UTAH confirms two fatal cases of HANTAVIRUS ~ SOUTH DAKOTA’s Pine Ridge Reservation officials report a second (unconfirmed) case of HANTAVIRUS ~ TEXAS collects WEST NILE VIRUS infected MOSQUITOES ~ COLORADO officers kill a MOUNTAIN LION preying on PETS and LIVESTOCK ~ IOWA jogger reports MOUNTAIN LION stalking her ~ RABIES reports from ID, PA, VA, & WY.

Deer mouse. Courtesy Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

Utah 06/05/12 sltrib.com: by Kirsten Stewart – Two Utahns died last month from hantavirus, the first confirmed cases of the year and first fatalities from the virus since 2009, say health officials. “We usually have about one case a year. Sometimes they survive and sometimes they don’t,” said JoDee Baker, an epidemiologist at the Utah Department of Health. “But to have two fatalities so early in the season was why we wanted to get the word out.” Officials will not release the names of the deceased. Both were adults between the ages of 20 and 65. One lived in Millard County and the other in Salt Lake County, but it’s unclear where they were infected. “We know they had rodent exposure,” because that’s how the virus is spread, she said.”We just don’t know where. We’re still investigating.” Summer is peak season for hantavirus, which is carried predominantly by deer mice in North America. People are usually exposed by breathing contaminated dust after disturbing or cleaning rodent dropping or nests or by living or working in rodent-infested environments. Exposure is more common in rural areas, but the Salt Lake County victim isn’t believed to have traveled throughout the state and could have been infected within county lines, Baker said. – For complete article see http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/54245009-78/hantavirus-bleach-cleaning-disease.html.csp
South Dakota 06/05/12 necn.com: While many Oglala Sioux residents living on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation had heard about an outbreak of hantavirus in the Navajo Nation in 1993, they weren’t worried about the disease spread by rodents until a 7-year-old member of their tribe died last week. Tribal officials said late Monday night a second case has developed, and they are working with several agencies to pass out hundreds of cleaning kits that include gloves, masks and bleach to help prevent further spread of the disease. Rodents shed the virus in their urine, waste and saliva, and it can become airborne in particles of dust. The Navajo outbreak, in which several otherwise healthy young people died after suffering acute respiratory failure, led to the discovery of hantavirus. But it was hundreds of miles away and nearly two decades ago. Pine Ridge didn’t need to worry about that, residents thought. “Until it hit us … it was something we couldn’t even imagine,” tribal spokeswoman Donna Salomon said. Health officials confirmed last week that 7-year-old Maria White Butterfly had died from the disease. Tribal officials say another child is currently hospitalized with a second case, although an official with the South Dakota Department of Health says it is still investigating and hasn’t confirmed the infection. – For complete article see http://www.necn.com/06/05/12/2nd-hantavirus-case-confirmed-on-Pine-Ri/landing_health.html?&apID=c599357e5765426bac0e6b8663a86b5b

Texas 06/05/12 The Woodlands, Montgomery County: State health officials have confirmed that a sample of mosquitoes has tested positive for West Nile Virus. – See http://fatcatwebproductions.com/the_paper/content/west-nile-virus-confirmed-take-precautions

Colorado 06/04/12 durangoherald.com: by Dale Rodebaugh – Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers have put down a young mountain lion that killed three goats south of Mancos overnight Thursday. The attack occurred in a rural subdivision about 1½ miles south of Mancos where the goats were raised as pets or 4-H animals, agency spokesman Joe Lewandowski said Monday. “The predator, we think, was a 2-year-old male probably just chased off by the mother,” Lewandowski said. “The young tend to hang around until they’re 18 months to 2 years old.” One of the dead goats was placed in a trap as a lure, Lewandowski said. Lions return to a kill to feed again, he said. The lion was put down with an injection on Saturday, he said. Wildlife officers are confident it’s the same lion because they tend to be territorial, and two calves were killed by a lion on a neighboring farm a month ago. “We live in mountain-lion country,” Lewandowski said. “People with pets such as goats should protect them with dogs or keep them in an enclosure – a shed or barn – or behind an electric fence.” The three goats killed were behind a fence but a very low one, Lewandowski said. – For comments see http://durangoherald.com/article/20120605/NEWS01/706059930/Officers-euthanize-young-mountain-lion

Iowa 06/05/12 radioiowa.com: by Scott Van Aartsen – There’s been another possible mountain lion sighting in Iowa. This time, the animal reportedly followed a woman who was jogging near railroad tracks. It happened near Sibley in northwest Iowa. Osceola County Deputy Seth Hoffman says the sighting was reported around 9:40 a.m. Monday. The woman said the animal followed her for a while before entering a ravine near a creek. Deputy Hoffman responded and said he didn’t see anything the first time, but went out again with Sheriff Doug Weber and a couple of hunters with coon dogs. Hoffman says they did find what they believe to be mountain lion tracks.  The group took several pictures for D.N.R. officials who may be able to confirm the tracks are those of a mountain lion. Hoffman says he has heard several reports of local sightings of mountain lions. But at this time, he doesn’t feel it poses an immediate threat, as mountain lions generally run away once they sense humans are near them.

Idaho 06/04/12 Boise, Ada County: A bat found on the sidewalk near Madison and 28th streets on June 2nd has tested positive for rabies. Anyone who came in contact with the animal, or knows their pet did, should seek immediate medical advice. – See http://www.idahostatesman.com/2012/06/04/2142789/bat-found-in-north-boise-tests.html

Pennsylvania 06/05/12 Upper Merion, Montgomery County: A bat that scratched an adult and bit a teenager at the Upper Merion Swim and Tennis Club on May 29th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/the_intelligencer_news/montco-reports-rabid-bat/article_1fb0cc15-e05b-5520-adba-21901588a191.html

 Virginia 06/04/12 Hampton: A raccoon that attacked a dog and was later captured in the Fordham area has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.dailypress.com/news/breaking/dp-rabies-case-hampton-20120604,0,2744509.story

Wyoming 06/04/12 Cheyenne, Laramie County: Three skunks found near Pine Bluffs, as well as one skunk and a stray cat found a yard over the Nebraska state line, have all tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.kgwn.tv/story/18700569/rabid-skunks-cat-found-in-se-wyoming

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