HANTAVIRUS kills one NEW MEXICAN and hospitalizes another ~ CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER in the AMERICAS tops 1 million cases its first year ~ RABIES reports from PAx2 & VAx2.

Deer mouse. Courtesy of CDC.

Deer mouse. Courtesy of CDC.

New Mexico 12/12/14 ruidosonews.com: by Dianne Stallings – A 28-year-old man from McKinley County died this week from Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome and a 49-year-old man from Otero County still is hospitalized with the viral infection, but improving. . . . New Mexico this year has seen a total of six HPS cases, three resulting in death. Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. People can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus. The deer mouse is the main carrier for Sin Nombre virus, the Hantavirus strain found in New Mexico. – For complete article see http://www.ruidosonews.com/ruidoso-news/ci_27124697/otero-county-man-hospitalized-hantavirus

CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER:

Chikungunya.33883.cdcWestern Hemisphere 12/13/14 outbreaknewstoday.com: by Robert Herriman – Exactly one year after the mosquito borne virus, chikungunya, made its first appearance in the Western Hemisphere as a locally acquired infection in the French Quarter section of the Caribbean island of St. Martin, the epidemic that has spread throughout the Americas has topped the 1 million case mark, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Friday. The most recent tally from the international health organization put the number of suspected and confirmed autochthonous, or locally acquired cases at 1,011,548, up nearly 36,000 cases from last week’s report. The eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic, after not reporting new cases for weeks, saw 25,381 additional cases reported to the UN agency. The Dominican Republic accounts for slightly more than half (51.8 percent)of all local transmission cases seen in the Western hemisphere with 524,297 total to date. In South America, Colombia saw an additional 6,350 cases, bringing their total to 45,513, the most cases reported on the South American continent. Brazil also reported a little spike recording 1,130 confirmed and 792 suspected chikungunya cases as of epidemiological week 46. Chikungunya virus is transmitted  by the same mosquitoes involved in the dengue fever  transmission (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus). - See http://outbreaknewstoday.com/chikungunya-in-the-americas-tops-1-million-cases-one-year-after-being-introduced-83961/ 

RABIES:

Pennsylvania 12/16/14 Montgomery County: A brown tabby cat named Jinx and missing its tail and hind legs that was being fostered at the Green Lane Veterinary Hospital in Green Lane has tested positive for rabies. Anyone who might have had contact with Jinx at the hospital between Nov. 29 and Dec. 11 should seek immediate medical advice. – See http://www.pottsmerc.comCAS_Kitten_Child_02/general-news/20141216/montco-confirms-rabies-in-crippled-cat-named-jinx

Pennsylvania 12/11/14 Washington County: An orange and white cat that has been held at the Washington Area Humane Society Shelter since May has tested positive for rabies. The incubation period can be as long as several years in rare cases. Currently, three people are being treated for potential exposure to the virus. Anyone who has been at the shelter and might have been exposed should seek immediate medical advice. – See http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/7361289-74/health-cat-officials#axzz3Lvw7N3ux

help984-05834Virginia 12/12/14 James City County: Health officials are looking for a dog that bit a person in James City County Wednesday afternoon. The attack happened around 4:30 p.m. in the neighborhood around Bridgewater Drive, according to the Peninsula Health District. A small white dog with tan spots — possibly a Fox Terrier or Jack Russell — was being walked by its owner when it bit the victim. Health officials say the victim will have to get a series of shots to prevent rabies, if the dog is not found and they can’t figure out if the animal has rabies. Once found, the dog won’t be taken away its owner, but will just have to stay inside for ten days. Anyone who has seen a dog with this description is asked to call the Peninsula Health District at 757-603-4277. – See http://wavy.com/2014/12/12/health-officials-looking-for-pet-dog-that-resident/

555f5f5Virginia 12/10/14 Halifax County: A stray Husky mix dog with a litter of six puppies that was found in the Boxwood Trail vicinity in the northern section of the county has tested positive for rabies. Two days after being picked up the mother began to show symptoms of being sick and was taken to a vet where the decision was made to put her to sleep. Because the pups were still nursing, they were also euthanized. Seven people exposed to the dogs were treated for possible exposure to the rabies virus. – See http://www.yourgv.com/news/local_news/article_69ac91c0-806d-11e4-a833-9b15f1940be0.html

BEAVERS in COLORADO spreading TULAREMIA ~ FLORIDIAN attacked by BLACK BEAR while walking DOG ~ Third NEW MEXICAN this year to die of HANTAVIRUS ~ CANADA: BIRD FLU in BRITISH COLUMBIA “highly pathogenic” ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) cases exceed 2,000 again this year ~ RABIES report from NORTH CAROLINA.

Beaver. Courtesy National Park Service.

Beaver. Courtesy National Park Service.

Colorado 12/03/14 summitdaily.com: Fifteen human cases of tularemia have reported so far this year, which is three times the annual average for the state. Tularemia-related small-mammal die-offs have been reported in at least 27 Colorado counties. Beavers found south of Breckenridge have tested positive for the bacteria, which can cause a potentially life-threatening disease. Of the 15 human cases reported this year, 11 patients have been hospitalized. – See http://www.summitdaily.com/news/14085888-113/tularemia-summit-bacteria-county

BEAR ATTACK:

blackbearjpgFlorida 12/04/14 wtsp.com: A Lake Mary resident who was walking her dog on Wednesday night was attacked by a black bear and bitten on the upper arm. Fortunately, the bear then abruptly left the area. According to officials, the dog spotted the bear and tried to chase it tugging at its leash and causing the woman to fall to the ground. The bear then attacked and ran off. Lake Mary, a suburb of Orlando, is in Seminole County. Last April another Lake Mary resident was mauled by a bear. Three people in the area were later charged for feeding bears. – See http://www.wtsp.com/story/news/local/florida/2014/12/04/fl-woman-bitten-by-bear-while-walking-dog/19914509/

Follow-Up Report: 12/06/14 therepublic.com: Officials have captured and killed the bear suspected to be the one that bit a woman walking her dog in Lake Mary last week. – See http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/460e5dfb2dd145ab99db2c11ab5d51f2/FL–Bear-Attack

HANTAVIRUS:

Deer mouse. NPS.

Deer mouse. NPS.

New Mexico 12/05/14 krqe.com: Health officials say a 28-year-old McKinley County man is the third person in the state to die from Hantavirus this year. The Department of Health says there have been a total of six Hantavirus cases in the state this year. Those include a 49-year-old Otero County man who remains hospitalized but whose condition is improving. Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. The deer mouse is the main carrier of the strain found in New Mexico, and the department says it’s important to seal homes and other structures during cold weather because mice may try to enter buildings for food or shelter. The other fatal New Mexico cases involved a 67-year-old San Juan County woman and a 59-year-old McKinley County man. – See http://krqe.com/2014/12/05/nm-records-3rd-hantavirus-death-in-2014/

Canada:

BIRD FLU VIRUS:

Turkeys-18British Columbia 12/05/14 foxnews.com: The bird flu virus that has killed thousands of birds on two Canadian farms in British Columbia is the “highly pathogenic” H5N2 strain, Canada’s chief veterinary officer Harpreet Kochhar said on Thursday. The strain was last detected in Canada in the province of Manitoba in 2010, but that virus was considered less contagious and deadly, he said. Canada said on Tuesday that tests had found avian influenza on two British Columbia farms that raise turkeys and broiler chickens. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed on Thursday that two additional farms located between the original two had tested positive for bird flu. Kochhar said he was not aware of other farms with unusual levels of bird deaths, but said it was too early to say the disease was now contained.

Florida_chicken_houseAvian influenza is an infectious viral disease of birds. Most bird flu viruses do not infect humans or pose a food safety risk when poultry products are properly handled and cooked. The fact that the British Columbia strain is highly pathogenic does not necessarily mean it poses more risk to humans than previous viruses found in Canada, said John Spika of the Public Health Agency of Canada. South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan have all imposed varying bans on Canadian poultry products. – See http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/12/05/canada-bird-flu-virus-identified-as-highly-pathogenic-strain/

WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV):

aaCDC-LogoNational 12/04/14 outbreaknewstoday.com: by Robert Herriman – The number of human West Nile virus (WNV) infections have exceeded 2,000 in 2014, according to newly published data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This makes it the third year in a row that the United States has seen 2,000 cases or more. As of December 2, overall, 2,002 cases of West Nile virus disease in people have been reported to CDC. Of these, 1,196 (60%) were classified as neuro-invasive disease (such as meningitis or encephalitis) and 806 (40%) were classified as non-neuro-invasive disease. Of this total there has been 76 fatalities, or almost 4 percent. California continues to top all states with 750 cases according to the CDC (California DPH reports 769) accounting for approximately 38 percent of all cases nationally. In 2013, 2,469 cases were reported with 119 deaths, while in 2012, 5,674 cases were reported with 286 deaths. – For complete article with history of WNV see http://outbreaknewstoday.com/west-nile-virus-cases-top-2000-in-the-us-for-3rd-year-in-a-row-73686/

RABIES:

Rabies.syringeNorth Carolina 12/02/14 Catawba County: A dog that bit a veterinarian when it was brought in for treatment at an Emergency Vet Clinic in Hickory on Nov. 26th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wsoctv.com/news/news/local/dog-tests-positive-rabies-after-biting-vet-tech-hi/njKP8/

DEER HUNTERS in PENNSYLVANIA face new reality: CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ NORTH DAKOTA researchers confirm local TICKS carrying LYME DISEASE ~ US Army enlists COWS with human genes to fight HANTAVIRUS.

Whitetail buck. Courtesy National Park Service.

Whitetail buck. Courtesy National Park Service.

Pennsylvania 11/30/14 citizensvoice.com: by Kent Jackson – Hunters entering the woods in Pennsylvania on Monday for the start of the rifle deer season face a new realty. Some of the deer that they pursue carry an incurable, fatal disease. Chronic wasting disease appeared in a deer in Pennsylvania in 2012 after advancing through 21 other states and two provinces of Canada. “From other states regardless of what you do, you can’t eliminate it. It is there to stay once it’s on the landscape,” Matthew Hough, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said during a conference call with reporters on Nov. 19. The commission set special rules for three areas of the state where deer tested positive for the disease. Hunters cannot transport parts of the deer such as the brain, spinal cord, lymph nodes, spleen and eyeballs out of those areas. Nor can they feed deer or use urine-based lures, which bring deer close together where the risk of spreading the disease heightens.

Whitetail buck with CWD.

Whitetail buck with CWD.

In the rest of the state, hunters should take precautions such as wearing gloves, boning out meat, and minimizing contact with high-risk parts when they field dress deer. The rifle season starts Monday and concludes Dec. 13. In most of the state, hunters can take bucks through Friday, but they can hunt a buck or a doe from Saturday to the end of the season. The buck-only territory for the first five days includes Hazleton and parts of Schuylkill, Carbon and Columbia counties in Wildlife Management Unit 4C and 13 other WMUs. Nine WMUs have buck and doe hunting throughout the two-week season. While there is no evidence that chronic wasting disease affects humans, research isn’t conclusive, and hunters are advised not to eat meat from infected animals. – For complete article including PA contacts for CWD testing see http://citizensvoice.com/sports/it-is-here-to-stay-here-to-stay-1.1795223

LYME DISEASE:

lyme_disease_hidden_epidemic_poster-p228833588305763989t5wm_400North Dakota 11/25/14 prairiebizmag.com: by Anna Burleson – Lyme disease has been found in ticks in the Red River Valley by several researchers at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. The disease is transmitted through the bites of a certain breed of infected tick and if left untreated can spread throughout a person’s nervous system, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

und-logo-20116UND Biology Department professor Jefferson Vaughan led a team with assistant professor Catherine Brissette from the School of Medicine and Health Sciences to look into the prevalence of the disease after he discovered local veterinarians had seen “different-looking” ticks on pets they were treating. “People are beginning to really realize particularly that dogs and sometimes cats are sentinels for types of diseases that are normally wildlife diseases, but can also cause diseases in humans,” Vaughan said.

American Dog Tick

American Dog Tick

The breed of tick most frequently found in the Red River Valley is commonly called an American Dog Tick and is known for its large brown appearance.Vaughan and graduate student Nate Russart began investigating the appearance of the much smaller Deer Tick, as it’s commonly known, in 2010 and discovered the ticks were carrying Lyme disease.

Deer Tick

Deer Tick

But Vaughan said the discovery simply means people should be more diligent about searching themselves for the presence of ticks after being in fields or forests. “It used to be an annoyance, just like mosquitoes were ten years ago, but now they’re more than an annoyance,” he said. “It’s a public health issue.” – For complete article see http://www.prairiebizmag.com/event/article/id/21810/#sthash.zBpHdMsR.dpuf

HANTAVIRUS:

09 Antibody StructureGlobal 11/26/14 sciencemag.org: by David Shultz – Humans have been using antibody therapies to treat infectious disease for more than 100 years. Blood plasma from influenza survivors administered to sick patients in 1912 may have contributed to their dramatic turnaround. In the years since, immune proteins from survivors have been administered to infected individuals in an attempt to combat diseases like Lassa fever, SARS, and even Ebola.

300px-USAMRIID_LogoIt’s hard, however, to find survivors who can donate plasma containing these lifesaving immune proteins. Now, a team led by researchers at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Frederick, Maryland, has used genetically engineered cows to produce large amounts of human antibodies against hantavirus, an often deadly disease mainly transmitted from rodents to people. In animal models, at least, these antibodies provided robust protection against the virus, opening the door to therapies to treat and prevent hantavirus, for which there is no cure. The bioproduction technique also holds promise for generating antibodies against other infectious agents. – For complete article see http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/11/cows-human-chromosomes-enlisted-fight-hantavirus

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/