Soldier mauled by BROWN BEAR during training exercise in ALASKA ~ Second domestically acquired case of CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER confirmed in FLORIDA ~ Three more COLORADANS contract PLAGUE ~ COLORADAN tests positive for TULAREMIA.

Brown bear. Courtesy National Park Service, Yellowstone.

Brown bear. Courtesy National Park Service, Yellowstone.

Alaska 07/20/14 adn.com: by Michelle Theriault Boots – A National Guard soldier was mauled by a brown bear on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson while participating in a training exercise Sunday morning, officials said. A JBER release said the soldier was mauled by a sow defending her cubs — the second such attack in just more than two months on the Anchorage base. The soldier was in stable condition as of Sunday afternoon. His name had not yet been released. The Alaska Army National Guard soldier was a participant in a daylong “land navigation exercise,” said Alaska National Guard spokeswoman Maj. Candis Olmstead. During the exercise, soldiers are given a compass and map and are timed as they navigate alone to hidden locations on the course. At about 11:45 a.m. the soldier was traveling through the woods when he encountered a sow with two cubs, Olmstead said. “He dropped to the ground, covered his head and remained still,” she said. The bear approached him, biting and “swatting” at him. After about 30 seconds, the bear retreated and the soldier blew a safety whistle, alerting medics stationed nearby, she said. Olmstead said the soldier was not armed at the time of the attack. She said she did not know if he was carrying bear spray. The soldier was taken to the base hospital for treatment. – For complete article see http://www.adn.com/article/20140720/soldier-stable-condition-after-jber-bear-attack

Chikungunya Fever:

Clhikungunya transmission cycle.

Clhikungunya transmission cycle.

Florida 07/18/14 Miami-Dade County: A second domestically acquired human case of chikungunya fever has been confirmed in Florida. The patient is a 41-year-old woman in Miami-Dade County who began experiencing symptoms on June 10th. A 50-year-old male resident of Palm Beach County first noticved symptoms on July 1st. Dr. Celeste Philip, a public health official, said both patients are doing well. More than 230 human cases of chikungunya fever have been reported in the U.S. this year, but all the others were travelers believed to have been infected elsewhere, most while traveling in the Caribbean. – See http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/health/2014/07/18/two-cases-chikungunya-fever-reported-in-florida-puerto-rico-declares-epidemic/

Plague:

USPlague70_12_611_pxWideColorado 07/18/14 CO Dept of Public Health: Media Release – Officials have identified three additional residents with plague, for a total of four human cases. All three had direct contact with a dog that died of the plague after most likely being exposed to a prairie dog or rabbit with plague-infected fleas in eastern Adams County. The first human case was infected after direct contact with the same dog. – See https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/news-release-three-additional-colorado-residents-identified-plague

Tularemia:

us-reported-cases-of-tularemia-map.cdcCalifornia 07/17/14 San Diego County: A domestic cat belonging to residents of a home in San Marcos has tested positive for tularemia. Those who came in contact with the cat are being treated for exposure as a precaution. It is believed the cat contracted the disease from an infected wild animal as it lives in a rural area and spent time hunting rodents and rabbits. – See http://www.thevillagenews.com/story/79505/

Colorado 07/17/14 Broomfield County: A resident of the Pony Estates neighborhood of the City of Broomfield has tested positive for tularemia. Local officials said the resident was probably infected while removing dead rabbits previously found on the resident’s property. – See http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/officials-suspect-broomfield-resident-was-infected-by-contact-with-dead-rabbits-in-yard

West Nile Virus (WNV):

CDC-LogoNational 07/15/14 guardianlv.com: by Beth Balen – Eighteen West Nile Virus (WNV) human infections have now been diagnosed in seven states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Twelve of those cases are severe types of the virus, known as neuroinvasive disease, West Nile poliomyelitis or West Nile encephalitis or meningitis. A total of 23 states have reported finding the virus in birds and mosquitoes, as well as humans. . . Human infections of WNV are now reported in Arizona, California, Mississippi, Missouri, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas. One death has been reported. – See http://guardianlv.com/2014/07/west-nile-virus-human-infections-now-in-seven-states/
 

FLORIDA reports first case of CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER acquired in the United States ~ CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER outbreak in CARIBBEAN REGION now exceeds 355,000 hum an cases.

Chikungunya Fever causes "bonebreaking" pain in joints

Chikungunya Fever causes “bonebreaking” pain in joints

National 07/17/14 cdc.gov: Media Release – Seven months after the mosquito-borne virus chikungunya was recognized in the Western Hemisphere, the first locally acquired case of the disease has surfaced in the continental United States. The case was reported today in Florida in a male who had not recently traveled outside the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working closely with the Florida Department of Health to investigate how the patient contracted the virus; CDC will also monitor for additional locally acquired U.S. cases in the coming weeks and months. Since 2006, the United States has averaged 28 imported cases of chikungunya (chik-un-GUHN-ya) per year in travelers returning from countries where the virus is common. To date this year, 243 travel-associated cases have been reported in 31 states and two territories. However, the newly reported case represents the first time that mosquitoes in the continental United States are thought to have spread the virus to a non-traveler.

Aedes aegypti . CDC

Aedes aegypti . CDC

Chikungunya virus is transmitted to people by two species of mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. Both species are found in the southeastern United States and limited parts of the southwest; Aedes albopictus is also found further north up the East Coast, through the Mid-Atlantic States and is also found in the lower Midwest. It is not known what course chikungunya will take now in the United States.

Aedes albopictus

Aedes albopictus

CDC officials believe chikungunya will behave like dengue virus in the United States, where imported cases have resulted in sporadic local transmission but have not caused widespread outbreaks. None of the more than 200 imported chikungunya cases between 2006 and 2013 have triggered a local outbreak. However, more chikungunya-infected travelers coming into the United States increases the likelihood that local chikungunya transmission will occur. Infection with chikungunya virus is rarely fatal, but the joint pain can often be severe and debilitating. This virus is not spread person to person. There is no vaccine and no specific treatment for infection, but research is underway in both areas. Patients recover in about a week, although long-term joint pain occurs in some people. – For complete rmedia release see http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0717-chikungunya.html

Chikungunya988405Caribbean Region 07/14/14 cidrap.umn.edu: by Lisa Schnirring – The number of chikungunya infections in an ongoing outbreak in the Caribbean region saw another steep rise last week, with the Dominican Republic again accounting for much of the new activity, along with Guadeloupe and Martinique, according to the latest update from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The total number of suspected and confirmed cases rose to 355,617, an increase of 48,780 from the week before, according to PAHO’s Jul 11 update. Nearly 28,000 of the new cases were reported from the Dominican Republic, while new case numbers were not listed from neighboring Haiti, another outbreak hotspot. Other areas that contributed sizable parts of last week’s increase are Guadeloupe with 11,600 new cases and Martinique with 8,550, according to the PAHO report.

ecdc.logoThe European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in its communicable disease threat update today that most of the affected outbreak areas continue to report cases, “but the situation is particularly severe in the island of Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic).” Elsewhere, the first locally acquired chikungunya cases have been detected in Trinidad and Tobago, according to a Jul 13 report from the Trinidad Express newspaper. James Hospedales, MD, executive director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency, said the outbreak appears to be spreading to one new country per week, according to the report. PAHO said the only US territory that saw a notable increase was Puerto Rico, which reported 177 more suspected or confirmed cases for a total of 405 so far. The number of deaths held steady at 21. – For complete article see http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2014/07/chikungunya-outbreak-exceeds-355000-cases

N. FOWLERI AMOEBA kills young girl in KANSAS ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) reports from CA & OK ~ Unusual RABIES reports from GA & PA.

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Kansas 07/11/14 KS Dept of Health & Environment: Media Release – fatal case of primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) caused by Naegleria fowleri, a free-living amoeba found in freshwater, in a resident of Johnson County. The investigation indicates there were several potential fresh water exposures in Kansas, so the actual source of the infection cannot be determined. Initial laboratory examination has identified the presence of Naegleria fowleri in a specimen from the patient, and additional laboratory testing by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is pending. This is the second known case of PAM caused by Naegleria fowleri in Kansas. The first case occurred in 2011. Naegleri fowleri can be found in freshwater environments around the world, but infection causing PAM is extremely rare. From 1962 to 2013, there have been 132 cases reported in the United States, with 34 of those cases occurring from 2004 to 2013. Most cases have occurred in southern-tier states. The risk of infection is very low, but increases during the summer months when water temperatures rise and more people participate in water-related activities. The infection typically occurs when the amoeba enters the body through the nose while the person is swimming underwater or diving and travels to the brain.

Author's Note: Map dated 2012. At that time, Kansas was not known to be an infected state.

Author’s Note: Map dated 2012. At that time, Kansas was not known to be an infected state.

Symptoms usually appear about five days after infection, but can range between one and seven days, and include headache, fever, nausea and vomiting, stiff neck, confusion, lack of attention to people and surroundings, loss of balance and bodily control, seizures, and hallucinations. This infection cannot be spread from person to person or contracted from a properly maintained swimming pool.- For complete media release with precautions see http://www.kdheks.gov/news/web_archives/2014/07112014.htm

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Orange Cty CACalifornia 07/10/14 Orange County: The local county health care agency reported this week that a male Santa Ana resident has tested positive for WNV. He is now recovering at home. There have been 10 human cases reported in the state this year but this is the first human case of WNV in Orange County so far. – See http://lakeforest-ca.patch.com/groups/around-town/p/orange-county-gets-its-first-case-of-west-nile-of-the-year

Major Cty.OKOklahoma 07/10/14 OK State Dept of Health: Officials have confirmed the state’s first human case of WNV this year in a Major County resident. Last year Oklahoma reported 84 human cases of WNV including 8 fatalities. – See http://www.ok.gov/health/Disease,_Prevention,_Preparedness/Acute_Disease_Service/Disease_Information/Tickborne_and_Mosquitoborne_Diseases/West_Nile_Virus/

Rabies:

racoonball2ByCornwallCTGeorgia 07/11/14 Glynn County: Residents of St. Simons Island are being cautioned to watch for raccoons behaving strangely after one of 11 that a woman was caring for on the island was found to have rabies, Glynn County Police Chief Matt Doering said. The raccoon that tested positive for rabies had been in contact with the others and with pet cats and dogs. Four of the raccoons are still missing and residents are cautioned to be alert for any animals showing signs of rabies including aggression, illness and confusion. Anyone who spots a raccoon showing those symptoms is asked to call the Glynn County police who will assess the animal’s behavior and call the Department of Natural Resources if necessary. Anyone who is in contact with a rabid or potentially rabid raccoon or other animal is asked to call the Glynn County Health Department at (912) 279-2940. – See http://members.jacksonville.com/news/georgia/2014-07-11/story/woman-was-caring-rabid-raccoon-st-simons-island-police-say

rabies18893Pennsylvania 07/10/14 Westmoreland County: A deer that attacked the manager of a paint store in East Huntington Township as she arrived for work at a strip mall has tested positive for rabies. Two men came to her aid and subdued the deer, which she said had scabs on its head and green foam coming from its mouth. The animal died before wildlife officials arrived. – See video and complete article at http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/weird/2014/07/10/rabid-deer-attacks-woman-outside-paint-store/12475861/

 

FLORIDA WOMAN diagnosed with first locally acquired case of DENGUE FEVER this year ~ NEW MEXICO WOMAN contracts TULAREMIA ~ RABIES report from CT, NY & NC.

miamidade2

Florida 07/09/14 FL Dept of Health/Miami-Dade County: Media Release – Officials have confirmed the first locally acquired case of Dengue Fever in the county so far this year. The individual has fully recovered. – See http://www.dadehealth.org/public/PUBLICnewsarticle.asp?newsID=2219&typeID=&news_type=Press+Releases

Author’s Note: According to Local10 News, the individual is a 50-year-old woman, and there were 23 confirmed cases of locally acquired dengue in Florida last year. – See http://www.local10.com/news/dengue-fever-case-confirmed-in-miamidade-county/26864992

Tularemia:

ico_TularemiaNew Mexico 07/10/14 krwg.org: State officials today confirmed a case of tularemia in a 65-year-old female resident of Bernalillo County. The woman was hospitalized but has since recovered. At least 7 household pets have also been diagnosed with tularemia so far this year, 4 dogs and 3 cats from Santa Fe, Bernalillo and Los Alamos counties. – See http://krwg.org/post/serious-illness-found-people-and-pets-new-mexico

Rabies:

6183687956_0905f1bf96_oConnecticut 07/09/14 New Haven County: A 3-month-old gray tabby kitten that bit two people has tested positive for rabies. The kitten was found screeching and acting strangely on a lawn along Hickory Road in Derby on July 5th. About ten others have had direct contact with the kitten’s saliva and other body fluids, and at least three dogs were also exposed. – See http://wtnh.com/2014/07/09/several-come-in-contact-with-rabid-kitten/

help7689New York 07/10/14 Erie County: Steve Goodwin of Buffalo is looking for the owner(s) of a pit bull that attacked his dog on July 6th in the Nottingham Woods area of Delaware Park, near Lincoln Parkway. Goodwin grabbed the pit bull by the mouth to free his dog. which was being bitten on the throat. Now his concern is whether or not the pit bull has been vaccinated for rabies. The two people the pit bull was with drove away without providing Goodwin with any information. – For more details see http://wivb.com/2014/07/09/couple-searches-for-pit-bull-owner-after-attack/

redfox-aug09North Carolina 07/08/14 Cumberland County: A fox that attacked a woman, her 2-year-old son and their dog on July 6th at the family’s home on Spinnaker Drive in Hope Mills has tested positive for rabies. The family was playing with the dog when the fox attacked first biting the mother, and then attacking the dog. – See video and complete article at http://www.wncn.com/story/25965704/toddler-attacked-by-rabid-fox-in-hope-mills?clienttype=generic&mobilecgbypass

COLORADIAN and his DOG contract PLAGUE likely after exposure to infected PRAIRIE DOG ~ Another ALASKAN jogger attacked by GRIZZLY ~ HANTAVIRUS infects two TEXANS and kills an OKLAHOMAN ~ CAT in CALIFORNIA infected with TULAREMIA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) report from LOUISIANA ~ Unusual RABIES report from NEW YORK.

Prairie Dog. Photo by Jeff Kubina. Wikimedia Commons.

Prairie Dog. Photo by Jeff Kubina. Wikimedia Commons.

Colorado 07/09/14 CO Dept of Public Health & Environment: Media Release – Officials have confirmed that a resident and his dog have tested positive for plague. “The patient and the dog may have been exposed in eastern Adams County. Plague is spread from fleas on rodents, most commonly prairie dogs. People walking in open spaces and trails should avoid contact with rodents.” – For symptoms, precautions and complete media release see https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/news-release-pneumonic-plague-found-colorado-resident-and-pet-dog

Grizzly:

img_home_sow_n_cubsAlaska 07/07/14 Bird Valley: For the third time in two months a grizzly has attacked a person in Alaska. The latest incident involves a 59-year-old woman who was jogging near her home in the Bird Valley village of Indian south of Anchorage when two nearly grown cubs emerged from brush along the roadside, then she was hit from behind by their mother. Fortunately, all three of the bears then left the area and she was able to call for help on her cell phone. The woman had been wearing in-ear headphones and was not carrying bear spray. The trail, part of a system of trails in Chugach State Park, will be closed for a week in keeping with state policy. The valley borders Bird and Penguin creeks, which will soon be filled with salmon, a major attraction to hungry bears.- For complete article see http://www.adn.com/article/20140707/woman-suffers-serious-injuries-bear-mauling-near-anchorage

Hantavirus:

hantavirus5667546Texas 07/08/14 myhighplains.com: Two recent cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome have been confirmed in residents of the Panhandle and South Plains. – See http://www.myhighplains.com/story/d/story/-/jsmVHVDCiESAt_sWBATVRw?PreviewStory=true

Oklahoma 07/08/14 Texas County: Officials have confirmed that a resident of the northwestern part of the state died of hantavirus disease in May. – See http://www.myhighplains.com/story/d/story/-/ck9VtQjsnkOpGFBYTP78hw?PreviewStory=true

Tularemia:

80ab05b3670e2bdcb7165060f8167dfd (2)California 07/08/14 North County: Officials have confirmed that a domestic cat housed in the county has been diagnosed with tularemia, also known as rabbit fever, a potentially dangerous bacterial disease that humans can contract. The cat spent a lot of time outside hunting and likely contracted the disease from an infected rodent. All of those who have been in contact with the cat, and of course the cat itself, are all being treated with antibiotics. – See http://www.10news.com/news/county-health-officials-issue-alert-after-cat-contracts-tularemia-also-known-as-rabbit-fever

West Nile Virus (WNV):

LA-DHHLouisiana 07/08/14 LA Dept of Health & Hospitals: Media Release – Three cases of WNV were recently confirmed in Livingston Parish and were all asymptomatic, meaning these individuals did not know they were infected, and only found out while donating blood or having blood work. About 90 percent of all cases are asymptomatic, while about 10 percent will develop West Nile fever. Only a very small number of infected individuals will show the serious symptoms associated with the neuroinvasive disease. Residents who are 65 years old and older are at higher risk for complications, but everyone is at risk for infection. – See http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/newsroom/detail/3062

Rabies:

5704860-portrait-of-gray-fox-barkingNew York 07/07/14 Onondaga County: A gray fox that attacked and repeatedly bit a pregnant woman outside her home at 112 Dutton Avenue in Nedrow has tested positive for rabies. The woman had just returned home from a doctor’s appointment with her 3-year-old son and found the fox chasing her cat in circles in her yard. Then it turned on her. At one point she fell and the fox sunk its teeth deeply into her arm but she managed to tear herself loose and rush her son to safety inside the house. The fox, which continued to hurl itself against the screen door trying to get in, was finally shot by a deputy when it turned and attacked an ambulance that had been summoned. The woman had been bitten at least seven times and required stitches as well as post-exposure rabies shots administered immediately as a precaution. The CDC says studies have indicated no increased risk of fetal abnormalities associated with rabies vaccination during pregnancy. – For photos and complete article see http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2014/07/pregnant_nedrow_woman_fends_off_rabid_fox_after_animal_attacks_and_repeatedly_bi.html

 

Will the CHIKUNGUNYA VIRUS become a threat in the U.S.? Scientist says “it’s only a matter of time”. ~ TULAREMIA killing RABBITS in COLORADO ~ FLORIDA reports five HORSES down with EEE ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) reports from CO, SD & TX ~ RABIES reports from CO & NY.

Aedes aegypti biting human. Courtesy U.S. Dept of Agriculture.

Aedes aegypti biting human. Courtesy U.S. Dept of Agriculture.

Global 07/01/14 nationalgeographic.com: by Karen Weintraub – Chikungunya (pronounced chick-un-GOON-ya) has plagued other parts of the world—particularly Asia and Africa—for decades, becoming more prevalent in recent years. But it arrived in the Caribbean only in December and has already infected as many as 250,000 people there. The virus is generally not lethal and can’t pass from person to person. But the pain it brings can be horrible—some who have weathered its wrath have said they wished the virus had killed them. In rare cases, the agony can last for months or even years. Public health officials in the Caribbean are struggling to contain the outbreak, in part because of the difficulty of limiting mosquito breeding grounds and because the disease is so new to the area. Paola Lichtenberger, director of the Tropical Medicine Program at the University of Miami, says she is sure the epidemic is more widespread than official numbers suggest simply because making the diagnosis is so difficult. Public health officials in the U.S. and around the world, meanwhile, are tracking cases carefully and encouraging people in affected areas to take precautions to avoid infections and to clean up areas of standing water. Airports in ten major American East Coast cities with Caribbean-bound flights have posted warnings to passengers about chikungunya.

81343_990x742-cb1404168438So far, 73 American travelers have brought the disease home from abroad and another 15 have been infected by mosquitoes in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, though it hasn’t yet reached mosquitoes in the continental United States. But it’s only a matter of time before that happens, according to Lichtenberger, who has helped treat three chikungunya patients since the outbreak began. – For complete article see http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/07/140701-chikungunya-caribbean-mosquitoes-world-health/?rptregcta=reg_free_np&rptregcampaign=20140623_t1_rw_membership_r1p_us_dr_w

Tularemia:

colojackColorado 07/04/14 Larimer County: Officials confirmed on July 3rd that a rabbit found in Fort Collins has tested positive for tularemia, aka Rabbit Fever, a bacterial infection that is potentially life-threatening to humans. A die-off of rabbits has been reported in the area over the past few weeks. – For complete article including risks, symptoms and precautions see http://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2014/07/03/tularemia-found-southeast-fort-collins-area-rabbit/12205939/

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

eee-threat-249x187Florida 07/03/14 wcjb.com: A fifth horse has tested positive for EEE in North Central Florida. Three of the infected horses were reported stabled in Marion County, and two in Alachua County. – See http://www.wcjb.com/local-news/2014/07/fifth-case-eastern-equine-encephalitis-north-central-florida

West Nile Virus (WNV):

1184134480-mosquito2Colorado 07/03/14 CO Dept of Public Health & Environment: Officials have confirmed the state’s first two human cases of WNV so far this year reported in Saguache and Pueblo counties. – See https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/news-release-human-cases-west-nile-virus-identified-colorado

South Dakota 07/03/14 SD Dept of Health: Officials have confirmed two new human cases of WNV in Codington and Lincoln counties. – See http://doh.sd.gov/diseases/infectious/wnv/documents/WestNileupdates2014.pdf

Texas 07/03/14 TX Dept of State Health: Officials have confirmed the state’s first human case of WNV this year was reported in Travis County. – See https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/news/releases/20140703.aspx

Rabies:

rabiesAlert521d4-1Colorado 07/02/14 Yuma County: Officials have confirmed that a feral cat found near the Morgan Community College campus in Wray has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.yumapioneer.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6060&Itemid=39

New York 07/02/14 Tompkins County: A bat captured earlier this week in Montgomery Park in the town of Dryden has tested positive for rabies. It is known, and was reported, that three children using sticks poked at the bat on Monday, but no one knows who the children are. Officials need to determine as soon as possible if any or all of these children were exposed to the virus. The health department urges anyone who had contact or knows of anyone who had contact with a bat in Montgomery Park in Dryden to immediately contact them at 607-274-6688. – See http://ithacavoice.com/2014/07/officials-scramble-find-kids-poked-rabid-bat-dryden-park/

 

LEPROSY still claiming victims in the UNITED STATES ~ MEXICAN STATE abutting CALIFORNIA’S IMPERIAL COUNTY has reported 11 deaths from ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER so far this year ~ WEST NILE VIRUS report from SOUTH DAKOTA.

Nine-banded Armadillo. Photo courtesy NASA.

Nine-banded Armadillo. Photo courtesy NASA.

Researchers find that Mycobacterium leprae, the pathogen that causes leprosy, otherwise known as Hansen’s Disease, is not as contagious as most people believe. It doesn’t grow well at all in cell cultures, or in nearly any nonhuman animal. The singular exception is the nine-banded armadillo, which the microbe favors even more than people.

“Armadillos are now a reservoir for the disease, and in coastal marsh habitats where population densities of the animal can be high, 20 percent or more of the armadillos are thought to be infected with M. leprae and capable of passing it on to susceptible people. Of the 200 cases of leprosy diagnosed annually in the United States, most are thought to stem from contact with armadillos, although the precise route of transmission remains unclear.”

Nine-banded Armadillo. Photo by Leppyone. Wikimedia Commons.

Nine-banded Armadillo. Photo by Leppyone. Wikimedia Commons.

“Today, Hansen’s is classified as a rare disease, yet it still strikes some 200,000 people a year, most of them in Brazil, India and other developing nations.” – For complete article published in The New York Times – Science see http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/01/science/leprosy-still-claiming-victims.html?emc=edit_tnt_20140630&nlid=57949252&tntemail0=y

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever:

imperial-county-map-areaMexico 0/30/14 Baja California: by Robert Herriman – The Department of Epidemiology at the Secretariat of Health in Mexicali, Baja California state, Mexico are reporting 11 fatalities from the tick borne disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF), during the first six months of 2014, according to a Uniradio Informa report (computer translated). In fact, since 2009, health officials report 72 deaths due to the lethal rickettsial bacterium. Specifically the report notes, in 2009, 9 people were killed. By 2010 the figure reached nearly 12 deaths; there were 8 in 2011, 15 in 2012, and up to 15 Nov 2013 there were 17 deaths, which, added to the registered in 2014, reach 72 people who were killed by the disease spread by a tick bite. Last week, Imperial County (CA-USA) health officials reported the first case/death from RMSF. (See “ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER kills CALIFORNIA” posted on this blog 06/27/14.)

RMSF spotted rash. Photo courtesy CDC.

RMSF spotted rash. Photo courtesy CDC.

RMSF is a tick borne disease caused by the organism, Rickettsia rickettsii. Typically, the progress of the disease is a sudden onset of high fever, deep muscle pain, severe headache and chills. A rash usually appears on the extremities within 5 days then soon spreads to palms and soles and then rapidly to the trunk. Fatalities can be seen in greater than 20% of untreated cases. Death is uncommon with prompt recognition and treatment. Still approximately 3-5% of cases seen in the U.S. are fatal. The absence or delayed appearance of the typical rash or the failure to recognize it, especially in dark-skinned people cause a delay in diagnosis and increased fatalities. Early stages of RMSF can be confused with erlichiosis, meningococcal meningitis and enteroviral infection. – For complete article see http://www.theglobaldispatch.com/mexicali-reports-nearly-a-dozen-rocky-mountain-spotted-fever-deaths-this-year-17381/

West Nile Virus (WNV):

hughes cty SDSouth Dakota 06/27/14 Hughes County: Officials have confirmed the state’s first human case of WNV reported this year. – See http://news.sd.gov/newsitem.aspx?id=16357