Missing piece of LYME DISEASE puzzle published in New England Journal of Medicine ~ RABIES reports from FL, MA, PA, & TX ~ CDC issues final WEST NILE VIRUS report for 2012.

Red fox after mouse. Photo by State of Connecticut.

Red fox after mouse. Photo by State of Connecticut.

National 12/27/12 medpagetoday.com: by Nancy Walsh – Excerpts – “With almost 25,000 cases confirmed by the CDC in 2011, Lyme disease indeed is a serious public health concern, but the evidence continues to argue against infection with the tick-borne spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi as the cause of multiple persisting complaints including neurocognitive abnormalities and chronic musculoskeletal pain.”

nejm-logo “The most recent piece of this puzzle, published last month in the New England Journal of Medicine, was the determination that what seemed to be persistent NymphalDeerTickdisease and relapse actually was a new infection. In that study, Robert B. Nadelman, MD, of New York Medical College in Valhalla, and colleagues conducted genotype analyses of an outer surface protein of B. burgdorferi from 17 patients who had had more than one episode of the pathognomonic erythema migrans rash. In the 22 paired episodes of Lyme disease in this group of patients, not a single one was found to have the same surface protein genotype in either skin or blood cultures for the two episodes. Moreover, the recurrent skin lesions most often developed 1 or 2 years after the initial episode, and did so in the summer months when primary infections are most likely to occur, implying that the individuals had been reinfected.”

Shrew. Photo by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Shrew. Photo by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

“In particular, these researchers reported, the continuing expansion of the incidence and geography of Lyme disease may reflect a shift in predator patterns throughout North America. The near-extinction of the gray wolf has allowed coyotes to move to a dominant niche in the food chain, which has resulted in a sharp decrease in the population of red foxes, a favored prey of the coyote. This, in turn, has led to a rise in the numbers of foxes’ smaller prey, such as the white-footed mouse, the Eastern chipmunk, and two types of shrew – the very animals that are responsible for the infection of up to 90% of ticks with B. burgdorferi.” – For complete article see http://www.medpagetoday.com/InfectiousDisease/GeneralInfectiousDisease/36629

Rabies:

image487Florida 12/28/12 Suwannee County: Health officials have issued a Rabies Alert after a raccoon found in the area west of County Road 49 and south of 296th Street, which is southeast of Branford, tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wtxl.com/news/rabies-alert-issued-in-suwannee-county/article_418ece86-510f-11e2-8425-001a4bcf6878.html

3610192083_22eaf9db7aMassachusetts 12/28/12 Middlesex County: A cat that has been roaming around the Vernon Street area in the center of Framingham and bit a person on Dec. 22nd has tested positive for rabies. The animal is described as a young adult domestic short-hair gray tiger. Officials do not know if the cat was feral or a pet and are encouraging anyone bitten or scratched by the animal to seek medical advice immediately. – See http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/framingham/2012/12/framingham_officials_warn_resi.html

IMG4336e-L-001Pennsylvania 12/27/12 citizenstandard.com: by Rebecca Zemencik – Tri-Valley school officials have reported that approximately 27 Mahantongo Elementary students had come in contact with a stray cat that was determined to have rabies earlier this month. A special meeting was held Tuesday, Dec. 18, in the Mahantongo all-purpose room with representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control to discuss the facts about rabies and to clear up any questions or concerns that parents had. According to Superintendent Mark D. Snyder, sometime between Tuesday, Dec. 4 and Wednesday, Dec. 5, there was a gray, striped farm cat from an adjacent property that had been on school property in the area of the playground and several students had come in contact with the cat. Dr. Amanda Beudoin, DVM, PhD, Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, serving a fellowship with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, assured parents that just because their children may have petted the cat, they would not be susceptible to contracting rabies. “Even though a cat licks itself, a person would not contract rabies by just petting the animal,” said Dr. Beudoin. “However, if that student had a cut or an open wound on their hand, then they should be treated with the rabies vaccines.” Approximately 20 parents attended the meeting and most parents confirmed that they had their children treated as a precautionary measure. Rabies is the type of disease that until symptoms appear it is too late then to treat the disease and death will occur. Mahantongo Elementary Nurse Paula Morgan was actually bitten by the cat and has been undergoing shots every so many days since the incident. – For complete article see http://citizenstandard.com/news/rabies-concerns-addressed-1.1420979

image001skunkandcanineTexas 12/28/12 Navarro County: A small, 18-month-old dog belonging to a family with a small child in Blooming Grove has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.athensreview.com/breakingnews/x2056568811/State-confirms-Navarro-County-rabies-case

West Nile Virus (WNV):

cdc_logoNational 12/11/12 cdc.gov: As of December 11, 2012, 48 states have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes. A total of 5,387 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 243 deaths, have been reported to CDC. Of these, 2,734 (51%) were classified as neuroinvasive disease (such as meningitis or encephalitis) and 2,653 (49%) were classified as non-neuroinvasive disease. The 5,387 cases reported thus far in 2012 is the highest number of West Nile virus disease cases reported to CDC through the second week in December since 2003. Eighty percent of the cases have been reported from 13 states (Texas, California, Louisiana, Illinois, Mississippi, South Dakota, Michigan, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado, Arizona, Ohio, and New York) and a third of all cases have been reported from Texas. – This will be the last update for 2012 until final data are available in the spring of 2013. – For further details and maps see http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm

 

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