Tag Archives: Lyme disease

DEER HUNTERS in PENNSYLVANIA face new reality: CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ NORTH DAKOTA researchers confirm local TICKS carrying LYME DISEASE ~ US Army enlists COWS with human genes to fight HANTAVIRUS.

Whitetail buck. Courtesy National Park Service.

Whitetail buck. Courtesy National Park Service.

Pennsylvania 11/30/14 citizensvoice.com: by Kent Jackson – Hunters entering the woods in Pennsylvania on Monday for the start of the rifle deer season face a new realty. Some of the deer that they pursue carry an incurable, fatal disease. Chronic wasting disease appeared in a deer in Pennsylvania in 2012 after advancing through 21 other states and two provinces of Canada. “From other states regardless of what you do, you can’t eliminate it. It is there to stay once it’s on the landscape,” Matthew Hough, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said during a conference call with reporters on Nov. 19. The commission set special rules for three areas of the state where deer tested positive for the disease. Hunters cannot transport parts of the deer such as the brain, spinal cord, lymph nodes, spleen and eyeballs out of those areas. Nor can they feed deer or use urine-based lures, which bring deer close together where the risk of spreading the disease heightens.

Whitetail buck with CWD.

Whitetail buck with CWD.

In the rest of the state, hunters should take precautions such as wearing gloves, boning out meat, and minimizing contact with high-risk parts when they field dress deer. The rifle season starts Monday and concludes Dec. 13. In most of the state, hunters can take bucks through Friday, but they can hunt a buck or a doe from Saturday to the end of the season. The buck-only territory for the first five days includes Hazleton and parts of Schuylkill, Carbon and Columbia counties in Wildlife Management Unit 4C and 13 other WMUs. Nine WMUs have buck and doe hunting throughout the two-week season. While there is no evidence that chronic wasting disease affects humans, research isn’t conclusive, and hunters are advised not to eat meat from infected animals. – For complete article including PA contacts for CWD testing see http://citizensvoice.com/sports/it-is-here-to-stay-here-to-stay-1.1795223

LYME DISEASE:

lyme_disease_hidden_epidemic_poster-p228833588305763989t5wm_400North Dakota 11/25/14 prairiebizmag.com: by Anna Burleson – Lyme disease has been found in ticks in the Red River Valley by several researchers at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. The disease is transmitted through the bites of a certain breed of infected tick and if left untreated can spread throughout a person’s nervous system, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

und-logo-20116UND Biology Department professor Jefferson Vaughan led a team with assistant professor Catherine Brissette from the School of Medicine and Health Sciences to look into the prevalence of the disease after he discovered local veterinarians had seen “different-looking” ticks on pets they were treating. “People are beginning to really realize particularly that dogs and sometimes cats are sentinels for types of diseases that are normally wildlife diseases, but can also cause diseases in humans,” Vaughan said.

American Dog Tick

American Dog Tick

The breed of tick most frequently found in the Red River Valley is commonly called an American Dog Tick and is known for its large brown appearance.Vaughan and graduate student Nate Russart began investigating the appearance of the much smaller Deer Tick, as it’s commonly known, in 2010 and discovered the ticks were carrying Lyme disease.

Deer Tick

Deer Tick

But Vaughan said the discovery simply means people should be more diligent about searching themselves for the presence of ticks after being in fields or forests. “It used to be an annoyance, just like mosquitoes were ten years ago, but now they’re more than an annoyance,” he said. “It’s a public health issue.” – For complete article see http://www.prairiebizmag.com/event/article/id/21810/#sthash.zBpHdMsR.dpuf

HANTAVIRUS:

09 Antibody StructureGlobal 11/26/14 sciencemag.org: by David Shultz – Humans have been using antibody therapies to treat infectious disease for more than 100 years. Blood plasma from influenza survivors administered to sick patients in 1912 may have contributed to their dramatic turnaround. In the years since, immune proteins from survivors have been administered to infected individuals in an attempt to combat diseases like Lassa fever, SARS, and even Ebola.

300px-USAMRIID_LogoIt’s hard, however, to find survivors who can donate plasma containing these lifesaving immune proteins. Now, a team led by researchers at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Frederick, Maryland, has used genetically engineered cows to produce large amounts of human antibodies against hantavirus, an often deadly disease mainly transmitted from rodents to people. In animal models, at least, these antibodies provided robust protection against the virus, opening the door to therapies to treat and prevent hantavirus, for which there is no cure. The bioproduction technique also holds promise for generating antibodies against other infectious agents. – For complete article see http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/11/cows-human-chromosomes-enlisted-fight-hantavirus

CANADA: Residents of ONTARIO town being attacked by COYOTES ~ New STUDY promises hope for chronic LYME DISEASE patients ~ RABIES reports from DE, NJ & OK.

This coyote just caught dinner. Courtesy U.S. National Park Service.

This coyote just caught dinner. Courtesy U.S. National Park Service.

Canada:

Ontario 11/12/14 bramptonguardian.com: by Graeme Frisque – With two people bitten by coyotes in a Brampton neighbourhood since September, residents are demanding the city take action. After the most recent attack on Nov. 6, residents in the area of Mississauga Rd. and Steeles Ave. sent a letter and a petition signed by more than 50 people to city officials asking the animals be removed. “Residents began to notice coyotes prowling in the neighbourhood only this spring,” the letter states. “The coyotes have launched unprovoked attacks on some residents in their driveways and backyards. Numerous calls to the City of Brampton’s Animal Services Department have led to no meaningful action. Residents are being told that they have chosen to live in the coyotes’ natural habitat, and must learn to deal with it.” Last Thursday (Nov. 6), Jasmine Bajaj says she was bitten in the driveway of her Mountain Ridge Rd. home when a coyote snuck up behind her and grabbed her by the leg, leaving two large puncture wounds and forcing her to undergo a painful series of precautionary rabies treatments.

map-brampton.caWhile unable to provide specific details about the September incident, manager of Brampton Animal Services Kathy Duncan confirmed they have received two reports of bites and at least six reports of “concerning” behavior by coyotes in that specific area since September. . . . The city says that removal of the animals is largely pointless, because, unless they are sick or wounded, coyotes are an important part of the ecosystem. Experts, including Lesley Sampson, founding executive director at Coyote Watch Canada, say that this kind of interaction with humans is rare and unusual, and usually happens because residents are feeding the animals. This latest attack comes on the heels of a series of brutal coyote and coywolf attacks resulting in the deaths of small dogs in Mississauga and Burlington over the last couple of weeks. – For complete article see http://www.bramptonguardian.com/news-story/5025571-coyote-ugly-two-people-bitten-in-brampton-neighbourhood/

LYME DISEASE:

lyme_hope1-300x279Global 11/07/14 hcplive.com: by Adam Hochron – Patients with Lyme disease know that their symptoms and the effects of the disease can be debilitating and last for a long time, often persisting even after treatment. In an effort to help improve quality of life for those patients, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health are working on a test that would allow clinicians to more thoroughly check for bacteria left behind by the disease. Results from the test development were posted in PLOS ONE. According to a statement from the researchers, the test will allow for a deeper look at “thousands of FDA-approved drugs to see if they will work against the bacteria that cause tick-borne Lyme disease.” The bacteria, known as Borrelia burgdorferi, have been difficult to check for up until this point.

jhsph_logo_internalYing Zhan, MD, PhD, who led the research effort, said the test was based in a concept used for counting DNA samples in their labs. By making changes, they were able to see how many of the bacteria in a patient were still alive and how many were dead after interacting with the drugs. “It’s superior to the current gold standard for testing Borrelia viability,” Zhang said. “This could become the new gold standard.” – For complete article see http://www.hcplive.com/articles/New-Study-Provides-Hope-for-Chronic-Lyme-Disease-Sufferers

RABIES:

Delaware 11/14/14 New Castle County: A kitten that died at a home on Calburn Court in the Buckley neighborhood in Bear has tested positive for rabies. Officials said more than 50 other cats living in and around the same house are being euthanized because widespread rabies infection among them is extremely likely. – See http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/local/2014/11/13/womans-cats-killed-kitten-gets-rabies/19000275/

cat-child-300x225New Jersey 11/12/14 Hudson County: Officials have issued a Rabies Alert after a stray kitten that bit a person who attempted to pick it up in the vicinity of First Street and Kennedy Boulevard in Bayonne tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2014/11/bayonne_resident_has_been_bitten_by_rabid_kitten_bayonne_city_officials.html

Oklahoma 11/13/14 Sequoyah County: A stray cat that bit a child in Sallisaw over the weekend has tested positive for rabies. – See http://5newsonline.com/2014/11/13/cat-that-bit-sallisaw-child-has-rabies-police-say/

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

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

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

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

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

TULAREMIA aka RABBIT FEVER:

A Mountain Cottontail rabbit.

A Mountain Cottontail rabbit.

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

LYME DISEASE:

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

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

RABIES:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Canada:

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

CANADIAN mauled to death by GRIZZLY sow ~ CALIFORNIA child attacked by MOUNTAIN LION ~ COLORADAN hospitalized with SEPTICEMIC PLAGUE ~ ILLINOIS reports increase in LYME DISEASE ~ OREGON’s celebrity WOLF OR-7’s mate also a wanderer ~ Travel Warning: CDC warns of CHIKUNGUNYA outbreak in AMERICAN SAMOA ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS (EEE) report from NH ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) reports from NY, ND & SD.

Grizzly. Bing free use license.

Grizzly. Bing free use license.

Alberta 09/08/14 globalnews.ca: by The Canadian Press – Mounties say a hunter who had been missing in southern Alberta’s Kananaskis Country was found dead Monday after a fatal bear attack. RCMP would not confirm the identity of the hunter but it’s thought to be Rick Cross, a 54-year-old Calgary business man who was reported missing by his family after he did not return from a sheep hunting trip near PickleJar Lakes on the weekend.RCMP said a ground and air search was begun for the hunter on Sunday.

zCM-SouthwestAlberta“Evidence was located suggesting that the hunter had been injured at a location approximately four kilometres east from the PickleJar day use area parking lot on Highway 40,” RCMP said in a news release. “Search teams also encountered a female grizzly bear and cub in the immediate area.” The search resumed Monday morning, when teams found the man’s remains in the same area. “The hunter had suffered obvious trauma consistent with a bear attack and is believed to have died from those injuries,” said the release. “The hunter was alone at the time of the incident.” – For video and complete article see http://globalnews.ca/news/1552033/bear-kills-missing-hunter-in-kananaskis-country/

Mountain Lion:

cougar2498California 09/10/14 torontosun.com: Game wardens and hounds combed steep, wooded canyons and ravines for a third day near California’s Silicon Valley on Tuesday, searching for a mountain lion that injured a 6-year-old boy, but the cat has so far evaded trackers, wildlife officials said. The boy was hiking a trail with family and friends on Sunday in a densely wooded preserve adjacent to a winery, just west of the town of Cupertino, when the mountain lion pounced on him and tried to drag the child away, his parents told officials. The boy’s father and another man in the group rushed the cat shouting at the animal, and the cougar retreated into the woods. The boy was left with bite wounds and scratches to his upper body, head and neck, and was hospitalized following the attack. Kirsten Macintyre, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the boy has since been released and was home with his family, who officials have not publicly identified. A team of sheriff’s deputies, game wardens and a tracker with dogs immediately mounted a search for the lion, which resumed after daybreak on Monday and was extended into Tuesday with the addition of a second tracking crew, Macintyre said. She said motion-sensitive cameras also were being been set up in the vicinity, along with several live cage traps. On Tuesday, DNA from cougar saliva samples taken from the victim’s clothing showed the mountain lion was a male. From witness accounts and the size of paw prints left behind, the cat is believed to be a young adult, about three-quarters full grown, or roughly 90 pounds in weight, Macintyre said. If the animal is captured and its DNA matches the saliva samples, the lion will be killed in the interest of public safety, officials said. – For complete article see http://www.torontosun.com/2014/09/10/california-officials-hunt-for-cougar-that-attacked-boy

Author’s Note: California Dept of Fish & Wildlife officials said on Sept 10th that they have captured and killed the mountain lion believed to be responsible for the attack. – See http://abc7news.com/news/authorities-capture-mountain-lion-that-attacked-boy-in-cupertino/303485/

Plague:

types-plagueColorado 09/05/14 San Juan Basin Health Dept: Media Release – Officials have confirmed a human case of septicemic plague in a La Plata County resident. An investigation is underway to determine the source of exposure. The patient is currently receiving treatment. Bubonic plague is the most common form of plague; septicemic plague is seen less often. Symptoms typically include fever, chills, extreme weakness, abdominal pain, shock, and possibly bleeding into the skin and other organs. You can get septicemic plague from handling an infected animal or from bites of infected fleas. This is the second case of plague in La Plata County this year. Since 1957, Colorado has identified 65 cases of human plague, nine (14%) of which were fatal. – See http://sjbhd.org/public-health-news/

Lyme Disease:

ribbonIllinois 09/08/14 peoriapublicradio.org: by Hannah Meisel – Reported cases of Lyme disease are on the rise in Illinois. Instances of the illness have gone up about 250 percent in the last ten years. Melaney Arnold, with the Illinois Department of Public Health, says Lyme disease’s carrier — the deer tick — has a carrier of its own. “Very much like the name mentions, they typically ride on deer. So as deer migrate south, we do see some of that southern migration of the ticks.” – See http://peoriapublicradio.org/post/cases-lyme-disease-illinois

Wolf OR-7:

Remote camera photo of a wolf using the same area as the wolf known as OR-7. This is the first evidence that OR-7 has found another wolf in the Oregon Cascades. Photo courtesy of USFWS.

Remote camera photo of a wolf using the same area as the wolf known as OR-7. This is the first evidence that OR-7 has found another wolf in the Oregon Cascades. Photo courtesy of USFWS.

Oregon 09/05/14 oregonlive.com: by Lynne Terry – Oregon’s erstwhile wandering wolf OR-7 truly met one of his own when he mated with a small black female earlier this year: She, too, is a traveler and perhaps even from northeast Oregon as well. DNA tests on her scat indicate she came from northeast Oregon or even Idaho. She shares bloodlines with the Minam and Snake River packs, which include wolves from both those areas, said John Stephenson, wolf coordinator for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. That means she traveled several hundred miles or more to the western Cascades where she mated with OR-7 earlier this year. “It’s fascinating that after dispersing such a great distance to an area where there are so few wolves that they were able to find one another,” Stephenson said.

Oregon's erstwhile wandering wolf, OR-7, has at least three pups that were born in April. Photos by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Oregon’s erstwhile wandering wolf, OR-7, has at least three pups that were born in April. Photos by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

OR-7 was born into the Imnaha Pack in northeast Oregon, then traveled several thousand miles to California and back to Oregon looking for territory and a mate. The two produced offspring in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in April. Biologists gathered scat from the area in May and July and sent the samples to the University of Idaho for DNA testing. They also collected images of OR-7’s mate and three pups, all snapped by stationary, motion-detecting cameras in the wilderness. The results do not pin down the birthplace of the small, black female but indicate her heritage. – For photos and complete article see http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2014/09/oregon_wolf_or-7_pups_are_his.html

Travel Warning:

300px-Flag_of_American_Samoa.svgAmerican Samoa 09/09/14 Outbreaknewstoday.com: Post by Robert Herriman – Since the chikungunya outbreak was first geography-of-american-samoa0recognized in American Samoa in late July, the case count has grown to more than 700 cases. This is the first report of locally transmitted chikungunya in Samoa. – For complete post see http://outbreaknewstoday.com/cdc-travel-notice-issued-for-american-samoa-chikungunya-outbreak-now-over-700-cases-64070/

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

EEE54fgh84New Hampshire 09/10/14 NH Dept of Health: Media Release – Officials have confirmed the second human case of EEE this season in an adult from Hopkinton. The first human case of EEE in New Hampshire this season was confirmed on August 22nd in Conway, NH. – See http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/media/pr/2014/09-sept/09102014eeecase.htm

West Nile Virus (WNV):

NY-HealthDept-LargeNew York 09/08/14 NYC Health Dept: Media Release – Officials have confirmed the season’s first human cases of illness with WNV in five New York City residents, all over the age of 50. Two patients reside in Brooklyn, and one each from Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan. Three of the patients were hospitalized and diagnosed with meningitis; all have been discharged. The other two cases did not require hospitalization. – For complete release see http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/pr2014/pr031-14.shtml

Logo677854North Dakota 09/09/14 ND Dept of Health: Media Release – WNV Surveillance Coordinator Alicia Lepp has announced the state’s first WNV-related death in 2014. The individual was a woman who was hospitalized and was older than 60 years of age. Today’s report brings the total number of cases in North Dakota this season to12. – For complete release see http://www.ndhan.gov/data/mrNews/2014-09-09-First%202014%20WNV%20Human%20Death-v%20FINAL.pdf

index5587155South Dakota 09/09/14 SD Dept of Health: Media Release – Officials have confirmed 31 human cases of WNV in 18 counties so far this year. – See http://doh.sd.gov/documents/statistics/ID/Aug2014.pdf

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

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/

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