into the truck while the coyote scurried away. She suffered bites on her hand and leg while the dog received multiple bite wounds. The dog was rushed to a local veterinarian while she was brought to Portsmouth Regional Hospital for treatment. – For complete article see http://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20141117/NEWS/141119277/101143/NEWS

GRAY WOLVES:

howling-wolf-wallpaper-10927-hd-wallpapersArizona 11/15/14 azcentral.com: by E.J. Montini – I picture him loping south through the forest on the Kaibab Plateau, a chill wind pushing through the ponderosa pines and blue spruce, as if whispering to the other animals — elk, deer, squirrels, even mountain lions — that an ancient presence has returned. There are roads through the forest but he does not follow them. He stays in the shadows where the ground is cold and hard. He keeps moving, alert, determined, until the trees thin out, the sky opens up and the land seems to disappear in front of him. He stops at the edge of a great chasm, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It is not wise of him to be out in the open. There are buildings nearby. Solid, rough-hewn structures of stone and logs, but large and well kept, something he’s unfamiliar with. Humans visit here, although only when the weather is warm. But how could he not come out into the open with that view? That’s how the lone wolf was spotted. In the past few months, several people have reported seeing him. Or is it her? The experts don’t know for sure. But they are fairly convinced that the animal observed at the North Rim is a gray wolf. If so, it probably made the long journey to Arizona from the Rocky Mountains. Imagine that. – See complete article and video at http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/ejmontini/2014/11/15/montini-gray-wolf-grand-canyon-north-rim/19107241/

EBOLA VIRUS:

bola-Virus-MainPhotoGlobal 11/14/14 time.com: by Alice Park – Battling a virus is all about timing, and Ebola is no exception. Our immune systems are capable of destroying Ebola, but once in the body, the virus multiplies furiously, spreading like wildfire. Pretty soon the invader overwhelms the body’s immune system. In most cases, the virus wins. But what if doctors could tip the odds in the body’s favor and pull out Ebola from the blood in order to give the immune cells a fighting chance? Reporting at the Kidney Week conference of the American Society of Nephrology on Friday, doctors at Goethe University hospital in Frankfurt described their experience doing just that several weeks ago when an Ebola patient arrived from Sierra Leone.

45508Dr. Helmut Geiger and his colleagues knew they had a challenge on their hands. They made sure the patient, a Ugandan pediatrician who had been treating Ebola patients, was hydrated and received the proper nutrients. They also tried several experimental therapies, but despite their efforts, the patient quickly deteriorated. He needed a ventilator to breathe, and as the virus ravaged his body, several of his organs, including his kidneys, failed. The medical team placed him on dialysis and hoped for the best. That’s when Geiger recalled reading about a novel way of treating viruses that didn’t involved drugs. Aethlon Medical, a California-based company, was testing a way to quite literally filter viruses out of the blood of infected patients. The team had been testing their device, which attached to standard kidney dialysis machines, on hepatitis C and HIV patients in India. The German doctors, desperate to help their patient, asked to test it for Ebola. “We did not know if it was possible to retract viruses from the blood,” says Geiger. “But we knew from earlier data that viral load is directly correlated to the outcome of the patient. We thought if we could reduce the viral load through some kind of intervention, then it would be positive for the patient.”

aethlon561646Their hunch paid off. The device, called the Hemopurifier, was attached to the dialysis machine that was already filtering the patient’s blood. The specially designed filter is made of a protein that acts as glue for proteins found on the Ebola virus’s surface. Over a period of 6.5 hours, the filter extracted the virus from the blood that flows through. While most dialysis filters can pull out molecules that are less than 4 nanometers in diameter, the virus filter boasts a mesh that’s able to filter out larger viral particles that are less than 250 nanometers. That means only the virus is pulled out, and the immune cells remain in the blood, ready to fight off any remaining viral invaders. “We had no [idea] about how much [virus] would be extracted, because this was the first patient, but I was very surprised because the drop in viral load was deeper than I expected,” says Geiger. Before the filtration began, the patient’s virus count was about 400,000 per mL blood. After the session it had dropped to 1,000 copies/mL. What’s more, when Geiger’s team sent the filter, which was designed to safely contain the Ebola virus it had extracted, to the University of Marburg, which has a biosafety level 4 laboratory for safely handling the virus, they learned that the device had managed to trap 242 million copies of the virus.

aethlon25575Freed from that viral burden, the patient soon began to improve rapidly. His own immune system began fighting off the remaining virus, and he no longer needs dialysis or a ventilator. The patient is walking and waiting to be released from the hospital. – For video and complete article see https://time.com/3586271/ebola-treatment-dialysis-blood/

CANADA: Residents of ONTARIO town being attacked by COYOTES ~ New STUDY promises hope for chronic LYME DISEASE patients ~ RABIES reports from DE, NJ & OK.

This coyote just caught dinner. Courtesy U.S. National Park Service.

This coyote just caught dinner. Courtesy U.S. National Park Service.

Canada:

Ontario 11/12/14 bramptonguardian.com: by Graeme Frisque – With two people bitten by coyotes in a Brampton neighbourhood since September, residents are demanding the city take action. After the most recent attack on Nov. 6, residents in the area of Mississauga Rd. and Steeles Ave. sent a letter and a petition signed by more than 50 people to city officials asking the animals be removed. “Residents began to notice coyotes prowling in the neighbourhood only this spring,” the letter states. “The coyotes have launched unprovoked attacks on some residents in their driveways and backyards. Numerous calls to the City of Brampton’s Animal Services Department have led to no meaningful action. Residents are being told that they have chosen to live in the coyotes’ natural habitat, and must learn to deal with it.” Last Thursday (Nov. 6), Jasmine Bajaj says she was bitten in the driveway of her Mountain Ridge Rd. home when a coyote snuck up behind her and grabbed her by the leg, leaving two large puncture wounds and forcing her to undergo a painful series of precautionary rabies treatments.

map-brampton.caWhile unable to provide specific details about the September incident, manager of Brampton Animal Services Kathy Duncan confirmed they have received two reports of bites and at least six reports of “concerning” behavior by coyotes in that specific area since September. . . . The city says that removal of the animals is largely pointless, because, unless they are sick or wounded, coyotes are an important part of the ecosystem. Experts, including Lesley Sampson, founding executive director at Coyote Watch Canada, say that this kind of interaction with humans is rare and unusual, and usually happens because residents are feeding the animals. This latest attack comes on the heels of a series of brutal coyote and coywolf attacks resulting in the deaths of small dogs in Mississauga and Burlington over the last couple of weeks. – For complete article see http://www.bramptonguardian.com/news-story/5025571-coyote-ugly-two-people-bitten-in-brampton-neighbourhood/

LYME DISEASE:

lyme_hope1-300x279Global 11/07/14 hcplive.com: by Adam Hochron – Patients with Lyme disease know that their symptoms and the effects of the disease can be debilitating and last for a long time, often persisting even after treatment. In an effort to help improve quality of life for those patients, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health are working on a test that would allow clinicians to more thoroughly check for bacteria left behind by the disease. Results from the test development were posted in PLOS ONE. According to a statement from the researchers, the test will allow for a deeper look at “thousands of FDA-approved drugs to see if they will work against the bacteria that cause tick-borne Lyme disease.” The bacteria, known as Borrelia burgdorferi, have been difficult to check for up until this point.

jhsph_logo_internalYing Zhan, MD, PhD, who led the research effort, said the test was based in a concept used for counting DNA samples in their labs. By making changes, they were able to see how many of the bacteria in a patient were still alive and how many were dead after interacting with the drugs. “It’s superior to the current gold standard for testing Borrelia viability,” Zhang said. “This could become the new gold standard.” – For complete article see http://www.hcplive.com/articles/New-Study-Provides-Hope-for-Chronic-Lyme-Disease-Sufferers

RABIES:

Delaware 11/14/14 New Castle County: A kitten that died at a home on Calburn Court in the Buckley neighborhood in Bear has tested positive for rabies. Officials said more than 50 other cats living in and around the same house are being euthanized because widespread rabies infection among them is extremely likely. – See http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/local/2014/11/13/womans-cats-killed-kitten-gets-rabies/19000275/

cat-child-300x225New Jersey 11/12/14 Hudson County: Officials have issued a Rabies Alert after a stray kitten that bit a person who attempted to pick it up in the vicinity of First Street and Kennedy Boulevard in Bayonne tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2014/11/bayonne_resident_has_been_bitten_by_rabid_kitten_bayonne_city_officials.html

Oklahoma 11/13/14 Sequoyah County: A stray cat that bit a child in Sallisaw over the weekend has tested positive for rabies. – See http://5newsonline.com/2014/11/13/cat-that-bit-sallisaw-child-has-rabies-police-say/

DEER HUNTER mauled by pack of BEARS on ALASKAN island ~ CANADA: Case of TICK paralysis found on SUNSHINE COAST ~ What we don’t know about EBOLA ~ Your PET and ZOONOTIC diseases ~ WEST NILE VIRUS cases top 700 in CALIFORNIA ~ RABIES reports from SC & VA.

Brown_Bear_-_Ursus_Arctos_600Alaska 11/07/14 dailymail.co.uk: by John Hall – Helicopter rescue teams airlifted a 68-year-old American man to hospital after he was attacked by bears while hunting on a remote island off the coast of Alaska. The man, identified as Michael Snowden, was transported by coast guards to Kodiak Municipal Airport where he was passed on to medical services who treated him for serious leg injuries. It is understood a group of up to five bears attacked Mr Snowden and his friend Jeff Ostrin as they dragged the carcass of a deer they had shot through dense vegetation on Sally Island in Uganik Bay. The attack took place yesterday afternoon on a remote island off the southern coast of mainland Alaska. The state is home to 98 per cent of the United States’ total brown bear population.

Sally Island

Sally Island

Nathan Svoboda, a local wildlife biologist, gave details of the attack to Alaska Dispatch News. He said the two men were dragging a deer through vegetation when they stopped for lunch. No sooner had they sat down to eat when a large female bear charged at them. The animal reportedly attacked Snowden, biting and scratching his body before Ostrin, 38, shot the animal three times, killing it. Seconds later, more bears emerged, with Ostrin shooting and killing one of the cubs. The shooting apparently scared the rest of the animals away. The crew on board a fishing vessel witnessed the entire incident and reportedly raced to the shore to remove the men to the safety of the sea, with the captain calling the coast guard to the scene. – For complete article and video see http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2823354/Hunter-airlifted-hospital-coast-guard-savaged-five-bears-remote-island-coast-Alaska.html
TICK PARALYSIS:

CANADA:

Western Blacklegged Tick

Western Blacklegged Tick

British Columbia 11/05/14 squamishchief.com: by Christine Wood – The first case of tick paralysis ever recorded in a wild animal was identified on the Sunshine Coast recently with the help of the Gibsons Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. Hikers on a trail near Burnett Road in March found a snowshoe hare seemingly paralyzed from the waist down. The rabbit was brought to the centre, where Clint and Irene Davy examined it and found engorged ticks feeding on the animal’s neck. The ticks were removed and the animal was placed in a kennel and allowed to rest, but it soon stopped breathing and died. The Davys were unsure what had happened, but because they were already involved in a tick study being done by Ontario-based researcher John D. Scott, they sent the ticks off to Scott for examination. After about 100 hours of examination and research, Scott surmised the western blacklegged ticks sent in caused the snowshoe hare to become paralyzed and led to its death. “During tick feeding, Ixodes pacificus (black-legged tick) females expel neurotoxins which impede the electrical conductivity at nerve endings. Consequently, brain signals fail to reach body parts. In this case, the snowshoe hare could not propel itself,” Scott said. – For complete article see http://www.squamishchief.com/news/local-news/case-of-tick-paralysis-found-on-sunshine-coast-1.1526063

EBOLA:

5115874Global 11/01/14 newyorker.com: Very interesting article about several aspects of the Ebola virus that we don’t yet understand. Written by Jerome Groopman, a New Yorker staff writer focusing primarily on issues related to medicine and biology. – See http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/dont-know-ebola

PETS & ZOONOTIC DISEASE:

AVMA-logoGlobal 11/04/14 huffingtonpost.com: by Donna Solomon, DVM – In 2012, the American Veterinary Medical Association estimated that 56 percent of all United States households own a pet. There are over 69 million dogs and 36 million cats in American households. Our pets are family members; we love, play, share our food, and celebrate holidays with them. In fact, a recent survey by a mattress company discovered that 71 percent of pet owners sleep with their pet. Of those pet owners who share their bed with their furry family member, 52 percent let their pet lie at their feet. Twenty-three percent snuggle with them, 11 percent share a pillow and 14 percent let them sleep underneath their covers. I admit my dog and two cats sleep on our bed. Am I concerned that I may catch a disease from my pet? Yes, as a practicing veterinarian I am acutely aware of bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans, called zoonotic diseases.

dog-lick-faceGiardia, a protozoa found in contaminated soil and water, is a zoonotic disease that causes diarrhea in pets and humans. I see this disease at least twice daily in my Chicago practice. A recent study found Giardia in the feces of 8 percent dogs and 4 percent cats in United States. Another zoonotic disease, called Leptospirosis, is transmitted by drinking water contaminated by urine of infected wildlife-like rats, mice, raccoons, opossums and skunks. It causes life-threatening kidney and liver disease. It is a rising cause of illness in my practice. My goal today is not to frighten you on the hazards of pet ownership and your enjoyment of wildlife, but to educate you on how to safely live with them in your home and from afar. – For a lengthy list of precautions see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/donna-solomon-dvm/safely-living-with-pets-d_b_6069134.html

WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV):

cdph_logoCalifornia 11/05/14 CA Dept of Public Health: There were 51 new WNV human cases reported in California this week from the following counties: Los Angeles (16), Orange (25), Riverside (2), San Bernardino (1), San Diego (3), Santa Clara (2), Sutter (1), and Ventura (1). This is the first WNV human case from Ventura County this year. 23 WNV-related fatalities have been reported to CDPH from eleven local health jurisdictions: Glenn (1), Long Beach City (2), Los Angeles (3), Orange (6), Placer (1), Sacramento (2), San Diego (1), Shasta (1), Stanislaus (2), Sutter (3), and Tehama (1). 705 human cases from 31 counties have tested positive for WNV in 2014. – See http://www.westnile.ca.gov/

RABIES:

8942410_448x252South Carolina 11/06/14 Laurens County: A stray cat that was in contact with a person in Gray Court has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wspa.com/story/27313091/person-exposed-to-rabies-from-cat-in-gray-court

help-mdVirginia 11/04/14 wtkr.com: by Becca Mitchell – The Peninsula Health District is searching for a medium-sized black dog that bit a child on Saturday while he was fundraising in the vicinity of Duer Drive in Williamsburg. If this Dog is not found, the victim may have to undergo post exposure treatment (shots) for the prevention of rabies. Once found, the animal will not be taken away from its owner, only placed on an in-home confinement period of 10 days.   Anyone who has seen an animal that fits this description in this area is asked to contact the Peninsula Health District – Williamsburg Environmental Health at (757) 603-4277.  After hours, please contact the James City County/Williamsburg Animal Control at 253-1800. – See http://wtkr.com/2014/11/04/peninsula-health-district-looking-for-medium-sized-black-dog-that-bit-a-child/

58 WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) related deaths in the U.S. so far this year ~ RABBIT FEVER cases continue to rise in COLORADO ~ Study finds LYME DISEASE infected TICKS and MAMMALS in NEW YORK’s Adirondack Park ~ CATS three times more likely to contract RABIES than DOGS ~ Other RABIES reports from GA, NC, OH, SD, VA & CANADA: ONT.

West Nile Virus Activity by State – United States, 2014 (as of October 28, 2014)

West Nile Virus Activity by State – United States, 2014 (as of October 28, 2014)

National 10/30/14 outbreaknewstoday.com: by Robert Herriman – Just to keep things in perspective in the United States, the mosquito borne virus that originated in Africa, West Nile virus (WNV) has killed 1,668 people from its first appearance in  the states in 1999 through 2013. That’s 111 fatalities per year average for a disease that prior to 1999, the vast, I mean vast majority of Americans had no clue existed. During that period we saw some 40,000 human cases of the disease as it spread across the nation and as far north as Canada. We’ve had some mild years and some pretty severe years–almost 10,000 cases nationwide were seen in 2003, while two years ago, the state of Texas saw almost 2,000 cases alone. Currently, the number of human WNV cases stands, ironically at 1,668 as of Oct. 28, including 58 deaths. California to date is 2012’s Texas, leading the nation in both cases (654) and deaths (22).

wnv1_clip_image002First discovered in Uganda in 1937, West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne disease that can cause encephalitis, a brain inflammation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all. Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks. About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent. There is no specific treatment for WNV infection. WNV is indigenous to Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia and now North America. – See http://outbreaknewstoday.com/west-nile-virus-deaths-in-us-now-58-15228/

TULAREMIA aka RABBIT FEVER:

A Mountain Cottontail rabbit.

A Mountain Cottontail rabbit.

COLORADO 10/27/14 cpr.org. by Pat Mack – The number of human cases of the bacterial disease, tularemia, continues to rise in Colorado. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment now reports 12 confirmed cases of the disease also known as ‘rabbit fever’ so far this year, with many more suspected. Normally, the state sees four cases a year. “We haven’t seen this many tularemia cases in Colorado since the 1980s,” said State Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Jennifer House. “Historically, we see cases of tularemia in hunters, and the disease is so widespread this year, we want to make sure our hunters understand the risks.” The state health department believes tularemia may have spread to 30 counties in the state. Health officials say people can get the disease if they handle infected animals like rabbits and rodents, or are bitten by infected ticks or deer flies. Hunters are most at risk when skinning game and preparing and eating the meat. – For complete article and precautions see http://www.cpr.org/news/story/state-rabbit-fever-cases-spiking-hunters-should-take-care

LYME DISEASE:

T_lyme_disease518d6New York 10/23/14 adirondackalmanack.com: by Mike Lynch – Researchers from Paul Smith’s College are finding Lyme Disease in ticks and small mammals in the Adirondack Park. Paul Smith’s College professor Lee Ann Sporn is heading her college’s involvement in a Lyme Disease study that includes the state Department of Health and Trudeau Institute in Saranac Lake. Trudeau is working to develop a vaccine for Lyme, while Sporn and students are monitoring the disease by testing mammals and ticks for it. Researchers hope to get a better understanding of the biology of the disease, where it is found geographically, and what factors are influencing its spread. So far, Sporn said that some of the test results have surprised her, including that a high percentage (eight of twelve) of small mammals tested positive for Lyme Disease in Schroon Lake.  The animals — mainly mice, shrews and voles — were trapped in the wild

paulsmiths-logoOther results include five of eight animals in Queensbury testing positive. Further south outside the Park, four of twelve animals in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve were found with Lyme. Up north, two of twenty-two small mammals in Paul Smith’s tested positive, while one of twenty-seven animals from Black Brook were found with Lyme. Paul Smiths, located 10 miles north of Saranac Lake, is at an elevation of roughly 1,650 feet, the highest site in the study. “We were surprised to find positive animals at Paul Smiths and at Black Brook because we’re out in the field all of the time, and we’ve never seen deer ticks here,” Sporn said. “We thought this would be our negative, but it wasn’t. So now that we do know there were positive ticks here, we are talking about looking at higher elevations.” – For complete article see http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2014/10/researchers-finding-lyme-disease-in-adirondacks.html

RABIES:

Cat-And-Dog-Wallpaper-91National 10/23/14 myedmondsnews.com: It is now clear that in the U.S. cats are more often diagnosed with rabies than dogs. The number of verified cases of rabies in cats has increased and now there are three times as many cat cases reported compared to the diagnosis in dogs. The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) says that approximately 34-37 percent of families or individuals with pet cats do not take those animals to a veterinarian. The likelihood of those animals being vaccinated to prevent rabies is low to nonexistent. At least a third of all cats not vaccinated? That is a troubling statistic made even more so by cat owners who do take their animals to a veterinarian but have failed to have them vaccinated against rabies. This is not a rare disease. In 2010 fewer cases of rabies were reported compared to previous years in the U.S., but there were 6,153 cases in animals from 48 states and Puerto Rico verified. Raccoons were most commonly diagnosed (36.5 percent), skunks (23.5 percent), bats (25.2 percent), foxes (7.0 percent) and the rest in other species including some rodents. Domestic animals accounted for 8 percent of all verified cases and we still have two or three cases in humans every year. – For complete article see http://myedmondsnews.com/2014/10/ask-edmonds-vet-cats-rabies/

Georgia 10/29/14 Fulton County: A case of rabies has been confirmed in Roswell. What’s concerning is that it was found in a cat. Channel 2’s Wendy Corona visited the vet who saw it firsthand and says there may be a bigger issue. Dr. Michael Ray took a feral cat in last Tuesday. That cat was known to live out in the woods with no human contact. Ray said the man who brought the cat in told him the cat just let herself be taken,  which was strange to him. “But even more disturbing than that was how she was behaving. This is a cat that really couldn’t be touched and she was nonresponsive,” Ray said. After further examination, the feral cat appeared to have paralytic rabies. She was euthanized and days later a test confirmed rabies. Ray says it’s the first case he has seen in a cat from that area in his 18-year career. “I would be concerned about maybe a rabid fox, or rabid skunk or rabid raccoon,” he said. Corona visited the area near Holcomb Bridge Road where the cat was found and saw other cats near homes and one in the woods. This case brings attention the need to vaccinate pets for their security. – For complete article see http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/rabies-found-cat-roswell/nhtz8/

North Carolina 10/29/14 Wilkes County: Two young children and others are receiving post-exposure prophylaxis rabies shots after a stray cat that appeared in the Byrd Ridge Road area off N.C. 18 North tested positive for rabies, said Wilkes Animal Control Director Junior Simmons. Simmons said a person who lives on Byrd Ridge Road called the Wilkes Animal Shelter Saturday to report that the male long haired blue-gray cat had bitten a young child and that the cat appeared to be injured. He said an animal control officer picked up the cat but that it couldn’t be sent to the state lab in Raleigh for testing until Monday. The cat was euthanized on Monday and sent that day and results showing it had rabies came back Tuesday. Animal control officers learned that another young child on Byrd Ridge Road had been bitten by the cat. Simmons said this other child and several other people who had contact with the cat in the Byrd Ridge Road area are getting post-exposure prophylaxis rabies shots. So far 21 people need to be assessed to determine if they need post-exposure prophylaxis rabies shots. Several pet dogs and cats that may have had contact with the rabid cat were euthanized at the request of owners and others have been quarantined to see if they have rabies. – For complete article see http://www.journalpatriot.com/news/article_4c745c0c-5f9b-11e4-help984-05834a922-001a4bcf6878.html

Ohio 10/29/14 Tuscarawas County: The New Philadelphia City Health Department is looking for a dark gray/tiger cat with a red collar that was in the vicinity of the 500 block of Fourth Street NW, between Minnich Avenue and Park Avenue NW. The cat bit a woman Wednesday. Because of that, the cat needs to be in rabies quarantine until Nov. 8. If the cat cannot be located for observation, the woman likely will need to undergo post-exposure rabies inoculations. If anyone has any information concerning this cat or its whereabouts, contact the New Philadelphia City Health Department at 330-364-4491, ext. 208; the New Philadelphia Police Department at 330-343-4488 or the Tuscarawas County Dog Warden at 330-339-2616. – See http://www.timesreporter.com/articlehelp984-05834/20141029/NEWS/141029151/10675/NEWS

South Dakota 10/31/14 Minnehaha County: Sioux Falls police are asking for the public’s help in finding a six month old Chocolate Labrador that bit a 4-year-old Tuesday at Menlo Park. The incident happened about 5:30 p.m. The dog ran into the park and bit the child, then ran to the east, police said. Police are attempting to find the dog to verify rabies vaccination. Anyone who sees a dog matching the description is asked to call police. – See http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/crime/2014/10/31/police-searching-dog-bit-year-old/18257543/

Virginia 10/29/14 Warren County: by Josette Keelor – A cat in Warren County has tested positive for rabies. On Oct. 15, the cat, described as a domestic short hair, yellow and white in color, attacked three people in the vicinity of Va. 649 or Browntown Road and Va. 622 Buck Mountain Road/Liberty Hall Road, according to a news release from the Warren County Health Department. This is the fifth cat that has tested positive for rabies in Warren County this year. – For complete article see http://www.nvdaily.com/news/2014/10/confirmed-warren-county-rabies-case-reminds-of-risk.php

Canada:

page_grey_bruce_health_unit_logo_28Ontario 10/29/14 Bruce County: The Grey Bruce Health Unit is asking for the public’s help in tracking down a dog involved in a biting incident. It happened Monday at about 9:30 AM as a man walked on Huron Terrace Road where it becomes Penatangore Row in Kincardine. He was bitten by a dog being walked by a young man. The dog is described as a medium-sized brown and tan mixed breed. The victim couldn’t get any information from the owner. Staff of the Grey Bruce Health Unit need to confirm the dog is not infectious with rabies. By verifying the health of the dog, the victim can avoid receiving the post-exposure rabies treatment. If you have any information about the incident, you are asked to contact the Grey Bruce Health Unit at 519-376-9420. – See http://www.bayshorebroadcasting.ca/news_item.php?NewsID=70254

Study projects how EBOLA VIRUS will spread ~ Promising EBOLA VACCINE abandoned a decade ago ~ NEW YORK & NEW JERSEY to quarantine all travelers with EBOLA contacts ~ CANADIAN killed when GRIZZLY invades cabin ~ First case of CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE found in OHIO captive DEER ~ FLORIDIAN contracts ST. LOUIS ENCEPHALITIS ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) reports from CA, LA, PA & SD ~ COYOTE attacks weed eater before biting NORTH CAROLINA MAN and other RABIES reports from CA & NC.

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Global 10/20/14 wsj.com: by Gautam Naik – Up to three Ebola-infected people could embark on overseas flights every month from the three most-affected African countries, according to a new study that projected travel patterns based on infection rates and recent flight schedules. The findings, published Monday in the journal Lancet, suggest that Ebola cases could be spread overseas by unwitting travelers from the worst-hit countries—Guinea, Liberia and Sierra who-logoLeone. The World Health Organization has estimated that, by early December, there could be as many as 10,000 new cases a week in west Africa. The upshot is “that controlling the outbreak at the source is the most important thing that needs to happen” to prevent the international spread of the ECE_522805_St-MichaelsHospitalvirus, said Kamran Khan, an infectious disease physician at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and lead author of the study.

Dr. Kamran Khan

Dr. Kamran Khan

The researchers’ analysis assumed no exit screening in the airports of the three African nations. In reality, exit screenings occur, but the authors contend that this doesn’t change their conclusion because screenings can miss travelers who don’t yet show signs of Ebola. A person can incubate the virus for up to 21 days without exhibiting signs of the disease. – For complete article see http://online.wsj.com/articles/ebola-study-projects-spread-of-virus-on-overseas-flights-1413846023?tesla=y

Money-vaccineGlobal 10/23/14 nytimes.com: by Denise Grady – Almost a decade ago, scientists from Canada and the United States reported that they had created a vaccine that was 100 percent effective in protecting monkeys against the Ebola virus. The results were published in a respected journal, and health officials called them exciting. The researchers said tests in people might start within two years, and a product could potentially be ready for licensing by 2010 or 2011. It never happened. The vaccine sat on a shelf. Only now is it undergoing the most basic safety tests in humans — with nearly 5,000 people dead from Ebola and an epidemic raging out of control in West Africa. Its development stalled in part because Ebola is rare, and until now, outbreaks had infected only a few hundred people at a time. But experts also acknowledge that the absence of follow-up on such a promising candidate reflects a broader failure to produce medicines and vaccines for diseases that afflict poor countries. Most drug companies have resisted spending the enormous sums needed to develop products useful mostly to countries with little ability to pay. – For complete article see http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/24/health/without-lucrative-market-potential-ebola-vaccine-was-shelved-for-years.html?emc=edit_tnt_20141023&nlid=57949252&tntemail0=y

0New York/New Jersey 10/24/14 medscape.com: by Robert Lowes – In the wake of New York City’s first Ebola case, New York and New Jersey will quarantine all healthcare workers arriving at two key airports from Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia for 21 days if they have treated patients with the deadly virus in those countries. The quarantine will extend to all travelers from the three countries who have had direct contact with an infected individual. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced the decision to impose quarantines this afternoon. Calls for this stringent measure have grown louder since Craig Spencer, MD, tested positive for the Ebola virus yesterday after he returned to New York City on October 17 from an assignment with Doctors Without Borders in Guinea. – For complete article see http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/833879?src=wnl_edit_newsal&uac=218349HV

Quarantine-Sign-NHE-18384_600Blog Author’s Note: Definitely a step in the right direction, but the people of the U.S. would be much better served if all travelers from Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia using all modes of transportation were quarantined for 21 days under penalty of prison terms and/or deportation. In addition, all commercial flights to and from these countries should be stopped until the virus is no longer a threat. Healthcare workers and other emergency personnel could travel in and out of these countries on military flights, which would also provide an optimal level of control. Yes, this would be costly to enforce, but if we can spend trillions protecting the American public from terrorists, we can afford a comparative pittance to protect them from the Ebola virus, which at the current survival rate could wipe out half of the U.S. population.

BEAR ATTACK:

Canada:

1306540277907_ORIGINAL.gRIZZLY.Yukon Territory 10/21/14 calgarysun.com: Claudia Huber, 42, a native of Switzerland and naturalized Canadian, died on October 18th as a result of injuries sustained when she was mauled by a 170 kg. older, male grizzly near her home in Johnsons Crossing, about 136 km southeast of Whitehorse. The grizzly climbed through a rear window into her cabin when Claudia and her husband, Matthias Liniger, fled but the grizzly caught up with Claudia. Matthias shot the grizzly, but not before Claudia was badly mauled. A little later that day, some 50 km away in theTeslin health center, Claudia died. The couple has lived in Johnsons Crossing since they came to Canada from Switzerland eight years ago to start a year-round adventure touring company offering like-minded Europeans an opportunity to experience their isolated lifestyle in the Canadian wilderness for short periods of time. – For complete article see http://www.calgarysun.com/2014/10/20/claudia-was-my-soulmate-says-husband-of-grizzly-attack-victim

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE:

whitetail deer 3Ohio 10/25/14 OH Dept of Natural Resources: Media Release – State officials have confirmed the first positive case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in the state in a captive deer herd in Holmes County. The state continues to take quarantine action to control the further spread of the disease. There is no evidence that CWD has affected the wild deer population in the state. The positive sample was taken from a single buck on a hunting preserve in Millersburg and tested as part of Ohio’s CWD monitoring program for captive white-tailed deer operations. The preserve had been under quarantine since April 24, 2014, and was subject to intensive monitoring and sampling protocols because of a known connection to a captive deer operation in Pennsylvania that tested positive for CWD earlier this year. The quarantine will remain enforced until the state is satisfied that disease transference can no longer occur. The disease is fatal in deer, elk and moose, but there is no evidence CWD can be transmitted to humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The World Health Organization. Though no human disease has been associated with CWD, the CDC recommends, as a precaution, that people or other animals do not eat any part of an animal diagnosed with or showing signs of CWD. – For complete release see http://ohiodnr.gov/news/post/first-case-of-chronic-wasting-disease-confirmed-in-ohio-on-private-preserve

ST. LOUIS ENCEPHALITIS:

Mosquito_08849rt77Florida 10/22/14 Duval County: A 58-year-old female resident of the county contracted St. Louis Encephalitis but has fully recovered following treatment. This is the first human case of the mosquito-borne virus reported in the state of Florida since 2003. – See http://members.jacksonville.com/news/health-and-fitness/2014-10-22/story/first-st-louis-encephalitis-case-florida-03-found-duval

WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV):

imagesCACMXFDXCalifornia 10/24/14 CA Dept of Public Health: Media Release - There were 46 new WNV human cases reported in California this week from the following counties: Colusa (1), Kern (1), Los Angeles (23), Orange (15), Placer (2), San Diego (1), Stanislaus (2), and Yolo (1). Twenty WNV-related fatalities have been reported to CDPH from ten local health jurisdictions: Glenn (1), Long Beach City (2), Los Angeles (3), Orange (5), Placer (1), Sacramento (2), Shasta (1), Stanislaus (2), Sutter (2), and Tehama (1). Six hundred and eight (608) human cases from 29 counties have tested positive for WNV thus far in 2014. – See http://westnile.ca.gov/

Louisiana 10/17/14 LA Dept of Health & Hospitals: Media Release – Officials have confirmed two (2) new cases of WNV this week, but no new deaths. One (1) new case with fever was reported from Caddo Parish and one (1) new case with fever was reported from East Baton Rouge Parish. – For summary see http://www.dhh.state.la.us/assets/docs/SurveillanceReports/wnv/weekly2014/ARBO_1441.pdf

Pennsylvania 10/18/14 PA Dept of Health: The number of WNV cases statewide has now reached seven and Philadelphia has recorded  the first WNV-related fatality this year. – For a summary see http://www.westnile.state.pa.us/

South Dakota 10/22/14 SD Dept of Health: Media Release – 57 human cases of WNV disease have been reported statewide.   Status:  meningitis/encephalitis 21%, fever 79%; hospitalized 25%; deaths 0.   Counties with cases:  Beadle, Brown(6), Charles Mix(2), Codington(5), Day, Dewey(3), Edmunds(2), Faulk, Grant(2), Hamlin(3), Hand, Hanson, Harding, Hughes(4), Hutchinson, Jackson, Lawrence, Lincoln(3), Marshall, McPherson, Meade(2), Minnehaha(5), Sanborn, Shannon(2), Spink, Tripp, Union(3) and Walworth. – See http://doh.sd.gov/documents/diseases/WNVupdate10-24.pdf

RABIES:

HelpCalifornia 10/23/14 San Diego County: On Tuesday, a bat found near Pizza Nova on North Twin Oaks Road (in San Marcos) was found to be positive for rabies, according to county health officials. Five children spotted the bat under a tree near the restaurant a few days before the County Public Health Laboratory’s rabies result was confirmed. Concerns are that the children or others may have touched the bat, possibly exposing them to the disease. The county is looking for help in finding the five children and any others that might have been in the area and have come into contact with the animal, according to Craig Sturak, communications officer with the County Health and Human Services Agency. Contact the County’s Health and Human Services Agency by calling (619) 692-8499. – See https://thecoastnews.com/2014/10/county-looking-for-kids-that-may-have-handled-rabid-bat/

4904540_GNorth Carolina 10/17/14 tryondailyubulletin.com: by Leah Justice – A man weed eating his yard last Thursday evening was attacked by what he reported to be a coyote, according to Polk County Animal Control. Officers from the sheriff’s office said the man was weed eating around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16 on King Stepp Road, off Grassy Knob Road (in Sunny View), when all of a sudden, the animal attacked the weed eater, then bit the man on the leg. The man immediately went to the hospital, where he received rabies shots and several stitches in his leg. Officers described it as a substantial wound. The man described the animal as a small coyote. The coyote was not captured. – See complete article at: http://www.tryondailybulletin.com/2014/10/17/sunny-view-man-attacked-by-suspected-rabid-coyote/#sthash.gcecZrlx.dpuf

North Carolina 10/23/14 Randolph County: A stray cat found in the vicinity of Robbins Farm and Kennedy roads in Trinity has tested positive for rabies. – See http://myfox8.com/2014/10/23/cat-in-trinity-area-tests-positive-for-rabies/

THE EBOLA WARS – Highly recommended article in The New Yorker

_77059352_ebola-outbreakGlobal 10/27/14 newyorker.com: by Richard Preston – “The Ebola Wars: How genomics research can help contain the outbreak.” Notable excerpts: “The most dangerous outbreak of an emerging infectious disease since the appearance of H.I.V., in the early nineteen-eighties, seems to have begun on December 6, 2013, in the village of Meliandou, in Guinea, in West Africa, with the death of a two-year-old boy who was suffering from diarrhea and a fever. We now know that he was infected with Ebola virus. The virus is a parasite that lives, normally, in some as yet unidentified creature in the ecosystems of equatorial Africa. This creature is the natural host of Ebola; it could be a type of fruit bat, or some small animal that lives on the body of a bat—possibly a bloodsucking insect, a tick, or a mite.”

“Health authorities in Europe and the United States seem equipped to prevent Ebola from starting uncontrolled chains of infection in those regions, but they worry about what could happen if Ebola got into a city like Lagos, in Nigeria, or Kolkata, in India. The number of people who are currently sick with Ebola is unknown, but almost nine thousand cases, including forty-five hundred deaths, have been reported so far, with the number of cases doubling about every three weeks.”

“The virus is believed to be transmitted, in particular, through contact with sweat and blood, which contain high concentrations of Ebola particles. People with Ebola sweat profusely, and in some instances they have internal hemorrhages, along with effusions of vomit and diarrhea containing blood.”

“In what’s known as droplet infection, the virus can travel inside droplets of fluid released into the air when, for example, a person coughs. The droplets travel only a few feet and soon fall to the ground. . . . A rule of thumb among Ebola experts is that, if you are not wearing biohazard gear, you should stand at least six feet away from an Ebola patient, as a precaution against flying droplets.”

“Some patients with Ebola become disoriented, struggle and thrash, and fall out of bed. They can get a bloody nose, which makes them sneeze. They can have projectile vomiting, and they can cough while they are vomiting. Some become incontinent, and all the fluids that come out of their bodies are increasingly saturated with Ebola particles.”

“(Drs.) Gire and Sabeti’s group also found that the virus had started in one person. It could have been the little boy in Meliandou, but there is no way to tell for sure right now”

“In addition to many drug candidates, there are vaccines in development.”

Author’s Note: If Ebola experts recommend a six-foot clearance from Ebola patients to avoid flying droplets from a coughing, sneezing or vomiting Ebola-infected passenger, and if these infected individuals develop diarrhea and become incontinent and could possibly contaminate toilet and even passenger seats, how can it possibly be safe to fly on any commercial aircraft? And as long as people coming into the U.S. from Ebola-endemic countries are not quarantined for a period of 21 days, how can passenger trains and commercial buses be safe?

This is a rather lengthy and very moving article about the heroes on the front line in the war against Ebola and well worth reading.

For complete article see http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/10/27/ebola-wars