Connecticut police report “credible” Mountain Lion sighting; Michigan warns doctors two cases of rare Q Fever in state; Illinois birds test positive for West Nile Virus; and Rabies reports from New Mexico, and Virginia.

Mountain lion. Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Connecticut 06/17/11 by David Owens – Two people have contacted Fairfield police in recent days saying they’ve seen mountain lions, and police say one report is “credible.” Fairfield police Sgt. Suzanne Lussier said Friday that sightings of “what appeared to be a mountain lion” — animals state officials say have not been proven to exist in Connecticut — came in at 8 a.m. Friday and about 4 p.m. Tuesday. Friday’s incident was reported on Mine Hill Road at Verna Hill Road. The Tuesday sighting was at Redding Road at Old Academy. The sighting Friday morning was by a town official who saw the animal run out in front of his car, Lussier said. Police view that report as “credible,” she said. PHOTOS: Wild Animal In ConnecticuThere were two reported sightings of a mountain lion in Greenwich on Wednesday, but none since then. There were three unconfirmed sightings prior to that. There’s been a spate of sightings since a mountain lion was struck and killed by a car on the Wilbur Cross Parkway in Milford. State Department of Environmental Protection officials said that mountain lion was likely a pet. DEP has yet to find any evidence to substantiate the sightings. Still, Fairfield police urged anyone who thinks they’ve seen a mountain lion to call them so that police can be dispatched to check the area.

Michigan 06/16/11 The Michigan Department of Community Health is warning doctors to be on the lookout for a rare illness after it’s suddenly popped up in two counties. The department said a case of Q Fever has been reported in both Monroe and Washtenaw counties. The patients contracted the illness from unpasteurized milk from a Livingston County farm.

Note:  Q fever is a bacterial infection that can affect the lungs, liver, heart, and other parts of the body. Q fever is found around the world and is caused by the bacteria Coxiella burnetii. The bacteria affects sheep, goats, cattle, dogs, cats, birds, rodents, and ticks, as well as some other animals. Infected animals shed the bacteria in: birth products, feces, milk, and urine. Humans usually get Q fever by breathing in contaminated droplets released by infected animals. Drinking raw milk has also caused infection in rare cases.

Illinois 06/17/11 The first birds in Illinois have tested positive for West Nile virus. The Illinois Department of Public Health said the birds were found in northern Illinois in LaSalle County. The two birds were collected June 8 in LaSalle and Sandwich. The positive results came back Thursday. Last year the first birds testing positive were found earlier in the season, on May 13 in Carroll and St. Clair counties. The first West Nile virus positive mosquito samples were reported Tuesday in Tazewell County. Thirty of 102 Illinois counties had a positive West Nile virus bird, mosquito, horse or human case in 2010. There were 61 human West Nile cases last year in Illinois.

New Mexico 06/16/11 by Harold Oakes – Ruidoso Downs confirmed Thursday that a skunk euthanized June 10 was rabid.  “We want everyone to be aware that there is a confirmed case of rabies in the area,” Ruidoso Downs Po-lice Chief Doug Babcock said.  The rabid animal was reported last week and confirmed to be rabid earlier this week.
Virginia 06/16/11 A fox exposed two dogs in Suffolk to rabies. Health Department officials said it was confirmed Wednesday that the fox, found in the Pughsville Road area, was rabid. One dog was vaccinated against rabies and is just getting a booster shot; the other was not, so it will either go into isolation for 180 days or be euthanized, officials stated.


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