MOSQUITOES carrying ZIKA expected in U.S. next month ~ NEW MEXICAN and COLORADAN die of HANTAVIRUS ~ TICKS with LYME DISEASE increasing in NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND ~ WISCONSINS fear CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE spinning out of control.

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National 05/22/16 kticradio.com: With “well over 500” cases of the Zika virus currently in the U.S., Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on “This Week” Sunday that “forceful preparation” will be critical to preventing further spread in the U.S. this summer. “We already have Zika in the United States. But it is travel related,” Dr. Fauci said on ABC’s “This Week.” “The concern is that we will have local transmission; in other words, people who get infected in the United States, get bitten by a mosquito, but who have never left the continental United States. We fully expect that that will happen as we get to the more robust mosquito season in the next month or so.” “We need to make sure that those local outbreaks don’t become sustained and don’t become disseminated,” Fauci added. “That’s the reason why we need to have a very, very forceful preparation right now before that happens.” The Centers for Disease Control released new figures on Friday showing that 157 pregnant women in the continental U.S. show evidence of possible Zika virus infection, all related to travel outside the U.S. President Obama has requested Congress to allocate $1.9 billion in emergency funding to combat the spread of the virus. “This is something that is solvable. It is not something that we have to panic about. But it is something that we have to take seriously,” President Obama said Friday after meeting with Fauci and other top advisers tackling Zika. “This is not something where we can build a wall to prevent – mosquitoes don’t go through customs. To the extent that we’re not handling this thing on the front end, we’re going to have bigger problems on the back end.” A vaccine to combat Zika would be the main focus of government funding, according to Fauci, saying “We’re right now very aggressively developing the vaccine.” – For complete article see http://kticradio.com/abc_health/dr-fauci-forceful-preparation-key-to-combating-zika-spread-in-us-abcid35694201/

Hantavirus:

New Mexico 05/18/16 krqe.com: State health officials say a 30-year-old man from San Juan County has died of hantavirus. New Mexico Department of Health officials also announced Tuesday that an 84-year-old man from Santa Fe County currently is hospitalized with hantavirus. It’s the third and fourth cases of hantavirus in New Mexico this year. An environmental investigation will be conducted at each patient’s home to help reduce the risk to others. Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. Authorities say the deer mouse is the main carrier for the hantavirus strain found in New Mexico. – For complete article see  http://krqe.com/2016/05/18/state-health-dept-san-juan-county-man-dies-of-hantavirus/

Peromyscus maniculatus

This undated photo provided by the National Park Service, a deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus). The deer mouse helps spread hantavirus to humans. Its head and body are 2-3 inches long, and the tail adds another 2-3 inches. Its coat varies from gray to reddish brown, depending on the animal’s age. Found almost everywhere in North America, the deer mouse likes woodlands but also turns up in desert areas. An investigation of the hantavirus outbreak blamed for three deaths at Yosemite National Park recommends that design changes to tent cabins and other lodging run by private concessionaires first be reviewed by National Park Service officials. (AP Photo/National Park Service, John Good)

Colorado 05/19/16 denver.cbslocal.com: by Matt Kroschel – Public health officials confirmed that a man from Rio Grande County who had been exposed to hantavirus has died. Co-workers told CBS4 on Wednesday that Mark Jones, a local Architect and Philanthropist who friends say is responsible for the recent downtown revitalization in Del Norte, died after being diagnosed with hantavirus. “Speaking of Mark Jones he definitely has left a huge footprint on the town,” said Jones’ friend Kevin Haas. “I think the repercussions will be vast and I think we’ll feel it for a very long time.” The rare respiratory disease case is the second in the San Luis Valley this year. A Saguache County resident died from hantavirus exposure last month. Their deaths have prompted warnings from local health officials about the virus. Another person exposed to the virus is recovering in Montrose County. –  For complete article see http://denver.cbslocal.com/2016/05/19/man-dies-after-hantavirus-exposure-2nd-in-san-luis-valley-this-year/

 

Lyme Disease:

green-tick-logoNorthern New England 05/18/16 washingtontimes.com: by Lisa Ratke – Ticks that carry Lyme disease have reached into northern Maine and are increasing in Vermont, where the state’s entomologist expects cases of the disease to continue to rise and the insects to inhabit new areas. Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire are among 17 states with high-risk counties for Lyme disease. The reasons for the increase in populations are varied: climatic factors, land development patterns and hosts like deer and rodents. “Lyme disease is a real concern,” said Vermont state entomologist Alan Graham, who hopes to do a statewide survey of ticks this year. New Hampshire had one of the one of the highest incidence rates of Lyme disease in the country, with an estimated 1,373 cases identified last year, according to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. – For complete article see http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/18/vermont-expects-lyme-disease-cases-to-rise/

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD):

Response_img_070111Wisconsin 05/18/16 hostmadison.com: by Steven Elbow – Matt Limmex has been hunting deer on his family’s land near Spring Green his entire life. But in recent years the satisfaction of bagging a buck has been tainted by concerns about chronic wasting disease. “An older buck, you’re almost certain it’ll be positive,” said the 52-year-old Iowa County dairy farmer. “Or you’ll be surprised when it isn’t.” For Limmex the annual bounty of the deer hunt has become an exercise in carcass disposal. In recent years he’s been spotting “the droolers and the shakers” with increasing frequency. At the request of the DNR, he has shot down deer that were too sick to run away, and more often than not, they test positive for the disease, which destroys the nervous systems of cervids — elk, deer and moose — reducing them to bony shadows of their former selves. He hasn’t kept track of the numbers, but he estimates that he and his family have killed more than three dozen CWD-positive deer, at least a dozen of them in the last two years. And that, he said, has taken its toll on the once-sublime experience of shooting a deer for the family table. “It’s not much fun to be shooting sick deer,” he said.

20110816__Identity_HuntHarvestHelpLimmex lives smack in the middle of a 144-square-mile cauldron of deer and disease centered in Iowa County’s Wyoming Valley and stretching into western Dane County, one of the most CWD-infected areas in the nation. According the most recent monitoring data, if he shoots a doe, there’s roughly a one-in-four chance that it’s going to have CWD. If he shoots a buck, it’s essentially a flip of the coin. In the Wyoming Valley, the prevalence of the disease among adult male deer — those 2 ½ or older — has seen an annual growth rate of 23 percent since it was discovered in 2002. By 2006, 6 percent of bucks tested had the disease. By 2010, it was 20 percent. In 2015, more than 40 percent. Prevalence among does, for reasons still under study, is lower: just over 25 percent, but growing at a faster clip. The zone is so polluted with the disease that it’s in the soil, likely taken up in plants that deer feed on. And CWD’s geographic reach is expanding, stretching for the first time last fall to the Northwoods at a hunting preserve in Oneida County and popping up at an Eau Claire County deer farm in west central Wisconsin last summer. It’s been found to exist in 18 Wisconsin counties, but because of close proximities to the sick deer, 41 of the state’s 72 counties are banned from baiting and feeding deer in an effort to reduce deer-to-deer infection. Its global reach is expanding as well. It’s been detected in 24 states — up from 18 in 2010 — two Canadian provinces, South Korea, and most recently last year in Norway. – For complete article see http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/environment/some-fear-that-chronic-wasting-disease-is-spinning-out-of/article_fdd10051-8542-577c-84ed-81d83335cced.html

Invasive TICK species moving into MICHIGAN ~ NEW MEXICAN dies of HANTAVIRUS ~ PENNSYLVANIA reports number of DEER with CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE doubled in 2015 ~ APPALACHIAN TRAIL shelter in NORTH CAROLINA closed after BEAR bites camper ~ Five VIRGINIANS exposed to RABIES by STRAY DOG.

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Image compliments of CDC.

Michigan 05/17/16 wwmt.com: A new tick species is spreading throughout Michigan. Entomologists say the Lone Star tick is relatively new and can spread diseases like the Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia and can cause tick paralysis. Experts are also warning of increase tick activity during the warmer months. This is because of the resurgence in the white-tailed deer and wild turkey populations which can serve as hosts for the ticks. – See http://wwmt.com/news/local/new-tick-spreading-in-michigan

Hantavirus:

hantavirus.339988iidNew Mexico 05/17/16 kcbd.com: State health officials say a 30-year-old man from San Juan County has died of hantavirus. New Mexico Department of Health officials also announced Tuesday that an 84-year-old man from Santa Fe County currently is hospitalized with hantavirus. It’s the third and fourth cases of hantavirus in New Mexico this year. An environmental investigation will be conducted at each patient’s home to help reduce the risk to others. Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. Authorities say the deer mouse is the main carrier for the hantavirus strain found in New Mexico. – For complete article see http://www.kcbd.com/story/31998276/state-health-dept-san-juan-county-man-dies-of-hantavirus

 

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD):

HEADERPennsylvania 5/12/16 pennlive.com: by Marcus Schneck – In announcing that a record 12 white-tailed deer were found to be infected with chronic wasting disease in 2015, the Pennsylvania Game Commission said targeted removal of deer may be on the table as it considers options to fight the spread of the disease. The commission outlined possible “active control measures” that could involve targeted removal of deer in locations where CWD-positive animals have been found. The 12 free-ranging deer with CWD were found in Disease Management Area 2, which last year covered all or parts of Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon and Somerset counties, but has now been expanded by 437 square miles. Special rules regarding the hunting, transport and feeding of wild deer apply within all DMAs. CWD is an always fatal neurological disease of white-tailed tree and other members of the deer family. – For complete article see http://www.pennlive.com/pa-sportsman/2016/05/with_deer_disease_doubling_in.html

Bear:

black-bear-backcountry-movie_hNorth Carolina 5/12/16 wlos.com: by Krystyna Biassou & Rex Hodge – A backcountry camping area in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is closed after a bear attack on a hiker. Rangers say 49-year-old Bradley Veeder of Las Vegas was bitten on his leg late Tuesday night while sleeping in his tent near the Spence Field shelter. That’s along the Appalachian Trail. Fellow hikers rendered aid. “He had 2 puncture wounds on his leg and we just did some First Aid, wrapped it up, called the park rangers, let them know it wasn’t life-threatening. They came in on horses in the morning and picked him up and brought a horse for him to ride down,” says Derek Roecklein. Veeder, an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, was transported out of the backcountry by horseback and taken to Blount Memorial Hospital by Rural Metro Ambulances Service on Wednesday. The bear initially ran off, but returned and tore up two tents. – For video and complete article see http://wlos.com/news/local/shelter-closed-after-bear-bites-sleeping-hiker

Rabies:

Dog_1Virginia 5/13/16 scnow.com: Five people have been referred to their health care providers for consultation after potentially being exposed to rabies in the Lynchburg area of Lee County by a stray dog that tested positive for the disease, the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reported Friday. The stray dog began showing neurological symptoms and was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on May 9. Rabies was confirmed in the dog on May 11. During care and handling of the dog, a total of five people were potentially exposed. It is unknown how the dog contracted the rabies virus, however, bite wounds were discovered on the animal. In addition, five pet dogs were potentially exposed to the rabies virus by the stray dog. None of these pets was current on its rabies vaccination and is required to undergo a 180-day quarantine period or be euthanized per the Rabies Control Act. – For complete article see http://www.scnow.com/news/local/article_ed05db96-1944-11e6-9e7c-4f06dc166821.html

 

TEXAS reports first locally acquired probable case of CHIKUNGUNYA ~ PUPPY exposes 32 people to RABIES in MISSOURI ~ Wild RABBIT found with TULAREMIA in COLORADO ~ Sportsmen’s group in WISCONSIN wants crack down on DEER farms to fight CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ CANADA: SASKATCHEWAN woman fights off BLACK BEAR.

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Texas 05/02/16 rgvproud.com: Cameron County Department of Health and Human Services has been investigating a probable case of Chikungunya virus infection. This case initially presented to a doctor’s office in November 2015 and tested in January 2016; however, it was not reported to the health department until April 2016. The investigation has since determined that the case was acquired locally and is being considered the first locally acquired probable case of Chikungunya in the State of Texas. Chikungunya virus is transmitted to people through mosquito bites and cannot be spread from one person to another person. The most common symptoms of Chikungunya virus infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash. Should anyone experience any of these symptoms, a visit to the health care provider should be scheduled. “While this is the first reported locally acquired probable case of Chikungunya, the overall risk of being infected with Chikungunya virus in South Texas is very low and we have no additional evidence that the virus is circulating in the local mosquito population,” stated James W. Castillo, Cameron County Health Authority. “A critical key point to also remember here is the importance of physicians reporting these conditions. It would have allowed us to work with our local municipalities to assess the mosquito issue and appropriately respond.” – For complete article and preventive measures see http://www.rgvproud.com/news/local-news/cameron-county-reports-probable-case-of-chikungunya-in-texas

Rabies:

78483649Missouri 05/06/16 ozarksfirst.com: The first confirmed case of rabies has been reported to the Howell County Health Department by the Missouri State Public Health Lab in Jefferson City. The case involved a rabid 8 week old puppy near the Moody area, which became ill and died. Howell County Health Department officials say the puppy had exposure to 32 people who have started Post Exposure Prophylactic shots. The puppy’s mother, 5 littermates, and 2 other dogs have had to be euthanized due to exposure to a rabid animal, all of which were not current on rabies vaccinations.- For complete article see http://www.ozarksfirst.com/news/rabies-confirmed-in-howell-county-8-dogs-euthanized-32-people-exposed

Tularemia:

baq4ijctzixmuu7acvc5Colorado 05/05/16 fox21news.com: by Angela Case – A wild rabbit found in Pueblo West has tested positive for tularemia, also known as rabbit fever. The rabbit was found in the Liberty Point area. The Pueblo City-County Health Department said it had no contact with people. Tularemia is a bacterial infection most commonly transmitted to humans by the handling of sick or dead animals. Infection can also occur from the bite of infected insects, including ticks and deer flies, and exposure to soil and vegetation. Dogs and cats get tularemia by eating infected rabbits or other rodents and through tick and deer fly bites. – See http://fox21news.com/2016/05/05/wild-rabbit-found-in-pueblo-west-tests-positive-for-tularemia/

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD):

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Deer with CWD

Wisconsin 05/05/16 startribune.com: by Todd Richmond – A prominent sportsmen’s group wants Gov. Scott Walker to crack down on captive deer farms as he considers revising the state’s chronic wasting disease tactics. The Wisconsin Wildlife Federation’s letter to Walker, announced Thursday, asked him to impose regulations designed to keep CWD from spreading from captive deer to wild deer. The recommendations include requiring farms to double fence, installing warning devices that can detect open gates and annual fence inspections by the state or an independent inspector. The letter also suggests that farmers be required to inspect their own fences at least monthly and immediately after any major wind storms. They would have to kill their herds within a month if they haven’t double fenced and one of their deer tests positive for CWD. They also would have to maintain liability insurance to cover any damages to the state resulting from escapes. The DNR recorded 29 escapes from deer farms in 2015 alone. Nevertheless, the agency in December adopted an emergency rule allowing farmers to opt of the state’s CWD program without upgrading their fences. – For complete article see http://www.startribune.com/wildlife-group-proposes-deer-farm-crackdown-to-fight-cwd/378266561/

CANADA

Black Bear:

black-bear-backcountry-movie_hSaskatchewan 05/05/16 cbc.ca/news: by Stefani Langenegger – A Saskatchewan woman says it was both her scariest and her luckiest day — she fought off a black bear after it bit her on the leg during an afternoon walk. Raschel Zeschuk lives in Paradise Hill, northeast of Lloydminster, and goes on daily walks with her two dogs. But on April 21 the walk was anything but routine. Zeschuk had just reached the end point of her usual route and turned around to return home when she heard rustling behind her. Behind her dog was a black bear in hot pursuit. She says she started to scream in an effort to scare the bear off and looked around for higher ground. “All I could kind of think of was, ‘Get up on something,'” Zeschuk said. She began running towards some poplar trees which had fallen over in the bush.  “The bear immediately turned away from my dog and started chasing me,” Zeschuk said. “It caught up to me pretty fast.” The bear grabbed her leg, scratching it on one side and biting it on the other. Zeschuk scrambled up on the poplar tree, which gave way and she fell backwards. “This is where it’s kind of hazy,” she said. Her dog, Cosmo, began barking and Zeschuk had time to scramble back up on the tree. “It started trying to climb up after me and that’s when I kicked it in the nose as hard as I could and it ran off,” she said. Zeschuk says she then ran home as quickly as she could. She has six stitches in her leg and is getting her last rabies shot today.  Zeschuk says she loves hiking and is working with someone to overcome her anxiety about future walks, given her recent experience. Mostly she just feels very grateful. – For complete article and photos see http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/sask-woman-fights-black-bear-1.3567714

Turkey hunter attacked by BOBCAT in MISSOURI ~ NASA helps forecast ZIKA risk ~ CANADA: Scientists say TICK that spreads LYME DISEASE has reached ONTARIO.

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Missouri 04/29/16 fox2now.com: Rick Ankoviak showed us his injuries from a bobcat attack early Friday morning. He has three or four very distinct claw marks on his back. Ankoviak said he was attacked while turkey hunting in Pea Ridge Conservation Area in Washington County. “Gave him a turkey call,” Ankoviak said. “I got a brand new one and hit it about three times. Heard a lot of rustling, thought it was just squirrels. Then the squirrels started barking and I heard leaves rustling. Next thing I know, I got slammed in the shoulder and it knocked me out of the tree. I spun around, just in case I was going to get attacked again, and saw a bobcat running away. Saw its pointy ears and stubby little tail, hauling butt over a ridge.”

Wild TurkeyAnkoviak said while he was at the hospital, a report was filed with Missouri Conservation Department. “By the time I got home they had already called wanting to know where I was at, what happened,” he said. “The guy kept saying, ‘I’ve never heard of such a thing.’” Ankoviak estimated the bobcat to be around 30 pounds, about a medium-sized dog. “It was just following its prey,” he said. “And I just happened to sound good enough that it wanted to come over and try to take a look.” When Ankoviak went out into the woods early Friday morning with his 12-guage shotgun in tow, he had no idea how effective his turkey call would be. “I don’t know about my calling as much as it is the turkey call was that good,” he said. “I’m not sure.” Ankoviak said he and his wife are concerned that if the bobcat was willing to attack a full-size adult, they worry about what it would do to a child. – For video see http://fox2now.com/2016/04/29/affton-man-says-he-was-attacked-by-a-bobcat-while-turkey-hunting/

Zika Virus:

zika_riskmap_us_ncar_ucar_2016_800.pngNational 04/27/16 nasa.gov: Media Release – NASA is assisting public health officials, scientists and communities to better understand Zika virus and try to limit the spread of the disease it causes. Scientists at the agency’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, have partnered with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, and other institutions to forecast the potential spread of Zika virus in the United States. The research team looked at key factors — including temperature, rainfall and socioeconomic factors — that contribute to the spread of Zika virus to understand where and when a potential outbreak may occur. Their final product, a Zika risk map, can help government agencies and health organizations better prepare for possible disease outbreaks related to the spread of the virus. The researchers described their findings in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS Current Outbreaks.

“This information can help public health officials effectively target resources to fight the disease and control its spread,” said Dale Quattrochi, NASA senior research scientist at Marshall. To determine the potential risk in the mainland United States, Morin, Quattrochi and their colleagues applied methodology being employed in their current vector-borne disease project to potentially identify and predict the spread of Zika in 50 cities across the U.S. in or near the known range of the species. The team has studied this mosquito species for years, because it also transmits the dengue and chikungunya viruses. The research team found that the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is spreading the virus, will likely increase in number across much of the southern and eastern U.S. as the weather warms across those regions in the coming months. Summertime weather conditions are favorable for populations of the mosquito along the East Coast as far north as New York City and across the southern tier of the country as far west as Phoenix and Los Angeles. – For complete release see http://www.nasa.gov/centers/marshall/news/news/releases/2016/nasa-helps-forecast-zika-risk.html

Canada:

227757 Ontario 04/23/16 theweathernetwork.com: by Leeanna McLean – Warm weather in Ontario has created the ideal conditions for ticks to thrive and officials are warning people to keep an eye on their loved ones, including furry friends. Black-legged ticks, which are the primary vectors of the Lyme disease bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, are present in the Hamilton-Wentworth region of Ontario, according to a recent study published by the International Journal of Medical Sciences. The insects have also been spotted in York Region. – For video see http://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/study-warns-ticks-that-spread-lyme-disease-are-in-ontario/66865

COLORADAN dies of HANTAVIRUS ~ New TICK vector for RICKETTSIOSIS found in ARIZONA.

 

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Deer mouse

Colorado 04/19/16 denverpost.com: by David Olinger – A San Luis Valley resident has died of hantavirus, a rare but often fatal illness spread by deer mice. The death was announced Tuesday by Ginger Stringer, Saguache County’s public health director. She did not identify the victim or the exact location, citing confidentiality concerns. She did offer advice on avoiding a disease that kills more than one-third of the people infected. In the San Luis Valley, hantavirus is carried by deer mice, which have tawny backs, white bellies, big eyes and big ears. People get infected by breathing the virus when stirring dust from mouse nests or droppings in areas with poor ventilation. Closed spaces, such as attics, barns and sheds, may hold droppings of infected mice, as well as wood piles occupied by mice. – For complete article see http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_29787096/colorado-resident-killed-by-hantavirus-disease-spread-by

Author’s Note: For more information about Ticks and Tick-borne diseases see http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/ and http://www.tickencounter.org/

RICKETTSIOSIS:

1-GARRAPATA-RIKETSIA (1)Arizona 04/14/16 medscape.com: by Janis C. Kelly – Two apparent cases of Rickettsia parkeri rickettsiosis transmitted by the Amblyomma triste tick, which is more commonly found in neotropical areas, have been found in a mountainous region of southern Arizona, indicating the disease range has expanded, according to a new report. All previous reported cases in the United States had been linked to transmission by the Gulf Coast tickAmblyomma maculatum. Kristen L. Herrick, MPH, and colleagues report the findings in an article published online April 13 in Emerging Infectious Diseases. Both patients (one confirmed as R parkeri rickettsiosis, one probable case) became ill after tick bites sustained while hiking in a mountainous area of southern Arizona, which is outside the recognized range of A maculatum ticks. – For complete article see http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/861925

CDC SCIENTISTS confirm ZIKA causes BIRTH DEFECTS ~Family DOG with RABIES exposes 27 in TEXAS ~ NEW MEXICAN second in state to die of HANTAVIRUS this year.

 

 

Global 04/13/16 cdc.gov: Media Release – Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have concluded, after careful review of existing evidence, that Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects. In the report published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the CDC authors describe a rigorous weighing of evidence using established scientific criteria. “This study marks a turning point in the Zika outbreak.  It is now clear that the virus causes microcephaly.  We are also launching further studies to determine whether children who have microcephaly born to mothers infected by the Zika virus is the tip of the iceberg of what we could see in damaging effects on the brain and other developmental problems,” said Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., director of the CDC. “We’ve now confirmed what mounting evidence has suggested, affirming our early guidance to pregnant women and their partners to take steps to avoid Zika infection and to health care professionals who are talking to patients every day. We are working to do everything possible to protect the American public.”

The report notes that no single piece of evidence provides conclusive proof that Zika virus infection is a cause of microcephaly and other fetal brain defects. Rather, increasing evidence from a number of recently published studies and a careful evaluation using established scientific criteria supports the authors’ conclusions.  The finding that Zika virus infection can cause microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects means that a woman who is infected with Zika during pregnancy has an increased risk of having a baby with these health problems. It does not mean, however, that all women who have Zika virus infection during pregnancy will have babies with problems. As has been seen during the current Zika outbreak, some infected women have delivered babies that appear to be healthy. – For complete release see http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/s0413-zika-microcephaly.html

HANTAVIRUS –

New Mexico 04/05/16 kcbd.com: State health officials say a 54-year-old man from Cibola County has died of hantavirus. The New Mexico Department of Health says it’s the second case of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome in the state this year. An environmental investigation will be conducted at the patient’s home to help reduce the risk to others. The name of the victim wasn’t released Tuesday. Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. People can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus. Health officials say the deer mouse is the main carrier for the hantavirus strain found in New Mexico. Since 1993, New Mexico has reported 103 lab-confirmed HPS cases with 43 deaths. That’s the highest number of cases of any state. – See http://www.kcbd.com/story/31650366/a-54-year-old-man-from-cibola-county-dies-from-hantavirus

RABIES –

Texas 04/08/16 hccommunityjournal.com: Peterson Regional Medical Center officials reported today that a total of 27 patients from Ingram were seen and/or treated for rabies exposure following the death of a family dog that tested positive for rabies. The patients began arriving at PRMC’s Emergency Room on Thursday, April 7. One adult and two teens have begun the series of shots required to treat rabies due to their high-risk exposure to the dog. PRMC officials are asking that anyone who might have come in contact with the dog, who resided in the 100 block of Jade Loop in Blue Ridge Mobile Home Park attend an information session set for Tuesday, April 12 at 5 p.m. at the Peterson Community Care Clinic, located in River Oaks Shopping Center at 823 Junction Highway. – See http://www.hccommunityjournal.com/article_fbc48e10-fdcf-11e5-b1f5-77cb509f3991.html

Scientists say WHITE-TAILED DEER have the MALARIA PARASITE ~ ARKANSAS reports 56 cases of CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ What we KNOW and what we DON’T KNOW about the ZIKA VIRUS.

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National 02/09/16 newsweek.com: by Douglas Main – A new species of malaria parasite has been found in one-quarter of the white-tailed deer living the eastern United States. The news comes as a surprise since deer are one of the better-studied wild animals; they are some of the more populous mammals and very popular game species for hunting, and they are often surveyed for disease. A team of researchers found the parasite accidentally when they were looking at DNA within the blood of mosquitoes at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. In a mosquito engorged with deer blood, they noticed the presence of genetic material that they didn’t recognize. Further analysis revealed that the genetic material came from a protozoan in the genus Plasmodium. The results of the study were published last Friday in the journal Science Advances. Species in the genus Plasmodium are known as malarial parasites. The genus includes several species that spread malaria in humans; other varieties infect nonhuman mammals, birds and reptiles. There are about 200 species worldwide in this genus. In the recent study, scientists sampled blood from deer in 17 states and found 41 infected animals in 10 states; nearly 25 percent of the deer from Virginia and West Virginia had the parasite. None of these deer seemed to have any symptoms, however. It’s unclear yet if the new species could affect people, but it seems unlikely, Ellen Martinsen, lead author of the paper and a postdoctoral fellow, told Smithsonian.com. Although there was one scientific record of a malarial parasite found in a deer’s spleen in 1967, this is the first proof of a widely established malaria parasite in New World mammals, and it expands scientists’ knowledge of the malarial family tree.  – See http://www.newsweek.com/malaria-parasite-found-nearly-one-four-white-tailed-deer-424344

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD):

whitetail deer 3Arkansas 04/01/16 arkansasonline.com: by Jaime Dunaway –  Six more deer have tested positive for chronic wasting disease, bringing the total number of cases in Arkansas to 56, officials from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission said Friday. All infected deer came from a sampling area in Newton County. The final results of the sampling effort should be available late next week once the last batch of 110 samples has been processed, according to the commission. Officials said the high number of positive results, some of which came from outside the sampling area, has prompted a second sampling initiative to see if the disease is present throughout the state. The second phase of testing will continue until May 20, and anyone who sees a dead or sick deer is asked to contact the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. See http://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2016/apr/01/chronic-wasting-disease-cases-climb-56/?news-arkansas

Author’s Note: The first case of CWD ever reported in Arkansas was confirmed just two months ago.

zica virus

 

Author’s Note: Until media sensationalism surrounding the ZIKA VIRUS issue subsides only reliable scientific information from credentialed sources will be referenced in this blog. See http://www.cdc.gov/media/dpk/2016/dpk-zika-virus.html

 

54494d18be0dc2e250d990c0f03b1583Author’s Note: The family history I was working on is finally done and published, though it took a bit longer than anticipated. The  I had carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand 4 weeks ago (March 7) and recovering very well.  Scheduled to have the left hand done on May 9. I will post a blog entry whenever possible and appropriate over the next several months but it won’t be a daily or even regular posting. Thanks!