COYOTE attacks two CALIFORNIANS ~ PUERTO RICO confirms 4000+ cases of CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER ~ Study confirms 1000+ human cases of PLAGUE in U.S. since 1900 ~ Wildlife professional believes MOUNTAIN LIONS are returning to NORTHEASTERN U.S. ~ RABIES reports from FL, MO, RI, SC & TX.

Coyote. Courtesy National Park Service.

Coyote. Courtesy National Park Service.

California 12/31/14 mercurynews.com: by Natalie Neysa Alund – An apparently sick coyote that bit a man and a 5-year-old boy in the city of Fremont’s Mission San Jose neighborhood and was later fatally shot by police has tested negative for rabies, police announced Tuesday. The animal’s necropsy took place Monday and test results from a state lab were released early Tuesday, police spokesman Geneva Bosques said. Police shot and killed the coyote on Dec. 25 after it bit a 42-year-old man and the 5-year-old boy on separate streets about a mile apart that day. The coyote, who appeared injured, was initially spotted about 5:40 p.m. in the 3100 block of Starr Street, just several blocks from Highway 680, where he bit the man on his leg. An hour later, a man jogging on Montevideo Circle was chased by the coyote, although he was able to kick off the animal and escape uninjured. As officers were searching for the animal, dispatch received a call from a local hospital reporting that a 5-year-old boy had been bitten by a coyote while walking on Via Oporto. The animal was eventually found wandering on Nido Court and fatally shot in order to prevent further attacks. The coyote was taken to Tri-City Animal Shelter, where it was tested for rabies. None of the people bitten suffered life-threatening injuries. Bosques, who said the attack appears to be random, said the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife will continue to try and determine why it attacked. – See http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_27229429/coyote-who-bit-two-people-fremont-tests-negative

CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER:

chikungunya-symptoms66734Puerto Rico 12/31/14 foxnews.com: Puerto Rico has logged more than 4,000 confirmed cases of infection with the Chikungunya virus this year, the Health Department said Wednesday. Lab tests confirmed 118 new cases during the Nov. 12-Dec. 9 period, chief epidemiologist Brenda Rivera Garcia said, which brought the total to 4,185, pending data for the rest of December. “Most of the cases confirmed in this report are in the western area of the island,” she said in a statement. “It is important that residents in this region’s municipalities take steps to protect themselves and to eradicate mosquito breeding sites both around houses and work areas.” Chikungunya, like dengue fever, is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito . . . The Chikungunya virus is responsible for five deaths on the island this year, according to the Puerto Rico Health Department. – See http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/health/2014/12/31/puerto-rico-reports-more-than-4000-chikungunya-cases/

PLAGUE:

BubonicPlague4456675National 12/29/14 healio.com: According to researchers at the CDC, human cases of plague continue to occur consistently in the United States, particularly in the rural Southwest. During a 113-year study period, from 1900 to 2012, 1,006 cases of human plague were reported in the US. Of 913 cases for which information on the clinical form of the disease was available, 82% were bubonic, 8% pneumonic, 10% septicemic, 1% pharyngeal and less than 1% gastrointestinal. Of 305 cases for whom exposure information was available, 106 individuals had been bitten by a flea, 91 recently had handled an animal, 64 had butchered or skinned an animal, and 21 had sustained a bite or scratch or were exposed to the cough of an animal. According to the researchers, the most significant current risk factor for plague is direct or indirect human contact with rodents and their fleas. – See http://www.healio.com/infectious-disease/zoonotic-infections/news/online/%7Ba3f39c57-b943-4bb8-90d4-3137144f79ea%7D/plague-continues-to-pose-threat-in-us-particularly-in-southwest

MOUNTAIN LIONS:

MountainLionNortheastern U.S. 01/02/15 centralmaine.com: A Vermont animal tracker known nationally for her expertise in tracking cougars believes the big cats will eventually return to the Northeastern United States and neighboring parts of Canada, but she says the region won’t see large numbers of them anytime soon. The forests of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and upstate New York have ideal cougar habitat, meaning plentiful forest cover and large animals to sustain a cougar population, said Sue Morse of Jericho, the science director and founder of the organization Keeping Track. “Back in the ’80s, I just looked at that huge expanse of country between the Rockies, the western slope of the Rockies and here, and I thought to myself ‘how can this happen?’” said Morse. Since then, scientists have tracked the animals moving out of South Dakota into Midwestern states. Cougars also are moving north into Manitoba, the Canadian province to the west of Ontario, which Morse considers their most likely route back to the Northeast. “We need our apex carnivores in a big way,” Morse said. “We need them for the health of our forests. Our forests are being ravaged by too many deer in some places.” The animals are known by a variety of names: mountain lion, puma, panther, catamount. Vermont’s last known cougar was killed in 1881 in Barnard. – For complete article see http://www.centralmaine.com/2015/01/01/cougar-expert-cats-could-return-to-new-england/

RABIES:

2011RabiesAwarenessWeekFlorida 12/23/14 Jackson County: A horse stabled west of Marianna off U.S. 90 has tested positive for rabies. Another horse and three dogs on the property have been quarantined as a precaution. – See http://www.jcfloridan.com/news/article_a1e1cc72-8af4-11e4-824c-cfd866e432ca.html

Missouri 12/31/14 Texas County: A stray cat that was taken in by a county resident and later became ill has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.ozarksfirst.com/story/d/story/texas-county-under-alert-after-rabid-cat-found/25352/JrGmp7q9a0Sguo0L0HIdMg

Rhode Island 12/30/14 Providence County: A pony stabled in the vicinity of Sherman Avenue in Lincoln has tested positive for rabies. Anyone who may have come in contact with the animal should call the Rhode Island Department of Health at (401) 222-5960. – See http://wpri.com/2014/12/30/pony-put-down-after-testing-positive-for-rabies/

South Carolina 12/29/14 Lancaster County: Two people, who live near the town of Kershaw, have been advised to seek immediate medical advice after an outside pet cat tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/12/29/5412962/2-lancaster-co-residents-exposed.html#.VKdwgnvy0tU

Texas 12/23/14 Kerr County: Four people are being treated for potential exposure to rabies after a pet cat died from the virus in Kerrville. – See http://www.kens5.com/story/news/local/public-safety/2014/12/23/rabies—animals-cats-vaccine/20779433/

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