Category Archives: Viral disease

MINNESOTA triathlete bitten 25 times by OTTER in northern lake ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA, MS, NY (2), & TX (fatality) ~ RABIES reports from AR, MD, NY, NC (2), & SC ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending June 23, 2012.

Otter. Photo by Keven Law. Wikimedia Commons.

Minnesota 07/15/12 A veteran triathlete had to get rabies shots after she was attacked and bitten 25 times by an otter in a northern Minnesota lake. Leah Prudhomme, 33, of Anoka, was doing a regular 1.5-mile training swim in Island Lake, 17 miles north of Duluth, on Wednesday evening. As she passed by a bog on the last stretch, she felt something bite her ankle to the bone: an otter. She screamed for help as her father and young children watched from the shore. Prudhomme sustained 25 bites — some more than 2 inches deep — before her father could rescue her in a boat about seven minutes later. “It had a gray head, little beaded eyes, and was very agile in the water. … It would just like latch onto my leg and latch onto my thigh,” Prudhomme said. At St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth, she got shots for rabies and tetanus, plus antibiotics. She got more rabies shots back home in the Twin Cities on Saturday.

Photo by Alan Pennington. Wikimedia Commons.

The rare attack baffled experts who surmise the otter had rabies or was a mother protecting its young. “I’ve never seen or heard of it before,” said Mike Scott, a conservation officer with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in Duluth. “We’ve got otters everywhere … lakes, streams. Most times, (swimmers) wouldn’t even know it. Otters usually stay away.” Prudhomme said she’s thankful she wore her wet suit, which was shredded in the attack but likely saved her from more extensive injuries. “My wetsuit tells the tale best because there’s just claw marks and chunks missing and lots of bites all over the wetsuit,” she said. “It’s pretty much destroyed now.” Prudhomme also said she still plans to compete in a triathlon on the same lake next Sunday. Fortunately, the swimming portion is set to take place on the other side of the lake. “I’m scared, but it’s one of those things you don’t want to let get the best of you,” she said. “It’s not like I’ll be bitten by another otter.”

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Sacramento County

California 07/16/12 Sacramento County: Risk of WNV continues to be high in South Sacramento County especially in the areas of Wilton and Elk Grove. Officials confirmed that 50 mosquito samples tested positive for WNV. – See

Jones County

Mississippi 07/16/12 Jones County: The state’s fourth human case of WNV this year has been confirmed in Jones County. The state Department of Health reported the new laboratory-confirmed WNV case today. So far this year, cases have been reported in Lauderdale, Hancock, Lincoln and Jones counties, according to the Health Department. Mississippi had 52 West Nile virus cases and five deaths last year. – See|topnews|text|Home

Nassau County

New York 07/16/12 Massapequa, Nassau County: A mosquito carrying WNV has been found in a trap in Massapequa according to the Department of Health. In total, the virus has been detected in mosquitoes at 4 trap locations in Nassau County including Bayville, Lakeview and Mineola. – See

Rockland County

New York 07/16/12 Rockland County: Nine more mosquito samples collected have tested positive for WNV – bringing the total so far to 15, the highest level this early in the season since the virus appeared more than a decade ago. All of the mosquito samples were collected by the Rockland Department of Health during the week of July 2. They were tested by the state Department of Health and results were announced today. Four of the insects were found in Orangetown, two each in Ramapo and Clarkstown and one in Haverstraw. – See

Dallas County

Texas 07/16/12 Dallas, Dallas County: The city of Dallas confirmed Monday that one person has died after contracting WNV. In a news conference, city officials announced the man was in his 60s and lived in the 75204 zip code near East Dallas. They also said they are fearful of another severe outbreak such as the one in 2006, when 104 people in Dallas County were infected and four died from the virus. So far this summer, there have been 16 human cases of WNV in Dallas County. – See


Arkansas 07/13/12 Little Rock, Pulaski County: The management of Albert Pike apartments will have to appear in court after bats were found inside tenant’s rooms and the problem was not corrected. Little Rock code enforcement confirmed one of those bats tested positive for rabies. – See

Maryland 07/13/12 Chevy Chase, Montgomery County: A man reportedly was bitten twice by a fox in the Village of Martin’s Additions on Wednesday and was taken to a hospital for precautionary rabies shots. The fox has not been located. See –

New York 07/13/12 Onondaga County: Three raccoons have tested positive for rabies, prompting the county Health Department to warn the public not to touch or feed wild animals. The rabid raccoons were located near Cold Brook Road in the town of Spafford, Barker Street in the town of Otisco and Shea Road in the town of Pompey, according to the Health Department. – See

North Carolina 07/14/12 Farmville, Pitt County: A Farmville family had to have its pet dog euthanized Friday.  According to officials, the unvaccinated dog was bitten by a raccoon that tested positive for rabies. – See

North Carolina 07/13/12 Denton, Davidson County: A dead raccoon found has become the fourth reported case of rabies in the county this year, according to the health department. The raccoon was found in a fenced-in backyard with four dogs. Two of the dogs were properly vaccinated and received booster shots. The other two dogs’ vaccinations had expired, and they were euthanized. No person was exposed. – See

South Carolina 07/13/12 Horry County: A bat found in the county has tested positive for rabies, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. A person was bitten by the bat. DHEC does not comment on medical treatment victims may be receiving, but it is standard practice for people bitten by rabid animals to undergo immediate medical treatment. “In this case, the victim was aware of the bat bite,” said Sue Ferguson, with DHEC. “However, bats have small teeth that might leave marks not easily seen. Some situations require medical advice even in the absence of an obvious bite wound. If you awaken and find a bat in your room, often referred to as ‘overnighting,’ 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 exposure to rabid bats. – See

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending June 23, 2012:

Published June 29, 2012/ 61(25); ND-339-ND-352

Anaplasmosis . . . 21 . . . New York (17), Rhode Island (2), Virginia (2),

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

Brucellosis . . . 1 . . . Florida,  

Ehrlichiosis . . . 11 . . . Maine, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee (2), Virginia (5),

Giardiasis . . . 117 . . . Arizona, Arkansas (2), California (20), District of Columbia, Florida (22), Idaho (2), Iowa (2), Maine (3), Maryland (4), Montana (3), Nebraska (6), New York (26), Ohio (15), Rhode Island, Vermont, (3) Virginia (2),

HME/HGE Undetermined . . . 4 . . . Indiana (3), Virginia

Lyme Disease . . .  137. . .  Connecticut, Florida (5), Maryland (11), Pennsylvania (76), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (9), Virginia (31),

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

Rabies (Animal) . . . 20. . . Alabama (4), Rhode Island (2), Texas (2), Vermont, Virginia (11),

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

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 24 . . . Alabama (2), Indiana, Tennessee (5), Virginia (16),

Tularemia . . . 1 . . . Montana.

CALIFORNIA reports the lone WOLF known as OR-7 entered Butte County late last month ~ CALIFORNIA vector control officials trap DEER MOUSE infected with HANTAVIRUS ~ ALASKAN WOMAN survives GRIZZLY BEAR encounter shaken but unscathed ~ CANADA: SASKATCHEWAN confirms new case of CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE in an ELK ~ MOUNTAIN LION report from MT ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS reports from FL (3), & MA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA (2), ID, IL, LA (fatality), MS, NJ, NY, & SD.

Gray wolf (not OR-7). Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

California 07/14/12 by Katy Sweeny – Anyone looking to find California’s lone wolf since it entered Butte County June 28 would have had little luck. The Department of Fish and Game’s website placed it in northeast Butte County, but DFG regional wildlife program manager Karen Kovacs said it was closer to Highway 70 along the Plumas County line. OR7 is the only wolf known to be in California, Kovacs said. The last confirmed wolf in the state was in 1924. The wolf’s collar showed since Monday it moved north in Butte County and crossed Thursday into northwestern Plumas County, Kovacs said. The 2-year-old wolf left his pack in Oregon to find a mate and start a new pack, Kovacs said. He crossed into California Dec. 28. While most wolves go no more than 100 miles, OR7 has traveled about 2,500 miles. – For complete article see

Deer mouse. Courtesy CDC.

California 07/13/12 A wild deer mouse trapped in north Escondido during routine monitoring tested positive for the potentially deadly hantavirus, San Diego County vector control officials announced Friday. According to the county Department of Environmental Health, it is not easy for humans to contract hantavirus but if an infection does happen, it causes Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, which is fatal 36 percent of the time. Department Director Jack Miller said infected mice, which are discovered every so often, are rarely a danger in the wild. “But hantavirus can be a danger if infected rodents get indoors and people come into contact with their droppings,” Miller said. “People should never sweep up or vacuum rodent droppings or nesting materials when they find them, but use bleach solutions and sponges or mops to carefully clean up instead.” The county’s website has detailed instructions online at

Grizzly. Courtesy National Park Service.

Alaska 07/15/12 An Alaskan woman, Alyson Jones-Robinson had a recent terrorizing encounter with a grizzly bear that left her wising she had had a gun in her hand instead of insect repellant. How close was the bear to her during this encounter?  “It was a very surreal experience,” the 43-year-old Jones-Robinson told the Fairbanks Daily News Miner on Friday, a day after the ordeal. “All I could think about was this bear is so close to me I can see its teeth. I could have kissed it. I wished I had a gun.” Robinson was out hiking with her two nieces, 13 and 9, and her Husky dog Rowyn. They were hiking the 15-mile “Granite Tors Trail” in the Chena River State Recreation Area about 40 miles east of Fairbanks on Thursday. That’s when they were confronted on the trail by a young grizzly that Jones-Robinson estimated to be only 2 to 3 years old and maybe 100 to 200 pounds, not large as adult grizzlies go but the thing was that bear was big enough, aggressive, it would not back down and she knew they were all in trouble.

 The bear had bluff charged the group several times after they encountered it on the trail about five miles from the trailhead and it showed no fear of them or the dog. She told the newspaper it was so terrifying that on a scale of 1 to 10, it was above a ten. “I told the girls if the bear attacked me to take the dog and don’t look back, to get off the mountain and go until they found somebody,” Jones-Robinson told the newspaper At one point she fired off some bear spray but she fell backward on her pack and dropped the can of bear spray. The bear retreated for a moment but then came back and began circling Jones-Robinson, who then took her pack off and threw a package of macaroni and cheese at the bear hoping to distract it. As the bear circled she searched into the dog’s pack for the bottle of Natrapel, a natural mosquito repellent she uses because she’s allergic to traditional bug spray. When the bear tried to bite her dog, Jones-Robinson hit it in the head with her walking stick.  By now the girls were cowering behind their aunt, as was the dog. “It charged again, and I hit it over the head and held out my bug spray like this,” Jones-Robinson said, brandishing the bottle of Natrapel in front of her. “I hit it like three or four times.”

The dog, meanwhile, tried to attack the bear each time it charged, adding to the chaos but also possibly adding to the protection of the hiking group. She said after what seemed like an eternity the bear finally retreated and group continued toward the trailhead with Jones-Robinson carrying her broken walking stick and bottle of insect repellent. But it wasn’t over yet.  The bear followed the hikers for about a mile, bluff charging them several more times before it finally wandered off.  – For complete article see


Saskatchewan 07/13/ by Ragnar Haagen – A new case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) has been confirmed within the past month. It is only the second case of CWD found this year, but both have been found in the Prince Albert district – which stretches approximately from Spiritwood to the Manitoba border. This is one of the three areas where the disease is present in the wild; the others are in the northwest and the southwest parts of the province. “In those three areas we have a lot of the disease in the wild and then it tends to spill over into farm animals, and in this case it was in that northeast area,” explained Alex McIsaac, a disease control veterinarian with the CFIA. The latest animal that tested positive was an Elk, and because there is no known treatment or cure for this relatively new disease there is an eradication policy in place when dealing with any possible outbreak. – For complete article see

Mountain Lion Sighting:

Montana 07/14/12 Sidney, Richland County: The sheriff’s office notified local police of a mountain lion sighting in the Lone Tree Creek area off the Fifth St. S.W. extension by the back of the county fairgrounds. – See

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

Glades County

Florida 07/13/12 Moore Haven, Glades County: FDACS officials have confirmed that a horse has contracted EEE. This is the 11th horse in the state to be reported with EEE infection with onset during 2012 and the first in Glades County. – See

Nassau County

Florida 07/13/12 Callahan, Nassau County: Two sentinel chickens have tested positive for EEE virus. – See

Walton County

Florida 07/14/12 Walton County: Several sentinel chickens have tested positive for EEE. – See

Plymouth County

Massachusetts 07/13/12 Carver, Plymouth County: Five mosquitoes infected with EEE have been found and officials are bracing for a danger that has appeared early this year. – See

West Nile Virus (WNV):

San Bernadino County

California 07/14/12 Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernadino County: WNV has been found in mosquitoes collected here near Base Line Road and Beryl Street in the first reported incident of West Nile this year. – See

Contra Costa County

California 07/13/12 Brentwood, Contra Costa County: WNV has been found in two birds and two mosquito samples. One mosquito sample was taken from Garin Parkway and Spruce Street and the other was taken from Chestnut Street and Sellers Avenue. A dead crow found July 2 at Balfour Road and Walnut Boulevard in Brentwood also tested positive, as did a dead crow found at Margie Drive and Susan Lane in Pleasant Hill. – See

Ada County

Idaho 07/13/12 Boise, Ada County: The first mosquitoes testing positive for WNV were trapped near the Expo Idaho fairgrounds, prompting a warning from health officials because the virus has been detected much earlier than last year when it didn’t show up in the state until August. – See

Kane County

Illinois 07/14/12 Kane County: Three more pools of mosquitoes collected this week in Aurora, Montgomery and Carpentersville have tested positive for WNV. – See

Louisiana 07/14/12 Simpson, Vernon Parish: Former village postmaster Donnie Merchant, 68, has died due to complications after contracting WNV. There have been ten confirmed human cases of WNV in the state this year, including six that were announced on Friday. – See

Mississippi 07/14/12 Lauderdale and Hancock counties: Health officials have confirmed two human cases of WNV in the state. – See

Ocean County

New Jersey 07/13/12 Ocean County: A crow in Point Borough and a mosquito pool in Point Pleasant Beach have tested positive for WNV. – See

Suffolk County

New York 07/14/12 Suffolk County: Six mosquito samples have tested positive for WNV in the county, including two in Nesconset. Positive samples were also found in Farmingville, Northport, Dix Hills, and Amagansett. – See

South Dakota 07/14/12 Beadle County: A healthy blood donor is the first known human case of WNV in the state this year. – See|head&nclick_check=1

WASHINGTON WOMAN attacked by pack of RACCOONS ~ ILLINOIS WOMAN hospitalized with ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS reports from MA, & NC ~ WEST NILE VIRUS report from OK ~ COYOTE attack in GA ~ MOUNTAIN LION sightings in CA, & IA ~ RABIES reports from CA (2), FL, GA, NY, NC, & OH ~ TRAVEL WARNINGS: CAMBODIA reports 56 CHILDREN have died of an UNDIAGNOSED ILLNESS.

Raccoon. Photo by Quartl. Wikimedia Commons.

Washington 07/10/12 by Cathy McLain – A woman was attacked by a pack of raccoons near Fort Steilacoom Park Monday afternoon, Lakewood police said. Michaela Lee, 28, was walking home with her leashed dog after jogging through the park about 1:30 p.m., when the raccoons attacked, her boyfriend Shane Bennett said. Her dog, Madison, chased two raccoons up a tree as Lee was leaving the park, said Lakewood police spokesman Chris Lawler. Lee went to get the dog when more raccoons came out of a bush and chased her. She ran 75 feet before they knocked her down. A witness told police that six or seven raccoons chased her, and that three attacked her for about 15 seconds. Lee had many scratches and was treated for about 16 puncture wounds, into which hospital staff injected antibiotics. Wounds in her arm and leg needed staples and she’s been started on a round of rabies vaccine, although she since has learned the disease is rare in raccoons in the area. – For complete article see

Illinois 07/11/12 by Lawerence Synett – A Woodstock woman bitten by a tick has been hospitalized with Rocky Mountain spotted fever, according to the McHenry County Department of Health. The confirmed case is the first in the county since May 2008, when seven tick-transmitted illnesses were reported over a two-week span, according to health department officials. That included five cases of Lyme disease and separate cases of spotted fever and ehrlichiosis. It is unknown when and where the infected tick bit the woman, health department spokeswoman Debra Quackenbush said. The woman’s prior medical history is also unknown. The fever can be severe or possibly fatal if not treated in the first few days of symptoms, even in previously health people. – For complete article see

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

Massachusetts 07/12/12 Easton, Bristol County: The town is recommending organized activities in town playgrounds ,fields and parks be curtailed and soccer leagues and baseball leagues have agreed to end games and practices one hour before sunset after EEE was found in one of the town’s mosquito pools. – See

North Carolina 07/11/12 New Hanover County: Officials issued a health alert on Wednesday after a chicken flock tested positive for EEE. – See

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Oklahoma 07/12/12 Tulsa, Tulsa County: Health officials confirm that mosquitoes have begun to test positive for WNV, and a 65-year-old man has been diagnosed with the county’s first human case of the virus. – See

Coyote Attacks:

Georgia 07/11/12 Bogart, Oconee County: A coyote attacked and killed a family’s pet dog and later reappeared at the neighborhood swimming pool on Solitaire Court in the Belfair subdivision. – See

Mountain Lion Sightings:

California 07/12/12 Avila Beach, San Luis Obispo County: A warning has been posted at the Bob Jones Trail alerting bicyclists, runners and walkers of a mountain lion sighting in the area Wednesday. – See

Iowa 07/12/12 Des Moines, Polk County: Children at the Norwoodville Community Center day camp were sent inside this morning after a mountain lion sighting was reported nearby in the 3200 block of Broadway Avenue and Northeast 46th Avenue. – See


California 07/12/12 Palm Desert, Riverside County: A bat that was stuck in a wall at a shopping center on Highway 111 on July 3rd has tested positive for rabies. – See

California 07/10/12 Pasadena, Los Angeles County: A rabies alert has been issued by county health officials who confirm that 15 bats have tested positive for the virus. – See

Florida 07/10/11 Wewahitchka, Gulf County: A fox that attacked a pet, the pet’s owner, and sheriff’s deputies before being shot has tested positive for rabies. – See

Georgia 07/11/12 The Macon Bibb County Health Department Environmental Health Section and Macon-Bibb County Animal Welfare offices are seeking the public’s help in locating a dog that bit someone because the animal is believed to have rabies. According to a health department news release, two Bibb County residents were bitten by a white poodle mix, possibly crossed with Bichon Frise, over the July 4th holiday weekend.  The dog in question bit a person who was considering taking it in as a pet and also bit a neighbor’s child. They decided not to keep the animal. The dog was then given away to a woman in the Wal-Mart parking lot on Zebulon Road sometime between July 7 and July 10, 2012. The identity of the woman is unknown. The release states the woman stated she would give the dog to a Jones County animal rescue group if she decided not to keep it. Jones County authorities are aware of the situation and have not yet located the dog. If the dog is not located, the adult and child bitten will be asked to immediately begin the post exposure rabies prevention vaccinations. According to the health department, rabies can be prevented by post-exposure vaccination. Once a person has rabies, there is no treatment and it is usually fatal. The Georgia Rabies Manual requires that dogs, cats and ferrets be quarantined for 10 days following a bite, regardless of whether they have current rabies vaccination or not. If the animal is alive at the end of the 10 day period, then the person bitten would not need the preventative shots. This quarantine process is to protect the health of the person exposed. If you have any information regarding the dog, you’re asked to contact Donna Cadwell at 478-749-0121 between the hours of 8:00 AM and 4:30 PM or e-mail anytime to

New York 07/11/12 New Rochelle, Westchester County: A rabies alert has been issued “to residents who may have had contact with a stray kitten or cat any time since early June on the grounds of the New York Athletic Club and/or the Winged Foot Day Camp,” which are both in New Rochelle and border Pelham Manor’s Shore Park. A small grey kitten that was on the grounds in early June has has tested positive for rabies, and it may have exposed other kittens or cats nearby,” said department spokesperson Caren Halbfinger in a news release. A resident took the cat home June 6 and was caring for it before it began acting aggressively last week. – See

North Carolina 07/11/12 Mount Holly, Gaston County: A fox killed by two dogs in the 300 block of Oakwood Drive in the Dickson Heights subdivision has tested positive for rabies. – See

Ohio 07/11/12 Springfield, Clark County: A red bat found in the historic Ridgewood neighborhood has tested positive for rabies. – See

Travel Warnings:

Cambodia 07/06/12 World Health Organization Global Alert and Response: The Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Cambodia is conducting active investigation into the cause of a recent undiagnosed syndrome that has caused illness and deaths among children in the country. Preliminary findings of the investigation identified a total of 74 cases that were hospitalized from April to 5 July 2012. Of these, 57 cases (including 56 deaths), presented a common syndrome of fever, respiratory and neurological signs, which is now the focus of the investigation. The majority of the identified cases to date were under three years old. Most of them were from the southern and central parts of the country and received treatment at Kantha Bopha Children’s hospital, which is a reference pediatric hospital. Despite all efforts, many of the children died within 24 hours of admission. Available samples have been tested at the Institute Pasteur in Cambodia. Although a causative agent remains to be formally identified, all these samples were found negative for H5N1 and other influenza viruses, SARS, and Nipah.

The Ministry of Health was first alerted to this by Kantha Bopha Children’s hospital in Phnom Penh, where the majority of the cases were hospitalized. The Ministry of Health notified WHO about this event through the IHR notification mechanism as it met the criteria for notification of any event where the underlying agent or disease or mode of transmission is not formally identified. WHO and partners are assisting the Ministry of Health with this event which focuses on hospitalized cases, early warning surveillance data, laboratory data and field investigations.  While this event is being actively investigated, the Government is also looking at other diseases occurring in the country, including dengue, hand-foot-mouth and Chikungunya. Parents have been advised to take their children to hospital if they identify any signs of unusual illness. The Government is also reinforcing awareness of good hygiene practices to the public, which includes frequent washing of hands.

Update 07/09/12: Based on the latest laboratory results, a significant proportion of the samples tested positive for enterovirus 71 (EV-71), which causes hand foot and mouth disease (HFMD). The EV-71 virus has been known to generally cause severe complications amongst some patients. Additionally, a number of other pathogens, including dengue and streptococcus suis were identified in some of the samples. The samples were found to be negative for H5N1 and other influenza viruses, SARS and Nipah. Further investigations into matching the clinical, laboratory and epidemiological information are ongoing, and are likely to be concluded in a few days.

TEXAS confirms two MULE DEER taken in Hueco Mountains had CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ GEORGIA county issues COYOTE ALERT for PET owners ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from IL, IN, NJ, NY, & OH (2) ~ ANNOUNCEMENT: DENGUE research opportunities.

Buck Mule Deer. Courtesy of National Park Service.

Texas 07/10/12 by Allen Corbin – Samples from two mule deer recently taken from far West Texas have been confirmed to have Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). These are the first cases of CWD detected in Texas deer. Wildlife officials believe the disease is currently isolated in a remote part of the state near the New Mexico Border. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Animal Health Commission implemented regionally-focused collection efforts after the disease was in detected in Southwest New Mexico during the 2011-2012 hunting season. Both of the deer were taken from the Hueco Mountains of northern El Paso and Hudspeth counties. CWD is a progressive and fatal disease that commonly results in altered behavior due to microscopic changes in the brain of affected animals and they can carry the disease for years without any indication. CWD is not known to affect humans.

Coyote Attack:

Georgia 07/10/12 Oconee County: Authorities have issued a coyote alert after two pets are attacked in the Belfair subdivision. – See

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Lake County

Illinois 07/10/12 Mundelein, Lake County: Health officials have confirmed the first mosquitoes to test positive for WNV in the county were recently found in Mundelein. – See,0,54236.story

Indiana 07/10/12 Hamilton and Johnson counties: Mosquitoes carrying WNV have been found near 181st Street and U.S. 31 in Westfield, and in downtown Greenwood. – See

Cape May County

New Jersey 07/10/12 Upper Township, Cape May County: The Department of Mosquito Control detected WNV in the Seaville section as part of a routine mosquito collection program. “The virus was found in Culex mosquitoes, which fortunately don’t generally bite people. However, it is the first indication this summer that the virus is circulating in Cape May County,” said Peter Bosak, superintendent of the county Department of Mosquito Control. – See

Oswego County

New York 07/10/12 Central Square, Oswego County: Officials have found evidence of WNV in two collections of mosquitoes in the village. – See

Stark County

Ohio 07/10/12 Canton, Stark County: Mosquitoes collected in the area of Arboretum Park NW on June 21 have tested positive for WNV. – See

Licking County

Ohio 07/10/12 Licking County: The Health Department reported pools of mosquitoes collected from two traps in the county tested positive for bugs carrying WNV. One area was on West Main Street, near Tamarack Drive in Newark. The other was in Pataskala, near the intersection of York Road and Ohio 16. – See


Opportunities for Dengue Research in the Americas

Dengue is re-emerging as a disease of public health importance in the Americas. Recent efforts to control the disease have had moderate success, but many opportunities exist for further study. In a new paper appearing in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, scientists at NIAID and the Pan American Health Organization discuss some of these future directions for dengue research and the need for collaborative, integrated programs that blend clinical and basic research.

For more information on historical dengue control efforts in the Americas and specific future research opportunities, read the NIAID Media Availability at

Is CANINE BRUCELLOSIS an emerging infectious disease? ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA, NE, & TX ~ RABIES reports from OR, TX, & VA ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending June 16, 2012.

Rottweiler puppies at 6 weeks. PD. Wikimedia Commons.

Global by Debra M. Eldredge, DVM – Brucellosis is a disease bandied about casually by many dog fanciers. Breeders recommend that all bitches have a negative Brucellosis test before any breedings, but often skimp on testing the stud dogs. It seems like such a routine problem. In reality, a diagnosis of brucellosis can be a kennel wipeout, not just the loss of an individual litter. Brucellosis is caused by a bacteria called Brucella canis. There are other versions of the brucella bacteria that primarily infect pigs, cattle, sheep and goats. All of the versions appear to be at least mildly infectious to other species, including humans, making this a zoonotic disease.

A dog can be infected with other versions of the brucella bacteria as well as the canine type. The bovine version of brucellosis is a reportable disease in virtually every state, but even the canine version is reportable in some states. According to the Iowa State Center for Food Security and Public Health, this bacteria has been identified in dogs with reproductive problems all over the world with the exception of New Zealand and Australia. A study from Cornell sights figures as high as 20 to 30 percent for Central/South American dogs. The same study mentions estimates of 7 to 8 percent in stray dogs in Japan and the southern United States. Another site mentions infection rates possibly as high as 8 to 10 percent of the dogs in the US.

Dr. Debra M. Eldredge

In people, blood tests indicating exposure show that as of July 2009, 67.8 percent of Oklahoma’s human residents had been exposed to brucella bacteria (probably including all the variants, not just the canine version). There have been documented cases of people contracting the canine form of brucellosis, even from the “tamer” laboratory strain, but clinical disease is not very common. The people most at risk of illness are the elderly, very young and anyone with any immunocompromising illness. Still, it makes sense for everyone to wear gloves dealing with any aftereffects of an abortion and take precautions. – For complete article see

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Ventura County

California 07/09/12 Ventura County: Five more birds have tested positive for WNV, including four found in Simi Valley and one in Thousand Oaks, county health officials said today. The five were found in the last week of June, and state test results confirmed Friday that they all had WNV, county Environmental Health Division officials said. So far this year, eight wild birds collected in Ventura County have tested positive for the virus. – See

Nebraska 07/09/12 News Release – Mosquitoes in Adams and Sheridan counties tested positive for WNV and so have birds in Madison and Phelps counties according to the Nebraska Health and Human Services. – See

Tarrant County

Texas 07/09/12 Grapevine, Tarrant County: Mosquitoes carrying the WNV have been confirmed in two parts of the city. Positive results were detected in mosquitoes caught in the Lakeview Drive/Kimball Road area of north Grapevine and in the WT Parr and Hall-Johnson roads area in the south. – See


Oregon 07/09/12 Corvallis, Benton County: by Lynne Terry – A bat that bit an unvaccinated dog on Friday has tested positive for rabies. The dog found a large brown bat flopping around in thick vegetation and the owner managed to get the bat out of the dog’s mouth without being bitten herself. – See

Texas 07/09/12 News Release – The Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department is working to identify an adult female who came in contact with a bat that has tested positive for rabies. The incident occurred on July 3, 2012 around 10:15 p.m. under the Congress Street Bridge at Lady Bird Lake. The female was reported to be wearing flip flops and an observer noted the bat came in contact with the woman’s feet. Signs were posted in and around that location on Friday, July 6 when lab results became available however; no calls have been received at this time by the city’s health department.  If anyone has information, please contact our office at 512-972-5555. – See

Virginia 07/09/12 Pittsylvania County: A raccoon in the Hodnett’s Road area east of Gretna and a fox in the Rover Ridge area of Danville have become the most recent confirmed cases of rabies in the Dan River Region, according to a news release from the Virginia Health Department.  – See

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending June 16, 2012:

Published June 22, 2012/ 61(24); ND-325-ND-338

Anaplasmosis . . . 3 . . . Maine, New York, Tennessee,

Ehrlichiosis . . . 9 . . . Arkansas, Ohio, Tennessee (2), Virginia (5),

Giardiasis . . . 64 . . . Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas (3), Florida (14), Maine (3), Maryland (5), Montana, Nevada  (3), New Mexico, New York (5), Ohio (7), Oregon, Pennsylvania (5), South Carolina (3), Utah (2), Vermont, (2), Virginia (2), Washington (5),

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

Lyme Disease . . .  160. . .  Connecticut, Florida, Maryland (24), Nebraska, New Jersey (2), New York (44), Ohio, Pennsylvania (61), Tennessee, Vermont (4), Virginia (18), Washington (2),

Rabies (Animal) . . . 25. . . New York (6), Ohio (2), Texas (17),

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Confirmed) . . . 2. . . Georgia, Virginia,

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 104 . . . Alabama (5), Arkansas (9), Florida, Indiana (2), Missouri, North Carolina (49), Tennessee (21), Texas, Virginia (15),

West Nile Virus (Neuroinvasive) . . . 1 . . . Texas,

West Nile Virus (Nonneuroinvasive)… 1 … California.

PENNSYLVANIA WOMAN bitten by BLACK BEAR while walking DOG ~ WYOMING confirms BEAR attack on Caribou-Targhee National Forest’s Aspen Trail ~ NEW MEXICO hikers’ DOGS being attacked by COYOTES at Santa Fe Ski Basin ~ MOUNTAIN LION sightings in IOWA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA (2), CT, IL (2), IN, LA, NJ, OH, SD, TX, & WA ~ RABIES reports from GA (2), NY (2), NC, PA, & SC.

Black bear. Photo by State of Florida.

Pennsylvania 07/05/12 The Pennsylvania Game Commission is investigating a Wednesday night black bear attack in Middle Smithfield Township. State police in Swiftwater said Marie Klingel, 54, was walking a dog along Great Bear Way in the township when she and the dog were confronted by a small black bear. The bear tried to attack the dog, police said, and Klingel got in the middle to keep the bear from getting to the dog. The bear bit and scratched her, though not seriously. She was treated and released from Pocono Medical Center on Thursday after the bear attack happened around 9 p.m. The bear has not been found, and Pennsylvania Game Commission officials said Thursday they are investigating the incident.

Wyoming 07/05/12 by Rachael Horne – A young man who survived a bear attack on the Aspen Trail is recovering from several injuries to his feet after being pulled from a tree by a black bear. Public Information Specialist Mark Gocke with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department confirmed there was a bear attack on the Aspen Trail involving a male subject early Saturday morning June 30. He said from reports and enforcement officers sent to the scene, a young male individual likely surprised a bear in an area with heavy forest cover and low visibility. “It sounded like a surprise encounter,” said Gocke. “The bear reacted and charged.” Gocke said from reports, it sounded like the male subject attempted to climb a tree. The bear was then able to get a hold of his foot and pull him from the tree to the ground. It was believed the bear then took off and hasn’t been seen again. – For complete article see

New Mexico 07/06/12 by Jackie Jadrnak – At least two hikers’ dogs were attacked by coyotes this past weekend at the Santa Fe ski basin, and their owners want to warn the many other area residents and their pets who seek those cool mountain meadows for exercise to beware. The coyotes apparently weren’t limiting themselves to easy prey. One dog that was chased down and emerged with puncture wounds to each thigh was an 85-pound Anatolian shepherd. “She was really shook up,” Lisa Stuart said of her dog Deja. “We all were.” While Deja was chased down by a single coyote, Sandra Mendel said she and her 25-pound, 10-month-old dog Bree were surrounded and harried by a pack of about four coyotes. “I think they had a pack mentality. They were hungry,” said Mendel, who described swinging her trekking poles to ward off the animals. And there might be a third case. Grayson Schaffer told the Journal in an email that he ran into hikers at the ski basin whose dog was bitten by a coyote in the hind leg, which it wasn’t using at all as it limped. He speculated it might have been a blue heeler mix, which wouldn’t match the description of either of the other two dogs. – For complete article see

Mountain Lion Sightings:

Iowa 07/05/12 Sibley, Osceola County: A mountain lion has been spotted on at least two occasions south and east of town. – See

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Sutter County

California 07/05/12 Yuba City, Sutter County: Three mosquito samples have tested positive for WNV. – See

Los Angeles County

California 07/07/12 Atwater Village, Los Angeles County: A second mosquito sample collected east of the Los Angeles River, about 11 miles from La Cañada, has tested positive for WNV. – See

Fairfield County

Connecticut 07/06/12 Stamford, Fairfield County: Officials say the first mosquitoes of the season to test positive for WNV in the state have been trapped in Stamford. – See

Illinois 07/07/12 Naperville, Dupage and Will counties: Mosquitoes with WNV were reported found in traps at Seager Park, 1163 Plank Rd. and Pioneer Park, 1212 S. Washington St. Tests returned one instance of the virus at each location. – See,0,7442984.story

Clay County

Illinois 07/06/12 Flora, Clay County: A dead crow collected last month has tested positive for WNV. – See

Indiana 07/07/12: Three batches of mosquitoes collected from Johnson County have tested positive for the WNV. The mosquitoes were caught near the Old Town Greenwood area in June. The department also found the virus in mosquitoes from Tipton, Hamilton, Henry, Putnam, Clay, and Marion counties.

Louisiana 07/06/12 Vernon and Tangipahoa parishes: The state has confirmed three new human cases of WNV in two counties, including a potentially deadly neuroinvasive case in a Vernon Parish adult. – See

Burlington County

New Jersey 07/04/12 Burlington County: Mosquito traps near sewage treatment plants have turned up positive WNV samples in Moorestown and Mount Holly. A positive sample was also trapped in Pemberton in May. – See

Franklin County

Ohio 07/05/12 Columbus, Franklin County: Health officials have confirmed that two pools of mosquitoes have tested positive for WNV. This is the first positive report for WNV found in the city limits this season. The positive tests were collected in South Columbus between High Street and Parsons Avenue, south of state Route 104 and north of Williams Road. A second group was collected in North Columbus between Interstate 71 and Indianola Avenue, south of East North Broadway and north of East Weber Road. – See

South Dakota 07/05/12 Brookings and Brown counties: Mosquito pools from both counties have tested positive for WNV. – See

Jefferson County

Texas 07/06/12 Port Arthur, Jefferson County: Officials confirm mosquitoes were found with WNV in the area of Grannis and 5th St. on the West side of the city. – See

Franklin County

Washington 07/06/12 Mesa, Franklin County: State health officials say WNV has been detected for the first time this year in the state in mosquitoes collected near Mesa. – See


Georgia 07/06/12 Houston County: A stray kitten that scratched a resident in his yard on Thursday has tested positive for rabies. – See

Georgia 07/05/12 St. Marys, Camden County: A rabies alert has been issued by health officials after a bat tested positive for the virus. – See

New York 07/06/12 Watertown, Jefferson County: A feral cat described as an “orange tabby” found near the East Hills housing complex off Eastern Boulevard has tested positive for rabies. – See

New York 07/06/12 Royalton, Niagara County: A feral cat, part of a colony of strays in the Berner Parkway area, that attacked a person recently has tested positive for rabies. Anyone in that area who was exposed to a stray cat should seek medical advice. – See

North Carolina 07/06/12 University City, Mecklenburg County: A rabies alert has been issued after up to a dozen people were advised to seek immediate medical advice because of exposure to a 3-year-old filly that died of the virus last weekend at a stable in the Back Creek Church Road area. Iredell County officials were alerted because it is believed the horse might have been exposed in the Statesville area where it was previously kept. – See

Pennsylvania 07/06/12 Paradise Township, Monroe County: A stray cat that was being cared for in a home on Grange Road has tested positive for rabies. Five people exposed to the cat’s saliva are being treated. – See
South Carolina 07/04/12 Charleston County: A bat found in the county has tested positive for rabies. This is the third confirmed rabid animal found in the county this year. – See

CANADA: ONTARIO scientists find most SQUIRRELS and MICE in Algonquin Provincial Park are infected with bacteria that causes Q-FEVER in HUMANS ~ ALBERTA farmers say WOLVES are slaughtering LIVESTOCK ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from ONTARIO (2) ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from IL, & MS ~ RABIES reports from GA, NY, RI, & VA.

Flying Squirrel. Photo by State of Indiana.


Ontario 07/03/12 News Release – A team of Laurentian University biology researchers has found significant evidence of the spread of the zoonotic bacterium Coxiella burnetii in wildlife in Algonquin Park. A zoonotic disease is one that can be transmitted to humans from animals. The C. burnetii bacterium causes Query fever or “Q-fever” in humans.  It was detected in 6 out of 7 species of wild rodents tested within the boundaries of Algonquin Park, including red squirrels, flying squirrels and deer mice.  It was also found in flying squirrels in the Peterborough area, indicating that the bacteria may be widespread among these animal populations in Ontario.

Researchers say Coxiella burnetii  is generally found on farms with small ruminants, but little is known about transmission of the bacteria from the natural environment.  The researchers, led by Canada Research Chair Dr. Albrecht Schulte-Hostedde of Laurentian University, say their findings suggest that some visitors to Algonquin Park could be at risk of infection. “The bacteria that cause Query fever can make humans quite sick, so this is an important finding,” said Dr. Schulte-Hostedde. “We’re still trying to learn how Coxiella burnetii  is maintained and spread in the natural environment.  We don’t know yet whether wild species are picking it up from domesticated animals, and we don’t know how it changes as it moves between species.  As we learn more about it, we’ll have a better understanding of the potential risk to human health.”

Dr. Albrecht Schulte-Hostedde

Dr. Schulte-Hostedde is Canada Research Chair in Applied Evolutionary Ecology at Laurentian University.  Among other areas of study, he has studied squirrel populations in Algonquin Park for more than 10 years. “We were certainly surprised to find such a high prevalence of Coxiella burnetii  in Algonquin, given the amount of human traffic in the area,” said Dr. Schulte-Hostedde.  “There are hundreds of thousands of visitors to this park in a year, so it’s good news that so far there are no confirmed reports of Q-fever traced back to the Park.” People diagnosed with Query fever are usually infected through contact with sheep, goats or cattle.  The resulting illness may cause fever, flu-like symptoms, and occasionally swelling of the lining of the heart and heart failure.  The last significant outbreak was in the Netherlands in 2007 and led to the infection of more than 2,000 people and the culling of thousands of goats. The results of the Laurentian research are being published in the latest issue of the scientific journal Zoonoses and Public Health.

Alberta 07/04/12 Farmers near Mayerthorpe are on high alert after wolves attacked animals in two separate incidents over the past two weeks. Three cows were slaughtered in one case; a mare and donkey were attacked in the other. The latter incident occurred earlier this month on Merle Arthur’s horse and mule farm near Mayerthorpe. The attack shocked him because donkeys usually keep wolves at bay. “If you or I were to run up and grab him by the hind leg, we wouldn’t wake up for about a week — if we woke up,” Arthur said. “So he would have put up an awful fight. It would have been more than one wolf. It would have been a pack of wolves that did this.” Arthur had to shoot the donkey because it was so badly injured.

Cattle farmers can get compensation, but Arthur won’t be able to claim anything for his donkey. “They’re not considered a specific meat-producing animal,” said local wildlife officer Greg Gilbertson. “So the program doesn’t cover those types of animals.” Arthur says the loss of his donkey will be a financial set-back as it was the only male he owned for breeding. “This is my living,” he said. “This is what I do and them wolves took a good part of it away.”

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Ontario 07/04/12 North York District, Toronto: Mosquitoes collected along Bayview Avenue, between York Mills Road and Lawrence Avenue East, have tested positive for WNV. – See–west-nile-virus-found-in-north-york

Ontario 07/04/12 Windsor: Health officials say a mosquito pool has tested positive for WNV. – See

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Illinois 07/04/12 Monmouth, Warren County: Health officials report WNV positive mosquitoes collected in a batch of insects on Monday. – See

Mississippi 07/04/12 Hancock County: The state’s health department has confirmed a second human case of WNV. Last year the state had 52 human cases and five deaths. – See


Georgia 07/04/12 Mitchell County: A fox that scratched a man’s arm when he tried to separate the animal from his pet dog has tested positive for rabies. – See

New York 07/03/12 Watertown, Jefferson County: An feral cat found in the East Hills Apartment area off Eastern Boulevard and described as an “orange tabby cat” has tested positive for rabies. –

Rhode Island 07/03/12 North Providence, Providence County: State health officials say a cat infected with rabies may have had contact with humans and other animals before it died. It is described as an adult gray short-haired cat with tiger stripes and roamed a neighborhood around Central Avenue. Anyone who believes they might have been exposed to the virus should seek medical advice immediately. – See

Virginia 07/04/12 Yorktown, York County: The Peninsula Health Department is looking for a Dachshund that bit a person in the Wolf Trap Park neighborhood on July 1. According to the Department, the victim will have to get a rabies vaccine if the dog is not found. If and when the dog is found, it will be placed in confinement for 10 days. Anyone who has seen a dog matching that description is asked to call Animal Control at 757-890-3601.