CANADIAN biker survives GRIZZLY attack when bear punctures can of pepper spray ~ OKLAHOMA’s first case of HEARTLAND VIRUS proves fatal ~ NEW HAMPSHIRE has highest incidence of LYME DISEASE ~ COLORADO confirms third case of HANTAVIRUS this year ~ OKLAHOMA confirms first case of HANTAVIRUS this year proves fatal ~ RABIES report from OHIO.

Grizzly. Bing free use license.

Grizzly. Bing free use license.


Alberta 05/25/14 A well-prepared mountain biker is recovering with minor injuries after a grizzly bear attack in Alberta. It happened Saturday night around 9:00 p.m. just outside the town of Jasper. Parks Canada Spokesperson Kim Weir said the cyclist was riding on a trail when he was charged by the bear and knocked off his bike. Fortunately when the biker was face down, there was a can of bear spray on his backpack. “So the bear actually pepper-spray-bearbit into the bear spray, punctured the can, the bear spray was deployed, the bear got it into his mouth and his eyes and so on and left the area,” she said. “The mountain biker had a cell phone so he then called for help.” Weir reminds all trail users in the mountains be make noise, to let wildlife know they are nearby. She added at this time of year, it’s also a good idea to avoid the trails during dawn and dusk as it’s a highly active period for wildlife hunting. – See

Heartland virus:

Lone Star Tick

Lone Star Tick

Oklahoma 05/27/14 The Oklahoma Department of Health has confirmed the state’s first case and death of Heartland virus. The Health Department says a Delaware County resident recently died from complications of the virus. Heartland virus was first identified in Missouri in 2009. The virus is found in the Lone Star tick and is likely spread through tick bites. The Oklahoma case is only the tenth person confirmed with the virus and the second person to die from it. Other cases have occurred in Missouri and Tennessee. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, headaches, muscle aches, loss of appetite, nausea, bruising easily and diarrhea. All of the patients diagnosed with Heartland virus reported spending several hours per day in outside activities or occupations. There is no vaccine or drug to prevent or treat the disease. – See and

Lyme Disease:

lyme-awareness5128New Hampshire 05/25/14 According to Alan Eaton, an entomologist with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, New Hampshire has the highest incidence of Lyme disease in the country. Eaton said this is in part due to high tick populations, but also because so many people live close to or in wooded areas where ticks flourish. Eaton also said the highest incidence of Lyme Disease within the state is found in the Seacoast region. – See


imagesCA4WCXZVColorado 05/23/14 Costilla County: The third human case of hantavirus in the state this year was reported in Costilla County. Earlier this month a fatal case was reported in Rio Grande County. Two to six cases are reported in the state each year. – See

Deer mouse. CDC.

Deer mouse. CDC.

Oklahoma 05/22/14 Texas County: by Kyle Fredrickson – A Panhandle man has died as a result of a virus commonly carried by wild rodents, according to the state Health Department. The man, who is only identified as being age 65 or older, was a Texas County resident. The state Health Department said he died of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, which has no cure, said Becky Coffman, an epidemiologist with the department. Hantavirus is carried by wild rodents, especially deer mice, found in Oklahoma and southwest portions of the U.S. It’s transmitted to humans by touch or inhalation of virus particles shed by its host through fecal matter, urine and saliva. Data show it is most often contracted when people in rural areas are maintaining buildings with high rodent activity. – See


Raccoon cub.

Raccoon cub.

Ohio 05/28/14 Westchester County: Someone left five well-fed baby raccoons on the doorstep of the Westchester County, N.Y., Health Department on Friday, and the department said that person should call immediately to be assessed for the possibility of rabies. The month-old raccoons were delivered to the department’s office in Mount Kisco in a cage with bottles of milk, blankets and toys, the department said. “They appear to have been well cared for and nurtured, which means that there was direct contact between these raccoons and the person or people who were caring for them,” said Dr. Sherlita Amler, the county health commissioner. “That’s why it’s important that we talk to the individual or individuals who left them to determine if they may have been potentially exposed to rabies.” Raccoons are among the most-common carriers of rabies, a disease that is fatal if not quickly treated. Department spokeswoman Caren Halbfinger said that the raccoons’ caretaker needs to be asked about any bites or scratches. Officials also want to know whether the raccoons’ mother was sick. – See


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