CANADIAN officials warn of WALRUS meat infected with TRICHINELLA ~ SOUTH DAKOTA confirms 7 human cases of TULAREMIA since June ~ County in COLORADO confirms 5 human cases of TULAREMIA this year ~ WYOMING confirms TULAREMIA in wild RABBITS ~ When young people develop sudden heart problems, think LYME DISEASE ~ Trials show new EBOLA VACCINE is “highly effective” ~ RABIES reports from GA, MD, OK, SC, VA, WI.

Walrus. Courtesy of US Geological Survey.

Walrus. Courtesy of US Geological Survey.

CANADA:

Nunavut 07/30/15 cbc.ca: Health officials are warning people in Rankin Inlet who recently ate raw walrus meat, saying some meat has tested positive for trichinella — the parasitic worm that can give people trichinosis. Symptoms include stomach pain, muscle pain, diarrhea, swollen eyelids, sweating and weakness. If you’ve eaten uncooked walrus, and are having any of these symptoms, contact the local health centre. The health department reminds hunters to get walrus meat tested for trichinella. And if someone gives you walrus meat, ask if it has been tested. – See http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/rankin-inlet-walrus-meat-tests-positive-for-trichinella-1.3173547

TULAREMIA (RABBIT FEVER):

South Dakota 07/28/15 SD Dept of Health: Media Release – A state health official says tularemia is on the rise, with seven cases reported in the Black Hills area since June. “Tularemia is a fairly uncommon but potentially severe disease that can be fatal,” said Dr. Lon Kightlinger, state epidemiologist for the Department of Health. “People can be exposed when they come in contact with infected insects and animals, particularly rabbits, rodents and cats.” Six of South Dakota’s cases were adults over the age of 50 and one was a child under 5. Five of the seven were hospitalized. Kightlinger noted that one of the cases had direct contact with a pet cat that tested positive for tularemia. Sometimes called rabbit fever, tularemia most commonly results in a sore developing where the bacteria enter the body, accompanied by swelling of the lymph nodes. In severe cases, it can cause fever and a pneumonia-like illness, which can be fatal. – For complete release see http://news.sd.gov/newsitem.aspx?id=18043

tularemia.332oe998Colorado 07/28/15 Weld County Dept of Public Health: Media ReleaseTularemia, also known as rabbit fever, has sickened five Weld County men. The distribution in age is 56 to 80 and includes a wide dispersal throughout the county, including the municipalities of Greeley, Erie, LaSalle, Milliken, and Longmont. Of the five men, two were hospitalized and three recovered at home. One man remains hospitalized, but is in stable condition. The men were most likely exposed to tularemia while mowing or working in their yards. “This is a rare disease and to have five cases so far this year is highly unusual,” said Dr. Mark E. Wallace, MD MPH, Executive Director of the Weld County Health Department. “In an average year we have zero cases, last year we had one case.” Statewide, Colorado currently has 16 human cases, and in an average year there are less than 4 cases. – For complete release see http://www.co.weld.co.us/assets/49d8bD3600B24A786D2C.pdf

Wyoming 07/31/15 kgwn.tv: A Platte County landowner along Whelen Canyon Road who discovered about 20 dead rabbits contacted the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Two of the rabbits were sent for testing and both were positive for tularemia. Several dead prairie dogs and other rodents at Devil’s Tower National Monument have also tested positive for tularemia. – See http://www.kgwn.tv/home/headlines/Rabbit-Fever-Confirmed-in-Platte-County-Rabbits-320276041.html

LYME DISEASE:

227757Global 07/30/15 pennlive.com: by Carolyn Kimmel – Dr. John Goldman, infectious disease specialist with PinnacleHealth System in Harrisburg (PA),  said people need to remember that Lyme disease can have different symptoms, ranging from the classic bull’s eye rash to a different kind of rash or flu-like symptoms . . . The incidence of Lyme carditis is small – only about 5 to 10 percent of Lyme cases – and usually begins four to six weeks after the initial illness, Goldman said. “It is an unusual presentation of Lyme disease, but it’s usually caught before it gets to a complete heart block,” he said.  “The thing about Lyme disease is that it can present very non-specifically, with a classic bull’s eye rash or a different rash or flu-like symptoms or no symptoms.” Lyme carditis can be very dangerous because if people progress to a complete heart block, their blood pressure may go too low or they may suddenly faint, perhaps while driving or doing some other activity, Goldman said. “Doctors do need to have a higher index of suspicion when a young person comes in with unusual heart symptoms. They should be checking for Lyme,” Dr. Michael Smith, a cardiologist with PinnacleHealth Cardiology in Wormleysburg (PA) said. – For complete article see http://www.pennlive.com/bodyandmind/index.ssf/2015/07/when_a_young_person_suddenly_d.html

EBOLA VACCINE:

ebola88394Global 07/31/15 cnn.com: by Laura Smith-Spark – A newly developed vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus  is “highly effective” and could help prevent its spread in the current and future outbreaks, the World Health Organization said Friday. Trials of the single-dose VSV-EBOV vaccine began in March in Guinea — one of three West African nations at the center of the recent outbreak — and have shown such promise that this week it was decided to extend immediate vaccination to “all people at risk” after close contact with an infected person, a WHO statement said. “This is an extremely promising development,” said Dr. Margaret Chan, the body’s director-general. “The credit goes to the Guinean government, the people living in the communities and our partners in this project. An effective vaccine will be another very important tool for both current and future Ebola outbreaks.” More research is needed, but the results so far on this trial show 100% efficacy. – For complete article see http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/31/health/guinea-ebola-vaccine/index.html

RABIES:

Georgia 07/30/15 Thomas County: A Thomasville woman was hospitalized after a stray cat attacked her and bit her leg is several places earlier this week at her home. The woman is being treated for potential exposure to rabies because the cat has not been captured. – See video and article at http://www.walb.com/story/29672436/attacking-cat-concerns-thomas-countians

cat-child445778Maryland 07/28/15 Calvert County: A adult tan and black striped stray cat found in the Yardley Hills area of Prince Frederick has tested positive for rabies. The cat was reported by a resident who said it was under his car and appeared to be ill. – See http://www.thebaynet.com/articles/0715/cattestspositiveforrabies.html

Oklahoma 07/30/15 Carter County: A kitten rescued by a family after it was born to a stray under their porch attacked two family members and has since tested positive for rabies. Even after insurance, medical bills have cost the family $7,000.00 so far. – See http://www.kxii.com/home/headlines/Family-kitten-contracts-rabies-woman-shares-importance-of-vaccinations-320208861.html

South Carolina 07/28/15  Lexington County: A dog from the Monticello Road area of northwest Columbia with evidence of healed wounds around its neck was given to an adoption agency in the Irmo area by animal control. The dog was later placed into foster care in the Gaston area. During the course of its care, the dog bit two people and exposed two others. This dog has since tested positive for rabies. – See http://counton2.com/2015/07/28/dog-expose-four-to-rabies-in-lexington-county/

river.otter.XT4B8248Virginia 07/31/15 Virginia Beach: A river otter that bit two people near the 2200 block of North Sandpiper Road in Sandbridge has tested positive for rabies. – See http://hamptonroads.com/2015/07/river-otter-tests-positive-rabies-after-biting-two-people-virginia-beach

Wisconsin 07/29/15 Marathon County: Officials are looking for a gray and white cat that bit a woman in the 1100 block of Sixth Avenue in Wausau earlier this week as she attempted to read the cat’s multicolored collar tag. – See http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/story/news/local/2015/07/29/health-department-looking-cat-bit-woman/30852813/

RED WOLF population in decline once again ~ Woman in NEW MEXICO dies of PLAGUE ~ SQUIRREL in COLORADO tests positive for PLAGUE ~ CANADIAN woman victim of BEAR attack ~ MUSKRAT in COLORADO tests positive for TULAREMIA ~ TULAREMIA found in four NORTH DAKOTA counties.

Red Wolf and pups. Courtesy US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Red Wolf and pups. Courtesy US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Southeast US 07/25/15 wral.com: by Emery P. Dalesio – A revised population estimate puts the world’s only wild population of endangered red wolves at their lowest level since the late 1990s amid recent moves to protect the bigger, predatory relatives of dogs from hunters’ misdirected bullets. Once common in the Southeast, the red wolf had been considered extinct in the wild as of 1980 for reasons including hunting and lost habitat. In 1987, wildlife officials released captive-bred red wolves into the wilds of a federal tract in North Carolina. For years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that about 100 wolves roamed the land in coastal Dare, Hyde, Washington, Tyrrell and Beaufort counties and also drifted onto neighboring private property. Now the federal agency has drastically cut its population estimate to between 50 and 75 wild red wolves. The revision was the result of fewer breeding adult wolves producing fewer babies to replace those animals that die, FWS supervisory wildlife biologist Rebecca Harrison said. “The decrease is a reflection of two years in a row of very low pup production in combination with the standing mortality,” Harrison said. While in the past wildlife officials have found 30 to 50 pups a year, last year 19 were found and this year only seven, Harrison said. The wolves breed a single litter of pups annually that are born in the spring.

wmi.88e8e290rAn outside study last year of the red wolf recovery program by the nonprofit Wildlife Management Institute said it couldn’t determine the specific reasons for the red wolf decline. Over the past decade, there was a tripling of wolf deaths from gunshots, the report said. Illegal killings of red wolves was the leading cause of deaths over the first 25 years of the program, the report said, with shootings and poisonings making up 30 percent of their deaths. Most of the red wolf shooting deaths of breeding-aged red wolves happened during the last three months of the year just before the animals breed, the report said. Deer season also increases hunters in the forests in the fall. The threats to red wolves from gunfire have increased as coyotes — which are often confused for their bigger, endangered cousins — multiplied across the state into the red wolf’s range. North Carolina’s Wildlife Resources Commission in 2013 decided to allow coyote hunting at night on private land and under certain circumstances on public land. Conservationists said that resulted in the shooting deaths of red wolves since even experts often couldn’t distinguish them from coyotes in a distant flashlight’s glare. –  Read more at http://www.wral.com/wild-red-wolf-count-falls-as-fewer-parents-making-fewer-pups/14794393/#LKVu6mCc32VcrhaU.99

PNEUMONIC PLAGUE:

plague.322998New Mexico 07/24/15 santafenewmexican.com: by Anne Constable – State Health Department officials said Friday that a 52-year-old Santa Fe County woman died after testing positive for plague, and workers were going door to door in her neighborhood to inform other residents of the risk. But the Health Department would not release the name of the hospital where the woman was treated or the section of the county where she lived. The state’s Scientific Laboratory Division is conducting a test to confirm the woman’s suspected case of pneumonic plague, the rarest of the three forms of the bacterial disease, which is usually contracted from flea bites or rodent droppings. If the lab test proves positive, this would be the first human case of plague in New Mexico this year. Last year, there were two human cases of plague in New Mexico, and both patients — a 43-year-old woman from Rio Arriba County and a 57-year-old man from Torrance County — recovered. Between 2010 and 2014, there were nine cases in the state, three of them in Santa Fe County. Santa Fe leads the counties in New Mexico for human plague, with 59 out of 271 cases across the state from 1949 to 2014. – For complete article see http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/health_and_science/health-officials-santa-fe-county-woman-s-death-could-be/article_1bc73a49-0570-577f-8710-0e1fd23e5944.html

plague.53400445Colorado 07/25/15 kdvr.com: by Chris Jose – Jefferson County Public Health received confirmation on Friday that a squirrel located at 15th and Jackson (in Golden) tested positive for bubonic plague. Postings are being placed around the area today with information reminding citizens to take simple precautions to avoid exposure. Plague is a highly infectious bacterial disease carried by various types of wild rodents and is transmitted primarily by flea bites. Squirrels, rodents, prairie dogs and other mammals, such as rabbits and cats are susceptible to plague because they carry fleas. – For video and complete article see http://kdvr.com/2015/07/25/squirrel-in-golden-tests-positive-for-bubonic-plague/

CANADA:

BEAR ATTACK:

bear_activity_470x245Ontario 07/26/15 timminstimes.com: Ontario Provincial Police say a 60-year old woman was treated and released from hospital for injuries after being attacked by an “aggressive bear” near Matheson on Friday afternoon. Police said two women were walking in the cottage area of Watabeag Lake when they encountered the bear. The OPP news release said one of the women was attacked by the bear and sustained injuries requiring medical treatment at the Matheson hospital. The nature of the woman’s injuries was not described by police. “OPP officers attended the area and located the bear,” said the police news release. “The bear displayed aggressive tendencies toward the officers and the bear was destroyed by the officers as a result.” The woman who was attacked is from the Guelph area. Watabeag Lake is located approximately 40 kilometers south west of Matheson. – See http://www.timminstimes.com/2015/07/26/friday-afternoon-bear-attack-near-matheson

TULAREMIA (RABBIT FEVER):

muskrat3Colorado 07/24/15 denverpost.com: by Anthony Cotton – A dead muskrat found recently at the Lily Lake area in Rocky Mountain National Park tested positive for tularemia, park officials said Friday. According to Colorado health officials, as of late May, there were 11 reported human cases of tularemia. A naturally occurring bacterial disease transmitted by infected insects and ticks to rabbits, hares, muskrats, beavers and other small rodents, tularemia can also spread to humans and can cause serious clinical symptoms. – For complete article see http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_28374467/colorado-health-officials-tularemia-cases-record-breaking-pace

zoonosis_tularemia (2)North Dakota 07/24/15 valleynewslive.com: The ND Department of Health and the ND  Department of Agriculture, Animal Health Division, have received reports of two confirmed human cases of tularemia in LaMoure and Burleigh counties; one unconfirmed but likely positive human case in Stark County; a case in a squirrel from the Roosevelt Zoo in Minot; and cases in two primates from the Dakota Zoo in Bismarck. The Roosevelt and Dakota Zoos are taking precautions to protect their animals, staff and visitors from the disease. Visiting a zoo does not pose an increased risk to the general public. However, people are advised to follow guidelines against touching animals that are posted by the zoos, and to avoid direct contact with wild animals, such as rabbits and rodents, which are known carriers of tularemia. Tularemia, also known as rabbit fever, is caused by bacteria that are commonly transmitted to humans and animals by ticks and deer flies. Pets can also become infected if they consume the remains of an infected animal. Other means of infection in humans include skin contact with blood or tissue  of infected animals, inhalation of contaminated dust or aerosols, and ingestion of contaminated food or water. – For complete article see http://www.valleynewslive.com/home/headlines/Tularemia-Identified-In-Four-North-Dakota-Counties-318509531.html

RABIES:

cat-and-bat.4778t5California 07/25/15 Monterey County: A domestic cat that was reported dead on July 2nd by its owner, a City of Monterey resident, has tested positive for a strain of the rabies virus that is carried by bats. – See http://www.mercurynews.com/health/ci_28537775/monterey-health-department-confirms-rabid-cat-died-from

FLORIDA confirms 9 human cases of LEPROSY so far this year ~ New study suggests CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE may be transmissible to HUMANS ~ WYOMING confirms three cases of TULAREMIA ~ Officials confirm first CALIFORNIA death due to WEST NILE VIRUS in 2015 ~ RABIES report from VIRGINIA

Armadillo. Photo by Vlad Lazarenko. Wikimedia Commons.

Armadillo. Photo by Vlad Lazarenko. Wikimedia Commons.

Florida 07/23/15 cnn.com: by Jareen Imam – There are an unusually high number of leprosy cases cropping up in Florida. Experts said they believe the spike is because of people coming into contact with armadillos. Florida typically sees two to 12 cases of leprosy a year, but so far there have been nine cases in 2015, according to the Florida Department of Health. The latest case was diagnosed in Flagler County three weeks ago. Some armadillos, placental mammals with leathery armor, are naturally infected with leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Armadillos are one of the only known animals to carry leprosy, an age-old disease that causes skin and nerve damage. The CDC says it is possible to contract leprosy through contact with armadillos, but it is usually unlikely. Leprosy is a rare disease, and there are on average 50 to 100 cases in the United States every year, according to Dr. Sunil Joshi, president-elect of the Duval County Medical Society in Florida. Joshi said leprosy, much like tuberculosis, is spread through coughing and sneezing, but 95% of the human population is immune to the disease. For video and complete article see http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/21/health/florida-leprosy-cases-armadillos-irpt/index.html

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE:

Deer with CWD.

Deer with CWD.

Global 07/24/15 superiortelegram.com: by Rich Kremer – A forthcoming study shows that chronic wasting disease may be able to infect humans.  A team of researchers from universities in the United States and France say they’ve found new evidence that it’s possible for humans to contract the agents that cause CWD. They injected mice, whose DNA had been modified to resemble humans, with mutated proteins called prions.  Testing showed two out of 20 mice tested positive for prion infection. But former Wisconsin Natural Resources Board Member Dave Clausen advised the results are not cause for alarm.  “This study does not mean that human infection is a foregone conclusion,” Clausen said. “All it does is demonstrate that it is possible.”  Clausen said more research is needed but the results show that hunters in CWD zones should take the disease seriously. The Department of Natural Resources and Department of Health Services did not respond to requests for comment on this story. – See http://www.superiortelegram.com/news/wisconsin/3803717-chronic-wasting-disease-possibly-transmissible-humans-study-suggests

TULAREMIA (RABBIT FEVER):

imagesCAC3YRG5Wyoming 07/23/15 Crook/Weston County: The WY Department of Health is advising people to steer clear of wild rodent corpses found, especially in the eastern part of the state. Three human cases of Tularemia have been reported so far this year. The disease can be spread by deer flies and ticks that have been on dead rodents. Even breathing the air around an infected animal can transfer the disease. – For video and complete article see http://www.kotatv.com/news/wyoming-news/rabbit-fever-hits-wyo-and-you-do-not-want-to-catch-it/34324894

WEST NILE VIRUS:

887877f77fCalifornia 07/20/15 contracostatimes.com: A Nevada County woman was California’s first confirmed death this year due to West Nile virus, state public health department officials announced Monday. The woman was 65 or older, according to the department; no other details were provided. “This death is a tragic reminder of how severe West Nile virus disease can be,” Dr. Karen Smith, the state’s public health director, said in a statement. “West Nile virus activity is more widespread in 2015 than in years past. Californians need to be vigilant in protecting themselves.” Last year, 31 Californians died from the virus — the most since California began recording West Nile cases in 2003. – For complete article see http://www.contracostatimes.com/breaking-news/ci_28513009/nevada-county-woman-is-first-reported-west-nile

RABIES:

14410-Boy+child+kitten+music+catVirginia 07/23/15 Yorktown: A black feral cat 3-9 months old found in the vicinity f the 100 block of Old Railway Road has tested positive for rabies. Anyone exposed to this animal should contact the Peninsula Heath District Newport News Environmental Health office at 757-594-7340. – See http://wtkr.com/2015/07/23/cat-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-yorktown/

ALABAMA woman attacked by rabid BOB CAT ~ CANADIAN engineer survives GRIZZLY attack ~ TEXAS teen attacked by COYOTE ~ NEW MEXICO and WYOMING officials warn residents of TULAREMIA threat ~ Two ARIZONANS succumb to WEST NILE VIRUS ~ COLORADAN contracts BUBONIC PLAGUE ~ PLAGUE kills colony of PRAIRIE DOGS in UTAH ~ CDC researchers find LYME DISEASE is spreading farther south and west ~ CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE found in captive TEXAS DEER ~ OTHER RABIES REPORTS from NJ & TX.

Bobcat. Photo by Don DeBold. Wikimidia Commons.

Bobcat. Photo by Don DeBold. Wikimidia Commons.

Alabama 07/14/15 greenvilleadvocate.com: A bob cat that attacked a Sardis resident in the front yard of her Sweetwater Road home earlier in the week biting her on the arm and hip has tested positive for rabies. – For a lengthy account of the attack and how the bob cat was finally killed see http://www.greenvilleadvocate.com/2015/07/14/woman-survives-attack-by-rabid-bobcat/

GRIZZLY ATTACK:

Canada:

grizzly5British Columbia 07/17/15 cbc.ca: by Lisa Johnson – An engineer with a Vancouver logging company thought he was going to die yesterday as a mother grizzly bear tore the flesh of his arm and back, and tried to throw him in the air. But George Knoll, 41, survived thanks to quick thinking, his work boots and luck. Knoll, who works with A&A Trading, had been walking through the bush, flagging trees for logging along a creek at Burke Channel near Bella Bella, on B.C.’s Central Coast. At about 8:30 a.m. PT, he looked up and saw a mother grizzly bear and her cub. Because of the sound of the rushing water, he hadn’t heard the bear and her cub approach through the bush — nor had the bear heard him — until they were just six metres apart. “I knew I was in trouble, because of the cub,” said Knoll from his hospital bed in Vancouver Friday. Knoll said he tried to run backward and sideways to get away from the bear, but she charged him from below. “She basically tackled me,” he said. He tried to play dead, curling in a ball with his arms protecting his neck, but her teeth were ripping into the flesh of his arm and back as she tried to toss him “like a rag doll.” “I thought in my head, ‘This is it, I’m going to die, this thing is going to eat me,'” he said. “I thought, ‘Oh man, what a shitty way to go … I’m not going to see my daughter and my wife again.”

mapThe bear’s face was so close to his, Knoll could smell and feel her breath. “I remember distinctly the bad breath on that bear, smelled like rotten fish. Dirty fur.” Playing dead wasn’t working, he realized. “At that point … I thought I better do something, so I kicked her in the face.” Knoll kicked the bear twice in the snout with his caulk boots, the heavy spiked work boots often worn by loggers. She stopped attacking him immediately, retreating to pace and huff. There was blood on her snout, but Knoll didn’t know if it was hers, or his own. Another lunge, another kick, and the mother bear was gone. Help came quickly. Knoll radioed his partner to tell him of the attack, and he used a pressure bandage as a tourniquet on his left arm to stop the bleeding. He remembers being “delirious” walking the 200 metres uphill to a helipad, where the work crew’s helicopter airlifted him to Bella Bella, before he was flown to Vancouver. Sometime on the flight, he was able to call his wife. “I told her I loved her,” he said. Knoll is doing well in Vancouver General Hospital, with puncture wounds but no serious internal injuries, said Sgt. Len Butler of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service. Conservation officers are still investigating, but since the mother bear had a cub with her, they consider the attack to be “defensive” — meaning she wasn’t trying to prey on the engineer, and won’t be killed. –  For video see http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/grizzly-bear-attack-near-bella-bella-b-c-ends-with-kick-to-the-face-1.3157849

COYOTE ATTACK:

thumbnailcoydogTexas 07/15/15 nbcvdfw.com: by Julie Fine – Coyote sightings in North Texas are not all that unusual, but attacks are rare. Zane Weddell, 15, said he was walking out of a movie at the Cinemark Tinsletown Sunday night in Grapevine when he was bitten by a coyote. “I was like shocked there was a coyote,” he said. Zane said he and his girlfriend walked around the back of the theater, and the coyote came around the bushes. “It came at me, came at us, so I grabbed my shoe and I threw it at it, hit it, and it came back, came at me, so I like kicked it with my foot. And it got hold of my foot and shook me around a little bit, and it like let go and took off,” he explained. His mother was waiting for him at the front of the theater, so he ran to her car, where she saw blood on his foot. They then went to the emergency room, where Zane had five shots. – For video and complete article see http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Coyote-Bites-Teen-in-Grapevine-Movie-Theater-Parking-Lot-315116341.html

TULAREMIA (RABBIT FEVER):

New Mexico 07/13/15 kob.com: State officials today confirmed a case of tularemia in a 51-year-old Los Alamos County male resident who was hospitalized but has since recovered. Officials say there have also been 33 cases of the disease this year in pet dogs and cats from Bernalillo, Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Taos and Torrance counties. “Tularemia can cause serious illness in both people and pets.  I encourage people around the state to follow the same precautions they would to avoid contracting plague, which includes not handling sick or dead animals,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary, Retta Ward, MPH. “People can get tularemia if they handle infected animals such as rabbits or rodents or if they are bitten by infected ticks or deer flies.” Tularemia is a potentially serious illness in people that occurs in many parts of the United States. It is caused by a bacteria found in animals, especially rodents, rabbits and hares. Tularemia can also make dogs and cats sick and they can give the disease to people. Other possible, but much less likely, exposures are through contact with infected soil or water or by inhaling the bacteria. – For complete article see http://www.kob.com/article/stories/s3850814.shtml#.VaR0vflVhBc

tularemia33987ir6Wyoming 07/17/15 outbreaknewstoday.com: State officials issued a tularemia warning today after recent human and animal cases reported in northern Wyoming.  “Recently, we are hearing about rabbit die-offs and have seen tularemia cases confirmed in two Weston County residents, in dead voles near Devils Tower in Crook County and in a Washakie County cat,” said Dr. Tracy Murphy, state epidemiologist with WDH. “Tularemia is always a concern but is not common. To see this activity is concerning.” – For complete article see http://outbreaknewstoday.com/tularemia-reported-in-weston-county-wyoming-residents-98356/

WEST NILE VIRUS:

07cd7361057a7994e7e590e1fb0d3868ed6ff5ad-1Arizona 07/17/15 azcentral.com: by Anthony Marroquin – Two Valley residents have died after contracting the West Nile virus, according to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health. The first victim was a man in his early 60’s and the second was a woman in her 70’s, the department said. Both were from the East Valley and had previous underlying health conditions. These were the first two deaths from West Nile virus in the 2015 season, according to the department.  – For complete article see http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2015/07/17/maricopa-county-west-nile-virus-deaths/30306825/

BUBONIC PLAGUE:

Colorado 07/20/15 themountainmail.com: by Paul J. Goetz – Chaffee County Health Department reported Friday that bubonic plague has been confirmed in a Chaffee County resident recently. The unidentified individual was hospitalized and has survived following intravenous antibiotic treatment, Susan Ellis, county health director, wrote in a press release. Identification of the disease was made by the state public health laboratory July 10. Colorado Department of Public Health reports that 17 human plague cases have been confirmed in Colorado since 2005. This would make the 18th case. Investigation revealed that the family dog became ill with symptoms consistent with plague a few days prior to the onset of illness in the dog’s owner. The dog has recovered and test results from the dog are pending. – For complete article see http://www.themountainmail.com/free_content/article_9a5d5224-2e9a-11e5-8845-abc56056813b.htmldog-hunting-01-medium

Utah 07/14/15 ksl.com: by Amy Joi O’Donoghue – Bubonic plague wiped out a colony of Utah prairie dogs in a remote area of the Uintah Basin, and health officials are urging residents to refrain from handling any of the dead rodents they may find. The plague outbreak, which is not uncommon in prairie dogs, was discovered last week in an area called Coyote Basin, southeast of Vernal, said Dax Mangus, wildlife program manager in the northeastern region for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. The outbreak killed a colony of between 60 and 80 prairie dogs. Mangus said the outbreak occurred in an area under monitoring because it is a site for the reintroduction of the black footed ferret, which prey on the dogs. The black footed ferret, North America’s only native wild ferret species, has been listed as endangered since 1967 and 90 percent of its diet is prairie dogs. – For video and complete article see http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=35498521

LYME DISEASE:

green-tick-logoNational 07/15/15 nbcnews.com: by Maggie Fox – Lyme disease is gradually spreading from the Northeast and becoming more common farther south and west, government researchers reported Wednesday. A county-by-county look at the infections shows it’s found in four times as many counties now as it was in 1993, a team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. It’s not clear why – experts say climate change, forest regrowth and the spread of deer might all be factors. What is clear is that many more people than before need to watch out for the ticks that carry the infection, CDC says. “Over time, the number of counties identified as having high incidence of Lyme disease in the northeastern states increased more than 320 percent: from 43 (1993-1997) to 90 (1998-2002) to 130 (2003-2007) to 182 (2008-2012),” Kiersten Kugeler of the CDC’s center in Fort Collins, Colorado, and colleagues write in their report. The northern coast of New Jersey is no longer a hotbed of new Lyme infections, but now east-central Pennsylvania is, they said. Lyme disease is caused by bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, carried by blacklegged ticks. It was first recognized in the Lyme, Connecticut, area in 1975 and it’s spread from there to the northeast and to the mid-Atlantic and upper Northwest regions and elsewhere. The CDC found high-risk counties in 17 states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota. – For complete article see http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/lyme-disease-spreads-government-report-finds-n392626

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE:join

Texas 07/01/15 TX Parks & Wildlife: Media Release – A two-year-old white-tailed deer in a Medina County deer breeding facility has been confirmed positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). This is the first case of CWD detected in captive white-tailed deer in Texas. CWD was first detected in Texas in 2012 in free-ranging mule deer in the Hueco Mountains in far West Texas. The Medina County tissue samples submitted by the breeder facility in early June as part of routine deer mortality surveillance revealed the presence of CWD during testing at the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) in College Station. The National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the findings on Tuesday, June 30. – For complete release see http://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/?req=20150701a

OTHER RABIES REPORTS:

New Jersey 07/15/15 Middlesex County: A feral cat found in the vicinity of Deans Lane and Route 1 in South Brunswick has tested positive for rabies. – For complete article see http://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/local/middlesex-county/2015/07/15/cat-tests-positive-rabies-south-brunswick/30206899/

78483649Texas 07/15/15 Wichita County: A litter of nine puppies advertised on Craigslist in Henrietta were all potentially exposed to the rabies virus. An individual from Wichita Falls who adopted one of the puppies was bitten and the puppy later tested positive for rabies. Of the 9 puppies exposed to rabies, 8 have been accounted for. The Health Department is still looking for the ninth puppy. Three of the located puppies are in Wichita Falls. Please contact the Health District immediately at 940-761-7833 or 7824 if you took one of these puppies home or was exposed to the litter in Henrietta. Also, if you know of someone that handled the puppies or took one home, please have them contact the Health District immediately. – For photo and complete article see http://www.texomashomepage.com/story/d/story/wichita-falls-puppy-tests-positive-for-rabies/31938/pLqt6PB8UkSLISqk0NMb5w

CALIFORNIA children attacked by COYOTES in four separate incidents ~ MASSACHUSETTS woman is one of the first to be diagnosed with MIYAMOTOI ~ TEXAS confirms first human HANTAVIRUS case of 2015 ~ What you need to know about three types of the PLAGUE

Coyote. Photo by Christopher Bruno. Wikimedia Commons.

Coyote. Photo by Christopher Bruno. Wikimedia Commons.

California 07/10/15 abcnews.go.com: by Kaylee Heck – California residents are being warned to be more vigilant about coyotes after four attacks on children in the past month in the Irvine area. The most recent incident — this past Sunday — involved a 2-year-old child. “It was a child, about approximately 2 years old, was in the garage. They opened the garage up and the coyote came in and actually got the child on the neck area and part of the cheek,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife Lt. Kent Smirl told ABC’s Los Angeles station KABC.

thumbnailCAQSN1GHThe California Department of Fish and Wildlife reported four incidents involving coyotes and young children in the past month in Irvine, where the children have either been bitten or scratched by a coyote. All four had minor injuries from the attacks. “These incidents highlight the importance of communities working together to eliminate sources of food that may attract wildlife to neighborhoods,” Capt. Rebecca Hartman said. “When coyotes are fed, either intentionally or unintentionally by food being left out, they can become a public safety threat.” Trappers have recently humanely euthanized five coyotes in the area and one was linked back to an attack through its DNA, KABC reported. Officials are concerned that coyotes are losing their natural fear of humans because they’re now associating humans with food. If a coyote approaches and looks aggressive, pick up small children and pets and throw rocks to deter the animal, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said. The only reported coyote-caused fatality in the state, according to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, occurred in 1981 when a 3-year-old girl was killed. – For video and links to related reports see http://abcnews.go.com/US/california-town-high-alert-coyotes-attack-children/story?id=32355667

MIYAMOTOI:

Deer Tick

Deer Tick

Massachusetts 07/11/15 southcoasttoday.com: by Sandy Quadros Bpwles – Elizabeth Moniz immediately knew something was wrong. The 43-year-old North Dartmouth resident ate dinner as usual one evening in August 2013. But when she sat down after the meal, she felt “flu-ish’’ and spiked a fever. “I didn’t think it was something I ate,’’ she said. “I knew something was wrong to spike a fever that quickly. I went from cool as a cucumber to a temperature of 102.’’ A bite seemed a logical deduction, she said, especially because she spends much of her time outdoors as education/outreach director for Lloyd Center for the Environment in Dartmouth. She ruled out bees, hornets and wasps, because of her medical history: She would have suffered an immediate and extreme allergic reaction. And she didn’t think it was a tick, because she faithfully checks for ticks and pulls them off before they have time to do damage. Ticks have to remain attached for at least 24 hours before they transmit disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Still, when she visited a walk-in clinic, her blood work was tested for suspected tick-borne diseases. Doctors assumed she had anaplasmosis, a tick-borne disease. But the results revealed that “something was off,’’ the doctor told her.

Dog Tick

Dog Tick

The doctor referred her to Dr. Hanumara Ram Chowdri, an infectious disease specialist with a practice in New Bedford. Chowdri performed a blood test and, after looking for certain antibodies in her system, diagnosed her with an infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia miyamotoi, called miyamotoi. The disease is spread by deer ticks, which were the culprit, despite her aggressive efforts to search for and shower them off. Deer ticks can also spread Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and babesiosis. Dog ticks may spread tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. This was no ordinary diagnosis presented to Moniz. At the time, she was one of only five people in Massachusetts and 17 across the country to be diagnosed with the infection, which was originally identified in Russia, she was told.

ticks.posted.imagesA recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine described miyamotoi as something that “may be an emerging tickborne infection in the northeastern United States.’’ Patients diagnosed with the disease had a range of symptoms, including headache, fever and chills. The symptoms can become severe, with more than 50 percent of patients in the study diagnosed with sepsis, a potentially deadly inflammation caused by an infection. The study suggests that “10 percent of tick-exposed New England residents may have been exposed to miyamotoi’’ but not realized it because the condition may have symptoms similar to other tick-borne conditions. For every 4,000 Lyme disease cases, at least 200 cases were likely miyomoti, said Dr. Sam R. Telford III, a professor in the Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Grafton, who co-authored the study that identified miyomoti. Chowdri has since treated six to eight cases, with varying severity of symptoms, which range from a severe headache to others who are “quite sick-looking.’’ In the Northeast, 25 percent of the 51 patients diagnosed with the infection required hospitalization, he said. – For complete article see http://www.southcoasttoday.com/article/20150711/NEWS/150719854/101077

HANTAVIRUS:

imagesCAULAVUQTexas 0710/15 amarillo.com: by Vanessa Garcia – Texas health officials confirmed Monday that, for the first time this year, a Texas Panhandle resident has contracted hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a virus that some rats and mice carry. “It’s rare, but half of the reported cases for hantavirus (in Texas) … since 1993 were residents from the Texas Panhandle and South Plains area,” said Christine Mann, spokeswoman for Texas Department of State Health Services. Hantavirus is carried by certain species of rats and mice that shed the virus in their urine, droppings and saliva. HPS can cause death if not treated. The resident who had contracted the disease was not from Potter or Randall counties, said Hope LaFreniere, city of Amarillo community relations assistant. The person with the HPS case recovered, health officials said. – For complete article see http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/2015-07-10/texas-panhandle-residents-contracts-hantavirus

PLAGUE:

Santa_Fe_attacks_plagu48f91501Global cdc.gov: There are three types of plague caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis: Bubonic, which is the most common; Pneumonic; and Septicemic. The bacterium is usually transmitted  through the bite of infected rodent fleas. Less common exposures include handling infected animal tissues (hunters, wildlife personnel), inhalation of infectious droplets from cats or dogs with plague, and, rarely, contact with a pneumonic plague patient. Those who reside in or travel to Africa, central Asia and the Indian subcontinent, northeastern South America and parts of the southwestern United States should especially be familiar with how they are transmitted and their symptoms. – See http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2016/infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/plague-bubonic-pneumonic-septicemic

Swimmer killed by ALLIGATOR in TEXAS bayou ~ RABIES report from RHODE ISLAND

Alligator eating a crab. Photo by Gareth Rasberry. WikimediaCommons.

Alligator eating a crab. Photo by Gareth Rasberry. WikimediaCommons.

Texas 07/09/15 TX Parks & Wildlife: Media Release – Texas game wardens have completed their investigation into an alligator attack that resulted in the death of Tommie Woodard, 28, of St. Louis, Missouri. Investigators concluded that the unprecedented circumstances of the case, believed to be the first fatal alligator attack in Texas on record, warrant no further action. The alligator suspected of attacking Woodard was killed by an individual who told investigators he acted out of concern for the safety of his family and others.
tpwd-logo-largeGame wardens issued a warning citation to the individual for the illegal take of the alligator; his identity is being withheld since no criminal charges were filed. Shortly before 3 a.m. on Friday, July 3, Texas game wardens were notified about a possible alligator attack and missing person on Adams Bayou, an oxbow creek off the Sabine River in Orange County, 30 miles east of Beaumont, Texas. Game wardens recovered Woodard’s body from the creek about two hours later. A game warden crew searched the area nightly throughout the weekend for a large, aggressive alligator with no success. Mid-afternoon Monday, July 6, game wardens received a call that a large alligator carcass had been dropped at the marina boat ramp near where the attack had occurred days earlier. A subsequent examination confirmed it to be the alligator responsible for the attack on Woodard. – For complete release see http://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/?req=20150709a&nrtype=all&nrspan=2015&nrsearch=

RABIES:

cat-child445778Rhode Island 07/09/15 Newport County: A feral cat that was killed by a dog in the East Bay Village area of West Main Road in Middletown has tested positive for rabies. A child scratched by the cat is being treated for potential exposure to the virus. The cat was a black, short-haired female with kittens. Anyone exposed should seek immediate medical advice. – See http://wpri.com/2015/07/09/feral-cat-in-middletown-tests-positive-for-rabies/

Twenty treated for MURINE TYPHUS in TEXAS ~ COLORADO now confirms 15 human cases of TULAREMIA this year ~ Captive DEER in TEXAS found with CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ RABIES reports from CAx2 & SC.

typhus-120922085821-phpapp02-thumbnail-4

Texas 07/01/15 khou.com: by Lauren Talarico – A disease rarely seen since the 1940s has turned up again in the Galveston area. Murine typhus is spread by fleas on rats and opossums to people. At least 20 people have been treated for the disease at (University of Texas Medical Branch) UTMB. Infectious disease expert Dr. Lucas Blanton first noticed its comeback in 2012 when a patient displayed a fever and rash. “It looked and smelled like it could be murine typhus. Then months later, we diagnosed another one,” Dr. Blanton said. “So when you have one case, it is interesting. When you have two cases, well that gets even more interesting,” Dr. Blanton has worked with Galveston’s animal control officers to take blood and flea samples from opossums. Two out of three tested positive for murine typhus. The disease had been close to eradication since the 1950s thanks to a pesticide called DDT. It’s widely used to kill fleas on rats. “I don’t think there’s any cause for mass hysteria,” said Dr. Blanton. “We love our pets. We should keep our pets, but perhaps flea control.” Murine typhus mimics the flu. Although it’s rarely deadly, without antibiotics the disease takes its time to clear up and leaves patients miserable. – See http://www.khou.com/story/news/health/2015/07/01/rare-disease-linked-to-fleas-returns-to-galveston/29589859/

TULAREMIA (RABBIT FEVER):

80ab05b3670e2bdcb7165060f8167dfd (2)Colorado 07/07/15 ifreepress.com: So far this year, 15 people have been infected with tularemia, or rabbit fever in Colorado. The microorganism is often carried by wild animals, especially hares, rabbits and rodents. Fed by unusually lush vegetation, rabbits have been breeding like rabbits about Colorado, escalating the risk for what is typically a uncommon bacterial illness in the state. It is then transmitted to humans through insect bites from ticks and deerflies. Doctors in Colorado are being told to keep tularemia in mind with patients who have fever, chills, and headaches. As per a data, rabbit fever can be found across the nation and on yearly basis, around 135 cases are reported and majority of them are reported in the south central United States. – For complete article see http://www.ifreepress.com/health/5024-15-cases-of-rabbit-fever-in-colorado-west-texas-news

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE (CWD):

HEADERTexas 07/02/15 dailyjournal.net: A Texas official says no white-tailed deer can be bought or sold at the facility where an animal with chronic wasting disease was found. Texas Animal Health Commission spokeswoman Kyle McNulty said Thursday that the case involving a 2-year-old white-tailed deer at a Medina County breeding facility was confirmed by a federal lab in Iowa. CWD was first detected in Texas in 2012 in free-ranging mule deer in far West Texas. The disease is caused by proteins believed to be spread through deer urine, saliva and feces. CWD has been found in deer in 23 states and two Canadian provinces since first being recognized in Colorado in 1967. There is no evidence humans are at risk. Medina County is just west of San Antonio. – See http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/7388a63d74bb4fdbb19635cabfa1cbe8/TX–Chronic-Wasting-Disease

RABIES:

California 07/02/15 Mendocino County: A cat in the Fort Bragg area has tested positive for rabies, and is the first animal to do so within Mendocino County since 2012, according to the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency . . . In California, most cases of rabies occur in skunks and bats, but also in a variety of wild animals including foxes, according to the HHSA. – See http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/general-news/20150702/cat-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-fort-bragg

Looking-for-Kittens-001California 07/08/15 Monterey County: A domestic cat owned by a resident of the City of Monterey has tested positive for rabies. Officials are investigating to determine if all those who were exposed to the virus are being treated. – See http://www.kionrightnow.com/news/local-news/monterey-county-warning-over-rabies-case/34024662

South Carolina 06/29/15 Richland County: The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control has referred 11 people to their private health care providers for post-exposure treatment after being potentially exposed to a rabid cat in Richland County near Chapin. After roaming outdoors, the family cat returned home on May 29,  with visible wounds caused by an unknown animal, DHEC officials said.  The incident was reported to DHEC once the cat began showing symptoms of rabies around June 25. During that period, the cat exposed family members and the veterinary clinic staff who treated the animal. The cat was not current on its rabies vaccine. It was confirmed rabid on June 26. – For complete article see http://www.wistv.com/story/29434501/family-cat-exposes-11-people-to-rabies-in-richland-county