CANADA: ALBERTA teen attacked by MOUNTAIN LION ~ TICK bite nearly kills 3-year-old VIRGINIAN ~ CALIFORNIAN attacked by BEAR may face feeding charges ~ COLORADO FLEA samples positive for BUBONIC PLAGUE ~ COLORADO RABBIT positive for TULAREMIA ~ OREGON hopes to re-collar celebrity WOLF OR-7 ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) reports from CA, CO, MD, MS, TXx2 & WY ~ RABID CAT reports from CA, FL, NC, SC & TX.

Mountain lion. Photo by Trish Carney. Wikimedia Commons.

Mountain lion. Photo by Trish Carney. Wikimedia Commons.

Canada:

Alberta 08/27/14 calgarysun.com: by Michael Platt – It’s said there a few sounds in the nature as bloodcurdling as the scream of a female cougar. Unless, of course, it’s the scream of a 19-year-old woman — in which case, even hungry cougars are loathe to hang around. It was that sound which likely saved 16-year-old Mykaela Belter from a serious mauling or worse after a large cat attacked her along a hiking trail in Waterton Parks — only to release and retreat when Belter’s sister Gabrielle screamed in horror. “I gave her a thank you,” said Mykaela, who’s now at her grandma’s house, nursing four stitches and bruises along her thigh and lower back. The attack has wildlife officials in the National Park baffled, because the 90-pound female cougar — since captured and killed — shows no signs of starvation or distress, and the typically shy animal was stalking people in a crowded area.

WatertonLakesNationalParkBelter says she was taken by surprise as she walked with Gabrielle down the trail near Bertha Falls, her dad Gary and brother Jaxon just a few steps behind on the busy route, located only a kilometre from the Waterton townsite. As they passed by some bushes, the cougar suddenly lunged. “It really didn’t hurt very much — it felt like when a house cat claws you, but then I looked down and thought, ‘oh wow, a cougar,’” said Mykaela, who lives in St. Albert, near Edmonton. Not far behind, her horrified father Gary Belter was thinking much stronger words than just “oh wow.” “The girls were just walking along together — the cougar stuck its head out of the bush and then it lunged forward and grabbed Mykaela and started to pull her towards the bushes,” said Gary. “Gabby reached over to grab Mykaela and screamed at the same time, and it let go.” By then dad was right there, ready to fight for his daughter’s life — though he admits that between adrenaline and shock, he could barely fathom what was really happening. “Part of it was being so shocked to even see a cougar, and then realizing, it has its paws around my daughter,” said Gary. “Then I was running forward, thinking the cat can’t pull her away that quickly, she’s too big, and I can grab her — but then it let go.” At first the cougar moved a metre or two back, and looked ready to pounce again, but the sudden commotion and crowd of hikers running to help convinced the mountain lion to leave. Gabrielle may have saved her sister, but the 19-year-old says she barely had time to think. “It all happened so fast,” said Gabrielle. “I panicked and grabbed her arm while screaming, because I didn’t know what else to do. My sister jerked back and then it just let go.” Parks officials have sent the cougar’s corpse for tests, to try and determine why the cat was preying on people and ignoring its usual instinct to avoid humans. – For photo of sisters and complete article see http://www.calgarysun.com/2014/08/26/alberta-teen-saved-from-cougar-attack-by-sister

 

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever:

petechial_rashRMSFbyCDCVirginia 08/29/14 Hampton: A 3-year-old boy is recovering from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever traced to a tick bite. It started with a fever, then a rash on his hands and feet. The boy was hospitalized for five days. – See http://wavy.com/2014/08/28/tick-bite-almost-kills-hampton-3-year-old/

 

Bear:

blackbear_1721930c-133California 08/26/14 rgj.com: by Scott Sonner – A Lake Tahoe woman who was attacked by a black bear in her backyard could become the first person in the area charged with illegally feeding the wild animals. California authorities say the woman, whose name hasn’t been released, has been feeding bears for years in her yard on the lake’s north shore at Kings Beach. A similar problem a few miles east in Incline Village prompted the Nevada Department of Wildlife to issue a formal warning in December to another woman accused of illegally feeding several bears — three of which now are dead. One of the bears had to be euthanized after it broke into a neighbor’s car and exhibited bold behavior making it a threat to public safety, NDOW spokesman Chris Healy said. Two of her cubs later were struck and killed by cars, which Healy said was at least an indirect result of their losing their natural fear of humans. “The people who are doing the feeding are the ones who are killing these bears,” Healy told The Associated Press on Friday. The Reno Gazette-Journal first reported that California game wardens were investigating the woman after the Aug. 5 attack in Kings Beach. The woman was treated at a hospital for bite wounds to her shoulder and scratches on her leg after she reported the bear hit her from behind, said Lt. Patrick Foy of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Investigators said she has been feeding bears since at least 2010 and had been warned multiple times to stop. Foy said wildlife officials were working with the Placer County district attorney’s office and will decide soon whether to cite her with a misdemeanor charge of feeding wildlife, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. – For complete article see http://www.rgj.com/story/news/2014/08/24/tahoe-woman-attacked-bear-may-face-feeding-charges/14531237/

 

Bubonic Plague:

Santa_Fe_attacks_plagu48f91501Colorado 08/21/14 Boulder County: Fleas collected from a deserted prairie dog colony in the city of Boulder’s Marshall open space property, northeast of the intersection of South Boulder and Cherryvale roads, have tested positive for bubonic plague. The open space has not be closed, but people are urged to take precautions. – See http://www.dailycamera.com/news/boulder/ci_26375739/plague-found-boulder-area-fleas-residents-warned-take

 

Tularemia:

Jarek Tuszynski-Wikimedia-Commons

Jarek Tuszynski-Wikimedia-Commons

Colorado 08/28/14 El Paso County: Public health officials say a dead rabbit found near Yoder has tested positive for tularemia. “Residents near Yoder, south of Highway 94 and west of Yoder, are advised that tularemia-causing bacteria may be present in some of the mammals – especially rabbits, rodents and hares.” – See http://www.krdo.com/news/dead-rabbit-found-near-yoder-tests-positive-for-tularemia/27774090

 

Wolf (OR-7):

Remote camera photo of OR-7

Remote camera photo of OR-7

Oregon 08/25/14 mailtribune.com: by Mark Freeman – Oregon’s most famous wolf is set to get some new bling so he can keep working for Da Man. Biologists plan to recapture OR-7 and replace the wolf’s tracking collar — and possibly collar his mate and some of his three pups — to keep tracking Western Oregon’s only known wolf family as they work their way toward pack status. A federal biologist plans to set foot-hold traps in the area of eastern Jackson County in hopes of capturing at least one of the animals so it can be fitted with a GPS-transmitting collar similar to the one used to track OR-7’s world-famous, 3,000-mile journey that led him here. “It’s kind of the luck of the draw in who you can get,” says John Stephenson, a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist tracking OR-7 from his Bend office. “It will probably end up one of the pups because they’re the most curious.” – For complete article see http://www.mailtribune.com/article/20140824/NEWS/140829665

 

West Nile Virus (WNV) Reports:

fig2_lgCalifornia 08/26/14 Orange County Public Health: Media Release – A Seal Beach resident in her 80s with underlying medical conditions died last week with complications of WNV infection. She had the more severe form, West Nile Neuroinvasive Disease. Orange County currently leads the state in number of WNV infections this year with 40 to date, compared to fewer than 5 infections around this time in the previous four years. – See http://ochealthinfo.com/phs/about/dcepi/epi/disease/wn

Colorado 08/26/14 Weld County Dept of Public Health: Seven county residents are confirmed to be infected with WNV, including a 63-year old man hospitalized with a neuroinvasive infection. – See http://www.co.weld.co.us/assets/013aa5CDD00DbaB0b092.pdf

Maryland 08/28/14 National Capital Region: State officials have confirmed that an adult resident of the region has been diagnosed with the state’s first human case of WNV this year. – See http://www.wbal.com/article/109505/3/confirmed-case-of-west-nile-virus-in-maryland

Mississippi 08/26/14 MS State Dept of Health: Media Release – Officials have confirmed the death of a Madison County resident from WNV, the second Mississippi death from WNV in 2014. New human cases were also reported in Adams, Bolivar, Covington, Forrest, and Rankin counties. So far this year, a total of 15 human WNV cases have been reported in the following counties: Adams (2), Bolivar (1), Covington (1), Forrest (1), Hinds (2), Madison (1), Newton (1), Rankin (4), Yazoo (1), and Wilkinson (1) counties. WNV deaths have occurred in Madison and Yazoo counties. – See http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/23,15551,341.html

Texas 08/26/14 TX Dept of State Health: Officials have confirmed 41 human cases of WNV illness in the state so far this year. Counties include Brazoria (2), Dallas (5), El Paso (2), Ellis, Galveston, Harris (8), Leon, Liberty (2), Lubbock, Montgomery (13), Nueces, Parker, Tarrant, Travis and Walker. – See https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/news/updates.shtm

Texas 08/28/14 outbreaknewstoday.com: The latest cases of WNV in El Paso involve three women and one man. Two adult women and one adult man who live in the 79932 zip code area, as well as an adult woman who lives in the 79912 zip code area are the latest patients diagnosed with the disease. All four are currently recovering at home. Earlier this month, two other men were confirmed to have contracted the disease. – See http://outbreaknewstoday.com/el-paso-reports-four-additional-west-nile-virus-cases-75343/

Wyoming 08/22/14 WY Dept of Health: Media Release – An older Platte County woman represents the first and only human case of WNV reported in the state so far this year. In Wyoming last year, 41 human WNV cases, including one death, were reported. Since WNV first appeared in Wyoming in 2002, reported human cases each year have ranged from two with no deaths to 393 and nine deaths.
– See http://www.health.wyo.gov/news.aspx?NewsID=743

Rabid Cat Reports:

3243453-detail-of-girl-hugging-kitten-hand-and-paw-in-similar-positionCalifornia 08/21/14 San Joaquin County: A feral kitten found in the rural northern tier of the county has tested positive for rabies. This is the first case of rabies in the county since 2011. – See http://www.lodinews.com/news/article_6ef1ffec-2903-11e4-9fab-0019bb2963f4.html

Florida 08/29/14 Osceola County: A Rabies Alert has been issued after a feral cat that attacked a young girl tested positive for the virus. The cat bit and scratched the girl’s leg so severely she needed stitches. Officials believe the same cat attacked a man on Keystone Avenue in St. Cloud. – See http://mynews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2014/8/28/rabid_cat_attacks_gi.html

North Carolina 08/29/14 Henderson County: A Rabies Alert has been issued after a feral kitten found in the Steeplechase Court neighborhood of Carriage Park tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/20140829/ARTICLES/140829842/1042/news?Title=Rabies-confirmed-in-Henderson-County-kitten-

South Carolina 08/27/14 Laurens County: Four people in the Gray Court area have been exposed to rabies by a stray kitten that tested positive for the disease, – See http://www.wyff4.com/news/kitten-exposes-four-people-to-rabies-in-gray-court/27756666#ixzz3BqA7R1c8

Texas 08/21/14 Travis County: by Gene Davis – The City of Austin is working to identify a young boy who potentially came into contact with rabies under the Ann W. Richards Congress Avenue Bridge. An observer reported seeing the boy, who is approximately six years old and was wearing a green shirt, pick up a bat that later tested positive for rabies. The incident occurred on Aug. 18 around 9 p.m., according to a press release issued by the City. . . . anyone with information on the Aug. 18 incident (should) call the Health Department office at 512-972-5555 or, after 5 p.m., 512-802-1575. – See more at: http://www.austinpost.org/article/city-seeks-help-identify-boy-potentially-exposed-rabies#sthash.57abSpHl.dpuf

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