FERAL HOGS a growing concern in OKLAHOMA ~ NEW YORK scientist says new LYME DISEASE VACCINE shows promise in clinical trials ~ CDC releases final 2012 WEST NILE VIRUS report ~ WEST NILE VIRUS report from TENNESSEE ~ RABIES reports from CA, NY, NCx3, & TX.

Feral hog. Photo by University of Missouri Ext.

Feral hog. Photo by University of Missouri Ext.

Oklahoma 05/14/13 odwc.state.ok.us: News ReleaseFeral hogs destroy wildlife habitat at alarming rates and cause a number of important concerns to hunters, farmers and other landowners in Oklahoma  Feral hogs can cause extensive damage to farm fields, crops, stored livestock feed, woodlots, suburban landscaping, golf courses and wildlife habitat relied upon by native species such as deer, turkey, squirrels and quail. Their voracious appetites, destructive habits and prolific breeding patterns wreak havoc on the landscape, often resulting in overwhelming competition to native species. They may also carry diseases that can be transmitted to other species, including humans. “The bottom line is they don’t belong here,” said Kevin Grant, Oklahoma state director of Wildlife Services for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which oversees feral swine management issues in Oklahoma as part of a memorandum of understanding with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The memorandum is rooted in the fact that feral swine are not true wildlife, but rather descendants of domestic stock living at large in a feral state.

FeralHogsUnivMOExtGrant said millions of dollars and significant resources have been spent in an effort to make sure domestic swine stock is safe from disease, so the presence of feral populations raises concerns for the safety of domestic swine and the swine industry. “If they’re here, they need to be on the plate or in a pen because they’re not native to the Americas, and the way that they’re really taking off out there is pretty phenomenal,” Grant said. Grant’s comments were part of a presentation to the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission on the statewide status of feral swine, or “wild hogs” as they are often called in feralhogby4028mdk09wc1Oklahoma. According to Grant and officials with the Wildlife Department, feral hogs are a well-established and still growing problem in Oklahoma. “They are probably the most prolific large mammal around,” Grant said, adding that feral swine can reach sexual maturity by 6 months of age, have relatively short gestational periods and can give birth to large litters multiple times a year. In the 1990s, the Agriculture Department worked with the Wildlife Department and the Noble Foundation to study the spread of feral hog populations in Oklahoma. Feral hogs seemed to originate in southeastern Oklahoma, and they since have spread to all 77 counties. – For complete release see https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?shva=1#inbox/13ea4fb0754627c5

Lyme Disease:

lyme_disease_hidden_epidemic_poster-p228833588305763989t5wm_400Global 05/13/13 healthcanal.com: News Release – The results of a phase 1/2 clinical trial in Europe of an investigational Lyme disease vaccine co-developed by researchers at Stony Brook University, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and at healthcare company Baxter International S.A., revealed it to be promising and well tolerated, according to a research paper published online in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. The vaccine was shown to produce substantial antibodies against all targeted species of Borrelia, the causative agent of Lyme disease in Europe and the United States. Baxter conducted the clinical trial of the vaccine.

Benjamin Luft, M.D., Stony Brook University School of Medicine.

Benjamin Luft, M.D., Stony Brook University School of Medicine.

Since the early 1990s, Benjamin Luft, MD, the Edmund D. Pellegrino Professor of Medicine at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, and the late John Dunn, Ph.D., a biologist at Brookhaven National Laboratory, spearheaded the initial development of the original vaccine antigen concept, and together with researchers at Baxter helped bioengineer the formulation used in the clinical trial. . . “The results of the clinical trial conducted by Baxter are promising because the vaccine generated a potent human immune reaction, covered the complete range of Borrelia active in the entire Northern hemisphere, and produced no major side effects,” said Dr. Luft, a co-author on the paper. “We hope that a larger-scale, Phase 3 trial will demonstrate not only a strong immune response but true efficacy in a large population that illustrates protection against Lyme disease.” – For complete release see http://www.healthcanal.com/infections/38557-lyme-disease-vaccine-shows-promise-in-clinical-trials.html

West Nile Virus (WNV):

cdc_logoNational 05/14/13 cdc.gov: Media Advisory – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today released the final 2012 national surveillance data for West Nile virus activity. To access the information, please visit www.cdc.gov/westnile . A total of 5,674 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 286 deaths, were reported to CDC from 48 states (excluding Alaska and Hawaii). Of all West Nile virus disease cases reported, 2,873 (51 percent) were classified as neuroinvasive disease (e.g., meningitis, encephalitis, or acute flaccid paralysis). The dates of illness onset (when the patients’ illness began) ranged from March through December 2012. The numbers of neuroinvasive, non-neuroinvasive, and total West Nile virus disease cases reported in 2012 are the highest since 2003. The number of deaths is the highest since cases of WNV disease were first detected in the United States in 1999.

DavidsonTNTennessee 05/13/13 Davidson County: A batch of mosquitoes collected in Bordeaux near the intersection of Clarksville Pike and West Hamilton have tested positive for WNV.  – See http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130513/NEWS07/305130038

Rabies:

California 05/14/13 Orange County: A bat found on the garage floor of a home in the 2300 block of Vanguard Way in Costa Mesa on May 5 has tested Little brown batpositive for rabies. A 15-year-old boy contained the live bat in a box without touching it, he said, but the family was urged to pursue a course of action because of possible exposure. – See http://www.dailypilot.com/news/tn-dpt-me-0515-rabid-bat-20130513,0,5554328.story

New York 05/12/13 Staten Island: A Rabies Alert has been issued after ten raccoons and one bat tested positive for the virus on the island so far this year. The raccoons were found in Eltingville, Grasmere, Great Kills, New Dorp, Park Hill, and Westerleigh. – See http://statenisland.ny1.com/content/top_stories/181948/doh-says-high-number-of-si-raccoons-tested-positive-for-rabies

imagesCAWPY6F8North Carolina 05/13/13 Wake County: A fox that fought with an unvaccinated dog last Wednesday in the vicinity of the 300 block of Jones Franklin Road in Raleigh has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.hollyspringssun.com/view/full_story/22524264/article-Wake-issues-rabies-notice?instance=popular

elkgrovecity.govNorth Carolina 05/13/13 Guilford County: A raccoon found on Foxcreek Court in High Point has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.news-record.com/home/1213043-63/raccoon-tests-positive-for-rabies

We_need_your_help62435North Carolina 05/12/13 New Hanover County: A Wilmington woman says she is scared she will have to have unnecessary rabies shots, after the owner of a dog that bit her disappeared. Susan Matthews said she was at the Fort Fisher Park on Saturday, visiting with one family and their puppy, when a second dog came up and bit her in the face. She says she started bleeding and raced down to the water to wash off her face, when she looked back, she says the dog owner had disappeared. “It happened so fast and then they were gone, it made me just want to cry,” said Matthews. “I was in shock the rest of the day, both about the bite and the fact that they left.” She says the cut continued to bleed, and wants to know if the dog had its rabies shots. If she can’t find the owners, she says she will have to go forward with rabies shot. “It’s very painful and very expensive and we don’t have insurance,” said Susan. She says, she is hoping to find the owner before time runs out, so she can save herself the pain and extra money if the shot is unnecessary. Susan says the dog has white hair. (Anyone with information about this incident should contact New Hanover County Public Health at 910-798-6500.)

800px-Striped_SkunkByTomfriedelWCTexas 05/13/13 Wichita County: A Rabies Alert has been issued in Wichita Falls after two skunks tested positive for the virus. – See http://texomashomepage.com/fulltext?nxd_id=274872

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