BOBCATS reported to be attacking DOGS in BRITISH COLUMBIA park ~ NEW MEXICO confirms HUMAN case of PLAGUE ~ HANTAVIRUS suspected in six VIRGINIA infections, two fatal ~ Notable RABIES reports from NY, NC, RI & VT.

Bobcat. Courtesy U.S. Dept. of Interior, Bureau of Land Management.

Bobcat. Courtesy U.S. Dept. of Interior, Bureau of Land Management.

Canada:

British Columbia 04/23/14 cbc.ca: Hikers in Squamish are reporting unusual and violent confrontations with bobcats around Alice Lake Provincial Park, according to WildSafeBC, a program run by the British Columbia Conservation Foundation. “It’s definitely the first time we’ve heard of numerous encounters of bobcats going for dogs,” said coordinator Meg Toom, in an interview with CBC Radio’s Rick Cluff on The Early Edition. g_vancouver9977dToom said in the nine years she’s worked in Squamish, bobcat attacks have never been an issue and that typically they eat small rodents and rabbits . . . Reports have been coming in to conservation officers of other violent bobcat encounters, and some dogs have even been left with stitches. “It’s looking like a territorial situation” said Toom. “We have more people coming into the area, more dogs off leash, and as you put more and more people into the trails network you’re going to have more encounters.” Conservation officers have posted signs in the park and have been warning hikers to beware of the animals. It remains unclear if the attacks are being carried out by a single or multiple bobcats. – For complete article, photos and map see http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bobcat-attacks-hiker-s-dogs-near-squamish-b-c-1.2618833?cmp=rss

Plague:

imag0490resizeNew Mexico 04/26/14 the globaldispatch.com: Health officials have confirmed the first case of human plague of the year in the state and in the United States in a male adult from Torrance County. Confirmatory testing is being conducted and an environmental investigation will take place at the man’s home to look for ongoing risk to others in the surrounding area. Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. It is found in animals throughout the world, most commonly rats but other rodents like ground squirrels, prairie dogs, chipmunks, rabbits and voles. Fleas typically serve as the vector of plague. Human cases have been linked to the domestic cats and dogs that brought infected fleas into the house. People can also get infected through direct contact with an infected animal, through inhalation and in the case of pneumonic plague, person to person. Yersinia pestis is treatable with antibiotics if started early enough.

There are three forms of human plague; bubonic, septicemic and pneumonic.

  • Bubonic plague: This is the most common form. In this form, the bacteria enter the body through the bite of an infected flea or rodent. Here the bacteria infect the lymphatic system. After a few days to week, the person will experience fever, chills, weakness, and swollen lymph glands. These are called buboes. In the U.S., bubonic plague is sporadic, primarily in the West. Typically, there are around 10 cases annually in this country. Untreated bubonic plague is fatal about half the time.
  • Septicemic plague: This form is also contracted from a flea or rodent bite. Sometimes it appears subsequent to untreated bubonic or pneumonic plague. It involves bloodstream dissemination to all areas of the body. Buboes do not occur. Symptoms are endotoxic shock and disseminated intravascular coagulation. Untreated septicemic plague is nearly always fatal.
  • Pneumonic plague: Probably the most serious form of plague and it’s when the bacteria infect the lungs and cause pneumonia. It is contracted when the bacteria is inhaled (primary) or develops when bubonic or septicemic plague spreads to the lungs.

Hantavirus:

hantavirus.cautionVirginia 04/25/14 Pulaski County: Two people have died and four others were hospitalized after an unidentified illness occurred in a small group including a family of five in Snowville and a close friend. Health officials suspect Hantavirus, which can be contracted from exposure to the urine or droppings of infected rodents. The family had been cleaning a long-vacated mobile home near their residence. – See http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/latest-news-ap/official-dead-hospitalized-due-to-illness/article_8371d8d8-ccca-11e3-900d-0017a43b2370.html

Rabies:

help7689New York 04/25/14 Columbia County: Health officials are searching for a person who may be been exposed to rabies by picking up a dead deer from the front yard of a Claverack home on Friday. The owner of the home on County Route 16 in Hollowville had shot and killed the deer Thursday evening after seeing it disoriented, stumbling into trees and a fence. State Department of Environmental Conservation officials were scheduled to pick up the carcass the next morning, but it was already gone. A silver pickup truck was seen around the home at the time the deer disappeared. Health officials are concerned the deer may have been infected with rabies, a neurological disease that is uniformly fatal unless treated, or another serious disease that could threaten anyone who had contact with the animal or ate its meat. Information about the whereabouts of the deer should be brought to the sheriff’s department’s attention at 828-3344. – See http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Officials-Deer-scavenger-may-face-rabies-5430348.php

North Carolina 04/25/14 Guilford County: A cat found on Alderwood Drive in Greensboro has tested positive for rabies after being in contact with a person and three other cats. http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Officials-Deer-scavenger-may-face-rabies-5430348.php. – See http://www.news-record.com/news/article_70f00602-cc8f-11e3-9be9-0017a43b2370.html

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERARhode Island 04/25/14 Providence County: A cat, believed to be a stray, that attacked a Lincoln resident in the vicinity of Lower Road has tested positive for rabies. Two other individuals were also exposed to the virus and at least two people have started post-exposure rabies treatments. The cat is described as “brown with tiger stripes” and has been seen with three other black, grey and orange tiger-striped cats also believed to be strays. Anyone who may have been in contact with these animals should seek immediate medical advice. – See http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20140425-cat-in-lincoln-tests-positive-for-rabies.ece

pitt-county-racoon-tests-positive-rabiesVermont 04/27/14 Chittenden County: A raccoon that attacked a Burlington woman in her driveway on Adams Court without provocation is still at large in the area and is thought to have rabies. The woman was taken to a local hospital where she received 14 stitches to close wounds on her leg, hands and arms. She is being treated for potential exposure to the rabies virus as a precaution. In the meantime, area residents are being cautioned. – For video and complete article see http://www.wcax.com/story/25354079/scary-raccoon-attack-ends-in-emergency-room

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