WYOMING family hike interrupted by aggressive MOUNTAIN LION ~ New DENGUE diagnostic developed by CDC approved for use in U.S. ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA, IL, OH, PA, & TX ~ RABIES reports from CO (2), GA, NY, & VA ~ CANADA: Spreading BLACKLEGGED TICK population promises surge in LYME DISEASE.

Mountain Lion. Photo by Malcolm. Wikimedia Commons.

Wyoming 06/21/12 powelltribune.com: by Gib Mathers – Ron Vining didn’t think he would use the walking sticks he got for Father’s Day to protect his children and himself, but that’s what he did when he faced a mountin lion later that day. Vining, of Powell, was hiking up Dead Indian Creek in Sunlight Basin Sunday with his wife, Leann, daughter and son-in-law, Alisa and Ryan Dempsey, and grandchildren Payton, Kensi, and Kanin, when a mountain lion crashed the party.  They were about one and a half hours up the trail across Wyo. 296 (Chief Joseph Highway) and Dead Indian campground when Payton, 5, wanted to climb a boulder the approximate size of a minivan. Payton was packing a BB gun he set aside for his ascent, Vining said. As Payton began his climb, a mountain lion came out from the backside of the rock, Vining said.

Vining spotted the male lion when it was about 6 feet away. “I saw the lion getting ready to lunge at me,” he said. He grabbed for his .45 caliber revolver, but the tie down holding the handgun in the holster wouldn’t come loose. He did not have bear spray, Vining said. Ryan was up the trail 40 or 50 yards and out of sight. Vining called for help, he said. He had his Father’s Day gift: a set of walking sticks similar to ski poles. “It was the first time I ever used these sticks. I swung at this lunging lion and hit it across the face and it was enough to back him off,” Vining said. Fighting back was an instinctual reaction. “I’m going to do whatever I can to protect my family,” Vining said. Although the lion withdrew 6 or 8 feet, he was poised to pounce again. But this time Vining had enough time to free his weapon and fire. Although he couldn’t see exactly where the bullet struck, Vining is sure he hit the lion, he said. The lion retreated, but in the direction of Alisa, who was carrying 4-month-old Kanin, and Ryan, packing Kensi, 2 1/2. Kanin slept throughout the encounter, Vining said. Ryan ran down the trail to Vining’s aid, he said. When the lion saw the other people dashing down the trail, it fled. Ryan took a couple shots, but missed, Vining said. – For complete article see http://www.powelltribune.com/news/item/9804-hikers-clash-with-mountain-lion

Global 06/20/12 cdc.gov: News Release – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a new diagnostic test to detect the presence of dengue virus in people with symptoms of dengue fever or dengue hemorrhagic fever. The test, called the CDC DENV-1-4 Real Time RT PCR Assay, has been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for use in the United States and can be performed using equipment and supplies many public health laboratories already use to diagnose influenza. The new test will help diagnose dengue within the first seven days after symptoms of the illness appear, which is when most people are likely to see a health care professional and the dengue virus is likely to be present in their blood. The test can identify all four dengue virus types.

This is the first FDA-approved molecular test for dengue that detects evidence of the virus itself. The other available FDA-approved test detects a certain type of antibody (immunoglobin M (IgM) class antibodies) to dengue virus.  Most patients begin to develop these antibodies four days after they become ill.  However, because not everyone develops these antibodies until seven days after they get sick, the antibody test might not recognize dengue early in a patient’s illness.

Dr. Jorge Muñoz-Jordán, Chief, Molecular Virology Laboratory, CDC, Dengue Brach, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“The need for the new dengue diagnostic test was high,” said Jorge L. Munoz-Jordan, Ph.D., chief of the Molecular Diagnostics and Research at the CDC Dengue Branch. “Patients will be diagnosed sooner than before, and public health laboratories will have a clearer picture of the true number of dengue cases.  Dengue is now a reportable disease in the United States, and the availability of state-of-the-art dengue diagnostics will improve patient management and the public health response to dengue.” – For complete news release see http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2012/p0620_dengue_test.html

WEST NILE VIRUS:

American Robin.

California 06/20/12 South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County: Two American Robins found June 6th in the Tahoe Keys area have tested positive for West Nile Virus. – See http://www.tahoedailytribune.com/article/20120620/ARCHIVES01/120629995/1001&parentprofile=1056

Illinois 06/21/12 Bolingbrook, Will County: Health officials have confirmed that they have collected mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile Virus. They are the first in the county this year. – See http://bolingbrook.patch.com/articles/bolingbrook-mosquito-sample-found-to-have-west-nile-virus

Ohio 06/20/12 Franklin County: Mosquitoes collected in Clinton, Urbancrest, and Reynoldsburg have tested positive for West Nile Virus. – See http://www2.nbc4i.com/lifestyles/2012/jun/20/west-nile-virus-confirmed-3-franklin-county-mosqui-ar-1077672/

Pennsylvania 06/21/12 West Chester, Chester County: Health officials confirm that mosquitoes found in the borough have tested positive for West Nile Virus. – See http://westchester.patch.com/articles/west-nile-found-in-borough-mosquitoes

Texas 06/20/12 Richardson, Dallas County: Health officials confirm a person in Richardson has become the first human case of West Nile Virus in the county this year. – See http://www.wfaa.com/news/local/Dallas-County-confirms-first-human-case-of-West-Nile-this-year-159750645.html

RABIES:

Colorado 06/20/12 Bent County: Health officials have confirmed a case of rabies in a cow and four individuals are now being treated due to exposure. It is believed the cow was probably exposed through contact with a rabid skunk. – See http://www.bcdemocratonline.com/news/x2072207789/Rabies-confirmed-in-cow-from-Bent-County

Colorado 06/20/12 Superior, Boulder County: A bat discovered in a bush in a woman’s front yard has tested positive for rabies. The incident occurred in the 900 block of E. Roggen Way on June 16th. – See http://www.dailycamera.com/news/ci_20900952/bat-found-superior-tested-positive-rabies

Georgia 06/20/12 Dalton, Whitfield County: A horse that was usually pastured adjacent to the Dalton Municipal Airport has tested positive for rabies. Six people are being treated after being exposed to the virus. The horse began showing symptoms of the disease on June 9th, but wasn’t diagnosed but wasn’t diagnosed with rabies until it was taken to the University of Georgia a week later. – See http://www.wrcbtv.com/story/18837121/six-being-treated-after-exposure-to-rabid-horse

New Hampshire 06/20/12 Pelham, Hillsborough County: A raccoon captured in the vicinity of Township Road after an altercation with a dog has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.unionleader.com/article/20120620/NEWS07/706219954

Virginia 06/20/12 Pittsylvania County: A raccoon found in the vicinity of Catawba Drive has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wpcva.com/news/article_c6eae9ca-bae2-11e1-9a32-001a4bcf887a.html

CANADA:

Blacklegged Tick (aka Deer Tick)

National 06/20/12 ctv.ca: Dr. Robbin Lindsay, a research scientist with the Public Health Agency of Canada who specializes in zoonotic diseases, says the populations of the blacklegged ticks that carry Lyme disease (sometimes called the deer tick) are growing. “I myself have been studying these ticks for over 20 years and we have seen a tremendous change in the range and expansion of these ticks,” he tells CTV News from Winnipeg’s National Microbiology Laboratory. He says when he started his PhD in 1989, there was only one known population of blacklegged ticks and that was in southern Ontario. Now, there are established population sin southeastern Quebec, southern and eastern Ontario, southeastern Manitoba and parts of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. “We have been tracking the expansion of this tick and it is quite dramatic,” Lindsay says. Many of these ticks carry the nasty bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi that can cause Lyme disease.

Dr. Robbin Lindsay.

Lindsay says it appears that while ticks are spreading, the prevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi is still low. In some areas of Canada between 10 and 50 per cent of blacklegged ticks are now carrying Lyme bacteria. “So the risk of Lyme disease is reasonably low right now. But as the ticks get more established, the infection rate will go up,” says Lindsay. He says that there are currently only about 150 cases confirmed each year in Canada, but “that is going to change.” – For complete article see http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/Health/20120619/lymedisease-tick-season-120619/

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