Category Archives: Consumer Information

Good Samaritan in FLORIDA helps with injured FOX and may have exposed self to RABIES ~ ARIZONAN dies of HANTAVIRUS ~ GEORGIA confirms HORSE has EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA, TN, & TX ~ RABIES reports from AL, FLx2, GAx2, MA, NH, NCx4, SC, WA, & WV ~ New CDC Travelers’ Health Website.

Gray fox. Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Gray fox. Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Florida 05/24/13 Alachua County: Health officials are searching for a man who assisted in caring for an injured fox at approximately 8 a.m. on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at the entrance of the Buckingham East Subdivision (at the intersection of NW 84th Street and West Newberry Road, Gainesville). The man is described as a white male, approximately 6 feet tall, 195 pounds, and about 50 years old.  At the time of the incident, he was riding a mountain bike, and may have been wearing a tank top, shorts, fanny pack, baseball cap and had on headphones. “This individual assisted a female citizen in wrapping an injured fox in a towel for the purposes of transporting the fox to veterinary care.” stated Paul Myers, Administrator of the ACHD.  “The fox has tested positive for rabies and it is critical that this man be assessed for rabies exposure.” Anyone having information on the identity of this man is asked to call the Health Department at 352-260-7329.  Additionally, if other individuals in this area have come into contact with a fox or other wildlife, please contact the Health Department at 352-260-7329.

Hantavirus:

Deer mouse. Courtesy CDC.

Deer mouse. Courtesy CDC.

Arizona 05/22/13 Graham County: Health officials have confirmed that a 39-year-old county man has died of complications from hantavirus. This is the first reported case of the virus statewide in 2013. Hantavirus is carried in the urine and droppings of rodents, especially the deer mouse, and can be inhaled when areas where rodents have been living are disturbed. Arizona has reported 34 cases of the virus since 2001 and of those 38% were fatal. – See original article at http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/story/22401439/2013/05/22/graham-county-man-dies-from-hantavirus

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

Brooks-County-GAGeorgia 05/22/13 Brooks County: State health officials have confirmed that a horse stabled in the county has been diagnosed with the first case of EEE in southern Georgia this year. – See http://www.wctv.tv/news/headlines/Horse-Tests-Positive-for-EEE-in-Brooks-County–208490881.html?ref=881#.UZ1mvJymVFs

West Nile Virus (WNV):

San Joaquin Cty CACalifornia 05/24/12 San Joaquin County: Mosquitoes found in ZIP codes 95337 (a chunk of Manteca extending south to Caswell Memorial State Park) and 95336 (Ripon) have tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.modbee.com/2013/05/24/2731619/west-nile-virus-season-starts.html

DavidsonTNTennessee 05/24/13 Davidson County: Mosquitoes collected in Bellevue near the intersection of Old Harding Pike and Harpeth Parkway have tested positive for WNV. No human cases have been reported. – See http://www.newschannel5.com/story/22419130/mosquitoes-test-positive-for-west-nile-in-bellevue

Anderson_County_TXTexas 05/24/13 dshs.state.tx: News ReleaseWest Nile illness was confirmed in an adult male from Anderson County. The patient is recovering from the neuroinvasive form of the disease. Additional details about the patient are not being released to protect the patient’s identity. This is the state’s first confirmed human case of WNV reported this year. Last year, Texas reported 1,868 human cases of West Nile illness, including 89 deaths.

Rabies:

2625980-child-and-catAlabama 05/21/13 Jefferson, St. Clair, & Shelby counties: A feral cat found in the vicinity of Beech Street in Leeds on May 9th has tested positive for rabies. The cat was reported to be acting strangely. – See http://www.thestclairtimes.com/view/full_story/22660918/article-Local-vets-warning-area-about-rabies?instance=home_right_bot

Florida 05/22/13 Lake County: A Rabies Alert issued after a raccoon tested positive for rabies has forced Animal Services personnel to temporarily 1426663suspend usage of night-drop kennels for residents giving up their pets. – See http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/lake/os-lk-rabies-alert-night-drop-kennels-20130521,0,1785514.story

Florida 05/21/13 Martin County: A raccoon that bit a man on May 16th in the vicinity of the 18000 block of Southeast Federal Highway in Jupiter has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2013/may/21/man-bitten-rabid-raccoon-martin-county/

rabiesAlert521d4-1Georgia 05/22/13 Houston County: A stray dog that bit a person in the face in the Shamrock Circle neighborhood off Dunbar Road in a northern section of the county has tested positive for rabies. The dog is described as a brown-and-white female pit bull mix. The incident occurred on May 16 and the dog has been euthanized. Anyone who might have been exposed to this animal should seek immediate medical advice. – See http://www.macon.com/2013/05/22/2488855/stray-dog-tests-positive-for-rabies.html

Rabid FoxGeorgia 05/22/13 Newton County: A fox that bit two second-grade students on a playground at Rocky Plains Elementary School in Covington has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.examiner.com/article/students-bitten-by-fox-on-playground-at-ga-school-now-face-rabies-treatment

raccoon_lgMassachusetts 05/23/13 Middlesex County: A raccoon captured last week in Wayland has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/wayland/2013/05/rabies_case_confirmed_in_wayla.html

cat-child-300x225New Hampshire 05/22/13 Hillsborough County: A feral cat that attacked three people in the vicinity of Church Street and Brown Avenue in the city of Hillsborough has tested positive for rabies. The cat was described as black-and-white with medium hair. Anyone exposed to a stray cat of this description is urged to seek immediate medical advice. – See http://www.boston.com/news/local/new-hampshire/2013/05/22/cat-tests-positive-for-rabies-hillsborough/3vWLXPhfycy02dE90YDadJ/story.html

fox21546North Carolina 05/24/13 Buncombe County: A fox captured near the Biltmore Square Mall in Asheville has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20130524/NEWS/130524013/Rabid-fox-found-near-Biltmore-Square-Mall?nclick_check=1

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANorth Carolina 05/22/13 Guilford County: A raccoon found on South Road in High Point has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.hpe.com/news/x1592162097/Local-rabies-case-reported

4541357140foxNorth Carolina 05/21/13 Guilford County: A fox that was in contact with a person on Olmstead Drive off Springwood Church Road near Springwood Park in Burlington has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.thetimesnews.com/news/top-news/rabid-fox-found-near-alamance-guilford-line-1.146888

North Carolina 05/21/13 Wake and Chatham counties: Cary town officials have warned residents to be on the lookout for a fox that came in contact with a person last week near Northwest Maynard Road and Carousel Lane. It is feared the fox has rabies. – See http://www.wral.com/cary-warns-of-potentially-rabid-fox/12469974/

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASouth Carolina 05/23/13 Horry County: A fox that bit a man who lives in the county has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/2013/05/23/3501799/horry-county-man-exposed-to-rabies.html

batPosterWashington 05/23/13 Grant County: The children of a Moses Lake family are receiving treatment for potential exposure to rabies after they were found playing with several dead bats, which were too damaged to be tested for the virus. – See http://www.khq.com/story/22409023/moses-lake-children-receive-rabies-treatement

Horse%20TeethWest Virginia 05/24/13 Preston County: A horse stabled in Terra Alta has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wboy.com/story/22419562/preston-county-confirmed-case-of-rabies

CDC Travelers’ Health:

cdc_logoGlobal 05/22/13 cdc.gov: CDC Bulletin – The CDC has redesigned their Travelers’ Health website after rigorous user testing to guide several improvements to make the site easier to use, more informative, and more helpful as you plan for your trip abroad. New features include:

  • An easy-to-read list of vaccines and medicines you may need before your trip.
  • Tips for how to stay healthy and safe while traveling.
  • A healthy travel packing list.
  • Travel notices for your destination.
  • Information about what to do if you get sick after your trip.

They’ve also designed the pages with both you and your health care provider in mind. The Traveler’s View has all the information you need to have a healthy trip, with ways to print the entire page or just the parts you want. And the Clinician’s View provides your doctor with the information he or she needs to advise you during a pre-travel consultation. It also includes a Disease Directory, and information about new Disease Travel Notice Levels. – See http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/new-cdc-travelers-health-website

COLORADO WOMAN attacked by BLACK BEAR on her porch ~ PENNSYLVANIA police officers kill BLACK BEAR that had been roaming around downtown Easton ~ MOUNTAIN LION reports from IDAHO, & MONTANA ~ CALIFORNIA town reports COYOTE invasion ~ TENNESSEE confirms major increase in ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER cases ~ PENNSYLVANIA’s York County turns up MOSQUITO with WEST NILE VIRUS ~ CANADA: BRITISH COLUMBIA SALMON farm culls over half a million FISH due to VIRUS.

Black bear. Courtesy of the U.S. Department of Interior.

Colorado 05/18/12 the denverchannel.com: by Ryan Budnick – The Las Animas County Sheriff’s Office said it fatally shot a bear after it attacked a grandmother. The attack happened at around 4:30 p.m. Friday at the woman’s home in the Santa Fe Trail Ranch subdivision, about 5 miles southwest of Trinidad, Parks and Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton said. The woman was on her porch with her grandchildren when one of the children saw the bear. The grandmother took the children inside and then stepped out to bang some pans to scare the bear, Hampton said. On Saturday, Hampton said wildlife officials are certain the woman was bitten at least once by the bear. He added it is possible that she was clawed by the animal also.

Details emerging on Saturday show this was more than just a surprise response from the bear and that it became aggressive. “She managed to get in the house and the bear tried to follow her,” Hampton said.”She was able to get the door closed and the bear stayed there.” That was when a friend showed up and fired shots at the fleeing bear, Hampton said. Las Animas Sheriff’s Office deputies and a Parks and Wildlife officer arrived a short time later. While the officials were there, the bear returned to the house and was fatally shot by a deputy. “At that point, the aggressive behavior it initially showed, the bear is going to die,” Hampton said. Hampton said the bear was a sub-adult male, around 1 to 2 years of age.

The woman was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Hampton said. Hampton said the body of the bear was taken to Fort Collins to a Parks and Wildlife lab. A necropsy was performed on the bear Saturday and the results confirmed that sheriff’s deputies fatally shot the correct animal. “We were 98 percent certain yesterday,” Hampton said. “We are 100 percent certain today.” Wildlife officials are waiting for results to determine if the bear was suffering from any conditions such as rabies, Hampton said.

Pennsylvania 05/21/12 examiner.com: by Duane Sedlock – Easton police officers shot and killed a black bear Saturday evening they said was roaming around the downtown area. The bear was shot in a wooded area off North 5th Street around 11:45 pm. Police Capt. Scott Casterline says the officers unsuccessfully tried several times to tranquilize the bear and were concerned it would make its way into a residential neighborhood. The bear had been spotted twice on Saturday, prompting police to alert the Pennsylvania Game Commission but were told no one from the commission could respond to the scene. It was eventually spotted again near the Easton Area Public Library. Casterline says the bear wasn’t an immediate threat to the public but it had become a public safety hazard because it was comfortable in populated areas. “No one was in immediate danger,” he said. “But there is always concern when a bear feels comfortable enough to go around populated areas. It presented a public safety hazard, so the bear was killed.” – For complete article see http://www.examiner.com/article/easton-police-shoot-and-kill-black-bear

Idaho 05/19/12 Boise, Ada County: A resident of Warm Springs Mesa in east Boise saw a mountain lion feeding on deer carcass in a neighbor’s front yard on Friday evening, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game said Saturday. – See http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012/05/19/2528508/mountain-lion-spotted-on-warm.html

Idaho 05/21/12 Boise, Ada County: A mountain lion sighting was reported on the Boise State campus Monday morning. The lion was heading east on the Greenbelt near Friendship Bridge. Officials believe it’s the same lion seen feeding on a deer carcass at Warm Springs Mesa (see previous item) – Also see http://www.kivitv.com/news/local/152295235.html

Montana 05/19/12 Kalispell, Flathead County: State officials have given a couple permission to kill a mountain lion that has been prowling near their home and appears to be comfortable around humans. – See http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/ap_news/montana/article_30e9f90c-af8d-55ce-a62d-c0747cf8ef9a.html

California 05/20/12 Long Beach, Los Angeles County: Officials say there have been 11 reports of pets being killed by coyotes in the city and residents are being warned to keep pets in a night. – See http://www.contracostatimes.com/california/ci_20668944/untitled

Brown dog tick.

Tennessee 05/20/12 wcyb.com: by Rebecca Rogers – Health officials say Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is the most common tick-borne illness in Tennessee. We’re told 74 cases have been confirmed across Tennessee so far this year, which is a major increase from last year’s numbers. Doctors say the disease is most commonly carried in the brown dog tick. A bite from this tick can be fatal, but if the warning signs are noticed early enough doctors say the disease can be treated with antibiotics. – For complete article see http://www.wcyb.com/news/31089849/detail.html

Pennsylvania 05/21/12 York Township, York County: A mosquito sample collected last week tested positive for West Nile Virus. – See http://www.fox43.com/news/wpmt-york-county-mosquito-collection-tests-positive-for-west-nile-virus-20120521,0,7558758.story

Canada:

British Columbia 05/19/12 ctv.ca: Atlantic salmon farms around Vancouver Island have begun testing and formed a special outbreak management team after a virus outbreak at one farm led to a site quarantine and the cull of more than half a million fish. The farm most seriously affected by the virus is one run by Mainstream Canada, which confirmed tests conducted earlier this week showed the presence of infectious haematopoietic necrosis at its site on the Island’s west coast, located at Dixon Bay, north of Tofino, B.C. A second farm announced Friday afternoon that the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has identified a “low positive result” for the same virus in coho salmon samples on a Sunshine Coast farm. Grieg Seafood said further tests will be conducted next week.

Stewart Hawthorn, a spokesman for Grieg Seafood, said in a statement the low-positive test does not confirm the presence of the virus and additional tests will be conducted next week. He said the test result is not entirely unexpected because the virus occurs in natural and wild salmon, and coho are local and wild. Hawthorn said the company’s fish are not showing any signs of disease or significant or unusual mortality, and out of caution Grieg is increasing its internal monitoring and implemented a voluntary isolation protocol. Mary Ellen Walling, executive director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association, said an outbreak management team is now in place on Vancouver Island after the Mainstream incident and includes members from across the industry. – For complete article see http://calgary.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/CTVNews/20120519/bc-salmon-farm-fish-cull-virus-120519/20120519/?hub=CalgaryHome

Idaho officers shoot MOUNTAIN LION that attacked 10-year-old ~ Maine officers shoot BLACK BEAR in Portland neighborhood ~ Washington issues ADVISORY about OYSTERS harvested in Hood Canal #4 ~ MOSQUITOES in two more Massachusetts towns carrying EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS ~ RABIES reports from Colorado, New Jersey, & Tennessee ~ and WEST NILE VIRUS reports from California (3), Florida, Illinois (2), and Louisiana ~ Canada: B.C. man kills MOUNTAIN LION attacking pet CAT ~ Travel Warnings for Pakistan.

Mountain Lion. PD. Wikimedia Commons.

Idaho 09/23/11 idaho.gov: News Release – Thursday evening about 8 or 8:30 p.m. a young boy went out with his dad to look for a family pet bird dog that had been missing since the day before. They were searching in thick sagebrush near their home in a Mores Creek subdivision when the boy heard noises in the brush. But instead of the missing dog he had hoped to find, he came face to face with a young cougar. He panicked and ran. The lion gave chase. The boy stumbled and found the cat close by. The cat took a swipe with its front paw, scratching the boy on the arm and hand. The boy yelled to his father, who fired a round from his 9 mm handgun to scare the cat away. Idaho Fish and Game conservation officers, an off-duty Meridian police officer and a Boise County deputy responded to the incident. With the help of tracking dogs, the officers located the cat, guarding the pet dog it had killed. The officers killed the lion with shots from handguns and a rifle. The female cat was estimated to be about 50 pounds and a year and a half old. It is not unusual for young lions to get into trouble after they have left the protection their mother and are trying to learn to survive on their own, Senior Conservation Officer Matt O’Connell said. When a lion has made physical contact with a human, especially in the circumstance of having killed a pet dog, protocol is to kill the animal, he said. The boy’s wounds were considered minor. Such events are rare; this the second recorded mountain lion incident involving injury to a human in Idaho. The other involved a 12-year-old boy on the Salmon River in the early 1990s.

Maine 09/24/11 pressherald.com: Officers of the Maine Warden Service shot and killed a black bear today around 7 a.m. in the woods off Veranda Street in the East Deering neighborhood. Portland police reported the treed bear to the Wardens Service around 4:30 a.m. Wardens initially tried to tranquilize the bear, but were unable to, according to Portland police Lt. Jim Sweatt. “It was getting to be 7 o’clock and you don’t want school buses and firearms on the scene,” Sweatt said. The bear initially was spotted in a tree on Oregon Street, a residential area, before climbing down and running off, Sweatt said. A warden tracked the bear down streets and through backyards before shooting it as a last resort because of the school bus concerns and commuter traffic starting to pick up on nearby Route 1. The wardens’ service said the bear weighed 220 pounds. The hide is being sent to the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife so researchers can determine the bear’s sex and age and other factors. The meat will be distributed to soup kitchens. Wildlife officials are warning residents this is the time of year bears are on the prowl for food as they fatten up in preparation for hibernation in late fall.

Hood Canal Oyster Beds

Washington 09/23/11 wa.gov: News Release – Distributors, retailers, restaurants, and consumers have been advised not to eat, sell, or ship oysters harvested between August 30 and September 19 from Washington’s Hood Canal growing area #4. The state Department of Health made the recommendations, including contacting people who bought the oysters over the Internet, as part of a recall of oysters in the shell harvested in that growing area between those dates. The agency closed oyster harvesting in the area after five people who ate raw oysters containing Vibrio parahaemolyticus, got sick with an illness called vibriosis. The recall is a precautionary action to make sure that no oysters in the shell harvested from Hood Canal #4, in this time period, are still for sale or in the hands of consumers. State health officials order a recall when two or more unrelated cases of vibriosis are linked to the same source of oysters from the growing area. There have been several other vibriosis cases reported this summer, scattered around the state’s growing areas. Typically, Washington sees about 50 cases of vibriosis a year. Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria are found naturally in the environment. When water temperature rises, the bacteria can quickly grow to a level that causes illness.

Massachusetts 09/23/11 milforddailynews.com: by Whitney Clearman – Mosquitoes carrying the eastern equine encephalitis virus, which can infect humans through bites, were found yesterday morning near (the Medway) recycling center, according to the Board of Health. The Norfolk County Mosquito Control Project is testing its mosquito traps to see if the finding was an isolated incident or if the virus is in other locations, he said. The virus has historically affected southeast Massachusetts, around Bristol and Plymouth counties, and not MetroWest, said Catherine Brown, state public health veterinarian.

Massachusetts 09/23/11 patch.com: by Jeremie Smith – On Wednesday, Dover-Sherborn Patch reported the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus was found in mosquitoes in Sherborn. Due to Medfield’s close geographical proximity to Sherborn, Medfield Public School administrators issued letters to parents to notify them of Sherborn’s finding and to offer tips on how to prevent their children from being bitten by mosquitoes.

Colorado 09/22/11 reporterherald.com: from an article by Pamela Dickman – A Loveland man is undergoing a series of rabies shots after being bitten on the neck by a bat. “I had no idea a bat had bit me,” he said, until he saw his dog playing with a dead bat in the yard a couple of days later. The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment took the bat to a Colorado State University lab where it tested positive for rabies.  So far this year, 22 humans and 62 domestic animals are believed to have come in contact with a rabid bat across the state, and in Larimer County, six residents – three from the same family – have undergone inoculations to prevent rabies, according to the state and county health departments.

New Jersey 09/22/11 patch.com: by Denise DiSephan – Jack Neary, known locally as Muskrat Jack, the town’s animal control officer, confirmed that a raccoon that was captured during the day on Long Point Lane last Friday has tested positive for rabies, said Point Beach Borough Administrator Christine Riehl in a prepared statement. To report a suspicious animal call the the Point Beach Police Department at 732-892-0500 or Muskrat Jack at 732-295-1618.

Tennessee 09/22/11 clarksvilleonline.com: The Tennessee Department of Health is working with the United States Department of Agriculture to help prevent rabies by distributing oral rabies vaccine for wild raccoons along Tennessee’s borders with Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia. The annual baiting program administered by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, will begin in Tennessee on September 30th, 2011. “Control of raccoon rabies is vital to public health, and we are pleased to be part of this important and effective program to reduce rabies in wildlife, which helps prevent transmission to people, pets and livestock,” said Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH, FACOEM. Vaccine packets placed inside fishmeal blocks or coated with fishmeal will be distributed throughout a 15 county area in Tennessee. The barrier varies from 30 to 60 miles wide and covers approximately 3,400 square miles, running along the Virginia/North Carolina border in northeast Tennessee to the Georgia border in southeast Tennessee near Chattanooga. Baits will be distributed by hand from vehicles in urban and suburban areas and dropped from specially equipped airplanes in rural areas. The oral rabies vaccine will be distributed on the following schedule: Sept 30th-Oct 8th: Carter, Cocke, Greene, Hamblen, Hawkins, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington Counties. Oct 5th-15th: Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe and Polk Counties. For additional information on rabies prevention or the oral rabies vaccine program, call the USDA Wildlife Services toll-free rabies line at 1.866.487.3297 or the Tennessee Department of Health at 1.615.741.7247.

Lake County

California 09/23/11 lakeconews.com: A third sample of mosquitoes collected in Lake County has tested positive for West Nile Virus. The positive sample consisted of 10 Culex tarsalis – the Western encephalitis mosquito – collected east of Middletown on Thursday, Sept. 15, according to the Lake County Vector Control District. The district said the previous two West Nile Virus-positive mosquito samples were collected earlier in September near Kelseyville. No other West Nile Virus activity – in humans or animals – has been reported in Lake County this year. “The mosquitoes that are testing positive for West Nile Virus in Lake County develop in still water,” said Jamesina J. Scott, Ph.D., the district manager and research director of the Lake County Vector Control District. “They will develop in wading pools, neglected swimming pools and spas, ponds, fountains, and other water sources. You can protect your family – and your neighbors – by dumping out small water sources like wading pools, or calling the district for help with larger sources like pools and ponds.” One unmaintained – or “green” – pool can produce hundreds of thousands mosquitoes per week, and those mosquitoes can fly up to five miles away. – For complete article go to http://lakeconews.com/content/view/21535/919/

Riverside County

California 09/22/11 latimes.com: Three Riverside County women contracted the West Nile Virus in August, the county’s first reported cases this year, authorities said Thursday. All three are recovering and there doesn’t appear to be any connection between any of the cases, said Dr. Eric Frykman, the county’s public health officer. A 44-year-old Corona woman and a 63-year-old Norco woman were hospitalized for a short time after contracting the virus last month, the county health department said in a statement released Thursday. In the third case, a 36-year-old Beaumont woman is recovering at home.

San Bernadino County

California 09/22/11 vvdailypress.comA 57-year-old Barstow resident suffering from a case of West Nile virus was bitten by an infected mosquito in Fontana last month and did not contract the disease in Barstow, officials said Thursday. The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health notified city of Barstow officials about the West Nile case Monday, according to the statement. The city worked with San Bernardino County Vector Control Agency, which began trapping mosquitoes in town.

St. Johns County

Florida 09/23/11 staugustine.com: from a report by Jennifer Edwards – Anastasia Mosquito Control District officials have confirmed the presence of West Nile Virus. This is the first known instance here this year, said Anastasia Mosquito Control Director Rudy Xue. It was reported in one of the sentinel chickens that the district keeps on Joe Ashton Road as part of an early detection system. No humans in St. Johns County are known to have been infected with West Nile Virus. Joe Ashton Road is located in the county’s northwest off County Road 13.

Illinois 09/22/11 patch.com: by Jennifer Fisher & Brian Slupski – A Northbrook man in his 60s was the first person to die of West Nile Virus in Illinois in 2011, according to the Cook County Department of Public Health.  The man had underlying health conditions that contributed to his death, said Department of Health spokesperson Amy Poore . . . Poore emphasized the fact that there have been incidences of West Nile Virus throughout Cook County, not just in Northbrook. All told, six people have contracted the virus this year, the Illinois Department of Public Health reports.

Illinois 09/22/11 triblocal.com: by Lawrence Synett – A Woodstock man has contracted the first reported human case of West Nile Virus in McHenry County. The 35-year-old Woodstock man was hospitalized, but has since been released.

Calcasieu Parish

Louisiana 09/23/11 kify.com: Louisiana’s health department says a West Nile virus case in Calcasieu Parish is the tenth diagnosed statewide this year and the fifth dangerous infection of the brain or spinal cord. The Department of Health and Hospitals says the last dangerous “neuroinvasive” case to be diagnosed also was in Calcasieu Parish. Other cases diagnosed earlier include 3 of flu-like West Nile fever and two infections without any symptoms.

Canada:

British Columbia 09/23/11 vancouversun.com: by Keri Sculland – A cougar that has been lurking around a Port Alberni neighbourhood has been killed after it tried to attack a pet cat. People in the area of Lakeshore Road “had been warned” about the large cougar after it was seen stalking a woman and her dog last week, said resident Bob Cole. Cole was pulling out of his driveway Tuesday afternoon when he saw the cougar on top of one of his neighbour’s cats. He hit the gas, aimed for the cougar and hoped the best for the pet’s life. “I just took my chance to hit the cougar,” he said. Cole could not stick around at the scene, leaving his wife in charge of directing RCMP and conservation officers to where the cougar laid. “When the conservation officers came, they found it immediately,” he said. “It went down off the side of the road and they dispatched it.” The cougar, it turns out, was ill. After conservation authorities located the injured animal, it was destroyed and sent away for an autopsy. “The cougar was a young male and it was not in healthy condition,” confirmed RCMP Cpl. Jen Allan. The neighbour’s cat, however, ran away safely.

Travel Warnings:

Pakistan 09/22/11 xinhuanet.com: Death toll from an epidemic of dengue fever, which has gripped Pakistan’s most populous and eastern province of Punjab, has now reached 62 as another man died on Thursday, health officials and local media reported. The fever, which has also been reported in other parts of the country, has infected nearly 8,000 in the last two months, they said. Till Thursday, 100,000 people have rushed to government and private hospitals in Lahore for medical test as every citizen is now wanting to get doctors’ advice. Residents say that 50 percent people now avoid visiting parks and picnic spots in Lahore. There have also been reports of dengue in southern Sindh Province, with the provincial Dengue Surveillance Cell reporting over 200 cases this year, most of them in Karachi.

Minnesota budget deal paves way for Gray Wolf hunting; New Mexico game commission supports recommendation to end Wolf trapping ban; Drought conditions in Arkansas driving Feral Hogs into residential neighborhoods; ten rabid Bats collected in California’s Moorpark College area; Israeli firm signs passive Rabies vaccine partnership deal in U.S.; Washington DOH confirms Yakima man’s death caused by Hantavirus; Georgia investigates possible human case of West Nile Virus; Rabies reports from Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia; West Nile Virus reports from Pennsylvania, and Virginia; and Follow-up reports from California (3 boys who found a rabid Bat have been located), Colorado (Coyote they believe bit 2-year-old toddler has been killed), and North Carolina (Fox that attacked two women was rabid).

Photo by Reron. Wikimedia Commons.

Minnesota 07/19/11 startribune.com: by Josephine Marcotty – The gray wolf in Minnesota could go from endangered to hunted in just a year or two under an environmental bill that is part of the deal struck between Gov. Mark Dayton and top Republican legislators. The bill states that once the Great Lakes wolf is taken off the federal endangered species list, which is expected later this year, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) can establish a hunting season. It’s a marked change from the state’s previous wolf management plan, which called for a five-year moratorium on hunting after delisting. Hunting advocates say it will help reduce conflicts around the increasing number of wolf attacks on livestock and dogs. At the same time, experts say the swift transition from protected species to human prey will not harm the wolf’s survival if a hunting season is well-managed. “The [wolves] have surpassed every benchmark of recovery,” said Mark Johnson, executive director of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association. “It’s way past time.” Still, an official with the national environmental group that has opposed the delisting said it’s a bad sign that the Legislature is interfering even before the wolf is delisted. (For complete article go to http://www.startribune.com/sports/outdoors/125862968.html )

New Mexico 07/21/11 therepublic.com: by Susan Montoya Bryan – State game commissioners on Thursday approved a recommendation from wildlife managers to end a trapping ban in southwestern New Mexico, where federal officials have been working to reintroduce the Mexican gray wolf. The commission voted unanimously in favor of the state Game and Fish Department’s proposal during a meeting in Clayton. The vote disappointed conservationists, who had sent thousands of emails and letters to the commissioners in recent weeks to support keeping the ban in place. Regulated furbearer trapping on the Gila and Apache national forests was banned last summer by former Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson, a supporter of the wolf reintroduction effort. The commission extended the ban last fall, giving researchers more time to study the risks of trapping and snaring to wolves. The researchers are done with their work but a report summarizing their findings has yet to be made public, and conservation groups have accused the Game and Fish Department of colluding with trapping and livestock groups to influence the commission’s decision-making process. Despite a public records request, the conservationists claim the agency has refused to provide information related to meetings the department allegedly held with industry groups on the trapping issue. (For complete article go to http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/8aece8609a4e4ab8bca7bd0e5f317e31/NM–Trapping-Ban/ )

Arkansas 07/20/11 reuters.com: by Suzi Parker – Rural Arkansans are seeing Razorback red as feral hogs are destroying yards, wreaking havoc on gardens and leaving behind their waste. A far cry from the storied team of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, these destructive wild hogs have become a scourge for even the most forgiving Razorbacks fans. Extreme drought conditions in Arkansas, especially in the state’s southern region, are prompting razorbacks to venture closer to houses and humans as they forage for food and water, state agriculture analysts said. “It’s a terrible problem that brings with it destruction and disease,” said David Goad, chief of the Bureau of Wildlife for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Descended from escaped domesticated pigs, the hogs can weigh up to 300 pounds – a formidable enemy for a homeowner just trying to protect their sunflowers.

Three weeks ago, June Moody, who lives near the Arkansas-Texas state line, woke up to discover a large part of her yard ruined. “These hogs were digging 20 feet away right under my bedroom window and I didn’t even hear them,” Moody said. “When I went out to get in my car the next morning, it looked like a bulldozer had been down my yard.” Moody said her neighbor estimated there may have been more than 30 hogs – also known as Russian or European wild boars – in her yard that night. That doesn’t surprise Goad. “Animals are very mobile, and they aren’t going to stay someplace and starve,” Goad said. “They are going to hit the road and find something to eat.”

Goad said the hogs are now in two-thirds of Arkansas counties. People are also trapping hogs from other states and releasing them in Arkansas to hunt them, Goad said. Feral hogs carry many diseases but two critical ones are swine brucellosis and pseudorabies, a swine virus not linked to rabies. If the wild hogs infiltrate domestic pigs, the diseases can spread and even affect humans, he said. The commission is attempting to eradicate hogs by shooting the ones on their wildlife management lands. Goad encourages private land owners also to trap and kill them. Arkansas allows the hunting of wild hogs day or night on private land. “If you see one, kill it,” he said.

The hogs can ruin crops, kill turkey and deer and root out bird eggs. Goad said hogs have eaten entire rows of corn, which results in costly replanting for farmers. They will also devour acorns, a main staple of a deer’s diet, and are often caught pillaging deer feeders. “A hog will eat any stinking thing it can get its teeth into,” Goad said. Feral hogs can be eaten themselves but 7 to 9 percent of them carry disease. Goad said that people should always wear protective gloves and eyewear when handling and dressing hogs. The meat must be cooked thoroughly before eating. According to Jaret Rushing, an extension agent for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, feral hogs can produce two litters of piglets every 12 to 15 months and are mature at eight months. Such quick reproduction creates an inexhaustible problem for Arkansas and many other southeastern states. “We have declared war on them, trapping and killing them as fast as we can, but we are losing the battle,” Rushing said.

California 07/20/11 vcstar.com: by Michele Willer-Allred – Ten bats recently found in Moorpark have tested positive for rabies, Ventura County health officials confirmed Wednesday. The bats were collected from several homes in a neighborhood next to Moorpark College. John Brand, the city’s senior management analyst, said about a dozen bats were collected over a period of two months in four homes. Bats also have been seen around a fifth property, which has a pool. “More bats are being found, so the numbers are in flux,” Brand said. Ten of the bats collected have tested positive for rabies in the past 68 days, said Dr. Robert Levin, county public health officer. Levin said Ventura County does get some rabid bats, but only eight to 12 test positive per year. Finding 10 testing positive in a two-month period in a small area of the county is troublesome, he said. “It’s a higher number than usual. I am concerned about it,” Levin said. Brand said city officials have canvassed the neighborhood and notified homeowners about bats.

At issue is whether removing bats from homes is a homeowner responsibility or something the city must handle because it’s a public health issue. City officials are currently discussing the situation. Ventura County is not the only county in California dealing with rabid bats. Last month, Orange County health officials issued a warning after multiple dead bats were found in Laguna Niguel Regional Park and one tested positive for rabies. Orange County health officials only announce their discoveries if bats are found in a public area. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 21 bats with rabies were found there last year, more than double the average number of 10. So far in 2011 in Los Angeles, 11 rabid animals, all bats, have been detected.

Levin said he doesn’t know why so many bats are testing positive for rabies, but he speculated there are just more bats this year because of heavy winter rains. More rain might have increased the number of bugs, which bats like to eat, he said. Levin said it is important that residents understand the potential dangers bats pose to themselves and pets. Anyone who sees a bat should not touch or handle it, he said, because rabies can be transmitted through bat saliva. One person exposed to a bat in Moorpark is being treated with a series of vaccinations to prevent rabies. Anyone bitten by a bat should immediately seek medical attention, he said. Rabies can kill within days. Levin said pets should have up-to-date rabies vaccinations and should not have contact with bats. “Unfortunately, (vaccinating animals against rabies) is not done as much as it should be,” Levin said. According to the California Department of Fish and Game website, bats are common in California, with 24 species found in the state. They are considered important to the ecosystem. Bats found in homes are usually roosting, and property owners may legally remove them from property when they are damaging it. Poisons or fumigants are illegal under both state and federal law. Betsy Bolster, a state Fish and Game Department environmental scientist, said rabid bats take a paralytic form and will rest on the ground. If a bat is found on the ground, it is important not to pick it up. Instead, with gloved hands, isolate the bat with a box or coffee can and call the county health department or animal control office immediately, she said.

National 07/20/11 globes.co.il: by Hillel Koren – Kamada Ltd. (TASE: KMDA) yesterday signed an exclusive strategic cooperation agreement to develop and market its passive rabies vaccine KamRAB in the US. The company did not disclose the identity of its partner, saying only that it is a multinational company that develops drugs based on human plasma with sales in 40 countries, including the US and in Europe.  Kamada’s partner will bear the full cost of the Phase III clinical trial of KamRAB on the basis of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved protocols. The partner will also bear the full marketing and sales cost of the vaccine in the US, assuming it is approved by the FDA. The partner’s subsidiary will supply the hyper-immune plasma needed to produce the vaccine.  Kamada granted its partner six years marketing exclusivity to KamRAB from the date it is approved by the FDA, assuming this happens, and has an option to extend the exclusivity by two years. The partner undertakes to buy a minimum quantity of KamRAB during the contract period.  Kamada and its partner plan to conduct the Phase III trial as soon as possible, for which Kamada will allocate the necessary quantities of KamRAB.  Kamada has been marketing KamRAB in Israel and other countries since 2003, and is seeking to license it in additional countries. It notes that 15 million people are exposed to rabies worldwide every year, and tens of thousands of people die of it.

Kamada CEO David Tzur

Kamada CEO David Tzur said that the new strategic agreement would enable Kamada to sell KamRAB in the important US market, where it will benefit from high profit margins. He added that this widens the company’s products offering in the US market, where its flagship product, Glassia (its intravenous AAT treatment for congenital emphysema), has had tens of millions of dollars in sales.  Kamada’s share price rose 2.6% by midday today to NIS 226.74, giving a market cap of NIS 718 million.

Washington 07/21/11 yakimahealthdistrict.org: Press Release – The Yakima Health District (YHD) has received confirmation from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that the death earlier this month of a Yakima County man in his 50s was caused by hantavirus. This is the first hantavirus death in Washington State since 2009 and the first case reported in the state for 2011. Because hantavirus is fatal in about one of every three cases, YHD is encouraging residents to take simple precautions to prevent exposure to this rare but life-threatening infection. YHD Health Officer, Dr. Christopher Spitters offers, “We extend our condolences to the family of this man. This rare and unfortunate event that led to his demise is a reminder of the importance of taking steps to maintain sanitation in general, to avoid rodent infestation in particular, and to exercise caution when encountering or cleaning up rodent infested areas.”

Georgia 07/21/11 wtoc.com: A possible case of West Nile Virus in a human in Chatham County is currently being investigated by the Chatham County Health Department. Preliminary tests have come in, but CCHD is waiting for the results of follow up testing which is required to confirm the diagnosis. West Nile Virus is going around among the mosquito population in the state and in Chatham County. If results are positive in this case, it would be Chatham County’s first West Nile case in a human since 2006. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says West Nile cases have fallen dramatically nationwide in the past decade. There were 14 infections reported in Georgia last year.

Illinois 07/20/11 go.com: Officials in Will County say tests on a bat found there have confirmed the animal had rabies. In a news release, the Will County Animal Control office says the bat was found outside the kitchen window of a residence in Homer Glen last week. The animal was sent to the Illinois Department of Public Health, which conducted tests that confirmed it had rabies. Will County officials say there is no indication that the bat had contact with any people or with a pet.

Maryland 07/20/11 carrollcountytimes.com: by Alisha George – The Carroll County Health Department is looking for a dog that bit a person at Deer Park in Smallwood July 17. The dog is described as being white and small-sized, according to a Health Department press release. If the dog is not found and verified to be in good health by July 26, it is likely that the victim of the attack will be treated with a series of post-exposure rabies shots. Those with information that may help locate the dog or its owner are asked to contact the Health Department at 410-876-1884 or the Humane Society of Carroll County at 410-848-4810.

New Jersey 07/20/11 centraljersey.com: by Lea Kahn – A raccoon that was found wandering in the area of Melvina Drive and Edith Drive Friday night, in the Lawrenceville Greene neighborhood, has been determined to have rabies, according to the Lawrence Township Health Department. Township officials are asking residents who may have come into contact with the raccoon within the past 14 days to contact the Health Department. The advisory also extends to residents’ pets that may have come into contact with the raccoon. Police were called around 8:30 p.m. to investigate what appeared to be a sick animal, township officials said. The police officer knew something was wrong with the raccoon and destroyed it. The raccoon was tested for rabies, and the result was positive.  For more information, contact the Lawrence Township Health Department at 609-844-7089. The office is open weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Pennsylvania 07/21/11 fultoncountynews.com: by Chanin Rotz-Mountz – For the second time this month, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has confirmed a case of rabies here in Fulton County. Wildlife Conservation Officer Kevin Mountz with the Pennsylvania Game Commission received notice Friday from the Department of Agriculture that a fox involved in a fight with a dog just outside McConnellsburg Borough was infected with the rabies virus.

South Carolina 07/20/11 wjbf.com: The South Carolina Department of Health and Environtal Control (DHEC) tells WJBF News Channel 6 an Aiken County woman is under the care of a physician after being bitten by a bat that tested positive for rabies. “The lady thought she was picking up a leaf out of a College Acres swimming pool,” said Sue Ferguson, of DHEC’s Bureau of Environmental Health. “It turns out it was a bat that then bit the lady on the finger.” “In cases like this, people know when they have been bitten by a bat,” Ferguson said. “However, bats have small teeth that may leave marks not easily seen, and some situations require that you seek medical advice even in the absence of an obvious bite wound. For example, if you awaken and find a bat in your room or if you see a bat in the room of an unattended child, or near a mentally impaired or intoxicated person, seek medical advice and have the bat tested.” According to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most of the recent human rabies cases in the U.S. have been caused by rabies virus from bats. This is the sixth confirmed rabid animal in Aiken County in 2011. Last year, there were no rabid animals confirmed in the county. In 2010, there were 106 confirmed cases of rabies in animals in South Carolina. So far this year, there have been 55 confirmed cases in animals in the state. For more information about rabies, see DHEC’s webpage, or contact DHEC’s Aiken County Environmental Health Office (803) 642-1637. The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s webpage about rabies can be found here.

Texas 07/19/11 theeagle: College Station police are trying to find the owner of a small white fluffy dog with a pinkish-colored ear after it bit a woman in the area of Brentwood Street and Pine Ridge Drive. Authorities said the incident happened at about noon Tuesday when the dog — the breed wasn’t known — jumped up and bit the woman on her left calf. The victim didn’t get any information from the dog’s owner because she was unaware of the rabies guideline set forth by the State of Texas. The owner is described as a Hispanic female wearing a camouflage tank-top and blue jeans. Animal Control is asking for help from the public to locate the dog so rabies exposure to the victim can be ruled out. Once found, the dog will need to be observed for 10 days from the time of the bite for signs of rabies infection. Anyone with information is asked to call 979-764-3600.

Virginia 07/20/11 wpcva.com: Raccoons that tested positive for rabies have been found in the Crestview Lane and Yorkshire Drive neighborhoods of Pittsylvania County. For more information, contact Pittsylvania County Health Department at (434) 432-7232 ext. 260.

Pennsylvania 07/21/11 yourmonroeville.com: by Kyle Lawson – A mosquito sample collected last week near Saunders Station Road tested positive for the West Nile virus. The wetlands near Saunders Station Road provide an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes, and it’s possible that traces of the virus could spread to other parts of Monroeville, said Bob Todaro, entomologist for the Allegheny County Health Department, which released the report last week.  Saunders Station was treated in April for nuisance mosquitoes, but not culex mosquitoes, which most commonly carry the virus, Todaro said.

Virginia 07/2011 pwc.gov.org: Press Release – Mosquitoes collected on July 8, 2011 by the Prince William Mosquito Control Program have tested positive for the West Nile Virus (WNV), marking the first reported activity of the virus in the County for the 2011 season. Positive mosquitoes have been collected from test areas in northern Woodbridge, Lake Ridge area. Mosquito testing is used to determine periods of greater risk of contracting West Nile Virus. The Prince William Mosquito Control Program performed an intensive treatment in the vicinity of the positive mosquito pools so as to kill adult mosquitoes and breeding larvae in residential areas. The Prince William Mosquito Control Program will continue to monitor the area and possibly conduct an adulticide spray based on future trap numbers.

Follow-up Reports:

California 07/20/11 nctimes.com: by Edward Sifuentes – Three boys who earlier this month found a bat in Vista that later tested positive for rabies were not exposed to the disease, according to county health officials. The three boys, ranging in age from 12 to 15 years old, brought the live bat to a Vista Petco store on July 10. The bat later died and tested positive for the disease, health officials said. Authorities were looking for the boys to make sure they did not come into contact with rabies. They were identified on Monday by another youth who had seen them with the bat prior to bringing it to the store. The witness called county health officials after hearing about the case in the media. “We have interviewed the boys extensively and confirmed that they did not touch the bat,” said Dr. Eric McDonald, deputy county Public Health Officer. The boys’ own doctors will make a final recommendation about whether the boys will receive any preventative treatments, McDonald said. (See California post for July 18, 2011)

Colorado 07/21/11 9news.com: by Blair Shiff – The coyote who bit a 2-year-old Colorado boy earlier this week was put down by wildlife officers this morning.  The boy was walking with his dad when the attack occurred on a trail near Highway 7 and Sheridan Boulevard in Broomfield. The boy was treated for puncture wounds and released.  The coyote was found in the same area where the boy was bitten but authorities said that they are not certain that the animal they killed was the same that bit the boy.  The coyote will be tested for illness, and officials are looking for signs to explain the attack.

North Carolina 07/21/11 fayobserver.com: A red fox that attacked two women outside their home on Tuesday morning has tested positive for rabies, according to Al Carter, director of Moore County Animal Control. The results came back from a laboratory Wednesday afternoon showing the fox was rabid when it attacked Virginia Lee Clayton, 48, and her 80-year-old mother, Martha Swaringen, on Chancery Lane. The fox lunged at Clayton’s leg about 6:40 a.m. Tuesday after she saw the fox in her yard and turned to go back inside her home. Swaringen, hearing her screams, came to her daughter’s aide with a shovel, which she used to beat back the fox. The fox was trapped in a garbage can until animal control officers arrived and shot it. Both women were treated at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital and began a series of rabies shots. Now, they’ll have to go back for a few more sets of shots. Carter said the shots are very effective, and the women should be fine. The fox is the fourth confirmed case of rabies in Moore County this year, he said. (See North Carolina post for 07/20/11)

Infectious Disease doctor says Spelunkers risk exposure to Histoplasmosis, Rabies, and other zoonoses; New Jersey woman dies from bite by rabid dog in Haiti; two North Carolina women attacked by Fox; Wisconsin DNR seeks public input on future of CWD-tainted deer farm; and Rabies reports from Connecticut, and North Carolina. Canada: Lyme Disease report from Alberta.

Spelunkers. Photo by Kevin Stanway. PD. Wikimedia Commons.

Global 07/20/11 wired.com: by Danielle Venton – Like all sports that appeal to the extreme set, caving is risky. Beyond slips, falls and scrapes, spelunkers chance a host of rare, nasty diseases from cave critters. Typical threats are histoplasmosis, rabies, leptospirosis and tick-borne relapsing fever. Though most underground explorers understand the need for good ropes and headlamps, fewer think about the diseases they can catch beneath the surface, said Ricardo Pereira Igreja, a doctor and professor of infectious disease in Brazil. “People all over the world now are exploring caves for the nature and ecology. For some it’s very spiritual,” said Igreja, of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. “I think that’s good, but it does come with some threat.” For a casual tourist, like the 500,000 annual visitors to Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico, walking through a cave is essentially as safe as walking down the street. It is the sport cavers, those who crawl through muck and mud into little-explored crevices, that must protect themselves from things living on bats, rodents, ticks and other bugs, Igreja said. Igreja surveys the classic and emerging cave-borne diseases in the June 10 Wilderness and Environmental Medicine. We’ve collected a gallery of the offending cave fauna, along with tips about how to keep sickness away next time you’re slithering among the stalagmites. Note: None of these diseases are exclusive to caves. Strange bugs can strike almost anywhere. (For complete article go to http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/07/underground-cave-diseases/?pid=1712&pageid=68009&viewall=true )

New Jersey 07/20/11 doh.state.nj.us: Press Release – A 73-year-old woman who tested positive for rabies after being bitten by a dog in her native Haiti in April died today at Overlook Medical Center in Summit. The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are working with Overlook Medical Center and the Westfield Regional Health Department to assess the level of exposure among the patient’s family, health care workers at the hospital and other possible contacts. The woman developed neurological symptoms on June 25 while visiting family in Union County. She had been hospitalized at Overlook since July 2 and could have been infectious as of June 11.

Rabid dog foaming at mouth. Courtesy CDC.

The CDC notified the state and the hospital’s Infection Prevention Department Monday, July 18 that the woman was positive for rabies. Additional CDC testing confirmed today that the patient was infected with a rabies strain related to a strain in an individual infected in Haiti several years ago. An assessment is being made of health care workers who may have come in contact with the patients, as well as to assess their level of exposure and the need for post-exposure treatment.

The last case of rabies infection in New Jersey was in 1997 when a Warren County man died after removing several bats from his home. The man did not seek medical attention or notify public health officials that he had been either bitten or scratched. Prompt medical attention may have saved his life.  Prior to that, the most recent human rabies case in New Jersey was in 1971. In 2010, there was one human rabies case in Louisiana and it was attributed to exposure in Mexico.  In 2009, there were four human cases diagnosed in the US; one diagnosed in Virginia was attributed to a dog bite that occurred in India.  The other three were bat exposures in Texas, Indiana, and Michigan.  For more information about rabies, please visit: nj.gov/health/cd/documents/faq/rabies_faq.pdf )

North Carolina 07/20/11 wral.com: A fox attacked two Aberdeen women Tuesday morning, and Moore County animal control officers had to kill the animal, authorities said. The fox was sent to a lab for tests to determine if it had rabies. Lee Clayton was walking outside her home on Chancery Lane at about 6:40 a.m. when she noticed the fox, which she said she had seen around the area a few times before. Then, she said, the animal lunged at her. Her 80-year-old mother, Martha Swaringen, heard her cries and came outside to beat the fox off her daughter with a shovel. “I was trying to hit his head without hitting Lee,” Swaringen said. The fox bit her on the foot. When animal control officers arrived, they shot the animal. Clayton got nine stitches in her leg and her mother got three in the foot. Both women had to get a series of rabies shots. Al Carter, director of Moore County Animal Control, said test results are expected by noon Wednesday. He said the county sends an average of six specimens a month to a lab for testing. So far this year, two captured raccoons and a skunk have tested positive for rabies.

Deer farming.

Wisconsin 07/18/11 wi.gov: Press Release – Neighbors and others interested in the deer farm formerly known as Buckhorn Flats are invited to a public meeting on the future of the property, now owned by the state Department of Natural Resources. The open house meeting will run 6-8 p.m. Thursday, July 28, in the auditorium at the Almond-Bancroft School at 1336 Elm Street in Almond. Background on the property, now called the Almond Deer Farm, will be provided, and the public is invited to ask questions and offer input on the management of the site. The first case of CWD, or chronic wasting disease, among Wisconsin farm-raised deer was discovered on this property in September 2002.

Almond, Wisconsin.

CWD, which affects deer and elk, is a contagious and always fatal brain disease for which there is no cure. The discovery of CWD on this property led to the depopulation of the entire deer herd on the farm. In the end, 82 of the deer killed and removed tested positive for CWD. This is an 80 percent infection rate, the highest rate of CWD infection recorded in North America, and possibly in the world. The property is located along the east side of 3rd Street, about one mile north and west of the Village of Almond in Portage County. The DNR purchased the 80-acre property this past spring for $465,000. There are 25 acres of cropland and 55 acres of woodland. About 65 acres are fenced, the area previously used as a deer farm. The property includes a single-family residence and a storage shed located outside of the fence.

Deer with Chronic Wasting Disease

Research indicates prions, proteins associated with the disease, can persist in soil for a minimum of three years and perhaps much longer. Prions that cause scrapie, a CWD-like disease in sheep and goats, have remained available and infectious for up to 16 years. DNR officials believe there is an unacceptable risk that CWD prions would infect wild white-tailed deer around this site if the fences would be removed. Since the previous owners were selling the property, and there is no continuing obligation to maintain the fence, wildlife officials concluded the best available option was to acquire the property. Similar, if less acute, concerns exist for all nine deer farms in Wisconsin that have tested positive for CWD. Because the question of how long a contaminated site is a risk to deer is of national and international interest there will be a number of opportunities for research at the Almond farm. Plans include building a second fence, if funding is available, to provide a secondary barrier and further reduce the risk of disease transmission to the wild deer herd. In addition, DNR officials must decide whether to maintain ownership of the house and lot.  The primary reason for DNR purchase of the property is to ensure that the deer fence remains intact, preventing wild deer from accessing the property and becoming infected. The DNR has an ethical and financial responsibility to maintain the fences until science offers a solution for assessing the risk or remediating the site. The fence will be inspected frequently.

Connecticut 07/19/11 patch.com: by John Davisson – Darien Police are searching for the owner of a stray dog recently recovered in the area of Silver Lakes Drive. The dog is described as a male doberman mix (or possibly a mini pinscher) between 1 and 3 years of age. The animal is black and tan in color and weighs about 20 pounds. “At this time, we are unable to locate the owner as no one has contacted us to claim it,” Capt. Fred Komm said in an email. “We have also checked with surrounding towns with negative results.” Komm said that it’s particularly important to find the owner because an officer was bitten by the dog while placing it in a cage, and authorities need to determine if the animal is up to date on its rabies vaccinations. “Time is of the essence,” Komm said. Anyone with information about the dog is asked to contact the Darien Police Department at 203-662-5300.

North Carolina 07/19/11 patch.com: by Kelly Twedell – The State Public Health Lab in Raleigh on Tuesday confirmed a case of rabies in Cumberland County. The rabid bat was picked up by Animal Control at the 1400 block of Woodland Drive, off of Westmont Drive in the Haymount area. Residents in the affected area should remain alert for sick or abnormal behavior in wildlife. Officials will be in the vicinity to alert residents of the hazard.

Canada:

Deer tick carries Lyme Disease

Alberta 07/19/11 vancouversun.com: by Jamie Komarnicki – The province is warning Albertans to guard against Lyme disease after five ticks were found this year carrying the Lyme bacteria. The ticks, which tested positive for Lyme disease bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi, were found on four dogs and a cat. The animals live in the Calgary and Edmonton area. “Lyme disease can be a serious condition if it’s not detected early and is left untreated,” said Dr. Andre Corriveau, Alberta’s chief medical office of health, in a news release. Prevention is the best defence against the disease, Corriveau noted. Covering up outdoors and using insect repellent help protect agaisnt the infected ticks. From 1989 to 2008, there were 20 cases of human Lyme disease reported in Alberta. Most of the cases were linked to travel in the U.S. or Europe. Health officials haven’t confirmed whether Alberta has an established population of the affected ticks. Lyme disease is recognized in humans as a circular, red rash starting at the tick bite three to 30 days after the bit occurs. The disease is linked to neurological and muscular problems, and the most serious cases can lead to recurrent meningitis, heart problems and arthritis.

Report concerning a West Nile Virus victim from Florida, and Rabies reports from Georgia (2), New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

Florida 01/13/11 wctv.tv: by Jerry Askin – The case involving a Tallahassee boy who died in 2004 from contaminated blood was back before the First District Court of Appeals Wednesday.   Chase Fitchner of Tallahassee died in 2004 after receiving a blood transfusion tainted with the West Nile Virus during treatment at a Gainesville Hospital.  Local blood banks in Tallahassee say they make sure they take extra precautions to ensure something like this never happens here.  Michael Stiles who works as District Executive Director of the Southeastern Blood Center in Tallahassee says, “We try very carefully through not only the testing that we do, but also the questionnaire performed with each donor to make sure that this can’t happen.”  As for the case, the family was awarded eight million dollars in 2006, the 1st DCA reversed the decision in 2007 and now the case has been sent from the Supreme Court back to trial court.

Georgia 01/14/11 accessnorthga.com: by Joe Kelly – Gainesville – The first confirmed case of rabies of the year in Hall County has been reported.  The contact was between a raccoon and a dog on January 11 in the Dawn Ridge area of North Hall.  After the raccoon was shipped to the Georgia Public Health Lab, Hall County Animal Services was advised that it was positive for rabies, confirming the first case of 2011.   If you live in this area or you see an animal acting abnormally in the Dawn Ridge area, contact Hall County Animal Services immediately at 770-531-6830 or during non-working hours call Hall County Dispatch at 770-536-8812.

Georgia 01/13/11 walb.com: by Cade Fowler – Public health officials issued a rabies warning Wednesday after a raccoon and donkey in Decatur County tested positive for the disease.  Health officials say it’s rare for a donkey to contract rabies, but all mammals are vulnerable to the virus.  “We know rabies is in the wild animal population, so we are not surprised to see positive cases now and then,” Ansley Johnson said.  “All mammals are vulnerable to rabies, including horses, goats and cattle. But generally when we see exposures in domestic animals they are in pet dogs and cats. This is the first time we’ve seen a donkey with rabies in the district.”

New York 01/14/11 cbs6albany.com: Two raccoons near Snyder’s Corner Road and Sagendorf Lane in Wynantskill have tested positive for rabies, according to the Rensselaer County Department of Health.  For more information, contact the Rensselaer County Department of Health at 270-2655 or http://www.rensco.com/publichealth.asp .

North Carolina 01/14/11 citizen-times.com: A cat picked up near UNC Asheville has tested positive for rabies and health officials are warning anyone who had contact with the cat to see their doctor immediately.  Buncombe County Department of Health spokeswoman Beverly Levinson said the small, female, short-haired grey cat with green eyes was picked up by someone near Weaver Boulevard.  The cat was taken to the vet after it started acting strangely and it was confirmed the cat had rabies.  The person who picked up the cat is being treated. The health department did not have any additional information about the person. The department said they don’t know if anyone else was exposed.  The health department said anyone who had contact with the cat should call their doctor immediately. They can also call the health department at 250-5109.

Pennsylvania 01/14/11 yorkdispatch.com: by Christina Kauffman – A Fairview Township woman is being treated for rabies after she was bitten by a rabid black kitten that ran into her Springers Lane home.  The rabid feline rushed into the woman’s home on Jan. 10, when the door was open because someone else was entering. The kitten bit her when she grabbed the cat to remove it, said Holli Senior, press secretary for the state’s Department of Health, which is urging anyone who had contact with the cat to contact its offices.  “Ironically, after she threw it out the door, it must have run out into the street and got hit by a car,” Senior said.  The motorist who ran over the kitten reported the animal to the Department of Health, which tested and found rabies.  “I think perhaps the fact that it ran into somebody’s house might have been enough to … raise red flags,” she said. “I don’t know how cute and cuddly it was looking. I’ve never heard of an animal running into your house.”  The woman is undergoing prophylaxis treatment because of her exposure.

Virginia 01/12/11 msn.com: A stray cat and raccoon on the Peninsula tested positive for the rabies virus.  The stray cat was reported in the 300 block of Second Street in Williamsburg, and the raccoon was found in the 400 block of Burnham Road in York County, health officials said.  The Peninsula Health District said anyone having exposure to these animals should contact the Health Department at 757-253-4813.

6 Insect Repellents Get High Marks – Consumer Reports Health Tests the Ability of Bug Repellents to Keep Insects at Bay

Off Deepwoods Sportsmen II

By Bill Hendrick – WebMD Health News – Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

May 25, 2010 – Consumer Reports Health has issued a new ranking of the six repellents it says are best to ward off mosquitoes and deer ticks.

The magazine says it tested 10 insect repellents in an outside laboratory, where volunteers let deer ticks crawl on them and also exposed themselves to mosquitoes.

Cutter Backwoods Unscented

Six of these repellents earned a “recommended” rating from Consumer Reports. These six repellents, along with their active ingredients and cost, are:

  • Off Deep Woods Sportsmen II; 30% DEET; cost: $1.25 an ounce.
  • Cutter Backwoods Unscented; 23% DEET; cost: $1.33 per ounce.
  • Off FamilyCare Smooth & Dry; 15% DEET; cost:  $1.63 an ounce.
  • 3M Ultrathon Insect Repellant 8; 25% DEET; $1.67 per ounce.
  • Repel Plant Based Lemon Eucalyptus; active ingredient oil of lemon eucalyptus; cost: $1.94 an ounce.
  • Natrapel 8-Hour with picaridin; 20% picaridin; cost: $2.00 an ounce.

Others tested included:

  • Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard plus IR3535 Expedition SPF 30, active ingredient IR3535; cost: $3.50 per ounce.

    3M Ultrathon

  • Bite Blocker Xtreme (organic); Plant oils are listed as the active ingredient; cost: $1.34 per ounce.
  • Cutter Skinsations Clean Fresh Scent; 7% DEET; cost: $1.04 per ounce. 
  • Burt’s Bees All Natural Herbal; active ingredient plant oils; cost: $2.00 per ounce.

Repel Plant Based Lemon Eucalyptus

Consumer Reports Health

says that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has judged DEET to be safe when used as directed, but that it has caused rare toxic reactions when not used as instructed. The EPA also says DEET shouldn’t be applied to babies less than 2 months old.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has advised against using repellents

Natrapel 8-Hour

 with DEET concentrations higher than 30% on any kids. And Consumer Reports Health says no one should use a repellent with more than 30% DEET.

Off Family Care Smooth-and-Dry

The top six repellents protected against deer ticks and mosquitoes for seven hours or more, Consumer Reports says in a news release.