Author Archives: Jerry Genesio

WYOMING testing new VACCINE in ELK hoping to prevent CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ WOLF pack in MONTANA kills DOG hunting MOUNTAIN LIONS ~ FLORIDA issues EQUINE HERPES VIRUS ALERT ~ RABIES reports from CO, FL, NJ, NC, & TX.

Mating elk. Courtesy U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Mating elk. Courtesy U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Wyoming 02/19/13 wgfd.wyo.gov: News Release – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has begun a multi-year study at its Thorne-Williams Wildlife Research Unit (formerly Sybille) near Wheatland to evaluate the efficacy of a vaccine against chronic wasting disease. The vaccine was developed in Canada by three leading infectious disease centers. In January, researchers trapped 50 elk calves at Game and Fish’s South Park feedground (south of WY_GFD-LogoJackson) and transported them to the research unit. There, calves were split into two groups. One group was vaccinated and one was an unvaccinated control group. “Previous research has demonstrated that elk will naturally contract chronic wasting disease by being housed at the unit,” said Game and Fish Chief Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Terry Kreeger. “We predict that the vaccinated group will live longer than the control group. It’s important to understand that even if the vaccine does not provide lifelong protection from chronic wasting disease, every extra year of survival the vaccine provides will mean increased production in an affected population.” A parallel vaccine study is being conducted on deer in Colorado. – For complete release see http://wgfd.wyo.gov/web2011/news-1000368.aspx

Wolves:

mtnlion_NPSMontana 02/27/13 ravallirepublic.com: by Perry Backus – In the 20 years that Tom Henderson has been hunting mountain lions with hounds, he’s never had a run-in with wolves. That changed Saturday. It was about 10 a.m. when the hounds he was hunting with treed a lion near Gird Creek, just north of Skalkaho Creek and east of Hamilton, following a two-hour chase. He and his companions were about 100 yards away from the treed lion and the three dogs when they saw a pack of six wolves appear. About five seconds later, Henderson said, a wolf grabbed one of Dan Morris’ hounds by the neck and killed it. “He grabbed it and broke its neck,” Henderson said. “It happened really fast. We started shooting our pistols.”

TreeingWalkerCoonhoundTreeingCoonHenderson said the wolves were initially focused on the dogs and hung around for a few moments before loping off. “That was kind of surprising,” Henderson said. “I think they were pretty focused on the dogs. We were able to get quite a bit closer even after shooting.” With the state’s wolf season still open, Henderson said they could have legally shot them. “All we had were pistols,” he said. “That’s just not very realistic.”This is the second time this winter that wolves have killed mountain lion hunting hounds owned by people in the Bitterroot Valley. Earlier this year, three hounds owned by a Stevensville man were killed in the Ninemile drainage north of Missoula. Henderson said that it’s become a fact of life for lion hunters.

Wolf_in_the_fireweed_gallery“This is the new normal,” he said. “It’s a risk we take. I’m not a wolf fan, but I’ve come to the conclusion that even with more liberal seasons, wolves are here forever.” “We’re going to have to live with them,” Henderson said. In an effort to cut down on the risk, Henderson said he has been putting bells on his dog’s collars in hopes of keeping wolves at bay from the unnatural noise that the bells produce. – For complete article see http://www.ravallirepublic.com/news/local/article_08c8d58e-8089-11e2-b533-001a4bcf887a.html

Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1):

photo-credit-american-assoc-of-equine-practitionersFlorida 02/24/13 freshfromflorida.com: News Release – A horse participating in the Horse Shows in the Sun (HITS), horse show in Ocala was referred to the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine after showing clinical neurological signs on February 20th. The horse subsequently tested positive for the Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1), wild-type strain. Currently, the horse is in stable condition and continues to be treated at the University of Florida. There are no additional suspected or confirmed cases at this time.  The Division of Animal Industry is continuing the disease investigation, which includes the HITS show grounds in Ocala, the local index farm and multiple premises that have horses that may have been exposed to the positive horse. No new Q%20Tapequarantines have been issued today and the seven quarantines issued since last Thursday remain in place. These quarantines include the index farm, Tent 7 at HITS and five additional premises in Florida; two farms in the Ocala area, one in Pinellas Park, one in St. Augustine and one in Wellington. At this point in the investigation there are no known exposed horses in other states. – For complete release see http://www.freshfromflorida.com/ai/pdf/EHVWebsiteUpdate.pdf

Rabies:

skunk2f4gh - CopyColorado 02/27/13 Adams County: Health officials have confirmed that a skunk found on private property in Brighton has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_22681954/skunk-brighton-tests-positive-rabies

Florida 02/27/13 Brevard County: A man who OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAattempted to pick up a raccoon that was hit by a car and was bitten is now receiving rabies post-exposure treatment. The raccoon, which was hit on State Road 3 about a mile south of the Kennedy Space Center, has tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20130227/NEWS01/130227017/Brevard-health-officials-announce-rabies-warning-area-near-KSC?nclick_check=1

0coonvsdog422 - CopyNew Jersey 02/27/13 Morris County: Denville Township officials have issued a Rabies Alert after a raccoon that attacked a dog in the vicinity of South Wynde Drive, behind the A&P, tested positive for the virus. – See http://newjerseyhills.com/the_citizen/news/denville-issues-rabies-alert/article_c50e06b4-811b-11e2-9b63-0019bb2963f4.html

North Carolina 02/28/13 Davidson County: A skunk found inside a dog lot in Churchland with a dog that had an expired vaccination has tested positive for rabies. The skunk was shot and killed by the dog’s owner. The dog thumbnailCA0KC8HVwas euthanized. – See http://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20130228/News/302289972

Texas 02/27/13 Somervell County: The Glen Rose animal control officer has issued a Rabies Alert after a skunk that was chasing people attending a birthday party tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.yourglenrosetx.com/news/community/article_f927db0a-8120-11e2-a475-0019bb2963f4.html

RABBIT hunter in NORTH CAROLINA contracts TULAREMIA ~ MICE captured at CALIFORNIA nature preserve test positive for HANTAVIRUS ~ RABIES reports from AR, KS, & VA.

Eastern Cottontail Rabbit. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Eastern Cottontail Rabbit. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

North Carolina 02/19/13 wilsontimes.com: by Jon Jimison – The N.C. Wildlife Commission and state Division of Public Health are encouraging hunters to take precautions after a rabbit hunter in eastern North Carolina tested positive for a rare but serious disease called tularemia, also known as rabbit fever. A second member of the same hunting party also showed signs of the disease. “We’re just asking hunters to take precautions and be aware,” said Carolyn Rickard, spokeswoman for the N.C. Wildlife Commission. Rabbit hunting season in North Carolina runs from Nov. 17 to Feb. 28. Both hunters appear to be recovering, the commission noted. Although rare, rabbit fever is a serious and potentially fatal disease. It’s also one where preventative measures can be taken. Marilyn Haskell, public health veterinarian and epidemiologist with the N.C. Division of Public Health, said the division’s role is to prevent diseases and its employees would like to get a prevention and education message out to the public.

Tularemia vectors.

Tularemia vectors.

Tularemia is a disease caused by the bacterium Francisella tularensis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It’s typically found in animals, especially rodents and rabbits. Most cases occur in rural areas. There have been 17 cases reported in North Carolina since 1999.“That is combined, confirmed and probable,” said Haskell, who specializes in rabies and zoonotic diseases. “It can make you very, very sick. We want hunters to know you can get very sick and the rabbit can appear very normal.” There are about 200 cases reported annually in the United States. The disease has a 30 percent mortality rate in some forms if left untreated. It’s treated with antibiotics, Haskell said. All cases this year in North Carolina have been confined to the current investigation. Officials said they wouldn’t name the eastern North Carolina county where the disease was reported due to patient confidentiality concerns. – For complete article see http://www.wilsontimes.com/News/Feature/Story/18247908—Hunter-contracts–rabbit-fever-

Hantavirus:

hantavirus1542California 02/21/13 pe.com: by Richard Brooks – Three mice found in a nature preserve northeast of Moreno Valley have tested positive for hantavirus, Riverside County health officials said. The rodents were among 34 captures during January in Norton Younglove Reserve in the hills between San Timoteo Canyon Road and Highway 60. Hantavirus can be fatal to humans, cautions the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People become infected through contact with infected rodents, the animals’ urine or droppings. Victims develop fever and headache that can lead to respiratory failure. Rodent control in and around homes remains the primary strategy to prevent catching hantavirus. “Over the past decade, approximately 10 percent of the rodents collected in Riverside County have tested positive for hantavirus,” county Department of Environmental Health officials said in a written statement released Thursday, Feb. 21. “To date, there are no documented human cases of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome originating within Riverside County,” However, they caution people to avoid stirring up debris while cleaning mouse-infested areas, especially in rural areas. Cleanup work should be done while wearing rubber gloves and leaving a 10 percent solution of bleach or household disinfectant on contaminated surfaces for at least 15 minutes. Sponges and mops should be used, rather than brooms and vacuums, officials emphasize. And dead rodents should be double-bagged in plastic before disposal.

Rabies:

Rabies. Cow dying of rabies.  Copyright ITMArkansas 02/19/13 Madison County: A cow kept in Kingston has tested positive for rabies. Officials believe the cow was bitten by a rabid skunk, probably 4-12 weeks prior to showing any symptoms. Cows typically develop a hoarse bellow. Drooling and abnormal swallowing may make them appear to have something caught in their throats. Some animals may only show depression and weakness, or partial paralysis, of the hindquarters. During the course of several hours to a few days, the animal will go down, develop convulsive seizures and die. – See http://harrisondaily.com/cow-dies-of-rabies-near-kingston/article_27087632-7ae2-11e2-8883-0019bb2963f4.html

dog_skunk_338171703Kansas 02/22/13 Greenwood County: A skunk found biting and holding onto a dog’s tail in an area northeast of Eureka has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.emporiagazette.com/news/article_e337b54e-7d11-11e2-af83-10604b9f7e7c.html

raccoon_largeVirginia 02/22/13 Hampton: A raccoon that attacked a family dog on Wednesday at the Sandy Bottom Nature Park has tested positive for rabies. – See http://hamptonroads.com/2013/02/raccoon-attacked-dog-hampton-had-rabies

CALIFORNIA game warden kills MOUNTAIN LION stalking him ~ MOUNTAIN LION attacks on PETS increasing in central COLORADO ~ Scientists say new virus called NOVEL CORONAVIRUS known to have infected 12 people killing 5 ~ RABIES reports from MA, NC, & TX.

Stalking mountain lion. Photo by County of Santa Barbara, California.

Stalking mountain lion. Photo by County of Santa Barbara, California.

California 02/19/13 sacbee.com: by Ed Fletcher – A popular Placer County hiking trail has reopened after authorities say a state Fish and Wildlife warden was forced to shoot and kill a mountain lion Sunday. Authorities were first alerted to an aggressive mountain lion early Saturday evening, when a hiker on the Stevens Trail near Colfax, fearing for his safety, called 911. “He noticed he was being followed by a mountain lion,” said Mark Michilizzi, a spokesman Puma_CountyOfSantaBarbara_Californiafor the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “The behavior was consistent with a mountain lion that is stalking prey.” Fish and Wildlife wardens, Placer County Sheriff’s deputies and a California Highway Patrol helicopter responded to the call and apparently scared off the mountain lion, Michilizzi said.

Sunday morning, a warden returned to the area to post signs and warn hikers of the threat of an aggressive mountain lion when he noticed a mountain lion, apparently the same one, preparing to pounce on him, Michilizzi said. While it is illegal to hunt mountain lions in California, at this point the animal wasn’t just a risk to public safety — it was a risk to the warden, who shot and killed the cat. “The officer acted appropriately,” Michilizzi said. “The mountain lion wasn’t cornered. The mountain lion was actively approaching him.” Michilizzi said a 0208cattalesmNYDEnConser.govnecropsy will be preformed to help officials learn more about the health of the animal and what might have triggered the behavior. “Deer are the primary prey for mountain lion,” Michilizzi. “When they start looking to humans, we want to know why.” He said hikers should not call 911 upon spotting of a mountain lion but this instance was different. “Mountain lion attacks are rare. This type of behavior is rare,” Michilizzi said. He advised anyone who spots a mountain lion not to run. He said to turn and face the lion while making oneself as big as possible and to throw rocks, stick or leaves.

pouncing-cougarColorado 02/17/13 Jefferson County: The number of mountain lion attacks on pets in the Brook Forest area is increasing according to a resident who, armed with only a flashlight, rescued her dog from an attack in her yard on Feb. 7. – See http://www.canyoncourier.com/content/mountain-lion-attacks-pets-increasing-area

Novel Coronavirus:

who-logoGlobal 02/19/13 dawn.com: A new virus that emerged in the Middle East last year and has killed five people is well adapted to infecting humans but could potentially be treated with drugs that boost the immune system, scientists said on Tuesday. The virus, called novel coronavirus or NCoV, is from the same family as the common cold and as SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. There have been 12 confirmed cases worldwide – including in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Britain – and five patients have died. In one of the first published studies about NCoV, which was unknown in humans until it was identified in September 2012, researchers said it could penetrate the lining of passageways in the lungs and evade the immune system as easily as a cold virus can. This shows it “grows very efficiently” in human cells and suggests it is well-equipped for infecting humans, said Volker Thiel of the Institute of Immunobiology at Kantonal Hospital in Switzerland, who led the study.

Dr. Volker Thiel

Dr. Volker Thiel

NCoV was identified when the World Health Organisation issued an international alert in September saying a completely new virus had infected a Qatari man in Britain who had recently been in Saudi Arabia. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that includes those that cause the common cold as well as the one that caused SARS – which emerged in China in 2002 and killed about a 10th of the 8,000 people it infected worldwide. Symptoms of both NCoV and SARS include severe respiratory illness, fever, coughing and breathing difficulties. Of the 12 cases confirmed so far, four were in Britain, one was a Qatari patient in Germany, two were in Jordan and five in Saudi Arabia. – For complete article see http://dawn.com/2013/02/19/deadly-new-virus-is-well-adapted-to-infect-humans-study-finds/

Rabies:

little_brown_batMassachusetts 02/18/13 Barnstable County: A Wellfleet official has confirmed that a bat recently found in the town has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wcvb.com/news/local/boston-south/Cape-bat-tests-positive-for-rabies/-/9848842/18590226/-/format/rsss_2.0/-/102877az/-/index.html

by_Svdmolen_WC-001North Carolina 02/18/13 Guilford County: A raccoon captured on Hertford Street in Greensboro on Monday has tested positive for rabies. A dog was exposed to the virus. – See http://www.digtriad.com/news/local/article/269916/57/2nd-Case-Of-Rabies-Confirmed-In-Guilford-County

800px-Striped_Skunkby_www.birdphotos.comWC-2Texas 02/18/13 Johnson and Tarrant counties: Two skunks found inside Burleson city limits in the last two weeks have tested positive for rabies. The first, on Jan. 29th, was on Lynwood Avenue where it had been killed by dogs. The second was captured on Wilshire Boulevard/Texas 174 last week. – See http://blogs.star-telegram.com/crime_time/2013/02/two-skunks-test-positive-for-rabies-in-burleson.html

MISSOURI confirms 39th MOUNTAIN LION sighting since 1994 ~ CANADA: University of CALGARY professor dies after brief bout with INFLUENZA A H1N1 ~ RABIES reports from AL, FL, MD, SC, TXx2, & VA.

Mountain lion. Photo courtesy National Park Service.

Mountain lion. Photo courtesy National Park Service.

Missouri 02/15/13 semissourian.com: by Keith Lewis – The Missouri Department of Conservation confirmed the sighting of another mountain lion earlier this month, bringing the number of confirmed sightings in the state to 39 since 1994. The latest verification comes from a photo taken Feb. 2 in the Peck Ranch Conservation Area, a wildlife refuge operated by the department in portions of Carter and Shannon counties. “The presence of that mountain lion was documented by a trail-cam photo,” said Candice Davis, spokeswoman for the department’s Southeast Regional Office in Cape Girardeau. “That’s the best evidence we can get.” An elk calf carcass bearing signs of a mountain lion attack also was found. Conservation officials started bringing elk into Peck Ranch as part of an elk restoration effort that began in 2011.

Missouri Department of Conservation trailcam photo taken Feb 2 at Peck Ranch Conservation Area.

Missouri Department of Conservation trailcam photo taken Feb 2 at Peck Ranch Conservation Area.

According to information on the department’s website, three counties in Southeast Missouri have the state’s highest number of confirmed mountain lion sightings. Shannon County leads with six, Reynolds County has five and Carter County has four. The confirmations there and in 20 other counties across the state have been exclusively of the sub-adult male of the species, which may provide a clue as to why the mountain lions are finding their way to Missouri. “It’s their nature to take off,” said Jeff Beringer, a resource scientist at the conservation department and the chairman of the agency’s Mountain Lion Response Team. “The sub-adult male is known to go a long way from home in search of food or a mate, particularly if there is competition in their native habitat that forces them to do so.” –                                                                                                              For complete article see http://www.semissourian.com/story/1941421.html

H1N1:

CANADA:

imagesCAS0K34RAlberta 0/17/12 ctvnews.ca: Dr. Margo Husby, a senior instructor at the University of Calgary in the Department of Communication and Culture, has passed away. Family members confirmed to CTV Calgary, Husby’s death on February 13, 2013, followed a brief battle with the H1N1 virus . . . According to Alberta Health Services influenza surveillance report, in the sixth week of 2013, there were 10 cases of hospitalized influenza in Alberta involving Influenza A (H1N1). – See http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/university-of-calgary-professor-succumbs-to-h1n1-virus-1.1160300

Rabies:

angry%20racAlabama 02/15/13 Baldwin County: A raccoon captured in the Magnolia Springs/Foley area after exhibiting strange behaviors including diurnal activity and aggression has tested positive for rabies. – See http://blog.al.com/live/2013/02/rabies_diagnosis_confirmed_in.html

please-call-me-graphic-for-orkut-facebookFlorida 02/13/13 Sarasota and Manatee counties: Fourteen-year-old Lexi Lamb only wants answers about the dog that bit her. “I hate needles so much. Especially like the ones I am going to have to have for rabies shots,” Lamb told ABC Action News Wednesday afternoon. Tuesday night Lexi rode her bike along a path behind the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. As she went to turn toward her parents’ business she spotted a dog behind her. “Next thing I knew the dog was on top of me and it was not stopping. I had my face in the ground to keep it away from the dog and I looked right up and it got me in the face,” she said. Witnesses said the dog described as a Saint Bernard was pulled off of Lexi by its owner who offered help, but then left. “We don’t want to hurt either one of them. We just want to know the history of the dog so that the last thing Lexi needs to go through is rabies shots,” said her mom Jacquie Schlitter. Lexi is preparing for a 12-hour-straight bike race this weekend and only wants to be sure she is healthy so she can compete. “We have a dog ourselves and we are dog lovers, but we need to find out who you are and who the dog is just so she does not have to go through this anymore,” said Schlitter. If you have any information on the dog or the dog’s owner you are asked to call Manatee Animal Services at 941-742-5933. – See video at http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/news/region_sarasota_manatee/bradenton/girl-bit-by-unknown-dog-will-need-rabies-shots-if-dog-is-not-found

rabidcatMaryland 02/17/13 Frederick County: An adult male cat with long black hair that was found in Middletown along Holter Road near the Hollow Creek Golf Course has tested positive for rabies. Anyone who may have been in contact with the cat should seek immediate medical advice. – See http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/news/displayUpdate.htm?StoryID=146995#.USGvQ2cp9NI

South Carolina 02/14/13 Laurens County: A skunk that attacked a woman in the city of Laurens earlier this week has tested positive for rabies. After kicking it aside three times, she went for a gun from inside the house, shot the animal, and delivered it to a local veterinarian. This is the second reported Skunk%20noseskunk attack in the vicinity within a week. – See http://www2.wspa.com/news/2013/feb/14/veterinarian-skunk-attacks-laurens-woman-tests-pos-ar-5595551/

Texas 02/14/13 Lubbock County: A striped skunk found Feb. 4th in the NE corner of the City of Lubbock has tested positive for rabies. – See http://lubbockonline.com/local-news/2013-02-14/skunk-lubbock-test-positive-rabies-other-animals-might-be-infected#.UR8qtWckRNI

1087535980Texas 02/08/13 Cameron County: by Allen Essex – The city of South Padre Island is working with the Texas Department of State Health Services to distribute vaccination bait that prevents coyotes that eat the material from contracting the canine form of rabies, city officials said in a statement. The bait was distributed Friday morning by city workers in areas of the city where coyotes normally travel, officials said. – See http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_c322e96c-726d-11e2-88d9-0019bb30f31a.html

MissouriDeptConservationVirginia 02/09/13 Smyth County: A raccoon found in the Grubmore Road area of the county has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.tricities.com/swvatoday/news/smyth_county/article_062085dc-7249-11e2-a6bb-001a4bcf6878.html

CHAGAS DISEASE unknown to most but scientists say very costly to U.S. economy ~ FLORIDA man dies of EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS ~ RABIES reports from FL, & NC.

Logo_treat_chagas=PD-WC

Global 02/11/13 nytimes.com: by Donald G. McNeil Jr. – Chagas disease may be obscure, but the economic burden it imposes on the world is greater than that of better-known diseases, like cervical cancer or cholera, according to a new study. Even in the United States, the authors said, the costs of Chagas are commensurate with those of more publicized diseases, like Lyme disease. (In the same league, perhaps, but not quite equal. In their study, published in Lancet Infectious Diseases, the authors calculated that Chagas cost the American economy $900 million a year. A 1998 study estimated that Lyme disease cost $2.5 billion.)

Chagas disease is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which is transmitted to animals and people by insect vectors that are found only in the Americas (mainly, in rural areas of Latin America where poverty is widespread). The insect vectors are called triatomine bugs (also called kissing bugs or conenose bugs). Chagas disease is also referred to as American trypanosomiasis.AZ Dept of Health Services.

Chagas disease is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which is transmitted to animals and people by insect vectors that are found only in the Americas (mainly, in rural areas of Latin America where poverty is widespread). The insect vectors are called triatomine bugs (also called kissing bugs or conenose bugs). Chagas disease is also referred to as American trypanosomiasis.AZ Dept of Health Services.

Chagas disease is caused by a trypanosome parasite transmitted by the bloodsucking “kissing bug,” which bites victims as they sleep. Transmission is endemic in much of Latin America, from central Mexico to northern Argentina. Kissing bugs have been found in the southern United States; the bugs tend to live in substandard housing and animal pens. The parasites cause an initial flulike illness that can be cured if it is caught. But it is often not diagnosed, and the infection may become chronic. It may be silent for decades and then emerge as long-term damage to the heart or intestines. It can be fatal. Up to 10 million people may be infected, many of whom have emigrated from Latin America seeking jobs in the United States, Canada and Europe — especially Spain.

Triatomine bugs are typically found in the southern United States, Mexico, Central America, and South America (as far south as southern Argentina). The map above details triatomine occurrence by U.S. state. CDC 2012.

Triatomine bugs are typically found in the southern United States, Mexico, Central America, and South America (as far south as southern Argentina). The map above details triatomine occurrence by U.S. state. CDC 2012.

The authors, from the University of Pittsburgh and Baylor University, estimated the economic burden by trying to calculate the cost of hospitalization and care, including pacemaker implants, for those with heart damage or other organ failure. The costs vary by country, of course, with the United States being the most expensive. The researchers then added estimates of “disability-adjusted life years,” a measure of Baylor-logo-O-300x245how many years of healthy life are lost. They “cost” more when they are subtracted from the life of a working-age adult in a high-wage country than from pitt_logoa retiree or an infant in a poor country. The authors estimate that the global burden of Chagas is about $7 billion a year. By comparison, the burden of cervical cancer — a notorious killer of women, but almost only in poor countries, and usually as they age out of their working lives — is estimated at below $5 billion.

Dr. Peter J. Hotez

Dr. Peter J. Hotez

The burden of rotavirus, a diarrheal disease that kills many babies but rarely endangers anyone over age 5, is estimated at $2 billion. (By contrast, lung cancer’s burden is estimated at $83 billion a year, and breast cancer’s at $35 billion.) Many millions have been spent developing a rotavirus vaccine and on ways to fight cervical cancer in poor countries. Knowing that Chagas is a serious economic threat could push policy makers to spend more money on developing vaccines against it, said Dr. Peter J. Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and a co-author of the new study. Dr. Hotez is also president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, which is doing research on Chagas vaccines. – For links to health guide and other relative topics see http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/12/health/chagas-disease-costs-us-more-than-better-known-illnesses.html?emc=tnt&tntemail0=y&_r=0

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

imagesCA5TB1FLFlorida 02/07/13 Levy County: Health officials have confirmed that a 90-year-old male residing near Bronson died late last month of EEE. This is the first human case of EEE ever reported in the county, they said. – See http://www.chieflandcitizen.com/content/levy-man-dies-eastern-equine-encephalitis

Rabies:

batsyumagrandeFlorida 02/13/13 Duval County: Health officials have issued a Rabies Alert for the Ortega area of Jacksonville because of a rabid bat. – See http://jacksonville.com/news/metro/2013-02-13/story/rabid-bat-leads-rabies-alert-ortega-area

Oz the four month old Snow Monkey makes an appearance at Central Park Zero, Manhattan, New York, USANorth Carolina 02/12/13 Alamance County: Two raccoons recently involved in separate alterations with two different dogs have tested positive for rabies. On Friday, a raccoon and dog fought on Troendly Street in the northwest part of the county, and a different raccoon attacked another dog Monday on Bethel Methodist Church Road. Both dogs had to be euthanized. – See http://www.thetimesnews.com/news/top-news/county-confirms-second-third-rabies-cases-of-2013-1.94331

MICHIGAN DNR seeks help with Lower Peninsula WOLF survey ~ COLORADO confirms eight reports of MOUNTAIN LIONS attacking DOGS ~ RABIES reports from TX, & VA.

Gray wolf. Photo by Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Gray wolf. Photo by Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Michigan 02/08/13 michigan.gov/dnr: The Department of Natural Resources will conduct a wolf track survey Feb. 11 through March 8 to detect the presence of gray wolves in the northern Lower Peninsula. “Given the low probability of observing an actual wolf or its tracks in the Lower Peninsula, it’s helpful to have as many eyes looking as possible,” said DNR wildlife biologist Jennifer Kleitch. “That’s why public reports are so important.” Sightings of wolves or tracks believed to have been made by a wolf, between Feb. 11 and March 8 can be reported to the Gaylord Operations Service Center at 989-732-3541, ext. 5901. Wolf observation reports can also be submitted online at www.dnr.state.mi.us/wildlife/pubs/wolf_obsreport.asp.

9409226-smallWolves began naturally returning to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula via Canada and Wisconsin in the early 1990s. Since that time populations have increased and continue to expand their range. Evidence of range expansion into the Lower Peninsula came when a gray wolf was accidentally killed in Presque Isle County in 2004. Survey teams will respond to areas where there have been one or more observations. Priority will be placed on recent reports and those submitted during the survey period. “It’s important that observations are reported promptly so we can work with fresh evidence. If people find what they believe are wolf tracks, they should preserve the track, disturbing it as little as possible, or take a photo of the tracks with a ruler,” stated Kleitch. “If someone has a photo of a wolf in the Lower Peninsula, we’d certainly be interested in that as well.”

wolf_1-NPSThe DNR is partnering in this survey effort with USDA Wildlife Services, Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Little River Band of Ottawa Indians and Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians. Information on wolves in Michigan and links to other wolf-related Web pages can be found at www.michigan.gov/wolves. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.

Mountain Lion Attacks on Pets:

MtnLion_USArmy.milColorado 02/09/13 cbslocal.com: There has been a string of mountain lion attacks in the foothills. The attacks have all been centered around Evergreen, Kittredge and the Bailey area . . . A total of eight dogs have been attacked. “Having eight in the last two to three months is a little bit worrisome, especially for people who have small kids,” Luke McChesney with the Evergreen Animal Hospital said. From sun down to sun up, animal experts say to keep pets close . . . Colorado Parks and Wildlife says young mountain lions looking for easy prey can target small pets. Keeping pets inside or in a caged area can also keep them safe . . . They also say mountain lions are extremely unlikely to attack people — children or adults. – For complete article see http://denver.cbslocal.com/2013/02/09/mountain-lion-attacks-on-the-rise-in-the-foothills/

Rabies:

1334248032_4291c473d5Texas 02/08/13 Cameron County: by Allen Essex – The city of South Padre Island is working with the Texas Department of State Health Services to distribute vaccination bait that prevents coyotes that eat the material from contracting the canine form of rabies, city officials said in a statement. The bait was distributed Friday morning by city workers in areas of the city where coyotes normally travel, officials said. – See http://www.brownsvilleherald.com/news/local/article_c322e96c-726d-11e2-88d9-0019bb30f31a.html

thumbnailCA7RYDRPVirginia 02/09/13 Smyth County: A raccoon found in the Grubmore Road area of the county has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.tricities.com/swvatoday/news/smyth_county/article_062085dc-7249-11e2-a6bb-001a4bcf6878.html

WISCONSIN DNR reports first DEER with CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE in Waukesha County ~ HANTAVIRUS antibodies found in blood of some workers at YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK ~ RABIES reports from CO, CT, FLx3, GAx2, NE, NJx2, NYx3, NCx2, VA, & WI.

Whitetail deer. Photo by state of Indiana.

Whitetail deer. Photo by state of Indiana.

Wisconsin 02/06/12 dnr.wi.gov: Department of Natural Resources officials confirm a deer has tested positive for Chronic Wasting Disease in Waukesha County for the first time. “Being the first CWD positive in Waukesha County is noteworthy but not completely unexpected,” said DNR area wildlife supervisor Tim Lizotte. “Given the proximity to a CWD-positive deer 16 miles away in Jefferson County, we knew it was a possibility.” A portion of Waukesha County is in the existing CWD Management Zone, where DNR has been performing disease surveillance to better determine its presence and prevalence. This deer was reported sick-looking to the DNR by a landowner in the Town of Delafield. – For complete news release see http://dnr.wi.gov/news/BreakingNews_Lookup.asp?id=2649

blood_sampleCalifornia 01/31/13 mariposagazette.com: by Erik Skindrud – A small number of Yosemite National Park workers can now boast that they survived an extremely close encounter with hantavirus. Several Park workers who gave blood in October have come up positive for antibodies to the Sin Nombre strain that causes the deadly illness, California Department of Public Health spokesman Matt Conens has told the MARIPOSA GAZETTE.  Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, CA-UCSF_logo_ucsfor HPS, killed three Yosemite visitors and sickened six more last summer. No Park workers were among the total. Conens did not give the precise number of workers who tested positive, but said it was “fewer than one percent” of 569 employees who answered questions and donated blood as part of the study.

Dr. Charles Chiu

Dr. Charles Chiu

Most who took part in the voluntary testing work for the National Park Service. An unknown percentage work for Park concessionaire Delaware North Companies. “This is a pretty major finding,” Dr. Charles Chiu of UC San Francisco’s Department of Medicine and a leading virus researcher, said when told of the result. “One percent is still fairly rare, but it could be possible that there’s a higher rate of these subclinical infections than we thought,” Chiu said. – For complete article see http://www.mariposagazette.com/news/2013-01-31/Front_Page/Hantavirus_antibodies_show_up_in_Yosemite_workers.html

Rabies:

IMG4336e-L-001Colorado 02/06/13 Logan County: A wounded stray cat that was rescued by a family in the vicinity of Iliff has tested positive for rabies. The cat bit and scratched at least three people, including a child, who are now being treated for exposure to the virus. Officials said the cat had contracted the skunk strain of rabies. – See http://www.journal-advocate.com/sterling-local_news/ci_22530855/rabid-cat-found-logan-county-3-people-exposed?source=most_viewed

imagesCAQVTCKPConnecticut 02/01/13 Litchfield County: A raccoon that recently attacked a dog in Torrington has been reported to have had rabies. – See http://www.registercitizen.com/articles/2013/02/01/news/doc510af92d6a03d986149007.txt

batFlorida 02/07/13 Polk County: A bat found at 355 1st Avenue North in Lake Wales has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.clickorlando.com/news/Rabies-reported-in-Polk-County/-/1637132/18017390/-/cibhhvz/-/index.html

Florida 02/07/13 Palm Beach County: A raccoon that fought with a dog behind a private residence in Jupiter on Monday  has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/first-county-animal-rabies-case-discovered-after-d/nWJFk/

0714Raccoon_Procyon_lotor_4Florida 02/01/13 Nassau County: A raccoon that fought with a dog in the eastern part of the county last month has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.actionnewsjax.com/content/topstories/story/Rabies-alert-in-Nassau-County/9q2JmD0F70Ggayokv5zGYg.cspx

Georgia 02/07/13 Chatham County: Two raccoons trapped in different areas of the county has tested positive for rabies. The first was caught on Skidaway Island, and the second in Vernonburg. Three family pets were exposed to the virus. – See http://savannahnow.com/latest-news/2013-02-07/two-raccoons-rabies-found-chatham-county#.URXGHWeFn9G

Vaccinate%20Your%20Pets%20WEBGeorgia 02/07/13 Liberty County: A Riceboro couple is receiving post-exposure rabies treatment after both were bitten by the family dog which tested positive for the virus. – See http://savannahnow.com/latest-news/2013-02-07/liberty-county-dog-has-rabies-couple-being-treated-bites#.URXDHGeFn9F

batPosterNebraska 02/06/13 Sarpy County: A bat that was found by two students in Bellevue East High School has tested positive for rabies. Both students handled the bat before taking it to a teacher and their parents have been advised to seek immediate medical attention. – See http://journalstar.com/news/state-and-regional/nebraska/students-handle-rabid-bat-treatment-urged/article_e60ca989-9ed3-5bbc-996c-4e8d68cce753.html

3821fefe9b4884850185047e22654718New Jersey 02/05/13 Cumberland County: A skunk that was in contact with a dog in Port Norris has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.nj.com/cumberland/index.ssf/2013/02/first_positive_rabies_case_rep.html

New Jersey 02/05/13 Cape May County: Three raccoons and a skunk have tested positive for rabies so far this year in the townships of Upper, Dennis (2), and Middle. – See http://www.shorenewstoday.com/snt/news/index.php/cape-may-county/34566-county-warns-of-rabies-risk.html

New York 02/08/13 Columbia County: A raccoon found on Tuesday Raccoon-SiedePreis-smalong the Route 20/22 corridor in New Lebanon has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.registerstar.com/news/article_3aa6994e-717d-11e2-8bdf-001a4bcf887a.html

New York 02/07/13 Lewis County: A raccoon found in the town of West Turin has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/article/20130207/NEWS04/702069732

New York 02/01/13 Otsego County: A raccoon found in a barn in Middlefield on January 30th has tested positive for rabies. The animal had contact with a cow housed in the barn, but the cow had been vaccinated. – See http://www.wktv.com/news/local/Raccoon-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-Otsego-County-189430111.html

North Carolina 02/05/13 Durham County: Two dead raccoons found in the city of Durham. The first, found on Jan. 29th in front of a home on the 2300 block of Strawberry Lane, has tested positive for rabies. It was determined that the resident’s dog probably killed the animal. The second, found on Feb. 2nd in the yard of a home on the 2300 block of Alabama Avenue, has also tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/02/05/2657681/durham-county-gets-first-two-rabies.html

Looking-for-Kittens-001North Carolina 01/31/13 Gaston County: A young cat brought to a veterinarian by a woman living at Howe Court in Belmont because it was displaying neurological symptoms has tested positive for rabies. – http://www.wbtv.com/story/20918601/officials-1st-rabies-case-of-2013-in-gaston-co

batwarningVirginia 02/01/13 Amherst County: A 16-year-old student who grabbed a bat in a hallway of Amherst County High School  in the city of Amherst on Thursday and threw it from the building was bitten and is now be treated for potential exposure to rabies. – See http://www.newsadvance.com/new_era_progress/news/article_591864d8-6bc0-11e2-b3c1-0019bb30f31a.html

Bat%20SketchWisconsin 02/04/13 dhs.wisconsin.gov: News Release – A Marquette University vs Providence College basketball game played on Jan. 26th in Milwaukee was interrupted because a bat was flying around the court at the Bradley Center. Anyone who thinks they might have been touched by the bat is urged to seek immediate medical advice. Last year, 29 bats in Wisconsin tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/News/PressReleases/2013/020413.htm