Author Archives: Jerry Genesio

CDC HEALTH ADVISORY says more cases of new SWINE FLU VIRUS appear in three states ~ RABBITS near COLORADO’s Plaster Reservoir infected with TULAREMIA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CAx4, IL, IN, LA, MI, & TX ~ RABIES reports from CA, CO, GA, MN, NH, NJ, NY, NC, PA, & VA.

Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture.

National 08/03/12 by Rob Stein – Federal health officials Friday reported a jump this summer in the number of people who have gotten infected with a new swine flu virus. Sixteen cases of the new H3N2 swine flu have been confirmed in the last few weeks, including 12 in the last week alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Ten of last week’s cases occurred in Ohio, while the two others were in Indiana and Hawaii. The new cases bring the total number of cases of the new virus in people to 29 since the pathogen was first identified last year. Almost all the infections have occurred in people who had close contact with pigs — mostly kids at agricultural fairs.

Officials aren’t too worried yet because the virus isn’t spreading easily from person to person. Only three of the cases were hospitalized and no one has died, according the CDC’s Joseph Bresee. But whenever a pig virus jumps to people, it always raises concerns about a possible outbreak because so few people have immunity against it. And, as we’ve reported, there’s been more talk in recent years about the need for better monitoring the health of the animals most likely to pass on a flu virus with pandemic potential — pigs and birds. Some have criticized the pork industry for its reluctance to share data with human health officials. In 2010, the CDC and U.S. Department of Agriculture finally set up a surveillance system for pigs they’ve been discussing for years. But as for the current outbreak, the CDC is urging are urging people to wash their hands a lot and take other precautions whenever they have close contact with pigs.

Colorado 08/03/12 Tularemia has been found in rabbits collected near Plaster Reservoir in Broomfield. Broomfield Public Health and Environment on Thursday confirmed tularemia in the rabbits collected from the area south and west of the reservoir, which is northeast of 136th Avenue and Lowell Boulevard. Tests were conducted after residents noticed several dead rabbits and biting deer flies in the area. The threat to humans from the outbreak is thought to be minimal and no trails will be closed, but Public Health and Environment Division is advising residents to avoid handling or coming into contact rodents, squirrels and rabbits. Tularemia is rare among humans, with less than 200 cases reported each year, according to the city. “It’s not a disease that is typically on our radar from year to year” for humans, said Public Health Officer Jeff Stoll. Though rare, people can be infected through tick and deer fly bites, handling animal carcasses, drinking contaminated water and breathing in contaminated dust.  – For complete article see

West Nile Virus (WNV):

California 08/03/12 Sacramento & Yolo counties: Vector control officials announced today that further evidence of WNV activity has been detected in the two counties as 41 mosquito samples, 43 dead birds, and 2 sentinel chickens tested positive for the virus this week. –

California 08/04/12 Rohnert Park, Sonoma County: The Marin/Sonoma Mosquito & Vector Control District announced today that 2 (two) groups of mosquitoes have tested positive for WNV. The infected mosquitoes were trapped near Wilfred Avenue. – See

California 08/03/12 Kern County: The Department of Public Health has announced the state’s first fatality of the year due to WNV. An 88-year-old woman died after being infected by the virus, which is transmitted from mosquitoes to humans. – See,0,5389803.story

California 08/04/12 Manteca, San Joaquin County: Officials have confirmed the first case of WNV in a horse, and the second confirmed human case in the county. – See

Illinois 08/03/12 Skokie, Cook County: A 76-year-old woman has been hospitalized in what village officials are calling the first confirmed human case of WNV in the village this year. – See

Indiana 08/03/12 Hamillton & Marion counties: The state’s first human cases of WNV have been confirmed in two separate counties. – See

Louisiana 08/03/12 Two people have died in the state as a result of WNV infections. The health department said Friday that the number of overall WNV infections in the state rose this week by 21 for a total of 53. WNV infections usually cause no symptoms or relatively mild flu-like symptoms. But, in some cases, the mosquito-borne virus causes life-threatening brain or spinal cord diseases — also known as neuroinvasive diseases — such as encephalitis or meningitis. – See

Michigan 08/03/12 Wayne County: Health officials confirm two human cases of WNV. Both patients were hospitalized with meningitis but have since been treated and released. – See

Texas 08/03/12 Williamson County: The county is grappling with human cases of mosquito-borne WNV, according to local health officials who said they are investigating two cases of the more serious neuroinvasive form of the ailment, which affects the nervous system. – See


California 08/02/12 Fremont, Alameda County: Two bats were found last month that have tested positive for rabies bringing to four the number of the diseased animals found in the county this year, officials confirmed Thursday. The Mexican free-tailed bats were discovered Tuesday and July 25 in undisclosed locations. – See

Colorado 08/03/12 Cañon City, Fremont County: A bat found at the Cañon City Public Library, 516 Macon Ave., on Wednesday has tested positive for rabies. The Fremont County Public Health Agency is asking anyone who had direct contact with the bat to notify them at 275-1626 and to immediately contact their health care provider about the possible need for rabies post-exposure treatment. – See

Georgia 08/03/12 Richmond Hill, Bryan County: A family dog had to be euthanized this week after interacting with a raccoon that tested positive for rabies. The dog was not up to date on its shots. This is the third raccoon in the county in the past two months found carrying the deadly disease. – See

Minnesota 08/03/12 Aitkin, Aitkin County: Carol Schefers, 38, has no intention of swimming in a Minnesota lake again. On July 28th, she was attacked and bitten by an otter. The incident occurred on Ude Lake in Aitkin. Schefers suffered bites on her legs, foot, and one hand, and spent 9 hours in a hospital being treated for potential exposure to rabies. This is the second otter attack in a northern Minnesota lake in less than a month. – See|topnews|bc|large

New Hampshire 08/02/12 Bartlett, Carroll County: A fox found near Nordic Village on Route 16 in the Glen neighborhood has tested positive for rabies. – See

New Jersey 08/02/12 Burlington County: Two wild animals in Palmyra and Cinnaminson have tested positive for rabies, according to Palmyra Police, after one tried to attack a family’s two dogs. A fox and a groundhog, who were either found dead or killed on the 900 and 1100 blocks of Morgan Avenue, were tested by county officials. Both came back positive for rabies. – See

New York 08/02/12 LaGrange, Dutchess County: Dutchess County health officials are looking into the possibility that a cat that bit two people in the Town of LaGrange on Wednesday, August 1 at 9:40 a.m. may be rabid. After biting the two individuals, the cat ran off into the woods near the intersection of Noxon Road and Titusville Road. The cat is a gray juvenile tabby cat with stripes and is presumed to have rabies based on its behavior and appearance, the Dutchess County Health Department said Thursday. If you or someone you know, or any domestic pets were bitten by a cat matching that description within the past few days, or if you know the whereabouts of the animal, you are asked to call the Dutchess County Health Department as soon as possible at 845-486-3404.

North Carolina 08/02/12 Falls Lake, Wake County: A beaver attacked two swimmers and both are being treated for potential exposure to rabies. The beaver disappeared but within 24 hours there was a second incident and park employees shot the beaver, but it sank into the lake before they could recover the body. – See

Pennsylvania 08/03/12 Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area: A visitor to the park was bitten by a beaver Thursday while swimming in the Delaware River just south of Eshback Access, park Superintendent John J. Donahue said. The beaver tested positive for rabies. – See

Virginia 08/02/12 Bedford: A fox that was found last month in the city has tested positive for rabies, officials said Thursday. – See

MONTANA game officers kill MOUNTAIN LION that attacked DOG ~ ALABAMA reports four HORSES with EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS ~ CDC reports 242 total HUMAN CASES of WEST NILE VIRUS in 42 states, including four deaths this year ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from IL, MA, OH, & SD ~ RABIES reports from MD, & MO.

Mountain lion. Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Montana 08/02/12 by Gwen Florio – A mountain lion suspected of confronting several people in the Clearwater Junction area was killed Wednesday night after attacking and injuring someone’s dog. “We’re quite confident it’s the same cat,” Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologist Jay Kolbe said Thursday. Kolbe was called around 10:20 p.m. Wednesday after a lion attacked a couple’s dog near their family cabin in Riverwatch, just north of Harpers Lake where a lion also had approached people. After a sighting Monday night at Salmon Lake campground, FWP stationed wildlife conflict specialist Bob Wiesner and his chase dog Spinner in a camper there. When Wiesner, Spinner and Kolbe all converged upon the Riverwatch cabin Wednesday night, the lion was still there, Kolbe said. Spinner treed it, and the lion was killed. “Things went about as well as we could have hoped,” Kolbe said. “I can’t say enough about Bob’s dedication and hard work this past week to put his life on hold,” he said of Wiesner. “You never know when that call’s going to come.”

He said the young male lion was extremely emaciated, with its ribs showing, which may provide a clue as to why it was so willing to approach people in campgrounds. Two weekends ago, a lion came within 20 feet of a 4-year-old girl in the Harpers Lake Campground – and then refused to back off when adults tried to scare it away. In the two preceding days, a lion in the same area approached two different people, Kolbe said. FWP attributed all those reports to the same lion. “This is unusual behavior. This is a 1 percenter. That’s why we respond lethally,” he said. “It doesn’t mean people shouldn’t enjoy the outdoors.” Most lions bolt at the sight of people, he said. Case in point – a pair of lions spotted Monday night in Salmon Lake, Kolbe said. One was large, one much smaller, and the two called to each other as though they were mother and offspring. “They did not act aggressively and moved off when approached,” he said. Which is exactly what lions are supposed to do.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

Alabama 07/31/12 Dallas County: State health officials confirm there have been four positive cases of EEE found in horses in the county. – See

National 08/01/12 News Release – The CDC is urging people to take steps to prevent WNV infections.  Outbreaks of the disease occur each summer in the United States.  This year, some areas of the country are experiencing earlier and greater activity. Thus far in 2012, 42 states have reported WNV infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes. A total of 241 human cases of WNV disease, including four deaths, have been reported to CDC. This is the highest number of cases reported through the end of July since 2004. Almost 80 percent of the cases have been reported from three states, Texas, Mississippi, and Oklahoma. – For complete release including best way to prevent WNV see

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Illinois 08/02/12 Oquawka, Henderson County: Mosquito batches collected by health department staff members have tested positive for WNV. – See

Massachusetts 08/02/12 Arlington, Middlesex County: Public health officials announced Thursday that WNV has been detected in mosquitoes collected in the town. – See

Ohio 08/01/12 Shaker Heights, Cuyahoga County: State health officials have confirmed that mosquito traps in the city and throughout the county have tested positive for WNV. A total of 374 WNV positive mosquito pools have been identified statewide this year and one human case has been identified in Clermont County. – See

South Dakota 08/02/12 News Release – WNV detections increase with 9 cumulative human cases: Brown 4, Aurora, Hughes, Kingsbury, Lake, & Roberts counties; 7 cumulative positive blood donors: Aurora, Beadle, Brown, Edmunds, Hanson, Lincoln, & Turner counties; 1 WNV positive horse: Hanson County; 1 WNV positive bird: Roberts County; and 34 WNV positive mosquito pools: Brown 21, Brookings 6, Hughes 4, Codington 2, and Lincoln counties. – See


Maryland 08/01/12 Waldorf, Charles County: Two people are being treated for potential exposure to rabies after a bat found in an apartment tested positive for the virus. – See

Missouri 08/01/12 Nodaway County: A bat captured inside a residence has tested positive for rabies. – See

WASHINGTON warns of Paralytic SHELLFISH Poison biotoxin found in central and south Puget Sound waters ~ LYME DISEASE Stories presented by CDC ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from NE, SC, & TX ~ RABIES reports from FL, NY, NC, TX, & VA.

Scallop eyes. PD. Wikimedia Commons.

Washington 07/31/12 News Release – Shellfish collected from a large area of central and south Puget Sound contain enough Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) biotoxin to make people sick. So, the Washington State Department of Health has closed recreational shellfish harvest in Jefferson, Island, Snohomish, Kitsap, King and Pierce Counties. Commercially harvested shellfish have been thoroughly tested and should be safe to eat. Warning signs are posted at beaches used by recreational shellfish harvesters to warn people not to collect shellfish from the closed areas. The closures include clams, oysters, mussels, scallops, geoduck, and other species of molluscan shellfish. Crab is not included in the closure, but “crab butter” should not be eaten. The PSP toxin is produced by algae that are often more common during the warmest months of the year.

People can get very sick from eating shellfish contaminated with the toxin. Marine biotoxins are not destroyed by cooking or freezing. Symptoms of PSP can appear within minutes or hours and usually begin with tingling lips and tongue, moving to the hands and feet. This is followed by difficulty breathing, and potentially death. Anyone who has eaten shellfish and begins having these symptoms should get medical help immediately. A person can’t tell if PSP is present by looking at the water or shellfish. For this reason, the term “red tide,” which is often used for PSP, is misleading and inaccurate. PSP can only be detected by laboratory testing. Before harvesting shellfish anywhere in Washington, people should check for updated closure information on our Shellfish Safety Website or call our Biotoxin Hotline at 1-800-562-5632. The Department of Health website ( is your source for a healthy dose of information.

National 07/31/12 News Release –  Lyme Disease Stories presents true experiences of people who have had Lyme disease.  In the first story (a video), you’ll meet John, a dad who caught Lyme disease on a camping trip with his son.   This video describes how the early symptoms felt and how he was treated by his physician, Dr. Heaton.  Dr. Heaton talks about some common concerns that patients have with Lyme disease and where it occurs.  John follows up with some tips for avoiding tick bites and Lyme disease.

You’ll also read about Linda, who had Lyme disease on two separate occasions. Read her story to find out how she felt and why it’s important to remain vigilant against ticks. – For John’s video and Linda’s Story go to

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Nebraska 07/31/12 Jefferson County: Public health officials have confirmed that a mosquito trapped in the county has tested positive for WNV. – See

South Carolina 07/31/12 the by Dionne Gleaton – A local man is one of three newly confirmed human cases of WNV in the state. “The new cases are a middle-aged man from Orangeburg County, a middle-aged man from Lexington County and a middle-aged man from Richland County,” said Dr. Linda Bell, interim state epidemiologist. “Combined with the case identified in a Charleston County woman last week, we now have identified a total of four human cases. – See

Texas 07/31/12 Travis County: Health officials confirmed today that a resident has died of WNV, the more serious neuroinvasive form. The death is the first from WNV in the county since 2003. Three other human cases are being investigated by county officials. – See


Florida 07/30/12 The Washington County Health Department is investigating a case or cases of rabies in domestic cats. A resident of Washington County moved to south Florida. A neighbor who lives in Graceville (Jackson County) was feeding the resident’s four cats and noticed that they appeared sick. One cat was taken to a veterinarian and tested positive for rabies. Two of the three remaining cats were euthanized. The fourth cat had been transported to Holmes County and has disappeared. Two residents of Jackson County and one resident in Alabama are receiving rabies vaccine as a precautionary measure. Neighbors reported seeing other cats feeding with the original four cats and report many stray cats in the area. Dogs and other animals could also have been exposed. The area in question is in northern Washington County, just south of the Jackson County line near Highway 77.

New York 07/31/12 Elmsford, Westchester County: A rabies alert has been issued to residents who may have had contact with a rabid stray cat in Elmsford, on Winthrop Avenue between White Plains Avenue and Payne Street, on or before Friday, July 27. The health department used robo-calls to notify residents who live within a quarter-mile of the area where the cat was found. The cat was an adult charcoal gray short-haired cat with yellowish-green eyes and a dirty coat. It had tried to attack a woman and a man in the neighborhood before it attacked a police officer, who had responded to a call and then shot the cat. Testing confirmed the cat was rabid. The officer has already begun post-exposure rabies treatment. There was no other known contact with people or pets. – See

North Carolina 07/31/12 Mooresville, Iredell County: Twelve people are being treated for potential exposure to rabies after a puppy that was a center of attention at a family fish fry dies of the virus. – See

Texas 07/30/12 Cedar Park, Travis & Williamson counties: A bat found July 27th at the Twin Lakes YMCA, 204 East Little Elm Trail, has tested positive for rabies. A camp counselor found the bat buried in the sand at the lake beach, and officials ask anyone who came into contact with it to seek immediate medical advice. – See

Virginia 07/30/12 Henrico County: A raccoon that attacked two dogs in the 7500 block of Ansley Road on July 26th has tested positive for rabies. Both dogs have been quarantined. – See

WILD RABBITS in ARIZONA dying from TULAREMIA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS approaching Emergency Risk Level in Dallas-Fort Worth area of TEXAS ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from GA, IL, NJ, & OH ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending July 21, 2012.

Wild rabbit. Photo by Matt Reinbold. Wikimedia Commons.

Arizona 07/27/12 News Release – There have been recent reports of wild rabbits in the Dewey area contracting and dying from tularemia, also known as “rabbit fever”.  The State Laboratory confirmed this in a dead rabbit sent to Phoenix for testing this week. Tularemia is a treatable, naturally occurring illness in the United States, with about 120 human cases reported each year, and most occur in the western and south-central states.  It is caused by a germ carried by animals (especially rodents, rabbits and hares), and can be passed to domestic animals and people. – For complete release see

Texas 07/30/12 by Vicki Davey – The West Nile Virus has been declared well into Risk Level 5 in Dallas, and is on the way to Risk Level 6, which is an emergency level. As of Friday July 27, there were 174 confirmed (human) cases of West Nile Virus in Dallas, Tarrant, Collin, and Denton counties, with about half of them in Dallas County, WFAA news reports. – See
West Nile Virus (WNV):

Georgia 07/30/12 Cobb County: Health officials confirmed Monday the first two human cases of WNV in the state this year. The patients, a 75-year-old man and 55-year-old woman, have been hospitalized and released, officials said. – See

Illinois 07/30/12 Will County: According to the health department, positive WNV infected mosquito samples were collected Tuesday from sites in Bolingbrook, Joliet, Shorewood and Frankfort. A blue jay and a robin taken from Wilmington and Plainfield, respectively, also tested positive for the virus. – See

New Jersey 07/30/12 Warren County: Three additional samples of Culex mosquitoes collected in Franklin, Lopatcong and White townships have tested positive for WNV, according to a press release from the county’s Mosquito Commission. The mosquitoes were collected between Tuesday, July 17, and Friday, July 20, in traps specifically designed to catch Culex mosquitoes, the type of mosquito responsible for transmitting the virus, particularly from bird to bird. – See

Ohio 07/29/12 Lorain County: Health officials have confirmed that mosquitoes in the county have tested positive for WNV. – See

 CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending July 21, 2012:

Published July 27, 2012/ 61(29); ND-396-ND-409

Anaplasmosis . . . 16 . . . Maine (3), Nebraska, New Hampshire (2), New York (8), Tennessee, Virginia,

Babesiosis . . . 1 . . . New York,

Brucellosis . . . 2 . . . Florida (2),  

Ehrlichiosis . . . 11 . . . Arkansas (2), Maryland, New York (3), Virginia (5),

Giardiasis . . . 213 . . . Alabama, California (46), Florida (29), Idaho (4), Iowa (4), Louisiana (4), Maine (8), Maryland (3), Massachusetts (7), Michigan, Missouri (10), Montana (2), Nebraska (5), New Mexico, New York (19), Ohio (31), Oregon (3), Pennsylvania (10), Vermont (5), Virginia (5), Washington (14), West Virginia,

Lyme Disease . . .  248. . .  Delaware (8), Florida (2), Maine (2), Maryland (30), Massachusetts (6), New York (89), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (87), Tennessee, Texas, Vermont (6), Virginia (12), Wisconsin,

Q Fever (Acute) . . . 2 . . . California, Texas,

Rabies (Animal) . . . 55. . . Illinois (2), Kansas, Maine (3), Missouri (2), New York (16), Ohio (3), Oregon (3), Texas (13), Virginia (11), West Virginia,

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Confirmed) . . . 2. . . Florida, California

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 33 . . . Alabama, Arkansas (7), Florida (2), New York, Ohio, Tennessee (10), Virginia (11),

Tularemia . . . 1 . . . Washington.

GROUNDHOG in VIRGINIA tests positive for RABIES ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS report from MASSACHUSETTS ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from LA, & NY ~ RABIES reports from AR, CT, ILx2, NJ, & SC.

Groundhog. Photo by Reinhard Kraasch. Wikimedia Commons.

Virginia 07/27/12 Newport News: A groundhog (aka woodchuck) found in the vicinity of Blunt Court and Beverly Hills Drive has tested positive for rabies. The Peninsula Health District wants to know if residents or their pets may have had direct contact with the animal. – See

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

Massachusetts 07/28/12 Brewster, Barnstable County: State health officials confirm the first-ever discovery of a human-biting mosquito infected with EEE on Cape Cod. The virus was detected in a pool of 21 mosquitoes caught at Nickerson State Park in Brewster. It is unclear at this time how many mosquitoes in the pool were infected with EEE. – See

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Louisiana 07/28/12 Vidalia, Concordia Parish: A woman who has been diagnosed with WNV is the first human case of the virus in the Vidalia/Natchez vicinity this year. Louisiana has 32 other confirmed human cases of WNV, and Mississippi has 19 confirmed human cases. – See

New York 07/27/12 Orange County: Mosquitoes collected in the villages of Greenwood Lake and Goshen have tested positive for WNV. – See


Arkansas 07/27/12 Yell County: A skunk killed by a dog has tested positive for rabies bringing the total number of rabid skunks in the county to at least four this year. – See

Connecticut 07/27/12 Cheshire, New Haven County:  by Luther Turmelle, – Police are looking for a small coyote or fox that bit a Nichole Court resident Wednesday morning as she was sitting on the deck in her backyard. The woman suffered minor injuries to her leg when she was bitten at about 10:45 a.m. Wednesday, Animal Control Officer April Leiler said. “The woman was trying to get in her house as the animal approached and bit her as she was opening the slider (sliding door),” Leiler said. “So, for a few moments, the animal’s head was inside the house.” The animal ran off after biting the woman and has not yet been found. Leiler said that without having caught the animal and testing it for rabies, the woman was urged to be treated for the disease. Two of her dogs, who approached the animal as it bit the woman, have been given a rabies booster shot, Leiler said. Initial indications are the animal was not provoked by the woman, but it may have been startled while feeding on berries in nearby wooded area. Lt. James Fasano said the woman also had fruit trees growing in her backyard and plants growing on her deck that the animal may have been interested in. Leiler said anyone who sees a fox or coyote should not approach it, but contact police at 203-271-5500. “If it has rabies, the animal is only going to get sicker,” she said. “And, even if it doesn’t, we want to prevent people from being bitten.

Illinois 07/28/12 Centralia: A bat that a woman discovered was attached to her lip when she woke up Thursday morning has tested positive for rabies. According to the report, she received rabies vaccine shots in her mouth, shoulder and both thighs. – See

Illinois 07/28/12 McHenry County: According to a news report, a bat that came in contact with a pet dog outside a home was infected with the rabies virus. – See

New Jersey 07/28/12 Manalapan, Monmouth County: A black and white feral cat found in the vicinity of Atrium and Chestnut ways off Pension Road has tested positive for rabies. The cat bit three area residents before being captured. Anyone who might have been exposed to the cat, or has a pet that had direct contact with the cat, should seek immediate medical advice. – See

South Carolina 07/27/12 Mountain Rest, Oconee County: A bat that had direct contact with a person has tested positive for rabies. – See

CANADA: WOMAN from northern QUEBEC survives POLAR BEAR attack ~ FLORIDA man’s DOG killed by BLACK BEAR in backyard ~ COLORADAN dies of HANTAVIRUS ~ CALIFORNIA law officer shoots MOUNTAIN LION that broke through family’s back door ~ COLORADO confirms wild RABBIT tested positive for TULAREMIA ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS reports from GA, MAx3, NY, NC, & VA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from AZ, FL, ILx2, MI, MS, NJx2, NY, OH, TX, & WI ~ RABIES reports from NJ, NYx2, NC, PA, & TX ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending July 14, 2012 ~ TRAVEL WARNINGS: CDC notice of CHOLERA outbreak in CUBA.

Polar bear. Courtesy U.S. Geological Survey


Quebec 07/27/12 An Inuk woman underwent surgery in Montreal Friday afternoon, four days after she was mauled by a polar bear near Kangiqsualujjuaq, a small Inuit community in Nunavik, in northern Quebec. Alicie Baron, 57, stepped out of her hunting cabin late Monday night, checking around for a bear as she normally would. She didn’t see anything. “I think this bear was hiding behind our cabin,” she said. Baron said she turned around after hearing a sound and found herself face to face with the bear. “I yelled twice. I tried to make a very loud yell, since my husband was inside. He only heard my last yell,” she said. Baron’s husband grabbed a hunting rifle and tried to shoot the bear. His first bullet jammed, so he got a second gun, firing two shots before the bear let go of Baron. Baron was left with a gaping head wound and a mangled hand. “I was afraid if I just stayed there doing nothing, he would….open my skull,” said Baron from her Montreal hospital bed on Friday. “I had to use my hand for protection.” “I just tried my best to be strong, to try not to have the bear chew off my head,” she said. The couple had to wait in the hunting camp overnight for help to arrive. Baron was first flown to Kuujjuaq for treatment, then on to Montreal. She underwent surgery on Tuesday to treat her head wounds. A second operation on Friday was to repair three fractures and lacerations to her right hand. A stoic Baron said she is hoping to make a full recovery.

United States:

Florida 07/27/12 Traps will be set for the bear that attacked and killed a DeLand man’s dog in his backyard, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials. The attack happened Saturday night around 11 p.m. on Oak Street near International Speedway and Kepler Road. Greg Mapp believes the bear was about 350 pounds. He said his dog, Molly, and the bear went “toe to toe” as Molly defended her home. Mapp said the bear ran into the woods behind his house, but his dog was hurt so badly she had to be put down. His neighbor, Patricia Peacock, said she believes she spotted the same bear in her front yard on Wednesday. Joy Hill, a spokesperson with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, said a trap will placed in the area in the next day or two, but she added that the situation is not an emergency and the bear is not considered dangerous. Hill said the bear was likely going after the dog’s food that the owner left in the back yard. She said residents should take food inside. “This was a defensive response by the bear,” Hill said. “It was not a predatory attack. This type of thing will continue to happen as long as people provide food opportunities for bears (that) live in the woods around them.” If officials capture the bear, Hill said they will relocate it to the Ocala National Forest. Hill said the trap is being moved from Paisley in Lake County where a bear bit another dog earlier in the week. Local 6 spoke with the owner of the the other dog, Brian Pollock, who said he kept his trashcans empty and doesn’t have food on his porch. But a bear bit the neck of his dog, Spike, who is recovering.

Deer mouse. Common carrier of Hantavirus. Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Colorado 07/25/12 The Tri-County Health Department says an Adams County woman has died of hantavirus in the first Colorado death from the respiratory disease this year. The department said Wednesday that the 36-year-old woman, who had no serious underlying health conditions, was admitted to a hospital July 8 with flu-like symptoms and died two days later. Health officials say she most likely was exposed to hantavirus while cleaning a rodent-infested area of her home. People can catch the virus from inhaling airborne particles of infected rodents’ excrement. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache and severe muscle pain, especially in the lower back and legs, followed by a dry cough or difficulty breathing. State health officials say a Delta County man and Garfield County woman were infected with hantavirus earlier this year. Both survived.

California 07/27/12 by Patty Guerra – Tami Mendonca was working in the front yard of her home Sunday when she heard a crash in the back yard. She ran around to check and saw the back door hanging open. “It had just been kicked in,” she said. Using the cell phone she always keeps in her pocket, she called 911 to report the intruder. “Then she grabs the machete,” interjected her husband, Ray, as the couple recounted the story Thursday. The machete-wielding Mendonca flagged down a neighbor, and they watched the house while waiting for help to arrive. A Stanislaus County sheriff’s deputy got there quickly and went into the house with his K-9. “He came out and said the house was clear,” Tami Mendonca said. “Nothing had been taken.” While they were chatting, the Mendoncas’ dogs ran out to one of the eucalyptus trees in the yard and started barking. “We’re all excited and we thought we’ve got him up the tree,” she said. “Then we looked up, and we all just froze.” The suspect was a 100-pound mountain lion. The deputy told Mendonca to put her dogs in the kennel while he called the state Department of Fish and Game. “Fish and Game told them if the animal comes out of the tree, they should probably consider dispatching it,” sheriff’s deputy Royjindar Singh said Thursday. “The lion decided to come out of the tree, so (the deputy) shot it and killed it.” Authorities said the deputy had no alternative, as the mountain lion was a threat to public safety. “There are too many factors going on,” said Capt. Robert Simpson of the Department of Fish and Game. “Mountain lions have no fear; they have no predator.” – For complete article see

Colorado 07/27/12 Public Health officials announced Friday that a rabbit tested positive for an illness that “is similar to plague” in Pueblo. The rabbit was found in Pueblo West in the 1000 Block of West Saginaw Drive, and tested positive for Tularemia. Though the bacterial illness occurs naturally in the U.S., it’s a condition that can be fatal to humans. – For complete article see

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

Georgia 07/26/12 Chatham County: Health officials said Thursday that preliminary tests have confirmed the presence of WNV and EEE in mosquitoes collected in the county. – See

Massachusetts 07/27/12 Pittsfield, Berkshire County: A mosquito sample collected in the Williams Street area has tested positive for EEE. – See

Massachusetts 07/26/12 Westborough, Worcester County: Public health officials announced today that EEE has been detected in mosquitoes collected in the area. – See

Massachusetts 07/27/12 Canton, Norfolk County: Health officials announced earlier this week that EEE has been found in mammal-biting mosquitoes and the town’s risk level has been raised to “high”.  – See

New York 07/26/12 Morristown, St. Lawrence County: A horse found shaking and sweating in a field earlier this week tested positive for EEE. The horse has since died. – See

North Carolina 07/25/12 New Hanover County: A third sentinel chicken has tested positive for EEE in the past three weeks. There is no vaccine and no cure for humans if exposed to this disease. Vaccines are available for horses. Recently, horses with the disease were euthanized in Robeson and Bladen counties. – See

Virginia 07/26/12 Chesapeake: Mosquito populations are way up this year, and more than ever they are testing positive for EEE, a virus that can be fatal to people, according to city officials. And the spread of the virus among mosquitoes likely will get worse over the next two months until the mosquito season peaks. Mosquitoes are especially pesky in Chesapeake and Suffolk because of the Great Dismal Swamp, which straddles city lines and is home to millions of mosquitoes, including the bird-biting mosquito that carries EEE, an official said. – See

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Arizona 07/27/12 Pinal County: Mosquitoes trapped during routine surveillance have tested positive for WNV. – See

Florida 07/25/12 Duval County: Health officials confirmed a 62-year-old woman is the first human case of WNV diagnosed in the county this year. The woman was hospitalized but has since been released. – See

Illinois 07/26/12 Winnebago County: The county health department announced today that two crows, found in the 61104 and 61088 zip code areas, have tested positive for WNV. – See–163874226.html?ref=226

Illinois 07/25/12 Tests conducted by the Egyptian Health Department has confirmed WNV positive batches of mosquitoes in Saline, Gallatin and White Counties, including the towns of Shawneetown, Harrisburg and Carmi. – See

Michigan 07/27/12 Oakland County: A 44-year-old man was hospitalized earlier this month with the first confirmed human case of WNV in the state this year. He is now recovering at home. – See

Mississippi 07/27/12 by Karen Wilson – Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports the first WNV death for 2012, along with eight new human cases. The death was in Smith County, and the new reported cases are in Leflore, Rankin (3), Smith, Stone (2), and Sunflower County. Today’s report brings the state total for 2012 to 19 cases and one death. – See

New Jersey 07/27/12 News Release – The first human case of WNV has been confirmed in a 19-year-old Monmouth County woman who was hospitalized but has recovered. In 2011, seven people tested positive for WNV.  In 2010, 30 cases were reported, including two deaths, one in Camden and one in Hudson. – See

New Jersey 07/25/12 Egg Harbor City, Atlantic County: A mosquito tested positive for WNV this week. Earlier, a mosquito collected in the vicinity of Duerer and 10th streets, and another at Birch Grove Park in Northfield, have tested positive for the virus. – See

New York 07/26/12 Staten Island: A man, who is over 50, was hospitalized with the first human case of WNV in New York City this year. He has since recovered. – See

Ohio 07/27/12 Clermont County: An 85-year-old man has the first human case of WNV in the state this year. The man has been hospitalized. There is no report on his condition. – See

Texas 07/26/12 Allen, Collin County: Health officials have confirmed three human cases of WNV in the city but did not say in which zip codes the infected people reside. – See

Wisconsin 07/25/12 Dane County: A bird has tested positive for WNV; the first to do so in the state this year. – See


New Jersey 07/24/12 Manalapan, Monmouth County: A bat found outside a local residence on July 15 has tested positive for rabies. Brown bats are commonly found in the area. – See

New York 07/26/12 Jay, Essex County: A raccoon found in the town has tested positive for rabies. – See

New York 07/26/12 Clinton County: One person is being treated for exposure to rabies after picking up a bat with bare hands. The bat tested positive for the virus. – See

North Carolina 07/25/12 Manson, Warren County: A raccoon killed by a tethered but unvaccinated dog in the Shells Lane area has tested positive for rabies. The dog had to be euthanized.– See

Pennsylvania 07/26/12 Chestnuthill Township, Monroe County: A skunk found wandering in a residential yard has tested positive for rabies. – See

Rabid cow.

Texas 07/27/12 Grayson County: A show cow tested positive for rabies a couple weeks ago. Family members became concerned once it began choking severely and exhibiting symptoms of pneumonia. After a vet observed and assessed that the rabies virus was indeed present, the cow was euthanized three days later. – See

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending July 14, 2012:

Published July 20, 2012/ 61(28); ND-382-ND-395

Anaplasmosis . . . 17 . . . New York (16), Virginia,

Babesiosis . . . 9 . . . California, New York (8),

Ehrlichiosis . . . 9 . . . Arkansas, Tennessee (2), Virginia (6),

Giardiasis . . . 112 . . . Alaska (2), Arkansas (2), California (23), Florida (20), Iowa (4), Maine (3), Maryland (3), Missouri (5), Nebraska (5), Nevada, New York (25), Ohio (4), Oregon (2), Pennsylvania (2), Vermont (2), Virginia (4), Washington (5),

Lyme Disease . . .  266. . .  California, Connecticut (6), Delaware (9), Florida (3), Maryland (33), New York (109), Oregon, Pennsylvania (79), Vermont (7), Virginia (18),

Q Fever (Acute) . . . 1 . . . Texas,

Rabies (Animal) . . . 43. . . Connecticut (3), Illinois (2), New York (17), Ohio, Texas (5), Vermont, Virginia (13), West Virginia,

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 20 . . . Alabama (2), Arkansas (3), Florida, Indiana, Maryland, New York, Tennessee (5), Virginia (6),

Tularemia . . . 3 . . . Alaska, Montana, Washington.

Travel Warnings:

Cuba 07/27/12 Outbreak Notice – The Cuban Ministry of Health has confirmed the first cholera outbreak in Cuba in more than a century. One hundred thirty-seven confirmed cases and 3 deaths have been reported in Granma province in the cities of Manzanillo, Bayamo, Yara, and Campechuela Niquero. Currently, cases are limited to Granma Province, mostly in Manzanillo. According to the Cuban Ministry of Public Health, control measures have been implemented including ensuring that water is safe for drinking, implementation of environmental sanitation measures and public awareness campaigns. The Pan American Health Organization is also closely monitoring this situation. Most travelers are not at high risk of getting cholera. However, travelers to an area with a known outbreak should take steps to avoid getting sick. The vaccine to prevent cholera is not available in the United States. – For complete notice see

COYOTES preying on FLORIDA PETS and SEA TURTLE nests ~ MOUNTAIN LION kills pet DOG in CALIFORNIA neighborhood ~ MOUNTAIN LION with cubs sighted near the University of CALIFORNIA-Berkeley ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS report from VIRGINIA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from AL, AZ, CT, IL, IN, NY, & TX ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending July 7, 2012.

Coyote. Courtesy U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Florida 07/23/12 by Terry O’Connor – Emboldened coyotes have seized at least one pet in the Rotonda area and routinely stalk turtle nests on Gasparilla Island sands. “Coyote predation has increased on unmarked sea turtle nests after Tropical Storm Debby,’ said Wilma Katz of the Coastal Wildlife Club. Coyotes can be heard howling at night throughout the Gasparilla Island area and sometimes during the day when emergency vehicles pass by. The scientific name of the coyote, Canis latrans, means “barking dog.” Coyotes help control rodent populations and are not all bad, says at least one naturalist. “I know that coyotes can be a potential problem but it is impressive that a mid-sized predator can persist and even thrive in the face of so many attempts to kill it,” said William Dunson, Gasparilla Gazette Nature Walk columnist. “Although it is presumably not native originally to this area, it seems to replace some of the native predators that have been eliminated, and I do enjoy having them around. We seem to have a very healthy ecosystem here with good to excellent populations of birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals, so the coyotes do not seem to be an adverse disturbance to natural systems.”

Photo by Ianare Sevi. Wikimedia Commons.

Unless it’s your pet a coyote targets for lunch, authorities say. Rotonda West resident Desiree Numen told animal control officials a coyote carried off her family’s Jack Russell terrier, Chester, March 27. The coyote bit into her dog’s neck as they were standing in her front yard and ran into the woods despite her screams. Most coyote attacks on pets occur either at night or at dusk or dawn. Animal control officer John Butler said a coyote is less likely to attack if a dog is leashed and they are attracted to open garbage cans. Coyotes have become common in the Gasparilla island area yet are rarely seen despite leaving tracks and spoor as evidence of their existence. Attacks on pets are still rare as coyotes have an innate fear of humans, according to University of Florida data.

California 07/23/12  by Veronica Rocha – A mountain lion mauled a 1-year-old German-Belgian shepherd mix named Cookie to death Saturday, making it the first reported killing of its kind this year in Glendale, officials said. The attack prompted Glendale police officials to renew warnings to hillside residents to keep their pets indoors at night. “She was a great dog,” said Cookie’s owner, Karine Tatevossian. “It’s just really scary.” The shepherd mix was staying at her parents’ home in the 1800 block of Emerald Terrace for the weekend, she said. – For complete article see,0,3762330.story

Mountain Lion Sightings:

California 07/24/12 Berkeley, Alameda County: by Frances Dinkelspiel – UC police are warning hikers to be on the outlook for a mountain lion and her cubs that may be living near the Greek Theater. In the past few weeks, hikers have reported several sightings of a mountain lion, including one on Thursday. “In the past few weeks there have been several sightings of a mountain lion and her cubs near the Switching Station #6 construction site on the western side of Stern Hall,” UC Police said in a safety alert sent out Tuesday. “The latest sighting was of a female mountain lion which occurred on Thursday, July 19th.” Stern Hall is located on Gayley Road right near the Greek Theater. – See

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

Virginia 07/24/12 Virginia Beach: In the past four weeks, there have been five EEE-positive mosquito pools in four different locations, according to a news release from the Virginia Beach Department of Public Works. Three of the locations were in Blackwater and the fourth was on West Neck Road in Pungo. – See

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Alabama 07/24/12 Mobile, Mobile County: A sentinel chicken in the 36582 ZIP Code has tested positive for WNV, officials with the Mobile County Health Department confirmed today. – See

Arizona 07/24/12 Maricopa County: An elderly man with underlying health issues has succumbed to WNV. Last month the first human case of WNV in the county was diagnosed in a 30-year-old woman who has since recovered. – See

Connecticut 07/25/12 News Release – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced mosquitoes testing positive for WNV have been identified in 13 towns so far this season. The mosquitoes were trapped by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) from June 27 to July 18 in: Bethel, Danbury, Greenwich, East Haven, New Haven, Newington, Newtown, Norwalk, Stamford, Stratford, West Haven, Wallingford and Wilton. – See

Illinois 07/24/12 Cook County: Health officials have confirmed that a female in her 60s has become the first human case of WNV in the county. – See

Indiana 07/24/12 Martinsville, Morgan County: Health officials reported Monday that a mosquito pool on the south side of the city has tested positive for WNV. – See

New York 07/24/12 New Haven, Oswego County: WNV has been found in a mosquito trap in New Haven, town Supervisor Russell So far this season, the virus also has been found in a mosquito pool collected near the Cicero Swamp, in two traps in Central Square and in a mosquito pool on Midler Avenue in Syracuse. – See

Texas 07/24/12 Tarrant County: Sandra Parker, medical director of Tarrant County Public Health, told Fort Worth City Council members Tuesday that the county has 30 reported human cases of WNV, including five in Fort Worth. – See

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending July 7, 2012:

Published July 13, 2012/ 61(27); ND-367-ND-381

Anaplasmosis . . . 17 . . . New York (17),

Babesiosis . . . 8 . . . California, New York (7),

Brucellosis . . . 2 . . . Florida, Indiana,  

Ehrlichiosis . . . 17 . . . Alabama, Florida (2), Maryland (2), New York (3), Tennessee (4), Virginia (5),

Giardiasis . . . 89 . . . Alabama, California (16), Florida (19), Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Missouri (2), Montana, Nebraska, Nevada (2), New York (16), Oregon (7), Pennsylvania (9), South Carolina (2), Vermont (2), Virginia (2), Washington (5), Wisconsin,

HME/HGE Undetermined . . . 1 . . . Indiana,

Lyme Disease . . .  161. . .  Delaware (6), Florida (3), Maryland (5), New York (63), Pennsylvania (46), Rhode Island (8), Tennessee (3), Vermont (5), Virginia (22),

Q Fever (Acute) . . . 1 . . . Indiana,

Q Fever (Chronic) . . . 1 . . . Texas, 

Rabies (Animal) . . . 47. . . Alabama, Maine, Michigan, New York (15), Texas (11), Virginia (15), West Virginia (3),

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Confirmed) . . . 2. . . Pennsylvania (2),

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 31 . . . Alabama (3), Arizona (2), Arkansas (3), Indiana, Tennessee (5), Virginia (17),

Tularemia . . . 2 . . . Colorado, Nebraska.