Tag Archives: Wolves

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

World traveler hospitalized in MINNESOTA with LASSA FEVER ~ UTAH confirms case of HANTAVIRUS ~ FOLLOW-UP REPORT: OREGON’s celebrity WOLF OR-7 may soon exit stage ~ RABIES reports from AZ, AR, CT, FL, GA, MD, NJ, NCx2, PA, SCx2 & VA.

Rat. Bing free use license.

Rat. Bing free use license.

Minnesota 04/04/14 medpagetoday.com: by Michael Smith – A man is in stable condition in a Minnesota hospital with Lassa fever after returning from a trip to West Africa, where an outbreak of Ebola virus is now raging. The Minnesota Department of Health said the man flew to Minneapolis-St. Paul on March 31 and soon after his arrival visited a physician. Because of his travel history and symptoms, the doctor suspected a possible hemorrhagic fever. The man was admitted to the hospital with fever and confusion and CDC testing confirmed a diagnosis of Lassa fever on April 3, the department and the CDC said in separate statements. “This imported case is a reminder that we are all connected by international travel,” CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, said in a statement. “A disease anywhere can appear anywhere else in the world withinhours.”

Air routes connecting to and from Africa.

Air routes connecting to and from Africa.

Lassa fever is rarely seen in the U.S., with only seven cases recorded, the latest in 2010, according to the CDC. The agency reported that preliminary information suggests the man flew from West Africa to New York City and on to Minneapolis on another flight. The agency did not say where in West Africa the trip started. The CDC is working with public health officials and airlines to identify anyone who might have had close contact with the infected person, although Lassa fever is not easily spread from human to human. “Casual contact is not a risk factor for getting Lassa fever,” said Barbara Knust, DVM, a CDC epidemiologist in the lab that tested the patient’s blood for Lassa virus. “People will not get this infection just because they were on the same airplane or in the same airport,” she said in a statement.

RatthumbnailCANGBSFFThe Lassa virus is carried by rodents and transmitted to humans through contact with urine or droppings, but in some cases people can catch it from another person through direct contact with blood or bodily fluids, the mucous membranes, or sexual contact. “Given what we know about how Lassa virus is spread to people, the risk to other travelers and members of the public is extremely low,” Martin Cetron, MD, of the CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, said in a statement. Between 100,000 and 300,000 cases of Lassa fever occur in West Africa each year, with up to 5,000 deaths. – For complete article see http://www.medpagetoday.com/InfectiousDisease/GeneralInfectiousDisease/45120?isalert=1&uun=g632000d1042R5753012u&utm_source=breaking-news&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=breaking-news&xid=NL_breakingnews_2014-04-04

Author’s Note: For more information on Lassa Fever see http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/lassa/

Hantavirus:

imagesCAULAVUQUtah 04/04/14 kcsg.com: The Southwest Utah Public Health Department (SWUPHD) has confirmed a case of hantavirus infection in Kane County. Hantavirus incidences are rare in the five-county region, with the last case being reported four years ago in Iron County. The virus is found in the droppings, urine, and saliva of rodents, usually deer-mice. “This time of year, a lot of people start spring cleaning in places where rodent droppings are found; such as sheds, barns, and cabins,” says Dr. David Blodgett, SWUPHD Health Officer. “If hantavirus is present, it can be inhaled and cause respiratory illness within a few weeks.” Hantavirus infection, called Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, starts with flu-like symptoms followed by difficulty breathing and can be life-threatening. Treatment includes intensive hospital care to deal with the respiratory distress. Hantavirus is not known to spread person-to-person. – For complete article and precautions see http://www.kcsg.com/view/full_story/24877415/article-Hantavirus-Infection-in-Southwest-Utah?instance=more_local_news1

Follow-Up Report:

Wolf OR-7:

(See previous posts dated 11/12/11, through 12/13/13)

graywolfNPRphotoOregon 03/29/14 missoulian.com: The wandering wolf dubbed OR-7 has enjoyed well over his 15 minutes of fame. But even with continued public interest, he could soon fade from the spotlight. The Global Positioning System collar that has sent regular electronic pulses to reveal his travels for the past three years has eclipsed its normal life span, and state and federal biologists don’t plan to replace it. “When that collar dies, we’ll never know his fate,” Rob Klavins of the conservation group Oregon Wild told the Mail Tribune newspaper. “But that could be OK. It’s good to have a little mystery in the world.“ The wolf gained celebrity status in 2011 after leaving a pack in northeastern Oregon, days after the state issued a kill order for his father and a sibling for preying on livestock.

wolfMost Oregon wolves on such journeys, called dispersals, have stayed in northeast Oregon or traveled to Idaho. The young wolf headed west with the tracking satellite following his moves as he fruitlessly searched for a mate. He became the first confirmed wolf in western Oregon since the last one was killed under a livestock-protection bounty program in 1937. He then crossed a state line and became California’s only confirmed wolf since 1924. He wandered throughout Northern California and almost traveled into Nevada before retracing his steps to southern Oregon, where he’s spending his time near Mount McLoughlin. The wolf will not be re-collared because biologists prefer to collar breeding pairs or members of packs. Collaring can be dangerous and time-consuming, and biologists would rather collar animals in other packs not sporting GPS collars to get information on their whereabouts and habits instead of an established bachelor like OR-7. – See this article at http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/oregon-wandering-wolf-s-signal-ready-to-fade/article_15a8644a-b6ac-11e3-aef0-001a4bcf887a.html. See 3/22/14 companion article about a group retracing the path of wandering Oregon wolf OR-7 at http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/group-retracing-trek-of-wandering-oregon-wolf-or/article_bad003c8-b121-11e3-bc24-001a4bcf887a.html

Rabies:

a898778rabies-alertArizona 04/04/14 Santa Cruz County: Officials have announced that the entire county is under quarantine after an outbreak of rabies reached record-breaking levels. The quarantine order, effective through December 31st, was issued after 23 positive cases of rabies were reported since January 1st of this year. The county recorded only 12 cases in all of 2013. – See http://www.nogalesinternational.com/news/county-now-under-rabies-quarantine/article_1a9ef380-bc0e-11e3-a7b0-0019bb2963f4.html

323rabies-skunk_mediumArkansas 04/01/14 Pulaski County: A skunk that was observed behaving strangely near the 800 block of Buttercup in North Little Rock‘s Levy neighborhood has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.arkansasmatters.com/story/d/story/rabies-warning-in-north-little-rock/59358/GB4-wF9jxECoaYCA8PI3Gw

Connecticut 04/02/14 Hartford County: A raccoon that fought with two vaccinated dogs on Rogers Lane in Enfield on March 26th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.journalinquirer.com/towns/enfield/raccoon-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-enfield/article_84f6f590-ba68-11e3-acb9-001a4bcf887a.html

17858296_BG1Florida 03/29/14 Hernando County: A raccoon that fought with a vaccinated dog on Sun Hill Lane in Brooksville has tested positive for rabies. – See http://tbo.com/health/rabid-raccoon-reported-in-east-brooksville-20140329/

Georgia 04/02/14 Hall County: A raccoon that fought with a dog on Bowen Bridge Road in the Clermont area is the fourth wild animal in the county to test positive for rabies so far this year. – See http://www.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=273283

17907533_240X180Maryland 03/31/14 Prince George’s County: A fox removed from the 4000 block of Woodrow Lane in Bowie on March 21st has tested positive for rabies. – See http://laurel.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/fox-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-bowie

raccoonrabid113524New Jersey 04/01/14 Atlantic County: A raccoon removed from the backyard of a resident in the 4000 block of Ridge Avenue in Egg Harbor Township is the third animal to test positive for rabies in the township so far this year. – See http://www.shorenewstoday.com/snt/news/index.php/egg-harbor-twp/eht-general-news/50867-third-case-of-rabies-found-in-egg-harbor-township.html

rabiesAlert521d4-1North Carolina 04/04/14 Cleveland County: Eighteen people are being treated for potential exposure to rabies after a Good Samaritan in the town of Lawndale adopted one of two puppies that were abandoned and were wandering along Elam Road. The adopted puppy began acting sickly and when brought to a clinic was diagnosed with and tested positive for the virus. Making matters worse, the other puppy ran away. Officials are warning area residents who might have been in contact with either of the puppies to seek immediate medical attention. – See http://www.wsmv.com/story/25158263/stray-puppies-leave-cleveland-co-neighbors-owing-thousands-of-dollars-in-medical-bills

320x240North Carolina 03/28/14 Cumberland County: A bat found between Pamalee Drive and Murhison Road in Fayetteville has tested positive for rabies. This is the 3rd case of the virus to be confirmed in the county this year. – See http://www.fayobserver.com/news/local/article_1026ca27-0ce1-51f8-9ed6-2af733ba68ac.html

Rabid-Fox---26690055Pennsylvania 04/02/14 Montgomery County: A fox that was killed by a resident’s unvaccinated dog on the 2000 block of Weber Road in Worcester Township has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140402/montgomery-county-health-department-confirms-fox-positive-for-rabies-in-worcester

Cat-RabiesSouth Carolina 04/01/14 Laurens County: A stray cat found in or near the town of Gray Court has tested positive for rabies. At least one person has been advised to seek treatment for possible exposure to the virus. – See http://www.independentmail.com/news/2014/apr/01/cat-exposes-person-rabies-laurens-county/

South Carolina 03/29/14 Aiken County: A man in his 20s has been advised to seek post-expsosure treatment for rabies after a raccoon entered his home on Limerick Drive in Aiken and scratched his face. The raccoon has since tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.aikenstandard.com/article/20140329/AIK0101/140329342/1004/man-recommended-to-undergo-treatment-after-rabies-exposure

crittersVirginia 04/04/14 Prince William Health District: A cat found on March 31st near Forest Glen Road in Woodbridge between Horner Road and Hylton Avenue has tested positive for rabies. And in Nokesville, four raccoons and a skunk have tested positive for the virus since July of 2013. A Rabies Alert has been issued for both communities. – See http://www.insidenova.com/health/health-district-warns-residents-about-rabies-in-woodbridge-nokesville/article_a439195c-bc3d-11e3-947e-0019bb2963f4.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