Tag Archives: Wolves

Study finds TICKS like to hang out at GOLF COURSES ~ COLORADAN succumb s to HANTAVIRUS ~ TICK-BORNE ANAPLASMOSIS cases nearly double in MAINE ~ FOLLOW-UP REPORT: Test confirms first GRAY WOLF near GRAND CANYON in 75 years ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) report from CALIFORNIA ~ RABIES reports from NJ, PA & VA.

Courtesy of TickEncounter Research Center, University of Rhode Island.

Courtesy of TickEncounter Research Center, University of Rhode Island.

Global 11/22/14 business-standard.com: Golf courses are prime habitats for ticks, the tiny bloodsucking creatures, says a new study. Ticks like to feed at the boundaries between the woods and open spaces – the kind of settings found in golf courses. “Golf courses are the perfect habitat for ticks. This is because people on golf courses scare away the animals that usually prey on small rodents, so these tick-harboring rodents flourish,” said Gregory Owens of the School of Health Sciences and Practice at the New York Medical College in the US.

1319561v3v1In the study, Owens and his colleagues surveyed 29 golfers at a course in New York, where Lyme disease, an infection carried by certain ticks, is native. Nearly three-quarters of the golfers said they had found a tick on themselves after golfing, and 24 percent said they had been diagnosed with Lyme disease in the past. About one third of the golfers said they did not check themselves for ticks after golfing, and 72 percent did not use insect repellent while golfing, found the study.

Deer aka Black-legged Tick stages.

Deer aka Black-legged Tick stages.

Because the study was small, more research is needed to see how common tick-prevention behavior is among golfers, Owens said. Ticks are most active between April and September, but it is important to take preventive measures year-round. The study was presented at the American Public Health Association meeting in New Orleans.- See http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/golf-courses-are-hotspots-for-ticks-114112200181_1.html

HANTAVIRUS:

Deer mouse.

Deer mouse.

Colorado 11/21/14 denverpost.com: by Electa Draper – A southeastern Adams County man died of hantavirus Nov. 15, the Tri-County Health Department reported Friday. The adult male, whose name was not released, likely was infected with hantavirus while doing home plumbing repairs in a small space with rodent droppings or in a rodent-infested garage, health officials said in a news release. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is a rare condition, with an average of four cases a year in Colorado, caused by a virus carried by rodents, especially deer mice. People are exposed to hantavirus by inhaling dust that contains the feces, urine or saliva of deer mice. It is fatal to humans in almost half the cases. – For complete article see http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_26988497/adam-county-mans-death-caused-by-hantavirus-health

ANAPLASMOSIS:

ana_incid.cdcMaine 11/22/14 outbreaknewstoday.com: by Robert Herriman – The number of cases of the tick borne bacterial disease, anaplasmosis, continue to climb in Maine as the state Centers for Disease Control reports 164 cases statewide as of Nov. 18. This number is up 70 from the entire 2013 when 94 cases were reported. Anaplasmosis was first recognized as a disease of humans in the United States in the mid-1990’s, but did not become a reportable disease until 1999. It is caused by the bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Anaplasmosis is most frequently reported from the upper midwestern and northeastern United States. The areas from which cases are reported correspond with the known geographic distribution of Lyme disease. The tick responsible for transmission of A. phagocytophilum in the upper Midwest and northeastern U.S. is the black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Along the West Coast, the western black-legged tick (I. pacificus) may transmit the organism. These tick species also transmit the agents of Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi) and babesiosis (Babesia species), and human co-infections with these organisms have occasionally been reported. – See http://outbreaknewstoday.com/maine-anaplasmosis-cases-nearly-double-last-years-count-65434/

FOLLOW-UP REPORT:

GRAY WOLF:

(See “Are GRAY WOLVES returning to GRAND CANYON?” posted 11/18/14)

12A Canid, a wolf or wolf hybrid seen near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Photo taken Oct. 27, 2014. Courtesy Arizona Game and Fish Dept.Arizona 11/21/14 tucson.com: by Felicia Fonseca – A female gray wolf from the Northern Rockies traveled hundreds of miles into Northern Arizona, marking the species’ first appearance in the region in more than 70 years and the farthest journey south, wildlife officials confirmed Friday. A wolf-like animal had been spotted roaming the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and the adjacent national forest since last month. Biologists collected its scat and sent it to a University of Idaho laboratory for testing, verifying what environmentalists had suspected based on its appearance and a radio collar around its neck. “The corroboration is really good to get,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity. Biologists don’t know the wolf’s age or from where it traveled. The radio collar wasn’t transmitting a signal, and cold weather forced biologists to suspend efforts to capture the animal and replace the collar.

A Northern Rockies gray wolf hadn’t been seen in the Grand Canyon area since the 1940s.The Idaho lab might be able to glean more details about the wolf from its DNA, but U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokesman Jeff Humphrey said that could take several weeks or months. “We’ll let this wolf be a wolf where it’s at, and if it decides it’s going to move back north, it can do that,” he said. “Or if somebody joins her, then that’s nature taking its course.” Wolves often roam vast distances in search of food and mates. But the farther they go, the less likely they are to find a mate, said Ed Bangs, who led recovery efforts for wolves in the Northern Rockies over two decades before retiring from the Fish and Wildlife Service in 2011. “It’s looking for love,” he said. “It leaves the core population and doesn’t know the love of its life is going to be right over the next hill, so it just keeps traveling.” For complete article see http://tucson.com/ap/national/dna-confirms-wolf-traveled-hundreds-of-miles-to-grand-canyon/article_66537d48-72f8-56cd-af01-3d00b4456c85.html

WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV):

logo_CDPH_v.1_colorCalifornia 11/19/14 CA Dept of Health: There were 19 new WNV human cases reported in California this week from the following counties: Fresno (1), Kern (1), Los Angeles (11), Orange (3), San Bernardino (1), Stanislaus (1), and Sutter (1). 27 WNV-related fatalities have been reported to CDPH from twelve local health jurisdictions: Glenn (1), Kern (1), Long Beach City (2), Los Angeles (5), Orange (7), Placer (1), Sacramento (2), San Diego (1), Shasta (1), Stanislaus (2), Sutter (3), and Tehama (1). 752 human cases from 31 counties have tested positive for WNV in 2014. – See http://www.westnile.ca.gov/

RABIES:

New Jersey 11/19/14 Somerset County: Officials have issued a Rabies Alert after a black, brown and white tabby kitten that scratched a resident in the vicinity of Emerald Place in Franklin Township tested positive for the virus. Anyone in contact with this kitten in the Emerald Place area or surrounding neighborhoods is asked to call county health officials at (908) 231-7155 as soon as possible. – See http://patch.com/new-jersey/bridgewater/rabies-exposure-reported-franklin-township-0

IMG4336e-L-001Pennsylvania 11/20/14 Dauphin County: A feral cat brought to the Steelton Community Cat program presenting neurological symptoms has tested positive for rabies. A Rabies Alert has been issued warning residents in the Steelton and Swatara Township areas of the possible presence of the virus in the local wildlife and especially the feral cat population. – See http://www.abc27.com/story/27442070/steelton-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies

Virginia 11/19/14 Chesapeake: A black and white female cat with yellow eyes that attacked three people on November 13th in the Warrington Hall community has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.bdtonline.com/news/cat-that-attacked-in-va-had-rabies/article_613eea08-6ff9-11e4-952e-4fbbcfe01033.html

COYOTE attacks NEW HAMPSHIRE WOMAN walking 90 pound DOG ~ Are GRAY WOLVES returning to GRAND CANYON? ~ Scientists say new device filters EBOLA VIRUS from patient’s blood.

Stalking coyote. Courtesy U.S. National Park Service.

Stalking coyote. Courtesy U.S. National Park Service.

New Hampshire 11/17/14 seacoastline.com: by Jason Schreiber – A woman and her dog are recovering after they were attacked by a vicious coyote while walking in a field on their property Monday morning. The woman was returning to her house on Post Road in Greenland around 9:15 a.m. after taking her dog out for a morning walk when the two were attacked. “It came charging across the field and was hell-bent on attacking them,” said the woman’s husband, who was armed with a gun when he rushed to their aid. The attack happened in an open field on the property about 100 yards from the house. The woman’s husband, who asked that their names be withheld, said he was inside their house when he heard his wife screaming. He jumped into his pickup truck and raced over to help. As he drove toward them, he kept thinking, “I’ve got to get this coyote away from them and I’ve got to be careful.” Coyotes have been seen around the property many times before, but this was the first time one has attacked. He estimated the coyote weighed about 60 pounds; it was the largest he’s seen.

greenland_nh“It was very aggressive. I have never ever seen a coyote attack a person and a 90-pound dog. He was attacking them for a full 10 minutes. He was just circling and circling,” he said. His wife tried to fend it off while the couple’s dog, a Chesapeake Bay retriever, struggled to protect her. “There was something wrong with it,” she said of the coyote. “It just charged at us.” Her husband said he fired his gun at the coyote a few times but missed. The gunshots eventually scared the animal off. His wife and the dog then got into the truck while the coyote scurried away. She suffered bites on her hand and leg while the dog received multiple bite wounds. The dog was rushed to a local veterinarian while she was brought to Portsmouth Regional Hospital for treatment. – For complete article see http://www.seacoastonline.com/article/20141117/NEWS/141119277/101143/NEWS

GRAY WOLVES:

howling-wolf-wallpaper-10927-hd-wallpapersArizona 11/15/14 azcentral.com: by E.J. Montini – I picture him loping south through the forest on the Kaibab Plateau, a chill wind pushing through the ponderosa pines and blue spruce, as if whispering to the other animals — elk, deer, squirrels, even mountain lions — that an ancient presence has returned. There are roads through the forest but he does not follow them. He stays in the shadows where the ground is cold and hard. He keeps moving, alert, determined, until the trees thin out, the sky opens up and the land seems to disappear in front of him. He stops at the edge of a great chasm, the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. It is not wise of him to be out in the open. There are buildings nearby. Solid, rough-hewn structures of stone and logs, but large and well kept, something he’s unfamiliar with. Humans visit here, although only when the weather is warm. But how could he not come out into the open with that view? That’s how the lone wolf was spotted. In the past few months, several people have reported seeing him. Or is it her? The experts don’t know for sure. But they are fairly convinced that the animal observed at the North Rim is a gray wolf. If so, it probably made the long journey to Arizona from the Rocky Mountains. Imagine that. – See complete article and video at http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/ejmontini/2014/11/15/montini-gray-wolf-grand-canyon-north-rim/19107241/

EBOLA VIRUS:

bola-Virus-MainPhotoGlobal 11/14/14 time.com: by Alice Park – Battling a virus is all about timing, and Ebola is no exception. Our immune systems are capable of destroying Ebola, but once in the body, the virus multiplies furiously, spreading like wildfire. Pretty soon the invader overwhelms the body’s immune system. In most cases, the virus wins. But what if doctors could tip the odds in the body’s favor and pull out Ebola from the blood in order to give the immune cells a fighting chance? Reporting at the Kidney Week conference of the American Society of Nephrology on Friday, doctors at Goethe University hospital in Frankfurt described their experience doing just that several weeks ago when an Ebola patient arrived from Sierra Leone.

45508Dr. Helmut Geiger and his colleagues knew they had a challenge on their hands. They made sure the patient, a Ugandan pediatrician who had been treating Ebola patients, was hydrated and received the proper nutrients. They also tried several experimental therapies, but despite their efforts, the patient quickly deteriorated. He needed a ventilator to breathe, and as the virus ravaged his body, several of his organs, including his kidneys, failed. The medical team placed him on dialysis and hoped for the best. That’s when Geiger recalled reading about a novel way of treating viruses that didn’t involved drugs. Aethlon Medical, a California-based company, was testing a way to quite literally filter viruses out of the blood of infected patients. The team had been testing their device, which attached to standard kidney dialysis machines, on hepatitis C and HIV patients in India. The German doctors, desperate to help their patient, asked to test it for Ebola. “We did not know if it was possible to retract viruses from the blood,” says Geiger. “But we knew from earlier data that viral load is directly correlated to the outcome of the patient. We thought if we could reduce the viral load through some kind of intervention, then it would be positive for the patient.”

aethlon561646Their hunch paid off. The device, called the Hemopurifier, was attached to the dialysis machine that was already filtering the patient’s blood. The specially designed filter is made of a protein that acts as glue for proteins found on the Ebola virus’s surface. Over a period of 6.5 hours, the filter extracted the virus from the blood that flows through. While most dialysis filters can pull out molecules that are less than 4 nanometers in diameter, the virus filter boasts a mesh that’s able to filter out larger viral particles that are less than 250 nanometers. That means only the virus is pulled out, and the immune cells remain in the blood, ready to fight off any remaining viral invaders. “We had no [idea] about how much [virus] would be extracted, because this was the first patient, but I was very surprised because the drop in viral load was deeper than I expected,” says Geiger. Before the filtration began, the patient’s virus count was about 400,000 per mL blood. After the session it had dropped to 1,000 copies/mL. What’s more, when Geiger’s team sent the filter, which was designed to safely contain the Ebola virus it had extracted, to the University of Marburg, which has a biosafety level 4 laboratory for safely handling the virus, they learned that the device had managed to trap 242 million copies of the virus.

aethlon25575Freed from that viral burden, the patient soon began to improve rapidly. His own immune system began fighting off the remaining virus, and he no longer needs dialysis or a ventilator. The patient is walking and waiting to be released from the hospital. – For video and complete article see https://time.com/3586271/ebola-treatment-dialysis-blood/

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

Grizzly. Bing free use license.

Grizzly. Bing free use license.

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

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

Mountain Lion:

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

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

Plague:

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

Lyme Disease:

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

Wolf OR-7:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Travel Warning:

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

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

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

West Nile Virus (WNV):

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

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

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

CANADA: ALBERTA teen attacked by MOUNTAIN LION ~ TICK bite nearly kills 3-year-old VIRGINIAN ~ CALIFORNIAN attacked by BEAR may face feeding charges ~ COLORADO FLEA samples positive for BUBONIC PLAGUE ~ COLORADO RABBIT positive for TULAREMIA ~ OREGON hopes to re-collar celebrity WOLF OR-7 ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) reports from CA, CO, MD, MS, TXx2 & WY ~ RABID CAT reports from CA, FL, NC, SC & TX.

Mountain lion. Photo by Trish Carney. Wikimedia Commons.

Mountain lion. Photo by Trish Carney. Wikimedia Commons.

Canada:

Alberta 08/27/14 calgarysun.com: by Michael Platt – It’s said there a few sounds in the nature as bloodcurdling as the scream of a female cougar. Unless, of course, it’s the scream of a 19-year-old woman — in which case, even hungry cougars are loathe to hang around. It was that sound which likely saved 16-year-old Mykaela Belter from a serious mauling or worse after a large cat attacked her along a hiking trail in Waterton Parks — only to release and retreat when Belter’s sister Gabrielle screamed in horror. “I gave her a thank you,” said Mykaela, who’s now at her grandma’s house, nursing four stitches and bruises along her thigh and lower back. The attack has wildlife officials in the National Park baffled, because the 90-pound female cougar — since captured and killed — shows no signs of starvation or distress, and the typically shy animal was stalking people in a crowded area.

WatertonLakesNationalParkBelter says she was taken by surprise as she walked with Gabrielle down the trail near Bertha Falls, her dad Gary and brother Jaxon just a few steps behind on the busy route, located only a kilometre from the Waterton townsite. As they passed by some bushes, the cougar suddenly lunged. “It really didn’t hurt very much — it felt like when a house cat claws you, but then I looked down and thought, ‘oh wow, a cougar,’” said Mykaela, who lives in St. Albert, near Edmonton. Not far behind, her horrified father Gary Belter was thinking much stronger words than just “oh wow.” “The girls were just walking along together — the cougar stuck its head out of the bush and then it lunged forward and grabbed Mykaela and started to pull her towards the bushes,” said Gary. “Gabby reached over to grab Mykaela and screamed at the same time, and it let go.” By then dad was right there, ready to fight for his daughter’s life — though he admits that between adrenaline and shock, he could barely fathom what was really happening. “Part of it was being so shocked to even see a cougar, and then realizing, it has its paws around my daughter,” said Gary. “Then I was running forward, thinking the cat can’t pull her away that quickly, she’s too big, and I can grab her — but then it let go.” At first the cougar moved a metre or two back, and looked ready to pounce again, but the sudden commotion and crowd of hikers running to help convinced the mountain lion to leave. Gabrielle may have saved her sister, but the 19-year-old says she barely had time to think. “It all happened so fast,” said Gabrielle. “I panicked and grabbed her arm while screaming, because I didn’t know what else to do. My sister jerked back and then it just let go.” Parks officials have sent the cougar’s corpse for tests, to try and determine why the cat was preying on people and ignoring its usual instinct to avoid humans. – For photo of sisters and complete article see http://www.calgarysun.com/2014/08/26/alberta-teen-saved-from-cougar-attack-by-sister

 

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever:

petechial_rashRMSFbyCDCVirginia 08/29/14 Hampton: A 3-year-old boy is recovering from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever traced to a tick bite. It started with a fever, then a rash on his hands and feet. The boy was hospitalized for five days. – See http://wavy.com/2014/08/28/tick-bite-almost-kills-hampton-3-year-old/

 

Bear:

blackbear_1721930c-133California 08/26/14 rgj.com: by Scott Sonner – A Lake Tahoe woman who was attacked by a black bear in her backyard could become the first person in the area charged with illegally feeding the wild animals. California authorities say the woman, whose name hasn’t been released, has been feeding bears for years in her yard on the lake’s north shore at Kings Beach. A similar problem a few miles east in Incline Village prompted the Nevada Department of Wildlife to issue a formal warning in December to another woman accused of illegally feeding several bears — three of which now are dead. One of the bears had to be euthanized after it broke into a neighbor’s car and exhibited bold behavior making it a threat to public safety, NDOW spokesman Chris Healy said. Two of her cubs later were struck and killed by cars, which Healy said was at least an indirect result of their losing their natural fear of humans. “The people who are doing the feeding are the ones who are killing these bears,” Healy told The Associated Press on Friday. The Reno Gazette-Journal first reported that California game wardens were investigating the woman after the Aug. 5 attack in Kings Beach. The woman was treated at a hospital for bite wounds to her shoulder and scratches on her leg after she reported the bear hit her from behind, said Lt. Patrick Foy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Investigators said she has been feeding bears since at least 2010 and had been warned multiple times to stop. Foy said wildlife officials were working with the Placer County district attorney’s office and will decide soon whether to cite her with a misdemeanor charge of feeding wildlife, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. – For complete article see http://www.rgj.com/story/news/2014/08/24/tahoe-woman-attacked-bear-may-face-feeding-charges/14531237/

 

Bubonic Plague:

Santa_Fe_attacks_plagu48f91501Colorado 08/21/14 Boulder County: Fleas collected from a deserted prairie dog colony in the city of Boulder’s Marshall open space property, northeast of the intersection of South Boulder and Cherryvale roads, have tested positive for bubonic plague. The open space has not be closed, but people are urged to take precautions. – See http://www.dailycamera.com/news/boulder/ci_26375739/plague-found-boulder-area-fleas-residents-warned-take

 

Tularemia:

Jarek Tuszynski-Wikimedia-Commons

Jarek Tuszynski-Wikimedia-Commons

Colorado 08/28/14 El Paso County: Public health officials say a dead rabbit found near Yoder has tested positive for tularemia. “Residents near Yoder, south of Highway 94 and west of Yoder, are advised that tularemia-causing bacteria may be present in some of the mammals – especially rabbits, rodents and hares.” – See http://www.krdo.com/news/dead-rabbit-found-near-yoder-tests-positive-for-tularemia/27774090

 

Wolf (OR-7):

Remote camera photo of OR-7

Remote camera photo of OR-7

Oregon 08/25/14 mailtribune.com: by Mark Freeman – Oregon’s most famous wolf is set to get some new bling so he can keep working for Da Man. Biologists plan to recapture OR-7 and replace the wolf’s tracking collar — and possibly collar his mate and some of his three pups — to keep tracking Western Oregon’s only known wolf family as they work their way toward pack status. A federal biologist plans to set foot-hold traps in the area of eastern Jackson County in hopes of capturing at least one of the animals so it can be fitted with a GPS-transmitting collar similar to the one used to track OR-7′s world-famous, 3,000-mile journey that led him here. “It’s kind of the luck of the draw in who you can get,” says John Stephenson, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist tracking OR-7 from his Bend office. “It will probably end up one of the pups because they’re the most curious.” – For complete article see http://www.mailtribune.com/article/20140824/NEWS/140829665

 

West Nile Virus (WNV) Reports:

fig2_lgCalifornia 08/26/14 Orange County Public Health: Media Release – A Seal Beach resident in her 80s with underlying medical conditions died last week with complications of WNV infection. She had the more severe form, West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease. Orange County currently leads the state in number of WNV infections this year with 40 to date, compared to fewer than 5 infections around this time in the previous four years. – See http://ochealthinfo.com/phs/about/dcepi/epi/disease/wn

Colorado 08/26/14 Weld County Dept of Public Health: Seven county residents are confirmed to be infected with WNV, including a 63-year old man hospitalized with a neuroinvasive infection. – See http://www.co.weld.co.us/assets/013aa5CDD00DbaB0b092.pdf

Maryland 08/28/14 National Capital Region: State officials have confirmed that an adult resident of the region has been diagnosed with the state’s first human case of WNV this year. – See http://www.wbal.com/article/109505/3/confirmed-case-of-west-nile-virus-in-maryland

Mississippi 08/26/14 MS State Dept of Health: Media Release – Officials have confirmed the death of a Madison County resident from WNV, the second Mississippi death from WNV in 2014. New human cases were also reported in Adams, Bolivar, Covington, Forrest, and Rankin counties. So far this year, a total of 15 human WNV cases have been reported in the following counties: Adams (2), Bolivar (1), Covington (1), Forrest (1), Hinds (2), Madison (1), Newton (1), Rankin (4), Yazoo (1), and Wilkinson (1) counties. WNV deaths have occurred in Madison and Yazoo counties. – See http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/23,15551,341.html

Texas 08/26/14 TX Dept of State Health: Officials have confirmed 41 human cases of WNV illness in the state so far this year. Counties include Brazoria (2), Dallas (5), El Paso (2), Ellis, Galveston, Harris (8), Leon, Liberty (2), Lubbock, Montgomery (13), Nueces, Parker, Tarrant, Travis and Walker. – See https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/news/updates.shtm

Texas 08/28/14 outbreaknewstoday.com: The latest cases of WNV in El Paso involve three women and one man. Two adult women and one adult man who live in the 79932 zip code area, as well as an adult woman who lives in the 79912 zip code area are the latest patients diagnosed with the disease. All four are currently recovering at home. Earlier this month, two other men were confirmed to have contracted the disease. – See http://outbreaknewstoday.com/el-paso-reports-four-additional-west-nile-virus-cases-75343/

Wyoming 08/22/14 WY Dept of Health: Media Release – An older Platte County woman represents the first and only human case of WNV reported in the state so far this year. In Wyoming last year, 41 human WNV cases, including one death, were reported. Since WNV first appeared in Wyoming in 2002, reported human cases each year have ranged from two with no deaths to 393 and nine deaths.
– See http://www.health.wyo.gov/news.aspx?NewsID=743

Rabid Cat Reports:

3243453-detail-of-girl-hugging-kitten-hand-and-paw-in-similar-positionCalifornia 08/21/14 San Joaquin County: A feral kitten found in the rural northern tier of the county has tested positive for rabies. This is the first case of rabies in the county since 2011. – See http://www.lodinews.com/news/article_6ef1ffec-2903-11e4-9fab-0019bb2963f4.html

Florida 08/29/14 Osceola County: A Rabies Alert has been issued after a feral cat that attacked a young girl tested positive for the virus. The cat bit and scratched the girl’s leg so severely she needed stitches. Officials believe the same cat attacked a man on Keystone Avenue in St. Cloud. – See http://mynews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2014/8/28/rabid_cat_attacks_gi.html

North Carolina 08/29/14 Henderson County: A Rabies Alert has been issued after a feral kitten found in the Steeplechase Court neighborhood of Carriage Park tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/20140829/ARTICLES/140829842/1042/news?Title=Rabies-confirmed-in-Henderson-County-kitten-

South Carolina 08/27/14 Laurens County: Four people in the Gray Court area have been exposed to rabies by a stray kitten that tested positive for the disease, – See http://www.wyff4.com/news/kitten-exposes-four-people-to-rabies-in-gray-court/27756666#ixzz3BqA7R1c8

Texas 08/21/14 Travis County: by Gene Davis – The City of Austin is working to identify a young boy who potentially came into contact with rabies under the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge. An observer reported seeing the boy, who is approximately six years old and was wearing a green shirt, pick up a bat that later tested positive for rabies. The incident occurred on Aug. 18 around 9 p.m., according to a press release issued by the City. . . . anyone with information on the Aug. 18 incident (should) call the Health Department office at 512-972-5555 or, after 5 p.m., 512-802-1575. – See more at: http://www.austinpost.org/article/city-seeks-help-identify-boy-potentially-exposed-rabies#sthash.57abSpHl.dpuf

ALASKAN fatally shoots attacking BROWN BEAR sow ~ BEAR attacks off-duty sheriff’s deputy in COLORADO ~ Four cases of Q FEVER identified in OREGON ~ Photos confirm OREGON’s celebrity WOLF OR-7 has at least 3 pups ~ NEW MEXICAN hospitalized with TULAREMIA ~ COLORADO youth contracts HANTAVIRUS ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) reports from AZ & LA ~ Unusual RABIES report from SC.

Brown Bear. Courtesy National Park Service.

Brown Bear. Courtesy National Park Service.

Alaska 07/25/14 newsobserver.com: According to wildlife officials, an Eagle River man walking near his home was being attacked by a brown bear sow with a cub when he drew his gun and fired three rounds killing the sow. The bear bit the man’s arm and hand and he was taken to the hospital by his wife but his injuries were minor. This is the second mauling by a bear in the area this week. – See http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/07/25/4029338/man-fatally-shoots-bear-attacking.html?sp=/99/102/111/419/

Front paw of grizzly bear yearling; Jim Peaco; June 27, 2005Colorado 07/27/14 Pitkin County: An Aspen woman identified as off-duty sheriff’s deputy Erin Smiddy was attacked by a bear while walking down an alley between Galena and Mill streets in Aspen on July 27th. It was reported that Smiddy sustained injuries to her abdomen and leg when the bear swiped her. Police say it might have been the same bear that had been rummaging for food in an unsecured dumpster in the same alley a half hour earlier. Colorado Parks and Wildlife are now searching for the bear. – See http://www.9news.com/story/news/local/2014/07/27/aspen-bear-attack-galena-mill-street-alley/13245241/

Q Fever:

Q fever.333Oregon 07/24/14 democratherald.com: by Alex Paul – Four cases of acute Q Fever have been identified in Linn and Benton counties since May, according to Frank Moore, Linn County Public Health director. In Linn County, the infection appears to be in the Harrisburg area. In each county, one case is confirmed and the other is presumptive, Moore said. “They are 45 miles apart, so they aren’t related,” Moore said. “We have to emphasize that the general public is not at risk, but people should be diligent about washing their hands, just like we advise during flu season.” Moore said that usually there are only three to five cases statewide in a year. . . . Q Fever is found in cattle, sheep and goats and it is spread through milk, urine and feces. The number of organisms are unusually high during birthing in the amniotic fluids and placentas of animals, especially sheep. Especially at risk are farmers, ranchers, livestock shearers, stockyard workers, animal transporters and laboratory workers as well as veterinary staffers.

Sheep_shearingInfection of humans usually occurs due to inhalation of organisms attached to barnyard dust or dried fluids. The incubation period is from 14 to 22 days. Symptoms include: high fever; severe headache; general malaise, myalgia, chills or sweats, non-productive cough; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; abdominal pain, chest pain. According to the Centers for Disease Control, if untreated, the fever can last from 9 to 14 days and from 30 to 50 percent of patients develop pneumonia. Although most people recover from acute Q Fever, there have been instances in which the condition has led to inflammation of the heart tissue or hepatitis. – For complete article see http://democratherald.com/news/local/three-cases-of-q-fever-confirmed-in-linn-benton-counties/article_05367872-12c3-11e4-8383-001a4bcf887a.html

Gray Wolf OR-7:

 

 

Two of OR-7's pups.

Two of OR-7′s pups.

Oregon 07/24/14 oregonlive.com: by Lynne Terry – Fresh photos snapped in the wilds of southern Oregon confirm that the state’s famous wandering wolf, OR-7, has at least three mouths to feed. The images show two gray pups in about the same area where last month John Stephenson, a wolf coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, captured pictures of a black pup. Stephenson, who’s been monitoring feeds from OR-7′s radio collar, suspects the litter is even bigger. They usually range from four to six pups. . . . Biologists have a keen interest in OR-7. Born in the Imnaha pack in northeast Oregon, he spent three years searching for a mate in a journey that took him as far as California. The birth of the pups marks the first known wolf reproduction in the Oregon Cascades since the 1940s. OR-7′s mate, a small black female, was captured in the recent photos with a small white object in her mouth that looks as if she’s bringing a sandwich home to the kids. Stephenson said it’s most likely a bone, which wolves like to gnaw on, just like dogs. . . . The pups were born in April and now weigh about 30 pounds, Stephenson said. They’re increasingly mobile. So is OR-7, judging from his radio collar. – For complete article see http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2014/07/oregons_wolf_or-7_fresh_photos.html

Tularemia:

ColoradoWildRabbitNew Mexico 07/24/14 Bernalillo County: A 65-year-old woman hospitalized with tularemia has recovered. “Many areas of New Mexico experienced a significant increase in rabbit populations this year and some of those rabbits are dying from tularemia and from the plague, DOH Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Paul Ettestad said. A rabbit or rodent will die from tularemia in an area, then flies or ticks become infected from their bodies and pass it on to pets or people when they bite them, he said. People can contract tularemia by handling infected animal carcasses; being bitten by an infected tick. deerfly or other insect; and by eating or drinking contaminated food or water or by breathing in the bacteria. Dogs and cats usually are exposed to tularemia when they are allowed to roam and hunt sick rodents and rabbits or when bitten by an infected tick.” – See http://www.ruidosonews.com/ruidoso-news/ci_26210208/tularemia-case-reported

Hantavirus:

 

Deermouse.

Deermouse.

Colorado 07/24/14 Mesa County: Officials have confirmed that a boy who contracted hantavirus and was taken to a Denver hospital over the weekend is still being treated. – See http://kvnf.org/post/mesa-county-confirms-case-hantavirus

 

West Nile Virus (WNV):

fig2_lgArizona 07/25/14 Maricopa County: Officials have confirmed the first WNV-related fatality reported this year in a male in his early 60s with underlying medical issues.- See http://rt.com/usa/175416-first-west-nile-death-us/

Louisiana 07/25/14 LA Dept of Health & Hospitals: Media Release – Officials have confirmed four new human cases of WNV this week, bringing the year’s total to seven. The new cases are in East Baton Rouge, Caddo and Livingston parishes. (According to thenewsstar.com, the case in Caddo Parish proved fatal.) – See http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/newsroom/detail/3073

Mississippi 07/28/14 MS State Dept of Health: Media Release – Officials have confirmed one new human case of WNV in Rankin County. Hinds and Newton counties previously reported one human case of WNV each. – See http://www.msdh.state.ms.us/msdhsite/_static/23,15436,341.html

Rabies:

Billboard1-1South Carolina 07/25/14 Kershaw and Greenwood counties: A feral cat in Camden, Kershaw County, that tested positive for rabies exposed three people to the virus on July 21st and 22nd, and an unvaccinated family dog in Ware Shoals, Greenwood County, that tested positive to rabies on July 21st exposed six people to the virus. – See http://www.thestate.com/2014/07/25/3583702/cat-in-camden-dog-in-ware-shoals.html

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

FOLLOW-UP REPORT: OREGON’S celebrity WOLF known as OR-7 appears to have finally found a mate – 20 FLORIDA healthcare workers believed exposed to second imported case of MERS.

Gray wolves. Courtesy National Park Service. (Not an image of Mr & Mrs OR-7)

Gray wolves. Courtesy National Park Service. (Not an image of Mr & Mrs OR-7)

Follow-Up Report:

Oregon 05/12/14 oregonlive.com: by Lynne Terry – The wandering wolf OR-7 appears to have a mate. Remote cameras in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest have captured several images of  a black female in the same area as OR-7, who has been on the move since 2011 in search of new territory and a mate to form a new pack. The images were recovered Wednesday by John Stephenson, wolf biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as part of an ongoing wolf monitoring program by state and federal wildlife biologists. “This information is not definitive, but it is likely that this new wolf and OR-7 have paired up,” Stephenson said. He said transmissions from OR-7′s radio collar also indicate the two have denned. “If that is correct, they would be rearing pups at this time of year,” Stephenson said.

wolf1_f2USFWS (2)The two have never been in the same shot but they have passed the camera not long after each other, indicating they are aware of each other. Biologists determined that the black wolf was a female because she’s smaller than OR-7 and squats to urinate. U.S. biologists and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will wait until June or later to confirm whether there are pups. If the two have produced offspring, they would be the first wolves known to breed in the Oregon Cascades since the early 20th century. – For video, slides, and complete article see http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2014/05/oregon_wolf_or-7_finds_a_mate.html

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS):

Countries reporting MERS case(s). CDC.

Countries reporting MERS case(s). CDC.

Florida 05/13/14 medpagetoday.com: by Michael Smith – Two Florida healthcare workers have developed flu-like symptoms after exposure to the second U.S. case of Middle East coronavirus (MERS). They, and 18 other healthcare workers at two Orlando hospitals, are being tested for the virus, which can cause serious illness and death, medical officials said at a media conference today. They were exposed to the patient in the emergency room of Dr. P. Phillips Hospital before it was clear he was at risk for MERS, officials told reporters. One of the two with symptoms has been admitted to the hospital and the other is in isolation at home. The patient himself, a 44-year-old Saudi Arabian healthcare provider visiting family in the area, has a low-grade fever and a slight cough and remains in isolation at the hospital. Fifteen of the affected workers were involved in caring for the patient himself, but the other five were exposed when the patient last week accompanied another person to Orlando Regional Medical Center for an unrelated medical procedure. Meanwhile, a World Health Organization committee on MERS is meeting in Geneva to discuss whether the recent surge in cases in the Middle East makes the virus an international public health emergency. Results of the discussion are expected tomorrow. Saudi Arabia, the center of the outbreak, has reported an additional four cases, all of them in the capital, Riyadh, as well as five deaths, four of them involving previously reported cases. The new report brings the Saudi total to 495 cases and 152 deaths since the virus was first recognized in 2012. – For complete article and links to earlier reports see http://www.medpagetoday.com/InfectiousDisease/GeneralInfectiousDisease/45755?isalert=1&uun=g632000d1308R5753012u&utm_source=breaking-news&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=breaking-news&xid=NL_breakingnews_2014-05-13