CALIFORNIA scientists now know L.A.’S Griffith Park has a resident MOUNTAIN LION ~ CALIFORNIA’s Long Beach residents warned of increase in FLEA-borne TYPHUS cases ~ MAINE issues health advisory due to increase in TICK-borne ANAPLASMOSIS ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS and/or WEST NILE VIRUS reports from FL, ID, IL, MA, NJ, NY, NC, OK, PA, RI, & SD ~ RABIES reports from CT, MD, NE, NJ, & NC.

Mountain lion. Courtesy U.S. Army.

California 08/14/12 latimes.com: For the first time, scientists have evidence of a mountain lion inhabiting Griffith Park. His name is P-22. That’s P, as in puma. “We never had any definitive proof of a mountain lion living in Griffith Park,” said Jeff Sikich, a National Park Service biologist. “We believe this is pretty significant, that it’s surrounded by such intense urbanization.” . . . Sometime after P-22 entered the park, he triggered a remote camera set up for a general wildlife survey. Photo in hand, Sikich set out to catch him. He installed three humane traps in the area. He also set up a camera at each trap, rigged to send any images to his cellphone if triggered. Nine days later, at 2 a.m., his cellphone rang. He and other scientists raced to the site, a Department of Water and Power property just west of the park. Sikich used a blowpipe to administer a sedative. The team spent about an hour gathering samples and taking measurements. Most important, they attached a collar with both GPS and very high frequency radio signal technology so they could track where and when the lion made his kills. They woke the animal and released him. The GPS function went dead, however, leaving the researchers with only radio telemetry to generally track the feline’s peregrinations. In recent weeks, Sikich has used radio frequencies to attempt to zero in on the lion’s whereabouts so he can recapture him and apply a new collar. So far, the beast has eluded him by ranging throughout the park’s wild lands and over the ridge toward Forest Lawn Memorial-Park. – For complete article see http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/08/photos-first-proof-of-mountain-lion-living-in-griffith-park-1.html

Norway rat. Courtesy of CDC.

California 08/13/12 presstelegram.com: The number of flea-borne typhus cases are up over last year, and local health officials are warning residents to take precautions. So far this year, 11 cases of the illness have been reported to the Long Beach Health Department, compared to nine for all of last year. The flea-borne typhus – known as murine typhus – is a disease spread by fleas living on rats and mice, opossums, cats and raccoons, health officials explained. People get the disease through the bites of infected fleas, adding that it isn’t spread from person to person. – See http://www.presstelegram.com/news/ci_21305093/long-beach-health-officials-warn-flea-borne-typhus

Deer tick. Courtesy CDC.

Maine 08/09/12 Maine CDC: Health Advisory – Anaplasmosis is a bacterial infection that is carried by Ixodes scapularis (the deer tick), which is the same tick that also carries Lyme disease.  Anaplasmosis is an emerging infection in Maine, and as of August 8, 2012, 38 cases have been reported to Maine CDC from 8 counties (Androscoggin, Cumberland, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Somerset and York).  During 2011, a total of 26 cases were reported. – For more information go to http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/newhan.shtml

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) & West Nile Virus (WNV):

Florida 08/14/12 Walton County: Sentinel chickens have tested positive for EEE and WNV.  The risk of transmission to humans has increased. – See http://www.waltonsun.com/news/mosquito-9514-county-walton.html

Idaho 08/14/12 Owyhee County: Health officials say mosquitoes collected in the Bruneau area have tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/14/4724115/owyhee-latest-id-county-to-find.html

Illinois 08/13/12 Winnebago County: Mosquitoes test positive for WNV at two Rockford area parks.  One pool of mosquitoes was at Alpine Park on Rockford’s southeast side, the other is at Legends in Roscoe. – See http://mystateline.com/fulltext-news?nxd_id=348392

Massachusetts 08/13/12 Peabody, Essex County: Mosquitoes collected last week have tested positive for WNV. Plans for pesticide spraying are being posted on the city’s website. – See http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/peabody/2012/08/mosquitos_in_peabody_test_posi.html

New Jersey 08/14/12 Salem County: An 11-year-old quarter horse mare has tested positive for WNV, the first case in the state this year. The animal began showing signs of illness on Aug. 4 and was subsequently euthanized. – See http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=20480

New York 08/14/12 Brooklyn, Kings County: Health officials have confirmed that WNV was found on Aug. 3 in Windsor Terrace, as well as Dyker Heights, Greenwood Heights and Starrett City. – See http://windsorterrace.patch.com/articles/west-nile-virus-detected-in-windsor-terrace

North Carolina 08/14/12 Wayne County: Health officials say a resident has become the state’s first WNV-related death so far this year. – See http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/14/4723742/wayne-county-man-dies-from-west.html

Oklahoma 08/14/12 Oklahoma County: Health officials have reported the first WNV-related death in the state since 2009 and issued a public health warning, saying they are concerned the potentially deadly disease will reach record numbers. The victim is described only as an adult over the age of 75, according to Dr. Kristy Bradley, state epidemiologist at the Oklahoma State Department of Health. There are 55 confirmed WNV human cases in Oklahoma so far in 2012. – See http://www.necn.com/08/14/12/1st-West-Nile-Virus-death-reported-in-Ok/landing_scitech.html?&apID=1bd6edf19b564c7782e7b62030f93c27

Pennsylvania 08/13/12 Delaware County: The Department of Environmental Protection confirmed human cases of WNV in two men on Monday. This comes only five days after the Department of Health reported WNV human cases in Lancaster and Franklin counties. Doctors and officials say there is an unprecedented level of mosquitoes carrying the virus this year. – See http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/West-Nile-Virus-Confirmed-in-2-Delco-Men–166058186.html

Rhode Island 08/14/12 Tiverton, Newport County: A mosquito trapped in the central part of the city has tested positive for EEE. It is the first positive EEE mosquito sample found in the state this year. – See http://www.wpri.com/dpp/news/local_news/east_bay/eee-found-in-mosquito-in-tiverton

South Dakota 08/14/12 doh.sd.gov: Update – Since last Friday 10 human cases have been added to the WNV report, bringing the season total to 41 WNV cases. In addition 15 viremic blood donors, 3 WNV horse cases, 1 bird and 56 positive mosquitoes have also been reported. WNV has been detected in 25 of South Dakota’s 66 counties. – See http://doh.sd.gov/WestNile/PDF/WNVupdate8-14.pdf

Rabies:

Connecticut 08/14/12 Groton, New London County: A raccoon from the area of Noank Ledyard Road has tested positive for rabies, the Ledge Light Health District said in a public health alert today. – See http://groton.patch.com/articles/rabid-raccoon-found-in-groton

Maryland 08/13/12 California, St. Mary’s County: A feral kitten picked up from Bayside Way has tested positive for rabies. Officials say four other kittens and a mother cat related to the rabid kitten are considered to be potentially rabid. They have not been found yet. – See http://www.wusa9.com/news/article/216570/158/Stray-Kitten-Tests-Positive-For-Rabies-In-Md

Nebraska 08/14/12 Chadron, Dawes County: A cat submitted by an animal care clinic, and a skunk found east of the city, have both tested positive for rabies. – See http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/local/communities/chadron/rabies-cases-confirmed-here/article_5de4afa6-e661-11e1-8280-0019bb2963f4.html

New Jersey 08/14/12 Piscataway, Middlesex County:  A bat that was captured after it flew into a home near Pleasant Avenue and West 4th Street has tested positive for rabies. It is the fifth such inflected animal found in the county this year. – See http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2012/08/rabid_bat_invades_piscataway_h.html

North Carolina 08/14/12 Fayetteville, Cumberland County: A dead bat found in the 300 block of Palomar Street has tested positive for rabies. – See http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/local&id=8773369

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