Tag Archives: Mosquitoes

FLORIDA reports first case of CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER acquired in the United States ~ CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER outbreak in CARIBBEAN REGION now exceeds 355,000 hum an cases.

Chikungunya Fever causes "bonebreaking" pain in joints

Chikungunya Fever causes “bonebreaking” pain in joints

National 07/17/14 cdc.gov: Media Release – Seven months after the mosquito-borne virus chikungunya was recognized in the Western Hemisphere, the first locally acquired case of the disease has surfaced in the continental United States. The case was reported today in Florida in a male who had not recently traveled outside the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working closely with the Florida Department of Health to investigate how the patient contracted the virus; CDC will also monitor for additional locally acquired U.S. cases in the coming weeks and months. Since 2006, the United States has averaged 28 imported cases of chikungunya (chik-un-GUHN-ya) per year in travelers returning from countries where the virus is common. To date this year, 243 travel-associated cases have been reported in 31 states and two territories. However, the newly reported case represents the first time that mosquitoes in the continental United States are thought to have spread the virus to a non-traveler.

Aedes aegypti . CDC

Aedes aegypti . CDC

Chikungunya virus is transmitted to people by two species of mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. Both species are found in the southeastern United States and limited parts of the southwest; Aedes albopictus is also found further north up the East Coast, through the Mid-Atlantic States and is also found in the lower Midwest. It is not known what course chikungunya will take now in the United States.

Aedes albopictus

Aedes albopictus

CDC officials believe chikungunya will behave like dengue virus in the United States, where imported cases have resulted in sporadic local transmission but have not caused widespread outbreaks. None of the more than 200 imported chikungunya cases between 2006 and 2013 have triggered a local outbreak. However, more chikungunya-infected travelers coming into the United States increases the likelihood that local chikungunya transmission will occur. Infection with chikungunya virus is rarely fatal, but the joint pain can often be severe and debilitating. This virus is not spread person to person. There is no vaccine and no specific treatment for infection, but research is underway in both areas. Patients recover in about a week, although long-term joint pain occurs in some people. – For complete rmedia release see http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0717-chikungunya.html

Chikungunya988405Caribbean Region 07/14/14 cidrap.umn.edu: by Lisa Schnirring – The number of chikungunya infections in an ongoing outbreak in the Caribbean region saw another steep rise last week, with the Dominican Republic again accounting for much of the new activity, along with Guadeloupe and Martinique, according to the latest update from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The total number of suspected and confirmed cases rose to 355,617, an increase of 48,780 from the week before, according to PAHO’s Jul 11 update. Nearly 28,000 of the new cases were reported from the Dominican Republic, while new case numbers were not listed from neighboring Haiti, another outbreak hotspot. Other areas that contributed sizable parts of last week’s increase are Guadeloupe with 11,600 new cases and Martinique with 8,550, according to the PAHO report.

ecdc.logoThe European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in its communicable disease threat update today that most of the affected outbreak areas continue to report cases, “but the situation is particularly severe in the island of Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic).” Elsewhere, the first locally acquired chikungunya cases have been detected in Trinidad and Tobago, according to a Jul 13 report from the Trinidad Express newspaper. James Hospedales, MD, executive director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency, said the outbreak appears to be spreading to one new country per week, according to the report. PAHO said the only US territory that saw a notable increase was Puerto Rico, which reported 177 more suspected or confirmed cases for a total of 405 so far. The number of deaths held steady at 21. – For complete article see http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2014/07/chikungunya-outbreak-exceeds-355000-cases

Will the CHIKUNGUNYA VIRUS become a threat in the U.S.? Scientist says “it’s only a matter of time”. ~ TULAREMIA killing RABBITS in COLORADO ~ FLORIDA reports five HORSES down with EEE ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) reports from CO, SD & TX ~ RABIES reports from CO & NY.

Aedes aegypti biting human. Courtesy U.S. Dept of Agriculture.

Aedes aegypti biting human. Courtesy U.S. Dept of Agriculture.

Global 07/01/14 nationalgeographic.com: by Karen Weintraub – Chikungunya (pronounced chick-un-GOON-ya) has plagued other parts of the world—particularly Asia and Africa—for decades, becoming more prevalent in recent years. But it arrived in the Caribbean only in December and has already infected as many as 250,000 people there. The virus is generally not lethal and can’t pass from person to person. But the pain it brings can be horrible—some who have weathered its wrath have said they wished the virus had killed them. In rare cases, the agony can last for months or even years. Public health officials in the Caribbean are struggling to contain the outbreak, in part because of the difficulty of limiting mosquito breeding grounds and because the disease is so new to the area. Paola Lichtenberger, director of the Tropical Medicine Program at the University of Miami, says she is sure the epidemic is more widespread than official numbers suggest simply because making the diagnosis is so difficult. Public health officials in the U.S. and around the world, meanwhile, are tracking cases carefully and encouraging people in affected areas to take precautions to avoid infections and to clean up areas of standing water. Airports in ten major American East Coast cities with Caribbean-bound flights have posted warnings to passengers about chikungunya.

81343_990x742-cb1404168438So far, 73 American travelers have brought the disease home from abroad and another 15 have been infected by mosquitoes in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, though it hasn’t yet reached mosquitoes in the continental United States. But it’s only a matter of time before that happens, according to Lichtenberger, who has helped treat three chikungunya patients since the outbreak began. – For complete article see http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/07/140701-chikungunya-caribbean-mosquitoes-world-health/?rptregcta=reg_free_np&rptregcampaign=20140623_t1_rw_membership_r1p_us_dr_w

Tularemia:

colojackColorado 07/04/14 Larimer County: Officials confirmed on July 3rd that a rabbit found in Fort Collins has tested positive for tularemia, aka Rabbit Fever, a bacterial infection that is potentially life-threatening to humans. A die-off of rabbits has been reported in the area over the past few weeks. – For complete article including risks, symptoms and precautions see http://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2014/07/03/tularemia-found-southeast-fort-collins-area-rabbit/12205939/

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

eee-threat-249x187Florida 07/03/14 wcjb.com: A fifth horse has tested positive for EEE in North Central Florida. Three of the infected horses were reported stabled in Marion County, and two in Alachua County. – See http://www.wcjb.com/local-news/2014/07/fifth-case-eastern-equine-encephalitis-north-central-florida

West Nile Virus (WNV):

1184134480-mosquito2Colorado 07/03/14 CO Dept of Public Health & Environment: Officials have confirmed the state’s first two human cases of WNV so far this year reported in Saguache and Pueblo counties. – See https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/news-release-human-cases-west-nile-virus-identified-colorado

South Dakota 07/03/14 SD Dept of Health: Officials have confirmed two new human cases of WNV in Codington and Lincoln counties. – See http://doh.sd.gov/diseases/infectious/wnv/documents/WestNileupdates2014.pdf

Texas 07/03/14 TX Dept of State Health: Officials have confirmed the state’s first human case of WNV this year was reported in Travis County. – See https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/news/releases/20140703.aspx

Rabies:

rabiesAlert521d4-1Colorado 07/02/14 Yuma County: Officials have confirmed that a feral cat found near the Morgan Community College campus in Wray has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.yumapioneer.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6060&Itemid=39

New York 07/02/14 Tompkins County: A bat captured earlier this week in Montgomery Park in the town of Dryden has tested positive for rabies. It is known, and was reported, that three children using sticks poked at the bat on Monday, but no one knows who the children are. Officials need to determine as soon as possible if any or all of these children were exposed to the virus. The health department urges anyone who had contact or knows of anyone who had contact with a bat in Montgomery Park in Dryden to immediately contact them at 607-274-6688. – See http://ithacavoice.com/2014/07/officials-scramble-find-kids-poked-rabid-bat-dryden-park/

 

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

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

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

Wolf OR-7:

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

Canada:

Grizzly Bear:

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

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

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

Travel Warning:        

Chikungunya Fever:

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

West Nile Virus:

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

Hantavirus:

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

Rabies:

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

First U.S. case of MIDDLE EAST RESPIRATORY SYNDROME (MERS) confirmed in INDIANA ~ CHIKUNGUNYA now an epidemic in the CARIBBEAN ~ RABIES report from ONTARIO, CANADA.

Dromedary by Trisha. Wikimedia Commons. PD.

Dromedary by Trisha. Wikimedia Commons. PD.

Global 05/02/14 cdc.org: Media ReleaseMiddle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was confirmed today in a traveler to the United States. This virus is relatively new to humans and was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. “We’ve anticipated MERS reaching the US, and we’ve prepared for and are taking swift action,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.  “We’re doing everything possible with hospital, local, and state health officials to find people who may have had contact with this person so they can be evaluated as appropriate.  This case reminds us that we are all connected by the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink.  We can break the chain of transmission in this case through focused efforts here and abroad.”

OCDC-Logon April 24, the patient traveled by plane from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to London, England then from London to Chicago, Illinois.  The patient then took a bus from Chicago to Indiana.  On the 27th, the patient began to experience respiratory symptoms, including shortness of breath, coughing, and fever. The patient went to an emergency department in an Indiana hospital on April 28th and was admitted on that same day. The patient is being well cared for and is isolated; the patient is currently in stable condition. Because of the patient’s symptoms and travel history, Indiana public health officials tested for MERS-CoV. The Indiana state public health laboratory and CDC confirmed MERS-CoV infection in the patient this afternoon. “It is understandable that some may be concerned about this situation, but this first U.S. case of MERS-CoV infection represents a very low risk to the general public,” said Dr. Anne Schuchat, assistant surgeon general and director of CDC’s National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases.  In some countries, the virus has spread from person to person through close contact, such as caring for or living with an infected person. However, there is currently no evidence of sustained spread of MERS-CoV in community settings.

arabian camel 1CDC and Indiana health officials are not yet sure how the patient became infected with the virus.  Exposure may have occurred in Saudi Arabia, where outbreaks of MERS-CoV infection are occurring. Officials also do not know exactly how many people have had close contact with the patient. So far, including this U.S. importation, there have been 401 confirmed cases of MERS-CoV infection in 12 countries. To date, all reported cases have originated in six countries in the Arabian Peninsula.  Most of these people developed severe acute respiratory illness, with fever, cough, and shortness of breath; 93 people died. Officials do not know where the virus came from or exactly how it spreads. There is no available vaccine or specific treatment recommended for the virus. “In this interconnected world we live in, we expected MERS-CoV to make its way to the United States,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, Director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  “We have been preparing since 2012 for this possibility.” Federal, state, and local health officials are taking action to minimize the risk of spread of the virus.  The Indiana hospital is using full precautions to avoid exposure within the hospital and among healthcare professionals and other people interacting with the patient, as recommended by CDC. – For complete release and links to more information see http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0502-US-MERS.html

Author’s Note: Researchers have isolated live MERS virus from single-humped camels also known as dromedaries, and almost 75% of the camels in Saudi Arabia have tested positive for prior exposure to the MERS virus. However, even though camels are suspected to be the primary source of infection for humans, the exact routes of direct or indirect exposure remain unknown.

Chikungunya:

carphaWestern Hemisphere 05/01/14 Caribbean Basin: The head of the Caribbean Public Health Authority (CARPHA), Dr James Hospedales, has declared the Chikungunya virus has reached epidemic proportions in the Caribbean. “By definition this is an epidemic since it represents an unusual number of cases of this problem where we would never have it before,” Dr Hospedales told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC). The mosquito-borne illness was first detected in the Caribbean in December 2013, in St Martin, and last week Antigua and St Vincent and the Grenadines became the latest countries to declare an outbreak. According to Dr Hospedales, as of April 28, there were 4,108 probable cases in 14 countries across the region. . . . . To date the Chikungunya virus has been confirmed in Anguilla, Aruba, Virgin Islands, Dominica, Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St Barthelemy, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Maarten (Dutch) and St Martin (French). – For complete article see http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/latestnews/Chikungunya-now-an-epidemic-in-the-Caribbean

Rabies:

Canada:

HelpCardOntario 05/01/14 Bruce County: Yet another dog biting incident is reported in the area. The Grey Bruce Health Unit is asking for your help in tracking down the owner of a dog involved in a biting incident in Chesley. It happened Wednesday at about 9 PM. A man was attacked by a dog while walking on the Chesley Rail Trail near the cemetery. The dog was loose and was not being watched by anyone. The Health unit says the dog is described as large and dark-coloured. Staff of the Grey Bruce Health Unit need to confirm that the dog is not infectious with rabies. By verifying the health of the dog, the victim can avoid receiving the post-exposure rabies treatment. If you have any information related to this incident, please contact the Grey Bruce Health Unit at 519-376-9420. – See http://www.bayshorebroadcasting.ca/news_item.php?NewsID=65812

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

Will CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER spread to the U.S.? ~ TRAVEL WARNINGS: CHIKUNGUNYA spreads throughout eastern CARIBBEAN ~ MISSISSIPPI reports first WEST NILE VIRUS case of 2014 ~ MEXICAN GRAY WOLD population highest since reintroduction 16 years ago ~ RABIES reports from AZ, & GA.

chikungunya_1

Western Hemisphere 02/10/14 livescience.com: by Marc Lallanilla – Health experts are concerned that chikungunya fever — a debilitating mosquito-borne disease that was once confined to Africa and Asia — has now spread to the Caribbean and may soon begin to make its way across North and South America. An infection with the chikungunya (chik-un-GUN-ya) virus causes severe pain, high fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and rash. The name is derived from an East African word for “that which bends,” a reference to the hi_4333.chikungunyaposture adopted by infected people who are stooped over from severe joint pain. And though the disease can’t be spread directly from person to person, a mosquito that bites a person who’s infected with the virus can easily spread the disease by biting another person, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The spread of chikungunya was first reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in December 2013, after 10 residents on the Caribbean island of St. Martin were confirmed to have the disease. In the months since then, chikungunya has spread to other Caribbean countries, including popular tourist destinations such as Guadeloupe, Martinique and the British Virgin Islands.

Will chikungunya spread to the US?

0209-web-subCARIBBEANmap.chikungunyaThe disease isn’t unknown in the United States, but all previous documented cases have been in people who traveled outside the U.S. to countries where chikungunya is established, and were not caused by infected mosquitos within the U.S. That may change, however, since the mosquitos that carry the virus —Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus — are already found in the U.S. Some experts worry that it’s only a matter of time before chikungunya fever spreads to the U.S. “We definitely should be concerned,” said Laura Harrington, a professor of entomology at Cornell University who specializes in the spread of chikungunya and other tropical diseases. The death rate from chikungunya is fairly low — about 1 to 2 percent — “but it does cause a lot of discomfort,” Harrington told LiveScience. Most of the deaths caused by the disease are among the elderly or people with compromised immune systems.- For complete article see http://www.livescience.com/43241-what-is-chikungunya-fever-virus-mosquito.html

TRAVEL WARNINGS:

saim-LMAP-mdEastern Caribbean 02/08/14 theglobaldispatch.com: Since the chikungunya virus first made it’s appearance in the Western Hemisphere in early December on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, the outbreak has continued to grow and spread throughout many parts of the region showing little sign of slowing. The newest numbers released by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) on Feb. 7 shows that the total case count is pushing 1,500, up several hundred from just one week ago. According to European authorities, as of Friday the numbers are as follows: Saint Martin (FR):  601 probable or confirmed cases, Sint Maarten (NL): 60 confirmed cases, Saint Barthélemy: 83 probable or confirmed cases, Martinique: 518 probable or confirmed cases, Guadeloupe: 175 probable or confirmed cases, British Virgin Islands, Jost Van Dyke islands: six confirmed cases and Dominica: 3 confirmed cases and 1 imported confirmed case probably originating from Saint Martin. The Dominica number may be updated very soon as at least one news source from the island, Dominica News Online reported Friday the case count is now actually 13. In addition to the autochthonous cases reported above, imported cases have been reported from French Guiana: 4 confirmed imported cases: 3 from Martinique and 1 from Saint Martin, with no evidence of local transmission, one imported confirmed case on the Island of Anguilla probably originating from Saint Martin and one imported case reported on the Aruba.

lancet80-4-5ui76In a paper in The Lancet published today, researchers state:

It is likely that the chikungunya epidemic will extend to other Caribbean islands, and it also has substantial potential for spreading from this region visited yearly by millions of tourists to the American mainland where A aegypti is endemic. Assuming that this strain will be transmitted efficiently by A albopictus mosquitoes, its persistence in the Caribbean would also represent, as a consequence of seasonal synchronicity, a great threat for southern European countries where the mosquito has recently dispersed. This situation warrants reinforced epidemiological surveillance and specific preparedness.

CDC-LogoThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an updated travel notice for those going to the Caribbean islands on Thursday saying, “Travelers who go to these islands in the Caribbean are at risk of getting chikungunya.” Chikungunya is an illness caused by a virus that spreads through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of chikungunya are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.

West Nile Virus (WNV):

HindsCountyMSMississippi 02/10/14 Hinds County: Officials have confirmed the state’s first human case of WNV for 2014. Last year, 45 human cases of WNV were reported in the state, including five fatalities. – See http://www.wjtv.com/story/24681817/first-west-nile-virus-human-case-of-2014

 

Mexican Gray Wolves:

MW_Header_5Arizona & New Mexico 02/10/14 wmicentral.com: by Terence Corrigan – The population of Mexican gray wolves has reached its highest level since the reintroduction program released the first wolves 16 years ago near Alpine. The Interagency Field Team recently completed its annual count and determined that the minimum number of Mexican wolves is 83 –  43 in New Mexico and 37 in Arizona. The population of wolves in the wild has nearly doubled in the last four years. The count was 75 in January 2013, and 58 in 2012. In 2013, seven packs produced 17 pups that survived through December. The gain in wolf numbers was offset by seven deaths, four were killed illegally. The official number is expressed as the “minimum count” because it’s a number they’re sure of. It’s entirely likely that there are additional animals that were not seen. Preparation for the annual survey begins in September and October on the ground with field team members confirming locations of animals that are fitted with telemetry collars. In January the official count begins with an aerial telemetry survey from an airplane. The airplane survey is followed by a visual count from a helicopter.

r_gray_wolf_pups1The field team currently has a pair of wolves in a pen in the forest and plans to release them sometime in the early spring. There is also a pair being held in captivity that Fish and Wildlife plans to release this year. The management policy now is to release only a pair with newly born pups which tends to keep them near the release site. In the past newly released single animals have bolted from the release site and strayed far outside the boundaries where wolves are currently allowed to be. All of the wolves counted were born in the wild, which program personnel say bodes well for success. Wild born pups “seem to have what it takes to survive … and not get into trouble as relates to human interactions,” said Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, Southwest Regional Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife. – For complete article see http://www.wmicentral.com/news/apache_county/wolf-population-increases-to/article_119b47ba-8f8c-11e3-bea4-001a4bcf887a.html

 Rabies:

striped-skunks-01_000Arizona 02/10/14 Pima and Santa Cruz counties: State officials have issued a Rabies Alert in two southern counties effective immediately. Thirteen skunks have tested positive for the virus in these areas. – See https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?shva=1#inbox/14423701dbe07afc

Georgia 02/09/14 White County: A skunk that was in contact with a female dog and her litter of puppies has tested positive for rabies. The incident occurred in the 4700 block of Highway 254. An earlier case of the virus was reported last month just two blocks away. – See http://www.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=270963

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.

imagesCA7XMARS

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

Rabies:

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

Chikungunya:

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

Rabies:

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

 

CANADA: BRITISH COLUMBIAN woman and dog attacked by COYOTES while walking popular trail ~ CHIKUNGUNYA virus spreads in the AMERICAS ~ TRAVEL WARNING: 39 die of PLAGUE in MADAGASCAR ~ RABIES reports from FL, MA, NM, NC & VA.

 

Coyote. Bing free use license.

Coyote. Bing free use license.

Canada:

British Columbia 12/13/13 Okanagan: by Deborah Pfeiffer – A Summerland woman was recovering Thursday, after being attacked by what are believed to be three coyotes, while walking on a popular trail Wednesday morning. Sarah James was walking a friend’s dog Rosie on the Summerland Centennial Trail when the three animals, a large one and two smaller ones, surrounded her. Believing the small labradoodle to be in great danger, she immediately covered her with her body. “My primary focus was Rosie, absolutely, unconditionally,” she said. “I went into survival mode for her.” James coyotePacksaid she first noticed the three animals when she was walking a larger dog, a labrador retreiver cross, earlier in the morning at the bird sanctuary off of Peach Orchard Road. As they started to approach she yelled and they took off. At around 10:30 a.m., she started a second walk with Rosie on the trail that runs parallel to Peach Orchard. She was letting the dog run free and calling her back for treats, when the coyotes came out and surrounded her. Two came from the side and one from behind. She undid her ski jacket and  dove on top of the dog, covered her with her right hand and with her left hand swatted them away. “Rosie was crying up a storm and the whole thing lasted about two to three minutes, although it felt like it lasted way longer,” she said. “Then it went quiet, and they went away to the north side of the creek.” James waited about 30 seconds, comforting the small shaking dog, before picking her up and running down the trail . . .

OkanaganSgt. Stephane Lacroix with the Summerland RCMP said a police report was filed on the incident. In the report it states, James sustained major scrapes and her coat was torn to shreds, but she did not require any treatment or ambulance at the scene. He said additional patrols were made during the day and they then contacted a conservation officer. “We were advised by the conservation officer there is an increased problem with coyotes in the Summerland area and the officer has a plan in place to deal with coyote issues,” he said. The conservation officer was not available to comment on Thursday, but James said a culling of the animals was planned because there are several dens in the area, and the animals don’t have any natural predators. The fact the animals are exhibiting pack behaviour is the danger, she added. – For complete article and photos see http://www.castanet.net/news/Penticton/104627/Summerland-woman-attacked-by-coyotes

Author’s Note: A BC conservation officer killed a large coyote this week he believes was one of three referred to in previous report. – See http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/coyote-shot-dead-after-3-attack-b-c-woman-1.2463889

Chikungunya:

chikungunya091St. Martin 12/13/13 newscientist.com: by Debora MacKenzie – A dozen people on the tiny Caribbean island of St Martin have been infected with the chikungunya virus. It is the first time the mosquito-borne virus is known to have spread in the Americas. Eight years ago it spread beyond Africa, where it originated, to Eurasia. Now it has crossed the planet – and could already be more widespread than health agencies realise. Chikungunya is rarely lethal, but it is painful and can cause chronic, debilitating joint pain. On reaching Asia, it spread rapidly and made millions ill, as people had no immunity. A few experimental treatments and vaccines exist, but none has yet left the lab. Two years ago, when the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO), a public health agency that works in all countries in the Americas, drew up a plan for Chikungunya’s arrival, it warned that the Americas could face the same situation as Asia. “The resulting large outbreaks would likely tax existing health-care systems and the public health infrastructure,” it said, “and could potentially cripple some of society’s functioning.”

stmartincaribOn 10 December, the World Health Organization announced two confirmed cases of chikungunya in the French half of St Martin, with 10 more suspected. The people affected complained of joint pain and were initially thought to have dengue, which had been circulating on the island since January. But blood samples sent for testing in France confirmed the presence of chikungunya. The virus would have been brought to the island by a human carrier. There could yet be more cases elsewhere that have not been tested. “It cannot be excluded that a similar epidemiological situation might be ongoing in the Dutch part of the island,” says a risk assessment report by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), based in Stockholm, Sweden. “The extent of the outbreak is difficult to assess and might have remained undetected… on other islands.” French St Martin may simply have spotted chikungunya first because it is a familiar adversary. The virus’s first appearance outside Africa, in 2005, was in another French territory, the Indian Ocean island of Réunion. In the Americas, only Brazil, Canada, the US and the French territories of French Guiana, Guadeloupe and Martinique have the capability to test for the virus, says Donna Eberwine-Villagrán of PAHO. “We do not know if there are cases in other countries.” – For complete article see http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24757-threatwatch-chikungunya-virus-spreads-in-the-americas.html#.Uq0mRxBKOUm

Travel Warning:

madagascar.flag_256Madagascar 12/12/13 thenational.ae: At least 39 people have been killed by an outbreak of bubonic plague in Madagascar in recent weeks, the country’s health ministry confirmed yesterday. “There is an epidemic in Madagascar which is madagascar.mapcurrently affecting five districts out of 112. Eighty-six people have been infected by the plague, of which 39 have died,” the ministry said. Police in the northwestern district of Mandritsara had said on Wednesday the deceased could not be treated in time. But the death toll they gave, which was 20, was revised upwards yesterday. – See http://www.thenational.ae/39-dead-in-bubonic-plague-outbreak

Rabies:

urban-raccoons-by-liz-west-ccFlorida 12/12/13 Lee County: Officials have issued a Rabies Alert after receiving five reports of raccoon bites in less than three weeks. Only one of the raccoons was captured and it tested positive for the virus. It was found in the vicinity of Estero.Two people were bitten by raccoons in Fort Myers last week, and two others in Cape Coral this week, also by raccoons, but none of the animals were captured. Raccoons have also been reported acting strangely on Pine Island, though no bites have been reported. – See  http://www.fox4now.com/features/4inyourcorner/Rabies-warning-in-Lee-County-235605491.html

red-fox1Massachusetts 12/13/13 Franklin County: Officials have issued a Rabies Alert for the Millers Falls section of Montague after a fox tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.recorder.com/home/9752554-95/montague-warns-of-rabies-in-area

120912_540169-tdy-120907-bayley-01.blocks_desktop_mediumNew Mexico 12/12/13 Eddy County: A skunk that fought with an unvaccinated pet dog on skunkDecember 9th on Russell Street in Carlsbad has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.krqe.com/news/local/rabies-case-results-in-euthanization?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+krqe-topstories+%28KRQE+News+13+-+Top+Stories%29

CAS_Kitten_Child_02North Carolina 12/12/13 Davidson County: Three people in the Denton community are being treated for potential exposure to rabies after being bitten by a kitten earlier this month. The kitten died and has tested positive for the virus. Officials issued a warning not to handle  a pet with bare hands after it has had contact with a wild animal.- See http://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20131212/News/312129984/-1/NEWS?Title=Rabid-kitten-bites-three-people-in-Denton-before-dying

image001skunkandcanineVirginia 12/14/13 Washington County: A skunk that fought with a vaccinated dog in the vicinity of Elliot Street in Abingdon on November 24th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.swvatoday.com/news/washington_county/article_06a2f95e-6357-11e3-8a76-0019bb30f31a.html

Young FOX prompts RABIES ALERT in CALIFORNIA ~ Other RABIES reports from CA, CT, NJx2, NC, WV, & CANADA: ONT ~ TEXAS county reports 14 cases of DENGUE FEVER confirmed ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from NYx2, & TX.

Gray fox kit. Photo by Calius. Wikimedia Commons.

Gray fox kit. Photo by Calius. Wikimedia Commons.

California 11/16/13 Yolo County: A young fox, or kit, that attacked two horses on Putah Creek Road in Winters near the Railroad Bridge on the Solano County side of the creek this past Friday has tested positive for rabies. According to a local trapper, this fox is old enough to have been on its own since July or August and it could be an isolated case, but the infection might have resulted from contact with an infected bat or other animal while hunting. A rabid bat was found in Woodland last week as well (see below). – See article at http://www.dailydemocrat.com/breakingnews/ci_24536934/yolo-animalservices-warning-about-rabid-fox-near-winters

Other Rabies reports:

LittleBrownBatCalifornia 11/13/13 Yolo County: Officials have issued a Rabies Alert after a bat found Friday in the Woodland area near County Road 102 and Farmer Central Road tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.modbee.com/2013/11/13/3029041/yolo-officials-urge-caution-after.html

thumbnailCA0KC8HVConnecticut 11/15/13 Hartford County: A skunk believed to have been killed by a vaccinated dog and found dead on Welch Drive in Enfield on Thursday has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.courant.com/community/enfield/hc-enfield-rabies-1116-20131115,0,3267514.story

4541357140foxNew Jersey 11/13/13 Middlesex County: A fox found in a goat pen at Rutgers University in New Brunswick in the vicinity of College Farm Road and Route 1 has tested positive for rabies. This is the 14th animal in the county confirmed positive for rabies this year. – See http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20131113/NJNEWS/311130048/Fox-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-New-Brunswick

New Jersey 11/13/13 Middlesex County: A raccoon killed by a vaccinated pet dog in a resident’s yard in the vicinity of Oak and Maple avenues in Metuchen has tested positive for rabies. This is the 13th animal in the county confirmed positive for rabies this year. – See http://em.gmnews.com/news/2013-11-13/Front_Page/Third_rabid_animal_found_in_Metuchen_this_year.html

elkgrovecity.govNorth Carolina 11/14/13 Alamance County: A raccoon that was killed by an unvaccinated dog on Georgetown Drive in Elon has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.digtriad.com/news/local/article/305873/57/Dog-Fights-Kills-Rabid-Racoon-Placed-In-Quarantine

West Virginia 11/12/13 Marion County: A raccoon found at the northern end of the county has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wboy.com/story/23948210/animal-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-marion-county

Canada:

deptNatRes.DelawareOntario 11/14/13 Middlesex-London Health Unit: A Rabies Alert has been issued for London area residents after a bat tested positive for the virus recently. – See http://www.londoncommunitynews.com/news-story/4207502-bat-tests-positive-for-rabies-health-unit/

Dengue Fever:

imagesTexas 11/15/13 Rio Grande Valley: Health officials in Cameron County have confirmed 14 cases of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne viral disease. Neighboring Hidalgo County has identified three additional probable cases, but none of these have been confirmed. It is most serious in the very young, and very old, especially if they have diabetes or asthma. Symptoms may range from minor to life-threatening. There is neither a vaccine nor any treatment for dengue and physicians can only treat symptoms. For more information see http://www.cdc.gov/Dengue/ . – Also see video and article at http://www.valleycentral.com/news/story.aspx?id=972217#.UogVCuIljM0

West Nile Virus (WNV):

nassau cty NYNew York 11/15/13 Nassau County: A 7th human case of WNV was confirmed Thursday. A female resident of Hampstead tested positive for the virus. – See http://plainview.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/7th-west-nile-case-confirmed-in-nassau-plainview

suffolk cty NY (2)New York 11/12/13 Suffolk County: A 3rd human case of WNV was confirmed Tuesday, bringing the total on Long Island to 9 so far this year. The 50+ year-old female resident of Huntington is now recovering. – See http://www.newsday.com/news/health/3rd-west-nile-human-case-confirmed-in-suffolk-1.6424996

TH-LEGACY-IMAGE-ID-355-vaccinationTexas 11/15/13 kdhnews.com: State officials have confirmed that two horses in Coryell County and one each in Bell and Lampasas counties have tested positive for equine WNV. These four are among 10 confirmed by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Two of the 10 cases were fatal. – See http://kdhnews.com/news/official-three-area-horses-test-positive-for-west-nile-virus/article_a53e2f50-4d74-11e3-9adf-0019bb30f31a.html