MOUNTAIN LION reports from CALIFORNIA (2), MISSOURI, & UTAH ~ PENNSYLVANIA HORSE down with first WEST NILE VIRUS case this year ~ Home foreclosures creating nurseries for billions of MOSQUITOES worsening WEST NILE VIRUS and EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS threats ~ RABIES reports from CT(2), GA, KS, NY(2), PA, SC, VA, & WI ~ TRAVEL WARNINGS: Physicians say hospitals in DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO overwhelmed with MALARIA patients.

Mountain lion. Courtesy National Park Service.

California 04/24/12 Arcata, Humboldt County: Local police are warning residents of two mountain lion sightings reported this week in the vicinity of West End Road and Spear Avenue. – See http://www.times-standard.com/alerts/ci_20468684/mountain-lion-sightings-reported-arcata

California 04/24/12 Los Angeles, Los Angeles County: A state game warden shot and killed an 80-pound mountain lion that wandered into a neighborhood in Sunland. – See http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/04/rangers-kills-mountain-lion-in-sunland-neighborhood.html

Missouri 04/24/12 republican-times.com: Grundy County – The Missouri Department of Conservation has confirmed a mountain lion sighting in Grundy County. Mountain lions are rare in Missouri. This is the 29th confirmed sighting since the state began keeping records in 1994. Most are confirmed by DNA samples of hair, tracks, kill sites, or through other means. It is rare to have photographic evidence. Paul Korn of Tombstone Creek Outfitting based in Harrison, Grundy and Daviess counties discovered a photo of the big cat on one of his trail cameras. “I’ve been monitoring wildlife on several properties throughout North Central Missouri for nearly a decade,” Korn said. “Once in a while I’m shocked by a big deer I haven’t seen before. But a mountain lion? I never thought I would find a photo like that on my camera.” Trail cameras take a series of photos after a motion sensor is triggered by an animal moving in front of them. Korn operates over 40 cameras as part of his outfitting operation. He discovered the photo Friday, April 20. The MDC sent biologist Daryl Damron and Grundy County Conservation Agent Jeff Berti to the site on Monday to confirm the authenticity of the sighting. In 2011, 14 mountain lion sightings were confirmed. More than all previous years combined. This is the first confirmed sighting in Missouri since January of this year and the first ever in Grundy County. Most biologists believe mountain lions in Missouri are younger male cats pushed out of South Dakota by older males.

Utah 04/24/12 Orangeville, Emery County: Local Animal Control Officer Casey Toomer reported that he and his dogs recently treed a mountain lion near the Orangeville City bridge. State DNR officials later killed the animal. – See http://www.ecprogress.com/index.php?tier=1&article_id=12449

Pennsylvania 04/23/12 Northampton County: A mild winter has been pleasant for residents of the Mid-Atlantic region. It has also created a favorable environment for mosquitoes. With mosquitoes comes the potential to contract West Nile virus (WNV), a debilitating and potentially deadly disease. The first case of West Nile Virus this year was reported last week in a horse. – See http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=19916

National 04/24/12 wbir.com: by Tony Gonzalez – Homes abandoned to foreclosures have given rise to an unexpected side effect that will only get worse this summer: stagnant swimming pools and overgrown yards transforming into mosquito breeding grounds. This year, early-season heat and rain could combine with predictions of an uptick in foreclosures to create the “buggy summer” officials dread. Already, the weather likely has allowed for an additional generation of mosquitoes to take flight, said Metro Public Health Department managers. Metro’s pest control division – a team of two – checks known breeding areas in the winter to kill as many mosquito larvae as possible. It’s the best way to keep the population down and decrease the threat of West Nile virus, and it allows staffers to be ready to respond to called-in resident complaints, which rise along with temperatures, said Larry Cole, pest management director. Concerns about foreclosed homes put officials in a tricky situation. When calls come during the winter, officials try to track down property owners to ask that they be mindful of eliminating standing water. But it takes time to find owners. And, as Cole says, “those mosquitoes are not going to wait.” So if it’s already mosquito season, Metro acts as fast as possible, dropping larvicide bricks or grains into abandoned pools. “We’re going to larvicide because it’s a health issue,” Cole said.

On his rounds last week, pest control staffer John Pico responded to resident complaints across the eastern half of Davidson County. One of the pink slips of paper he held was a note about standing water in a pool on Jacksonian Drive in Hermitage. At the tree-shaded white ranch-style home, Pico looked over the back gate, eying the pool, unsure whether it held water. He knocked on the front door – no answer – and grabbed a pole from his truck. At its end hung a simple plastic cup to dip into the water to check for larvae. He slipped through the side gate, noting that he’d already whistled: “No dog came,” he said. Around back, Pico eyed the pool, which was full of scuzzy green water. From the dilapidated red wooden deck, he spotted another concern: a fish pond. The water there was a brighter green but hosted only a few mosquito larvae. Pico tossed in some larvicide and moved on to the next threat: a debris-covered hot tub. Before leaving, he’d also looked at water puddled on a camper trailer and inside a tire. – For complete article see http://www.wbir.com/news/article/217672/2/Foreclosures-can-make-mosquito-problem-worse

Connecticut 04/23/12 Stonington, New London County: Police have confirmed that a fox that bit a young child and a teenager in Pawcatuck on Friday has tested positive for rabies. The incidents occurred about four hours apart on Pawcatuck Avenue and Shea Drive. Both victims are receiving post-exposure rabies treatment. – See http://www.theday.com/article/20120423/NWS01/120429855/1047/nws

Connecticut 04/23/12 Waterford, New London County: A raccoon found off Avery Lane, near the town library and Civic Triangle Park, has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.theday.com/article/20120423/NWS01/120429901/-1/NWS

Georgia 04/23/12 North Hall County: Health officials have issued a rabies alert after a raccoon that came in contact with two dogs in the area of Joe Chandler Road tested positive for rabies. This is the county’s eleventh case of animal rabies so far this year. – See http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/section/6/article/66545/

Kansas 04/23/12 Dodge City, Ford County: A skunk that was reported to be acting strangely is the third skunk found in the city that has tested positive for rabies this year. – See http://www.kwch.com/kwch-dodge-city-worried-about-rabies-cases-20120423,0,7118205.story

New York 04/23/12 Middlefield, Otsego County: A raccoon that attacked a dog and bit a person last week has tested positive for rabies. This is the fourth case of animal rabies confirmed in the county this year. – See http://www.wktv.com/news/local/Raccoon-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-Middlefield-148525255.html

New York 04/23/12 Vienna, Oneida County: A raccoon that attacked a group of children playing outside their home has tested positive for rabies. One of the children is receiving post-exposure rabies treatment. This is the fourth case of animal rabies confirmed in the county this year. – See http://www.wktv.com/news/health/April-sees-two-more-rabies-cases-in-Oneida-County-148528915.html

Pennsylvania 04/23/12 Hatboro, Montgomery County: A skunk found in the 600 block vicinity of S. York Road has tested positive for rabies. – See http://uppermoreland.patch.com/articles/township-alerts-residents-on-recent-rabies-concern

South Carolina 04/23/12 Hilton Head, Beaufort County: A fox that attacked an elderly woman on a nature trail this past weekend has been caught and is being tested for rabies, though it’s assumed the animal is infected with the virus. The woman was bitten on her right leg and both hands. The incident occurred on the trail running from Col. Thomas Heyward Road to Sun City Boulevard, which was temporarily closed but has since been reopened. – See http://www.islandpacket.com/2012/04/23/2046596/fox-bites-woman-on-sun-city-nature.html

Virginia 04/23/12 Climax, Pittsylvania County: by Tara Bozick – A calf in the Climax area of Pittsylvania County tested positive for rabies April 17, making it the seventh confirmed case in Pittsylvania County this year, according to the county health department. Humans were exposed to the rabid calf and are receiving treatment, according to a news release. It’s possible the calf came in contact with other neighborhood animals like dogs, cats and horses. Other details have not been released because of health privacy regulations. Earlier this year, four raccoons and two skunks in Pittsylvania County tested positive for the deadly disease caused by a virus living in saliva and brain and nerve tissue of the animals, according to the health department. Rabies is transmitted through scratches, bites and open wounds. While rabies is found more commonly in raccoons and skunks, about eight to 10 cows and one to two horses are confirmed with rabies in Virginia every year. So far this year, seven cows and one horse were confirmed rabid statewide, according to Virginia Department of Health data. Last year, the state had 10 cows, two horses and one sheep confirmed rabid. The data may not include all rabies cases, as some may not be reported, said Robert Parker, spokesman for the state health department. – For complete article see http://www2.godanriver.com/news/2012/apr/23/rabid-calf-found-pittsylvania-countys-climax-commu-ar-1862491/

Wisconsin 04/22/12 Wausau, Marathon County: The Marathon County Health Department is searching for a dog that bit a woman at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday near the intersection of Third and Garfield avenues. The dog has been described as a pit bull, possibly with white legs and a brown or brindle body. The dog was walking on a leash with a white man, about 5 feet 11 inches tall, wearing a hooded sweatshirt. Health officials are asking the owner of the dog, or anyone knowing the owner, to call the Health Department at 715-261-1908, Marathon County Dispatch at 715-849-7785 or the Humane Society at 715-845-2810. Officials want to verify the dog’s vaccination status, which could prevent the woman from having to go through a series of rabies shots.

Travel Warnings:

Democratic Republic of Congo 04/25/12 allafrica.com: A massive increase in malaria cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is overwhelming existing treatment capacity, demanding a comprehensive and stepped-up response, the international medical humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today.

MSF’s health centres and hospitals have observed a marked increase in malaria cases, including in its severe form. In six provinces (half of the vast country), the number of people treated for malaria in MSF projects has increased 250 percent since 2009, with the rise even more sharp in recent months. The increase is particularly alarming due to the high number of severe malaria patients requiring hospitalization and urgent blood transfusions due to malaria-induced anaemia. In the face of such a high burden of this disease, MSF is unable to respond in all affected areas, the organization announced. – For complete article see http://allafrica.com/stories/201204241485.html

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