CANADIAN’s cellphone helps him survive POLAR BEAR attack ~ FOLLOW-UP: OREGON celebrity WOLF OR-7 may have found a home ~ 2nd case of BUBONIC PLAGUE found in NEW MEXICAN girl ~ WNV reports from MS, NH, NM, OK, SD, & TX ~ RABIES reports from CA, FL, MD, & CANADA: ONTARIO.

Courtesy National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.

Courtesy National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.

Canada:

Manitoba 09/09/13 Northern Region: A man who used his cellphone to scare off a 180-kilogram polar bear says he’s lucky to be alive with only a few superficial puncture wounds and scratches. Garett Kolsun was walking home early Saturday morning in the Hudson Bay community of Churchill, Man. – known as the polar bear capital of the world – after celebrating the end of the work week with friends. He said he caught something out of the corner of his eye while he walked down the town’s main drag. “I turned and looked, and it was a polar bear charging toward me,” Mr. Kolsun, 40, said in an interview Monday. “I started running from it, looking for some place to go and get away from this bear.” Businesses in the town of about 1,000 were all closed, so Mr. Kolsun had nowhere to hide. “I stopped and I turned around to face the bear,” he said. “It was already there, right on top of me. I started shouting, yelling, screaming, waving my arms, running backwards to keep my eye on the bear.”

church_map-2-300Mr. Kolsun said he ended up trapped on the porch of a bakery with the bear he believes was still young because of its size. It pinned him against the door and swiped at him with his paw. The bruin, which stood about 1 1/2 metres tall, also sank his teeth into Mr. Kolsun’s hip, although he says that, at the time, he didn’t even realize the bear had punctured his skin. “The bear’s nose was inches away from me. I didn’t know where else to go. I was just [thinking], ‘What can I do to get away from this bear?’ That’s all I kept thinking about. I didn’t want to be a stat.” Mr. Kolsun fished into his pocket and pulled out his cellphone. He turned the power on and turned the screen toward the bear. “I was hoping anything I would do would give me an opportunity to get away from it,” he explained. “I was trying anything at that point. I was screaming, yelling, waving my arms, trying everything and it just kept chasing me and chasing me. I was just hoping for the best and, luckily, it worked.” The lit screen startled the bear briefly and it took a step back, Mr. Kolsun said. It hit a flower pot on the porch and looked away for an instant. “When it turned its head,” he said, “I just turned and ran as fast as I could.”

Churchill, Manitoba.

Churchill, Manitoba.

Mr. Kolsun said he ran several blocks, looking for a home with its lights on. He saw some people sitting on a deck and ran to them. When he turned around, the polar bear was gone. “The bear had stopped chasing me some place along the way there,” he said. Mr. Kolsun took a cab to the health centre where staff cleaned his wounds, bandaged them and gave him a tetanus shot. He was released several hours later. – For complete article see http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/how-this-mans-cellphone-saved-him-during-polar-bear-attack/article14198647/?cmpid=rss1

Follow-Up:

Wolf:

(See Celebrity GRAY WOLF OR-7 returns to OREGON posted March 17, 2013)

Gray wolf. Photo by Ashley McPherson. Wikimedia Commons. Image not of OR-7.

Gray wolf. Photo by Ashley McPherson. Wikimedia Commons. Image not of OR-7.

Oregon 09/09/13 opb.org:by Geoff Norcross – The wolf known as “OR-7” appears to have found a home. The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife says the wandering gray wolf has spent the summer in Southeast Jackson County and Southwest Klamath County. “What that tells you is, I think, he’s found some good habitat,” says Michelle Dennehy, Wildlife Communications Coordinator for ODFW. It’s a rare bit of stability for a wolf whose travels have caught the imagination of at least two states. In September of 2011, OR-7 left the Imnaha Pack in Northeast Oregon and wandered hundreds of miles across the Cascades, becoming the first confirmed wolf sighted west of the mountains since 1937. He’s been roaming around Southern Oregon and Northern California ever since. Officials believe OR-7 came to the region to find a mate. There’s no evidence he’s been successful. But he’s young – nearly 3.5 years old – and he may not be alone. Dennehy says, “Where there’s one wolf, there’s another.” “Of course, everyone would like to see OR-7 mate,” she says. “And you know what? It could happen.” – For photo slideshow and original article see http://www.opb.org/news/article/wandering-wolf-or-7-appears-to-have-found-a-home/

Bubonic Plague:

rodents&fleacarriersNew Mexico 09/10/13 NM Dept of Health: Officials announced today a probable case of plague in an 11-year-old girl from Torrance County. Preliminary test results at the Department’s Scientific Laboratory Division were positive. Confirmatory testing is pending. This is the second human case of plague in New Mexico and in the United States this year. An environmental investigation will take place at the girl’s home to look for ongoing risk to others in the surrounding area. “Everyone needs to avoid sick or dead rodents and rabbits, and their nests and burrows,” said Department of Health Secretary Retta Ward, MPH. “Families should also talk to their veterinarian about an appropriate flea product for their pets” Plague is a bacterial disease of rodents and is generally transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas, but can also be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, wildlife and pets. – For complete news release see http://www.health.state.nm.us/CommunicationsOffice/2013%20News%20Releases/NMDOH-PressRelease-20130910-HumanPlague-EN.pdf

West Nile Virus (WNV):

MS_71058_121809421211160_5406251_nMississippi 09/09/13 MS Dept of Health: Officials have confirmed four new human cases of WNV for 2013. The reported cases are in Hinds (2), Lamar, and Rankin counties, bringing the state total for 2013 to 27 cases, including one death. So far this year, cases have been reported in Bolivar, Forrest (3), Hinds (9), Jones, Lamar (3), Leflore (2), Lincoln, Lowndes, Madison, Marion, Rankin (3) and Wayne counties. – See http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/23,14263,341.html

nh-medicaidNew Hampshire 09/10/13 NH Dept of Health: Officials have announced the first human case of WNV this season in an adult from Chesterfield who is in recovery. – See http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/media/pr/2013/09-sept/09102013westnile.htm

NM_image_miniNew Mexico 09/06/13 NM Dept of Health: Officials have confirmed that an 84-year-old woman from San Juan County has died from WNV infection. This is the second death due to WNV in New Mexico in 2013. The woman had encephalitis, the more severe clinical form of the disease. – See http://www.health.state.nm.us/CommunicationsOffice/2013%20News%20Releases/NMDOH-PressRelease-20130906-WestNile-EN.pdf

OK_State_Health_Department_logoOklahoma 09/05/13 OCCHD: Officials have confirmed one death in Oklahoma County due to a WNV infection. The death occurred in an individual over 70-years-old. Three other human cases of WNV in the county have been confirmed as well. – See https://www.occhd.org/articles/occhd-confirms-west-nile-virus-death

SouthDakotaDOHSouth Dakota 09/09/13 SD Dept of Health: 87 human cases of WNV disease, including 2 deaths, have been reported in the following counties:  Brown 17, Beadle 5, Brookings 5, Hughes 5, Spink 5, Brule 3, Charles Mix 3, Davison 3, Day 3, Minnehaha 3, Buffalo 2, Clark 2, Codington 2, Corson 2, Faulk 2, Jones 2, Meade 2, Pennington 2, Sanborn 2 and 1 case each in Butte, Dewey, Edmunds, Jackson, Jerauld, Lawrence, Lincoln, Lyman, Marshall, McPherson, Mellette, Miner, Moody, Tripp, Turner, Walworth, Yankton. – See http://doh.sd.gov/documents/diseases/infectious/WNVupdate.pdf

TX-DSHS_Logo2Texas 09/10/13 TX Dept of Health: As of this date the state web site confirms 31 human cases of WNV in 18 counties including Anderson, Angelina, Carson, Coke, Collin-3, Dallas-4, Denton, El Paso-3, Floyd, Glasscock, Guadalupe, Howard-4, Jefferson, Johnson, Lubbock, Montgomery-2, Nueces, Stephens, and Tarrant-2. There have been no WNV-related fatalities reported so far this year. – See http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/disease/arboviral/westNile/

Rabies:

neverbarehandedsmCalifornia 09/10/13 Orange County: A bat found on the ground at shelter #7 in Laguna Niguel Regional Park on September 7th has tested positive for rabies. Anyone who had recent contact with a bat in that vicinity is advised to seek immediate medical advice. – See http://www.oc-breeze.com/2013/09/10/38721_bat-found-at-laguna-niguel-regional-park-tests-positive-for-rabies/

Not an image of the kitten referred to in this article.

Not an image of the kitten referred to in this article.

Florida 09/09/13 Palm Beach County: A stray kitten found near Lake Park in the 9000 block of Old Dixie Highway has tested positive for rabies. The kitten had bite wounds and was taken in by a rescue person but later it became ill and died. The care giver has begun a series of post-exposure rabies shots. – See http://www.wbzt.com/articles/1290-wjno-local-news-wire-120981/health-dept-rabies-confirmed-in-lake-11636751/

HELP (2)Maryland 09/09/13 Frederick County: Frederick County Animal Control is looking for the owner of a dog that bit a five-year-old child on Saturday morning. Officials say the incident occurred inside the Home Depot store on McCain Drive in Frederick at around 11:40 AM. The unidentified black and tan German Shepherd was inside the store with its male owner. Anyone who has information on this dog and its owner is asked to call Frederick County Animal Control at 301-600-1717, or 301-600-1544. – See http://www.wfmd.com/pages/localnews2.html?feed=119935&article=11638339

Canada:

2e236ffb436644c2OntarioOntario 09/09/13 ON Ministry of Natural Resources: Ontario is continuing one of the most successful rabies eradication programs in North America by distributing 255,000 baits containing rabies vaccine this summer. The vaccine will control the spread of rabies in skunks and foxes and help continue to keep Ontario raccoons free of rabies. The baits will be distributed throughout southwestern Ontario; in the Niagara region between Welland Canal and Niagara River, including Navy Island; in Brockville, on Wolfe, Howe, Simcoe, and Hill islands in St. Lawrence River; as well as small areas on the mainland near Prescott and Ivy Lea. The flavoured baits immunize most skunks, foxes and raccoons that eat them. – For complete release see http://news.ontario.ca/mnr/en/2013/08/rabies-vaccine-bait-drop-protects-ontarians-2.html

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