Tag Archives: Lyme disease

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


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/


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


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/
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

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



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


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.


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


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

New study suggests LYME DISEASE may be sexually transmitted ~ RABIES reports from AZ, GA, MD, NY NCx2, OK, TXx4, VA, & WY ~ TRAVEL WARNING: CHIKUNGUNYA reaching epidemic proportions in eastern CARIBBEAN.


North America 01/20/14 afmr.org: A new study suggests that Lyme disease may be sexually transmitted. The study was presented at the annual Western Regional Meeting of the American Federation for Medical Research, and an abstract of the research was published in the January issue of the Journal of Investigative Medicine. “Our findings will change the way Lyme disease is viewed by doctors and patients,” said Marianne Middelveen, lead author of the study presented in Carmel. “It explains why the disease is more common than one would think if only ticks were involved in transmission.”

AFMR-Logo-TopIn the study, researchers tested semen samples and vaginal secretions from three groups of patients: control subjects without evidence of Lyme disease, random subjects who tested positive for Lyme disease, and married heterosexual couples engaging in unprotected sex who tested positive for the disease. As expected, all of the control subjects tested negative for Borrelia burgdorferi in semen samples or vaginal secretions. In contrast, all women with Lyme disease tested positive for Borrelia burgdorferi in vaginal secretions, while about half of the men with Lyme disease tested positive for the Lyme spirochete in semen samples. Furthermore, one of the heterosexual couples with Lyme disease showed identical strains of the Lyme spirochete in their genital secretions. “The presence of the Lyme spirochete in genital secretions and identical strains in married couples strongly suggests that sexual transmission of the disease occurs,” said Dr. Mayne. “We don’t yet understand why women with Lyme disease have consistently positive vaginal secretions, whilst semen samples are more variable. Obviously there is more work to be done here.” – See press release at http://www.onlineprnews.com/news/454866-1390261507-lyme-disease-may-be-sexually-transmitted-study-suggests.html


3821fefe9b4884850185047e22654718Arizona 01/23/14 Pima County: A skunk found in the middle of a busy trail at Catalina State Park on January 21st has tested positive for rabies. A ranger found the animal surrounded by 30 or more people, some with pets, and it’s unknown if there was any contact, which could require post-exposure treatment. – See http://tucsoncitizen.com/pima-county-news/2014/01/23/skunk-with-rabies-found-among-hikers-at-catalina-state-park/

ebf690e90681d99a574659bc81d78f29Georgia 01/16/14 Harris County: Officials have issued a Rabies Alert after a fox attacked two pets in Catuala on Preston Road Jan 14th. The fox has since tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.wtvm.com/story/24471421/breaking

Maryland 01/23/14 Carroll County: A stray cat found in the York Road area of Manchester has tested positive for rabies. The cat was a domestic short hair with a gray and white coat. Anyone who might have been exposed should seed immediate medical advice. – See http://westminster.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/manchester-area-stray-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies

Horse%20TeethNew York 01/26/14 Herkimer County: A horse stabled in the town of Newport has tested positive for rabies. See http://www.littlefallstimes.com/article/20140126/NEWS/140129449

North Carolina 01/21/14 Wake County: A Rabies Alert was issued today for Wendell after a raccoon that came in contact with a dog tested positive for the virus. The incident occurred in the vicinity of Wood Green Drive and Deer Lake Trail. – See http://www.easternwakenews.com/2014/01/21/3552717/wake-county-issues-rabies-notice.html

Raccoon-SiedePreis-smNorth Carolina 01/18/14 Wake County: A raccoon that was in contact with a family and its pets in the vicinity of Winding Way and Friendship Road in Apex on January 17th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/01/18/3544888/rabid-raccoon-found-in-apex.html

Oklahoma 01/19/14 Pottawatomie County:  An unvaccinated dog that fought with a skunk in the backyard of its owner’s home in south Shawnee has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.news-star.com/article/20140117/NEWS/140119668/-1/sports

Texas 01/20/14 Hill County: A cat that bit a woman on the toe January 14th has tested positive for rabies. The incident occurred at the woman’s residence on First Street in Mount Calm. The woman and her daughter, 9, are being treated for potential exposure to the virus, and seven other cats at the residence were impounded and will be euthanized. – See http://hillsbororeporter.com/rabies-case-reported-in-mount-calm-p17289-54.htm

090828-free-tailed-bats-love-songs_bigTexas 01/20/14 Lackland Air Force Base: The U.S. Air Force is vaccinating more than 200 recruits against rabies after bats were found in their dorms on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. The Air Force stressed that it did not consider the situation an emergency, but was “exercising an abundance of caution”.  Bats were seen in only four of the 20 dorms in the complex and one that was captured is being tested for the virus. – See http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/military/article/Lackland-recruits-get-rabies-shots-after-bats-5157522.php

imagesj88d7dTexas 01/20/14 West Texas: The Texas Department of State Health Services is preparing to launch its 20th annual airdrop of rabies vaccine in portions of the state. The effort has successfully eliminated the canine strain of rabies and virtually eliminated the fox strain of rabies in Texas by vaccinating coyotes and gray foxes in a wide swath of southern and western Texas over the last 20 years. Now, the Oral Rabies Vaccination Program is testing an expanded effort to vaccinate skunks. The 2014 ORVP will begin with planes taking off from an airport in Del Rio on January 15 and from Zapata and Alpine on or about January 21. Those aircraft will drop vaccine baits over rural areas along the Rio Grande to maintain protection against rabies as animals migrate in and out of the state. “Skunks and bats are now the animals in Texas most likely to have and spread rabies,” said Dr. Laura Robinson, ORVP director. “Early tests involving skunks have been promising, and we’re hopeful that expanding our study area will help show us the best way to eliminate skunk rabies in Texas.” A small bait drop will occur on or about January 25 in an area centered on the Concho/McCulloch county line where a single cow tested positive for the Texas fox strain of rabies in 2013. Finally, starting on or about January 26 DSHS will begin the expanded effort to vaccinate skunks. Baits will be dropped over rural areas and wildlife habitats in the expanded skunk study zone, covering an area from Madison and Walker counties running southwest to Bastrop County then southeast to Waller County. – See http://bigbendnow.com/2014/01/aerial-vaccine-drops-to-combat-rabies-begins-next-week-in-far-west-texas/

Texas 01/15/14 Collin County: A skunk that came in contact with a pet in the vicinity of West Parker and Midway roads in Plano has tested positive for a - Copyrabies. – See http://planoblog.dallasnews.com/2014/01/skunk-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-west-plano.html/

Virginia 01/22/14 Henrico County: A skunk found dead near a dog pen in a homeowner’s backyard last week has tested positive for rabies. Police say two dogs were exposed and will be quarantined. – See http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/skunk-in-henrico-tests-positive-for-rabies/2014/01/22/4fea0e62-833d-11e3-a273-6ffd9cf9f4ba_story.html

Wyoming 01/21/14 Goshen County: A Rabies Alert has been issued county-wide after three skunks and a house cat tested positive for the virus. The cat bit its owner, who has been treated for potential exposure to rabies. – See http://www.kgoskerm.com/news/regional-news/stories/871-rabies-virus-in-goshen-county

Travel Warning:

chikungunyaCaribbean Basin 01/23/14 fodors.com: by Catie L’Heureux – Several Caribbean islands are facing a mosquito-borne virus outbreak, with more than 480 cases reported in the region as of January 20th. Fortunately, there’s no need to cancel your winter getaway yet—but be sure to keep track of the latest news on the virus and take any necessary precautions before traveling there.  Caribbean’s Mosquito-Borne Virus Prompts Travel Precautions First, the facts: The chikungunya virus is spread by bites from an infected female Aedes aegypti mosquito, and this is the first time the virus has appeared in the Caribbean. Since the disease was first recorded in 1952, it has affected millions of people in Africa and Asia. In December 2013, there were only 10 confirmed cases in St. Martin. Now, according to a January 20th report from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), “confirmed/probable” chikungunya virus cases are present in the following islands: St. Martin with the highest number of 294 cases and the death of an elderly man who contracted the virus but was already severely ill; Martinique, 127; St. Barthelemy , 31; Guadeloupe , 27; Saint Maarten, three; British Virgin Islands, three; Dominica, one; and French Guiana, one.

joint_painThe most common symptoms, which can take up to seven days to appear, include high fever and joint pain in the wrists and ankles. Although symptoms often last three to 10 days, joint pain can last longer and be more debilitating, but severe hospitalization cases are rare. Because there is no vaccine to prevent or cure the virus, treatment focuses on allieviating the symptoms. “The fact that it is a new virus to the region, that is why this is such a concern,” a medical entomologist who works for CARPHA said. She noted that there are high populations of the Aedes aegypti mosquito in all of the Caribbean islands. People also frequently travel between the islands, which helps spread the virus. CARPHA, the World Health Organization, and other key organizations are working to reduce the outbreak by eliminating the mosquitoes’ potential breeding sites. The good news? “There is no need to cancel plans,” the CARPHA medical entomologist said. “We’re not at that point. None of our borders have been closed.”

WEST NILE VIRUS kills 27 BALD EAGLES in UTAH ~ COLORADO town warns residents of MOUNTAIN LIONS ~ CHIKUNGUNYA in the CARIBBEAN poses threat to U.S. ~ Vets say research needed on LYME DISEASE in HORSES ~ RABIES reports from FLx2, & VA.

Bald Eagle. Bing free use license.

Bald Eagle. Bing free use license.

Utah 12/31/13 ctvnews.ca: by Michelle L. Price – The mystery illness that has killed 27 bald eagles in Utah this month appears to be West Nile Virus, state officials said Tuesday. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said in a statement that laboratory tests done on some of the first birds found indicate they died from West Nile Virus. Since Dec. 1, officials have found the birds in northern and central Utah. All were either dead or were ill and later died during treatment. The eagles displayed similar symptoms, including head tremors, signs of seizures, weakness in legs and feet and a paralysis of the bird’s wings. Beyond the 27 that have died, officials said five eagles were being treated at a wildlife rehabilitation centre Tuesday. They appeared to be responding well to treatment, officials said. Utah wildlife officials aren’t sure how the eagles caught the virus, but they suspect the birds contracted it by eating Eared Grebes that were infected with the virus and died recently.

Eared Grebe.

Eared Grebe.

West Nile Virus, which is spread by mosquitoes, usually infects eagles and other birds during warmer months. Mark Hadley, a Utah Division of Wildlife Resources spokesman, said the grebes, a duck-like aquatic bird, start arriving in Utah in October, when mosquitoes are still active. “It’s possible that those grebes got bit by mosquitoes after they got here when they arrived in the fall, and it just took a while for them to die.” The bald eagles began arriving in November and appeared to have died relatively quickly once they contracted the virus, Hadley said. About 750 to 1,200 bald eagles begin migrating to Utah each November and stay until March, officials said. During those winter months, the eagles get most of their food by eating dead animals, such as grebes.

Flock of Bald eaglesLeslie McFarlane, a wildlife disease coordinator with DWR, said in a statement that there’s still a chance a few more eagles could die, but because the migration period for grebes is almost over, it’s likely that the risk to eagles will soon drop. The birds do not pose a risk to human health but people should not handle eagles if they find them, wildlife officials said. Hadley said that in the 17 years he’s been with DWR, he has never seen this many eagles die off, particularly in such a short period of time. – See http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/west-nile-virus-caused-27-bald-eagle-deaths-in-december-utah-wildlife-officials-1.1613441

Mountain Lions:

s_mountain-lion-0002Colorado 12/27/13 Douglas County: The town of Parker may be 20 miles from the foothills, but officials sent an e-mail to residents on Thursday warning that mountain lions have been sighted inside the town limits. It cautioned residents not to walk or hike alone, and to make sure children are within sight at all times. – For additional advice see http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/parker-issues-warning-after-mountain-lions-spotted


Follow-Up Report:

(See CHIKUNGUNYA virus spreads in the AMERICAS posted 12/15/13)

pic_chikungunyaCaribbean Islands 12/30/13 cidrap.umn.edu: by Lisa Schnirring – Health officials are reporting a sharp rise in the number of patients sickened in a chikungunya fever outbreak centered on the Caribbean island of St. Martin, which may signal an increasing risk to the US mainland. On the French part of the island, where most of the infections have been reported, the number of confirmed cases has risen from 26 to 66, according to a Dec 28 update from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). In addition, health officials from the Netherlands have confirmed the first case on the Dutch side of St. Martin (Sint Maarten), and illnesses have been detected on two other nearby islands: three on Martinique and one on Guadeloupe, according to the ECDC report. Both of those islands are south and slightly east of St. Martin. The case in Guadeloupe represents the island’s first documented local chikungunya case, which was detected because of enhanced surveillance for the disease in all French Caribbean territories, the ECDC said. The patient is co-infected with dengue serotype 4 and had not recently traveled to another area where chikungunya exists. Meanwhile, health officials in the area are investigating a slew of suspected and probable cases. They include 167 suspected cases and 14 probable cases on the French side of St. Martin, and two patients have been hospitalized. Martinique has 27 suspected cases, and on the island of St. Barthelemy, 21 suspected cases are under investigation. The outbreak represents the first known indigenous transmission of chikungunya fever in the Americas. – For complete article and precautions see http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2013/12/caribbean-chikungunya-outbreak-grows-poses-threat-us

Lyme Disease:

aaep_logoNational 12/30/13 thehorse.com: by Amy Johnson, DVM – It is hard to get a roomful of people to agree on anything, but just about every veterinarian attending the Lyme disease table topic session at the 2013 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Dec. 7-11 in Nashville, Tenn., agreed that more research is needed on this disease in horses. We do know that Lyme disease is an increasingly recognized problem in people living in areas where the causative organism, Borrelia burgdorferi, is endemic. These areas include the northeast and north-central United States. We also know that Borrelia is capable of infecting horses. Despite only a handful of published case reports describing clinical signs in infected horses, many practitioners in endemic areas are convinced that they see cases of Lyme disease in horses. The most common signs in these cases are behavior changes, lethargy or poor attitude, and change in gait/lameness. Uveitis (inflammation within the eye) and neuroborreliosis (neurologic disease due to Lyme disease) are occasionally seen as well. So if a horse is showing possible signs of Lyme disease, how can it be diagnosed? vetSeveral blood tests are available that will identify antibodies against Borrelia. The presence of antibodies (in an unvaccinated horse) indicates that the horse has been infected with Borrelia at some point in its life. The pattern of antibody production might help to ascertain whether infection is acute or chronic. However, more research is needed regarding patterns of antibody production in infected horses. – For complete article see http://www.thehorse.com/articles/33123/aaep-researchers-discuss-lyme-disease-in-horses


thumbnailCA6WGA0CFlorida 12/31/13 Hamilton County: A bobcat that attacked a dog in Jennings has tested positive for rabies. A Rabies Alert has been issued within the boundaries of CR 141 North, CR 143 North, and CR 146. – See http://www.suwanneedemocrat.com/jasper/x1956145775/Health-officials-in-Hamilton-County-issue-rabies-alert

10975940 - CopyFlorida 12/30/13 Palm Beach County: Two raccoons that attacked dogs in West Palm Beach and Jupiter Farms last week have tested positive for rabies. And a third raccoon that attacked a dog near A1A in Tequesta over the weekend is presumed rabid. – See http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/two-raccoons-that-attacked-dogs-in-west-palm-beach/ncYDM/

337278_koshka_kot_rebenok_ditya_devochka_kosichka_ulybka_2990x2170_(www.GdeFon.ru)Virginia 12/30/13 Prince William County: A domestic cat that appeared to be injured was picked up near Powells Landing Circle in Woodbridge on December 20th and has since tested positive for rabies. – See http://manassas.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/cat-with-rabies-found-in-prince-william-county


TickEncounter Resource Center a website everyone should bookmark ~ CDC investigates three sudden cardiac deaths associated with LYME DISEASE ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) and EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS (EEE) cases in HORSES taper off ~ RABIES reports from AZ, AR, & PA.


images488605kNorth America 12/18/13: We’ve all had questions about tick bites, tick identification, tick removal, tickborne diseases, tick habitat, seasonal information about ticks, tick-bite prevention, and the relationship between ticks, deer and rodents. These are some of the topics addressed in the FAQ section of the University of Rhode Island’s TickEncounter Resource Center‘s web site. Dr. Thomas N Mather (a.k.a. the TickGuy) serves as director of URI’s Center for Vector-Borne Disease and its TickEncounter Resource Center. There’s nothing else I need to add here, but if you ever expect to have a tick-related question, you need to bookmark this site now. It is the most valuable resource focusing on ticks that I have ever seen.

Dr. Thomas Mather

Dr. Thomas Mather

I am so impressed with the TickEncounter Resource Center, that I have signed Natural Unseen Hazards on as a TickEncounter Prevention Partner. Please visit the center at http://www.tickencounter.org and before you leave the site, bookmark it. If you work or play in the great American outdoors, have outdoor pets, or just step outside once or twice a month to weed your garden or mow your lawn, you’ll be glad you did. Like TickEncounter on Facebook. Follow it on Twitter. Get TickSmart™ Stay TickSafe!

Lyme Disease:

tickhabitatNational 12/12/13 cdc.gov: Lyme carditis is a known but rare cause of sudden cardiac death. Lyme carditis can cause heart palpitations, chest pain, light-headedness, fainting, and shortness of breath in addition to the commonly recognized Lyme disease symptoms of fever, rash, and body aches. If you live in an area where Lyme disease is common and have these symptoms, see a healthcare provider immediately. Between November 2012 and July 2013, three young adults who lived in high-incidence Lyme disease regions suffered from sudden cardiac death associated with undiagnosed Lyme carditis.  Lyme carditis is a known, but rare cause of death in persons who have Lyme disease. – See http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6249a1.htm?s_cid=mm6249a1_w

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) & West Nile Virus (WNV):

TH-LEGACY-IMAGE-ID-355-vaccinationNational 12/16/13 thehorse.com: by Erica Lason – A recent update from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) indicates that the nationwide case totals of (horses with) equine West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) are beginning to steady. According to a Dec. 12 update, 338 cases of WNV and 181 EEE cases have been reported across the country since the start of the year. In early November, the agency reported 296 WNV cases and 177 EEE in the United States since Jan. 1. Horses in at least 40 states have been confirmed positive for WNV so far this year. The APHIS report indicates that Texas (57), Oklahoma (41), and Montana (27) have reported the most equine WNV cases thus far . . . (H)orses in at least 22 states have tested positive for EEE thus far in 2013, the APHIS data indicates. South Carolina (49), Florida (34), and Mississippi (12) have reported the most cases so far this year. – See more at: http://www.thehorse.com/articles/33052/nationwide-wnv-eee-totals-steady-as-winter-approaches#sthash.F2egk8rc.dpuf


striped_skunkArizona 12/17/13 Santa Cruz County: State officials have issued a Rabies Alert after two skunks found in Tubac on December 2nd tested positive for the virus. A skunk found in Patagonia on November 11th, and another found in Rio Rico on August 23rd were also rabid. – See http://www.nogalesinternational.com/news/game-and-fish-reports-four-rapid-skunks-in-scc/article_c402e6e0-6752-11e3-8994-001a4bcf887a.html

straydogArkansas 12/16/13 Faulkner County: A stray dog that bit a person in Conway has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.thv11.com/news/article/291240/2/Rabid-dog-confirmed-in-Conway

raccoon880er0rPennsylvania 12/16/13 Warren County: Officials are seeking the identity of a woman who brought an oddly behaving raccoon to the Warren Animal Hospital in Lopatcong Township on November 29th. The woman left no contact information and the raccoon has since tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.nj.com/warrenreporter/index.ssf/2013/12/health_department_still_seekin.html

Scientists find evidence of DENGUE VIRUS transmission in HOUSTON ~ New research video shows how TICKS penetrate their victims and hang on ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from ID, & LA ~ RABIES reports from CA, CO, MD, MA, PA, TX, & VA.

Bing free use license.

Bing free use license.

Texas 10/26/13 yourhoustonnews.com: In a retrospective study of three years of blood and cerebrospinal fluid samples submitted for West Nile virus testing in the Houston area, researchers at the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine found that 47 of the samples were positive for dengue virus. Their report appears today in the journal Vector-Borne and dengue_alertZoonotic Diseases. “We looked at clinical specimens that were banked at the city laboratory to see if there were potentially any other viruses that we could detect that weren’t known to be circulating in Houston but have the high potential to do so,” said Dr. Kristy Murray, associate professor and associate vice chair of research in the department of pediatrics at BCM and director of the Laboratory of Viral and Zoonotic Diseases at Texas Children’s Hospital. “We started with dengue virus since it was highest on the list of possible transmission here in Houston because we have the right kind of mosquitoes and a very large, densely populated city full of frequent travel to endemic areas, including Mexico and Central and South America.”

Asian tiger mosquito.

Asian tiger mosquito.

Dengue virus is spread through mosquitoes, similar to the way in which West Nile virus is transmitted. However, it is spread by a different mosquito, mostly the Asian tiger mosquito, which is rampant in the city. These are the mosquitoes that are out during the middle of the day as opposed to those mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus, which are out predominantly between dusk and dawn. People with dengue virus develop fever, severe headaches, joint pain, bone pain, pain behind the eyes and often a rash. The virus is usually a self-limiting illness. Patients have a febrile illness and flu-like symptoms for several days. However, infants between 5 and 8 months of age are at a high risk for severe disease, as are those who have been exposed to dengue virus previously. People who have had dengue once and are exposed to a different type of dengue virus have a high risk of developing hemorrhagic fever, an incredibly severe form of the disease. – For complete article see http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/spring/living/researchers-find-evidence-of-local-transmission-of-dengue-virus-in/article_630cd2e2-3e9e-11e3-a351-001a4bcf887a.html


European wood tick.

European wood tick.

Global 10/29/13 nytimes.com: by James Gorman – Chain saws, hockey masks and the undead are all classic symbols of horror. But for a true shiver of dread, take a look at a tick. When seen with an electron microscope, a tick’s mouth has what look like twin saws (chelicerae) flanking an appendage (a hypostome) that appears to be the kind of long, barbed sword that a villain in a video game might favor. And a short video is even scarier — particularly as the creature’s ability to bore down and settle in may well afflict anyone who spends time outdoors. Such a video, published Tuesday with a research paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, was made to help scientists understand how the tiny ticks that carry Lyme disease bacteria cut into the skin and then manage to hang on for the days it takes for them to fill up on blood.

Rostrum. Mouthpiece of Ixodes ricinus.

Rostrum. Mouthpiece of Ixodes ricinus.

American and German scientists placed European wood ticks (Ixodes ricinus) on the ears of hairless mice that were first sacrificed for the experiment. The wood tick is a close cousin of the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) familiar to Americans, and similar in size. The immature tick, or nymph, in the video is about the size of a poppy seed. An adult is more like a sesame seed. The tick wanders a bit, picks its spot and goes to work. As it cuts, it looks as if it is doing the breast stroke with its pair of minuscule mouth saws. That movement cuts and pulls back the skin, plunging the hypostome deeper with each stroke, barb by gruesome barb, which, of course, makes them difficult to extract. The tick’s natural ratchet system is a marvel of efficiency, and it does not horrify everyone. “I find them beautiful,” said Dania Richter, a tick and Lyme disease specialist at the Charité University Hospital in Berlin and the primary author of the research report. – For complete report and video referred to in article see http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/30/science/earth/how-does-a-tick-do-its-dirty-work-research-video-offers-a-clue.html?emc=edit_tnt_20131029&tntemail0=y

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Gem cty IDIdaho 10/29/13 Gem County: Officials have confirmed that a male resident of Montour is the first WNV-related fatality in the state this year. – See http://www.messenger-index.com/news/montour-man-dies-of-west-nile/article_21844862-40cb-11e3-acb3-0019bb2963f4.html

LA-DHHLouisiana 10/25/13 LA Dept of Health: Officials have confirmed the state’s fourth WNV-related death this year in Ouachita Parish. There have also been four new WNV human cases this week, bringing this year’s total to 55 cases. This week’s new infections include two cases of neuro-invasive disease, one each in Acadia and Rapides parishes, and two cases of West Nile fever, with one each in Bossier and Caddo parishes. – See http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/newsroom/detail/2902


grounded%20batCalifornia 10/24/13 Alameda County: A bat found in the vicinity of the 1500 block of Spruce Street in Berkeley has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2013-10-26/article/41571?headline=Infected-Bat-a-Reminder-to-Use-Caution–By-Berkeley-Heath-Department

3243453-detail-of-girl-hugging-kitten-hand-and-paw-in-similar-positionColorado 10/25/13 El Paso County: A 3-week-old kitten in Fountain has tested positive for rabies. The kitten was found abandoned under a shed on South Race Street. – See http://www.elpasocountyhealth.org/news/news-releases

0coonvsdog422 - CopyMaryland 10/28/13 Worcester County: A dog from the Snow Hill area contracted rabies after fighting with an infected raccoon and the dog has been euthanized. Several members of the family that owned the dog were also potentially exposed to the virus and are being treated. – Set http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20131028/NEWS/310280024/Rabies-confirmed-Snow-Hill-family-pet

bildeMassachusetts 10/25/13 capecodonline.com: by Patrick Cassidy – Officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services and the Cape Cod Rabies Task Force are scheduled to kick off this season’s distribution of oral rabies vaccine bait Monday. About 30,000 baits will be distributed from Sandwich and Mashpee through Route 124 in Brewster and Harwich in an effort to stop the spread of rabies in raccoons. The program will run through November 26th. – See http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20131025/NEWS11/131029789

imagesCAMMOSTLPennsylvania 10/25/13 York County: A litter of feral kittens found in the 300 block of East Philadelphia Street in the City of York has been euthanized after being diagnosed with rabies. Stray cats, kittens, and wild animals in the vicinity should be avoided . – See http://www.yorkdispatch.com/breaking/ci_24387088/rabid-kittens-found-york-city

a.878998Texas 10/25/13 Coryell County: A skunk found near a home on West Washington Street in Copperas Cove on October 16th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://kdhnews.com/news/briefs/rabid-skunk-found-in-copperas-cove/article_d94e23da-3d2b-11e3-b3e2-001a4bcf6878.html

10254Virginia 10/28/13 Henrico County: A raccoon that was in contact with a vaccinated dog has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/raccoon-in-henrico-tests-positive-for-rabies-dog-exposed-to-disease-to-be-quarantined/2013/10/28/cd343cfa-3fed-11e3-b028-de922d7a3f47_story.html

Four LYME DISEASE-related fatalities due to condition called LYME CARDITIS ~ PENNSYLVANIA physician publishes textbook focusing on LYME DISEASE ~ EEE & WNV reports from CA, FL, IL, IN, NH, & TX.


8033351959_bfd0bd5841_zBingFreeUseLicLyme Disease:

International 10/06/13 poughkeepsiejournal.com: by Roberto LoBianco – Four deaths have been reported in medical journals from a heart condition associated with Lyme disease called Lyme carditis. The condition is being investigated in the death of a 17-year-old Poughkeepsie High School honor student who died Aug. 5; evidence of Lyme disease was found in his blood, organs and heart. The cases, drawn from references provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, include:

• A 37-year old man who died in 2008 the day after visiting a doctor. The man reported a month-long series of fevers, rash and other symptoms.

dl3l4l34d9• A patient who died from cardiac arrest caused by Lyme myocarditis or heart inflammation. The patient, described in a 1993 report in the Journal of Neurology, was among patients with Lyme myositis, or muscle inflammation, between the ages of 37 and 70.

• A 31 year-old male farm worker in Great Britain — the only geographical reference in the four articles — who tested positive for Lyme disease on his first screening. An autopsy found the man suffered from an enlarged heart and an irregular heart beat; he had no telltale Lyme disease rash before becoming ill, according to a 1990 article in the Postgraduate Medical Journal.

4df3ff714678c.preview-300• A 66-year old man who died of “cardiac involvement of Lyme disease.” According to a 1985 report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, he died 18 hours after being taken to the hospital with chills, muscle pain and other symptoms. – For details and complete article see http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/article/20131006/NEWS01/310060047/Medical-researchers-report-four-deaths-due-Lyme-carditis

227757International 10/06/13 philly.com: by Ilene Raymond Rush – For Kathy Spreen, Lyme disease is a family affair. The trouble for her West Chester family started with her husband, who complained of fatigue and shoulder pain. Diagnosed with Lyme, he was treated with antibiotics and cured. About a year later, suffering with fatigue and joint pain, Spreen was treated twice for Lyme, which led to arthroscopic surgery and an eventual knee replacement. But when her 20-year old son Chris was rushed to the emergency room with a fever near 106 degrees and lapsing in and out of consciousness, she felt helpless. Despite her credentials as a physician, a tick taken from her son’s flank, and a telltale rash, she and her asset_upload_file730_103598husband could not get the medical staff to acknowledge that he might have Lyme. A doctor eventually administered a Lyme test that came back positive and Chris was treated with the antibiotic doxycycline, but his disease flared repeatedly over the next few years, inducing crippling fatigue and interfering with his aeronautical engineering studies at Purdue University.

51odrXSU6qLSpreen’s response to this sequence of events is the Compendium of Tick-Borne Disease: A Thousand Pearls, an 856-page textbook that addresses the diagnosis, treatment and care of Lyme disease. Intended for practitioners, caregivers, and patients, this self-published tome, which sells for $120 on Amazon – with discounts available through Lyme advocacy groups – proposes a new paradigm of open-mindedness about tick-borne illnesses. Julia Wagner, president of PA Lyme Resource Network, says the book “will change education, and help physicians quickly get their arms around a huge body of research.” “It’s the book that I wished I had when my son got sick,” says Spreen, 59, who has master’s degrees in biochemistry and public health and board certifications in preventive and family medicine. Until her retirement in 2006, she had worked for 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry, including Wyeth, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson in research and development. She hopes her book will “lay out some options for better care.” – For complete article see http://www.philly.com/philly/health/20131006_Textbook_from_West_Chester_writer_focuses_on_Lyme_disease.html

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) & West Nile Virus (WNV):

San Bernadino Cty CACalifornia 10/08/13 San Bernardino County: Officials confirmed today that an Upland resident is the first person to die of WNV in the county this year. – See http://www.sbsun.com/health/20131008/upland-man-san-bernardino-countys-first-fatal-west-nile-virus-victim

Jackson_County_FLFlorida 10/07/13 Jackson County: Officials have confirmed that a horse stabled in the vicinity of Bethlehem Road south of Cottondale has tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.wtvy.com/news/headlines/Horse-with-West-Nile-Virus-Confirmed-in-Jackson-County-226811351.html

Kankakee-County.ILIllinois 10/05/13 Kankakee County: Officials have confirmed the first human case of WNV in the county was diagnosed in a male resident of Manteno in his 50s. – See http://daily-journal.com/archives/dj/display.php?id=512984

Marion cty INIndiana 10/04/13 Marion County: Officials have confirmed the county’s first human case of WNV this year. Statewide, 11 people have been diagnosed with the virus. – See http://www.indystar.com/article/20131004/LIFE02/310050023/Marion-County-sees-season-s-first-case-West-Nile-virus?nclick_check=1

nh-medicaidNew Hampshire 10/08/13 NH Dept of Health: Officials confirmed today that a horse stabled in Deerfield has tested positive for EEE. – See http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/media/pr/2013/10-oct/10082013EEE.htm

Floyd_County.TXTexas 10/05/13 Floyd County: State officials have confirmed a total of two human cases of WNV in the county, including one fatality. – See http://www.everythinglubbock.com/story/west-nile-death-in-floyd-county/d/story/251w1Vq-ak2wJaRUSGb4LA

What is LYME DISEASE? ~ EEE & WNV reports from CT, MS, OR, SD, & TN ~ RABIES reports from CTx3, MD, MI, NJ, NM, NC, & CANADA: QUEBEC.


For infographic on LYME DISEASE see


Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) & West Nile Virus (WNV):

New_London_County.CTConnecticut 09/17/13 New London County: Health officials have confirmed that a horse in Griswold has tested positive for EEE. – See http://www.norwichbulletin.com/news/x1868839155/Horse-in-Griswold-tests-positive-for-Eastern-Equine-Encephalitis

MS_71058_121809421211160_5406251_nMississippi 09/16/13 MS Dept of Health: Officials have confirmed three new human cases of WNV in Hinds, Jones, and Madison counties, bringing the state total for 2013 to 30 cases, including one death. So far this year, cases have been reported in Bolivar, Forrest (3), Hinds (10), Jones (2), Lamar (3), Leflore (2), Lincoln, Lowndes, Madison (2), Marion, Rankin (3) and Wayne counties. – See http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/23,14289,341.html

oha_logo_smOregon 09/16/13 democratherald.com: The Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division has confirmed 11 human cases of WNV in the state this year in Malheur (9), Linn (1), and Harney (1) counties. – See http://democratherald.com/news/local/west-nile-virus-pops-up-in-oregon/article_ffe7a4ba-1e8d-11e3-b409-0019bb2963f4.html?comment_form=true

SouthDakotaDOHSouth Dakota 09/17/13 SD Dept of Health: Officials have confirmed 99 human cases of WNV, including 2 fatalities, have been reported across the state, an increase of 15 cases since last week. For affected counties and other statistics see http://doh.sd.gov/documents/diseases/infectious/WNV-update.pdf

shelby cty TNTennessee 09/16/13 Shelby County: Health officials have confirmed three new human cases of WNV in the county, raising the state’s total to 12 this year. The new cases involve a 15-year-old boy, a 46-year-old man and a 64-year-old woman. – See http://www.sacbee.com/2013/09/16/5740822/3-new-west-nile-virus-cases-in.html


raccoon - CopyConnecticut 09/17/13 Fairfield County: A raccoon that was killed by a vaccinated dog near the East Village Road/Webb Circle are of Monroe has tested positive for rabies. – See http://monroe.patch.com/groups/monroe-animal-reports/p/dog-attacks-a-raccoon-with-rabies

imagesCA9UNA4VConnecticut 09/17/13 Hartford County: A skunk captured on Jackson Road in Enfield after an incident on September 14th involving two vaccinated dogs has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.journalinquirer.com/towns/enfield/skunk-tested-positive-for-rabies-in-enfield/article_ff3fb2e4-1fb1-11e3-8073-0019bb2963f4.html

g12c00 - CopyConnecticut 09/16/13 Hartford County: Two skunks captured separately in the towns of Berlin and Rocky Hill have tested positive for rabies. Three people who came in contact with the animals, one of whom was bitten, are undergoing post-exposure treatment. – See http://berlin.patch.com/groups/around-town/p/two-rapid-skunks-captured-after-minor-incidents

506px-Raccoon_(Procyon_lotor)_1_Darkone_WCMaryland 09/17/13 Anne Arundel County: A raccoon found in the vicinity of the visitor center at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/blog/bs-md-ar-rabid-raccoon-20130917,0,2505371.story?track=rss

batinlaundryMichigan 09/16/13 Leelanau County: A bat found crawling on the floor of a veterinarian’s garage last week has tested positive for rabies. The vet is reminding pet owners in the northwest corner of the Lower Peninsula to stay up-to-date on vaccinations.  -  http://www.upnorthlive.com/news/story.aspx?id=947477#.UjkqAD_nC5c

mini.donkey.freetouselicenseNew Jersey 09/16/13 Monmouth County: At least a dozen people are being treated for potential exposure to rabies after coming in contact with an infected miniature donkey on a private farm. – See http://www.theglobaldispatch.com/new-jersey-a-dozen-people-receive-rabies-pep-after-exposure-to-infected-miniature-donkey-28287/

New Mexico 09/14/13 Bernalillo County: A bat found at the BioPark Heritage Farm north of Central Avenue NW in Albuquerque has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.kasa.com/news/krqe-news/rabies-bats8773400gconfirmed-in-albuquerque-bat

North Carolina 09/17/13 Cumberland County: A bat picked up in a home on Forest Creek Drive in Fayetteville has tested positive for rabies. Seven people living in the home have been advised to seek medical advice. – See http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/local&id=9251796


Rabies groupQuebec 09/14/13 ctvnews.ca: Quebec has laid down $2 million worth of rabies vaccine bait around the province to counter the spread of raccoon rabies. The officials, who have conducted the operation for eight straight years now, dropped 400,000 baits from the air and hired professional trappers to place another 250,000 in strategically chosen areas. The immunization bait targets raccoons, skunks and foxes and most were placed in the Montérégie, Eastern Townships, greater Montreal and areas near the U.S. border and the St. Lawrence River. – See http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/rabid-animals-targeted-in-vaccine-offensive-1.1454952

CDC study finds FERAL CATS are main domestic animal linked to HUMAN RABIES EXPOSURE ~ ALASKAN HUNTING GUIDE mauled by BROWN BEAR ~ NEW YORK teenager dies of POWASSAN VIRUS ~ CDC finds only 1 in 10 cases of LYME DISEASE reported ~ EEE & WNV reports from DE, NH, & NJ.


National 08/18/13 usatoday.com: by Elizabeth Weise – Efforts to care for abandoned cats could mean more humans will be exposed to rabies, researchers at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say. For 30 years, the main domestic animal linked to human exposure to rabies in the United States has been the cat. In the past 10 years, the number of feral cat colonies has exploded as animal-rights groups fight to end the capturing and killing of strays. Those two trends could be on a collision course, says Charles Rupprecht, director of research for the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, who was senior author of the CDC study. Dogs were the primary domestic carrier of rabies until the 1970s, when roundups of strays and vaccination programs eradicated canine rabies. That hasn’t happened with cats. “We didn’t think it was OK to have (stray) dogs, but we think it’s OK to create artificial cat colonies where they’re exposed to wildlife that can transmit rabies,” Rupprecht says.

cdc_logoApproximately 300 rabid cats are reported each year in the United States, says Jesse Blanton, a CDC epidemiologist. The CDC estimates that 16% of people in the United States who undergo rabies treatment are exposed to the deadly virus from cats. They must be treated with a series of shots. Human deaths from rabies are rare in the United States — two or three a year — and there have been no deaths linked to cats in decades. The issue is part of a debate over how to deal with unwanted cats and their offspring. There are 74 million owned cats in the United States, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Estimates on the number of feral cats vary from 60 million to 150 million. – For complete article, including comments on TNVR debate, see http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/17/feral-cats-colonies-rabies-risk/2665359/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+usatoday-NewsTopStories+%28News+-+Top+Stories%29

Bear Attack:

Brown bear.

Brown bear.

Alaska 08/17/13 adn.com: by Nathaniel Herz – The National Guard helicopter flew slowly through mountains north of Fairbanks in a layer of clear air between two blankets of clouds. Its destination: a circle of slowly falling flares, glowing green in the flight crew’s night-vision goggles, marking the campsite of the victim of a bear mauling. The flares, attached to parachutes, had been dropped by an airplane flying ahead of the helicopter in the Brooks Range north of Anaktuvuk Pass. It was part of a mission that led to the dramatic rescue of hunting guide James Tuttle early Friday morning, two days after he was attacked by a brown bear. After returning to Eielson Air Force base outside Fairbanks, Tuttle was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported he was in stable condition Saturday.

AnaktuvukPass_AKAn Air National Guard pilot and medic recounted the mission in interviews Saturday, describing their hair-raising flight to the campsite, their landing in a dense patch of brush and their pickup of Tuttle — who parajumper Chris Bowerfind described as being in good spirits and cracking jokes despite looking like “he’d gone a couple rounds with a UFC fighter.” Details of the hunting trip, and the mauling, were still sketchy, however. Tuttle is listed as a “head guide” on the website of Arctic North Guides, which is owned by Phil Byrd. Byrd, whose business is based in King Salmon, could not be reached for comment Saturday. Bowerfind, who was one of two medics helping pick up Tuttle, said the guide told him he had been attacked by a female brown bear while he was walking alone between his campsite and the carcass of a caribou killed by the hunting party a half-mile away. Tuttle was mauled Wednesday but poor weather kept away rescuers from the North Slope Borough and the Alaska State Troopers, said Maj. Keenan Zerkel, who coordinated the mission for the National Guard. . . Bowerfind said Tuttle told him that the bear that attacked him was familiar and even had been nicknamed by the hunters. “This was a known bear — he said he sees it every camping trip,” Bowerfind said. Tuttle told Bowerfind he was walking to the caribou carcass when the bear attacked him. – For complete article see http://www.adn.com/2013/08/17/3030046/national-guard-pilot-medic-recount.html

Powassan Virus:

arbovirus-bannerNew York 08/17/13 dailyfreeman.com: Health officials have confirmed a 17-year-old who collapsed and died in Poughkeepsie had contracted the tick-borne Powassan virus. The disease is fatal in 30 percent of cases and there is no known treatment. There have been 39 deaths in the US since 2008 attributed to Powassan, named images542487after a town in Ontario where it was first observed. Scientists say a person can be infected 15 minutes after a tick attaches, but symptoms do not appear for one to three weeks afterwards. – For complete article see http://www.dailyfreeman.com/articles/2013/08/17/news/doc520f70d66dbd1465488059.txt

Lyme Disease:

lyme-awareness5128National 08/19/13 cdc.gov: Preliminary estimates indicate that the number of Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease each year is around 300,000. The preliminary estimates were presented Sunday night in Boston at the 2013 International Conference on Lyme Borreliosis and Other Tick-Borne Diseases. This early estimate is based on findings from three ongoing CDC studies that use different methods, but all aim to define the approximate number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease annually. Each year, more than 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to CDC, making it the most commonly reported tick-borne illness in the United States. The new estimate suggests that the total number of people cdc_logodiagnosed with Lyme disease is roughly 10 times higher than the yearly reported number.  This new estimate supports studies published in the 1990s indicating that the true number of cases is between 3- and 12-fold higher than the number of reported cases. – For complete news release see http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p0819-lyme-disease.html

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) & West Nile Virus (WNV):

delawarehealth_logoDelaware 08/18/13 DE Health: State officials have confirmed that two sentinel chickens in the Cypress Swamp area of Sussex County have tested positive for EEE. See http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/php/alerts/dhan100.html

nh-medicaidNew Hampshire 08/19/13 NH Dept of Health: State officials have confirmed that mosquitoes trapped in Exeter have tested positive for EEE. This is the first finding of EEE in the state this year.  This is in addition to the 6 batches of mosquitoes that have tested  positive  for WNV so far this season in New Hampshire. – See http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/media/pr/2013/08-aug/08192013eee.htm

NJDOH-LogoNew Jersey 08/16/13 state.nj.us: State officials have confirmed the state’s first human case of WNV in a 55-year-old male from Burlington County. He was hospitalized and now is at home recovering.  He was exposed while gardening and conducting other outdoor activities around his home. WNV has been identified among mosquitoes in all New Jersey counties except Cumberland and Salem. – See http://www.state.nj.us/health/news/2013/approved/20130816a.html