OTTER attacks young girl swimming in WISCONSIN lake ~ ALASKAN woman survives BROWN BEAR attack ~ COLORADAN may have contracted TULAREMIA while mowing lawn ~ New VACCINE for CHIKUNGUNYA VIRUS shows promise ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) reports from CA, ID, LA & MS ~ Notable RABIES reports from FL, PA & TX.

Otter. Photo by Peter Trimming. Wikimedia Commons.

Otter. Photo by Peter Trimming. Wikimedia Commons.

Wisconsin 08/13/14 twincities.com: by Andy Rathbun – It was a fun time at the lake — until the otter arrived. After spending about an hour swimming with friends in Bone Lake near Luck, Wis., on Saturday, Rory Kliewer began to climb a ladder onto a dock when she suddenly felt something bite her backside and thigh. “I thought it was a northern pike,” the 12-year-old Minneapolis girl said Wednesday. “I thought a fish was after me.” As she threw the creature off of her, she realized that the animal was an otter — later estimated at 3 1/2 feet long and about 40 pounds. “It was a big, nasty one,” said Rory, who had been staying at a friend’s family cabin over the weekend. The otter then bit Rory’s head and pulled itself onto her, scratching her face.

1407973737000-Otter2Rory managed to climb the ladder onto the dock and then throw the otter off her once again, screaming throughout the incident, she said. But the otter didn’t stop there. It jumped onto the dock, and Rory ran onto land with the otter in pursuit, she said. A dog and her friend’s mother tried to scare the animal away, but it rose up on its hind legs and hissed. The otter didn’t retreat until Pat Hinschberger, the cabin’s owner and Rory’s friend’s father, rushed to the scene and yelled at the animal. “As far as I’m concerned, this thing was literally trying to kill this kid,” Hinschberger said. He added that the incident lasted no more than a minute, but it felt like much longer. Rory was taken to a local emergency room, where doctors told her it was their first time treating a victim of an otter attack, she said. Speaking from her home Wednesday, Rory was still recovering from bite wounds, scratches and bruises, and possibly the most significant injury: the trauma of the experience, which she called “really frightening.” – For video, photo and complete article see http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_26331000/wisconsin-otter-attacks-swimming-girl

Bear Attack:

American Brown BearAlaska 08/13/14 adn.com: by Laurel Andrews – Thea Thomas tried to step off the trail as a brown bear sprinted toward her, chasing a friend’s dog that she had brought along for a hike in Cordova on Tuesday afternoon. Yet in an instant, Thomas was flat on the ground, face-to-face with an angry bear that bit her repeatedly during the mauling on Heney Ridge Trail. . . . Thomas, a 57-year-old commercial fisherman, has lived in the Southcentral Alaska community of Cordova for 32 years, she said. “I hike those trails all the time.” Heney Ridge Trail is a 4.1-mile trail that follows Hartney Bay before climbing up through spruce-hemlock forest, salmon-spawning streams and a mile of steep incline up above the treeline, according to the U.S. Forest Service website. . . . She described the brown bear as 6-7 feet tall on its hind legs, with a thick auburn-orange coat. The bear appeared to be in good health. “I kept thinking he was going to stop,” Thomas said. But the attack continued. The bear walked away a couple of times, but would then turn back and bite her again, she said. At one point she tried to get up, but it pulled her back, she said. . . . She was medevaced to an Anchorage hospital on Tuesday. “I’ve got a feeling I’m going to be here a while,” she said. The bear bit her around seven times, she said. The worst bites were to her back and inner thigh. – For complete article see http://www.adn.com/article/20140813/woman-mauled-brown-bear-cordova-hiking-trail-describes-attack

Tularemia:

Media.aspxColorado 08/12/14 9news.com: A Larimer County man hospitalized for tularemia may have been exposed to the disease while mowing a property outside of Windsor. He was treated with two courses of antibiotics that offered no improvement, but he was released after several days and is expected to make a full recovery. – See http://www.9news.com/story/news/health/2014/08/12/tularemia-fort-collins-weld-larimer-county/13964835/

Chikungunya Virus:

Canine-Health-Dog-Vaccinations-Bordetella-Vaccine-for-DogsGlobal 08/15 /14 techtimes.com: by Linda Nguyen – People afraid of contracting chikungunya from mosquitoes have reason to hope. A vaccine for the virus is currently undergoing its first stages of human trials. The vaccine so far has shown promise for protecting people from the chikungunya virus. The report is published online in the Lancet. “The vaccine was safe and well-tolerated, and we believe that this vaccine makes a type of antibody that is effective against chikungunya,” said Dr. Julie Ledgerwood, leader of the study. This would be the first medication to treat or prevent this virus which manifests with fever and severe arthiritis. The Chikungunya virus has spread through Africa and Asia to the Caribbean, and now to the United States. The first domestic cases of the virus were reported in Florida last month when four Americans caught the virus. Ledgerwood said the next step in the clinical trials will be to test the vaccine on more people and more age groups since the current study looked at a relatively small 25-person group. She said the vaccine also has to be tested in areas where the virus is endemic to see whether it truly protects patients. She estimates that the testing will take another five years before it is on the market for the public. She added that it could be given to people living in the areas and to travelers and military personnel if it is proven to be safe and effective. – For complete article see http://www.techtimes.com/articles/13164/20140815/new-vaccine-may-ward-off-chikungunya-virus.htm

West Nile Virus (WNV):

santaclaractyhealthCalifornia 08/15/14 Santa Clara County Public Health: Officials have confirmed that five county residents have been infected with WNV. Two of the cases are the more severe neuro-invasive form of the disease. – See http://www.sccgov.org/sites/sccphd/en-u/Newsandevents/Pages/West-Nile-Virus-First-Human-Cases-2014.aspx

IDHW_col_stack_smallIdaho 08/12/14 ID Dept of Health: Officials have confirmed the first human case of WNV in the state so far this year in a Blaine County woman in her 20s. The woman was not hospitalized and is recovering. – See http://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/AboutUs/Newsroom/tabid/130/ctl/ArticleView/mid/3061/articleId/1777/First-West-Nile-Infection-Reported-in-Blaine-County.aspx

LA-DHHLouisiana 08/15/14 LA Dept of Health & Hospitals: Media Release – Officials have confirmed 13 new human cases of WNV, of which five are neuro-invasive disease infections, bringing this year’s total to 42 reported human cases. This week’s new infections include neuro-invasive disease cases in Caddo (3), East Baton Rouge (1) and Livingston (1) parishes. There were also new cases of West Nile fever reported from Caddo (4), Calcasieu (1) and East Baton Rouge (1) parishes, and asymptomatic cases in Ascension (1) and East Baton Rouge (1) parishes. – See http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/newsroom/detail/3090

MS_71058_121809421211160_5406251_nMississippi 08/12/14 MS State Dept of Health: Officials have confirmed the death of a Yazoo County resident from WNV. So far this year, seven human cases of WNV have been reported in Adams, Hinds, Newton, Rankin(2), Yazoo and Wilkinson counties. – See http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/23,15486,341.html

Rabies:

Florida 08/14/14 Duval County: A stray cat that bit a man and his daughter in Jacksonville’s Southside neighborhood when they coaxed it out from under their car has tested positive for rabies. A Rabies Alert has been issued throughout their section of the Southside and Arlington effective until October. – See http://www.news4jax.com/news/man-daughter-bitten-by-rabid-cat-on-5731289-very-cute-child-with-a-cat-in-armssouthside/27488858

Pennsylvania 08/14/14 Northampton County: A stray cat found in by a woman in her yard in Glendon and delivered to the Center for Animal Health and Wealth in Williams Township has tested positive for rabies. Eleven people so far have been advised to receive post-exposure treatment for the virus including eight at the shelter, two at the Easton Animal Hospital, and the Glendon woman. – See http://www.wfmz.com/news/news-regional-lehighvalley/eight-getting-rabies-vaccine-after-contact-with-cat/27483698

austin-congress-bridge-bats_7335_large_slideshowTexas 08/14/14 Williamson County: Health officials are asking the public to help them identify a woman who may have been exposed to rabies in Round Rock when she was bitten by a bat while leaving the Wal-Mart on East Palm Valley Boulevard at about 9:15 pm, Wednesday, August 6th. She is described as white, possibly in her 20s and wearing shorts, flip-flops and a blue shirt. – See http://www.wcchd.org/news/press_releases/docs/2014_Wilco_Rabies_Incident_Release_080820114.pdf

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