NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH developing new test to diagnose PRION diseases including CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ NEW JERSEY HORSE with EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS euthanized ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from IL, PA, & TX ~ RABIES reports from IOWA, & CANADA: ONTARIO ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending May 26, 2012.

Cow moose with calf. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Global 06/06/12 nih.gov: News Release – A test being developed by National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists to quickly and accurately diagnose fatal brain diseases performed better than existing tests in a recent study of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD). Prion diseases, also known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, are difficult to diagnose, untreatable, and ultimately fatal. Normally, prion protein molecules exist harmlessly in every mammal, but for reasons not fully understood, these molecules can develop abnormalities and gather in clusters. Scientists have associated the accumulation of these clusters with tissue damage that leaves microscopic sponge-like holes in the brain. Prion diseases include sCJD and variant CJD in people; scrapie in sheep; chronic wasting disease in deer, elk, and moose; and bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, in cattle. Because animals and people can be infected for years before clinical signs or symptoms appear, NIH scientists are developing a rapid and sensitive screening tool to detect prion diseases. Such a test would help prevent the spread of prion diseases among and between species. Of particular concern is the known transmission of variant CJD via blood transfusions. – For further details see http://www.niaid.nih.gov/topics/prion/Pages/diagnostics.aspx

New Jersey 06/06/12 nj.com: A 3-year-old horse from Burlington County was euthanized on May 27 after testing positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), a serious, mosquito-borne illness in horses. “It is very early in the season to see Eastern Equine Encephalitis so horse owners need to be vigilant in vaccinating their animals against diseases spread by mosquitoes,” said New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Douglas H. Fisher. “We hope this incident will raise awareness about the need to protect our official state animal from this and other harmful diseases, especially since June is the Month of the Horse in our state.” EEE is preventable by vaccination, and effective equine vaccines for EEE and West Nile Virus, another mosquito-borne disease, are available commercially, the Department of Agriculture said. – For complete article see http://www.nj.com/cumberland/index.ssf/2012/06/burlington_county_horse_with_e.html

Illinois 06/05/12 Shawneetown, Gallatin County: State public health officials reported the first West Nile Virus positive mosquito batch in Southern Illinois this year. – See http://www.dailyregister.com/news/x492302404/West-Nile-virus-positive-mosquitoes-found-in-Shawneetown

Pennsylvania 06/06/12 Lackawanna County: A mosquito has tested positive for West Nile Virus about two months earlier than the county has seen in previous years. – See http://theabingtonjournal.com/stories/West-Nile-virus-test-positive,159872

Texas 06/06/12 cbs19.tv: Mosquitoes have tested positive for the West Nile virus in three area counties, according to the Texas Health Department. They were found in Fort Bend, Brazoria and Montgomery counties. The infected mosquitoes in Montgomery County were found in The Woodlands. Spraying is already under way on storm drains and streets in the areas where they turned up. No details have been released yet on the location of positive tests in Fort Bend and Brazoria counties.

Iowa 06/05/12 Fort Madison, Lee County: A stray cat picked up last Friday in southern Lee County has tested positive for rabies.- http://www.dailygate.com/articles/2012/06/05/news/dgc2659561.txt

Canada:

Ontario 06/05/12 Perth, Lanark County: The Perth District Health Unit is looking for a dog involved in a biting incident at Bedford Public School last week. The dog is described as a brown-and-white spaniel with a red collar. A young couple was playing ball with the dog in the schoolyard at the time of the incident, which happened around 8 p.m. on May 31. The health Unit is trying to determine if the dog has up-to-date rabies shots. If the dog is not found, the person who was bitten may need to receive rabies shots. Anyone who has seen a dog fitting this description should contact the health unit at 271-7600, ext. 252 or after hours at 1-800-431-2054.

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending May 26, 2012:

Published June 1, 2012/ 61(21); ND-283-ND-296

Anaplasmosis . . . 9 . . . Florida, Maine (2), New York (2), Rhode Island (3), Vermont,

Babesiosis . . . 3 . . . New York (2), Rhode Island,

Brucellosis . . . 1 . . . Florida, 

Ehrlichiosis . . . 11 . . . Delaware, Florida, Missouri (5), New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee (2),

Giardiasis . . . 107 . . . Alaska (3), Arkansas, California (20), Florida (20), Iowa (4), Maryland (4), Michigan, Missouri (3), Montana (3), Nebraska (5), Nevada (3), New York (14), Ohio (5), Oregon (3), Pennsylvania (8), Washington (10),

HME/HGE Undetermined . . . 1 . . . Missouri, 

Lyme Disease . . .  124. . .  Delaware (2), Florida (6), Maryland (22), Missouri, Nebraska, New York (37), North Carolina (5), Oregon, Pennsylvania (31), Vermont (7), Virginia (10), Wyoming,

Rabies (Animal) . . . 36. . . Arkansas, Connecticut (3), Maine, Michigan (2), Missouri, New York (7), Texas (4), Vermont, Virginia (15), West Virginia,

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Confirmed) . . . 6. . . California, Florida, Missouri, Tennessee (3),

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 20 . . . Alabama (6), Arkansas, Delaware, Florida (4), Missouri (3), Tennessee (4), Texas,

Tularemia . . . 2 . . . Missouri.

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