Scientists find evidence of DENGUE VIRUS transmission in HOUSTON ~ New research video shows how TICKS penetrate their victims and hang on ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from ID, & LA ~ RABIES reports from CA, CO, MD, MA, PA, TX, & VA.

Bing free use license.

Bing free use license.

Texas 10/26/13 In a retrospective study of three years of blood and cerebrospinal fluid samples submitted for West Nile virus testing in the Houston area, researchers at the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine found that 47 of the samples were positive for dengue virus. Their report appears today in the journal Vector-Borne and dengue_alertZoonotic Diseases. “We looked at clinical specimens that were banked at the city laboratory to see if there were potentially any other viruses that we could detect that weren’t known to be circulating in Houston but have the high potential to do so,” said Dr. Kristy Murray, associate professor and associate vice chair of research in the department of pediatrics at BCM and director of the Laboratory of Viral and Zoonotic Diseases at Texas Children’s Hospital. “We started with dengue virus since it was highest on the list of possible transmission here in Houston because we have the right kind of mosquitoes and a very large, densely populated city full of frequent travel to endemic areas, including Mexico and Central and South America.”

Asian tiger mosquito.

Asian tiger mosquito.

Dengue virus is spread through mosquitoes, similar to the way in which West Nile virus is transmitted. However, it is spread by a different mosquito, mostly the Asian tiger mosquito, which is rampant in the city. These are the mosquitoes that are out during the middle of the day as opposed to those mosquitoes that carry West Nile virus, which are out predominantly between dusk and dawn. People with dengue virus develop fever, severe headaches, joint pain, bone pain, pain behind the eyes and often a rash. The virus is usually a self-limiting illness. Patients have a febrile illness and flu-like symptoms for several days. However, infants between 5 and 8 months of age are at a high risk for severe disease, as are those who have been exposed to dengue virus previously. People who have had dengue once and are exposed to a different type of dengue virus have a high risk of developing hemorrhagic fever, an incredibly severe form of the disease. – For complete article see


European wood tick.

European wood tick.

Global 10/29/13 by James Gorman – Chain saws, hockey masks and the undead are all classic symbols of horror. But for a true shiver of dread, take a look at a tick. When seen with an electron microscope, a tick’s mouth has what look like twin saws (chelicerae) flanking an appendage (a hypostome) that appears to be the kind of long, barbed sword that a villain in a video game might favor. And a short video is even scarier — particularly as the creature’s ability to bore down and settle in may well afflict anyone who spends time outdoors. Such a video, published Tuesday with a research paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, was made to help scientists understand how the tiny ticks that carry Lyme disease bacteria cut into the skin and then manage to hang on for the days it takes for them to fill up on blood.

Rostrum. Mouthpiece of Ixodes ricinus.

Rostrum. Mouthpiece of Ixodes ricinus.

American and German scientists placed European wood ticks (Ixodes ricinus) on the ears of hairless mice that were first sacrificed for the experiment. The wood tick is a close cousin of the deer tick (Ixodes scapularis) familiar to Americans, and similar in size. The immature tick, or nymph, in the video is about the size of a poppy seed. An adult is more like a sesame seed. The tick wanders a bit, picks its spot and goes to work. As it cuts, it looks as if it is doing the breast stroke with its pair of minuscule mouth saws. That movement cuts and pulls back the skin, plunging the hypostome deeper with each stroke, barb by gruesome barb, which, of course, makes them difficult to extract. The tick’s natural ratchet system is a marvel of efficiency, and it does not horrify everyone. “I find them beautiful,” said Dania Richter, a tick and Lyme disease specialist at the Charité University Hospital in Berlin and the primary author of the research report. – For complete report and video referred to in article see

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Gem cty IDIdaho 10/29/13 Gem County: Officials have confirmed that a male resident of Montour is the first WNV-related fatality in the state this year. – See

LA-DHHLouisiana 10/25/13 LA Dept of Health: Officials have confirmed the state’s fourth WNV-related death this year in Ouachita Parish. There have also been four new WNV human cases this week, bringing this year’s total to 55 cases. This week’s new infections include two cases of neuro-invasive disease, one each in Acadia and Rapides parishes, and two cases of West Nile fever, with one each in Bossier and Caddo parishes. – See


grounded%20batCalifornia 10/24/13 Alameda County: A bat found in the vicinity of the 1500 block of Spruce Street in Berkeley has tested positive for rabies. – See–By-Berkeley-Heath-Department

3243453-detail-of-girl-hugging-kitten-hand-and-paw-in-similar-positionColorado 10/25/13 El Paso County: A 3-week-old kitten in Fountain has tested positive for rabies. The kitten was found abandoned under a shed on South Race Street. – See

0coonvsdog422 - CopyMaryland 10/28/13 Worcester County: A dog from the Snow Hill area contracted rabies after fighting with an infected raccoon and the dog has been euthanized. Several members of the family that owned the dog were also potentially exposed to the virus and are being treated. – Set

bildeMassachusetts 10/25/13 by Patrick Cassidy – Officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services and the Cape Cod Rabies Task Force are scheduled to kick off this season’s distribution of oral rabies vaccine bait Monday. About 30,000 baits will be distributed from Sandwich and Mashpee through Route 124 in Brewster and Harwich in an effort to stop the spread of rabies in raccoons. The program will run through November 26th. – See

imagesCAMMOSTLPennsylvania 10/25/13 York County: A litter of feral kittens found in the 300 block of East Philadelphia Street in the City of York has been euthanized after being diagnosed with rabies. Stray cats, kittens, and wild animals in the vicinity should be avoided . – See

a.878998Texas 10/25/13 Coryell County: A skunk found near a home on West Washington Street in Copperas Cove on October 16th has tested positive for rabies. – See

10254Virginia 10/28/13 Henrico County: A raccoon that was in contact with a vaccinated dog has tested positive for rabies. – See


One response to “Scientists find evidence of DENGUE VIRUS transmission in HOUSTON ~ New research video shows how TICKS penetrate their victims and hang on ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from ID, & LA ~ RABIES reports from CA, CO, MD, MA, PA, TX, & VA.

  1. If you want to learn more about Denge virus and its infection, you can read this study here.

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