National 08/13/13 ucdavis.edu: A new cow virus that causes neurologic symptoms reminiscent of mad cow disease has been identified and its genome sequenced by a team of researchers including scientists at the University of California, Davis. While this particular new virus is unlikely to pose a threat to human health or the food supply, the new findings are critically important because they provide researchers with a relatively simple diagnostic tool that can reassure both ranchers and consumers by ruling out bovine spongiform encephalopathy — mad cow disease — as the cause of neurologic symptoms when they appear in cattle. Results of the study appear online in the September issue of the Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal, published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In this new study, Dr. Patricia Pesavento, a veterinary pathologist in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, and other researchers analyzed brain tissue from a yearling steer with neurologic symptoms of unknown cause. Through this analysis, they discovered a new virus that belongs to the astrovirus family.
Further study of brain tissue samples, preserved from earlier examinations of 32 cattle with unexplained neurologic symptoms, revealed the presence of this astrovirus in three of those animals. The researchers used “metagenomic” techniques to sequence this astrovirus species — now referred to as BoAstV0NeuroS. – For complete news release see http://news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=10688
New Mexico 08/12/13 NM Department of Health: State officials have confirmed that a 15-year-old male from Torrance County has the first human case of plague reported in the United States this year. The boy is currently hospitalized in stable condition. Plague is a bacterial disease of rodents and is generally transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas, but can also be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, wildlife and pets.- For complete news release see http://www.health.state.nm.us/CommunicationsOffice/2013%20News%20Releases/NMDOH-PressRelease-20130812-Plague-EN.pdf
Colorado 08/15/13 Pueblo County: Public health officials confirmed Thursday a rabbit caught in the 1000 block of West Saginaw Drive in Pueblo West that had been in contact with a child has tested positive for tularemia. – See http://www.kktv.com/news/elevenforhealth/headlines/Rabbit-Tests-Positive-For-Tularemia-In-Pueblo-West-219832021.html
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) & West Nile Virus (WNV):
Indiana 08/13/13 IN Department of Health: Health officials continue to encourage Hoosiers to take steps to protect themselves from WNV and other mosquito-borne diseases after mosquito samples from 35 counties have now tested positive for the virus. There has been one human case of WNV in Ripley County and one equine case in Adams County. Counties with WNV-infected mosquitoes include: Adams, Allen, Carroll, Clinton, Daviess, Delaware, DeKalb, Grant, Hamilton, Jay, Jefferson, Knox, Kosciusko, LaGrange, Lake, Marion, Marshall, Martin, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Newton, Noble, Ohio, Parke, Steuben, Sullivan, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Starke, St. Joseph, Vanderburgh, Vigo, White and Whitley. – For complete news release see http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=119373&information_id=186576&type=&syndicate=syndicate
Minnesota 08/14/13 MN Department of Health: State officials have confirmed the first WNV-related human fatality in the state this year. A male resident of Murray County died last week. Sixteen human cases of WNV, including one fatality, have been reported statewide so far this year. – See http://roseville.patch.com/groups/summer/p/west-nile-virus-claims-first-minnesota-victim_b68297b7
New Mexico 08/13/13 NM Department of Health: Officials have confirmed that an 83-year-old male from Curry County is the state’s first WNV-related fatality so far this year. A 66-year-old female from Curry County also tested positive for the virus, but she is recovering. New Mexico’s first case of West Nile infection this year was in a 13-year-old male from San Juan County who has recovered. – See http://www.kdbc.com/news/nm-department-health-announces-first-west-nile-death-2013
South Carolina 08/14/13 SC State Veterinarian: Officials have confirmed 25 cases of EEE in horses statewide since June 28th, 7 of the cases were reported during the past week. About 90% of infected horses die, but EEE is preventable in horses by vaccination. – See http://www.greenvilleonline.com/article/20130814/NEWS/308140026/Horse-virus-cases-up?nclick_check=1
Alabama 08/14/13 Chilton County: A fox that was reported acting strangely and aggressively on Wednesday by a resident on Old Thorsby Road in Clanton has tested positive for rabies. – http://www.clantonadvertiser.com/2013/08/14/fox-infected-with-rabies-found-in-clanton/
Florida 08/14/13 St. Johns County: A raccoon that bit a man in the leg Saturday in a McDonald’s parking lot in the 2400 block of U.S. 1 South in St. Augustine has tested positive for rabies. – See http://staugustine.com/news/local-news/2013-08-14/health-department-issues-rabies-alert-st-johns-county#.Ug059W3DK5c
Pennsylvania 08/14/13 Montgomery County: A bat found August 10th in the 300 block of Manor Avenue in Plymouth Meeting has tested positive for rabies. – See http://norristown.patch.com/groups/around-town/p/bat-tests-positive-for-rabies_0ccf156e
Vermont 08/14/13 western border and Chittendon County: An aerial rabies bait drop will begin August 19th into carefully plotted corridors of remote lowland areas and valleys along the Vermont border and northern Chittendon County. Bait packets will be distributed by hand in urban areas. The baits are described as a dark green, sweet-smelling, vanilla-coated blister pack. Officials say the baits are not harmful to children or pets if touched or eaten, but the pellets should not be handled or disturbed. – See http://rutlandherald.com/article/20130814/NEWS03/708149881