Category Archives: Viral disease

WYOMING family hike interrupted by aggressive MOUNTAIN LION ~ New DENGUE diagnostic developed by CDC approved for use in U.S. ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA, IL, OH, PA, & TX ~ RABIES reports from CO (2), GA, NY, & VA ~ CANADA: Spreading BLACKLEGGED TICK population promises surge in LYME DISEASE.

Mountain Lion. Photo by Malcolm. Wikimedia Commons.

Wyoming 06/21/12 by Gib Mathers – Ron Vining didn’t think he would use the walking sticks he got for Father’s Day to protect his children and himself, but that’s what he did when he faced a mountin lion later that day. Vining, of Powell, was hiking up Dead Indian Creek in Sunlight Basin Sunday with his wife, Leann, daughter and son-in-law, Alisa and Ryan Dempsey, and grandchildren Payton, Kensi, and Kanin, when a mountain lion crashed the party.  They were about one and a half hours up the trail across Wyo. 296 (Chief Joseph Highway) and Dead Indian campground when Payton, 5, wanted to climb a boulder the approximate size of a minivan. Payton was packing a BB gun he set aside for his ascent, Vining said. As Payton began his climb, a mountain lion came out from the backside of the rock, Vining said.

Vining spotted the male lion when it was about 6 feet away. “I saw the lion getting ready to lunge at me,” he said. He grabbed for his .45 caliber revolver, but the tie down holding the handgun in the holster wouldn’t come loose. He did not have bear spray, Vining said. Ryan was up the trail 40 or 50 yards and out of sight. Vining called for help, he said. He had his Father’s Day gift: a set of walking sticks similar to ski poles. “It was the first time I ever used these sticks. I swung at this lunging lion and hit it across the face and it was enough to back him off,” Vining said. Fighting back was an instinctual reaction. “I’m going to do whatever I can to protect my family,” Vining said. Although the lion withdrew 6 or 8 feet, he was poised to pounce again. But this time Vining had enough time to free his weapon and fire. Although he couldn’t see exactly where the bullet struck, Vining is sure he hit the lion, he said. The lion retreated, but in the direction of Alisa, who was carrying 4-month-old Kanin, and Ryan, packing Kensi, 2 1/2. Kanin slept throughout the encounter, Vining said. Ryan ran down the trail to Vining’s aid, he said. When the lion saw the other people dashing down the trail, it fled. Ryan took a couple shots, but missed, Vining said. – For complete article see

Global 06/20/12 News Release – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a new diagnostic test to detect the presence of dengue virus in people with symptoms of dengue fever or dengue hemorrhagic fever. The test, called the CDC DENV-1-4 Real Time RT PCR Assay, has been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States and can be performed using equipment and supplies many public health laboratories already use to diagnose influenza. The new test will help diagnose dengue within the first seven days after symptoms of the illness appear, which is when most people are likely to see a health care professional and the dengue virus is likely to be present in their blood. The test can identify all four dengue virus types.

This is the first FDA-approved molecular test for dengue that detects evidence of the virus itself. The other available FDA-approved test detects a certain type of antibody (immunoglobin M (IgM) class antibodies) to dengue virus.  Most patients begin to develop these antibodies four days after they become ill.  However, because not everyone develops these antibodies until seven days after they get sick, the antibody test might not recognize dengue early in a patient’s illness.

Dr. Jorge Muñoz-Jordán, Chief, Molecular Virology Laboratory, CDC, Dengue Brach, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“The need for the new dengue diagnostic test was high,” said Jorge L. Munoz-Jordan, Ph.D., chief of the Molecular Diagnostics and Research at the CDC Dengue Branch. “Patients will be diagnosed sooner than before, and public health laboratories will have a clearer picture of the true number of dengue cases.  Dengue is now a reportable disease in the United States, and the availability of state-of-the-art dengue diagnostics will improve patient management and the public health response to dengue.” – For complete news release see


American Robin.

California 06/20/12 South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County: Two American Robins found June 6th in the Tahoe Keys area have tested positive for West Nile Virus. – See

Illinois 06/21/12 Bolingbrook, Will County: Health officials have confirmed that they have collected mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile Virus. They are the first in the county this year. – See

Ohio 06/20/12 Franklin County: Mosquitoes collected in Clinton, Urbancrest, and Reynoldsburg have tested positive for West Nile Virus. – See

Pennsylvania 06/21/12 West Chester, Chester County: Health officials confirm that mosquitoes found in the borough have tested positive for West Nile Virus. – See

Texas 06/20/12 Richardson, Dallas County: Health officials confirm a person in Richardson has become the first human case of West Nile Virus in the county this year. – See


Colorado 06/20/12 Bent County: Health officials have confirmed a case of rabies in a cow and four individuals are now being treated due to exposure. It is believed the cow was probably exposed through contact with a rabid skunk. – See

Colorado 06/20/12 Superior, Boulder County: A bat discovered in a bush in a woman’s front yard has tested positive for rabies. The incident occurred in the 900 block of E. Roggen Way on June 16th. – See

Georgia 06/20/12 Dalton, Whitfield County: A horse that was usually pastured adjacent to the Dalton Municipal Airport has tested positive for rabies. Six people are being treated after being exposed to the virus. The horse began showing symptoms of the disease on June 9th, but wasn’t diagnosed but wasn’t diagnosed with rabies until it was taken to the University of Georgia a week later. – See

New Hampshire 06/20/12 Pelham, Hillsborough County: A raccoon captured in the vicinity of Township Road after an altercation with a dog has tested positive for rabies. – See

Virginia 06/20/12 Pittsylvania County: A raccoon found in the vicinity of Catawba Drive has tested positive for rabies. – See


Blacklegged Tick (aka Deer Tick)

National 06/20/12 Dr. Robbin Lindsay, a research scientist with the Public Health Agency of Canada who specializes in zoonotic diseases, says the populations of the blacklegged ticks that carry Lyme disease (sometimes called the deer tick) are growing. “I myself have been studying these ticks for over 20 years and we have seen a tremendous change in the range and expansion of these ticks,” he tells CTV News from Winnipeg’s National Microbiology Laboratory. He says when he started his PhD in 1989, there was only one known population of blacklegged ticks and that was in southern Ontario. Now, there are established population sin southeastern Quebec, southern and eastern Ontario, southeastern Manitoba and parts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. “We have been tracking the expansion of this tick and it is quite dramatic,” Lindsay says. Many of these ticks carry the nasty bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi that can cause Lyme disease.

Dr. Robbin Lindsay.

Lindsay says it appears that while ticks are spreading, the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi is still low. In some areas of Canada between 10 and 50 per cent of blacklegged ticks are now carrying Lyme bacteria. “So the risk of Lyme disease is reasonably low right now. But as the ticks get more established, the infection rate will go up,” says Lindsay. He says that there are currently only about 150 cases confirmed each year in Canada, but “that is going to change.” – For complete article see

CALIFORNIA scientists suggest fewer FOXES means more LYME DISEASE ~ CALIFORNIA confirms first HUMAN case of WEST NILE VIRUS this year ~ MARYLAND woman bitten by SKUNK in a restaurant ~ more WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CO, NJ, PA, & TX ~ and more RABIES reports from FL, NY, & VA (2).

Red fox. Courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

National 06/18/12 by Karen Hopkin – Deer ticks and Lyme disease go hand-in-hand in some places. But you can’t always put the blame on Bambi. Because new research shows that the incidence of Lyme disease tracks less with the abundance of deer than it does with the disappearance of foxes. The study is in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. [Taal Levi et al., "Deer, predators, and the emergence of Lyme disease"] To see where foxes come in, you have to look at the tick life cycle. When deer ticks are young, they feed on small mammals like the white-footed mouse. It’s from infected rodents that the ticks pick up the bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Foxes, of course, prey on mice and other small mammals. So fewer foxes mean more mice, and potentially more disease. To come up with that connection, researchers modeled the relative contributions of various animal populations in areas where Lyme disease is rife. And they found that, in New York State, for one, the incidence of Lyme could be directly predicted by the dearth of foxes. The foxes were pushed out by coyotes, which have been on the rise since New York lost its wolves. Which were driven away by humans. Who now get bit by ticks.

California 06/18/12 Bakersfield, Kern County: A 70-year-old woman who lives in Kern County has been identified as to having the West Nile Virus. This is the first confirmed case of human WNV in California this year, according to Claudia Jonah, M.D., Public Health Officer for Kern County. The woman has been hospitalized but is recovering. – See

Maryland 06/18/12 California, St. Mary’s County: A skunk that bit a patron at a Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant near the Patuxent River Naval Air Station on June 14th has tested positive for rabies. – See

Colorado 06/19/12 News Release – The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment announced today that mosquito samples in Delta, Larimer and Weld counties have tested positive for West Nile virus. No cases of human illness have been reported. – See

New Jersey 06/18/12 Clark, Union County: Township officials are warning residents to take precautions against West Nile Virus after the Clark Health Department was notified Friday by the Union County Mosquito Control that two pools of mosquitoes had tested positive for the virus. – See

Pennsylvania 06/18/12 York, York County: A mosquito sample collected in North York borough has tested positive for West Nile Virus, according to a release from the Penn State Cooperative Extension. The sample, which was collected last week by extension staff, was the third mosquito collection in the county to test positive for the virus this year. – See

Texas 06/19/12 Harris County: Five mosquito samples collected in the 77088, 77094, 77004, and 77013 ZIP codes have tested positive for West Nile Virus.- See

Florida 06/18/12 Vernon, Washington County: Health officials have issued a rabies advisory after a fox attacked two people, biting one who will being post exposure treatment this week. – See

New York 06/19/12 Hadley Mountain, Saratoga County: The state Department of Environmental Conservation is trying to find the owners of a dog that bit a steward at the fire tower on Hadley Mountain earlier this month. The incident happened June 8. The dog was a black Labrador retriever mix, which bit the steward’s hand. The steward sought first aid for the bite, and when he returned the dog and its owners had left. The victim has had to begin rabies treatment, but the DEC is hoping that locating the dog and finding out its rabies shot status can allow him to forgo additional treatment. The steward believes the dog was with two men and a woman in their late 20s and early 30s, possibly from the town of Lake Luzerne. The DEC asked that the owners contact the agency at 897-1300 to confirm the dog’s rabies vaccination status.

Virginia 06/18/12 King George County: A feral cat that scratched and bit a 4-year-old boy last week has tested positive for rabies. The incident happened in the area of Lambs Creek Church Road and Deer Lane. – See

Virginia 06/19/12 Henrico County: A raccoon that attacked a dog in the 6500 block of Osborne Turnpike has tested positive for rabies. – See


ALASKA woman attacked by GRIZZLY saved by loose shoes ~ NEW HAMPSHIRE woman attacked by BLACK BEAR that came for dinner ~ CALIFORNIA county issues WEST NILE VIRUS alert ~ RABIES reports from COLORADO, GEORGIA, & NEW YORK.

Alaska brown bear. Photo by State of California.

Alaska 06/15/12 by Rick Sinnott – In a summer stacking up as unusual for the number of people injured by bears and the number of brown bears shot, another person has been bitten and clawed by a brown bear in the Anchorage area. Earlier this week, Mike and Tammy Anthony drove to Anchorage on a regular shopping trip. They often spend the night in Chugach State Park’s Eagle River campground near the Glenn Highway bridges over Eagle River. Typically, they wrap up the shopping the next morning and drive home to North Kenai. This shopping trip was a little different. Arriving in the campground after a day of shopping, they found a campsite. When Tammy returned from paying the campground fee, she told Mike she’d noticed a nice-looking trail leading to the river. About 7:30 p.m., they went for a walk, meeting several people on the trail on a quarter-mile hike along one of the most- popular trails in the campground area. Approximately 200 yards upstream from a yellow boat-takeout sign, Mike saw bear prints in a sandy area off the trail and went to look at them. That’s when they heard a roar and the sound of a bear “busting out of the brush.” Tammy screamed, and the bear lunged at her. Mike saw a small cub, born last winter, whose presence likely precipitated the attack. He hollered at his wife to run to him, hoping that they could step into the fast-moving stream and be swept to safety. Wearing Crocs, not the best footwear for sprinting through the woods, Tammy tripped over the bank and the bear landed on top of her. Recovering its footing, the sow attempted to bite the back of her head. Mike yelled and ran toward the bear to distract it. The sow grabbed Tammy’s foot and attempted to drag her away, but her Croc came off in the bear’s jaws, and both the sow and cub disappeared into the brush. After just 20 seconds, it was all over. In recounting the story, Mike gave his wife’s Crocs a great deal of credit. “A tennis shoe might have been worse,” he said, because they might not have come off so easily. – For complete article see

New Hampshire 06/17/12 Wildlife officials are investigating a report of a bear attacking a woman outside her home in Grafton, N.H. Authorities said the bear, apparently attracted by the smell of food cooking, lashed out at the 46-year-old woman as she opened her door to let her dog out at about 10 p.m. Saturday. The woman fell to the ground, while the dog attacked the bear in defense. WMUR-TV reported the woman was taken to a hospital with cuts to her arms and that the dog was unharmed. The New Hampshire Fish and Game department is investigating.

California 06/16/12 Encino, Los Angeles County: The county’s first West Nile-positive mosquito this year has been found. – See,0,3147395.story

Colorado 06/14/12 by Vanessa Harmoush – In May, the number of rabid animals in Colorado spiked to 35 confirmed cases, compared with the nine cases in May last year. There have already been 67 confirmed cases of rabies in Colorado, compared with only 37 this time last year. The Department of Public Health and Environment is urging Weld County residents to be more cautious when they are outdoors. In Weld County alone, 10 cases of rabies have been confirmed: two bats, seven skunks and one fox that were confirmed just this week. Department officials said they were concerned because this is the first time rabies has been seen among skunks in Weld County. For the entire year in 2011, there were only seven cases of rabies in Weld County, all bats. Environmental specialist Angela Crawford said she is worried because rabies among skunks can be even more hazardous than bats. “The reason we are concerned when it gets into the skunk population is because rabies tends to spread more rapidly among skunks, and that increases the chances that pets come in contact with it,” Crawford said. – For complete article see

Georgia 06/15/12 Forsyth County: A fox that bit a dog on June 4th, and a 45-year-old man the next day, both in the 8400 block of Waldrip Road, has tested positive for rabies. – See

New York 06/16/12 St. Lawrence County: A raccoon that was acting strangely in Eel Weir State Park on June 11th has tested positive for rabies. – See

Study confirms MOUNTAIN LIONS are making a comeback ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA (2), IL (2), LA, PA, & TX ~ RABIES reports from KS, MD, NJ (2), NC (2), OR, SC (2), & VA (2).

Mountain lion. Courtesy National Park Service.

National 06/14/12  by Tim Crosby – Mountain lions (aka cougars, pumas, mountain cats, catamounts, and panthers), those wily, storied creatures that once moved like ghosts through their far-ranging North American habitat, are making a comeback. And a researcher at Southern Illinois University Carbondale — along with a former student — is among those spotting the trend. Clay Nielsen, assistant professor with the Cooperative Wildlife Research Laboratory, Department of Forestry and the Center for Ecology at SIU Carbondale, said the cougar presence clearly is increasing in Midwestern North America.  Nielsen worked with Michelle LaRue, a former graduate student at SIU Carbondale, now at the University of Minnesota. The scientists see the trend reversing 100 years of species decline due to loss of habitat and other factors. Nielsen said the findings also raise new questions about how humans might live in closer proximity to the big cats.

Cougars were driven from much of the Midwest by around 1900, and their absence left a hole in the ecosystem, Nielsen said. “Cougars would be top carnivores in Midwestern ecosystems, affecting prey species populations.  The white-tailed deer would be the primary prey item,” Nielsen said. During the last two decades, however, hard evidence of the cougar’s return has been emerging.  The researchers set out to qualify and quantify that evidence, which they hoped would identify population trends and movement among the cougar ranks. The researchers divided the study area into an east and west region, calculated the number and types of confirmed sightings and assessed trends brought forth by the data.  In all, they identified 178 instances of a confirmed cougar presence, with that number increasing. The confirmations ranged from just one in Kansas, Michigan and Ontario to a high of 67 in Nebraska. The cougar remains reclusive, however, with almost 80 percent of the confirmations occurring within about 30 miles of highly suitable forests with steep terrain and low road and human densities.  – For further details see

West Nile Virus reports:

California 06/15/12 Walnut Creek, Contra Costa County: Officials reported Thursday a second confirmed case of West Nile virus in a dead American crow found near Geary Road and Buena Vista Avenue. – See

California 06/15/12 Kern County: Mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus have been found in 91 traps statewide, 25 of them in Kern County. – See

Illinois 06/15/12 Jackson County: Health officials have discovered a batch of mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile virus. – See

Illinois 06/15/12 Stephenson County: A dead bird collected in south Freeport on June 7 was found to have West Nile virus. – See

Louisiana 06/13/12 Baton Rouge, Livingston and Tangipahoa parishes: East Baton Rouge Mosquito Abatement and Rodent Control says mosquitoes are already causing problems, and testing positive for the West Nile Virus. – See

Pennsylvania 06/15/12 Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lehigh, Monroe & York counties: Dauphin County officials are reporting that a second mosquito trapped in the county had tested positive for the West Nile Virus. That insect was caught Tuesday in Wiconisco Township, county spokeswoman Amy Richards Harinath said. Another was trapped May 9 in Middletown. Elsewhere in the mid-state the virus has been found in two mosquitoes each in Cumberland and York counties and in three insects in Adams County, according to the state’s West Nile Virus Control Program. DEP officials said a mosquito was found and tested positive as a carrier of West Nile in Smithfield Township. And a mosquito sample from Upper Macungie Township tested positive for West Nile virus today.

Texas 06/13/12 Plano, Collin County: The Plano Environmental Health Department announced a positive testing of mosquitoes for West Nile Virus in the 75074 ZIP code. – See

Rabies reports:

Kansas 06/13/12 Marion County: by Jennifer Stultz – In March, worried owners of a horse that was acting erratically called veterinarian Brendan Kraus for help. Kraus went to the farm to evaluate the horse, which seemed to be depressed and in pain. It kicked and laid down a lot. He made the decision to euthanize the horse, suspecting a rabies virus infection. He removed the horse’s brain and sent it to Manhattan for analysis at K-State’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Testing confirmed the horse was rabid and had contracted the disease from an infected skunk. – See

Maryland 06/14/12 Port Deposit, Cecil County: A cat that scratched a person in the area of Port Deposit has tested positive for rabies. Health officials say the person was scratched Wednesday while trying to capture the cat. The cat was described as large and with black and white markings. It was euthanized after being captured. Health officials say anyone who believes they may have been exposed to the cat in the past 10 days should seek medical advice. – See

New Jersey 06/13/12 South Plainfield, Middlesex County: by Tom Haydon – A raccoon that tangled with a pet dog in South Plainfield and was killed by the dog’s owner, has tested positive for rabies. On June 8, the owner called animal control officers to report the raccoon had fought with the pet in the area of Ivy Street and Clinton Avenue, officials from the Middlesex County Office of Health Services said in a statement. – See

New Jersey 06/13/12 Cedar Grove, Essex County: Raccoons captured over the past month in Cedar Grove have tested positive for rabies, according to an alert sent out via the town’s Nixle system by the Cedar Grove Health Department. In the alert, residents are encouraged to avoid feeding and touching unfamiliar animals, vaccinate their pets and keep them from roaming unattended, keep trash cans tightly covered, avoid storing food outside, and to seek immediate medical attention should they be exposed to or bitten by an a suspicious animal. – See

North Carolina 06/13/12 Oak Island, New Brunswick County: The State Lab confirms the second case of rabies this year at Oak Island. The Brunswick County Health Department says a fox sent to the lab Monday tested positive for the disease. The fox attacked a dog on Oak Island. The dog’s owner pushed the fox away from the dog and killed the fox. The owner was not bitten or touched by the fox, so there was no need to treat him for possible rabies exposure. The dog was current on its rabies vaccination so it only needed a booster shot. – See

North Carolina 06/13/12 Lawndale, Cleveland County: The county’s fifth rabies case in 2012 was a raccoon found at 249 Oakgrove Cloverhill Church Road, Lawndale. A complaint about the animal’s abnormal behavior was reported June 8 to Cleveland County Animal Control. – See

Oregon 06/14/12 Gaston, Washington County: A woman was recently bitten by a bat that had rabies. She came across the bat in her yard when she spotted her dog with some kind of animal and said she initially thought it was a bird. But when she picked up the animal, “it just grabbed onto my finger through the glove … and got me. It was hanging on,” she said. She then put the bat in a bucket. A couple of days later, she took the bat to authorities and had it tested. It turned out to have rabies. – See

South Carolina 06/13/12 Florence County: A woman in Florence County was bitten by a stray cat that later tested positive for rabies, according to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. “Avoid wild animals acting tame and tame animals acting wild,” said Sue Ferguson of DHEC’s Bureau of Environmental Health. – See

South Carolina 06/13/12 Spartanburg County: State health officials are warning residents to stay away from wild animals and vaccinate pets after a fox tested positive for rabies. This is the fourth confirmed case of a rabid animal in the county this year. – See

Virginia 06/13/12 Henrico, Henrico County: Health officials confirmed two cases of rabies Wednesday, after a rabid cat bit a person earlier this week. Police received a call of an aggressive cat in the 400 block of Lee Ave on Sunday, June 10. One person was bitten during the incident, according to police. Police announced positive result for rabies Wednesday, after the cat was taken to the State Lab for testing. A second incident in the 2400 block of Hartman St. was also reported Sunday, according to police. Positive results for rabies were received after a rabid raccoon attacked a dog. – See

Virginia 06/13/12 York County: A raccoon picked up in the area of Barlow Road has tested positive for rabies.- See

YELLOWSTONE officials to investigate HIKER’s encounter with WOLF ~ NEW MEXICO confirms CAT has PLAGUE ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA (2), LA, & TX ~ RABIES reports from NC, & SC.

Wolf pup. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Yellowstone National Park 06/13/12 A man hiking in Yellowstone National Park encountered a female wolf outside a den and sprayed the animal with pepper spray before fleeing the scene. Yellowstone Park officials confirmed Tuesday that the man, whose name was not released, encountered a female wolf in the Hayden Valley. While park officials continue to investigate the incident, a spokesman said Tuesday that the man was hiking when he came across the wolf outside a den. “There was no wolf attack,” park spokesman Al Nash said. “However, a visitor apparently had some sort of encounter with a wolf. The wolf did not attack him. He was not injured by a wolf.” The wolf allegedly gave a warning bark, which the man interpreted as a growl. He sprayed the wolf with pepper spray — a deterrent most often used in bear encounters. The hiker heard the wolf yipping as a result of the spray as he fled.

Park officials said the man jumped into the Yellowstone River, believing the wolf might pursue him. He apparently lost his backpack as he was washed downriver and was treated by park rangers for hypothermia. “This gentleman encountered a wolf, just as many visitors encounter bears, elk or sheep,” Nash said. “I don’t know what his decision-making process was. He chose to get away from the animal. Why he chose to go into the Yellowstone River, I just don’t know.” – For complete article see

New Mexico 06/13/12 The Department of Health said a cat that lives in the city of Taos has the plague. The cat most likely contracted the disease from hunting rodents and prairie dogs in Sunset Park near the intersection of Valverde Street and Town Hall Drive, according to a health department news release. A second cat in the city is suspected of having the plague and the health department is encouraging the owners of the park to put warning signs around their property. The park is part of Valverde Commons, an adult, sustainable-living community, according to its website. “Plague cases in pets serve as a warning that there is plague activity in rabbits, rodents and their fleas in the area,” Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Dr. Catherine Torres said in a release. “I encourage everyone to follow simple prevention recommendations to keep themselves, their families and pets safe.” – For complete article see

California 06/13/12 Dixon, Solano County: Health officials have issued a West Nile Virus alert after a dead crow tested positive for the disease. – See

American Crow.

California 06/13/12 Atwater, Merced County: An American crow, found dead May 22nd, has tested positive for West Nile Virus. – See

Louisiana 06/13/12 Terrebonne Parish: Mosquitoes collected June 6th in Oaklawn subdivision have tested positive for West Nile Virus. – See

Texas 06/12/12 Brazos County: A sampling of mosquitoes found near Texas A&M’s McFerrin Athletic Center tested positive for West Nile Virus. – See

North Carolina 06/12/12 Charlotte, Mecklenburg County: A raccoon killed by a dog near Dusty Trail Road in North Charlotte last week has tested positive for rabies. – See

South Carolina 06/12/12 Aiken County: Health officials issued a rabies alert today after a raccoon tested positive for the virus. This is the third case of animal rabies in the county this year. – See

OREGONIAN hospitalized with illness believed to be PLAGUE ~ ILLINOIS & NEW YORK counties issue WEST NILE VIRUS alerts ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending June 2, 2012.

Image courtesy Federal Drug Administration.

Oregon 06/12/12 by Lynne Terry – A man hospitalized in Bend is likely suffering from the plague, marking the fifth case in Oregon since 1995. The unidentified man, who is in his 50s, fell ill several days after being bitten while trying to get a mouse away from a stray cat. The man is now being treated at St. Charles Medical Center-Bend, where he was listed in critical condition on Tuesday. “This can be a serious illness,” said Emilio DeBess, Oregon’s public health veterinarian. “But it is treatable with antibiotics, and it’s also preventable.” The Black Death raged through Europe during the Middle Ages, killing about a third of the population. Today, the disease is rare, but the bacteria have never disappeared. The man, who lives in rural Crook County, was bitten Saturday, June 2. He developed a fever a few days later. By Friday, June 8, he was so sick that he checked himself into St. Charles Medical Center-Redmond. He was later transferred to the larger facility in Bend. Karen Yeargain, communicable disease coordinator with Crook County Health Department, said lab tests are being done to confirm whether the man has the plague, but she said he is suffering from classic symptoms.

Image courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There’s one bacterium that causes the disease — Yersinia pestis — but it can develop into three types of illnesses depending on how an individual’s body reacts. Initially, the man had swollen lymph nodes — a sign of bubonic plague — but now he’s showing signs of septicemic  plague, when the bacteria multiply in the bloodstream. Symptoms include abdominal pain, bleeding mouth, nose or rectum and dying tissue. The third type is pneumonic plague, which affects the lungs. DeBess said it’s not clear whether the man was bitten by the mouse or by the cat. The feline died, and its body has been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing. – For complete article see

Illinois 06/11/12 Wood River, Madison County: Two crows found on June 4th tested positive for West Nile Virus. – See

New York 06/12/12 Cicero, Onondaga County: Health officials announced last week that a pool of mosquitoes collected at the Route 298 trap tested positive for West Nile Virus. – See

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending June 2, 2012:

Published June 8, 2012/ 61(22); ND-297-ND-310

Anaplasmosis . . . 5 . . . New York (3), Rhode Island (2),

Brucellosis . . . 3 . . . California, Florida (2)

Ehrlichiosis . . . 13 . . . Florida, Maryland (2), Missouri (4), Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia (4),

Giardiasis . . . 99 . . . Arkansas, California (14), Florida (29), Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine (3), Maryland (2), Michigan, Missouri (3), Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York (18), Ohio (8), Oregon, Pennsylvania (6), Virginia (2), Washington (4), Wisconsin,

Lyme Disease . . .  109. . .  Delaware (7), Florida (2), Maryland (10), Michigan (2), New Jersey, New York (40), Pennsylvania (22), Vermont (7), Virginia (16), Washington, Wisconsin,

Rabies (Animal) . . . 51. . . Arkansas, Illinois, Maine, Maryland (16), Michigan (2), New Hampshire, Ohio, Texas (15), Vermont, Virginia (12),

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Confirmed) . . . 1. . . Missouri,

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 24 . . . Idaho, Kentucky, Missouri (4), Nebraska, North Carolina (4), Tennessee (7), Virginia (6),

Tularemia . . . 2 . . . Missouri.

ALASKAN hiker survives BROWN BEAR attack ~ NORTH CAROLINA resident discovers very “BIG” BLACK BEAR in back yard ~ USDA announces new rules to limit spead of CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ TEXAS confirms HUMAN case of WEST NILE VIRUS ~ ILLINOIS county reports MOSQUITO sample positive for WEST NILE VIRUS ~ CALIFORNIA man bitten by RABID BAT while cleaning pool.

Brown bear. Photo by Alaska Public Lands.

Alaska 06/10/12 Chugach State Park, Anchorage: by Rebecca Palsha,  – An Eagle River man was attacked by a (brown) bear Sunday morning, about 7:40, on the Bird Creek trail about three miles from the trailhead. Alaska State Troopers say 30-year-old Ben Radakovich was hiking by himself, in the morning, when he came across a mother and her cub. Radakovich had pepper spray with him, but didn’t have time to use it before the bear attacked. Trooper spokesperson Beth Ipsen says Radakovich has wounds to his to his head, neck and back from biting and scrapes. Ipsen says the attack happened really quickly and Radakovich curled into a ball. Ipsen says Radakovich told them the bear was batting and swatting him. After the attack he scrambled about 30 feet up a tree where he was able to call troopers. Radakovich told troopers he could hear the bear grunting and panting near-by. It took troopers about two hours to get to him. Radakovich was flown by Helo-1 to Providence Hospital. There has been no update on his condition.

North Carolina 06/10/12 Asheville, Buncombe County: by R.A. Kane – My wife and I (and both of our dogs) just saw a BIG black bear in our back yard. We live on the north side of Asheville and in the city limits. We’ve seen other bears, pretty much every summer and ranging from a mom w/ 3 cubs to a sleek 400# female to a grey-muzzled old male. My best guess is that down on all 4 feet, tonight’s bear was 4 1/2 ft tall at the shoulders and weighed in at 550 to 600 lbs.

National 06/11/12 The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) on Friday announced new rules to limit the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD), which affects cervids including deer, elk and moose. CWD is a lethal “transmissible spongiform encephalopathy” similar to BSE in cattle, although there is no evidence to date that CWD can spread to cattle or to humans. The new interim final rule will establish a national CWD herd-certification program and minimum requirements for interstate movement of cervid animals in the United States. Farmed or captive deer and elk have been, in numerous cases, implicated in the spread of CWD to wild herds, which has resulted in large-scale culling of animals and economic losses in areas where hunting generates significant revenue. According to APHIS, CWD has been reported in farmed or captive cervids in 11 states since testing began in 1997.

Whitetail buck with Chronic Wasting Disease.

Just last week, the Missouri Department of Conservation announced it will loosen deer-hunting restrictions in a six-county area in the northern part of the state for this fall, in response to the discovery of CWD in two deer killed during last-year’s hunting season. After that discovery, the department killed over 650 deer in the area and three of those tested positive for CWD. All of the infected wild deer were killed near a captive-deer facility where 11 animals previously tested positive for the disease. “It is important that we have a nationwide CWD herd certification program for farmed or captive cervids,” says USDA Chief Veterinary Officer John Clifford. “The amendments we are making to our CWD rule will help to control the spread of this disease, support the growing U.S. cervid industry, and complement existing state CWD programs.” APHIS is issuing the interim final rule and requesting public comment for 30 days. After reviewing the public comments, the Agency will issue a final rule and, should there be a need, incorporate any changes made in response to comments received by the Agency. The interim final rule will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. Participating States then will have 180 days before APHIS begins enforcing the interstate movement provisions in the regulation.

Texas 06/11/12 Lantana, Denton County: Health officials confirm the first human case of West Nile Virus in the county this year. See

Illinois 06/11/12 Peoria, Peoria County: Health officials have confirmed the first mosquito sample to test positive for West Nile Virus this year. – See

California 06/09/12 Riverside, Riverside County: A bat that bit a man while cleaning a pool on June 6th has tested positive for rabies, and another bat suspected of being infected with the virus was found near Hemet, a county Animal Services spokesperson said. In the Hemet incident, a vaccinated dog was playing with a sick bat when it was bitten on June 5th.