Category Archives: Viral disease

COLORADO confirms MOUNTAIN LION attacked DOG on Tellurium Lake Trail ~ 20 ARKANSANS potentially exposed to RABIES playing with DOG ~ Other RABIES reports from AR, AL, FL, IL, NY, OR, & VA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from AZ, IL, MO, & NJ.

Mountain Lion. Photo by New York Department of Conservation.

Colorado 06/27/12 A dog was critically injured this weekend when a cougar attacked while the dog was off-leash on the Tellurium Lake Trail near Ruedi Reservoir. Colorado Parks and Wildlife public information officer Mike Porras confirmed that the department received a report of the attack, which occurred Saturday afternoon. According to the report, a group was hiking down, with their dog off-leash about 20 feet in front, when they heard a scream. They ran to the scene, and saw a mountain lion holding the dog in its mouth. The hikes startled the predator, which dropped the dog and ran off. The dog is in critical condition with broken skull bones. Visitors to the area are encouraged to use caution and keep dogs either on leash, or at least under voice command. “Mountain lions are opportunistic predators,” Porras said, noting that attacking a dog that is separated from humans doesn’t qualify as unusual behavior for a mountain lion. Even if letting a dog run off-leash is legal in a particular backcountry area, “it is far, far safer … to keep the dog on a leash,” he said.


Arkansas 06/26/12 by Lindsey Tugman – Misinformation about the proper timing for vaccination has led to the loss of a family pet and more than 20 possible human exposures to rabies in Saline County.  The Arkansas Department of Health has confirmed cases of rabies in both a family dog in Saline County and in a skunk living less than a mile away. This brings the total number of animals that have tested positive for rabies this year to 83, well above average. We tracked down one Saline County family who came in contact with the dog. Teresa Penix, her husband, and four children are waiting to be vaccinated for rabies, but her dogs are okay. The family visited a neighbor who took in a dog in rural Saline County. “The friend had a dog that was running, jumping and found out he tested positive for rabies,” says Penix.

At the time of their visit, the dog seemed fine but she did not know the dog didn’t have its rabies vaccinations. “We all played with the dog. The dog looked healthy,” says Penix. We found the Penix family through word of mouth. Yet, the state is remaining tight-lipped on exactly who is getting vaccinated or where this happened. “This was an area west of the city of Benton along Highway 70 and it doesn’t matter pinpointing it more because it could be anywhere,” says Dr. Susan Weinstein. Penix says her doctor’s office doesn’t have vaccine on hand, but will have it soon. Meantime, she remains tense and afraid, not knowing if her family’s been exposed to rabies. “You want your animals protected and you want your family protected,” says Penix.

The dog became ill around June 13, and progressively declined until it was euthanized and submitted for rabies testing. A number of people exposed to this dog will be undergoing a series of rabies vaccinations to prevent the development of the disease. The dog had killed a skunk approximately six weeks prior to getting sick, and had likely been bitten by the skunk at that time. The dog was not vaccinated against rabies because it was still a puppy and the owners mistakenly thought that it could not receive a rabies vaccine until it was six months old. Rabies vaccines generally are administered by veterinarians at 12 to 16 weeks of age for a dog or cat. – For complete article see

Arkansas 06/27/12 Hot Springs, Garland County: A bat found inside a woman’s apartment has tested positive for rabies. – See

Alabama 06/25/12 Troy, Pike County: A raccoon that attacked a young girl at North Ridge Circle has tested positive for rabies. – See

Florida 06/26/12 Bascom, Jackson County: A raccoon that fought with and was killed by two dogs on Wintergreen Road has tested positive for rabies. – See

Illinois 06/27/12 Shelbyville, Shelby County: A bat captured in rural Shelbyville has tested positive for rabies. This is the first positive rabies test in bats in the county since 1990. – See

New York 06/26/12 Malta, Saratoga County: The Saratogian – A young boy who was bitten by a pit bull last week is hoping the community can help him avoid a painful series of rabies shots. The 12-year-old boy was bitten by the dog at about 6 p.m. Monday, June 18, on the sidewalk in front of Chango Elementary School. According to the boy’s mother, who spoke at a Malta Town Board meeting Tuesday but did not want to be identified, the dog’s owner did nothing to prevent the attack and, after the boy had been bitten, simply said her dog “does not like kids” and walked away. Malta Town Supervisor Paul Sausville issued a statement Tuesday morning asking for the public’s help in locating the white pit bull. Sausville asked anyone who thinks they may be familiar with the dog in question to contact Malta Animal Control Officer Don Stack, 432-2737, or the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office, 885-6761. Sausville said Stack has been patrolling the area where the attack occurred but has not been able to locate the dog. The town clerk also combed through the town’s dog license registry, but there is no sign of the dog. “They’ve been working on it diligently since the incident happened a week ago,” Sausville said. “We’re optimistic we can find this dog.” If the dog is not located, the child will have to begin the series of rabies shots Thursday.

Oregon 06/27/12 Marion County: A bat found inside a home northwest of Salem has tested positive for rabies. – See

Virginia 06/27/12 Isle of Wight County: by Mike Connors – A fox and a raccoon acting aggressively recently at Windsor Castle Park have tested positive for rabies. On June 14, a raccoon approached a couple on a trail and was beaten off with a walking stick, according to an Isle of Wight County Sheriff’s Office news release today. On Saturday, a fox near a trail entrance on Sykes Court attacked a man before being fended off. Both animals were picked up, and later tested positive for rabies, the release said. No one was hurt in either incident. – See

West Nile Virus:

Arizona 06/27/12 Maricopa County: Public health officials confirm that a woman in her 30s is the first human case of West Nile Virus in the county this year. – See

Illinois 06/27/12 Adams County: Health officials have found a mosquito sample in the county that tested positive for West Nile Virus. – See

Missouri 06/27/12 St. Louis County: Public health officials confirm that mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus have been found in Bel-Ridge, Normandy, Olivette, Jennings, Lemay, and unincorporated North County. – See

New Jersey 06/27/12 Union County: Four out of 63 mosquito pools analyzed in the county so far this season have tested positive for West Nile Virus: two in Clark, one in Summit, and one in Cranford. – See

Two CALIFORNIA WOMEN bitten in COYOTE attacks ~ VIRGINIA vector control officials find MOSQUITOES infected with EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA, LA, PA, & VA ~ RABIES reports from FL, & VA ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending June 9, 2012.

Coyote. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

California 06/26/12 by Denise Goolsby –  Excerpts ”Two women have been bitten by coyotes in Sun City Palm Desert within the past week and a half, according to Riverside County Animal Services. In the most recent attack, Amy Williams, 69, was taking her daily walk about 4:30 a.m. Sunday when she felt something hit against the back of her leg. She turned around and standing behind her, in the dusky dark, was a coyote.” ” The other attack happened about 7 p.m. June 14. Another 69-year-old woman was bitten while she was pulling weeds from her flower bed, according to the community association’s website.” “U.S. Department of Agriculture staff trapped a coyote from the June 14 attack, according to John Welsh, spokesman for Riverside County Animal Services. The male coyote was shot and transported to a lab for testing. A California Fish & Game warden used a M14 Carbine rifle to shoot and kill a female coyote within the area where the victim was bitten Sunday. Initial tests indicate both coyotes are negative for rabies, said California Department of Fish & Game spokesman Andrew Hughan” – For complete article see|head

Virginia 06/26/12 Suffolk: Mosquitoes in several areas of Suffolk have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a disease that can be transmitted to horses and humans. The city’s Mosquito Control Division has found mosquitoes infected with the disease in the Lake Kennedy, Wonderland Forest, Dayle Acres, Bennett’s Harbor and Huntersville neighborhoods, as well as in the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge. – See

California 06/26/12 Anaheim, Orange County: Vector control officials are warning the public that routine testing of mosquitoes last week have shown the first signs of West Nile Virus in the county this year. – See

Louisiana 06/26/12 Terrebonne Parish: For the third time in the last three weeks, mosquitoes in the parish have tested positive for the West Nile virus. The latest positive tests were from samples in the Crozies zone in Dularge, New Orleans Boulevard in Houma and again in Oaklawn Subdivision, which first tested positive on June 8. – See

Pennsylvania 06/26/12 Allegheny County: Residents in Dormont, Brookline and throughout the North and South Hills are being urged to check their property for standing water, which could become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Since May ten mosquitoes testing positive for the West Nile virus have been collected in various neighborhoods. – See

Virginia 06/26/12 Fairfax County: Four positive pools of mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus have been detected in the county. – See

Florida 06/25/12 Jacksonville, Duval County: The first rabies alert of the year has been issued for the Greenland section of Mandarin, and remains in effect until Thursday, Sept. 20. The rabies alert area is bordered on the north by Columbia Park Drive at Columbia Park Drive West; on the south by Old St. Augustine Road at Interstate 95; on the west by Falbridge Court at I-95, and east by Greenland Chase Boulevard and Hazelmoor Court. The alert is the result of the discovery of a rabid fox in the area, and humans had been exposed to the animal, according to the Duval County Health Department. – See

Virginia 06/25/12 Newport News: Authorities are looking for the dog that bit a four-year-old girl in the face on Saturday. Animal Control officers say it happened at a yard sale on Scottland Terrace in the Riverside area. Investigators say the owner had two dogs on leashes but wasn’t holding the leash of the dog that attacked.  They say the owner grabbed the dog, stated it was current on it rabies vaccination and left. The dog could be an Australian Cattle Dog or a Blue Heeler. If it’s not located, the child will have to go through a series of rabies shots. “We were asking her about it again, and she said ‘I want to stop talking about it because I’m scared’ and she said ‘I had a bad dream about it last night,'” said the child’s father Colin Christopher. Anyone has information on these dogs should call Animal Services at (757) 595-PETS or (757) 595-7387.

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending June 9, 2012:

Published June 15, 2012/ 61(23); ND-311-ND-324

Anaplasmosis . . . 10 . . . New York (9), Rhode Island,

Babesiosis . . . 1 . . . California,

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

Ehrlichiosis . . . 13 . . . Arkansas (5), Missouri (4), New York, Rhode Island, Virginia (2),

Giardiasis . . . 117 . . . Alabama (3), California (17), Connecticut, Florida (18), Idaho (4), Iowa, Maine, Maryland (3), Missouri (7), Nevada (2), New York (16), Ohio (17), Oregon (3), Pennsylvania (7), South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, Washington (14),

Hansen Disease (Leprosy) . . . 1 . . . Florida, 

Hantavirus . . . 2 . . . New Mexico, Utah,

HME/HGE Undetermined . . . 2 . . . New York, 

Lyme Disease . . .  127. . .  Connecticut, (3), Delaware (6), Florida (4), Maine, Maryland (20), New Jersey, New York (39), Pennsylvania (37), Vermont (7), Virginia (9),

Psittacosis . . . 1 . . . Pennsylvania,

Rabies (Animal) . . . 63. . . Alabama, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland (9), Missouri, New York (12), Ohio (3), Oregon (2), Texas (7), Virginia (23), West Virginia (2),

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Confirmed) . . . 4. . . Missouri (2), New York, Virginia,

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 21 . . . Arkansas (2), Maryland, Missouri (4), Tennessee (7), Virginia (7),

Trichinosis . . . 1 . . . New York,

Tularemia . . . 2 . . . Idaho, Kentucky.

U.S. FOREST officials close another campground in ARIZONA after third BEAR attack in two months ~ FOLLOW-UP REPORT: Two BEARS linked to ARIZONA attacks killed ~ OREGON park officials investigate report of COYOTE attacking 5-year-old ~ SOUTH DAKOTA officer shoots MOUNTAIN LION in a family’s work shed ~ LOUISIANA parish finds 29 MOSQUITO pools infected with WEST NILE VIRUS ~ Four NEW JERSEY family members exposed to RABIES by helping injured CAT ~ PENNSYLVANIA county reports BAT and RACCOON with RABIES.

Black Bear. Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Arizona 06/24/12 by Deborah Stocks, Tim Vetscher, & Christopher Sign – Officials say a Tempe man was injured in a bear attack outside Payson Sunday morning. The Arizona Game and Fish Department says this is the third bear incident in the area within a month. Officials said the 30-year-old man was air-lifted to a Scottsdale hospital with lacerations and bite wounds to his head and arm and possibly his legs. “He had a large spot on the right side of his head that was just a mess, but he was alert and talking which was amazing,” said Carly Stoltenberg, a Gilbert resident who saw the black bear shortly before it attacked the man. Witnesses say the bear crushed the man’s tent around 4:45 a.m. “It was chaos,” said Stoltenberg who was camping nearby when the bear attack happened. “It didn’t seem real.” The man’s fiancée and a one-year-old child were able to escape unharmed and warn other campers in the area. Stoltenberg tells ABC15 her husband grabbed his gun and another man with him fired several shots at the bear at close range. The bear left the area and Stoltenberg says it’s unlikely the bear was hit by any of the bullets. U.S. Forest personnel evacuated the campground and wildlife officers from the Arizona Game and Fish Department and personnel from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services are currently searching for the bear. – For complete article see

Follow-Up Report:

Arizona 06/25/12 by Chelsey Davis – State authorities hunted down two bears and shot them to death Sunday night in the Tonto National Forest following three attacks of people in the Payson area in the past month, officials said. Two packs of hound dogs picked up the scents of two bears near the campgrounds of the recent attacks, according to Jim Paxon, a spokesman for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. One male black bear was found one mile below Ponderosa Campground and one large adult female was found in Hellsgate Wilderness, Paxon said. The hounds chased the bears into trees and officials shot and killed both of the bears, Paxon said. “The scent picked up so close to the campground, that proximity is an indication that’s one of the bears we’re looking for,” Paxon said. “People get into wildlife profession because they love wildlife, but our priority is public safety.” There’s a possibility as many as three bears are responsible for the attacks. “We won’t know that until we crosscheck the DNA from all three victims and the hairs and saliva from the bears off the victims,” Paxon said. – For complete article see

Oregon 06/22/12 A 5-year-old girl’s encounter with a coyote at Nehalem Bay State Park now has park officials posting warning signs around the campground. The girl’s family had just finished watching the sunset on the beach at the park Thursday night. They began walking back along the trail that leads to the campground when an animal they believe was a coyote confronted them. During the encounter with the coyote, the girl suffered injuries when she was attacked, but state park representatives wouldn’t go so far as to say she was bit by the animal. The girl’s parents took her to Providence Seaside Hospital, where she was treated and released. Park workers are posting signs around the campground where the incident happened and they’re alerting people about the potential for future encounters. They’re also working with wildlife authorities to determine if it’s necessary to trap and remove coyotes from the area. State parks spokesperson Chris Havel said it’s the first recorded coyote attack in Oregon State Park’s history.

South Dakota 06/24/12 A mountain lion has been put down after injuring a family pet in Rapid City. The Rapid City Journal reports ( that police called to the residence Saturday morning found the lion hiding in a machine shed. A state Game Fish & Parks officer made the decision to put down the 1-year-old, female cat, and a police officer shot it with a rifle, police said. The residents were working in the shed about 9:45 a.m. when their dog started making noise about something in the back of the building, police said. The owners found the “very thin” mountain lion in the shed and called law enforcement. The cat swiped at the family’s dog, causing minor injuries to the animal, police said.- For complete report see

Louisiana 06/22/12 Ouachita Parish: No less than 29 mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile virus and the Mosquito Abatement District has been giving them all they got. Rider said the 29 pools represented 11 locations, collected June 13 through Tuesday. She said the locations of these pools were in the Garden District of northern Monroe, in northern Monroe between Forsythe Avenue and the Ouachita River, also in the northern Monroe area near U.S. 165 and Ferrand Street, River Oaks subdivision and near Lakeshore subdivision. In West Monroe, the positive mosquito pools are between the First Baptist Church of West Monroe and West Monroe High School, between Wallace Dean Road and Ole Highway 15, near the intersection of Cypress Street and Warren Drive, near Hidden Lakes subdivision, Darbonne Hills subdivision, and the Cheniere Drew Road area. – See

New Jersey 06/23/12 Vineland, Cumberland County: At least four members of a family who reached out to assist an injured cat are now being treated for rabies exposure, according to city health officials. Earlier this month a woman found an injured cat in the road and brought it into her home to care for it. It appeared to be recovering, but on June 9 its behavior turned aggressive. Following a second vet exam it was sent to the state for testing. – See

Pennsylvania 06/23/12 Erie County: by Ashley Doerzbacher – Two cases of rabies have been discovered locally. The first was found in the 500 block of West 10th Street in Erie when a homeowner found a bat inside their home. A local nuisance wildlife officer captured the creature but was bitten. The bat tested positive for rabies. 3 people are being treated in that case. And also on Kinter Road in Edinboro, a raccoon found in a homeowners yard tested positive for rabies. No one was exposed to this case. – See

ARIZONA man bitten by BLACK BEAR while sleeping in cabin ~ COLORADO confirms SQUIRREL positive for BUBONIC PLAGUE ~ LA & TX report HUMAN cases of WEST NILE VIRUS while CA, & PA (2) report MOSQUITO infections ~ 59 ALABAMANS potentially exposed to RABIES thru contact with two infected baby ANIMALS ~ Other RABIES reports from CA, CO (2), NE, NC (2), & PA.

Black bear. Photo by Buncombe County, North Carolina.

Arizona 06/22/12 Tonto Village, Gila County – An Arizona man was injured last night when a bear bit his lower leg while he was sleeping on a cot in a cabin under construction in Tonto Village, east of Payson. The bear entered the unfinished cabin and climbed on top of the man, biting him through his pajamas. The man moved and yelled. The bear ran off, but lingered in the nearby area for approximately 45 minutes. One other man was present at the cabin when the incident occurred. Based on the bite mark measurements, Arizona Game and Fish Department officers believe the bear was a large adult male. Game and Fish officers will continue to investigate the incident and will set culvert traps in the vicinity to attempt to capture the bear. The department is also working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services to track the bear. “Due to the predatory nature and bold behavior of this bear, extensive effort will be extended to attempt to locate the animal for the public’s safety, which is our top priority,” said Rod Lucas, regional supervisor for Game and Fish. “With the state’s drought and scarce food resources, more and more wildlife are moving into areas that are on the fringe of wildlands looking for food. Bears are particularly attracted to areas where humans are because of the often easy access to garbage, food and gardens.” If the offending bear is captured, it will be lethally removed because of the aggressive, predatory behavior it demonstrated and the need for disease testing. Tonto Village is approximately one mile from the campground where a bear entered a tent and clawed a woman on May 31, 2012. The woman’s injuries were non-life-threatening. Despite tracking and trapping efforts by Game and Fish and Wildlife Services, that bear was never trapped.

Colorado 06/21/12 Idledale, Jefferson County – Public health officials have confirmed that a squirrel has tested positive for bubonic plague, a highly infectious bacterial disease carried by various types of wild rodents and transmitted primarily by flea bites. – For complete article and precautions see

Louisiana 06/22/12 St. Bernard Parish: The first human victim of West Nile Virus in the parish this year was unaware of having contracted the disease and learned of it while donating blood. – See

Texas 06/22/12 Northern Tier: Officials in Dallas, Tarrant, Denton, and Collin counties confirm human cases of West Nile Virus have been already been reported this year. They also say batches of disease-carrying mosquitoes have tested positive for the virus across North Texas. – See,0,3974509.story

California 06/22/12 The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District: Numerous mosquito samples and dead birds have tested positive for West Nile Virus. – See

Pennsylvania 06/22/12 Wynnewood, Montgomery County: Mosquitoes trapped at the Remington Basin on Remington and Warick roads have tested positive for West Nile Virus. – See

Pennsylvania 06/22/12 Lancaster, Lancaster County: A mosquito caught in a trap near wetlands at the Red Rose Commons shopping center has tested positive for West Nile Virus. – See

Alabama 06/22/12 Baldwin and Walker counties: by Jeff Dute – Members of a rural Walker County family took home two baby raccoons found in a Baldwin County attic, unaware that one of them had rabies, according to information from state veterinarian Dee Jones. Those exposed to the disease — 14 people in Walker County and as many as nine in Baldwin —may be required to undergo regimens of rabies shots, he said. – See

Alabama 06/21/12 Auburn and Smiths Station, Lee County: Officials with the Lee County Humane Society and County Health Department were busy Thursday working to identify anyone who may have come in contact with an animal that tested positive for rabies earlier this week. At least two people have been exposed to the affected animal, a black-and-white, shorthair mix kitten that was picked up June 11 by Auburn Animal Control workers on District Court, said Leigh Ann Sumner, Animal Health Center manager. Sumner said the first person was exposed prior to animal control picking up the kitten. The second, a Humane Society volunteer, was bitten on June 14 while the stray was being cared for at the Auburn shelter. At least 36 people have potentially been exposed to the kitten. In an unrelated case, a second animal, an 8- to 10-week-old fox located in Smiths Station, also tested positive for rabies the same day results on the kitten were confirmed. – See

California 06/22/12 Irwindale, Los Angeles County: County health officials today urged people to contact them if they had contact with a bat found at the Santa Fe Dam Recreational Area in Irwindale earlier this month. The bat was discovered on Saturday, June 9, clinging to the side of a rock column inside the snack area near the boat and bicycle rental concession, according to the health department. A crowd of people, including children, were gathered around the bat for about a half hour before park officials intervened. The bat was captured, and it tested positive for rabies. “It is very important that any individuals who touched or had contact with this bat contact our department,” said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the county’s director of public health. “We can help determine if you will need to receive urgent rabies preventive treatment.” Anyone who may have come in contact with the bat was urged to call the county’s Acute Communicable Disease Control office at (213) 240-7941.

Colorado 06/21/12 Milliken, Weld County: A skunk discovered walking in circles during daylight hours on June 14th has tested positive for rabies. – See

Colorado 06/21/12 Las Animas, Otero County: Public health officials have confirmed that a cow has tested positive for rabies. – See

Nebraska 06/21/12 Wauneta, Dundy County: On May 30th a dog, presented to Dr. Steve Pollmann of the Southwestern Veterinary Services, tested positive for rabies. – See

North Carolina 06/21/12 Hillsborough, Orange County: A dead raccoon found by two Chapel Hill residents near Miller and Baldwin roads in Hillsborough has tested positive for rabies. – See

North Carolina 06/21/12 Hubert, Onslow County: A fox that attacked and bit a resident on Monday has tested positive for rabies. – See

Pennsylvania 06/21/12 Cranberry, Allegheny County: Two residents of Crossing Ridge Trail are being treated for exposure to rabies after two bats that entered their home through a fireplace tested positive for the virus.- See

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