FLORIDA woman bitten by BLACK BEAR ~ NEW YORK disease ecologist warns northeastern states to prepare for a surge in LYME DISEASE cases ~ RABIES reports from ARIZONA, CALIFORNIA, GEORGIA, & NEW JERSEY ~ CDC Reports: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending March 3, 2012.

Black Bear. Courtesy National Park Service.

Florida 03/16/12 news4jax.com: A woman walking her dog while taking out the trash was attacked by a bear at a Seminole County apartment complex, officials say. Terri Gurley, 57, was bitten on the rear end in the attack, which occurred at the Camden Club Apartments on Sabal Lake Drive in Longwood.  The area is close to the Wekiva River, near the edge of a state forest that was once bear habitat. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Gurley spotted the bear earlier in the evening, so she waited to take out the trash.  After she thought the bear had left, Gurley went outside with her dog, an Akita-German shepherd mix, the FWC said. Officials said Gurley then noticed the bear near a trash bin, and her dog confronted the animal.  Gurley tried to run away but fell and was bitten by the bear, which was with its cub, wildlife officials said.  Gurley told Local 6 that she rolled over facedown to protect herself after she fell. Gurley was taken to Florida Hospital Altamonte and was later released. The FWC said it will set traps for the bear, which could weigh up to 300 pounds.  The bear would be euthanized if it is captured, the FWC said.

White-footed Mouse.

Northeastern United States 03/16/12 sciencedaily.com: The northeastern U.S. should prepare for a surge in Lyme disease this spring. And we can blame fluctuations in acorns and mouse populations, not the mild winter. So reports Dr. Richard S. Ostfeld, a disease ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, NY. What do acorns have to do with illness? Acorn crops vary from year-to-year, with boom-and-bust cycles influencing the winter survival and breeding success of white-footed mice. These small mammals pack a one-two punch: they are preferred hosts for black-legged ticks and they are very effective at transmitting Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium that causes Lyme disease.

Dr. Richard Ostfeld

“We had a boom in acorns, followed by a boom in mice. And now, on the heels of one of the smallest acorn crops we’ve ever seen, the mouse population is crashing,” Ostfeld explains. Adding, “This spring, there will be a lot of Borrelia burgdorferi-infected black-legged ticks in our forests looking for a blood meal. And instead of finding a white-footed mouse, they are going to find other mammals — like us.” For more than two decades, Ostfeld, Cary Institute forest ecologist Dr. Charles D. Canham, and their research team have been investigating connections among acorn abundance, white-footed mice, black-legged ticks, and Lyme disease.

Black-legged Tick.

In 2010, acorn crops were the heaviest recorded at their Millbrook-based research site. And in 2011, mouse populations followed suit, peaking in the summer months. The scarcity of acorns in the fall of 2011 set up a perfect storm for human Lyme disease risk. – For complete article see http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120316094452.htm

Arizona 03/15/12 Parker, La Paz County: An aggressive fox captured off Shea Road on March 10 tested positive for rabies. Residents and campers are urged to be cautious. See http://www.parkerliveonline.com/2012/03/15/fox-tests-positive-for-rabies-animals-quarantined/

California 03/15/12 Davis, Yolo County: A 50-pound dog bit a 21-year-old UC Davis student at the Arboretum this past weekend. The Yolo County Sheriff’s Office is trying to locate that dog in hopes of preventing post exposure rabies treatment for the victim. They want your help. The female UC Davis student was bitten at the Arboretum on March 10 while trying to pet what she described as a “dark brown, male Terrier,” which was tied up at the time. Anyone having any information regarding this incident or knows who owns this animal, is asked to contact Yolo County Sheriff’s Department, Animal Services Section 24 hours a day at (530) 668-5287 or email animal.bite@yolocounty.org  .

Georgia 03/15/12 Hall County: Health officials have issued a rabies alert for the Winder Highway and JJ Lott Road area. Two dogs were exposed to a skunk that tested positive for the virus. Seehttp://www.gainesvilletimes.com/section/6/article/64743/

New Jersey 03/15/12 Randolph, Morris County: An apparently sick raccoon was captured by public works employees on March 6th.  The animal, which approached them as they repaired a portion of a hiking trail near Radtke Road, tested positive for rabies. See http://newjerseyhills.com/randolph_reporter/news/year-s-first-rabies-case-reported-in-randolph-health-officer/article_8a4cf638-6eb2-11e1-bec3-001871e3ce6c.html

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending March 3, 2012:

Published March 9, 2012/ 61(09); ND-114-ND-127

Anaplasmosis . . . 2 . . . New York, Rhode Island,

Ehrlichiosis . . . 5 . . . Florida (2), Georgia (2), Maryland,

Giardiasis . . . 113 . . . Alabama, Alaska, California (7), Delaware, Florida (15), Iowa (2), Maryland (4), Michigan (6), Missouri, Montana, Nebraska (3), New Hampshire, New York (25), Ohio (16), Oregon, Pennsylvania (8), Rhode Island (3), Virginia (4), Washington (9), Wisconsin (4),

Lyme Disease . . .  74. . . Delaware, Florida (2), Maryland (4), New Hampshire, New Jersey (26), New York (22), Pennsylvania (17), Vermont,

Rabies (Animal) . . . 36. . . Alabama (2), Arkansas (3), Connecticut (2), Florida (4), Kentucky, New Hampshire (3), New York (7), Pennsylvania (6), Texas (5), Vermont (3),

Spotted Fever (Confirmed) . . . 4. . . California, Georgia (3),

Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 7 . . . Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Virginia.

Tularemia . . . 1 . . . North Carolina.


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