Category Archives: Neurotoxins

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 wa.gov: 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 (doh.wa.gov) is your source for a healthy dose of information.

National 07/31/12 cdc.gov: 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 http://www.cdc.gov/lyme/diagnosistreatment/Stories/index.html

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 http://beatricedailysun.com/news/local/west-nile-virus-found-in-jefferson-county/article_a9ba8467-4f0b-5e89-abba-50ec6a9fa0df.html

South Carolina 07/31/12 the tandd.com: 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 http://thetandd.com/news/local/local-man-contracts-west-nile-virus/article_8d52c1d0-dac0-11e1-972b-0019bb2963f4.html

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 http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/health/entries/2012/07/31/travis_county_has_first_west_n.html

Rabies:

Florida 07/30/12 wtvy.com: 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 http://tarrytown.patch.com/articles/health-dept-rabid-cat-found-in-elmsford-b2852c8d#photo-9847645

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 http://www.wsoctv.com/news/news/local/officials-12-people-child-being-treated-rabies-aft/nP7P5/

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 http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/williamson/entries/2012/07/30/rabid_bat_found_in_cedar_park.html

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 http://wtvr.com/2012/07/30/henrico-rabies-case-leaves-2-dogs-quarantined/

MONTANA Fish & Wildlife officers rescue CANADIAN CARIBOU ~ WASHINGTON hiker says three COYOTES attacked his DOGS ~ CANADA: BC residents warns DOG owners to protect pets against RACCOON ROUNDWORM.

Caribou bull. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Montana 04/27/12 billingsgazette.com: by Rob Chaney – We finally get a new caribou in Montana, and we have to give it back. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologists thought they were recovering the satellite collar of a British Columbia caribou that apparently wandered into the mountains near Eureka and died. But when they reached it on Thursday morning, the recovery mission turned into a rescue. “I was looking for signs of blood or hair,” FWP wildlife manager Jim Williams said on Friday. “I saw wolf tracks, and then we found a drag mark, so I’m thinking mountain lion. All of a sudden this head pops up, and there’s a caribou looking at us.” The mountain caribou cow was bigger than a mule deer but smaller than an elk. It was one of 19 transplanted into the Purcell Mountains of British Columbia on March 3. For the past 10 days, it had been wandering the forests south of the Canadian border, swimming across Lake Koocanusa three times. Then B.C. Ministry of Forest Lands and Natural Resource Operations wildlife biologist Leo DeGroot got a “mortality signal” from the collar, indicating the animal hadn’t moved for at least six hours. He called Williams in Kalispell and asked if FWP could find the carcass and learn what happened. “I was expecting at end of day to have a call on what it had died from,” DeGroot said from his office in Nelson, B.C. “Instead they called and said they have it live in the back of their truck.”

Williams and fellow FWP biologists Tim Manley and Tim Their snowmobiled up into the Pinkham Creek area south of Eureka, guided by the caribou’s GPS signal. They found it lying in some bushes, able to lift its head but not its body. Knowing how much investment their B.C. colleagues had put into the transplant effort, the Montana biologists decided to bring the caribou to care. They had no tranquilizers, but the cow didn’t resist their efforts to move it onto a sled. Williams said its legs seemed “rubbery.” “We assumed starvation, although it didn’t look thin — it looked good,” Williams said. “Then Tim Manley noticed a bunch of big gray ticks behind its ears. Tim had llamas, and he knew they can get tick paralysis. It can kill the animal, or it can be just fine in three or four hours.” They got the caribou to veterinarian Nancy Haugan at Mountain Vista Clinic in Eureka. Haugan gave it some antibiotics and IV fluids, and the cow began a dramatic improvement. Williams went to call DeGroot. “I told him not only do we not have a carcass, we have a live caribou — I assume you want her back,” Williams said. “Leo set the wheels in motion to work with the Border Patrol.” That involved getting special permission from both U.S. and Canadian border authorities to let the animal drive through the border it had previously walked across. A Cranbrook wildlife biologist hitched up a horse trailer and met the Montanans 30 minutes north of the border. – For complete article see http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/caribou-that-wandered-into-montana-from-b-c-treated-returned/article_8647f448-9512-5b38-a17f-41627e93acd0.html

Washington 04/27/12 South Hill, Pierce County: Two dogs, both Labrador retrievers, running loose on a hike with their owner on the South Hill bluff trails earlier this week when they were attacked by three coyotes below High Drive and Manito Boulevard just above the Creek at Qualchan Golf Course. While both dogs survived they suffered nasty wounds. – See http://www.spokesman.com/blogs/outdoors/2012/apr/27/coyotes-attack-dogs-south-hill-bluff-trails/

Canada:

British Columbia 04/28/12 North Saanich, Vancouver Island: by Sandra McCulloch, timescolonist.com – A North Saanich dog owner is warning others to worm their pets monthly in order to protect against the spread of Baylisascaris procyonis, commonly known as raccoon roundworm. Alison Gunn lost two Weimaraners, Poppy and Forest, in November after they became infected with the parasite. “I really want people to know [deworming] is important,” Gunn said Friday. “I don’t want anyone else to go through the kind of pain that I have.” Poppy and Forest died within two weeks of each other after developing uterine infections as a result of the roundworm infestation. One of Gunn’s four remaining dogs has an unbalanced gait, possibly from nerve damage, and another has a lump on its head.

Blood tests sent to the National Reference Centre for Parasitology at McGill University in Montreal have shown that all of Gunn’s dogs have been exposed to the roundworm, so Gunn is following a regimented schedule of monthly deworming. The larvae can cause symptoms in dogs that include lethargy, stiff joints or paralysis, seizures, blindness and death. The parasite moves from raccoons to dogs through the raccoons’ waste, said veterinarian Sue McTaggart. “It doesn’t take very many eggs to infect the dog,” McTaggart said. While the worms reside peacefully inside the guts of raccoons, they wreak havoc in dogs. “The little larvae migrate into the spinal cord, into the eye and up into the brain,” McTaggart said.

The raccoon roundworm also can infect people and horses, although it’s rare to find it in humans. There have been 15 confirmed cases of raccoon roundworm in humans resulting in four fatalities, she said. Children should be supervised when playing in areas frequented by raccoons and should be careful not to ingest any dirt or particulates, McTaggart said. She also recommends wearing gloves in the garden and wherever there are raccoons, and says people should not feed raccoons. “They multiply as fast as cats do.” Treatment involves monthly deworming. The medication is available through veterinarians’ offices. “We recommend people use the best and strongest [worming medication],” McTaggart said. It could take a year of monthly worming treatments to kill off the larvae, she said. “We’re telling everybody to worm their dogs once a month – you’ve got to do it.”

Visitors at California’s Riley Wilderness Park report MOUNTAIN LION sightings ~ New Jersey HORSE with EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS euthanized ~ Texas coastal waters closed to most SHELLFISH harvesting due to RED TIDE ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from California (2), & Florida ~ and a RABIES report from Massachusetts ~ CDC Reports: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending October 15, 2011.

Mountain Lion. Courtesy National Park Service.

California 10/26/11 Trabuco Canyon, Orange County: Two mountain lion sightings reported at Thomas R. Riley Wilderness Park not far from Wagon Wheel Elementary School. See http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2011/10/mountain-lion-sighted-orange-county.html

New Jersey 10/27/11 Gloucester County: A horse that contracted Eastern Equine Encephalitis has been euthanized. Viral diseases affecting horses’ neurological systems must be reported to the state veterinarian at 609-292-3965 within 48 hours of diagnosis. See http://www.harnesslink.com/www/Article.cgi?ID=93471

Texas 10/26/11 dshs.state.tx.us: News Release – The Texas Department of State Health Services announced today that oyster harvesting in all Texas coastal waters is closed due to red tide, an algal bloom of Karenia brevis. Red tide has been detected along the Texas coastline from Brownsville to Galveston. As a result, all Texas coastal waters are closed to the commercial and recreational harvesting of oysters, clams and mussels until further notice. Normally, the public can harvest oysters from Nov. 1 through April 30. The algae contain a toxin that can accumulate in the tissue of oysters, clams, mussels and whelks and cause neurotoxic shellfish poisoning, or NSP, in humans who consume them. NSP symptoms can include nausea, dizziness, dilated pupils and tingling sensations in the extremities.

DSHS is advising people not to harvest and eat oysters, clams, or mussels from Texas coastal waters. Oysters can be toxic without any indication of red tide such as discolored waters, respiratory irritation or dead fish. People are also advised not to harvest and eat whelks from Texas waters as these species also accumulate toxin from the red tide organism. The warning does not apply to other types of seafood such as shrimp, finfish, crabs or to commercial seafood products from other states or countries. Oysters in the market place that were harvested before the red tide began or from other states are not affected by this algal bloom.

The red tide toxin also can become aerosolized and cause coughing and irritation of the throat and eyes. People with respiratory conditions such as asthma may experience more pronounced symptoms. Respiratory symptoms usually subside when affected people leave the red tide areas. DSHS will continue to monitor the red tide and will open areas to harvesting when it is safe to do so. For the latest information on the opening and closing of oyster harvest areas, call DSHS at 1-800-685-0361. For information on red tide, visit http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/seafood/redtide.shtm

Tanager on CDC's West Nile Virus mortality database.

California 10/26/11 West Hollywood, Los Angeles County: A dead bird tested positive for West Nile Virus. There have been at least 128 separate reports of the virus being found in mosquitoes, birds, or squirrels in the county this year. See http://www.bilerico.com/2011/10/health_dead_bird_with_west_nile_virus_found_in_wes.php

California 10/26/11 Marin-Sonoma Mosquito and Vector Control District: Six mosquitoes in Ellis Creek area tested positive for West Nile Virus. See http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20111026/COMMUNITY/111029653/1036/business?Title=Mosquitoes-with-West-Nile-Virus-found-at-Ellis-Creek

Florida 10/26/11 Brooksville, Hernando County: A second sentinel chicken has tested positive for West Nile Virus this year. Both chickens are from a flock kept in the Royal Highlands area. See http://www.baynews9.com/article/news/2011/october/334023/West-Nile-virus-detected-in-chicken-in-Hernando-County?cid=rss

Massachusetts 10/25/11 Brookline, Norfolk County: A Rabies Advisory issued after one raccoon tests positive for the virus, and another raccoon that more recently attacked a pet is suspected of being rabid. See http://brookline.patch.com/articles/rabies-alert-rabies-suspected-in-brookline-area-raccoon

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending October 15, 2011:

Published October 21, 2011 / 60(41); 1430-1443

Anaplasmosis . . . 2 . . . Maryland (2),

Babesiosis . . . 5 . . . New York (5),

Brucellosis . . . 1 . . . Arizona, 

Ehrlichiosis . . . 1 . . . Arkansas,

Giardiasis . . . 200 . . . Arizona, Arkansas (4), California (19), Colorado (22), Florida (24), Georgia (14), Idaho, Maine, Maryland (7), Massachusetts (7), Michigan (5),  Missouri (6), Nebraska (3), New York (39), Ohio (11), Oregon (7), Pennsylvania (13), South Carolina (2), Vermont, Virginia, Washington (11), Wisconsin,

Lyme Disease . . .  314 . . . California (2), Delaware (5), Florida (4), Maine, Maryland (41), Massachusetts, Michigan,  New Jersey (90), New York (60), North Dakota (7),  Pennsylvania (97), South Carolina,  Virginia (4),

Rabies (Animal) . . . 38 . . . Alabama (2), California, Michigan (2), New York (10), Virginia (21), West Virginia (2),

Spotted Fever (Confirmed) . . . 5 . . . Georgia (5),

Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 9 . . . Arkansas, Florida (2), Maryland, Missouri, New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Virginia,

Tularemia . . . 1 . . . Missouri,

NIMBioS calls for applications for Free-Roaming Cats and Rabies workshop; New Jersey woman bitten by Feral Cat with Rabies; Washington child’s bout with Tick Paralysis, and South Carolina man’s bout with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, both close calls; Michigan DNR reinstates Deer baiting in most of Lower Peninsula; New Mexico Game Commission suspends Mexican Wolf reintroduction program; Washington group trying to help with Wolf management plan still at odds; and Rabies reports from Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, and Virginia (2). Canada: a Rabies report from Ontario. Travel Warnings for Vietnam.

Photo by Luis Miguel Bugallo Sanchez. Wikimedia Commons.

Announcement – National 06/10/11 veterinarypracticenews.com – The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) is calling for applications for its investigative workshop titled Modeling Free-Roaming Cats (FRC) and Rabies. The workshop is set for Nov. 9 through 11 at NIMBioS at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. NIMBioS brings together researchers internationally to collaborate across disciplinary boundaries to investigate solutions to basic and applied problems in life sciences. The institute’s workshop objectives include acquiring a better understanding of population dynamics and ways in which FRC transmit infectious disease. There are more than 81 million pet cats in the U.S. The number of FRC is unknown, but estimated to be 32 to 53 million. Concerns about the health of cats, zoonotic disease transmission, transmission of diseases to other non-human species, predation on wildlife species and nuisance complaints are an ongoing issue.

Dr. Louis J. Gross, Director, NIMBioS

The institute says it initially hopes to identify data sources and critical data gaps relating to FRC population dynamics and rabies transmission. Then review and consider the strengths and weaknesses of the different types of modeling approaches using the expertise of participants. Participation is limited. Those selected to attend will be notified within two weeks of the application deadline of July 31. NIMBioS is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Click here for more information.

New Jersey 06/11/11 northjersey.com: by Teresa Edmond — On May 25, a woman in the Brookside Heights condominiums was walking her dog when she was attacked and bitten by a stray cat, according to a notice from Bloomingdale Animal Control, which includes Wanaque in the communities it serves. Bloomingdale Animal Control responded and contained the cat. The animal seemed ill and was tested for rabies. On May 31, the state Department of Health and Senior Services rabies lab confirmed the cat was, in fact, rabid, according to the notice. The notice went out to residents of the Brookside Heights condominiums. There, Bloomingdale Animal Control is setting traps for other strays. Meanwhile, the organization recommends that residents keep their cats indoors and collared with proper identification. Bloomingdale Animal Control serves Bloomingdale, Butler, Riverdale, Wanaque, Pompton Lakes, Ringwood, Kinnelon and North Caldwell. Its phone number is 973-838-8959.

Washington 06/10/11 yakima-herald.com: by Ross Courtney – Excerpts – “Daya (Jones) calls it ‘the bad bug.’ Nobody likes ticks, but this one was bad indeed. It not only bit and sucked her blood, the parasite secreted a neurotoxin through its saliva that caused the 4-year-old girl to lose muscle control and feeling in her legs, fingers and nose last weekend. If doctors had found it any later, the ‘bad bug’ may have killed her.”

“Physicians are calling the girl’s close call tick paralysis, a rare condition that causes weakness and loss of feeling and body control that can be fatal within a day or two of noticing the symptoms. Ticks are most known for spreading infections, such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, which themselves are pretty unusual in Washington. The more unusual tick paralysis is caused by poison similar to a spider bite, said Gordon Kelly, the Yakima Health District’s director of environmental health.”

The Rocky Mountain Wood Tick is associated with Tick Paralysis. As the tick engorges the shield remains consistent in size and color although it tilts forward to a more vertical position. Left to Right: unengorged female, 1/4 engorged, 1/2 engorged and fully engorged

“The state saw only five cases of tick paralysis between 1990 and 2009, according to the Department of Health. The nation saw 10 cases between 1987 and 1995, according to the Centers for Disease Control, although the agency notes the incidents may have been underreported. Daya was the first case for Dr. Jay Ames, who has worked in the Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital emergency room since 1979. He’s seen his share of ticks over the years, but this one stumped him. It was comparatively large and translucent, he said.”  (For complete article go to http://www.yakima-herald.com/stories/2011/06/10/bug-bite-a-ticking-time-bomb-for-little-girl )

(Note: According to The Merck Veterinary Manual “The potential for inducing paralysis has been demonstrated, described, or suspected in 64 species of ticks belonging to 7 ixodid and 3 argasid genera.”)

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever petechial rash.

South Carolina 06/10/11 foxcarolina.com: by Greg Funderburg – An upstate man is home recovering after being hospitalized for a tick bite that almost turned fatal.  Heath Bolton was admitted to the hospital Tuesday.  Doctors said he caught a strand of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  The disease is caused from a tick bite.  “It started as a horrible headache.  I don’t know any other way to explain it.  It just hurt to be alert,” said Bolton. “The warning signs are more common things like viral stomach bug, you can get vomiting, diarrhea, rash, fever, so there’s quite an overlap in symptoms so if there’s ever a question,” Dr. Steven Jones said.  Jones said children can typically fight off the fever, but adults like Heath, 30 and over can get very sick.  Heath says he travels a great deal, but can’t figure out where he could have picked up the tick. Bolton has been released from the hospital, and is expected to return to work next week.

Michigan 06/10/11 detnews.com: by Jim Lynch – Nearly three years after banning deer-baiting by hunters in the Lower Peninsula, Michigan officials reinstated the controversial practice Thursday night (June 9). Baiting has been illegal since 2008, when chronic wasting disease popped up in a Kent County deer breeding operation. The disease, which causes drastic weight loss in elk and deer, can be fatal and is easily transmitted between animals when they group in small areas. To prevent that, Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources put a stop to hunters using piles of feed such as apples, beets or carrots to lure deer to a spot to shoot. The ban was an unpopular move among many in the hunting community, as well as others who made their livelihoods in the bait business. A group of farmers and business owners sued the DNR over its decision, but lost in court in October 2008. Thursday’s 4-3 decision by the DNR’s Natural Resources Commission means baiting will be allowed when deer hunting season rolls around in the fall. “The DNR’s position has been that we don’t favor baiting,” said Mary Dettloff, the department spokeswoman. “But with the ban now lifted, we request people follow the regulations as they are written.” Hunters will be allowed to place as much as two gallons of bait — covering as much as 10 square feet — on a single spot between Oct. 1 and Jan. 1. The ban, however, will remain in place in Alcona, Alpena, Iosco, Montmorency, Oscoda and Presque Isle counties. (For complete article go to http://www.detnews.com/article/20110610/POLITICS02/106100384/Michigan-lifts-deer-baiting-ban-for-fall-hunting-season )

New Mexico 06/10/11 lcsun-news.com: by Reyes Mata III – The New Mexico State Game Commission voted unanimously today (Friday, June 10) to suspend the Mexican Wolf Reintroduction program in the state.  “I would like to suspend it for a while, let’s see how it lays out,” said Commissioner Thomas “Dick” Salopek. “Both sides have been unhappy about the wolf recovery program. We have been keeping peace between all people. So, you know what, if both sides are unhappy, then let’s suspend it and let the federal government do it. I am frustrated at both sides, especially with the federal government.” The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department – following the requirements of the federal Endangered Species Act – looks for partners throughout the state to protect endangered species, like the Mexican wolf. The New Mexico State Game Commission has been a partner to protect the Mexican wolf since 1999. Today’s regular meeting, which for the first time this year was in Las Cruces, sought to gather public opinion to help guide the state’s wolf protection policy. About 50 Mexican wolves are spread over New Mexico and Arizona. Dan Williams, public information officer for the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish – a partner in coordinating the Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Program – said it was a “balanced” public comment session. “But we will no longer be participating in the Mexican Wolf reintroduction program,” he said. “It’s an argument that’s been going on since 1999.” June 30 will be last day the New Mexico Game and Fish Department participates in the program, he said. (For complete article go to http://www.lcsun-news.com/ci_18242175?source=most_emailed )

Washington 06/09/11 yakima-herald.com: by Scott Sandsberry – With wildlife commissioners poised to enact the state’s wolf management plan in December, the citizen group helping to craft it remains polarized to the point of being combative. Six of its 17 members remain “unable to live with” the wolf numbers called for in the draft plan, according to their minority opinion that — in what one called “one of the worst insults I’ve ever had” — was relegated to the final two pages of the 295-page document. A final plan is expected to be released for public comment in August.

At the panel’s two-day work session earlier this week in Ellensburg — the first meeting in two years in the five-year effort — members remained sharply divided over the basic issues and couldn’t agree on an answer to the most critical question: How many wolves are enough? “We’ve asked this throughout the process. What is the cap?” said Jack Field who, as executive vice president of the Washington Cattlemen’s Association, has been the most outspoken opponent of the wolf numbers called for by the plan. “(Panelists) talk about the words that are missing in the document, but the two words that are really missing and that nobody’s really addressing are population cap. How many wolves are we really talking about here?”

The management plan sets minimum numbers of successful breeding pairs in Washington necessary to justify downgrading wolves from their current listing as endangered throughout the state. Six pairs for three consecutive years would reclassify wolves from state endangered to state threatened; 12 pairs would lower that to state sensitive; and 15 pairs, sufficiently dispersed, would delist the species. How many wolves that might mean, though, is a loaded question without a concrete answer — or even a satisfactory estimate. According to a table in the draft document, 15 documented breeding pairs might — considering non-breeding pack members, undocumented packs and lone wolves — translate to as few as 97 wolves throughout the state, or as many as 42 actual packs and more than 360 wolves. And if the state’s wolf numbers continued to expand over the next two years at 24 percent annually — wolves’ population growth rate during the first 13 years of the federal Northern Rocky Mountains wolf restoration effort — that could mean upwards of 60 packs and 550 wolves before state officials made them legal to hunt. While the actual number of wolves will likely be far less, there’s simply no way to estimate how many there will be, said Harriet Allen, who heads up the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s endangered/threatened species section. “We aren’t going to know what the growth rate is going to be,” she said. “It’s going to be different in different areas, based on habitat and prey base.” (For complete article go to http://www.yakima-herald.com/stories/2011/06/09/some-panelists-say-population-cap-needed-for-wolves-in-state )

Georgia 06/10/11 walb.com: by Jennifer Emert – An Albany woman is undergoing medical treatment for rabies after being attacked by a fox last night on the Darton College campus. Evette Mills told us the animal attacked her from behind and came at her two different times.  Players from a semi-pro football team came to her aid.  After hearing the circumstances, health officials say that animal likely is rabid. Health officials say when Evette Mills was attacked here on the walking track at Darton College just after 9:00 it is a typical time for foxes to be out, but typically they don’t approach people. Anytime someone is bitten they’re notified. “The Health Department actually investigates each and every bite whether it be pets or any other animal,” said Dewayne Tanner Environmental Health Director for the Southwest Georgia Health District. (For complete article go to http://www.walb.com/story/14885659/digging-deeper-rabid-animals )

Illinois 06/10/11 patch.com: by Bob Bong – On June 7, a bat was found dead in Doogan Park at Highland and Park Lane in Orland Park. An examination has determined the bat had rabies. As a result of the examination, Orland Park police have issued a rabid bat warning. If you were exposed to or bitten by a bat, contact your doctor.  You are advised not to handle any bats, skunks or other wild animals. If any bats or skunks are found down or dead on your property or roadway, please call the Cook County Department of Animal Control at (708) 974-6140.

New Jersey 06/10/11 patch.com: by Don Bennett – Ocean County officials are warning Lacey Township pet owners to make sure their animals have up-to-date rabies shots after a rabid raccoon was found this week in Barnegat Pines. The aggressive animal was captured after residents called police.  It was taken to the state Health and Environmental Lab where it was found to be rabid. Public Health Coordinator Daniel Regenye said 9 rabid animals have been found so far this year in the county. Five other raccoons, 2 skunks and a groundhog were rabid. They were found in Toms River, Lacey, Lakewood, Tuckerton, Jackson and Manchester.

New Mexico 06/10/11 kob.com: by Stuart Dyson – An Albuquerque woman has come forward to take responsibility for her dog biting an elderly man and leaving him worried about rabies. Laura Mitchell contacted KOB Eyewitness News 4 to say it was her dog Brian, a boxer-pointer cross, that bit and severely injured the left hand of Herb Hughes when he tried to wave hello while out for a walk on Sunday morning. Contrary to what neighbors told us, Mitchell said she did not abandon Hughes and simply walk away with her dog. “After it happened I asked the man, ‘Are you OK?'” Mitchell said. “‘Are you OK?’ – sure I’m fine – so sorry, so sorry, so sorry – my God – never happened before and I cried the whole time and he said I’m OK – I’m fine – and he started to walk away and even as he was walking away I asked him are you sure you’re OK – I’m sorry – he’s never done this before and he just said he was OK and walked away.” Mitchell said that although Brian’s rabies vaccination is not up-to-date, he was vaccinated when she adopted him from the city animal shelter in November 2007, and is unlikely to have had contact with any other animals. Bite victim Herb Hughes said he is relieved and has no hard feelings about Mitchell or her dog. “I appreciate very much her calling in and I am sympathetic,” Hughes said. “I just hope that she takes this into account when she thinks about how the dog might affect kids and so forth, and she takes that into account as she decides what she’s going to do with the dog.” Hughes said he will consult his doctor about the need for any rabies shots. Mitchell said she just wants to keep Brian. City animal welfare officers said it is possible that Mitchell will be cited, and that a Metro Court judge could possibly impose a fine, but they said it looks like she can keep Brian.

New York 06/10/11 syracuse.com: by John Mariani – The gray fox that bit a 4-year-old girl Thursday at a Syracuse apartment complex tested positive for rabies, an Onondaga County Health Department official said. The child will need medical treatment and her family has been notified, said Lisa Letteney, the county director of environmental health assessment. Officials have not identified the victim and Letteney said she could not further disclose specifics of the case. What is known is that the fox bit the child shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday near the pool at the Nob Hill Apartments on Lafayette Road, according to Syracuse police. The animal was confined under a large garbage can until a state Department of Environmental Conservation officer arrived, DEC spokeswoman Stephanie Harrington said. The officer shot the fox and city police brought its remains to the county Health Department, which shipped them to the state Health Department’s Wadsworth Center Rabies Laboratory for testing. Wadsworth officials gave county officials the results earlier today. This is the third confirmed case of rabies in an animal this year in Onondaga County, Letteney said. Two raccoons tested positive for the disease between Jan. 1 and April 30, according to state figures. The last time a fox tested positive for the disease in Onondaga County was 2008, when two foxes got it, Letteney said.

Virginia 06/11/11 madison-news.com: by Marilyn Cox – Excerpts – “Hiking in White Oak Canyon May 26 with her boyfriend, two younger brothers and mother, Madison County resident Kalie Sealander heard a strange snorting sound. Then she realized where the noise was coming from. A grunting raccoon was running up from the creek bed straight at her in broad daylight . . . . the raccoon sunk its teeth into her left leg and held on for dear life until her boyfriend returned and came at it with a stick. He grabbed the raccoon behind the neck and beat the raccoon, which was still clinging to her leg, four or five times before the stick broke. Then, Kalie handed him a rock and he smashed the raccoon with that two or three times till it was unconscious and continued a few more times to make sure it was dead. “He had gotten me pretty good. He hung on for quite awhile,” Sealander said. Luckily, her mother had brought a first aid kit and told everyone to not toss the raccoon into the Robinson River, which flows through the canyon, but instead to keep it to be tested for rabies. They contacted the health department and animal control right away. They got it tested immediately for rabies and the results came back positive. Luckily, she got four shots in the wound and three other shots right away. She is expected to get a series of shots as well.” (For complete article go to http://www2.madison-news.com/news/2011/jun/11/rabid-coon-bites-mc-woman-ar-1097878/ )

Virginia 06/10/11 wydaily.com: by Amber Lester Kennedy – A raccoon found in the Meadowview Drive area of Yorktown has tested positive for rabies. Meadowview Drive is located just off Oriana Road, a block off of Route 17. Anyone who thinks they or their pet might have been exposed to this animal is asked to contact the Health Department at (757) 594-7340. Exposure includes bites, scratches or contact with saliva by open wound, eyes, nose or mouth. After regular business hours, call local Animal Control at (757) 809-3601.

Canada:

Ontario 06/10/11 bayshorebroadcasting.ca: by Manny Paiva – Rabies has been found in a cow in the Owen Sound area. The Grey Bruce Health Unit says tests confirm rabies in a cow bound in the area by Springmount, Jackson and Kilsyth. Officials say the case is a reminder that rabies is present in local wildlife and can spill over into the domestic animal population and create a risk to humans.

Travel Warnings:

Vietnam 06/10/11 thanhniennews.com: Ho Chi Minh City health officials have warned of significant dengue fever and hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) outbreaks since the onset of the rainy season. The number of HFMD cases reached a record 1,500 (with seven reported deaths) in May. The disease has claimed 13 lives among more than 3,000 reported cases in HCMC, this year.  Meanwhile, dengue fever has sickened around 4,000 city residents — a 92-percent increase from the same period last year. In May alone, more than 500 dengue fever cases were reported in HCMC.

(Note: According to the CDC “Hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common viral illness of infants and children. The disease causes fever and blister-like eruptions in the mouth and/or a skin rash. HFMD is often confused with foot-and-mouth (also called hoof-and-mouth) disease, a disease of cattle, sheep, and swine; however, the two diseases are not related—they are caused by different viruses. Humans do not get the animal disease, and animals do not get the human disease. HFMD is caused by viruses that belong to the enterovirus genus (group). This group of viruses includes polioviruses, coxsackieviruses, echoviruses, and enteroviruses. Infection is spread from person to person by direct contact with infectious virus.)