Washington 01/31/13 doh.wa.gov: News Release – Seven cases of Salmonella infection in Washington residents have been linked to a national outbreak traced to contact with hedgehogs. The Department of Health is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Agriculture (USDA), and other states to investigate Salmonella illnesses associated with hedgehogs. The seven Salmonella illnesses linked to exposure to hedgehogs, including one death, were reported to the Department of Health over the past year. Tests have shown the specific type of Salmonella matches that found in 20 people from seven other states across the country. Pet hedgehogs can carry Salmonella and other diseases, even if the animals do not appear to be sick. People can be infected during routine pet care for their pet hedgehogs, which can shed bacteria that can contaminate cages, toys, bedding, or household surfaces. Even without touching a hedgehog, people can be infected by touching objects contaminated by infected hedgehogs. The cases in Washington have come from King, Pierce (2), Thurston, Whitman, Clark, and Spokane counties. – For complete release see http://www.doh.wa.gov/Newsroom/2013NewsReleases/13112SalmonellaHedgehogs.aspx
West Nile Virus (WNV):
National 01/30/13 eurekalert.org: Washington State University researchers have linked orchards and vineyards with a greater prevalence of West Nile virus in mosquitoes and the insects’ ability to spread the virus to birds, horses and people. The finding, reported in the latest issue of the journal PLOS ONE, is the most finely scaled look at the interplay between land use and with the virus’s activity in key hosts.
By giving a more detailed description of how the disease moves across the landscape, it opens the door to management efforts that might bring the disease under control, says David Crowder, a WSU entomologist and the paper’s lead author. Since it was first seen in New York in 1999, West Nile virus has reached across the country and shown few signs of abating. Last year, the Centers for Disease Control had the highest number of reported cases—5,387, including 243 deaths—since 2003. – For complete article see http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/wsu-rsm012913.php