GEORGIA man dies of RATTLESNAKE bite ~ CALIFORNIA youngster attacked by COYOTE ~ COLORADO confirms HUMAN CASE of HANTAVIRUS ~ COLORADO confirms HUMAN CASE of TULAREMIA ~ TEXAS confirms first HUMAN CASE of WEST NILE VIRUS this year ~ RABIES reports from AL, MD & TX

Rattlesnake. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Rattlesnake. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Georgia 05/20/15 oconeeenterprise.com: by Blake Giles – David Giles knew snakes. He was trained as a forester. He had lived and worked near remote areas, so he knew snakes. He carried a snakebite kit in his vehicle. “He knows the woods,” said his mother, Jane Giles of Watkinsville. “I don’t know if there is anyone who knows any more about snakes and their habits than he knew. He knew to respect them.” But Giles, 59, of Watkinsville, died Monday from a snakebite. Giles had been living with his mother, Jane, for about four years since he had contracted Lyme disease. She believes that his system might have been compromised already by his illness, compounding the effects of the venom. Giles was on Bullock Road in Oglethorpe County Sunday evening. He had gone to water some plants for his sister, who was out of town. Rather than drive his own vehicle, with the snakebite kit, he drove his mother’s car. Exactly what happened is speculation because Giles was alone. It appears that he had at least turned on the water hose, because it was still running Tuesday when someone returned to the scene. There was some loose lumber at the site. Perhaps the snake was there, or under the house. “It’s a lovely old home, built in the late 1700s,” Jane Giles said. “It is totally surrounded by forest.” Emergency-room physicians told the family that they guessed that it was a rattlesnake bite, based on the size of the bite marks on his right hand. Giles was wearing a glove when the snake bit him. He drove himself about a mile to a nearby house where he practically fell out of the truck. He managed to tell someone, “I have been snakebit.” Jane Giles said her son never regained consciousness after that. – See http://www.oconeeenterprise.com/news/article_0ed5546e-ff00-11e4-a74d-6b0eeeff7035.html

COYOTE:

1_62_coyote_snarlCalifornia 05/22/15 losangeles.cbslocal.com: A 3-year-old girl was attacked by a coyote Friday while playing with a friend in an Orange County park. It happened around 5:50 p.m. at the corner of Equinox and Silverado, according to Irvine police. The coyote charged at the girl “out of nowhere” and lunged at her neck. It could have ended much differently had it not been for a nearby resident who acted quickly. Ginna McKenna was sitting on her patio when she spotted the attack, as told to CBS2’s Stacey Butler. “A little girl was screaming and the mother was screaming, so I came running out and there was a coyote in the park. I chased [the coyote] off,” McKenna said. “They were scared.” The girl was taken to a hospital with what was described as a superficial wound to her neck. Fish and Game and Animal Control officers with the Irvine P.D. are looking for the coyote. Police say coyotes frequent the area, but it’s extremely rare for one to attack a person. – For video see http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2015/05/22/coyote-bites-3-year-old-girl-in-irvine/

HANTAVIRUS:

Hantavirus-OutbreakColorado 05/21/15 nbc11news.com: Garfield County Public Health officials are working with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to investigate a recent case of hantavirus exposure in the western part of Garfield County. Hantavirus is carried in the saliva, urine and droppings of certain infected mice. When contaminated dirt and dust are stirred up, the virus becomes airborne. “Every year we see cases of hantavirus in Colorado. Our state is second highest in the nation in cases of the disease,” said Yvonne Long, Public Health Director in a written statement. “If you have mice in or around your home, barns, or cabins you are at risk for exposure to hantavirus. That is why we are urging people to exercise extreme caution when they enter or clean up an area with evidence of rodents.” – For complete article see http://www.nbc11news.com/home/headlines/Hantavirus-case-reported-in-Garfield-County-304650041.html

TULAREMIA:

rabbit.tularemiaColorado 05/21/15 denverpost.com: by Anthony Cotton – The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment has confirmed this year’s first human case of tularemia in a county resident. Officials said the resident may have been infected while planting trees or gardening — soil can be contaminated by bacteria from the droppings or urine of sick animals, most likely rabbits. These bacteria can enter the skin through tiny cuts or abrasions. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, in 2014, Colorado saw at least 11 cases of humans contracting tularemia, more than three times the previous average in the state. Residents are advised that tularemia-causing bacteria may infect small animals — especially rabbits and hares — along the Front Range. A recent die-off of rabbits in a neighborhood suggests a possible tularemia outbreak among the animals in that area. These bacteria can persist in the soil or water for weeks, and it takes very few bacteria to cause an infection. Officials said tularemia can be transmitted to people who have handled infected animals, such as hunters. Infection can also arise from the bite of infected insects (most commonly ticks and deer flies); by exposure to contaminated food, water, or soil by eating, drinking, or direct contact with breaks in the skin; or by inhaling particles carrying the bacteria (through mowing or blowing vegetation). – For complete article see http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_28165479/larimer-county-confirms-first-2015-human-case-tularemia

WEST NILE VIRUS:

Harris County

Harris County

Texas 05/21/15 Harris County Health Dept: Media Release – – Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services (HCPHES) has confirmed the first human case of the 2015 season of West Nile Virus (WNV) illness in Harris County, and in the state of Texas. West Nile Virus was confirmed in an elderly patient from the northwest portion of Harris County. The patient, whose identity will remain confidential, is expected to recover.  – For complete release see http://www.hcphes.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_72972/File/News%20and%20Media/Press%20Release_WNV%20human%20case_May%202015.pdf

RABIES:

rabies_tag_small_websiteAlabama 05/22/15 Lee County: A family’s unvaccinated pet Chihuahua from the 600 block of Lee Road 191 has tested positive for rabies after biting its owner who is now receiving post-exposure prophylactic treatment. – See http://www.oanow.com/news/auburn/article_64688270-00e0-11e5-9a09-4b06d28b805a.html

337278_koshka_kot_rebenok_ditya_devochka_kosichka_ulybka_2990x2170_www-gdefon-ruMaryland 05/21/15 Harford County: A feral cat from a colony on Scarboro Road near the county waste disposal center has tested positive for rabies. – See http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2015/05/21/feral-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies/

6183687956_0905f1bf96_oTexas 05/21/15 Stephens County: A kitten found in the Harpersville area has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.ktxs.com/news/stephens-county-reports-its-first-rabies-case-of-year/33146132

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