ALASKAN infected with TRICHINOSIS after eating BLACK BEAR meat ~ CANADA: MANITOBAN dies of HANTAVIRUS ~ MOUNTAIN LION reports from ID, & MO ~ COYOTE report from ILLINOIS ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA, FL, & TX.

Black bear. Photo by Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Alaska 10/25/12 adn.com: by Michelle Theriault Boots – The black bear meat tasted delicious. Sean Sullivan didn’t know it would give him trichinosis. “Like the best steak you’ve ever had,” said the 32-year-old oil platform worker from Nikiski. It was early summer and Sullivan was at his remote cabin east of McGrath. There were a lot of black bears in the area, he said. One day Sullivan was heading back to the cabin to sharpen a chain saw when he saw a bear trying to break in. “I noticed a big black fuzzy thing halfway through the door,” he said. Sullivan pulled out a pistol and shot the six-foot tall bear. (He says he reported the killing to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.) Later he and a friend skinned the animal and stored the meat in freezer bags in the river to keep it cold. For dinner he cooked some of the meat in a skillet with butter, pepper and garlic salt. He ate the bear with peas and rice, sitting on the porch of a cabin with a view of the nearby Trimokish Hills.

Bear steak.

Looking back, Sullivan says the meat seemed to be cooked to “something a little more than medium rare.” “It obviously wasn’t enough,” he said. That became clear six weeks later, when he started noticing uncharacteristic soreness in his legs and back. Next came an upset stomach, flu-like symptoms and a high fever. He became sensitive to sound. His eyes hurt. Then his wife found him in the bathtub in the middle of the night in the midst of a fever hallucination about snowmachine repair. “I kept saying, ‘I’m trying to figure this out, I almost got it figured out,'” he says. His wife had already figured out that it was time for Sullivan to get to a hospital.

At first, doctors thought he might have meningitis. But then they started down a “strange line of questioning,” he remembers: Had he gone hunting recently? Had he shot any bears? Had he eaten them? A diagnosis soon followed: Trichinosis. It’s caused by eating raw or undercooked meat infected with the larvae of a worm called Trichinella, which reproduces and eventually travels through arteries to become cysts in muscle tissue. The disease, most associated with pork, can cause a litany of symptoms from aching joints to swelling of the face and eyes and in serious cases can be fatal. Worldwide, about 10,000 cases of trichinosis are recorded each year. In the United States, the number has dropped from 400 per year on average in the 1940s to 20 or fewer today, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That drop can be attributed to better sanitary practices in the pork industry and improved public awareness of the risks of eating raw or undercooked meat, the CDC says. – For complete article see http://www.adn.com/2012/10/25/2672252/dinner-of-black-bear-leads-to.html

Hantavirus:

Canada:

Deer mouse. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Manitoba 10/26/12 winnipegsun.com: by Joyanne Pursaga – A Manitoban has died from complications of hantavirus infection for the first time in 12 years. The province says the middle-aged Winnipeg man was otherwise healthy when he passed away last week. His is the first such death in Manitoba since 2000. The virus is found in the urine, feces and saliva of infected deer mice. Manitoba Health is warning people about the rare but highly fatal air-borne hantavirus. – For complete article see http://www.winnipegsun.com/2012/10/26/winnipeg-man-dies-of-hantavirus

Mountain Lion Sightings:

Idaho 10/26/12 Ada County: Wildlife officials plan to set mountain lion traps on Saturday along the Boise River between the Glenwood Bridge and Eagle Road. More than 10 mountain lion sightings have been reported in the vicinity in the last three weeks ranging from Eagle, to Garden City, to east Boise. Last week, a dog was attacked. Officials say, while the traps are set, people out on the Greenbelt should keep pets on a leash. – See http://www.ktvb.com/news/Search-for-mountain-lion-ramps-up-around-Boise-175958521.html

Missouri 10/26/12 Reynolds County: Officials have confirmed a photo of a mountain lion taken by a trail camera on October 10th in the Current River Conservation Area about five miles south of Ellington. – See http://www.therolladailynews.com/article/20121026/NEWS/121029229/-1/entertainment%20life

Coyote Attacks:

Illinois 10/26/12 DuPage County: City officials confirm there have been 20 reports of coyote sightings in Wheaton as of October 10th, and there were 22 similar reports last month. A new interactive map has been published that allows residents to report exactly where they’ve seen coyotes. – See http://wheaton.patch.com/articles/coyotes-report-your-sightings-here

West Nile Virus (WNV):

California 10/26/12 Marin County: Mosquito and vector control officials have confirmed that five more WNV infected birds have tested positive in the communities of San Rafael, Novato, Ross, Corte Madera, and Greenbrae. – See http://millvalley.patch.com/articles/wnv-infected-bird-found-in-san-rafael

Florida 10/25/12 Suwannee County: Health officials advise there has been increased mosquito-borne disease activity in some areas of the county and two horses have tested positive for WNV. – See http://suwanneedemocrat.com/local/x699464220/Two-horses-test-positive-for-West-Nile-Virus-in-Suwannee-County

Texas 10/26/12 Hidalgo County: Health officials have confirmed that another horse has tested positive for WNV in the city of Edinburg bringing the total number of WNV cases in the county this year to five: three equine and two human cases. – See http://www.themonitor.com/news/local/article_d47dcee6-1fcc-11e2-acb5-001a4bcf6878.html

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