NORTH DAKOTA confirms third DEER with CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE and three COWS with EPIZOOTIC HEMORRHAGIC DISEASE ~ IOWA reports three novel SWINE FLU (H3N2) cases demonstrating HUMAN-TO-HUMAN spread component ~ NEBRASKA and SOUTH DAKOTA report MOUNTAIN LION incidents ~ RABIES report from NEW JERSEY.

Mule deer. Courtesy U.S. Geological Survey.

Morton County

North Dakota 11/22/11 bismarcktribune.com: by Brian Gehring – A third deer harvested in southwest North Dakota has tested positive for chronic wasting disease and another disease associated with deer has been found in three head of cattle in Morton and Grant counties. The deer was a mule deer doe that was shot on the opening weekend of the season in Unit 3F2, the same unit CWD was found in 2009 and 2010. The North Dakota Department of Agriculture said Tuesday epizootic hemorrhagic disease, EHD, has been confirmed in three cows. An EHD outbreak this fall resulted in a significant die-off in white-tailed deer in the western part of the state. Susan Keller, state veterinarian, said infected cattle usually recover from the viral disease that is spread by biting midges, but she urged producers to be aware of the symptoms. Infected cattle can have sore mouths and appear to be lame, Keller said. She emphasized the disease poses no threat to human health.

Dan Grove, veterinarian for the North Dakota Game and Fish Department, said the deer killed the opening weekend and the deer killed in 2009 and 2010 were harvested within 15 miles of each other. “According to the hunter, the animal (shot opening weekend) looked healthy,” Grove said. “It showed no visible signs of having any health issues.” Game and Fish officials have monitored for CWD in 3F2 for the past couple years as well as rotating surveillance to cover the entire state every three years.

Grant County

Deer were collected from units in the central third of the state this year. CWD affects the nervous system of members of the deer family and is always fatal. No evidence has been found that it can be transmitted naturally to humans or livestock.

Webster County

Iowa 11/22/11 umn.edu: by Lisa Schnirring – Health officials in Iowa announced today they have identified novel swine influenza A/H3N2 infections in three children, similar to cases that have been identified over the past months in a handful of other states. The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) said in a statement that routine surveillance turned up the novel virus in Webster and Hamilton counties.

Hamilton County

The virus is a swine-origin triple-recombinant H3N2 that includes the matrix gene from the 2009 H1N1 virus. Though patients in other states had animal exposure, or a contact who had animal exposure, Iowa’s recombinant H3N2 cases appear to have a human-to-human spread component, according to the statement. The IDPH said spread is so far limited, and no other cases have been identified in the past week. Symptoms are similar to seasonal flu and include fever, cough, tiredness, body aches, and loss of appetite, according to the IDPH. None of the patients were seriously ill, and all have recovered.

Dr Patricia Quinlisk, IDPH medical director, said in the statement that the seasonal flu vaccine may offer some protection against the novel strain, and she stressed the importance of personal protective measures such as covering coughs and sneezes and staying home when sick. Because the virus is unique, the IDPH said it is increasing surveillance for it through clinics and emergency rooms. The cases appear to push the nation’s total to 10 triple-recombinant H3N2 cases since September. On Nov 4 the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said it confirmed the sixth and seventh cases, in patients in Maine and Indiana. Cases have also been detected in Pennsylvania. Though rare, the swine-origin flu infections in humans can occur, especially after close contact with swine. The CDC, however, has said that it doesn’t expect the seasonal flu vaccine to protect against the novel strain. Swine-origin viruses have shown sensitivity to antiviral drugs oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza), it said.

Nebraska 11/22/11 Seward, Seward County: Local authorities urge residents and Concordia University students to take “guarded caution” after unconfirmed mountain lion sighting. See http://www.omaha.com/article/20111121/NEWS01/711229943

South Dakota 11/22/11 Vale, Butte County: A mountain lion that refused to leave a resident’s backyard even when approached by a game warden was shot because its behavior wasn’t normal and its body is now being tested for disease. See http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/mountain-lion-pays-close-up-visit-to-sturgis-family/article_dbb2b86e-14b2-11e1-80c5-001cc4c002e0.html

New Jersey 11/21/11 Commercial Township, Cumberland County: A skunk that attacked a pet dog and cat and several stray cats has tested positive for rabies. See http://www.nj.com/cumberland/index.ssf/2011/11/cumberland_county_reports_seco.html

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