Tag Archives: Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome

COLORADIAN and his DOG contract PLAGUE likely after exposure to infected PRAIRIE DOG ~ Another ALASKAN jogger attacked by GRIZZLY ~ HANTAVIRUS infects two TEXANS and kills an OKLAHOMAN ~ CAT in CALIFORNIA infected with TULAREMIA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) report from LOUISIANA ~ Unusual RABIES report from NEW YORK.

Prairie Dog. Photo by Jeff Kubina. Wikimedia Commons.

Prairie Dog. Photo by Jeff Kubina. Wikimedia Commons.

Colorado 07/09/14 CO Dept of Public Health & Environment: Media Release – Officials have confirmed that a resident and his dog have tested positive for plague. “The patient and the dog may have been exposed in eastern Adams County. Plague is spread from fleas on rodents, most commonly prairie dogs. People walking in open spaces and trails should avoid contact with rodents.” – For symptoms, precautions and complete media release see https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/news-release-pneumonic-plague-found-colorado-resident-and-pet-dog

Grizzly:

img_home_sow_n_cubsAlaska 07/07/14 Bird Valley: For the third time in two months a grizzly has attacked a person in Alaska. The latest incident involves a 59-year-old woman who was jogging near her home in the Bird Valley village of Indian south of Anchorage when two nearly grown cubs emerged from brush along the roadside, then she was hit from behind by their mother. Fortunately, all three of the bears then left the area and she was able to call for help on her cell phone. The woman had been wearing in-ear headphones and was not carrying bear spray. The trail, part of a system of trails in Chugach State Park, will be closed for a week in keeping with state policy. The valley borders Bird and Penguin creeks, which will soon be filled with salmon, a major attraction to hungry bears.- For complete article see http://www.adn.com/article/20140707/woman-suffers-serious-injuries-bear-mauling-near-anchorage

Hantavirus:

hantavirus5667546Texas 07/08/14 myhighplains.com: Two recent cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome have been confirmed in residents of the Panhandle and South Plains. – See http://www.myhighplains.com/story/d/story/-/jsmVHVDCiESAt_sWBATVRw?PreviewStory=true

Oklahoma 07/08/14 Texas County: Officials have confirmed that a resident of the northwestern part of the state died of hantavirus disease in May. – See http://www.myhighplains.com/story/d/story/-/ck9VtQjsnkOpGFBYTP78hw?PreviewStory=true

Tularemia:

80ab05b3670e2bdcb7165060f8167dfd (2)California 07/08/14 North County: Officials have confirmed that a domestic cat housed in the county has been diagnosed with tularemia, also known as rabbit fever, a potentially dangerous bacterial disease that humans can contract. The cat spent a lot of time outside hunting and likely contracted the disease from an infected rodent. All of those who have been in contact with the cat, and of course the cat itself, are all being treated with antibiotics. – See http://www.10news.com/news/county-health-officials-issue-alert-after-cat-contracts-tularemia-also-known-as-rabbit-fever

West Nile Virus (WNV):

LA-DHHLouisiana 07/08/14 LA Dept of Health & Hospitals: Media Release – Three cases of WNV were recently confirmed in Livingston Parish and were all asymptomatic, meaning these individuals did not know they were infected, and only found out while donating blood or having blood work. About 90 percent of all cases are asymptomatic, while about 10 percent will develop West Nile fever. Only a very small number of infected individuals will show the serious symptoms associated with the neuroinvasive disease. Residents who are 65 years old and older are at higher risk for complications, but everyone is at risk for infection. – See http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/newsroom/detail/3062

Rabies:

5704860-portrait-of-gray-fox-barkingNew York 07/07/14 Onondaga County: A gray fox that attacked and repeatedly bit a pregnant woman outside her home at 112 Dutton Avenue in Nedrow has tested positive for rabies. The woman had just returned home from a doctor’s appointment with her 3-year-old son and found the fox chasing her cat in circles in her yard. Then it turned on her. At one point she fell and the fox sunk its teeth deeply into her arm but she managed to tear herself loose and rush her son to safety inside the house. The fox, which continued to hurl itself against the screen door trying to get in, was finally shot by a deputy when it turned and attacked an ambulance that had been summoned. The woman had been bitten at least seven times and required stitches as well as post-exposure rabies shots administered immediately as a precaution. The CDC says studies have indicated no increased risk of fetal abnormalities associated with rabies vaccination during pregnancy. – For photos and complete article see http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2014/07/pregnant_nedrow_woman_fends_off_rabid_fox_after_animal_attacks_and_repeatedly_bi.html

 

BEAVER attacks kayaker in upstate NEW YORK – ALASKAN victim of unprovoked GRIZZLY attack – HANTAVIRUS deaths in NEW MEXICO, NORTH DAKOTA & CANADA – ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER kills CALIFORNIAN – WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) reports from AZ, CA, MS, MO & TN – RABIES reports from GAx3, MD, NJ, NYx2 & VT.

American Beaver. BING free use license.

American Beaver. BING free use license.

New York 06/16/14 Monroe County: A Lima resident is receiving post-exposure prophylactic rabies shots after a beaver jumped out of Irondequoit Creek in Rochester and attacked him, knocking him from his kayak and into the water. The victim was treated for bite wounds on his back and deep puncture wounds on his arm. A bystander responding to the commotion hit beaver2the beaver with a paddle several times before the animal let go and disappeared beneath the surface of the creek, and when it returned a few seconds later he hit it again, breaking the paddle. The beaver’s carcass was recovered and is being tested for the rabies virus.- See http://www.13wham.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/beaver-attacks-pulls-man-off-kayak-13005.shtml

Grizzly:

grizzly5Alaska 06/25/14 Valdez-Cordova Census Area: by Josh Staab – A Slana man was visiting a friend’s home Tuesday afternoon when Alaska State Troopers say he was suddenly attacked by an adult grizzly bear. The attack left the man — identified by troopers as 66-year-old Andre Siegenthaler — severely injured following the attack. Siegenthaler’s friend Ed Bullock, who had bought nails which Siegenthaler was stopping by to pick up, says the attack apparently occurred at about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. “The bear attacked with no warning from behind a spruce tree, and even though Andre was carrying bear spray, the attack happened faster than Andre could react,” Bullock said. “Within two bounds the bear was on Andre.” Bullock gathered the information from Siegenthaler’s wife Briggita, who was with Siegenthaler after the attack occurred. According to Briggita’s account of the attack, Siegenthaler “suffered bites to his right hip area, both shoulders and arms; his left cheek was torn open, right ear mangled and nerve damage to the right cheek. Several neighbors in the area were called and came to Siegenthaler’s aid, Bullock said.

Valdez-Cordova Census Area

Valdez-Cordova Census Area

“(The Siegenthalers) live across the Slana River, so getting out to it is pretty restricted,” Bullock said. Alaska State Troopers spokesperson Beth Ipsen confirmed that the attack had occurred, but says troopers didn’t respond to the incident and have no firsthand information about what happened. “The only thing we did with it was correspond medical response,” Ipsen said. “We believe (Siegenthaler suffered) serious but non-life-threatening injuries.” – For complete article see http://www.ktuu.com/news/news/slana-man-medevaced-after-bear-attack/26665594

Hantavirus:

hantavirus1542New Mexico 06/17/14 San Juan County: Officials have confirmed that a 67-year-old female resident has died of Hantavirus, a rare disease spread by infected rodent droppings, urine and saliva. – See http://krqe.com/2014/06/17/hantavirus-claims-elderly-womans-life/

North Dakota 06/12/14 ND Dept of Health: Media Release – Officials confirmed today that an adult resident from the central part of the state has died from complications related to Hantavirus. .- See http://www.ndhan.gov/data/mrNews/2014-06-12-Hantavirus%20Death%20NR-PIO-v.FINAL.pdf

Canada:

Saskatchewan 06/24/14 swbooster.com: Health officials have confirmed the province’s first fatal case of Hantavirus in 2014 in an adult from the southern part of the province – See http://www.swbooster.com/News/Regional/2014-06-24/article-3775290/Hantavirus-death-reported-in-Southern-Saskatchewan/1

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF):

T_rmsf1 (2)California 06/25/14 Imperial County: Officials have confirmed that an unidentified resident has died of RMSF, which is a tick-borne disease. – See http://www.ivpressonline.com/news/local/local-death-attributed-to-rocky-mountain-spotted-fever/article_6dcb9fe1-bcd3-55f3-a8d0-97e9c09f3704.html

 

West Nile Virus (WNV):

thumbnailCAZ9PMJXArizona 06/14/14 Pinal County: Health officials have confirmed the first human case of WNV in the county, and perhaps the state, so far this year in a man from Casa Grande who is recovering. – See http://www.trivalleycentral.com/casa_grande_dispatch/area_news/pinal-co-reports-st-west-nile-case/article_38b1913e-f3ea-11e3-8bfc-001a4bcf887a.html

California 06/20/14 CA Dept of Public Health: Media Release – Officials have confirmed the first two human cases of WNV in the state so far this year reported by Contra Costa and San Joaquin counties. The former person was hospitalized but has seen been released, and the latter tested positive but has not yet shown symptoms. – See http://www.cdph.ca.gov/Pages/NR14-058.aspx

Mississippi 06/02/14 MS State Dept of Health: Media Release – Officials have confirmed the state’s second human case of WNV so far this year. The most recent case is in Newton County. In February, a case was reported in Hinds County. – See http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/23,15273,341.html

Missouri 06/26/14 Laclede County: State health officials have confirmed that a 75-year-old male has died of suspected WNV. – See http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/health/first-west-nile-virus-death-reported-in-missouri/article_5ff352d8-f95a-5a5b-81ce-5db71502f9ab.html

Tennessee 06/24/14 TN Dept of Health: Media Release – Officials have confirmed the first human case of WNV in the state so far this year. The case involves a resident of Shelby County who is now recovering. – See https://news.tn.gov/node/12595

Rabies:

rabies.warningGeorgia 06/25/14 Wilkes County: A bobcat that attacked a pet dog in the Sandtown Road area of Washington last week has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.news-reporter.com/news/2014-06-26/Front_Page/Rabid_bobcat_killed_last_week_after_attacking_Sand.html

Georgia 06/24/14 Carroll County: A feral cat that bit an employee at Superior Industries on Columbia Drive in Carrollton on June 17th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.times-georgian.com/news/article_e29f43b0-fc11-11e3-b0fc-001a4bcf6878.html

Georgia 06/18/14 Chatham County: A feral kitten that has been in contact with a raccoon and at least six other feral cats in the Wilmington Island neighborhood has tested positive for rabies. The kitten was being fed by several residents in the Wilmington Park area.- See http://wjcl.com/2014/06/18/eight-exposed-to-rabies-on-wilmington-more-cases-expected/

Maryland 06/18/14 Frederick County: A feral cat that attacked a homeowner near Deer Crossing Elementary School in New Market on June 11th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.fredericknewspost.com/locations/local/frederick_county/frederick/cat-near-deer-crossing-elementary-tests-positive-for-rabies/article_d0e65e1c-f70f-11e3-972e-001a4bcf6878.html

New Jersey 06/25/14 Salem County: A stray cat that was taken in by an Upper Pittsgrove Township family in May has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.nj.com/south/index.ssf/2014/06/rabid_cat_bites_upper_pittsgrove_teen_say_salem_county_health_officials.html

New York 06/20/14 Onondaga County: A feral cat found near Downer Street in Van Buren has tested positive for rabies. Anyone who has been in contact with a feral cat in this vicinity, or whose outside pet might have been exposed, should seek immediate medical advice. – See http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2014/06/feral_cat_in_van_buren_tests_positive_for_rabies.html

New York 06/06/14 Erie County: A sick cat found by children on the side of Cedar Road in Newstead has tested positive for rabies. – See http://wivb.com/2014/06/06/cat-tests-positive-for-rabies/

Vermont 06/23/14 Washington County: A small gray fox that attacked six people in Montpelier on June 21st has tested positive for rabies. Those bitten were in their yards in the vicinity of Derby, Colonial and Hillcrest drives. – See http://www.mychamplainvalley.com/story/d/story/fox-attacks-six-people-in-montpelier/38397/xC75qCTBlES0y41dYEQ3AQ

Celebrity WOLF OR-7 has fathered pups in OREGON – GRIZZLY attacks car on CANADIAN highway – TRAVEL WARNING: CDC places CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER on Level 1 Watch List in CARIBBEAN – MISSISSIPPI confirms second HUMAN case of WEST NILE VIRUS – NORTH DAKOTA confirms HANTAVIRUS fatality – RABID STRAY CATS found in NY & PA.

OR-7's pups. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

OR-7′s pups. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Wolf OR-7:

Oregon 06/04/14 chicoer.com: by Jeff Barnard – Oregon’s famous wandering wolf has fathered pups with a mate in the southern Cascade Range — the first confirmed wolf pack in those mountains since the 1940s, officials said today. Biologists made the determination after traveling Monday to a site on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest east of Medford, where photos and a GPS tracking collar showed the wolf known as OR-7 has been living with a mate. They saw two pups peering out from a pile of logs and may have heard more, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said. OR-7 and his mate were nowhere to be seen but could well have been nearby in the dense timber, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist John Stephenson said. “It was pretty exciting seeing the pups,” he said. “OR-7 was probably off getting some food. We saw a couple deer (and elk) legs that had obviously been getting chewed on.” Scientists also saw some ground disturbance where the pack “clearly had been playing around,” Stephenson said. The discovery marked the farthest west and south a wolf pack has established itself since the animals were reintroduced in the Northern Rockies in the 1990s, he said. – For complete article see http://www.chicoer.com/breakingnews/ci_25897080/wandering-wolf-or-7-has-fathered-pups

Canada:

Grizzly Bear:

Not related to article. For size comparison only. National Geographic image.

Not related to article. For size comparison only. National Geographic image.

Alberta 06/12/14 huffingtonpost.ca: A female resident of Jasper reported that her vehicle was attacked by a GRIZZLY when she slowed down on Highway 16 to let two bears cross in front of her car. The female decided to cross, she said, and the male stopped so she proceeded slowly between them. The male charged her car hitting it full force and rocking it violently. “I could see his teeth, the drool on his face,” she said. She told The Fitzhugh, a Jasper newspaper, she heard the bear’s claws scrape against the metal of her car as he sped away. About a kilometer down the road she stopped and could see the bears chasing after her. She told the Edmonton Journal that repairing the dents left in the car’s side panels would cost about $5,500.00. Parks Canada confirmed a similar incident about an hour earlier near the same location and they suspect the same GRIZZLY was involved.  – For complete article and video see http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/06/12/grizzly-attacks-car-jasper_n_5488751.html

Travel Warning:        

Chikungunya Fever:

chikVCaribbean06/02/14 travelweekly.com: by Gay Nagle Myers -U.S. and Caribbean health officials report that chikungunya, a viral disease spread by the bite of an infected mosquito, now has reached 17 Caribbean countries with 4,406 confirmed cases and more than 103,000 suspected cases. The mosquito-borne disease first appeared in French St. Martin in December. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that Florida has reported 10 cases coming from travelers returning from Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Martinique and St. Maarten/Martin. To date, no case has been reported of people contracting the disease in Florida, “but there is a high likelihood, as we continue to monitor and investigate, that we will find some,” according to Roger Nasci, a CDC expert on vector-borne diseases. The CDC has placedchikungunya on its Level 1 Watch List in the Caribbean, urging travelers to follow precautions. The risk to travelers “is slightly above the baseline risk,” the CDC said. – For complete article see http://www.travelweekly.com/Caribbean-Travel/Mosquito-borne-illness-spreads-in-Caribbean/

West Nile Virus:

imagesGW02ZP9VMississippi06/05/14 vaccinenewsdaily.com: A second human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in the state this year had been confirmed. The WNV case was confirmed in NewtownCounty. The first case was confirmed in HindsCounty in February. “This serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of preventing mosquito exposures, particularly as we approach the historically active summer months,” Thomas Dobbs, an epidemiologist for MSDH, said. – See http://vaccinenewsdaily.com/medical_countermeasures/330914-second-west-nile-case-confirmed-in-mississippi/

Hantavirus:

504f618286f53_preview-300North Dakota06/12/14 ND State Health Dept: State officials have confirmed the death of an adult resident due to Hantavirus, which is found in the feces and urine of rodents and can be inhaled while cleaning poorly ventilated areas. No other information was provided. – See http://www.theolympian.com/2014/06/12/3178016/death-in-central-nd-attributed.html?sp=/99/988/

Rabies:

imagesPG7OKBFQNew York06/06/14ErieCounty: An apparently ill feral cat found by children on Cedar Road in Newstead has tested positive for rabies. No description of the cat was provided. – See http://wivb.com/2014/06/06/cat-tests-positive-for-rabies/

Pennsylvania06/06/14AdamsCounty: A feral cat that attacked a woman in the 400-block of Sibert Road in StrabanTownship has tested positive for rabies. No description of the cat was provided. – See http://www.gettysburgtimes.com/news/local/article_0098850e-2937-5739-bcc2-97ac223bc623.html

 

 

 

 

 

CANADIAN biker survives GRIZZLY attack when bear punctures can of pepper spray ~ OKLAHOMA’s first case of HEARTLAND VIRUS proves fatal ~ NEW HAMPSHIRE has highest incidence of LYME DISEASE ~ COLORADO confirms third case of HANTAVIRUS this year ~ OKLAHOMA confirms first case of HANTAVIRUS this year proves fatal ~ RABIES report from OHIO.

Grizzly. Bing free use license.

Grizzly. Bing free use license.

Canada:

Alberta 05/25/14 660news.com: A well-prepared mountain biker is recovering with minor injuries after a grizzly bear attack in Alberta. It happened Saturday night around 9:00 p.m. just outside the town of Jasper. Parks Canada Spokesperson Kim Weir said the cyclist was riding on a trail when he was charged by the bear and knocked off his bike. Fortunately when the biker was face down, there was a can of bear spray on his backpack. “So the bear actually pepper-spray-bearbit into the bear spray, punctured the can, the bear spray was deployed, the bear got it into his mouth and his eyes and so on and left the area,” she said. “The mountain biker had a cell phone so he then called for help.” Weir reminds all trail users in the mountains be make noise, to let wildlife know they are nearby. She added at this time of year, it’s also a good idea to avoid the trails during dawn and dusk as it’s a highly active period for wildlife hunting. – See http://www.660news.com/2014/05/25/grizzly-punctures-bear-spray-can-during-attack-on-biker-and-flees/

Heartland virus:

Lone Star Tick

Lone Star Tick

Oklahoma 05/27/14 newsok.com: The Oklahoma Department of Health has confirmed the state’s first case and death of Heartland virus. The Health Department says a Delaware County resident recently died from complications of the virus. Heartland virus was first identified in Missouri in 2009. The virus is found in the Lone Star tick and is likely spread through tick bites. The Oklahoma case is only the tenth person confirmed with the virus and the second person to die from it. Other cases have occurred in Missouri and Tennessee. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, loss of appetite, nausea, bruising easily and diarrhea. All of the patients diagnosed with Heartland virus reported spending several hours per day in outside activities or occupations. There is no vaccine or drug to prevent or treat the disease. – See http://newsok.com/oklahoma-heartland-virus-death-confirmed/article/4851400 and http://www.cdc.gov/ncezid/dvbd/heartland/index.html

Lyme Disease:

lyme-awareness5128New Hampshire 05/25/14 fosters.com: According to Alan Eaton, an entomologist with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, New Hampshire has the highest incidence of Lyme disease in the country. Eaton said this is in part due to high tick populations, but also because so many people live close to or in wooded areas where ticks flourish. Eaton also said the highest incidence of Lyme Disease within the state is found in the Seacoast region. – See http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140525/GJNEWS_01/140529521/-1/FOSNEWS

Hantavirus:

imagesCA4WCXZVColorado 05/23/14 Costilla County: The third human case of hantavirus in the state this year was reported in Costilla County. Earlier this month a fatal case was reported in Rio Grande County. Two to six cases are reported in the state each year. – See http://www.koaa.com/news/hantavirus-reported-in-costilla-county/

Deer mouse. CDC.

Deer mouse. CDC.

Oklahoma 05/22/14 Texas County: by Kyle Fredrickson – A Panhandle man has died as a result of a virus commonly carried by wild rodents, according to the state Health Department. The man, who is only identified as being age 65 or older, was a Texas County resident. The state Health Department said he died of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, which has no cure, said Becky Coffman, an epidemiologist with the department. Hantavirus is carried by wild rodents, especially deer mice, found in Oklahoma and southwest portions of the U.S. It’s transmitted to humans by touch or inhalation of virus particles shed by its host through fecal matter, urine and saliva. Data show it is most often contracted when people in rural areas are maintaining buildings with high rodent activity. – See http://newsok.com/oklahoma-panhandle-resident-dies-as-result-of-virus-carried-by-wild-rodents/article/4846191

Rabies:

Raccoon cub.

Raccoon cub.

Ohio 05/28/14 Westchester County: Someone left five well-fed baby raccoons on the doorstep of the Westchester County, N.Y., Health Department on Friday, and the department said that person should call immediately to be assessed for the possibility of rabies. The month-old raccoons were delivered to the department’s office in Mount Kisco in a cage with bottles of milk, blankets and toys, the department said. “They appear to have been well cared for and nurtured, which means that there was direct contact between these raccoons and the person or people who were caring for them,” said Dr. Sherlita Amler, the county health commissioner. “That’s why it’s important that we talk to the individual or individuals who left them to determine if they may have been potentially exposed to rabies.” Raccoons are among the most-common carriers of rabies, a disease that is fatal if not quickly treated. Department spokeswoman Caren Halbfinger said that the raccoons’ caretaker needs to be asked about any bites or scratches. Officials also want to know whether the raccoons’ mother was sick. – See http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/national_world/2014/05/26/raccoons-0526-art-gj9sdmjt-1.html

Two COLORADO women attacked by MOOSE ~ CANADA: Two NUNAVUT hunters attacked by POLAR BEAR ~ OKLAHOMA confirms state’s first HANTAVIRUS death in 2014 ~ RABIES report from ILLINOIS.

Bull moose. Courtesy U.S. National Park Service.

Bull moose. Courtesy U.S. National Park Service.

Colorado 05/20/14 cnn.com: by Ed Payne – A couple of Colorado women were recuperating after a moose attack northwest of Denver over the weekend. They were walking their dogs in the city of Black Hawk when the encounter took place, the Gilpin County Sheriff’s Office said. “All of a sudden, I looked up and he was looking right at me and grunted and then charged,” Jackqueline Boron told CNN affiliate KDVR.. “I tried to get up, and he kept coming back and stomping on me.” “When I fell back he got me here,” Boron said, pointing to her arm. “Then, when I curled up forward, that’s when he got me on the head.” The attack left Boron with staples in the back of her head, 15 stitches on her leg and four broken ribs, KDVR reported. Ellen Marie Divis was also stomped on by the moose, but was able to get away to find help. “I heard ‘help me, help me, help me,’” neighbor Chris Hockley told KDVR. “This lady comes running up to her house and she’s covered in blood.” The sheriff’s office issued a warning after the attack. “If you encounter a moose: walk away from it — DO NOT walk towards it; moose are agitated by dogs; make sure your dog is on a leash, control the dog(s) and walk away,” the warning said. – For complete article and video see http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/20/us/colorado-moose-attack/

Polar Bear:

Canada:

Bear-standing-Cranearctic.noss.gov-1Nunavut 05/22/14 nunatsiaqonline.ca: Two hunters are being treated for injuries sustained in a May 22 polar bear attack outside the community of Arctic Bay. Police said local members of the search and rescue team were called to help the two men, who are thought to have been attacked by at least one bear at the floe edge early May 22. The RCMP said the two men were being treated at the local nursing station this morning. Sources in Arctic Bay say the men’s injuries were not serious, and both were able to walk off the sea ice. – For complete article see http://www.nunatsiaqonline.ca/stories/article/65674two_nunavut_hunters_being_treated_after_polar_bear_attack/

Hantavirus:

imagesCAULAVUQOklahoma 05/22/14 Texas County: Health officials have confirmed that a man’s death is due to Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, which is carried by wild rodents. The victim was exposed after dust was stirred up while cleaning a rodent-infested area. – See http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/Oklahoma-confirms-hantavirus-death-in-Texas-County-5498427.php

Rabies:

1Illinois 05/20/14 daily-chronicle.com: by Andrea Azzo – Authorities are trying to identify the owners of the pit bull that bit a Sycamore woman’s arm severely enough to require surgery. Part of the urgency behind the search is to determine if she will have to undergo rabies shots. The pit bull’s owners, described as two white men and one Hispanic or Indian man in their 20s, walked away from DeKalb’s new dog park in Katz Park after another couple at the park called the police. The bite victim, Angela Rojas, said her primary focus was to get to the hospital after she was attacked. “It all happened really fast,” Rojas said. “Our goal now is to find out if the dog has his vaccinations.” . . . The dog park where this happened is owned by the DeKalb Park District and is relatively new. Katz Park, 393 W. Dresser Road in DeKalb, opened in December after a five-year lobbying effort to have a local place for dogs to run off-leash. Two signs at the park, one at the entrance, indicate dog owners are responsible for the actions of their dogs and require all dogs must wear current license tags and be up-to-date on shots. – For complete article see http://www.daily-chronicle.com/2014/05/20/dekalb-police-seek-dog-that-bit-woman/a207ony/

Bill Gates declares this week MOSQUITO WEEK ~ LYME DISEASE on the rise in CANADA ~ Consumer Reports INSECT REPELLENT ratings ~ FOLLOW-UP: Infections in VIRGINIA were not HANTAVIRUS.

Mosquito-Week-Infographic

Global 04/26/14 mashable.com: by Bill Gates – This week over at my blog, TheGatesNotes, we’re hosting Mosquito Week. It’s modeled on the Discovery Channel’s annual fear-fest, Shark Week. But compared to mosquitoes, sharks are wimps. In fact, when it comes to killing humans, no other animal even comes close. Take a look: (see above). For many of us, mosquitoes might seem more pests than predators. But in a large part of the world, particularly among the poor, mosquitoes are a blight. There are more than 2,500 species of mosquito, and they’re found in every region of the world except Antarctica. During the peak breeding seasons, they outnumber every other animal on Earth, except termites and ants. Despite their innocuous-sounding name—Spanish for “little fly”—they carry devastating diseases. The worst is malaria, which kills more than 600,000 people every year; another 200 million cases incapacitate people for days at a time. It threatens half of the world’s population and causes billions of dollars in lost productivity annually. Other mosquito-borne diseases include dengue fever, yellow fever, and encephalitis. So we’re taking a lesson from the sharks, and hosting Mosquito Week on the Gates Notes. Everything I’m posting this week is dedicated to this deadly creature. You can learn about the ingenious researchers who may have found a way to combat dengue fever by inoculating not people, but mosquitoes. (Somehow this story involved me offering up my bare arm to a cage full of hungry mosquitoes so they could feed on my blood.) You can read a first-hand account of what it’s like to have malaria and hear from an inspiring Tanzanian scientist who’s fighting it. And I’ve shared a few thoughts about why I’m still optimistic that we can eradicate this disease, which would be one of the greatest accomplishments in health ever. In an average year, sharks kill a half dozen people. Mosquitoes kill 50,000 times as many people. Seemed worth paying attention to. So, I hope you’ll have a look around. I can’t promise that Anopheles Gambiae will be quite as exciting as hammerheads and Great Whites. But maybe you’ll come away with a new appreciation for these flying masters of mayhem.

Lyme Disease:

lyme-awareness5128Canada 04/27/14 theglobeandmail.com: by Adriana Barton – Most Canadians think of Lyme disease as a rare illness that afflicts hikers bitten by ticks in the deep woods. Infected individuals develop a bull’s-eye rash and go on antibiotics for a few weeks to clear it up. Problem solved The trouble with this picture – promoted for years by Canadian health authorities – is that it does not begin to capture the true threat of Lyme disease, which in its chronic form can turn into a life sentence of debilitating joint pain and neurological problems. Disease-carrying ticks in Canada have increased tenfold in the past two decades, spread by migratory birds and nurtured by warming climates that allow them to thrive in our own backyards. While reported cases jumped 146 per cent between 2009 and 2012, advocates say that testing is inadequate and doctors lack awareness of Lyme, resulting in gross underreporting and underdiagnosis of this rapidly emerging infectious disease. Jim Wilson, president of the Canadian Lyme Disease Foundation (CanLyme), says Canada lags far behind the United States in testing for the multiple strains of bacteria that can cause Lyme. Canadian tests and clinical exams are “way too narrowly focused for what we’re running into in the wild,” Wilson said. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), only 315 cases of Lyme disease were reported in 2012. The actual number is likely in the thousands, Wilson said, noting that 3,000 patients contact his organization each year. A 2013 report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that 300,000 Americans are diagnosed with Lyme disease each year – 10 times the reported number of 30,000. – For complete article see http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/health/lyme-disease-on-the-rise-in-canada-linked-to-ticks/article18232442/

Insect Repellent Ratings:

Consumer_Reports_Insect_Repellents_Update_5-13See http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2014/05/best-way-to-stop-bug-bites/index.htm

Follow-Up Report:

Hantavirus:

(See HANTAVIRUS suspected in six VIRGINIA infections, two fatal – post dated April 29, 2014)

microscope8776dVIRGINIA 04/30/14 Pulaski County: by Jacob Demmitt – The illness that hospitalized a Snowville family of five — killing two — was not hantavirus as previously suspected, according to health officials. Instead, it was a combination of two common and treatable illnesses — influenza B and strep A — that together claimed the lives of Julie Simpkins and her 14-year-old daughter, Ginger Simpkins, on April 25. Individually, neither the flu nor strep cause tremendous concern, but together they are “extremely, extremely rare” and serious, New River Health District Director Molly O’Dell said. During a media teleconference on Wednesday, O’Dell said both the flu and strep are circulating in the region, but there doesn’t seem to be any threat to the community because it is so rare to become infected with both simultaneously. The health department has not made an official cause of death finding – that can come only from the medical examiner’s office – but health officials on Wednesday’s call talked about how the combination  of flu and strep could be deadly. Doctors have not identified anyone else in the area who has been co-infected, O’Dell said. No one in the Simpkins family had received a flu shot, and all five members tested positive for the flu and showed signs of strep. It’s impossible to know where they picked it up or if they contracted both at the same time, O’Dell said. “A lot of times what we’ll say in medicine is just because you have one thing doesn’t mean you can’t have another, a second thing,” she said. “So if someone gets influenza, it certainly makes them more vulnerable to pick up bacterial infections.” The kind of co-infection that struck the Simpkinses is so rare that it hasn’t been studied by scientists, and only about 10 cases have ever been reported in all the medical literature Tom Kerkering, Carilion’s chief of infectious diseases, could find. “I’ve been doing infectious diseases for 35 years. This is the first time I’ve seen the combination,” Kerkering said during the teleconference. – For complete article see http://www.roanoke.com/news/rare-combination-of-flu-and-strep-killed-members-of-pulaski/article_b11e22fa-d0ad-11e3-8801-0017a43b2370.html

BOBCATS reported to be attacking DOGS in BRITISH COLUMBIA park ~ NEW MEXICO confirms HUMAN case of PLAGUE ~ HANTAVIRUS suspected in six VIRGINIA infections, two fatal ~ Notable RABIES reports from NY, NC, RI & VT.

Bobcat. Courtesy U.S. Dept. of Interior, Bureau of Land Management.

Bobcat. Courtesy U.S. Dept. of Interior, Bureau of Land Management.

Canada:

British Columbia 04/23/14 cbc.ca: Hikers in Squamish are reporting unusual and violent confrontations with bobcats around Alice Lake Provincial Park, according to WildSafeBC, a program run by the British Columbia Conservation Foundation. “It’s definitely the first time we’ve heard of numerous encounters of bobcats going for dogs,” said coordinator Meg Toom, in an interview with CBC Radio’s Rick Cluff on The Early Edition. g_vancouver9977dToom said in the nine years she’s worked in Squamish, bobcat attacks have never been an issue and that typically they eat small rodents and rabbits . . . Reports have been coming in to conservation officers of other violent bobcat encounters, and some dogs have even been left with stitches. “It’s looking like a territorial situation” said Toom. “We have more people coming into the area, more dogs off leash, and as you put more and more people into the trails network you’re going to have more encounters.” Conservation officers have posted signs in the park and have been warning hikers to beware of the animals. It remains unclear if the attacks are being carried out by a single or multiple bobcats. – For complete article, photos and map see http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bobcat-attacks-hiker-s-dogs-near-squamish-b-c-1.2618833?cmp=rss

Plague:

imag0490resizeNew Mexico 04/26/14 the globaldispatch.com: Health officials have confirmed the first case of human plague of the year in the state and in the United States in a male adult from Torrance County. Confirmatory testing is being conducted and an environmental investigation will take place at the man’s home to look for ongoing risk to others in the surrounding area. Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. It is found in animals throughout the world, most commonly rats but other rodents like ground squirrels, prairie dogs, chipmunks, rabbits and voles. Fleas typically serve as the vector of plague. Human cases have been linked to the domestic cats and dogs that brought infected fleas into the house. People can also get infected through direct contact with an infected animal, through inhalation and in the case of pneumonic plague, person to person. Yersinia pestis is treatable with antibiotics if started early enough.

There are three forms of human plague; bubonic, septicemic and pneumonic.

  • Bubonic plague: This is the most common form. In this form, the bacteria enter the body through the bite of an infected flea or rodent. Here the bacteria infect the lymphatic system. After a few days to week, the person will experience fever, chills, weakness, and swollen lymph glands. These are called buboes. In the U.S., bubonic plague is sporadic, primarily in the West. Typically, there are around 10 cases annually in this country. Untreated bubonic plague is fatal about half the time.
  • Septicemic plague: This form is also contracted from a flea or rodent bite. Sometimes it appears subsequent to untreated bubonic or pneumonic plague. It involves bloodstream dissemination to all areas of the body. Buboes do not occur. Symptoms are endotoxic shock and disseminated intravascular coagulation. Untreated septicemic plague is nearly always fatal.
  • Pneumonic plague: Probably the most serious form of plague and it’s when the bacteria infect the lungs and cause pneumonia. It is contracted when the bacteria is inhaled (primary) or develops when bubonic or septicemic plague spreads to the lungs.

Hantavirus:

hantavirus.cautionVirginia 04/25/14 Pulaski County: Two people have died and four others were hospitalized after an unidentified illness occurred in a small group including a family of five in Snowville and a close friend. Health officials suspect Hantavirus, which can be contracted from exposure to the urine or droppings of infected rodents. The family had been cleaning a long-vacated mobile home near their residence. – See http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/latest-news-ap/official-dead-hospitalized-due-to-illness/article_8371d8d8-ccca-11e3-900d-0017a43b2370.html

Rabies:

help7689New York 04/25/14 Columbia County: Health officials are searching for a person who may be been exposed to rabies by picking up a dead deer from the front yard of a Claverack home on Friday. The owner of the home on County Route 16 in Hollowville had shot and killed the deer Thursday evening after seeing it disoriented, stumbling into trees and a fence. State Department of Environmental Conservation officials were scheduled to pick up the carcass the next morning, but it was already gone. A silver pickup truck was seen around the home at the time the deer disappeared. Health officials are concerned the deer may have been infected with rabies, a neurological disease that is uniformly fatal unless treated, or another serious disease that could threaten anyone who had contact with the animal or ate its meat. Information about the whereabouts of the deer should be brought to the sheriff’s department’s attention at 828-3344. – See http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Officials-Deer-scavenger-may-face-rabies-5430348.php

North Carolina 04/25/14 Guilford County: A cat found on Alderwood Drive in Greensboro has tested positive for rabies after being in contact with a person and three other cats. http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Officials-Deer-scavenger-may-face-rabies-5430348.php. – See http://www.news-record.com/news/article_70f00602-cc8f-11e3-9be9-0017a43b2370.html

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERARhode Island 04/25/14 Providence County: A cat, believed to be a stray, that attacked a Lincoln resident in the vicinity of Lower Road has tested positive for rabies. Two other individuals were also exposed to the virus and at least two people have started post-exposure rabies treatments. The cat is described as “brown with tiger stripes” and has been seen with three other black, grey and orange tiger-striped cats also believed to be strays. Anyone who may have been in contact with these animals should seek immediate medical advice. – See http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20140425-cat-in-lincoln-tests-positive-for-rabies.ece

pitt-county-racoon-tests-positive-rabiesVermont 04/27/14 Chittenden County: A raccoon that attacked a Burlington woman in her driveway on Adams Court without provocation is still at large in the area and is thought to have rabies. The woman was taken to a local hospital where she received 14 stitches to close wounds on her leg, hands and arms. She is being treated for potential exposure to the rabies virus as a precaution. In the meantime, area residents are being cautioned. – For video and complete article see http://www.wcax.com/story/25354079/scary-raccoon-attack-ends-in-emergency-room

ALASKA veterinarian says non-native DOG TICKS becoming major concern ~ HANTAVIRUS case confirmed in COLORADO ~ FLORIDA confirms HORSE positive for EEE ~ RABIES reports from COLORADO & IOWA.

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Alaska 04/20/14 newsminer.com: by Tim Mowry – When Linda Roberts told friends she was bitten by a tick while sleeping two years ago, they thought she was crazy. Everybody knows there aren’t any ticks in Alaska, they told her. When Roberts discovered a tick on her dog this week while giving it a bath, she felt vindicated. Disgusted, but vindicated. Roberts plucked the parasite off her dog, a little, white, fluffy American Eskimo named Angel, and put it in a Ziploc bag. The next day, she took it to Mt. McKinley Animal Hospital, where veterinarian Dr. Ben Kuhn confirmed that it was indeed a tick. “He was very surprised,” Roberts said of Kuhn’s reaction. “He’s been here for two years and hasn’t seen any sign of ticks.” Next, Roberts brought the tick in a baggie to the News-Miner. “This is news,” Roberts said, holding up a small Ziploc baggie with the tick, still alive, inside. “… I want to warn people what can happen to their pets.” Finally, Roberts took the tick to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game office on College Road and showed it to veterinarian Dr. Kimberlee Beckmen.

Rabbit or Hare Tick

Rabbit or Hare Tick

The discovery wasn’t news to Beckmen, though. The sole veterinarian for ADFG, Beckmen is well aware there are ticks in Alaska and there always have been. Ticks on small mammals like snowshoe hares, squirrels, lemmings, voles and birds are endemic to Alaska, she said. “I’ve been working for the department for 12 years, and from day one, I’ve had ticks coming in,” Beckmen said. “We’ve always had ticks on wildlife.” As it turned out, Beckmen identified the tick Roberts plucked from her dog as haemahysalis leporispalustris, otherwise known as the common rabbit tick, or as it’s called in Alaska where there are no rabbits, the hare tick. It is one of only two ticks, the other being the squirrel tick, that is native to Alaska. Hare ticks are commonly found on snowshoe hares in the spring and can carry a flu-like disease called tularemia, which can be spread to dogs, cats and even humans via a scratch or saliva. Pretty much every spring, a handful of dogs and cats around Fairbanks

Squirrel Tick

Squirrel Tick

are infected with tularemia as a result of picking up or sniffing a snowshoe hare that’s infected, Beckmen said. “It’s kind of an annual thing,” Beckmen said. While hare ticks prefer snowshoe hares as hosts, it’s not uncommon to find them on dogs or cats. Squirrel ticks are even more common on pets in Alaska, Beckmen said. “If a hungry tick can’t find a hare or a squirrel to get on and a dog or cat comes by, it’s going to suck on whatever mammal it can get a hold of,” she said.

I

American Dog Tick

American Dog Tick

n the past three years, Beckmen has found at least two other types of ticks that have taken up residence in the Last Frontier and appear to be here to stay: the American dog tick and brown dog tick. Both ticks have been found on dogs or cats that have never left the state, a sign the parasitic arachnids can — and are — surviving in Alaska. “They’re established, they’re breeding and they’re staying here,” Beckmen said. That’s bad news for pet owners. Ticks can and do carry and transmit diseases from animals to humans. The most common are tularemia, Lyme disease, Q fever and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Currently, only tularemia and Q Fever are present in Alaska. Wildlife disease specialists also say the establishment of new ticks in Alaska poses a risk to all sorts of wildlife, from caribou to coyote to fox to moose to Sitka black-tailed deer to wolves. “It is a big concern because the populations of animals up here haven’t been exposed to these tick-borne diseases,” said Dr. Robert Gerlach, the state’s head veterinarian. “If we get a tick that comes up and now can survive in this environment, we can get disease spread in a wildlife or the human population we’re not used to, which could have drastic results. “Once you get a tick population started in a wildlife species, they continually spread disease through that wildlife population,” he said.

Brown Dog Tick

Brown Dog Tick

The two dog tick species found in Alaska were discovered as a result of a recent enhanced tick surveillance program by ADFG to look for moose winter tick, a serious threat to moose that has been found in the Yukon Territory. Using public service announcements and interdepartmental communication, Beckmen put word out to the public and to wildlife biologists around the state three years ago that she was looking for ticks. As a result, between June 2011 and October 2013 Beckmen collected 89 ticks representing 48 separate infestations.

Rocky Mountain Wood Tick

Rocky Mountain Wood Tick

The ticks came mostly from dogs, but also humans, cats, hares and marten. While no moose ticks were found, there were 10 cases of American dog ticks and 13 cases of brown dog ticks discovered on dogs or humans around the state, including Anchorage, Denali Park, Fairbanks, Juneau, Sitka, Valdez and Willow. One of the infestations involved a boarding kennel in Fairbanks — Beckmen declined to name it — that was, and still is, infested with brown dog ticks, which are the only tick in North America that lives indoors and are especially hard to eradicate, Beckmen said. Other cases involved houses that were infested with brown ticks. “We had one dog a person brought in that had 70 or 80 ticks,” she said. “The house is infested. There are ticks all over the pets and kids.”

Lone Star Tick

Lone Star Tick

In addition, specialists in a Georgia lab that Beckmen sent the tick specimens to identified two other non-native species of ticks found in Alaska — the Rocky Mountain wood tick was found on dogs in Anchorage and Sitka, while the lone star tick was found on dogs in Eagle River and Fairbanks. It’s just a matter of time and climate change before those ticks, and possibly others, gain a leg-hold in Alaska, Beckmen said. – For complete article see http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_news/fairbanks-incident-serves-as-reminder-that-ticks-live-in-alaska/article_245d85cc-c860-11e3-9fbd-0017a43b2370.html

Hantavirus:

Hantavirus2Colorado 04/22/14 krextv.com: by Travis Khachatoorian – A Garfield County resident is officially the first confirmed case of hantavirus in the area since 2012. There are very few details released on the confirmed case at this point. Officials haven’t released information on the status of the patient, or even what city the patient caught the virus in. “Usually what happens is you’re cleaning something, and the virus gets put into the air, and you breath it in, and you don’t really think much of it,” said immunization coordinator for Garfield County Danielle Yost. “Then usually anywhere from a couple days to a few weeks later you start getting flu like symptoms that rapidly deteriorate into the inability to breathe.” Symptoms include muscle aches, fatigue, high fever, dizziness, headaches, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain which can eventually lead to death. Garfield County officials are concerned enough to call for citizen precautions, especially since it’s the spring cleaning season. The county Public Health Department is warning all residents to know how to protect themselves from this potentially deadly disease. The virus is usually carried in the Western Slope by the deer mouse. Officials urge any resident’s cleaning out garages, or other areas with rodent droppings or urine, to not sweep the mess but rather pour a bleach and water mix over the affected area. Always wear protective gloves and scoop up the mess with a paper towel. The first case of the mysterious disease started back in 1993 in the four corners region of Colorado, and the hantavirus has now spread across the western hemisphere. The CDC reports a 36 percent mortality rate for those with the disease. “There is no vaccine, no medication for it, your body basically has to fight it off on its own,” said Yost.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

encephcycFlorida 04/23/14 Marion County: A horse stabled in the vicinity of Sparr has tested positive for infection with EEE. Area residents have been provided with tips and advice to protect them from the mosquitoes that spread the disease. – See http://www.ocala.com/article/20140423/ARTICLES/140429861

Rabies:

Colorado 04/23/14 Pueblo County: A Pueblo woman says a dog bit her at a local coffee shop and the dog’s owner vanished. The woman is now worried she might get sick with rabies. It happened on Sunday at the Starbucks off 4th Street, near Abriendo Avenue. Jane Garnett was enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend. She says when she came out of the Starbucks’ bathroom, she noticed two long haired dachshunds inside the store. She says they were both on leashes with a dark-haired woman and a young boy. Suddenly, one dog lashed at her. “They were just standing there in line, or around the line to get coffee and the dog bit at my pants and then bit at me in the café,” said Garnett. Garnett says when she tried confronting the woman, she vanished. Garnett says the bite made her bleed. “I feel like she should have stayed around to see how I was or whether I needed her information. I feel like she should have taken more responsibility for it,” said Garnett. Garnett says she’s now worried she could get rabies. “I hope the woman comes forward and tells me or not if the dog has been vaccinated.” The Pueblo County Health Department and Animal Services are working together to find out who the dog owner is. Garnett just wants to know if the dog is current on its vaccinations. If you know who the dog owner is, you’re encouraged to contact either agency. The Health Department says rabies symptoms most often develop between one to three months after the person is infected. We also spoke to road_sign_need_helpStarbucks. They say they only allow service dogs inside the store. – For photos see http://www.kktv.com/news/headlines/Dog-Bites-Woman-at-Coffee-Shop-Owner-Flees-256287611.html

Iowa 04/24/14 Scott County: Ten-year-old Annalee Bargmann may have to get rabies shots now after she was bit by a dog. The young girl was playing with a tennis ball Tuesday evening, April 22, 2014, near Garfield Elementary School in Davenport, Iowa, when she dropped the ball.  When she reached down to pick up the ball, a dog ran to the end of its retractable leash and bit Annalee on the leg. No one noticed she was bit until after she left the fields, because she hid the bite mark under a blanket. She said she loves animals and didn’t want to get the dog in trouble. She later told her grandmother about the incident, and her grandma called Annalee’s parents. “We immediately started looking around the park for a person matching the description,” said Annalee’s mother, Christina Bargmann. “We took her to the doctor the next day and she had a tetanus shot, but they told us she would have to get the rabies vaccination to be safe.” The dog that bit Anna was described as a rust-colored Dachshund.  The dog’s owner was described as heavy-set man in his 30s or 40s, with dark brown hair. He also may have had a small, white fluffy dog with him as well. If the family doesn’t hear from the dog owner by Friday, they will have to take Annalee to get rabies vaccinations. They ask anyone who has information on the dog and it’s owner to please contact Davenport Animal Control at 563-388-6655. – For video see http://wqad.com/2014/04/24/girl-hides-dog-bite-now-needs-rabies-shots/

NEW YORK ecologist says OPOSSUMS are very efficient TICK killers ~ TEXAS reports first case of HANTAVIRUS in 2014 ~ RABIES reports from CA, PAx2, VAx2 & CANADA: ONTARIO.

Opossum. Photo by Cody Pope. Wikimedia Commons.

Opossum. Photo by Cody Pope. Wikimedia Commons.

National 04/22/14 newstimes.com: by Robert Miller – At night, when you catch sight of an opossum in your car headlights, you are allowed to think, “That is one ugly little animal.” But what opossums lack in looks, they make up in originality. They’re America’s only babies-in-the pouch marsupial. They’re a southern species — proper name Virginia opossum — that’s adapted to New England winters. They’re one of the oldest species of mammal around, having waddled past dinosaurs. They eat grubs and insects and even mice, working over the environment like little vacuum cleaners. “They really eat whatever they find,” said Laura Simon, wildlife ecologist with the U.S. Humane Society. And they’re an animal whose first line of defense includes drooling and a wicked hissing snarl — a bluff — followed by fainting dead away and “playing possum.” “They are just interesting critters,” said Mark Clavette, a wildlife biologist with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. And now ecologists have learned something else about opossums. They’re a sort of magnet when it comes to riding the world of black-legged ticks, which spread Lyme disease.

Dr. Richard Ostfeld.

Dr. Richard Ostfeld.

“Don’t hit opossums if they’ve playing dead in the road,” said Richard Ostfeld, of the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies in Millerton, N.Y. Ostfeld is forest ecologist and an expert on the environmental elements of infectious diseases like Lyme disease. Several years ago, scientists decided to learn about the part different mammals play in the spread of the ticks and the disease. They tested six species — white-footed mice, chipmunks, squirrels, opossums and veerys and catbirds — by capturing and caging them, and then exposing each test subject to 100 ticks. What they found, is that of the six, the opossums were remarkably good at getting rid of the ticks — much more so

Blacklegged Tick.

Blacklegged Tick.

that any of the others. “I had no suspicion they’d be such efficient tick-killing animals,” Ostfeld said. Indeed, among other opossum traits, there is this: They groom themselves fastidiously, like cats. If they find a tick, they lick it off and swallow it. (The research team on the project went through droppings to find this out. All praise to those who study possum poop.) Extrapolating from their findings, Ostfeld said, the team estimated that in one season, an opossum can kill about 5,000 ticks. – For complete article see http://www.newstimes.com/news/article/Robert-Miller-Opposums-killers-of-ticks-5413872.php

Hantavirus:

hantavirus1542Texas 04/13/14 Swisher County: Health officials have confirmed the state’s first case of hantavirus reported this year. The exposure is believed to have occurred in a rodent-infested barn when dust was stirred up. It was reported that the individual recovered. Hantavirus infection has a mortality rate of 38% according to the CDC. – See http://www.theglobaldispatch.com/texas-reports-first-hantavirus-case-of-2014-2014/

Rabies:

Author’s Note: Beginning with this post, Rabies Reports will be limited to those that are in some way unusual and/or of particular importance in terms of service to the general public.

Help_button_2California 04/19/14 Yolo County: Animal services officials seek the public’s help in finding a dog that bit a child in a park in Dunnigan. The incident occurred about 7:30 p.m. April 11. A 3-year-old child was with his mother in a park near the 29000 block of Main Street when the youngster attempted to approach a small dog running loose in the park and was bitten, according to county news release. The mother told animal services officials that she had not seen the dog in the area before and has not seen it since the child was bitten. Animal services employees also have been unable to find the animal. The dog was described as a small gray and white terrier type. The mother did not recall seeing a collar on the dog. Identifying the dog to verify current rabies vaccination could help spare the child post-exposure rabies treatment. Anyone with knowledge of the incident, or the location of dog or its owner, is asked to call the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, Animal Services Section at (530) 668-5287, or email animal.bite@yolocounty.org. – See http://www.sacbee.com/2014/04/18/6336279/yolo-officials-seek-dog-that-bit.html

5731289-very-cute-child-with-a-cat-in-armsPennsylvania 04/22/14 Montgomery County: A stray cat found on East Fifth Avenue in Collegeville has tested positive for rabies. Anyone who has been bitten, scratched or had saliva exposure to a stray cat should seek medical advice and also call the Montgomery County Health Department at 610-278-5117. This is the third confirmed case of rabies in the county in 2014. – See http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140422/rabid-cat-found-in-collegeville

3610192083_22eaf9db7aPennsylvania 04/17/14 Lancaster County: A Penn Township woman is receiving post-exposure rabies treatments as a precaution after being bitten by a stray, black cat on April 16th in the 1000 block of White Oak Road in Manheim. The cat remains at large. – See http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/woman-undergoing-rabies-shots-after-being-bit-by-cat/article_ecc54d9e-c633-11e3-88e6-001a4bcf6878.html

400px-RK_0808_278_Marmota_monax_groundhog_ReinhardKraaschWCVirginia 04/15/14 Fairfax County: A groundhog that fought with a dog in the 900 block of Welham Green Road in Great Falls on April 6th has tested positive for rabies. The dog was quarantined. – See http://mclean.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/dog-quarantined-after-tangling-with-rabid-hedgehog-in-great-falls

Wildlife-GrayFoxVirginia 04/15/14 Newport News: A man in the city’s Lakeside neighborhood who was bitten by a fox on April 14th has begun post-exposure rabies treatments as a precaution. The fox bit into his arm and wouldn’t let go until he started slamming his pickup truck door on it. The fox was not captured and remains at large. – See http://www.wvec.com/news/Woman-bit-by-fox-in-Newport-News-255385821.html

Canada:

untitled (2)Ontario 04/15/14 Grey Bruce Health Unit: Officials are asking for your help in finding the owner of a dog involved in a biting incident in Walkerton. It happened last Friday morning, when a girl walking to school near the corner of Hinks Street and Johnstone Boulevard was bitten by a dog being walked by a man. The man kept on walking. The dog is described as medium-sized, mixed breed, with black and white markings. Staff of the Grey Bruce Health Unit need to confirm that the dog is not infected with rabies. By verifying the health of the dog, the victim can avoid receiving the post exposure rabies treatment. If you have any information related to this incident, you are asked to contact the Grey Bruce Health Unit at 519-376-9420. ­ – See http://www.bayshorebroadcasting.ca/news_item.php?NewsID=65460

 

World traveler hospitalized in MINNESOTA with LASSA FEVER ~ UTAH confirms case of HANTAVIRUS ~ FOLLOW-UP REPORT: OREGON’s celebrity WOLF OR-7 may soon exit stage ~ RABIES reports from AZ, AR, CT, FL, GA, MD, NJ, NCx2, PA, SCx2 & VA.

Rat. Bing free use license.

Rat. Bing free use license.

Minnesota 04/04/14 medpagetoday.com: by Michael Smith – A man is in stable condition in a Minnesota hospital with Lassa fever after returning from a trip to West Africa, where an outbreak of Ebola virus is now raging. The Minnesota Department of Health said the man flew to Minneapolis-St. Paul on March 31 and soon after his arrival visited a physician. Because of his travel history and symptoms, the doctor suspected a possible hemorrhagic fever. The man was admitted to the hospital with fever and confusion and CDC testing confirmed a diagnosis of Lassa fever on April 3, the department and the CDC said in separate statements. “This imported case is a reminder that we are all connected by international travel,” CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, said in a statement. “A disease anywhere can appear anywhere else in the world withinhours.”

Air routes connecting to and from Africa.

Air routes connecting to and from Africa.

Lassa fever is rarely seen in the U.S., with only seven cases recorded, the latest in 2010, according to the CDC. The agency reported that preliminary information suggests the man flew from West Africa to New York City and on to Minneapolis on another flight. The agency did not say where in West Africa the trip started. The CDC is working with public health officials and airlines to identify anyone who might have had close contact with the infected person, although Lassa fever is not easily spread from human to human. “Casual contact is not a risk factor for getting Lassa fever,” said Barbara Knust, DVM, a CDC epidemiologist in the lab that tested the patient’s blood for Lassa virus. “People will not get this infection just because they were on the same airplane or in the same airport,” she said in a statement.

RatthumbnailCANGBSFFThe Lassa virus is carried by rodents and transmitted to humans through contact with urine or droppings, but in some cases people can catch it from another person through direct contact with blood or bodily fluids, the mucous membranes, or sexual contact. “Given what we know about how Lassa virus is spread to people, the risk to other travelers and members of the public is extremely low,” Martin Cetron, MD, of the CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, said in a statement. Between 100,000 and 300,000 cases of Lassa fever occur in West Africa each year, with up to 5,000 deaths. – For complete article see http://www.medpagetoday.com/InfectiousDisease/GeneralInfectiousDisease/45120?isalert=1&uun=g632000d1042R5753012u&utm_source=breaking-news&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=breaking-news&xid=NL_breakingnews_2014-04-04

Author’s Note: For more information on Lassa Fever see http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/lassa/

Hantavirus:

imagesCAULAVUQUtah 04/04/14 kcsg.com: The Southwest Utah Public Health Department (SWUPHD) has confirmed a case of hantavirus infection in Kane County. Hantavirus incidences are rare in the five-county region, with the last case being reported four years ago in Iron County. The virus is found in the droppings, urine, and saliva of rodents, usually deer-mice. “This time of year, a lot of people start spring cleaning in places where rodent droppings are found; such as sheds, barns, and cabins,” says Dr. David Blodgett, SWUPHD Health Officer. “If hantavirus is present, it can be inhaled and cause respiratory illness within a few weeks.” Hantavirus infection, called Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, starts with flu-like symptoms followed by difficulty breathing and can be life-threatening. Treatment includes intensive hospital care to deal with the respiratory distress. Hantavirus is not known to spread person-to-person. – For complete article and precautions see http://www.kcsg.com/view/full_story/24877415/article-Hantavirus-Infection-in-Southwest-Utah?instance=more_local_news1

Follow-Up Report:

Wolf OR-7:

(See previous posts dated 11/12/11, through 12/13/13)

graywolfNPRphotoOregon 03/29/14 missoulian.com: The wandering wolf dubbed OR-7 has enjoyed well over his 15 minutes of fame. But even with continued public interest, he could soon fade from the spotlight. The Global Positioning System collar that has sent regular electronic pulses to reveal his travels for the past three years has eclipsed its normal life span, and state and federal biologists don’t plan to replace it. “When that collar dies, we’ll never know his fate,” Rob Klavins of the conservation group Oregon Wild told the Mail Tribune newspaper. “But that could be OK. It’s good to have a little mystery in the world.“ The wolf gained celebrity status in 2011 after leaving a pack in northeastern Oregon, days after the state issued a kill order for his father and a sibling for preying on livestock.

wolfMost Oregon wolves on such journeys, called dispersals, have stayed in northeast Oregon or traveled to Idaho. The young wolf headed west with the tracking satellite following his moves as he fruitlessly searched for a mate. He became the first confirmed wolf in western Oregon since the last one was killed under a livestock-protection bounty program in 1937. He then crossed a state line and became California’s only confirmed wolf since 1924. He wandered throughout Northern California and almost traveled into Nevada before retracing his steps to southern Oregon, where he’s spending his time near Mount McLoughlin. The wolf will not be re-collared because biologists prefer to collar breeding pairs or members of packs. Collaring can be dangerous and time-consuming, and biologists would rather collar animals in other packs not sporting GPS collars to get information on their whereabouts and habits instead of an established bachelor like OR-7. – See this article at http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/oregon-wandering-wolf-s-signal-ready-to-fade/article_15a8644a-b6ac-11e3-aef0-001a4bcf887a.html. See 3/22/14 companion article about a group retracing the path of wandering Oregon wolf OR-7 at http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/group-retracing-trek-of-wandering-oregon-wolf-or/article_bad003c8-b121-11e3-bc24-001a4bcf887a.html

Rabies:

a898778rabies-alertArizona 04/04/14 Santa Cruz County: Officials have announced that the entire county is under quarantine after an outbreak of rabies reached record-breaking levels. The quarantine order, effective through December 31st, was issued after 23 positive cases of rabies were reported since January 1st of this year. The county recorded only 12 cases in all of 2013. – See http://www.nogalesinternational.com/news/county-now-under-rabies-quarantine/article_1a9ef380-bc0e-11e3-a7b0-0019bb2963f4.html

323rabies-skunk_mediumArkansas 04/01/14 Pulaski County: A skunk that was observed behaving strangely near the 800 block of Buttercup in North Little Rock‘s Levy neighborhood has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.arkansasmatters.com/story/d/story/rabies-warning-in-north-little-rock/59358/GB4-wF9jxECoaYCA8PI3Gw

Connecticut 04/02/14 Hartford County: A raccoon that fought with two vaccinated dogs on Rogers Lane in Enfield on March 26th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.journalinquirer.com/towns/enfield/raccoon-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-enfield/article_84f6f590-ba68-11e3-acb9-001a4bcf887a.html

17858296_BG1Florida 03/29/14 Hernando County: A raccoon that fought with a vaccinated dog on Sun Hill Lane in Brooksville has tested positive for rabies. – See http://tbo.com/health/rabid-raccoon-reported-in-east-brooksville-20140329/

Georgia 04/02/14 Hall County: A raccoon that fought with a dog on Bowen Bridge Road in the Clermont area is the fourth wild animal in the county to test positive for rabies so far this year. – See http://www.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=273283

17907533_240X180Maryland 03/31/14 Prince George’s County: A fox removed from the 4000 block of Woodrow Lane in Bowie on March 21st has tested positive for rabies. – See http://laurel.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/fox-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-bowie

raccoonrabid113524New Jersey 04/01/14 Atlantic County: A raccoon removed from the backyard of a resident in the 4000 block of Ridge Avenue in Egg Harbor Township is the third animal to test positive for rabies in the township so far this year. – See http://www.shorenewstoday.com/snt/news/index.php/egg-harbor-twp/eht-general-news/50867-third-case-of-rabies-found-in-egg-harbor-township.html

rabiesAlert521d4-1North Carolina 04/04/14 Cleveland County: Eighteen people are being treated for potential exposure to rabies after a Good Samaritan in the town of Lawndale adopted one of two puppies that were abandoned and were wandering along Elam Road. The adopted puppy began acting sickly and when brought to a clinic was diagnosed with and tested positive for the virus. Making matters worse, the other puppy ran away. Officials are warning area residents who might have been in contact with either of the puppies to seek immediate medical attention. – See http://www.wsmv.com/story/25158263/stray-puppies-leave-cleveland-co-neighbors-owing-thousands-of-dollars-in-medical-bills

320x240North Carolina 03/28/14 Cumberland County: A bat found between Pamalee Drive and Murhison Road in Fayetteville has tested positive for rabies. This is the 3rd case of the virus to be confirmed in the county this year. – See http://www.fayobserver.com/news/local/article_1026ca27-0ce1-51f8-9ed6-2af733ba68ac.html

Rabid-Fox---26690055Pennsylvania 04/02/14 Montgomery County: A fox that was killed by a resident’s unvaccinated dog on the 2000 block of Weber Road in Worcester Township has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140402/montgomery-county-health-department-confirms-fox-positive-for-rabies-in-worcester

Cat-RabiesSouth Carolina 04/01/14 Laurens County: A stray cat found in or near the town of Gray Court has tested positive for rabies. At least one person has been advised to seek treatment for possible exposure to the virus. – See http://www.independentmail.com/news/2014/apr/01/cat-exposes-person-rabies-laurens-county/

South Carolina 03/29/14 Aiken County: A man in his 20s has been advised to seek post-expsosure treatment for rabies after a raccoon entered his home on Limerick Drive in Aiken and scratched his face. The raccoon has since tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.aikenstandard.com/article/20140329/AIK0101/140329342/1004/man-recommended-to-undergo-treatment-after-rabies-exposure

crittersVirginia 04/04/14 Prince William Health District: A cat found on March 31st near Forest Glen Road in Woodbridge between Horner Road and Hylton Avenue has tested positive for rabies. And in Nokesville, four raccoons and a skunk have tested positive for the virus since July of 2013. A Rabies Alert has been issued for both communities. – See http://www.insidenova.com/health/health-district-warns-residents-about-rabies-in-woodbridge-nokesville/article_a439195c-bc3d-11e3-947e-0019bb2963f4.html