Tag Archives: Leptospirosis

Vets in FLOOD AREAS warn DOG owners about LEPTOSPIROSIS ~ Two new LYME DISEASE species found in FLORIDA and GEORGIA ~ COYOTE attacks MAN and DOG in COLORADO ~ RABIES reports from VIRGINIA & CANADA: ONTARIO.

Texas flood zone.

Texas flood zone.

National 05/15/14 rfdtv.com: With all the recent storms and flooding, veterinarians are warning of a disease that spreads through water to both dogs and people. “The most important thing about leptospirosis is it’s a zoonotic disease so dogs can transmit the disease to people,” explained Dr. Ken Harkin, a veterinarian with Kansas State University. Harkin is an expert on leptospirosis. He says the bacterial disease can result in kidney failure and can be deadly to dogs. Symptoms of the disease, for both humans and dogs, include joint pain, weakness, vomiting and possibly jaundice.

image_702798The disease is spread through the urine of wild and domestic animals, and dogs and their owners can be exposed from the same source. “A great example, a few years ago we had a client who brought her dog in here with leptospirosis because their front yard had flooded and the raccoons had contaminated their front yard. Both the husband and the dog ended up in the hospital, obviously different hospitals. He has leptospirosis. The dog had leptospirosis. They both got it from the front yard from the raccoons, but certainly the dog could be a potential source for leptospirosis,” said Harkin. There is a vaccine available. Harkin advises to get your dog vaccinated if you live in an area where this disease is prevalent. – See http://www.rfdtv.com/story/24589387/about-us

Lyme Disease:

Dr. Kerry Clark

Dr. Kerry Clark

National 05/14/14 news-medical.net: Dr. Kerry Clark, associate professor of public health at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, and his colleagues have found additional cases of Lyme disease in patients from several states in the southeastern U.S. These cases include two additional Lyme disease Borrelia species recently identified in patients in Florida and Georgia. Overall, 42 percent of 215 patients from southern states tested positive for some Lyme Borrelia species. More than 90 cases of Lyme infection were confirmed among patients from Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Of these southern cases, 69 percent were found to have infection with B. burgdorferi, 22 percent with B. americana and 3 percent with B. andersonii. “For years, medical practitioners and the public have been told that Lyme disease is rare to nonexistent in the southern United States. Our earlier research demonstrated that Lyme disease bacteria were present in animals and ticks in our region,” said Clark. “The more recent evidence shows that the disease is also present in human patients in the South, and suggests that it’s common among patients presenting with signs and symptoms consistent with the clinical presentation of Lyme disease recognized in the northeastern part of the country.” His new paper, “Geographical and Genospecies Distribution of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato DNA Detected in Humans in the USA,” was published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology in February. Dr. Brian Leydet in the Department of Pathobiological Sciences at Louisiana State University and Dr. Clifford Threlkeld of Ameripath Central Florida collaborated with Clark in his latest research.

lyme-disease-in-children1The findings are significant for several reasons. They provide additional evidence that multiple Lyme Borrelia species are associated with human disease in the U.S., similar to the situation in Europe. The new findings expand the geographic area where Lyme disease should be considered by medical providers and citizens alike, and suggest that human cases of Lyme disease in the southern U.S. may be much more common than previously recognized. Prior to Clark’s previously published paper in 2013, only one or two Lyme bacterial species, Borrelia burgdorferi and B. bissettii, were recognized to cause disease in North America. Current testing methods and interpretation criteria, designed to detect just one species (B. burgdorferi), may explain many of the complaints involving the unreliability of Lyme disease tests in the U.S. Most of the patients included in Clark’s study were suffering from a variety of chronic health problems, such as fatigue, headaches, muscle and joint pain and cognitive dysfunction. As a result, Clark’s research may help millions of chronically ill people living in areas where Lyme disease wasn’t previously recognized. Called “The New Great Imitator,” Lyme disease is often mistaken for illnesses such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), Parkinson’s, ADHD and even Alzheimer’s. – For complete article see http://www.news-medical.net/news/20140514/UNF-Professor-discovers-2-Lyme-disease-bacterial-species-that-infect-human-patients.aspx

Coyote:

nm_Coyote_090722_mainColorado 05/16/14 9news.com: by Robert Garrison, KUSA – A coyote attacked a man and his dog walking on the CU-Boulder campus Thursday evening. University of Boulder police said it happened in a wooded area, southwest of Foothills Parkway and Arapahoe Avenue. The man reported that after focusing on them for some time, the coyote approached and eventually attacked his dog. The dog was on a leash and the man was able to pull the dog away from the attack. The coyote then lunged at the man, biting his left forearm as he reached out to block the coyote’s advance. The man was able to fend off the attack by kicking the coyote and swinging a stick as it retreated. – For complete article and precautions see http://www.9news.com/story/news/local/2014/05/16/coyote-attacks-man-dog-on-cu-campus/9190271/

Rabies:

help-mdVirginia 05/15/14 James City County: A cat that bit someone and a dog that scratched another person on Wednesday in two county neighborhoods are wanted by the Peninsula Health District for observation to ensure they aren’t rabid. A Siamese cat with blue eyes bit a person on Wednesday in the Black Heath area of Ford’s Colony, according to a press release. The cat has been seen in the area wearing a collar, but it was not wearing one at the time of the incident. The same day a black dog with a “pug-like” face weighing about 40 pounds scratched a person in the 3900 block of Powhatan Parkway in Powhatan Secondary, according to a separate release. The releases indicate, once found, both animals will be confined within their homes for a period of ten days. If they are not found, the victims will have to undergo post-exposure treatment for rabies prevention. Anyone who has seen an animal fitting either description is asked to call the Peninsula Health District – Williamsburg Environmental Health at 757-603-4277. After hours contact animal control at 757-253-1800.- See http://www.vagazette.com/news/va-vg-two-animals-sought-for-rabies-observation-20140515,0,1810898.story

Canada:

help-298x300Ontario 05/15/14 Grey Bruce Health Unit: by Janice MacKay – (Officials hope) to find the owner of a dog that bit a youth in Owen Sound. A young male was walking the large brown boxer type dog behind the Owen Sound Family YMCA on Tuesday at about 2:20pm, when it bit another youth. Health unit staff hope to confirm the dog is not infectious with rabies, so the victim can avoid post exposure rabies treatment. Anyone with information is asked to call 519-376-9420. – See http://blackburnnews.com/midwestern-ontario/midwestern-ontario-news/2014/05/15/owen-sound-boy-hopes-to-avoid-rabies-treatments/

CANADIAN WOMAN and DOG rescued after COYOTE attack in ALBERTA ~ FLORIDA scientists see spike in CANINE LEPTOSPIROSIS cases ~ WEST NILE VIRUS ahead of schedule in CALIFORNIA ~ RABIES reports from MD, NE & NC.

Coyote. Photo by Yathin S. Krishnappa. Wikimedia Commons.

Coyote. Photo by Yathin S. Krishnappa. Wikimedia Commons.

Canada:

Alberta 03/14/14 metronews.ca: by Stephanie Dubois – It was supposed to be a typical Thursday night stroll for one woman and her three dogs in the Riverbend/Terwillegar Park area but as the night went on, it turned into what police are calling an “unconventional rescue.” It was around 8:20 p.m. that police received a call from the woman saying she had fallen down a 20-foot embankment after one of her dogs was attacked by coyotes, explained police. One of the dogs was dragged away by the coyotes, which compelled the woman to chase after her dog, causing her to slide down an embankment. “When she called 911 … she wasn’t sure where she was but she did feel like the coyotes were following her as well,” said Const. Steve Minarchi of EPS Tactical Section. “It was dark, [she] was in some pretty thick bush and was obviously pretty scared.” Air 1 was called to the scene and lit the area to locate the woman, who used her cell phone to help rescuers find her. Police say there were at least 10 coyotes spotted in the area that night. The woman was found about 500 metres from her dog, which was found about 50 metres out on the ice, laying down.

LupeCaonTranscoyotesEdmonton firefighters helped rescue the medium-sized dog, which officials believe went out onto the ice to escape the coyotes. Police also added that they were able to locate it thanks to the dog’s lit collar. The dog was pretty badly injured but was alive when police dealt with it Thursday night, said Minarchi. “This is a very unconventional rescue just for the simple fact that it wasn’t a very safe area,” he said, adding officials believe all three dogs were not leashed at the time of the incident. Fish and Wildlife officials say complaints about coyotes are “common” in Edmonton, adding that as the city is developed, the habitat of coyotes is encroached upon, which causes more interaction between humans and animals. “It’s very common in most cities in North America, it’s how we choose to deal with it that is very important,” said Dennis Prodan, district Fish and Wildlife officer. No update was provided on the condition of the woman or of the dog Friday afternoon.

Leptospirosis:

Norway rat.

Norway rat.

Florida 03/13/14 dvm360.com: University of Florida veterinarians have reported a recent spike in leptospirosis cases in dogs treated at UF’s Small Animal Hospital. This emerging bacterial disease affects multiple animal species as well as humans. “In a typical year, we see almost no cases of leptospirosis in dogs at UF,” says Carsten Bandt, DVM, an assistant professor of emergency medicine and critical care at the UF College of Veterinary Medicine, in a university release. Rats-02Bandt serves as chief of the hospital’s emergency and critical care service. “We have now seen 12 cases, just within the past six months.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention doesn’t collect data on dogs, although the information may be reportable in animals in some states, says Christopher Cox, a health communications specialist with the CDC, in the UF release. Cox says between 100 and 200 human cases of leptospirosis are identified annually in the U.S., with around half of those 1097368_black_rodent(1)occurring in Hawaii. “Although incidence in the U.S. is relatively low, leptospirosis is considered to be the most widespread zoonotic disease in the world,” he says. Although the severity of the disease varies widely in people and in pets, leptospirosis can cause serious liver and kidney damage and can be fatal if it is left untreated, says Bandt. “Although frequently seen in many animal species and in humans around the world, including the United States, there have been very few cases of pets diagnosed with this disease in the last decade in Florida,” says Bandt.

138193923The bacterium that causes leptospirosis is transmitted through the urine of infected animals, including rodents, mice and other pests, according to the CDC. These bacteria live in soil and water for weeks to months. Several strains of the bacterium cause disease in dogs, although prevalence varies by region. Animals that spend lots of time outside, particularly in areas frequented by wildlife, are most at risk. Signs of leptospirosis in dogs and humans vary and can weekend-sick-pupbe nonspecific, but dogs have demonstrated a more consistent range of clinical signs, Cox says. Those typically include lethargy, depression, lack of interest in eating, vomiting, fever, abdominal pain and changes in urination frequency. A dog showing these signs may or may not have leptospirosis, but pet owners should still contact their veterinarian immediately, Bandt adds. “All canine patients with acute kidney injury should be tested for leptospirosis,” he says. “If caught early, leptospirosis responds well to antibiotics, but if not, signs-dog-cat-sickserious and sometimes fatal disease can quickly follow.” Several vaccines protect against multiple strains of leptospirosis, but historically these vaccines have not been widely used in Florida because of the low frequency of the disease in dogs. Because leptospirosis is zoonotic, families with infected pets should be careful handling the urine of these animals, Bandt added. For more information on this increase in leptospirosis, veterinarians can contact the UF Small Animal Hospital at (352) 392-2235.

West Nile Virus (WNV):

080722_west_nile_generic4California 03/14/14 capradio.org: by Rich Ibarra – San Joaquin County has reported its first case of West Nile Virus activity for this year; it comes two months ahead of schedule. Santa Clara, Los Angeles, and now San Joaquin County are seeing their first cases of West Nile Virus activity in 2014. A dead bird near Tracy tested positive for the virus and that’s very early in the year. Last year, it was May before West Nile showed up. – See http://www.capradio.org/articles/2014/03/14/west-nile-virus-spotted-early-this-year/

Rabies:

imagesCAQVTCKPMaryland 03/15/14 Anne Arundel County: A raccoon found March 13th on Snow Hill Lane near the Four Seasons Estates in Gambrills has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/raccoon-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-anne-arundel/2014/03/15/f01996d0-ac7f-11e3-b8ca-197ef3568958_story.html

Nebraska 03/15/14 Hayes County: According to officials at the Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department, a skunk found last month tested positive skunk-690x459for rabies. – See http://www.nptelegraph.com/news/rabies-case-reported-in-southwest-neb/article_cdd97638-06f9-5b3c-9c6f-6b741bdb136d.html

North Carolina 03/14/14 Davidson County: A skunk that fought with an unvaccinated dog at Finch Park in Lexington on March 13th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20140314/News/303149984

 

 

LEPTOSPIROSIS said to be endemic in parts of OHIO and MICHIGAN ~ CANADA: Domestic PORK-related TRICHINOSIS found on private farm in ONTARIO ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS report from GEORGIA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CAx3, ID, ILx3, IN, MA, NY, PA, & WY ~ RABIES reports from FL, & NC ~ FOLLOW-UP REPORT: RHODE ISLAND officials rule out RABIES in death of second CALF.

Photo courtesy U.S. Army.

Photo courtesy U.S. Army.

National 07/29/13: Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease that affects both animals and humans, and it’s more prevalent this year because of heavier rain. There are about 100 strains that are recognized, but most vets vaccinate for the four most common in the U.S. The bacteria are spread through the urine of infected hosts, which can get into water or soil and can survive there for weeks to months. Many different wild and domestic animals carry the disease. Humans can become infected through contact with the urine or other body fluids, but not saliva, of infected animals, or through contact with water, soil, or food contaminated with the urine of infected animals. The bacteria can enter the body through skin or mucous (eyes, nose, or mouth) membranes, especially if the skin is broken from a cut or scratch. Drinking contaminated water can also lifemoto_blogspot_comcause infection. Person to person transmission is rare. In humans, leptospirosis can cause a wide range of flu-like symptoms and lasts from a few days to 3 or more weeks. Without treatment, recovery may take several months. Leptospirosis is an occupational hazard for many who work outdoors or with animals, and it has been associated with recreational activities in contaminated lakes and rivers. According to a recent article in The Blade of Toledo by Tanya Irwin, the disease is endemic in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan.– For Tanya Irwin’s article see http://www.toledoblade.com/Medical/2013/07/29/Flulike-bacteria-sickens-people-and-pets-alike.html and for more information about Leptospirosis see http://www.cdc.gov/leptospirosis/index.html

Trichinosis:

Canada:

Trichinosis2Ontario 07/26/13 owensoundsuntimes.com: by Tracey Richardson – A Bruce County child has had the extremely rare distinction of acquiring trichinosis from pork — something that was thought to have been eradicated from the province for decades. Trichinosis is caused by small roundworms of the trichinella species. Infective larvae are transferred by the consumption of raw or undercooked infected meat. The problem was most prevalent in swine until government regulations and inspections clamped down on the industry. The last swine outbreak in Ontario happened in 1977. Until this January, the last human case of trichinosis associated with the consumption of infected domestic pork occurred in 1980. There was an outbreak in Ontario in 1993 among a couple of dozen people who’d eaten smoked wild boar meat. Nowadays, trichinosis is usually confined to meat from wild animals. . . . .

img_7978The Bruce County case happened in January this year at a Mennonite farm, said Grey Bruce medical officer of health Dr. Hazel Lynn. The farm was non-commercial and the pig was slaughtered and consumed on the farm. No part of the animal ever entered the commercial food supply. News of the case was mentioned in passing at the public health board’s monthly meeting Friday. Lynn said the child was diagnosed by an “astute” pediatrician in London, although the child recovered without treatment. Lynn said when the farmer acquired the piglet, it was free of trichinella. “So it happened between being a tiny piglet and growing up to be slaughtered,” she said. “However their animal husbandry on the farm was pretty old style, so anything left over got fed to the pigs. Now if you cook it all, it’s OK. But also there were rats around, which many barns have, whether or not they’re well looked after, and that’s probably where this pig got it.” It’s believed the child consumed infected smoked ham or sausage from the infected pig. Smoking the meat does not heat it to a high enough temperature to kill the larvae. The CFIA recommends cooking all wild game meat, pork and horse meat to an internal temperature of at least 71 degrees C. – For complete article see http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/2013/07/26/rare-trichinosis-happened-on-bruce-county-farm

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

Clinch County_GAGeorgia 07/29/13 Clinch County: A 70-year-old county resident has tested positive for EEE. This is the first human case of EEE in the state, and the third in the country so far this year. Five to ten human cases are reported nationally each year. – See http://www.walb.com/story/22956635/human-eee-reported-in-clinch-co

West Nile Virus (WNV):

San_Luis_Obispo_County.CACalifornia 07/26/13 San Luis Obispo County: Health officials have confirmed that mosquitoes collected at Pismo State Beach this month have tested positive for WNV. –  See http://www.ksby.com/news/west-nile-virus-detected-in-mosquitoes-found-in-pismo-beach/

LAcountyVectorControl.CACalifornia 07/27/13 Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District: GLACVCD has confirmed more WNV positive test results in 25 mosquito samples and three dead birds collected throughout its jurisdiction. This is the first sign of virus activity this year in Burbank, Elysian Valley, Encino, Granada Hills, North Hills, Santa Clarita and Watts. Please refer to chart for a breakdown of the latest WNV activity. – For article and chart see http://hometownstation.com/santa-clarita-news/west-nile-virus-has-been-found-mosquito-scv-36585

Glenn_County.CACalifornia 07/27/13 Glenn County: An elderly county resident has been identified as the state’s sixth human case of WNV so far this year. Five others were infected across Los Angeles County. – See http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Additional-West-Nile-Virus-Case-California-217138161.html

Larimer_County.COColorado 07/27/13 Larimer County: Health officials have confirmed that Larimer County now leads the state in the number of mosquitoes testing positive for WNV, and at least one human case of the virus has been reported in the county. Fort Collins officials are warning residents that the southeast part of the city is showing more prevalence of the mosquitoes that carry the virus. Boulder and Mesa counties are also showing a higher prevalence of the infected mosquitoes. – See http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20130727/NEWS01/307270016/West-Nile-virus-spreads-Larimer-County-where-53-mosquito-groups-tested-positive

Payette-County_IDIdaho 07/27/13 Payette County: Health officials have announced that the county’s first human case of WNV is a male in his 40s who is now hospitalized. – See http://www.idahopress.com/members/west-nile-virus-found-in-horses-humans/article_20aabe40-f66a-11e2-b215-0019bb2963f4.html

ILLINOIS_DPHIllinois 07/29/13 DuPage and Will counties: Health officials have confirmed that mosquitoes trapped at Seager and Springhill parks in Naperville have tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.positivelynaperville.com/2013/07/29/area-mosquito-traps-initially-test-positive-for-west-nile-virus/25027

madisoncounty_ILIllinois 07/27/13 Madison County: Health officials have confirmed that mosquitoes trapped in Mitchell, Bethalto, Edwardsville, Glen Carbon and Meadowbrook have tested positive for WNV. – See http://altondailynews.com/news/details.cfm?clientid=17&id=86859#.UfWMJ23DK5d

Kane cty ILIllinois 07/26/13 Kane County: Health officials have confirmed that mosquitoes trapped in Aurora and in Algonquin have tested positive for WNV. – See http://stcharles-il.patch.com/groups/summer/p/west-nile-virus-threat-grows-in-kane-county

IN-DH-B-W-LogoIndiana 07/26/13 Indiana DOH: State health officials have confirmed that mosquitoes trapped in Kosciusko and Starke counties have tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.wsbt.com/news/wsbt-west-nile-virus-found-in-n-ind-20130726,0,5321104.story

plymouth cty MAMassachusetts 07/28/13 Plymouth County: Public health officials confirmed Friday  that mosquitoes trapped in Rockland have tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/07/27/west-nile-virus-detected-mosquito/VyE0GEAaEcmiQlsn5sBMVP/story.html

Erie_County.NYNew York 07/26/13 Erie County: Mosquitoes collected in Amherst on July 17th and 18th have tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.buffalonews.com/city-region/mosquitoes-infected-with-west-nile-virus-found-in-amherst-20130726

lehigh cty PAPennsylvania 07/26/13 Lehigh County: State officials have reported that mosquitoes trapped in Lower Macungie Township, Allentown, and Bethlehem have tested positive for WNV. – See https://www.google.com/search?q=bethlehem+pa&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

Rabies:

cat-child-300x225Florida 07/26/13 Pasco County: A Rabies Alert has been issued for the northwest portion of the county after a cat tested positive for the virus. – For area boundaries of the alert see http://www.baynews9.com/content/news/baynews9/news/article.html/content/news/articles/bn9/2013/7/26/rabies_alert_issued_.html

fox1cNorth Carolina 07/26/13 Wake County: A fox that came in contact with a resident of the 1000 block of Valleystone Drive in Cary on Thursday has tested positive for rabies. A Rabies Alert has been issued for those living in the vicinity of the High House Road and Davis Drive intersection. – For map of the area see http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/local&id=9186608

Follow-Up Report:

(See – Officials fear a “large number” of people in TIVERTON, RHODE ISLAND, may have been exposed to RABIES – posted July 27, 2013)

question-markRhode Island 07/27/13 providencejournal.com: by Felice J. Freyer: Laboratory tests have ruled out rabies as the cause of a brown calf’s death on Friday, the second of two calves that died near a Tiverton ice cream shop. But it still isn’t known what killed the brown calf. And the Health Department’s advice remains the same for people who came in contact with the black-and-white calf that died July 21 in the same pasture, next to Gray’s Ice Cream shop. People who came in contact with that calf, known as Oreo, between July 5 and July 21 should call the Health Department at (401) 222-2577 to find out if they should receive rabies shots. Oreo died six days after biting a child, but word of its death did not reach authorities in time to test the calf for rabies. Rabies remains a possibility for Oreo. Oreo was removed from direct public contact on July 16, and only the animal’s handlers may have been exposed from July 16 through July 21. There is no risk of rabies for those who came in contact with the calf before July 5. – For complete article see http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20130727-r.i.-health-department-rules-out-rabies-in-death-of-second-tiverton-calf.ece

ALASKA hiker injured by GRIZZLY ~ ILLINOIS resident diagnosed with HANTAVIRUS ~ PENNSYLVANIA finds WEST NILE VIRUS in dead CROW ~ TRAVEL WARNINGS: PERU reports LEPTOSPIROSIS outbreak.

Grizzly. Courtesy U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.

Alaska 05/12/12 ktuu.com: by Christine Kim & Abby Hancock – Anchorage police say an Eagle River man was hiking about 3/4 of a mile off of Eagle River Road on Saturday, not far from his home, when a bear attacked him. Police say Howard Meyer, 57, told officers he saw first saw the large brown bear about 50 feet away from him. He tried to run from it, but then tripped and fell, according to Lt. Dave Parker. The bear then swatted Meyer a few times and took off. After the short attack, Parker says Meyer called APD with his cell phone. Meyer made his way down the mountain and eventually connected up with responding officers. “This is the time of year we want people to be aware but to be connected- take that cell phone. In this case, that really helped out a lot, being able to finally get together and get him the medical help that he needed,” said Parker. Meyer was taken to Providence hospital with scalp wounds and claw marks on his body, where he is still recovering. Police said however, the injuries are not life threatening.

Deer mouse. Courtesy CDC.

Illinois 05/11/12 news-gazette.com: The Illinois Department of Public Health reported on Friday evening that an Iroquois County resident has been diagnosed with hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. The syndrome is a disease spread by rodents, according to the report. The Iroquois County resident first showed symptoms in late April after cleaning out a structure where rodents were seen and was hospitalized in May with fever and shortness of breath. The person is recovering after being released from the hospital. – For complete article see http://www.news-gazette.com/news/environment/2012-05-11/iroquois-county-resident-diagnosed-rodent-spread-disease.html

Pennsylvania 05/13/12 Millcreek, Huntingdon County: A dead crow found in Millcreek on May 4 is the county’s first confirmed case of West Nile Virus this year.- See http://www.goerie.com/article/20120513/NEWS02/305139867/West-Nile-infected-crow-found-in-Millcreek-Township

Travel Warnings:

Peru 05/11/12 cdc.gov: Flooding has caused an outbreak of leptospirosis in Peru, especially in the Loreto region. This is the worst flooding seen in this area for over 20 years. Peru has reported more than 300 cases and 3 deaths associated with leptospirosis thus far in 2012. Health authorities have alerted people to take precautions against the infection. Leptospirosis is a disease that is spread by animal urine. People become infected with the disease when they come in contact with body fluids of infected animals or in contact with water, soil, or food contaminated with infected urine. Leptospirosis is a hazard for many people who work outdoors or with animals. The disease has also been associated with swimming, wading, kayaking, and rafting in contaminated lakes and rivers.  – For more information see http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/outbreak-notice/leptospirosis-in-peru.htm

Michigan’s Detroit-area has reported more than 20 cases of life-threatening LEPTOSPIROSIS in DOGS this month ~ Montana FWP and Wisconsin DNR call for volunteers to monitor WOLF population ~ California and Connecticut city officials report MOUNTAIN LION sightings ~ a ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER report from Arkansas ~ and RABIES reports from California, & New York.

Labrador Retriever. Photo by Webdude1. Wikimedia Commons.

Michigan 10/27/11msu.edu: News Release – More than 20 cases of the life-threatening bacterial infection leptospirosis have been reported in Detroit-area dogs in the past three weeks, according to Michigan State University’s Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Experts at the MSU center, a service unit of the College of Veterinary Medicine, diagnosed the specific strain of the disease, which can cause fatal damage to dogs and can be transmitted to humans. In most cases, the dogs were not vaccinated against leptospirosis, or they had an uncertain vaccination history. Because this particular type of leptospirosis is associated with contact with rats, stray dogs are typically thought to be at highest risk.

Dr. Carole Bolin

“What is particularly unusual about this outbreak is that the dogs affected are not stray animals, but people’s pets,” said Carole Bolin, director of the Diagnostic Center. “Unfortunately, we expect to see more cases, and this is a very dangerous type of leptospirosis. Many veterinarians have never seen this type in dogs because it was markedly reduced by vaccination.”

Bolin and her team performed diagnostic testing and identified the particular strain of infection as icterohaemorrhagiae, which can cause severe disease in humans and animals. It is commonly carried by rats but also can be transmitted dog-to-dog or dog-to-human. Bolin is aware of nine dogs that died or were euthanized as a result of the disease, but there may be others. Leptospirosis spreads by infected wild and domestic animals. The bacteria (leptospira) that infects these animals can reside in their kidneys, and the host animal may or may not appear ill. They contaminate their environment with living leptospira when they urinate. Pets can become infected by sniffing this urine or by contacting standing water that becomes contaminated by rain and water runoff. “This is a very serious, rapidly progressing type of leptospirosis in dogs,” Bolin said. “Dogs can appear normal one day and be severely ill the next day. People can become infected, so this also is a threat to animal owners, caretakers and veterinarians.” – For complete news release go to http://news.msu.edu/story/9952/

Montana 10/27/11 helenair.com: by Joe Maurier – Over the course of Montana’s unique five-week-long general hunting season, more than 250,000 proud hunters will chart more than 2 million days afield in pursuit of elk and deer. Some 13,000 will also have a license to legally hunt a wolf for only the second time in recent memory. Montana set the quota for the wolf harvest at 220 animals and each harvest must be reported. But we need many more hunters to keep an eye out for wolves to help Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks manage this relatively new addition to our state. The wolf, unlike most other wildlife species, offers more ways than one to be counted. Wolves howl. They walk on forest roads. They leave tracks. And they are increasingly observed by people. For skilled and informed outdoorsmen and women, wolves leave plenty of sign. Unlike deer and elk, wolves live in packs. When you find the tracks of a wolf—and especially the tracks of three or more running together—the odds are high that they patrol an area of some 200 square miles. In this manner, wolf packs sit on the map of Montana like a hundred interlocking puzzle pieces. Like any puzzle, the first few pieces are the toughest to find and fit together. That’s why FWP goes to the extra effort of capturing and placing radio collars on wolves across Montana. The home ranges of radioed wolves describe the outlines of each pack territory on the map, and the radios lead your FWP wildlife biologists in airplanes or on foot to the rest of their pack members. This fall, as hundreds of thousands of hunters comb the far corners Montana — often in tracking snow — we ask that they also take the time to report their specific observations of wolves or tracks to FWP. With that first hand information, wildlife biologists will return to many of the sites to confirm wolf presence. For complete article go to http://helenair.com/lifestyles/recreation/hunters-can-help-montana-s-wolf-management-efforts/article_9103d7ac-0063-11e1-8b76-001cc4c03286.html

Wisconsin 10/27/11 jsonline.com: by Paul A. Smith – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources utilizes a team of volunteer trackers each winter to help monitor the state’s wolf population. It’s been called the largest such wildlife tracking program in the nation. Volunteers are required to attend one or more training sessions to qualify for the effort. The DNR is issuing its annual call for volunteers as well as listing the schedule of workshops planned in the coming weeks. Volunteer trackers are assigned survey blocks in forest portions of northern and central Wisconsin, and are asked to conduct three or more surveys in their assigned block each winter. Data they gather can be compiled with those of other volunteers to aid Department of Natural Resources biologists in evaluating wolf populations. – For complete article go to http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/sports/132700988.html

California 10/26/11 thecalifornian.com: Monterey, Monterey County: Local police responded to a mountain lion sighting Monday in the 500 block of Mar Vista Drive. While Officers were checking the area, a caller reported seeing a mountain lion in a backyard in the same vicinity. Officers witnessed an animal jumping from a tree and running up a hill into a wooded area. The officers did not get a clear view of the animal, but they believe it was a mountain lion based upon its size and movement.

 

Connecticut 10/27/11 East Haddam, Middlesex County: Local Animal Control Officer Michael Olzacki reports mountain lion sighting. First Selectman Mark Walter said he’s not surprised, despite the official state position that there are no resident mountain lions in the state. See http://www.theday.com/article/20111027/NWS01/111029262/1047

California 10/26/11 Siskiyou County: The Siskiyou County Public Health and Community Development Department is advising local residents that two bats have been confirmed positive for the rabies virus in late September and early October in northern Siskiyou County. In both cases, domestic pets have come in contact with the rabid bats. See http://www.mtshastanews.com/news/x2063883379/Two-Siskiyou-bats-test-positive-for-rabies

New York 10/26/11 West Winfield, Herkimer County: Health officials warn residents after a skunk that attacked a caged dog tested positive for rabies. See http://www.wktv.com/news/local/Residents-warned-to-be-cautious-after-rabid-skunk-attacked-caged-dog-132649673.html

USDA sharpshooters may thin DEER population at USMC’s Camp Lejeune in North Carolina ~ Mississippi confirms another WEST NILE VIRUS death and six new HUMAN cases ~ Two in Maryland bitten by FERAL CAT with RABIES ~ Pennsylvania animal shelter workers bitten by STRAY KITTEN with RABIES ~ Illinois confirms two more CATS with TULAREMIA ~ Travel Warnings for The Philippines ~ AUTHOR’S NOTE.

Whitetail deer. Photo by lcwtoys. Wikimedia Commons.

North Carolina 10/01/11 marinecorpstimes.com: by Gina Cavallaro – The living conditions at Camp Lejeune, N.C., have become a little too comfortable for thousands of white-tailed deer. There are so many, and they’re causing so many problems, that base officials are considering the use of sharpshooters from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to end the problem. Lejeune has documented 120 deer-vehicle collisions since 2009, and officials estimate the hungry animals have destroyed 500 acres of landscaped vegetation in the base’s urban areas. Deer make people sick, too. In 2009, Lejeune medical personnel treated 24 cases of Lyme disease and 11 cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, both illnesses caused by deer that also carry ticks and other parasites. In 2010, the number of Lyme disease cases jumped to 39 and there were six cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

Camp Lejeune’s own hunting program has helped somewhat, but officials have concluded that hunting alone is not enough to bring the burgeoning population of white tail deer under control. The sharpshooters, or “firearms experts” as the government agency calls them, have helped control deer populations in dozens of wildlife areas, including places like Camp David, the presidential retreat on Maryland’s Catoctin Mountain, and in Valley Forge, Pa., where over the course of 16 nights, a team took out 600 deer. A three-person team comprises a driver, shooter and spotter from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s Wildlife Services program.

But don’t confuse these shooters with Marine scout snipers. The USDA experts are wildlife biologists who are schooled in the movements and behaviors of animals. They also work at Marine Corps air stations to help control populations of birds that can do more harm to an aircraft than a deer can do in a vegetable garden. There is no start date yet for the sharpshooter plan, but with hunting season underway in eastern North Carolina, the deer may soon find it hard to hide.

Mississippi 09/26/11 ms.gov: News Release – Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports one death in a previously reported West Nile virus (WNV) case in Jasper County and six new human cases in Hinds, Madison, Rankin (3), and Washington counties, bringing the state’s total to 39 cases for 2011 with three deaths. So far this year, cases have been confirmed in Forrest (4), Hinds (6), Jones (4), Madison (6), Pearl River (6), Rankin (5), Washington (2) and one case each in Coahoma, Jasper, Lincoln, Tallahatchie, Tate, and Wayne counties. Three deaths have been confirmed, in Jasper, Jones, and Pearl River counties. In 2010, Mississippi had eight WNV cases and no deaths.

Maryland 10/01/11 delawreonline.com: A cat that attacked two people in the parking lot of Rising Sun High School has tested positive for rabies, Cecil County Health Department officials said today. The cat — unprovoked — bit both of the people it attacked Friday and died during the incident. Its body was sent to the state Health Department Laboratory, where the confirmation was made. Health Department spokeswoman Janis D. Shields said both people now are receiving the four-dose series of vaccines used to treat rabies, a viral disease that — if untreated — is fatal to humans and animals. Shields said the vaccines are given on the day of exposure, and on the third, seventh and 14th days following. Anyone scratched or bitten in the past 10 days by a female cat with calico markings in the area of the high school should contact their doctor or report to an emergency room for treatment, officials said. The high school is at 100 Tiger Drive, near the intersection of Maryland 272 and 273 in the center of northern Cecil County.

Pennsylvania 09/29/11 wpxi.com: Workers at a Westmoreland County animal shelter are being treated for rabies after they got bitten by a stray kitten. The kitten had a small bite when someone took the animal to Animal Protectors in New Kensington almost 3 weeks ago. But it didn’t begin to show symptoms of rabies until it bit a worker and a volunteer over the weekend. Both were both vaccinated immediately. Vets at the shelter told Channel 11 News that the kitten was put down after tests confirmed it had rabies.

Illinois 09/30/11 news-gazette-com: by Tim Ditman – The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District says two more cats have tested positive for Tularemia disease. One of those cats is in Champaign. The other is in Urbana. Three cats from Savoy had previously tested positive for the disease. Four of the five sick cats have either died due to the disease or have been euthanized. Health district epidemiologist Awais Vaid says the cause of the outbreak is still under investigation.

Travel Warnings:

The Philippines 10/02/11 pia.gov.ph: News Release  — In a release by the Department of Health, Center for Health Development-Metro Manila (CHD-MM) Regional Director Eduardo Janairo reported that cases of leptospirosis are fast rising as series of typhoons continue to bring flood waters in various areas of Metro Manila. Janairo said the disease brought about by rats can be very deadly as it is transmitted through humans from contaminated waters, especially rat urine.  “Once it comes into contact with cuts and open wounds in the skin, a person may develop high-grade fever, muscle pain and nausea. If complications may arise, it can lead to renal failure, respiratory distress and eventually death,” said Janairo. CHD’s Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit records showed 391 cases of leptospirosis, with 31 deaths from January to September 8, 2011. Among the cities with the most number of recorded cases of leptospirosis are: Manila (79), Quezon City (76), Caloocan (3), Malabon (4), Navotas (27), Valenzuela (21), Parañaque (22), Pasay (19), Makati (12), Las Piñas (10), and Taguig (10).

AUTHOR’S NOTE

Posts will be limited

through October 15

due to

carpal tunnel syndrome.

Massachusetts man says COYOTES killed one of his BUFFALO ~ New York’s Westchester County issues RABIES ALERT ~ California man and South Dakota woman each confront a MOUNTAIN LION to save their pets ~ California hospital looking for 6,000 people who received one or more of six vaccinations, including RABIES VACCINE, that may be subpotent ~ Florida’s Pinellas County finds four more SENTINEL CHICKENS with ST. LOUIS ENCEPHALITIS ~ RABIES (animal) reports from Alabama, California, Connecticut, New Mexico, North Carolina (2), Ohio, South Carolina, & Washington ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (human & horse) reports from Delaware, Maryland, & Pennsylvania ~ and an EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS (horse) report from Michigan ~ Travel Warnings for The Bahamas, & Dominica.

American buffalo. PD. Wikimedia Commons.

Massachusetts 09/16/11 boston.com: by Meghan Irons – Coyotes lurking in the woods in Massachusetts have been known to attack dogs, chickens, cats, and even, in rare instances, people. But a buffalo? You better believe it, pardner.  Tyler Kimball says it actually happened here on his farm in the dark of night on Saturday.

Wolf pack surrounding a buffalo

A pack of coyotes entered a pen where his 14 buffalos grazed. When they were done, one was missing.  The coyotes were sly, Kimball said. They separated a relatively young buffalo, 16 months old, from the rest of the herd, dragged it into a nearby swamp, and devoured it.  “All that was left was skin and bone,” said Kimball, who was keeping watch over the pen today as the herd huddled together and grazed on grass. Kimball decided to raise buffalos a few years ago after he visited a farm in Maine and ate buffalo meat. He raises the animals for their meat and uses them to protect chickens that are in a coop inside the pen. The animals are also huge attractions for visitors. After the coyote attack, he vowed to be vigilant in protecting the animals – armed, if necessary. “I’m going to come out here with my gun, and if I see one, I’ll shoot it,” he said.

New York 09/16/11 patch.com: by Satta Sarmah – The Westchester County Department of Health issued an alert on Friday after rabid animals were spotted in five communities. The alert is for residents who may have had contact with a rabid skunk in Ossining, Mamaroneck, Scarsdale, or Katonah or a rabid raccoon in Yorktown. On Sept. 8, a man in Mamaroneck killed a rabid skunk with a metal rod after it chased him on Center Avenue. In Yorktown, a resident killed a rabid raccoon after it fought with two dogs on Kitchawan Road on Sept. 9. Four days later, a rabid skunk attacked a dog on Belle Avenue in Ossining and was eventually killed by police, while another rabid skunk in Scarsdale followed a dog into a yard before construction workers killed it by pummeling rocks at the animal. The latest rabid animal incident occurred on Thursday morning in Katonah. A sick skunk was found shaking in a front yard on Buckabee Place. Bedford police shot and killed the animal. No person had direct contact with any of the rabid animals, but the pets that did are receiving rabies booster shots. The health department used robo-calls to notify residents who live within a quarter-mile of the location where each of the animals was found. However, anyone who may have had contact with them should call the Westchester County Department of Health immediately at (914) 813-5000 to determine if rabies treatment is needed. For more information about rabies and its prevention, visit the Westchester County Health Department’s website at www.westchestergov.com/health. Residents also can call the RABIES INFOLINE at (914) 813-5010 to listen to a taped message.

California 09/16/11 patch.com: by Nathan McIntire – A Monrovia resident chased away a mountain lion from his hillside neighborhood Thursday night, but not before it killed his cat. Maxwell Harvey was pulling up to his home in the 400 block of Lotone Street at about 10 p.m. Thursday when he saw the mountain lion in a neighbor’s driveway. He noticed it had something clasped in its jaws. “I saw something in its mouth but I didn’t know what it was,” Harvey said. “Then I saw it was my cat so I started to chase after it.” The mountain lion dropped the cat, an orange tabby named “Brett Favre,” in the street a few houses down before scampering back up into the foothills. Harvey said it came back down about an hour later looking for its kill, but he had already picked up the cat’s body. The Monrovia Police Department sent out a robo-call Friday warning residents about the mountain lion sighting. Residents in Sierra Madre also reported seeing a mountain lion roaming the streets on Monday.

South Dakota 09/17/11 rapidcityjournal.com: by Andrea J. Cook – Jill Schad didn’t hesitate when she saw her Sheltie Kay’D clutched in a mountain lion‘s jaws. After calling for help, Schad grabbed a small bottle of antifreeze before advancing on the lion that had her pet in a death grip. “Your adrenalin just kind of takes over,” Schad said. “I just tried to save her.” Schad estimates she was within 18 inches of the lion that had either cornered or carried Kay’D into a boat shed Sept. 4. Game, Fish & Parks officials shot and killed the lion and a female traveling with it later that evening after the animals returned to the area. The killing of the two lions brings to 73 the number of documented lion deaths in South Dakota since the first of the year, Mike Kintigh, regional GF&P supervisor, said. Don and Jill Schad have lived two miles south of Cheyenne Crossing, on U.S. Highway 85, for more than 10 years. This is the first time they’ve seen mountain lions on the property that is surrounded by U.S. Forest Service land. – For complete article go to http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/woman-stood-face-to-face-with-mountain-lion/article_20f719ce-e0ec-11e0-9b8d-001cc4c002e0.html

California 09/16/11 appeal-democrat.com: Fremont Rideout Health Group is trying to reach about 6,000 people who received vaccines that may be subpotent. Letters were sent this week to patients who received six vaccines potentially affected by a refrigeration malfunction, a FRHG official said Friday. The hospital is offering revaccinations as a precautionary measure. The six vaccines were administered to fight pneumonia; measles, mumps and rubella; tetanus; pertussis; rabies; and Hepatitis B. The vaccinations in question date back to February 2010. Chance White, FRHG senior vice president and chief clinical officer, said the vaccines’ manufacturers and the Centers for Disease Control indicated there’s a “small chance” the vaccines could be subpotent. In addition to the free revaccinations, the hospital will offer recipients a vaccine against the 2011-12 flu strain, also at no charge. “The manufacturers and the CDC said there’s no danger in getting subpotent vaccines or having revaccinations,” White said. Addresses for everyone who received the vaccinations are on file, but the hospital is concerned some people may have moved and will not get the letter. In addition to issuing a media advisory, FRHG plans an ad about the revaccinations. The outreach was initiated after FRHG identified a malfunction in the refrigeration unit of the pharmacy used to store vaccines; it was getting colder than the temperature range recommended by the pharmaceutical manufacturer. Unable to retrieve all relevant electronic temperature data for the malfunctioning unit, the hospital decided to revaccinate everyone, White said. “The prudent thing is to offer the revaccinations,” said White. Questions regarding the vaccines and revaccinations can be directed to a hotline, 749-6654, or email vaccines@frhg.org.

Florida 09/16/11 patch.com: by Sunde Farquhar – Pinellas County officials are advising residents of southwest Florida to double efforts to protect themselves from mosquito bites. That is the message from Pinellas County Health officials, concerned about the risks of disease to humans. Four more sentinel chickens tested positive for St. Louis Encephalitis, bringing the total of infected chickens in the county to nine. Sentinel chickens are kept in eight locations throughout the county and are tested weekly for signs of arboviral diseases caused by mosquito bites. County officials say the chickens serve as an early-warning beacon, making them aware of disease-carrying mosquitoes that pose risks to humans. Chickens tested positive in St. Petersburg, Oldsmar, Tarpon Springs, Seminole and Palm Harbor.

Alabama 09/15/11 dothaneagle.com: Houston County’s sixth animal rabies case for the year was discovered in a raccoon found at a residence on Clearmont Drive in Dothan. According to the Houston County Health Department, a resident found the raccoon fighting with his dogs and asked for the raccoon to be tested for rabies. There was no known human exposure to the rabid raccoon and the dogs involved are currently vaccinated for the rabies virus.

California 09/15/11 newsreview.com: Chico Police say a rabid bat bit a young boy at Bidwell Park. The boy required treatment after the Butte County Public Health Laboratory confirmed the animal had rabies. According to a CPD press release, the incident occurred as the 6-year-old played on the grass on the north side of Sycamore Pool at the One-Mile Recreation Area.

Connecticut 09/15/11 patch.com: by Stephanie Riefe – On September 14 at 4:23 p.m., the Simsbury Police Department responded to 18 Windham Drive in Simsbury. A resident witnessed a skunk attack a dog several times. Officers responded and located the skunk and it was exhibiting signs of sickness. Simsbury Animal Control Officer Mark Rudewicz delivered the skunk to the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for testing. On September 15, the Simsbury Police Department was informed by DPH that the skunk tested positive for rabies. If you, someone you know or any domesticated animals came into contact with a skunk in the area of Windham Drive within the last two weeks, it is recommend that you contact your doctor or veterinarian for advice. For any other questions or concerns, contact the Simsbury Police Department at 860-658-3100 or Animal Control Officer Mark Rudewicz at 860-658-3110. For further information, view the CT DPH Rabies website at http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3136&q=396178.

New Mexico 09/15/11 lcsun-news.com: by Diana M. Alba – A rabid bat recently was found at an apartment complex on Solano Drive, a state health official confirmed. It was the first confirmed instance of rabies in Doña Ana County this year. The bat was found two weeks ago at the complex and picked up by city animal control personnel, who, believing it was suspect, shipped the specimen to a state health laboratory in Albuquerque, said Paul Ettestad, state public health veterinarian.

North Carolina 09/16/11 newsobserver.com: Wake County health officials say two cases of rabies were confirmed this week, in Wendell and Willow Springs. Both cases involved rabid foxes. In one case, the fox interacted with a dog that had not received a rabies vaccination and had to be put down. The foxes were found near the intersection of Quail Creek Drive and Eddie Howard Road in Willow Springs and near the intersection of Gillies Spring Lane and Wendell Boulevard in Wendell. Residents of both areas are urged to keep an eye out for animals that are acting strangely and to keep their pets close at hand. County officials ask anyone who sees an animal acting in an unusual manner to call Wake County Animal Control at 212-7387. Anyone who has been bitten or scratched by an unknown animal should call their physician or the county community health department at 250-4462.

North Carolina 09/15/11 statesville.com: by Donna Swicegood – A skunk that attacked a dog in western Iredell County recently has been confirmed to have rabies. Iredell County Animal Services Director Chris Royal said a dog, whose owners live on Doe Trail Lane, was attacked by the skunk.  One of the owners of the dog shot and killed the skunk, and the skunk’s body was sent off to Raleigh for testing. The test came back positive for rabies, Royal said. This is the fifth case of rabies this year in Iredell County, she said. The dog, she said, was injured in the attack and was taken to the veterinarian for treatment. However, because of the dog’s age — 14 — the owners decided to surrender it to animal control and it was euthanized, Royal said.

Ohio 09/15/11 patch.com: by Jason Lea – A rabid skunk was collected in the northwest part of Mentor after it had an encounter with two unvaccinated dogs, according to the Lake County General Health District. To make sure they don’t spread the disease, the dogs will be subject to a six-month quarantine. This is the second rabid skunk found this year in Mentor. The first was located about two miles west in the northern, middle portion of Mentor in mid-July. It was captured during a routine Trap, Vaccinate and Release operation carried out by the USDA Wildlife Services. The skunk is believed to be infected with raccoon strain rabies. Since 2004, 136 animals with raccoon strain rabies have been found in Lake County, according to the health district. Health departments in northeast Ohio have distributed rabies vaccine for raccoons to eat. However, the vaccine is not effective in skunks. A new vaccine for skunks is undergoing trials and it is hoped it will be available for use locally next year. Citizens can call the Lake County General Health District at 440-350-2543 to report dead or sick animals and animals with odd behavior.

South Carolina 09/15/11 islandpacket.com: by Allison Stice – Three people who cared for an injured raccoon in Okatie are undergoing medical treatment after the animal tested positive for rabies, state health officials said Thursday.  Five others are being evaluated to see if they need the preventive inoculation against the virus, which is fatal to humans and animals once it reaches the brain.  The raccoon was found struggling to walk along a road in Okatie when a resident decided to take it home to nurse it, unaware that it was rabid, according to Adam Myrick, public information director for the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. When the animal’s condition worsened, it was taken to a veterinarian where it tested positive for rabies.  Now, two women and a child who handled the raccoon are being treated by a doctor. The animal did not bite them, but the virus can spread through scratches or saliva, Myrick said. DHEC is still determining how much contact five other people may have had with the raccoon.  “We cannot stress enough the importance of resisting the urge to adopt or feed wildlife,” Sue Ferguson of DHEC said in a news release. “Despite the prevalent folklore, there is no way to tell from looking at an animal whether or not it has rabies, and baby animals can carry the disease without showing the symptoms, as well.” The incident is the fifth confirmed rabid animal in Beaufort County this year. Last year’s total was five rabid animals, with 106 confirmed cases in the state.

Washington 09/16/11 theolympian.com: A dead bat found inside a store on Olympia’s west side has tested positive for rabies, according to the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services department. According to a news release: Two customers found the bat Sept. 9 in the Halloween section of the Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Store. The health department was notified Monday and sent the bat to the Washington State Public Health Laboratories for testing. Wednesday, the lab notified Public Health and Social Services that the bat had rabies. The pair who found the bat received rabies vaccinations as a precaution. County health officials are asking the store’s customers to call if they may have touched the bat at the store between Sept. 2 and Sept. 9. The health department can be reached at 360-867-2500. “People who walked, shopped, or worked at Jo-Ann’s are not at risk unless they came in contact with the bat,” Dr. Diana Yu, Thurston County Health Officer, said in the news release. A dozen to as many as 23 bats a year test positive for rabies statewide, said Tim Church, communications director for the state Department of Health. In 2010, out of 200 bats tested, 14 were positive, he said. Nine have tested positive this year, Church said.

New Castle County

Delaware 09/17/11 delawareonline.com: by Hiran Ratnayake – A 71-year-old man from New Castle County has been diagnosed with West Nile virus. The man has underlying health conditions and is hospitalized but his status was not released by the state’s Department of Health and Social Services Friday. “What we can release is that he is 71 and he is from New Castle County and that is the extent of what we can release,” said Jill Fredel, department spokeswoman. Between 2004 and 2009, the state had four cases of West Nile virus, according to the Delaware Division of Public Health. As of Sept. 13, there were 202 human cases of West Nile virus in the nation, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including seven deaths. Fredel said people spending time outside should stay covered up and use insect repellent to protect themselves from mosquitoes. “We have one confirmed case and [Delawareans] should be mindful of it,” Fredel said.

Sussex County

At the same time, state agricultural officials also said the health of a Sussex County horse with clinical signs of the West Nile Virus is improving. Tests to confirm the disease on the horse were inconclusive, according to Delaware’s Department of Agriculture, which was notified about the potential case Sep. 6. Delaware has not had a case of West Nile virus in a horse since 2003.

Prince George's County

Maryland 09/16/11 washingtonpost.com: by Maggie Fazeli Fard – A New Carrollton resident has contracted West Nile virus, Prince George’s County’s first confirmed case of the virus in a human, officials announced Friday. There was no information available on the condition of the infected resident.

Pennsylvania 09/16/11 post-gazette.com: by Jill Daly – A Pittsburgh man, who is Allegheny County’s first case of West Nile virus this year, is now recovering at home after being hospitalized earlier this month. More details of the patient could not be released because of privacy concerns, but he is the first reported West Nile case since 2007, according to county Health Department spokesman Guillermo Cole.

Head pressing horse with EEE

Michigan 09/16/11 chron.com: Officials are reporting Michigan’s first horse death this year related to Eastern equine encephalitis. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on Thursday announced that lab tests confirmed the diagnosis in a Midland County horse. Last year, the state says there were 56 confirmed horse fatalities related to Eastern equine encephalitis, which is spread by mosquitoes. Others were suspected but not confirmed through lab tests. Suspected cases should be reported to state officials. The disease is rare but can be deadly among humans. Health officials say people should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and horses should be vaccinated.

Travel Warnings:

The Bahamas 09/15/11 cdc.gov: CDC Outbreak Notice –  Situation Information – The government of the Bahamas issued a public service advisory announcing heightened dengue activity in New Providence. This island is the most populous and includes the city of Nassau. As a result, the US Embassy in Nassau issued an emergency message for US citizens in the Bahamas related to dengue. In August, the Ministry of Health reported that more than 100 cases were being reported daily. Approximately 1,000 cases of dengue-like symptoms had been reported as of August 9. Mosquito bite prevention measures, such as fogging and communication campaigns, are under way in densely populated areas.

Dengue fever is the most common cause of fever in travelers returning from the Caribbean, Central America, and South Central Asia. Dengue is reported commonly from most tropical and subtropical countries of Oceania, Asia, the Caribbean, the Americas, and occasionally Africa. This disease is caused by four similar viruses (DENV-1, -2, -3, and -4) and is spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes.

Dengue virus transmission occurs in both rural and urban areas; however, dengue is most often reported from urban settings. For the most up-to-date information on dengue worldwide, see the DengueMap on the CDC website. For more information about other countries with dengue in the region, see the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)

Dominica 09/16/11 thedominican.net – The Ministry of Health in Dominica is actively engaged in bringing an end to dengue fever and leptospirosis on the island. Health officials say they will boost intervention in an attempt to curb the outbreak of dengue fever, which has affected several persons in the Roseau area. So far there are no reported deaths from the outbreak but health officials say there have been 15 confirmed cases since the outbreak was first reported a few weeks ago. They are also awaiting the results on nine suspected cases. Dengue fever is spread by the aedes aegypti mosquito and symptoms include high fever, rash, severe headaches, back pain, eye pain, muscles and joint pain.

Meanwhile, the government of Dominica has received assistance from the Cuban government to help control the rodent population in Dominica. Over the past year close to fifty persons have contracted leptospirosis with seven confirmed deaths. The last two deaths were reported in May when Ricky Allport and Jonathan Wilson both succumbed to the disease. Just this month four new cases were reported. According to Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Johnson, “we are working with Cuban officials. We have evidence of a high population of rodents and because of that Leptospirosis is not under control.” Dr Johnson called on the general public to assist the authorities as they work on controlling the rodent population on the island. Leptospirosis is largely spread to humans from animals and rodents, particularly rats. The disease can cause severe fever, headache, muscle aches, abdominal pains, and vomiting.