Tag Archives: Lyme disease

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

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

Opossum. Photo by Cody Pope. Wikimedia Commons.

Opossum. Photo by Cody Pope. Wikimedia Commons.

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

Dr. Richard Ostfeld.

Dr. Richard Ostfeld.

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

Blacklegged Tick.

Blacklegged Tick.

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

Hantavirus:

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

Rabies:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Canada:

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

 

NEW YORK woman attacked and bitten by COYOTE while walking DOG ~ CHIKUNGUNYA cases in CARIBBEAN now approaching 16,000 ~ TENNESSEE firm develops oral bait LYME DISEASE vaccine for RODENTS ~ CALIFORNIA officials confirm two cases of TYPHUS in L.A. County ~ RABIES reports from CAx2, GA, MA, NJ, NY, NC, SC, TXx3 & VA.

Coyote. Courtesy U.S. National Park Service.

Coyote. Courtesy U.S. National Park Service.

New York 03/25/14 lohud.com: by Steve Lieberman – A woman who was attacked and bitten by a coyote while walking her dog in Orangeburg early Tuesday said she “took one for the team” after police shot and killed the possibly rabid animal. Mary Lou Gardner was walking Jasmine, her 18-pound shih tzu, near Greywood Drive about 6:30 a.m. when the coyote began to stalk them. “I saw it walking between two houses and coming at us,” the 52-year-old said. “I didn’t want to let my dog off the leash.” Gardner held her dog tight and threw her coat on the coyote as it approached. “It went after Jasmine (and) I started kicking the coyote, so (it) turned on me and started biting my leg,” she said.
Neighbors heard the attack and rushed outside, yelling and banging on things to distract the animal, which finally retreated into a back yard as Gardner ran to a house with her dog. Orangeburg police arrived a short time later and shot the coyote, which was taken to the Rockland County Medical Examiner’s Office; it will be tested for rabies at a state police laboratory. Gardner, who was given a tetanus shot at the Nyack Hospital emergency room, suffered bites to her left leg and forearm, and was waiting to find out whether she’ll need rabies shots. Her dog was given a rabies shot as a precaution. Noting that the rabies treatment isn’t as severe as it was years ago, she was philosophical about her wildlife encounter. “I’m glad it was me and not someone else,” said the mother of two grown daughters and a son. “I have a lot of elderly neighbors and there are children here. I took one for the team.” – For complete article see http://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/rockland/2014/03/25/orangetown-woman-bitten-coyote-walking-dog/6871461/
Chikungunya:
5667h6h6Caribbean 03/24/14 umn.edu: The Caribbean now has 15,913 confirmed, probable, or suspected cases of chikungunya, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in an update today, up from 10,476 at the end of February. The outbreak is the first known in the Americas; it began on St. Martin in December 2013. Martinique continues to have the most cases, with 7,630 suspected and 1,141 confirmed or probable cases, the ECDC said. The French side of St. Martin is next, with 2,640 suspected and 782 confirmed or probable cases, but the pace of new cases appears to be slowing there. Guadeloupe has 1,960 suspected and 586 confirmed or probable cases. The next hardest-hit areas are: St. Barthelemy, 420 suspected and 134 confirmed or probable cases; the Dutch side of St. Martin, 115 confirmed cases; Dominica, 392 suspected and 56 confirmed cases; French Guiana, 22 confirmed locally acquired and 10 imported cases; Anguilla, 14 confirmed cases; and Aruba and St. Kitts/Nevis each with 1 confirmed case. The ECDC also reported 3 chikingunya-related deaths on the French side of St. Martin and 2 on Martinique. – See http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2014/03/news-scan-mar-24-2014
Lyme Disease:

 

White-footed mouse.

White-footed mouse.

Tennessee 03/20/14 bizjournals.com: by Michael Sheffield – Memphis-based U.S. Biologic is looking to rabies prevention as inspiration for the launch of its first product. The company, which has developed an oral bait Lyme disease vaccine that is distributed to white-footed mice in fields around the northeast, is taking a similar approach as rabies prevention with the delivery method for its product. According to Mason Kauffman, the company’s president and CEO, a similar method of leaving bait with the vaccine inside in wooded areas for wolves and raccoons was first used 15 years ago to help prevent rabies. The approach was so successful there was one reported case of rabies in 2013, he said. “We want to change it from a danger zone to a treatment zone,” Kauffman said. “If we can be half as successful (as rabies prevention has been) with Lyme disease, we’ve had a huge impact.” . . . . .
UnivMemphisUSB-Logo-for-Color-254-X-55-5.14.2012-300x59U.S. Biologic has worked with the University of Memphis to develop intimate mapping of wooded areas, soil types, parks and every demographic of every property in the U.S. “down to the square meter”, Kauffman said, in order to track where mouse and tick populations interact with humans. – See http://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/news/2014/03/20/u-s-biologic-moving-forward-with-lyme-disease.html

Typhus:
California 03/20/14 go.com: A case of flea-borne typhus was confirmed in Burbank by Los Angeles County Vector Control. The case is the first in Burbank

Flea.

Flea.

this year. – See http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/los_angeles&id=9474295
California 02/27/14 go.com: A case of flea-borne typhus was reported in a neighborhood around Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach, police announced today. The L.A. County Department of Public Health contacted Manhattan Beach police about the case. – See http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/los_angeles&id=9448070

Rabies:

surfeit of skunksCalifornia 03/20/14 El Dorado County: A Rabies Alert has been issued after officials announced that more skunks have tested positive for the virus in the county than is usual for this time of year. So far, seven rabid skunks have been identified in 2014: two in Pollock Pines, one in Shingle Springs, three in Garden Valley, and one in the Pleasant Valley area. – See http://www.sacbee.com/2014/03/20/6255061/el-dorado-county-official-say.html
Help_button_2California 03/18/14 El Dorado County: Officials are looking for a dog that bit a South Lake Tahoe man on March 16th in the vicinity of Tahoe Keys Blvd. and Washington Ave. The dog, which was roaming in the neighborhood, is described as a medium-size, husky-type breed with fluffy gray and white fur, and wearing a blue collar and tags. Animals Services officials would like to speak with the dog’s owner to verify that the dog is current on its rabies vaccinations so that the man does not have to have post-exposure rabies treatments. Anyone with information is asked to call Animal Services at (530) 573-7925. – See http://www.sacbee.com/2014/03/18/6248413/dog-sought-after-biting-incident.html
Georgia 03/17/14 Habersham County: A raccoon that was in contact with a vaccinated dog on March 11th in the 3900 block of Georgia Highway 197, south of Ivy Mountain Road, between Clarkesville and Batesville, has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=272536
thumbnailCAT9WVWG - CopyMassachusetts 03/18/14 Worcester County: A raccoon that attacked a Holden man in his yard on Towle Drive last week has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.thelandmark.com/news/2014-03-20/Holden_News/Raccoon_that_bit_man_tests_positive_for_rabies.html
New Jersey 03/19/14 Atlantic County: A raccoon found on March 14th aggressively scratching at the back door of a home on Malaron Circle in Egg Harbor Township has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.nbc40.net/story/25020581/second-case-of-rabies-confirmed-in-eht-raccoon

Cow dying of rabies.

Cow dying of rabies.

New York 03/20/14 Madison County: An unvaccinated cow kept in Lebanon is the first confirmed animal to be infected with the rabies virus in the county this year. – See http://www.oneidadispatch.com/general-news/20140320/first-2014-rabies-case-in-madison-county
520bc0501588c.preview-300North Carolina 03/17/14 Cleveland County: A shepherd/husky-mix dog that was abandoned by a driver on the side of Elam Road on March 5th, became ill on March 9th, and died March 14th, has tested positive for rabies. Officials said a second dog that was released with the rabid dog, was exposed to the virus but remains at large. – See http://www.shelbystar.com/news/local/officials-dog-county-s-first-rabies-case-this-year-1.292406
imagesCAQVTCKPSouth Carolina 03/19/14 Greenwood County: A raccoon that came in contact with a person in Troy has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.foxcarolina.com/story/25015249/person-exposed-to-rabies-by-raccoon-in-greenwood-co
Lorena rabid dogTexas 03/19/14 McLennan County: A stray dog found in the 200 block of Front Street in Lorena, a neighborhood filled with kids and pets, has tested positive for rabies. The dog, a two-year-old, female, Labrador-Pyrenees mix, has been roaming the city’s streets for almost a week. – For article and video see http://www.kcentv.com/story/25015901/lorena-dog-tested-positive-for-rabies
Texas 03/19/14 Collin and Denton counties: A skunk found injured on March 14th near the intersection of Eldorado Parkway and Preston Road in Frisco has tested positive for rabies. This is the second rabid skunk found in the city in less than one week. – See http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/frisco/headlines/20140319-frisco-reports-second-skunk89940t9skunk-tested-positive-for-rabies.ece
Texas 03/17/14 Denton County: A skunk found within the Lewisville city limits this month has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/lewisville-flower-mound/headlines/20140317-rabid-skunk-in-lewisville-city-limits-prompts-rabies-warning.ece
nm_Coyote_090722_mainVirginia 03/19/14 Williamsburg: A coyote seen March 13th near the Cedar Grove Cemetery and later on South England Street was found dead on College of William and Mary property and has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.vagazette.com/news/va-vg-coyote-tests-rabies-positive-20140319,0,7994376.story

CALIFORNIA study finds TICKS infected with LYME DISEASE and a NEW PATHOGEN widespread in SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA ~ RABIES reports from CA, FL, NV, NJ, NY, TX, & VA.

bayarea79904850

Caifornia 02/18/14 stanford.edu: by Rob Jordan – A newly recognized human pathogen with unknown health consequences has been found to occur over a large part of the San Francisco Bay Area. A study to be published in the March issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Disease details how researchers StanfordWoodsLogoincluding Dan Salkeld, a research associate at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, found the bacterium, Borrelia miyamotoi, as well as Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, in ticks they sampled throughout the area.

The researchers were surprised to find ticks infected with one or both bacteria in nearly every park they examined. The findings raise the question of whether B. miyamotoi has gone undetected in California residents. They also represent “an logo-db970edb47cfa504eb8582e4a6dcc235important step toward dispelling the perception that you cannot acquire Lyme disease in California,” said Ana Thompson, executive director of the Bay Area Lyme Foundation.

Known for some time to infect ticks, the first known human case of B. miyamotoi infection in the U.S. was discovered in 2013. Beyond Lyme-like lymedisease_355pxsymptoms such as fever and headache, little is known about its potential health impacts. In the Bay Area, low awareness of tick-borne diseases such as Lyme could heighten the risk of infection with B. miyamotoi for users of the region’s extensive natural areas and trails. – For complete article and links to additional information see https://woods.stanford.edu/news-events/news/ticks-may-cause-double-trouble

 Rabies:

batPosterCalifornia 02/19/14 Orange County: A live bat found at Fullerton College in Fullerton on February 18th has tested positive for rabies. The bat was found on the ground near the science building. Anyone who might have been in contact with the bat should seek immediate medical advice. – See http://www.ocregister.com/articles/bat-602484-rabies-contact.html

image487Florida 02/19/14 Bay County: A raccoon captured on 9th Street in Lynn Haven has tested positive for rabies. This is the third rabid raccoon found in the area so far this year. – See http://www.wmbb.com/story/24763224/rabid-raccoon-captured-in-lynn-haven

23772683_BG1Nevada 02/19/14 Carson City: Health officials have launched an investigation after confirming that two residents were exposed to rabies when they purchased a puppy through a Facebook contact. According to a health department spokesperson, the puppy came from a litter in the Gardnerville Ranchos and five agencies are now involved in the investigation. Everyone who might have been or is in contact with the litter has to be evaluated for exposure to the virus. – See http://www.nevadaappeal.com/news/10269641-113/rabies-health-carson-hhs

fa8bea28-cityofrochester.govNew Jersey 2/19/14 Salem County: A raccoon that fought with two vaccinated cats in Elmer last month has tested positive for rabies. The owner of the cats, who may have been exposed, has begun post-exposure treatment. – See http://www.nj.com/salem/index.ssf/2014/02/raccoon_that_fought_two_cats_in_elmer_tests_positive_for_rabies.html

can_you_helpNew York 02/18/14 Warren County: A 31-year-old woman from Massachusetts  who was jogging on Stone Schoolhouse Road in Lake George  on February 16th was attacked by a German Shepherd that was not on a leash. The dog was with a man who said he was not from the area and left to secure the dog promising he’d return but he did not. Sheriff’s deputies went door-to-door in the neighborhood but found no one who was familiar with the dog. It was wearing a black collar with the word “police” spelled in yellow letters. The owner was described as a white male, about 6 feet tall in his 30s with brown hair and facial hair. He was wearing a green Carhartt brand jacket. The bites required sutures and the woman returned to Massachusetts for a series of rabies exposure shots. Anyone with information in the case was asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 743-2500. – See http://poststar.com/news/local/woman-mauled-by-dog-needs-rabies-shots/article_00dcc25e-98ca-11e3-bb24-0019bb2963f4.html

2195804032_bb25565f77Texas 02/20/14 Parker County: A skunk carcass brought home a few weeks ago by a dog with a litter of puppies living off FM Road 1189 in the Lipan area has tested positive for rabies. the dog and pups were euthanized and family members are receiving post-exposure rabies treatment as a precautionary measure. – See http://www.weatherforddemocrat.com/local/x1783682716/Dog-puppies-put-down-after-rabies-infection

GrayFox10-11-2008Virginia 02/20/14 Henry County: A gray fox that bit a man on Blue Ridge Yacht Club Road, near Philpott Lake in Bassett, has tested positive for rabies. A health official said the man came out on his front porch and the fox ran up and bit him on the elbow. The man then killed the fox with an ax.  – See http://www.martinsvillebulletin.com/article.cfm?ID=40943