Missouri and Tennessee 03/27/14 cdc.gov: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with health officials in Missouri and Tennessee have identified six new cases of people sick with Heartland virus: five in Missouri and one in Tennessee. The new cases, discovered in 2012 and 2013, are in addition to two discovered in 2009 and are described today in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Heartland virus was first reported in two northwestern Missouri farmers who were hospitalized in 2009 with what was thought to be ehrlichiosis, a tick-borne disease. However, the patients failed to improve with treatment and testing failed to confirm ehlrlichiosis. Working with state and local partners, CDC eventually identified the cause of the men’s illness: a previously unknown virus in the phlebovirus family now dubbed Heartland virus.
Ongoing investigations have yielded six more cases of Heartland virus disease, bringing to eight the total number of known cases. All of the case-patients were white men over the age of 50. Their symptoms started in May to September and included fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, headache, nausea, or muscle pain. Four of the six new cases were hospitalized. One patient, who suffered from other health conditions, died. It is not known if Heartland virus was the cause of death or how much it contributed to his death. Five of the six new cases reported tick bites in the days or weeks before they fell ill. Nearly all of the newly reported cases were discovered through a study conducted by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and CDC are actively searching for human cases at six Missouri hospitals.
CDC has been working closely with the Missouri and Tennessee state health departments and other federal agencies to advance understanding of Heartland virus disease by learning more about the patients who were infected, their illness and their exposure to ticks. CDC seeks to determine the symptoms and severity of the disease, where it is found, how people are being infected, and how to prevent infections. CDC studies to date have shown Heartland virus is carried by Lone Star ticks, which are primarily found in the southeastern and eastern United States. Additional studies seek to confirm whether ticks can spread the virus to people and to learn what other insects or animals may be involved in the transmission cycle. CDC is also looking for Heartland virus in other parts of the country to understand how widely it may be distributed. – For complete article including precautions see http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0327-heartland.html
South Carolina 03/27/14 greenvilleonline.com: by Charles Sowell – The coyote/wolf hybrid that scares deer hunters throughout South Carolina has been found at the Savannah River Site by U.S. Forestry Service personnel doing a fawn mortality rate study, officials said last week. According to Charles Ruth, with the state Department of Natural Resources, fawn mortality at the SRS was found to be 70 percent, much higher than previously thought, and of that higher rate, 80 percent was found to be caused by coyotes. That number, while higher than expected, was not nearly the surprise that a forest service study of coyote DNA that found one coyote/wolf hybrid — a coyote with Canadian grey wolf DNA, said John Kilgo, a research biologist with the forest service. “It was noticeably bigger than even the largest coyote,” he said. “So we took its DNA and a picture. We were stunned when the results came back with Canadian grey wolf in the animal’s background.”
“We don’t know how it got here,” Kilgo said. “It may have wandered down from the north, but that is not likely. More likely is that it was imported by fox hunters, or someone else who wants to use the animal for sport and then it escaped.” The hybrid animal comes from female coyotes who bred with male grey wolves in Canada and then crossed the border into the United States, said Ruth. The coyotes are also known to breed with domestic dogs. “We don’t think these animals pose any risk to humans,” said Kilgo. “And we only found one with wolf DNA out of the 500 or so animals tested, so we are treating it as an isolated incident.” – For complete article and photo see http://www.greenvilleonline.com/article/20140327/ENT/303270050/Coyote-wolf-hybrid-spotted-Savannah-River
Arizona 03/28/14 Santa Cruz County: Officials plan to request a quarantine situation next week after the number of animal rabies cases in the county rose to 22 this year. Another seven cases were reported in November and December of 2013. Nearly all have been infected skunks, but one case in Tubac involved a bat. Tubac has had 13 cases since November of last year, four cases were reported in Nogales, four in Sonoita, three each in Rio Rico and Patagonia, and two in Patagonia Lake Estates. – See http://www.nogalesinternational.com/news/officials-sound-alarm-over-rabies-outbreak/article_fb4eadb6-b688-11e3-b1e3-001a4bcf887a.html
Florida 03/27/14 Hernando County: A raccoon that fought with a vaccinated dog in the Sun Hill Lane vicinity of Brooksville has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wtsp.com/story/news/local/2014/03/27/brooksville-raccoon-positive-rabies/6969033/
Massachusetts 03/26/15 Worcester County: A bobcat that attacked a 35-year-old blind horse in its barn on Grove Street in Upton on March 15th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://uptondaily.com/2014/03/26/rabid-bobcat-attacks-upton-horse/
New Jersey 03/26/14 Morris County: A raccoon that fought with two dogs in the Belrose Court area of Long Valley on March 7th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://newjerseyhills.com/rabid-raccoon-report-in-long-valley-a-warning-to-pet/article_34f6e254-b503-11e3-8790-0019bb2963f4.html
New York 03/28/14 Herkimer County: A fox that attacked a man at his residence in the Newport area in the past week has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.littlefallstimes.com/article/20140328/NEWS/140329223
North Carolina 03/27/14 Iredell County: A raccoon captured in the vicinity of the 400 block of East Monbo Road in Troutman has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.statesville.com/news/article_ccca6f3e-b624-11e3-a142-001a4bcf6878.html
Oklahoma 03/27/14 Dewey County: A skunk that tested positive for rabies has prompted officials to issue a Rabies Alert in the county. This is the seventh case of animal rabies reported this year. – See http://www.woodwardnews.net/local/x542465783/Rabid-skunk-identified-in-Dewey-County
South Carolina 03/27/14 Horry County: A person is being treated for exposure to rabies after a raccoon tested positive for the virus in the Bakers Chapel community. – See http://www.wbtw.com/story/25091210/rabies-case-investigated-in-horry-county-4th-case-this-year
Texas 03/28/14 Wichita County: A skunk found in the southeastern part of Wichita Falls has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.timesrecordnews.com/news/2014/mar/28/rabies/