58 WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) related deaths in the U.S. so far this year ~ RABBIT FEVER cases continue to rise in COLORADO ~ Study finds LYME DISEASE infected TICKS and MAMMALS in NEW YORK’s Adirondack Park ~ CATS three times more likely to contract RABIES than DOGS ~ Other RABIES reports from GA, NC, OH, SD, VA & CANADA: ONT.

West Nile Virus Activity by State – United States, 2014 (as of October 28, 2014)

West Nile Virus Activity by State – United States, 2014 (as of October 28, 2014)

National 10/30/14 outbreaknewstoday.com: by Robert Herriman – Just to keep things in perspective in the United States, the mosquito borne virus that originated in Africa, West Nile virus (WNV) has killed 1,668 people from its first appearance in  the states in 1999 through 2013. That’s 111 fatalities per year average for a disease that prior to 1999, the vast, I mean vast majority of Americans had no clue existed. During that period we saw some 40,000 human cases of the disease as it spread across the nation and as far north as Canada. We’ve had some mild years and some pretty severe years–almost 10,000 cases nationwide were seen in 2003, while two years ago, the state of Texas saw almost 2,000 cases alone. Currently, the number of human WNV cases stands, ironically at 1,668 as of Oct. 28, including 58 deaths. California to date is 2012’s Texas, leading the nation in both cases (654) and deaths (22).

wnv1_clip_image002First discovered in Uganda in 1937, West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne disease that can cause encephalitis, a brain inflammation. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all. Up to 20 percent of the people who become infected have symptoms such as fever, headache, and body aches, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes swollen lymph glands or a skin rash on the chest, stomach and back. Symptoms can last for as short as a few days, though even healthy people have become sick for several weeks. About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. These symptoms may last several weeks, and neurological effects may be permanent. There is no specific treatment for WNV infection. WNV is indigenous to Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia and now North America. – See http://outbreaknewstoday.com/west-nile-virus-deaths-in-us-now-58-15228/

TULAREMIA aka RABBIT FEVER:

A Mountain Cottontail rabbit.

A Mountain Cottontail rabbit.

COLORADO 10/27/14 cpr.org. by Pat Mack – The number of human cases of the bacterial disease, tularemia, continues to rise in Colorado. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment now reports 12 confirmed cases of the disease also known as ‘rabbit fever’ so far this year, with many more suspected. Normally, the state sees four cases a year. “We haven’t seen this many tularemia cases in Colorado since the 1980s,” said State Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Jennifer House. “Historically, we see cases of tularemia in hunters, and the disease is so widespread this year, we want to make sure our hunters understand the risks.” The state health department believes tularemia may have spread to 30 counties in the state. Health officials say people can get the disease if they handle infected animals like rabbits and rodents, or are bitten by infected ticks or deer flies. Hunters are most at risk when skinning game and preparing and eating the meat. – For complete article and precautions see http://www.cpr.org/news/story/state-rabbit-fever-cases-spiking-hunters-should-take-care

LYME DISEASE:

T_lyme_disease518d6New York 10/23/14 adirondackalmanack.com: by Mike Lynch – Researchers from Paul Smith’s College are finding Lyme Disease in ticks and small mammals in the Adirondack Park. Paul Smith’s College professor Lee Ann Sporn is heading her college’s involvement in a Lyme Disease study that includes the state Department of Health and Trudeau Institute in Saranac Lake. Trudeau is working to develop a vaccine for Lyme, while Sporn and students are monitoring the disease by testing mammals and ticks for it. Researchers hope to get a better understanding of the biology of the disease, where it is found geographically, and what factors are influencing its spread. So far, Sporn said that some of the test results have surprised her, including that a high percentage (eight of twelve) of small mammals tested positive for Lyme Disease in Schroon Lake.  The animals — mainly mice, shrews and voles — were trapped in the wild

paulsmiths-logoOther results include five of eight animals in Queensbury testing positive. Further south outside the Park, four of twelve animals in the Albany Pine Bush Preserve were found with Lyme. Up north, two of twenty-two small mammals in Paul Smith’s tested positive, while one of twenty-seven animals from Black Brook were found with Lyme. Paul Smiths, located 10 miles north of Saranac Lake, is at an elevation of roughly 1,650 feet, the highest site in the study. “We were surprised to find positive animals at Paul Smiths and at Black Brook because we’re out in the field all of the time, and we’ve never seen deer ticks here,” Sporn said. “We thought this would be our negative, but it wasn’t. So now that we do know there were positive ticks here, we are talking about looking at higher elevations.” – For complete article see http://www.adirondackalmanack.com/2014/10/researchers-finding-lyme-disease-in-adirondacks.html

RABIES:

Cat-And-Dog-Wallpaper-91National 10/23/14 myedmondsnews.com: It is now clear that in the U.S. cats are more often diagnosed with rabies than dogs. The number of verified cases of rabies in cats has increased and now there are three times as many cat cases reported compared to the diagnosis in dogs. The AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) says that approximately 34-37 percent of families or individuals with pet cats do not take those animals to a veterinarian. The likelihood of those animals being vaccinated to prevent rabies is low to nonexistent. At least a third of all cats not vaccinated? That is a troubling statistic made even more so by cat owners who do take their animals to a veterinarian but have failed to have them vaccinated against rabies. This is not a rare disease. In 2010 fewer cases of rabies were reported compared to previous years in the U.S., but there were 6,153 cases in animals from 48 states and Puerto Rico verified. Raccoons were most commonly diagnosed (36.5 percent), skunks (23.5 percent), bats (25.2 percent), foxes (7.0 percent) and the rest in other species including some rodents. Domestic animals accounted for 8 percent of all verified cases and we still have two or three cases in humans every year. – For complete article see http://myedmondsnews.com/2014/10/ask-edmonds-vet-cats-rabies/

Georgia 10/29/14 Fulton County: A case of rabies has been confirmed in Roswell. What’s concerning is that it was found in a cat. Channel 2’s Wendy Corona visited the vet who saw it firsthand and says there may be a bigger issue. Dr. Michael Ray took a feral cat in last Tuesday. That cat was known to live out in the woods with no human contact. Ray said the man who brought the cat in told him the cat just let herself be taken,  which was strange to him. “But even more disturbing than that was how she was behaving. This is a cat that really couldn’t be touched and she was nonresponsive,” Ray said. After further examination, the feral cat appeared to have paralytic rabies. She was euthanized and days later a test confirmed rabies. Ray says it’s the first case he has seen in a cat from that area in his 18-year career. “I would be concerned about maybe a rabid fox, or rabid skunk or rabid raccoon,” he said. Corona visited the area near Holcomb Bridge Road where the cat was found and saw other cats near homes and one in the woods. This case brings attention the need to vaccinate pets for their security. – For complete article see http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/rabies-found-cat-roswell/nhtz8/

North Carolina 10/29/14 Wilkes County: Two young children and others are receiving post-exposure prophylaxis rabies shots after a stray cat that appeared in the Byrd Ridge Road area off N.C. 18 North tested positive for rabies, said Wilkes Animal Control Director Junior Simmons. Simmons said a person who lives on Byrd Ridge Road called the Wilkes Animal Shelter Saturday to report that the male long haired blue-gray cat had bitten a young child and that the cat appeared to be injured. He said an animal control officer picked up the cat but that it couldn’t be sent to the state lab in Raleigh for testing until Monday. The cat was euthanized on Monday and sent that day and results showing it had rabies came back Tuesday. Animal control officers learned that another young child on Byrd Ridge Road had been bitten by the cat. Simmons said this other child and several other people who had contact with the cat in the Byrd Ridge Road area are getting post-exposure prophylaxis rabies shots. So far 21 people need to be assessed to determine if they need post-exposure prophylaxis rabies shots. Several pet dogs and cats that may have had contact with the rabid cat were euthanized at the request of owners and others have been quarantined to see if they have rabies. – For complete article see http://www.journalpatriot.com/news/article_4c745c0c-5f9b-11e4-help984-05834a922-001a4bcf6878.html

Ohio 10/29/14 Tuscarawas County: The New Philadelphia City Health Department is looking for a dark gray/tiger cat with a red collar that was in the vicinity of the 500 block of Fourth Street NW, between Minnich Avenue and Park Avenue NW. The cat bit a woman Wednesday. Because of that, the cat needs to be in rabies quarantine until Nov. 8. If the cat cannot be located for observation, the woman likely will need to undergo post-exposure rabies inoculations. If anyone has any information concerning this cat or its whereabouts, contact the New Philadelphia City Health Department at 330-364-4491, ext. 208; the New Philadelphia Police Department at 330-343-4488 or the Tuscarawas County Dog Warden at 330-339-2616. – See http://www.timesreporter.com/articlehelp984-05834/20141029/NEWS/141029151/10675/NEWS

South Dakota 10/31/14 Minnehaha County: Sioux Falls police are asking for the public’s help in finding a six month old Chocolate Labrador that bit a 4-year-old Tuesday at Menlo Park. The incident happened about 5:30 p.m. The dog ran into the park and bit the child, then ran to the east, police said. Police are attempting to find the dog to verify rabies vaccination. Anyone who sees a dog matching the description is asked to call police. – See http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/crime/2014/10/31/police-searching-dog-bit-year-old/18257543/

Virginia 10/29/14 Warren County: by Josette Keelor – A cat in Warren County has tested positive for rabies. On Oct. 15, the cat, described as a domestic short hair, yellow and white in color, attacked three people in the vicinity of Va. 649 or Browntown Road and Va. 622 Buck Mountain Road/Liberty Hall Road, according to a news release from the Warren County Health Department. This is the fifth cat that has tested positive for rabies in Warren County this year. – For complete article see http://www.nvdaily.com/news/2014/10/confirmed-warren-county-rabies-case-reminds-of-risk.php

Canada:

page_grey_bruce_health_unit_logo_28Ontario 10/29/14 Bruce County: The Grey Bruce Health Unit is asking for the public’s help in tracking down a dog involved in a biting incident. It happened Monday at about 9:30 AM as a man walked on Huron Terrace Road where it becomes Penatangore Row in Kincardine. He was bitten by a dog being walked by a young man. The dog is described as a medium-sized brown and tan mixed breed. The victim couldn’t get any information from the owner. Staff of the Grey Bruce Health Unit need to confirm the dog is not infectious with rabies. By verifying the health of the dog, the victim can avoid receiving the post-exposure rabies treatment. If you have any information about the incident, you are asked to contact the Grey Bruce Health Unit at 519-376-9420. – See http://www.bayshorebroadcasting.ca/news_item.php?NewsID=70254

Study projects how EBOLA VIRUS will spread ~ Promising EBOLA VACCINE abandoned a decade ago ~ NEW YORK & NEW JERSEY to quarantine all travelers with EBOLA contacts ~ CANADIAN killed when GRIZZLY invades cabin ~ First case of CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE found in OHIO captive DEER ~ FLORIDIAN contracts ST. LOUIS ENCEPHALITIS ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) reports from CA, LA, PA & SD ~ COYOTE attacks weed eater before biting NORTH CAROLINA MAN and other RABIES reports from CA & NC.

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Global 10/20/14 wsj.com: by Gautam Naik – Up to three Ebola-infected people could embark on overseas flights every month from the three most-affected African countries, according to a new study that projected travel patterns based on infection rates and recent flight schedules. The findings, published Monday in the journal Lancet, suggest that Ebola cases could be spread overseas by unwitting travelers from the worst-hit countries—Guinea, Liberia and Sierra who-logoLeone. The World Health Organization has estimated that, by early December, there could be as many as 10,000 new cases a week in west Africa. The upshot is “that controlling the outbreak at the source is the most important thing that needs to happen” to prevent the international spread of the ECE_522805_St-MichaelsHospitalvirus, said Kamran Khan, an infectious disease physician at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and lead author of the study.

Dr. Kamran Khan

Dr. Kamran Khan

The researchers’ analysis assumed no exit screening in the airports of the three African nations. In reality, exit screenings occur, but the authors contend that this doesn’t change their conclusion because screenings can miss travelers who don’t yet show signs of Ebola. A person can incubate the virus for up to 21 days without exhibiting signs of the disease. – For complete article see http://online.wsj.com/articles/ebola-study-projects-spread-of-virus-on-overseas-flights-1413846023?tesla=y

Money-vaccineGlobal 10/23/14 nytimes.com: by Denise Grady – Almost a decade ago, scientists from Canada and the United States reported that they had created a vaccine that was 100 percent effective in protecting monkeys against the Ebola virus. The results were published in a respected journal, and health officials called them exciting. The researchers said tests in people might start within two years, and a product could potentially be ready for licensing by 2010 or 2011. It never happened. The vaccine sat on a shelf. Only now is it undergoing the most basic safety tests in humans — with nearly 5,000 people dead from Ebola and an epidemic raging out of control in West Africa. Its development stalled in part because Ebola is rare, and until now, outbreaks had infected only a few hundred people at a time. But experts also acknowledge that the absence of follow-up on such a promising candidate reflects a broader failure to produce medicines and vaccines for diseases that afflict poor countries. Most drug companies have resisted spending the enormous sums needed to develop products useful mostly to countries with little ability to pay. – For complete article see http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/24/health/without-lucrative-market-potential-ebola-vaccine-was-shelved-for-years.html?emc=edit_tnt_20141023&nlid=57949252&tntemail0=y

0New York/New Jersey 10/24/14 medscape.com: by Robert Lowes – In the wake of New York City’s first Ebola case, New York and New Jersey will quarantine all healthcare workers arriving at two key airports from Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia for 21 days if they have treated patients with the deadly virus in those countries. The quarantine will extend to all travelers from the three countries who have had direct contact with an infected individual. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced the decision to impose quarantines this afternoon. Calls for this stringent measure have grown louder since Craig Spencer, MD, tested positive for the Ebola virus yesterday after he returned to New York City on October 17 from an assignment with Doctors Without Borders in Guinea. – For complete article see http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/833879?src=wnl_edit_newsal&uac=218349HV

Quarantine-Sign-NHE-18384_600Blog Author’s Note: Definitely a step in the right direction, but the people of the U.S. would be much better served if all travelers from Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia using all modes of transportation were quarantined for 21 days under penalty of prison terms and/or deportation. In addition, all commercial flights to and from these countries should be stopped until the virus is no longer a threat. Healthcare workers and other emergency personnel could travel in and out of these countries on military flights, which would also provide an optimal level of control. Yes, this would be costly to enforce, but if we can spend trillions protecting the American public from terrorists, we can afford a comparative pittance to protect them from the Ebola virus, which at the current survival rate could wipe out half of the U.S. population.

BEAR ATTACK:

Canada:

1306540277907_ORIGINAL.gRIZZLY.Yukon Territory 10/21/14 calgarysun.com: Claudia Huber, 42, a native of Switzerland and naturalized Canadian, died on October 18th as a result of injuries sustained when she was mauled by a 170 kg. older, male grizzly near her home in Johnsons Crossing, about 136 km southeast of Whitehorse. The grizzly climbed through a rear window into her cabin when Claudia and her husband, Matthias Liniger, fled but the grizzly caught up with Claudia. Matthias shot the grizzly, but not before Claudia was badly mauled. A little later that day, some 50 km away in theTeslin health center, Claudia died. The couple has lived in Johnsons Crossing since they came to Canada from Switzerland eight years ago to start a year-round adventure touring company offering like-minded Europeans an opportunity to experience their isolated lifestyle in the Canadian wilderness for short periods of time. – For complete article see http://www.calgarysun.com/2014/10/20/claudia-was-my-soulmate-says-husband-of-grizzly-attack-victim

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE:

whitetail deer 3Ohio 10/25/14 OH Dept of Natural Resources: Media Release – State officials have confirmed the first positive case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in the state in a captive deer herd in Holmes County. The state continues to take quarantine action to control the further spread of the disease. There is no evidence that CWD has affected the wild deer population in the state. The positive sample was taken from a single buck on a hunting preserve in Millersburg and tested as part of Ohio’s CWD monitoring program for captive white-tailed deer operations. The preserve had been under quarantine since April 24, 2014, and was subject to intensive monitoring and sampling protocols because of a known connection to a captive deer operation in Pennsylvania that tested positive for CWD earlier this year. The quarantine will remain enforced until the state is satisfied that disease transference can no longer occur. The disease is fatal in deer, elk and moose, but there is no evidence CWD can be transmitted to humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The World Health Organization. Though no human disease has been associated with CWD, the CDC recommends, as a precaution, that people or other animals do not eat any part of an animal diagnosed with or showing signs of CWD. – For complete release see http://ohiodnr.gov/news/post/first-case-of-chronic-wasting-disease-confirmed-in-ohio-on-private-preserve

ST. LOUIS ENCEPHALITIS:

Mosquito_08849rt77Florida 10/22/14 Duval County: A 58-year-old female resident of the county contracted St. Louis Encephalitis but has fully recovered following treatment. This is the first human case of the mosquito-borne virus reported in the state of Florida since 2003. – See http://members.jacksonville.com/news/health-and-fitness/2014-10-22/story/first-st-louis-encephalitis-case-florida-03-found-duval

WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV):

imagesCACMXFDXCalifornia 10/24/14 CA Dept of Public Health: Media Release - There were 46 new WNV human cases reported in California this week from the following counties: Colusa (1), Kern (1), Los Angeles (23), Orange (15), Placer (2), San Diego (1), Stanislaus (2), and Yolo (1). Twenty WNV-related fatalities have been reported to CDPH from ten local health jurisdictions: Glenn (1), Long Beach City (2), Los Angeles (3), Orange (5), Placer (1), Sacramento (2), Shasta (1), Stanislaus (2), Sutter (2), and Tehama (1). Six hundred and eight (608) human cases from 29 counties have tested positive for WNV thus far in 2014. – See http://westnile.ca.gov/

Louisiana 10/17/14 LA Dept of Health & Hospitals: Media Release – Officials have confirmed two (2) new cases of WNV this week, but no new deaths. One (1) new case with fever was reported from Caddo Parish and one (1) new case with fever was reported from East Baton Rouge Parish. – For summary see http://www.dhh.state.la.us/assets/docs/SurveillanceReports/wnv/weekly2014/ARBO_1441.pdf

Pennsylvania 10/18/14 PA Dept of Health: The number of WNV cases statewide has now reached seven and Philadelphia has recorded  the first WNV-related fatality this year. – For a summary see http://www.westnile.state.pa.us/

South Dakota 10/22/14 SD Dept of Health: Media Release – 57 human cases of WNV disease have been reported statewide.   Status:  meningitis/encephalitis 21%, fever 79%; hospitalized 25%; deaths 0.   Counties with cases:  Beadle, Brown(6), Charles Mix(2), Codington(5), Day, Dewey(3), Edmunds(2), Faulk, Grant(2), Hamlin(3), Hand, Hanson, Harding, Hughes(4), Hutchinson, Jackson, Lawrence, Lincoln(3), Marshall, McPherson, Meade(2), Minnehaha(5), Sanborn, Shannon(2), Spink, Tripp, Union(3) and Walworth. – See http://doh.sd.gov/documents/diseases/WNVupdate10-24.pdf

RABIES:

HelpCalifornia 10/23/14 San Diego County: On Tuesday, a bat found near Pizza Nova on North Twin Oaks Road (in San Marcos) was found to be positive for rabies, according to county health officials. Five children spotted the bat under a tree near the restaurant a few days before the County Public Health Laboratory’s rabies result was confirmed. Concerns are that the children or others may have touched the bat, possibly exposing them to the disease. The county is looking for help in finding the five children and any others that might have been in the area and have come into contact with the animal, according to Craig Sturak, communications officer with the County Health and Human Services Agency. Contact the County’s Health and Human Services Agency by calling (619) 692-8499. – See https://thecoastnews.com/2014/10/county-looking-for-kids-that-may-have-handled-rabid-bat/

4904540_GNorth Carolina 10/17/14 tryondailyubulletin.com: by Leah Justice – A man weed eating his yard last Thursday evening was attacked by what he reported to be a coyote, according to Polk County Animal Control. Officers from the sheriff’s office said the man was weed eating around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16 on King Stepp Road, off Grassy Knob Road (in Sunny View), when all of a sudden, the animal attacked the weed eater, then bit the man on the leg. The man immediately went to the hospital, where he received rabies shots and several stitches in his leg. Officers described it as a substantial wound. The man described the animal as a small coyote. The coyote was not captured. – See complete article at: http://www.tryondailybulletin.com/2014/10/17/sunny-view-man-attacked-by-suspected-rabid-coyote/#sthash.gcecZrlx.dpuf

North Carolina 10/23/14 Randolph County: A stray cat found in the vicinity of Robbins Farm and Kennedy roads in Trinity has tested positive for rabies. – See http://myfox8.com/2014/10/23/cat-in-trinity-area-tests-positive-for-rabies/

THE EBOLA WARS – Highly recommended article in The New Yorker

_77059352_ebola-outbreakGlobal 10/27/14 newyorker.com: by Richard Preston – “The Ebola Wars: How genomics research can help contain the outbreak.” Notable excerpts: “The most dangerous outbreak of an emerging infectious disease since the appearance of H.I.V., in the early nineteen-eighties, seems to have begun on December 6, 2013, in the village of Meliandou, in Guinea, in West Africa, with the death of a two-year-old boy who was suffering from diarrhea and a fever. We now know that he was infected with Ebola virus. The virus is a parasite that lives, normally, in some as yet unidentified creature in the ecosystems of equatorial Africa. This creature is the natural host of Ebola; it could be a type of fruit bat, or some small animal that lives on the body of a bat—possibly a bloodsucking insect, a tick, or a mite.”

“Health authorities in Europe and the United States seem equipped to prevent Ebola from starting uncontrolled chains of infection in those regions, but they worry about what could happen if Ebola got into a city like Lagos, in Nigeria, or Kolkata, in India. The number of people who are currently sick with Ebola is unknown, but almost nine thousand cases, including forty-five hundred deaths, have been reported so far, with the number of cases doubling about every three weeks.”

“The virus is believed to be transmitted, in particular, through contact with sweat and blood, which contain high concentrations of Ebola particles. People with Ebola sweat profusely, and in some instances they have internal hemorrhages, along with effusions of vomit and diarrhea containing blood.”

“In what’s known as droplet infection, the virus can travel inside droplets of fluid released into the air when, for example, a person coughs. The droplets travel only a few feet and soon fall to the ground. . . . A rule of thumb among Ebola experts is that, if you are not wearing biohazard gear, you should stand at least six feet away from an Ebola patient, as a precaution against flying droplets.”

“Some patients with Ebola become disoriented, struggle and thrash, and fall out of bed. They can get a bloody nose, which makes them sneeze. They can have projectile vomiting, and they can cough while they are vomiting. Some become incontinent, and all the fluids that come out of their bodies are increasingly saturated with Ebola particles.”

“(Drs.) Gire and Sabeti’s group also found that the virus had started in one person. It could have been the little boy in Meliandou, but there is no way to tell for sure right now”

“In addition to many drug candidates, there are vaccines in development.”

Author’s Note: If Ebola experts recommend a six-foot clearance from Ebola patients to avoid flying droplets from a coughing, sneezing or vomiting Ebola-infected passenger, and if these infected individuals develop diarrhea and become incontinent and could possibly contaminate toilet and even passenger seats, how can it possibly be safe to fly on any commercial aircraft? And as long as people coming into the U.S. from Ebola-endemic countries are not quarantined for a period of 21 days, how can passenger trains and commercial buses be safe?

This is a rather lengthy and very moving article about the heroes on the front line in the war against Ebola and well worth reading.

For complete article see http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/10/27/ebola-wars

Invasive MOSQUITO threatens southern CALIFORNIA with exotic viruses ~ CALIFORNIA county issues HANTAVIRUS ALERT ~ NEW HAMPSHIRE reports third HUMAN CASE of EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS (EEE) and second EEE fatality ~ GEORGIAN scratched by RABID STRAY CAT.

Aedes Aegypti or Yellow Fever Mosquito. Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Aedes Aegypti or Yellow Fever Mosquito. Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture.

California 10/16/14 capitalpress.com: Officials have confirmed that the black-and-white striped Aedes aegypti or yellow fever mosquito was found last week in Commerce and Pico Rivera east of Los Angeles. Last year the species was found in other parts of the state including the Central Coast and Central Valley. The mosquito is aggressive, is active during daylight hours, and is capable of transmitting the yellow, dengue and chikungunya fever viruses, though none of these diseases have been reported in Los Angeles County. – See http://www.capitalpress.com/California/20141016/yellow-fever-mosquito-reaches-southern-california

HANTAVIRUS:

Deer mouse

Deer mouse

California 10/17/14 San Diego County News Center: Media Release – A North American deer mouse trapped in routine monitoring in a rural part of Fallbrook has tested positive for hantavirus, and County officials are reminding people to be careful if they ever have to clean up mice or rodent nests. The mouse was the seventh rodent caught this year in the county to test positive for hantavirus, a disease that can be fatal. People have very little chance of being exposed to hantavirus, despite the fact that it is common in San Diego County, as long as wild rodents stay in the wild and don’t get inside homes, garages, sheds and cabins. However, people can be exposed if they sweep or vacuum places where infected rodents have nested. That’s because hantavirus can be inhaled if people disturb areas where dust from infected rodents, dried saliva, urine or feces can be “kicked up” into the air. “The best way to protect yourself is to avoid exposure,” said County Department of Environmental Health Director Elizabeth Pozzebon. “But if you have to clean an area where rodents have been don’t sweep or vacuum. Use wet-cleaning methods.” – For complete article and precautions see http://www.countynewscenter.com/news/deer-mouse-fallbrook-tests-positive-hantavirus

EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS (EEE):

eee-threat-249x187New Hampshire 10/15/14 NH Dept of Health: Media Release – Officials confirm the third human case of EEE in an adult resident of Manchester in Hillsborough County. The individual died in mid-September and is the second EEE-related fatality in the state so far this year. – See http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/media/pr/2014/10-oct/10152014eeecase.htm

RABIES:

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAGeorgia 10/17/14 Madison County: A stray cat that scratched the owner of property located in the 80 block of Gatewood Drive in Colbert on Oct. 4th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.madisonjournaltoday.com/archives/7241-Colbert-woman-scratched-by-rabid-cat.html

CANADA: HUNTER mauled by GRIZZLY and shot by friend in BRITISH COLUMBIA ~ TEXAS HEALTHCARE WORKER infected with EBOLA ~ Current EBOLA outbreak believed due to consumption of BAT meat ~ CDC predicts CHIKUNGUNYA VIRUS will spread in U.S. ~ MAINE reports first ever HUMAN case of EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS (EEE) and heavy increase in ANAPLASMOSIS cases ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) reports from CA, IL & SD ~ RABIES reports from AL & NJ.

Photo courtesy National Park Service.

Photo courtesy National Park Service.

British Columbia 10/12/14 globalnews.ca: by Negar Mojtahedi – A 56-year-old man has been transported by air ambulance to Calgary’s Foothills hospital after he was mauled by a grizzly bear and shot by his friend while hunting near Fernie, British Columbia. Early Sunday morning, conservation officers and emergency crews responded to reports of grizzly bear attack in the Elk Valley. “This is a somewhat remote area and there’s no history with this bear,” said Sgt. Cam Schley, a conservation officer from Cranbrook. The victim’s hunting partner shot and killed the 400 pound male grizzly bear. In the process, he accidentally shot his friend. His injuries are the result of being mauled by the animal and from gunfire. The victim’s hunting partner was not injured by the grizzly bear.

sebcmapDavid Karn, a spokesman for B.C.’s Ministry of Environment, says the victim was in stable condition when he left the area. He is currently at Foothills Medical Centre in Calgary and is now believed to be in critical condition. The two men were not hunting grizzly bears. – For video and complete article see http://globalnews.ca/news/1611225/grizzly-bear-attack-in-fernie/

EBOLA VIRUS:

EBOLA-texas-us-flag-monitorTexas 10/12/14 medpagetoday.com: by Michael Smith – A female healthcare worker who was involved in the care of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan has tested positive for the virus. The unidentified worker, who was among those monitoring themselves for possible symptoms, developed a fever Friday night and told medical staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Less than 90 minutes later, the worker was in an isolation unit at the hospital, having driven to the facility, according to Daniel Varga, MD, the chief clinical officer at Texas Health Resources. A close contact of the worker is also “proactively” in isolation, Varga told reporters at a media briefing in Dallas. In a subsequent briefing, CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, said investigators believed the worker had only the one contact during the period when she may have been infectious. Varga said the patient and her contact are being cared for in a 24-bed intensive care unit that had been cleared for use by possible Ebola patients. He said he could not discuss the other aspects of the care of the patient. Dallas County Judge Clay Lewis Jenkins the county’s chief executive, said blood tests at the state reference laboratory in Austin, using polymerase chain reaction methods, showed the worker has Ebola. A second test, at the CDC, has not yet confirmed the finding, he said, but “unfortunately, we’re confident it will be.” Frieden said results of the confirmatory test were expected later on Sunday. – For complete article see http://www.medpagetoday.com/InfectiousDisease/Ebola/48054?isalert=1&uun=g632000d2324R5753012u&utm_source=breaking-news&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=breaking-news&xid=NL_breakingnews_2014-10-12

Straw colored fruit  bat. Photo by Diana Ranslam.

Straw colored fruit bat. Photo by Diana Ranslam.

Global 10/09/14 ibtimes.co.uk: by Hannah Osborne – People in Ghana eat bats because it is a readily available source of protein as well as being a luxury food, researchers have found. Experts at the University of Cambridge and the Zoological Society of London were looking to find out why ‘bushmeat’ is so popular in the West African country despite the risks involved. Like many infections, Ebola is likely to have arisen from human interaction with wild animals. The current outbreak, which has killed almost 4,000 people, is believed to have come from hunting and eating bats. Researchers surveyed almost 600 people across Ghana to find out why the practice is so prevalent, despite the risks involved. Hunting and eating bats can lead to infection of ‘zoonotic’ pathogens, with the creatures in particular known for hosting more viruses than any other mammal. Transmission occurs from bites, scratches, bodily fluids, tissue and excrement.

Cambridge LogoFrom surveying hunters, vendors and bat meat consumZoological_Society_of_London_(logo)ad been bitten and scratched. None reported using protective equipment, such as gloves. Four of those interviewed said people fight over bats, sometimes lying over the animal while it was still alive to stop others from taking it – often resulting in injury. Bats were prepared and cooked in a variety of ways, with the most common being to smoke them and putting them in soup. Researchers said it appears bat bushmeat is both a source of sustenance and luxury food, as many hunters said they would keep their catches for themselves. Consumers reported high taste ratings and relatively high prices, suggesting it is a sought-after product. – For complete article see http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/ebola-outbreak-why-do-people-eat-bat-meat-1469295

CHIKUNGUNYA VIRUS (CHIKV):

aaCDC-LogoWestern Hemisphere 10/07/14 cdc.gov: Media Release – Since the chikv outbreak began in December 2013, nearly 750,000 cases have been reported in the Caribbean and Central, South and North America. In the United States, 1,200 travelers have imported the virus to the United States, and 11 locally transmitted cases have been reported in Florida as of September 30. The mosquitoes that can transmit chikv are common in many parts of the Americas, including the United States. CDC anticipates that the virus will continue to spread to new areas in the Americas. In the United States, CDC experts believe chikv will behave like dengue virus. Imported dengue cases have led to small, sporadic local transmission in the continental United States but have not led to widespread outbreaks. – See http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p1006-chikungunya-in-americas.html

EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS (EEE):

EEE54fgh84Maine 10/10/14 pressherald.com: A York County resident over 60 has been identified as the state’s first human case of EEE since Maine began testing for the virus in 1964. The individual fell sick in late July and was hospitalized in August, first in Maine and later in Massachusetts, but has since returned home to recuperate.- For complete article see http://www.pressherald.com/2014/10/10/first-maine-resident-tests-positive-for-eee/

ANAPLASMOSIS:

tickPreview2Maine 10/11/14 outbreaktoday.com: According to state health officials there have been 133 cases of anaplasmosis reported in the first nine months of 2014 compared to 94 cases reported during the same time period last year. That’s an increase of 39 cases, or more than 40% with three months remaining in the year. Nationally, the number of anaplasmosis cases reported to the CDC has increased from 348 cases in 2000, to 1,761 cases in 2010. The disease is tick-borne and people get the infection when bitten by an infected deer tick, the same one involved in the transmission of Lyme disease. – For complete article see http://outbreaknewstoday.com/maine-reports-dozens-more-anaplasmosis-cases-compared-to-2013-2013/

WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV):

logo_CDPH_v.1_colorCalifornia 10/08/14 CA Dept of Health: Media Release - There were 60 new WNV human cases reported in California this week from the following counties: Butte (1), Contra Costa (1), Glenn (1), Kern (2), Kings (1), Los Angeles (18), Orange (15), Riverside (4), San Bernardino (2), San Joaquin (2), Santa Clara (1), Stanislaus (3), Sutter (2), Tehama (1), Tulare (1), and Yolo (5). 16 WNV-related fatalities have been reported in to CDPH from in nine local health jurisdictions: Glenn (1), Long Beach City (1), Los Angeles (2), Orange (4), Sacramento (2), Shasta (1), Stanislaus (2), Sutter (2), and Tehama (1). 488 human cases from 29 counties have tested positive for WNV in 2014. – See http://westnile.ca.gov/

3495411871-1Illinois 10/07/14 DuPage County Health Dept: Media Release – Officials have confirmed that a female resident of Hanover Park in her 40s is the first fatality in the county due to WNV. State officials report two previous deaths due to WNV this year. – See http://www.dupagehealth.org/news/WNVdeath2014

SDdhSouth Dakota 09/30/14 SD Dept of Health: Media Release – Officials have confirmed 49 human cases of WNV statewide in 25 counties. – See Page 3at https://doh.sd.gov/documents/statistics/ID/Sept2014.pdf

RABIES:

Alabama 10/07/14 Covington County: A coyote found about three miles 1_62_coyote_snarlsouth of Andalusia in the Carolina community has tested positive for rabies.

New Jersey 10/07/14 dailyrecord.com: by Peggy Wright – A 69-year-old bow hunter from Cliffside Park used a knife and arrow to kill a rabid coyote that jumped him Sunday at the Black River Wildlife Management Area and a day earlier bit a bicyclist on Patriot’s Path, authorities said Tuesday. . . . The Cliffside Park man, whose name was withheld, was at the rear of the Archery Range at the management area on North Road when bitten around 12:55 p.m. on Sunday. State Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Larry Hajna said the 34-pound male coyote “jumped” the man. Cris Cooke-Gibbs, the health officer for Chester and Washington townships, said the hunter was bitten on the face. – See http://www.dailyrecord.com/story/news/local/2014/10/07/cops-rabid-coyote-bit-two-chester-township/16847079/

CALIFORNIAN attacked by BOBCAT ~ DEER farm in IOWA is new CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE title holder ~ COLORADO warns HUNTERS of widespread TULAREMIA ~ RABIES reports from MD & VA.

Bobcat. Courtesy National Park Service.

Bobcat. Courtesy National Park Service.

California 10/02/14 keyt.com: by Claire Scholl and Tracy Lehr – A 65-year-old woman is recovering in the hospital from multiple bobcat bites and scratches to her hand, arm and neck. The attack occurred at the Alisal Guest Ranch at about 12:30 p.m. Thursday. State Department of Fish and Wildlife officers said the woman, who works at the ranch, was eating lunch at a picnic table around the corner from the ranch entrance when she was attacked. They did not know what she was eating, but they said she tried to push the bobcat away but the animal came back. Officers said the bobcat had mange and looked emaciated. They found the bobcat beneath a wooden bridge nearby and killed it. Ranch guests said they heard a shot fired. They saw the dead animal and said it looked like it may have been in poor health before the incident. Some people think the drought is pushing animals out of the hills to search for food and water. The ranch is in the 1000 block of Alisal Road just a few miles from Solvang. – For video and complete article see http://www.keyt.com/news/woman-attacked-by-bobcat-while-eating-lunch/28377576

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE (CWD):

HEADERIowa 10/04/14 jsonline.com: by Paul A. Smith – In the world of deer hunting, records are kept of antler size, deer harvests and license sales. States and hunters often claim bragging rights. There’s a flip side, too. News came Thursday that Iowa claimed a dubious title previously held by Wisconsin. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship announced 284 of 356 deer (80%) from a captive herd in north-central Iowa tested positive for chronic wasting disease. The finding represents the highest number of CWD-positive animals detected at a facility, according to wildlife health officials. “This is what happens when you allow disease to sit and percolate on a game farm,” said Bryan Richards, the CWD project leader at the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center in Madison.

Deer with CWD.

Deer with CWD.

A deer farm near Portage, Wis., is infamous for having 60 of 76 deer test positive for the disease in 2006. Wisconsin purchased the farm in order to keep fences in place and prevent wild deer from entering the property. However, in 2013 a wild deer near the facility tested positive for the disease. To help combat the spread of CWD, Wisconsin has banned baiting and feeding of deer in 35 counties and requires CWD tests on all animals that die on deer and elk farms. CWD is a progressive, degenerative neurological disease found in deer, elk and moose. There is no known treatment. CWD is similar to other prion diseases including bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease) and human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. CWD has not been linked to human illness, but the Centers for Disease Control recommends humans not consume meat from CWD-positive animals. – For complete article see http://www.jsonline.com/sports/outdoors/iowa-deer-farm-riddled-with-chronic-wasting-disease-b99364005z1-278133231.html

TULAREMIA:

tularemia-pueblo-county-jpgColorado 10/01/14 CO Dept of Public Health: Media Release – October is the beginning of small game hunting season in Colorado. As the number of human tularemia cases in our state continues to rise, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reminds small game hunters to “hunt healthy” this year.  “We haven’t seen this many tularemia cases in Colorado since the 1980s,” said State Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Jennifer House. “Historically, we see cases of tularemia in hunters, and the disease is so widespread this year, we want to make sure our hunters understand the risks.” “In the last 10 years Colorado has averaged three human cases of tularemia a year,” Dr. House said. “So far in 2014 we have had 11, and additional suspected cases are under investigation.”

zoonosis_TularemiaLocal health departments have received numerous reports of rabbit and rodent die-offs across the state this year. Animals from 12 counties tested positive for tularemia, a bacterial disease that can affect small game animals. It commonly causes illness and death in rabbits and rodents such as squirrels. People can get tularemia if they handle infected animals or are bitten by ticks or deer flies. People also can be exposed to tularemia by touching contaminated soil, drinking contaminated water or inhaling bacteria. Hunters are most at risk when skinning game and preparing and consuming the meat. – For precaution and complete release see https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/news/tularemia-hunters

RABIES:

Maryland 10/01/14 Baltimore County: A male, gray-striped tabby cat, possibly with a limp, found in the vicinity of Delight Road in Reisterstown has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wbaltv.com/news/cat-5731289-very-cute-child-with-a-cat-in-armsfrom-reisterstown-area-tests-positive-for-rabies/28357964

Virginia 10/01/14 Warren County: A domestic short hair orange tabby cat with white feet and white belly that attacked a person on Fletcher Street near the Happy Creek Bike Trail in Front Royal on September 29th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.nvdaily.com/news/2014/10/cat-tests-positive-for-rabies.php

CDC confirms MAN in TEXAS first in U.S. diagnosed with EBOLA VIRUS ~ MISSOURIAN dies of RABIES ~ FLEAS on dead PRAIRIE DOG in ARIZONA positive for BUBONIC PLAGUE ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) report from WASHINGTON.

oLTXG4wTEXAS 09/30/14 medpagetoday.com: by Michael Smith – A man in intensive care in Dallas is the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in U.S., the CDC said. The man, who flew from Liberia Sept. 19 and arrived in Dallas Sept. 20, is “critically ill” at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, according to CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD. . . . Frieden said the man was checked for fever before getting on his U.S.-bound flight Sept. 19 and had no symptoms until Sept. 24. He did not give details of the flight, saying there was no risk to other passengers because Ebola is not infectious in its asymptomatic phase. Frieden and other health officials also did not give details of the man’s activities between Sept. 26, when he first sought care, and Sept. 28 when he was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian. . . The Ebola outbreak has been raging in West Africa for several months, after it was first recognized in March. In the three hardest-hit countries — Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone — the virus has caused 6,553 infections and 3,083 deaths, according to the latest situation report from the World Health Organization. – For complete article see http://www.medpagetoday.com/InfectiousDisease/GeneralInfectiousDisease/45296

Author’s Note: Because Ebola can be transmitted from animals to people it is classified as a zoonotic disease.

Excerpts from cdc.gov re Ebola Virus: Ebola, previously known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with one of the Ebola virus strains. Ebola can cause disease in humans and nonhuman primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).

Ebola is caused by infection with a virus of the family Filoviridae, genus Ebolavirus. There are five identified Ebola virus strains, four of which are known to cause disease in humans: Ebola virus (Zaire ebolavirus); Sudan virus (Sudan ebolavirus); Taï Forest virus (Taï Forest ebolavirus, formerly Côte d’Ivoire ebolavirus); and Bundibugyo virus (Bundibugyo ebolavirus). The fifth, Reston virus (Reston ebolavirus), has caused disease in nonhuman primates, but not in humans.

Ebola viruses are found in several African countries. Ebola was first discovered in 1976 near the Ebola River in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since then, outbreaks have appeared sporadically in Africa.

The natural reservoir host of Ebola virus remains unknown. However, on the basis of evidence and the nature of similar viruses, researchers believe that the virus is animal-borne and that bats are the most likely reservoir. Four of the five virus strains occur in an animal host native to Africa.

Because the natural reservoir host of Ebola viruses has not yet been identified, the manner in which the virus first appears in a human at the start of an outbreak is unknown. However, researchers believe that the first patient becomes infected through contact with an infected animal.

Symptoms of Ebola include:

  • Fever (greater than 38.6°C or 101.5°F)
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal (stomach) pain
  • Unexplained hemorrhage (bleeding or bruising)

Symptoms may appear anywhere from 2 to 21 days after exposure to Ebola, but the average is 8 to 10 days. Recovery from Ebola depends on the patient’s immune response. People who recover from Ebola infection develop antibodies that last for at least 10 years.

When an infection does occur in humans, the virus can be spread in several ways to others. Ebola is spread through direct contact (through broken skin or mucous membranes) with

  • blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, feces, vomit, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola
  • objects (like needles and syringes) that have been contaminated with the virus
  • infected animals
  • Ebola is not spread through the air or by water, or in general, food. However, in Africa, Ebola may be spread as a result of handling bushmeat (wild animals hunted for food) and contact with infected bats.

No specific vaccine or medicine (e.g., antiviral drug) has been proven to be effective against Ebola.

Symptoms of Ebola are treated as they appear. The following basic interventions, when used early, can significantly improve the chances of survival:

  • Providing intravenous fluids (IV)and balancing electrolytes (body salts)
  • Maintaining oxygen status and blood pressure
  • Treating other infections if they occur

Some experimental treatments developed for Ebola have been tested and proven effective in animals but have not yet been tested in randomized trials in humans.

RABIES:

Rabieslogo45179Missouri 09/29/14 abc17news.com: by Lindsey Henry – A 52-year-old Cole County man is dead after apparently contracting rabies. Family members told ABC 17 it all started about two weeks ago when John Emmerich of Eugene felt severe neck pain, began shaking, (had) trouble swallowing, and (had) hallucinations. Not long after that, he was admitted to University Hospital where he died last Friday. Family members said test results last week came back from the CDC and confirmed Emmerich had rabies. He died the following day. The Miller County Health Department said Missouri’s Health Department is investigating the cause of death. – For complete article see http://www.abc17news.com/news/cole-county-man-apparently-dies-after-being-infected-with-rabies/28324396

BUBONIC PLAGUE:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAArizona 09/30/14 kfyi.com: Health officials in Coconino County have confirmed that fleas from dead prairie dogs found in Flagstaff have tested positive for bubonic plague. – See complete article at http://www.kfyi.com/onair/arizona-news-55067/bubonic-plague-found-in-arizona-12816601

WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV):

imagesWashington 09/30/14 yakimaherald.com: Health officials have confirmed a fourth human case of WNV contracted by a Yakima County woman in her 40s. Human cases of WNV have also been confirmed in each of three other locations in the state including Walla Walla and King counties, and Grays Harbor. – See http://www.yakimaherald.com/news/latestlocalnews/2541203-8/west-nile-virus-case-verified-in-yakima