Alaska 11/07/14 dailymail.co.uk: by John Hall – Helicopter rescue teams airlifted a 68-year-old American man to hospital after he was attacked by bears while hunting on a remote island off the coast of Alaska. The man, identified as Michael Snowden, was transported by coast guards to Kodiak Municipal Airport where he was passed on to medical services who treated him for serious leg injuries. It is understood a group of up to five bears attacked Mr Snowden and his friend Jeff Ostrin as they dragged the carcass of a deer they had shot through dense vegetation on Sally Island in Uganik Bay. The attack took place yesterday afternoon on a remote island off the southern coast of mainland Alaska. The state is home to 98 per cent of the United States’ total brown bear population.
Nathan Svoboda, a local wildlife biologist, gave details of the attack to Alaska Dispatch News. He said the two men were dragging a deer through vegetation when they stopped for lunch. No sooner had they sat down to eat when a large female bear charged at them. The animal reportedly attacked Snowden, biting and scratching his body before Ostrin, 38, shot the animal three times, killing it. Seconds later, more bears emerged, with Ostrin shooting and killing one of the cubs. The shooting apparently scared the rest of the animals away. The crew on board a fishing vessel witnessed the entire incident and reportedly raced to the shore to remove the men to the safety of the sea, with the captain calling the coast guard to the scene. – For complete article and video see http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2823354/Hunter-airlifted-hospital-coast-guard-savaged-five-bears-remote-island-coast-Alaska.html
British Columbia 11/05/14 squamishchief.com: by Christine Wood – The first case of tick paralysis ever recorded in a wild animal was identified on the Sunshine Coast recently with the help of the Gibsons Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. Hikers on a trail near Burnett Road in March found a snowshoe hare seemingly paralyzed from the waist down. The rabbit was brought to the centre, where Clint and Irene Davy examined it and found engorged ticks feeding on the animal’s neck. The ticks were removed and the animal was placed in a kennel and allowed to rest, but it soon stopped breathing and died. The Davys were unsure what had happened, but because they were already involved in a tick study being done by Ontario-based researcher John D. Scott, they sent the ticks off to Scott for examination. After about 100 hours of examination and research, Scott surmised the western blacklegged ticks sent in caused the snowshoe hare to become paralyzed and led to its death. “During tick feeding, Ixodes pacificus (black-legged tick) females expel neurotoxins which impede the electrical conductivity at nerve endings. Consequently, brain signals fail to reach body parts. In this case, the snowshoe hare could not propel itself,” Scott said. – For complete article see http://www.squamishchief.com/news/local-news/case-of-tick-paralysis-found-on-sunshine-coast-1.1526063
Global 11/01/14 newyorker.com: Very interesting article about several aspects of the Ebola virus that we don’t yet understand. Written by Jerome Groopman, a New Yorker staff writer focusing primarily on issues related to medicine and biology. – See http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/dont-know-ebola
PETS & ZOONOTIC DISEASE:
Global 11/04/14 huffingtonpost.com: by Donna Solomon, DVM – In 2012, the American Veterinary Medical Association estimated that 56 percent of all United States households own a pet. There are over 69 million dogs and 36 million cats in American households. Our pets are family members; we love, play, share our food, and celebrate holidays with them. In fact, a recent survey by a mattress company discovered that 71 percent of pet owners sleep with their pet. Of those pet owners who share their bed with their furry family member, 52 percent let their pet lie at their feet. Twenty-three percent snuggle with them, 11 percent share a pillow and 14 percent let them sleep underneath their covers. I admit my dog and two cats sleep on our bed. Am I concerned that I may catch a disease from my pet? Yes, as a practicing veterinarian I am acutely aware of bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic diseases that can be transmitted between animals and humans, called zoonotic diseases.
Giardia, a protozoa found in contaminated soil and water, is a zoonotic disease that causes diarrhea in pets and humans. I see this disease at least twice daily in my Chicago practice. A recent study found Giardia in the feces of 8 percent dogs and 4 percent cats in United States. Another zoonotic disease, called Leptospirosis, is transmitted by drinking water contaminated by urine of infected wildlife-like rats, mice, raccoons, opossums and skunks. It causes life-threatening kidney and liver disease. It is a rising cause of illness in my practice. My goal today is not to frighten you on the hazards of pet ownership and your enjoyment of wildlife, but to educate you on how to safely live with them in your home and from afar. – For a lengthy list of precautions see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/donna-solomon-dvm/safely-living-with-pets-d_b_6069134.html
WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV):
California 11/05/14 CA Dept of Public Health: There were 51 new WNV human cases reported in California this week from the following counties: Los Angeles (16), Orange (25), Riverside (2), San Bernardino (1), San Diego (3), Santa Clara (2), Sutter (1), and Ventura (1). This is the first WNV human case from Ventura County this year. 23 WNV-related fatalities have been reported to CDPH from eleven local health jurisdictions: Glenn (1), Long Beach City (2), Los Angeles (3), Orange (6), Placer (1), Sacramento (2), San Diego (1), Shasta (1), Stanislaus (2), Sutter (3), and Tehama (1). 705 human cases from 31 counties have tested positive for WNV in 2014. – See http://www.westnile.ca.gov/
South Carolina 11/06/14 Laurens County: A stray cat that was in contact with a person in Gray Court has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wspa.com/story/27313091/person-exposed-to-rabies-from-cat-in-gray-court
Virginia 11/04/14 wtkr.com: by Becca Mitchell – The Peninsula Health District is searching for a medium-sized black dog that bit a child on Saturday while he was fundraising in the vicinity of Duer Drive in Williamsburg. If this Dog is not found, the victim may have to undergo post exposure treatment (shots) for the prevention of rabies. Once found, the animal will not be taken away from its owner, only placed on an in-home confinement period of 10 days. Anyone who has seen an animal that fits this description in this area is asked to contact the Peninsula Health District – Williamsburg Environmental Health at (757) 603-4277. After hours, please contact the James City County/Williamsburg Animal Control at 253-1800. – See http://wtkr.com/2014/11/04/peninsula-health-district-looking-for-medium-sized-black-dog-that-bit-a-child/