Author Archives: Jerry Genesio

AVIAN MALARIA spreads north into ALASKA ~ EHD killing DEER in more than 40 INDIANA counties ~ COYOTE reports from IL, & CANADA: BC ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA, MA, & RI ~ RABIES reports from CT, & MD.

Black-capped Chicadee. Photo by Algonquin Provincial Park. Ontario, Canada. Wikimedia Commons.

Alaska 09/21/12 by Yereth Rosen – Malaria is infecting birds as far north as Alaska’s interior, and a rapidly warming climate may be the reason the mosquito-borne disease appears to be advancing northward, a new study shows. It is the first time scientists have detected the transmission of avian malaria in local birds at such far-north latitudes anywhere in North America, said the study, published on Wednesday in the scientific journal PLOS One. “We now have shown that malaria is being transmitted in Alaska,” said Ravinder Sehgal, a San Francisco State University biologist and a lead researcher on the project. While tropical birds that migrate to Alaska in the summer are known to carry the disease, there had never been any documented cases of it spreading to non-migratory Alaska birds or birds newly hatched in Alaska that had not yet flown south, Sehgal said.

Longer periods of warm weather in the summer may be allowing the malaria parasite to thrive in Alaska and be transmitted by mosquitoes, Sehgal said. “The question was, how far north is it getting, and is it going to get to birds that have never expressed it?” he said. The study notes that temperatures have been increasing in the Arctic at almost twice the average global rate, and that the warming climate has changed vegetation in the far north. The study evaluated blood samples taken last year from birds in Anchorage, Fairbanks and Coldfoot, a community north of the Arctic Circle. The researchers found avian malaria in resident and hatch-year birds in Anchorage and Fairbanks, though not as far north as Coldfoot.

Dr. Ravinder Sehgal

Of 676 birds tested, 7.2 percent were found to be infected. Some of the hardest-hit birds were black-capped chickadees, Sehgal said. Of the black-capped chickadees tested in Anchorage, about 30 percent were infected. Further studies are underway to try to determine what type of mosquito might be spreading the disease, Sehgal said. It is unclear what effect avian malaria might have on the Alaska birds. For some species elsewhere, malaria transmissions are devastating, Sehgal said. Penguins, which have no natural defenses against malaria, die when they are infected in zoos, he said. Malaria also has seriously damaged bird populations in Hawaii, where non-native mosquitoes have been introduced to the habitat. But Alaskans need not fear for their health, Sehgal said. The study detected only avian malaria, which is different from the type of malaria that afflicts mammals. “Certainly, it is not going to spread to humans,” he said.

Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease:

Indiana 09/21/12 by Ryan Sabalow – A virus plaguing the state’s whitetail deer herds likely has spread to more than 40 Indiana counties, including Marion. But biologists say hunters and outdoor enthusiasts shouldn’t be worried about catching the disease. Biologists at the Department of Natural Resources this week received lab test results confirming their suspicions that the state’s deer have increasingly been dying from epizootic hemorrhagic disease. The tests confirmed the virus in the bodies of dead wild whitetail in LaGrange, Miami, Morgan and Sullivan counties. Captive deer at farms in Adams, Marshall, Putnam and Vanderburgh counties also had it. Biologists say dead deer in more than three dozen other counties also likely succumbed to the disease, though lab testing hasn’t been done in those cases. Deer that have the disease often appear lethargic and obviously sickly. They can have blue-tinted tongues and eyes, open sores on their tongues and mouths and their hooves can start to fall off. Feverish, they often head toward water to try to cool their overheated bodies. But some deer can carry the virus and never get sick. Others, says Brian MacGowan, an extension wildlife specialist at Purdue University, can have symptoms but not die. The disease doesn’t spread from deer to deer. Rather, MacGowan says, small biting insects called midges carry the virus. The virus is an almost yearly occurrence, but drought years — like the one Indiana just went through — often spawn larger outbreaks. Typically, the virus stops spreading after the first frosts of the season kills off the midges. – For complete article see

Coyote Attacks:

Illinois 09/22/12 DuPage County: by Sarah Small – Two small dogs were attacked by a pack of coyotes Thursday night in Wheaton, and while one is injured but recovering, the second has gone missing, according to reports. Jake, a 12-year old silky terrier, and Floyd, a 15-month old Yorkshire terrier, were surrounded by between four and six coyotes in their backyard on Mohican Drive, near Herrick Lake in the Arrowhead Estates neighborhood, according to their owner Sue Reid. Jake was bit several times by the coyotes, but rescued by Reid. When she ran outside to break up the fight, Floyd was missing. – See


British Columbia 09/22/12 A Kamloops man is warning people to lock up their garbage and not to feed animals after he was attacked by a coyote while riding his bike earlier this week. Mark Dal Ponte was riding his bike home from work Sunday night when noticed he was being chased by a coyote. “We’d seen the coyote around before,” said Dal Ponte. “I was joking with some coworkers that it was going to chase me home because I smelled like fried chicken and, sure enough, ten minutes later there he was.” He said the coyote bumped into him, forcing him to jump off his bike. Then the animal nipped around his heels and he managed to scare off the attacker by kicking at it. A short time after, it returned. “I got my bike between me and the coyote and kept kicking and hollering and throwing rocks,” said Dal Ponte. Eventually the coyote left permanently and a large male coyote in the area was destroyed by conservation officers. Experts said it is rare for coyotes to go after people. If they do it is usually a small child and Dal Ponte is six feet, two inches tall. Dal Ponte said people need to lock up their garbage and not feed animals, so such attacks don’t happen again.

West Nile Virus (WNV):

California 09/23/12 San Bernadino County: Health officials confirm one new human case of WNV in Chino and two others pending in the surrounding area. – See

Massachusetts 09/22/12 Essex County: A mosquito trapped near Chebacco Lake on the east end of town in Hamilton has tested positive for WNV. – See

Rhode Island 09/22/12 Providence County: State health officials have confirmed that a man in his 20s from the city of Providence has been diagnosed with WNV-related meningitis. – See


Connecticut 09/22/12 New Haven County: A raccoon that tore through a screen door,  forced its way inside a home, and attacked a dog on Friday in the Governor’s Hill Road vicinity of Oxford has tested positive for rabies. – See

Maryland 09/21/12 Worcester County: A groundhog (aka woodchuck) found in the Ann Drive neighborhood of Berlin has tested positive for rabies. This is the 15th case of rabies confirmed in the county this year. – See

Lone WOLF OR-7 at last report still in CALIFORNIA ~ WASHINGTON to kill pack of GRAY WOLVES ~ GEESE may have key to treating diseases from MALARIA to WEST NILE VIRUS ~ RABIES reports from FL, & MT ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending September 15, 2012.

Gray wolf. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Follow-Up Report:

California 09/22/12 by Julie Zeeb – The famous Oregonian that waltzed into California in December 2011 and has been border-hoping ever since is back in Tehama County. The gray wolf, known as OR-7, has mostly been in California the last few months, primarily in Plumas County, according to a California Department of Fish and Game blog dedicated to his comings and goings. The three-year-old wolf was last in Tehama County on July 31 and except for one day spent in Butte County has been in various areas of Plumas County, moving from the western area of the county into Tehama County on Sept. 19*. OR-7 is the first and only wolf to have been sighted in California since 1924, first visiting Tehama County for a few days on July 21.

*Author’s Note: According to the latest California Department of Fish & Game satellite reading, OR-7 was in eastern Tehama County on September 20, 2012.

Washington 09/21/12 by Shannon Dininny – Washington officials announced plans Friday to kill a pack of at least eight gray wolves that have been attacking livestock in the state’s northeast corner. The move is likely to anger some conservation groups and deal a setback to wolf recovery efforts, though state officials said the step was necessary for sustainable, long-term wolf recovery in the region. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said two teams were in the field Friday to try to kill members of the Wedge Pack, which ranges over a remote area of northern Stevens County. Marksmen would hunt the wolves from the ground, and if those efforts were unsuccessful, they might use helicopters to aid their hunt, Director Phil Anderson said in a statement. The pack is believed to have killed or injured at least 15 cattle from the Diamond M herd that grazes in a large area near the Canadian border, according to the statement. Those attacks have become increasingly more frequent since July, even after the agency killed a non-breeding member of the pack in August, and experts believe the wolves have become dependent on cattle for food. – For complete article see

Research & Development:

Global 09/21/12 by Neil Carlson – Sometimes we find the cure for disease where we’d least expect it. In this case, geese could hold the key to treating everything from malaria to rabies. It all started out as a research project to develop a serum to protect people from a pesky outdoor nuisance and the disease it can carry: the West Nile virus. Mosquitoes can pick up the virus from diseased birds and transfer it to humans. Researchers found that geese can rapidly produce the antibodies needed to create serums to treat people for West Nile disease.

But, what’s most amazing is that researchers found geese can be used to produce serums to treat all kinds of diseases. “And we have gone into researching its use of their antibodies for dengue fever, for pandemic influenza, malaria, rabies,” said Richard Glynn, researcher with Avianax. “We’re also working with a group on cancer.” Researchers introduce the dead virus of any given disease to a goose. The goose then quickly produces an antibody to that disease, which is extracted from its egg yolk and used to create the serum to treat that disease.

David Bradley, University of North Dakota

“What’s really exciting about this is the goose provides a platform and produces antibodies rapidly to a variety of viruses — probably toxins, maybe even cancers,” said medical student David Bradley. It’s all amazing, heady stuff that’s being reviewed by the FDA. Who knows? We may all find that one day geese are the answer to many of mankind’s medical problems. All of this still depends on approval for human use by the FDA. However, the government is interested in this research because it could be used to quickly develop vaccines for biological agents spread by terrorists.


Florida 09/21/12 Bay County: A raccoon killed at the intersection of N. 9th Plaza and Lake Drive in Parker has tested positive for rabies. – See

Montana 09/21/12 Gallatin County: A Bozeman family is looking for the owner of a border collie involved in a biting incident at 4:40 p.m. Wednesday at the East Gallatin Recreational Area. Walker VanHouten, 16, was running with the Bozeman Hawks cross-country team when a border collie bit him on his calf. VanHouten did not realize he should check with the owner for proof of rabies vaccination. VanHouten will have to go through rabies injections if the dog owner does not come forward by Tuesday. The dog owner should contact Kathleen VanHouten at 585-7944 or

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending September 15, 2012:

Published September 21, 2012/ 61(37); ND-508-ND-521

Anaplasmosis . . . 23 . . . Florida, Maine (2), New York (15), North Carolina (4), Rhode Island,

Babesiosis . . . 8 . . . New York (8),

Brucellosis . . . 1 . . . California,     

Ehrlichiosis . . . 14 . . . Maine, North Carolina (11), Tennessee, Virginia,

Giardiasis . . . 218 . . . Alabama (2), Alaska (2), Arkansas (3), California (42), Delaware, Florida (22), Idaho (3), Iowa (3), Maine (8), Maryland (8), Michigan (3), Missouri (3), Montana, Nebraska (6), Nevada, New York (47), Ohio (19), Oregon (6), Pennsylvania (13), South Carolina (5), Vermont (7), Washington (9), Wisconsin, Virginia (3),

HME/HGE Undetermined . . . 1 . . . Indiana,

Lyme Disease . . .  156. . .  Florida (6), Maine, Maryland (18), Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey (2), New York (67), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (38), Rhode Island (3), Texas (2), Vermont (4), Virginia (10), Washington,

Q Fever (Acute) . . . 5 . . . Alaska, Nebraska (2), New York, Ohio

Rabies (Animal) . . . 49. . . Maine (2), Nevada (3), New York (16), Ohio, Texas, Utah (2), Vermont (2), Virginia (21), West Virginia,

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Confirmed) . . . 1. . . Ohio,

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 42 . . . Alabama (3), Florida, Indiana (3), New York, North Carolina (18), Tennessee (9), Virginia (7),

Tularemia . . . 1 . . . Nebraska.

CANADA: Alaskan angler fishing Morice River in BRITISH COLUMBIA badly mangled by GRIZZLY ~ CANADA: Teenage NOVA SCOTIAN attacked by COYOTE ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS & WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CAx2, MA, NH, NY, TX, & WI ~ RABIES reports from AZ, FLx2, ID, IL, PA, RI, & TX.

Grizzly sow with cub. Courtesy National Park Service.


British Columbia 09/21/12 by Tiffany Crawford – An Alaskan angler mauled by a grizzly bear this week in northwestern B.C. has been airlifted to a Vancouver hospital where he will undergo intensive surgery for many broken bones and a missing jaw. Sergeant Kevin Nixon, a spokesman for the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, says the 65-year-old man was fishing alone at dusk on Tuesday in the Morice River in Houston when he startled a sow and one or two of her cubs. It was around 7:30 p.m., and the man was just packing up his fishing gear for the evening. It’s believed he was crouching down to put something in a bag, and when he stood up the bear lunged at him. After the mauling, and with multiple broken bones all over his body, the man somehow crawled about 300 metres out of the rural wooded area to a road. Nixon said a woman was driving along the road at that moment and saw him curled up in the ditch. She stopped to help the man and when she realized the severity of the situation called emergency services. “If she hadn’t stopped for him, this could have been a life-or-death situation,” said Nixon. The man, whose name has not been released by authorities, was transported to a hospital in Smithers but was later airlifted to Vancouver General Hospital. Mounties believe the man was on vacation from a small town in Alaska and are trying to contact his family. Corp. Aaron Geary, a spokesman for the Houston RCMP, declined to release his hometown because it could identify the victim. He said the man’s camper van has been towed from the fishing site. The area, he said, is a popular destination for fly fishing and attracts people from all over the world, including celebrities and politicians. Nixon said the man’s condition is not known but he has severe facial and head injuries, multiple broken bones and deep puncture wounds. He said the man is missing his lower jaw and will require months of reconstructive surgery. – For complete article see

Coyote Attacks:


Nova Scotia 09/20/12 Natural Resources officials responded to an incident that appears to have involved an aggressive coyote.   The attack happened the morning of Friday, Sept. 14, near Breton Education Centre in New Waterford, and was reported to the department earlier this week. A 16-year-old girl was struck from behind and knocked to the ground along a rail line near the school. The girl suffered scratches on her face from the animal’s paws. She has been examined by health officials and her injuries are not considered serious. The animal was frightened off by a car that sounded its horn. “This is a serious incident and our department is taking all necessary steps to keep the community safe from aggressive coyotes,” said Charlie Parker, Minister of Natural Resources. “We will continue to investigate and keep residents in the area aware of our activities.” Natural Resources officials are working on-site and have called in a trained trapper. Staff members are working with school officials to ensure safety information on coyotes is available to students, staff and parents. Nova Scotians are reminded that when faced with an aggressive coyote they should remember the acronym BAM — Back away, Act big, and Make noise. If attacked, the person should defend themselves with whatever is available. The Natural Resources agency has a program to deal with aggressive coyotes that threaten human safety. There are 13 experienced trappers across the province ready to remove aggressive coyotes when necessary. Staff provides public education on coyotes, and educational materials are available for Nova Scotians and public schools. Information on the Be Coyote Smart program is available at .

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) & West Nile Virus (WNV):

California 09/20/12 Yuba County: Health officials report one confirmed and three probable human cases of WNV in the county. The confirmed case is in an Olivehurst resident who was hospitalized. The three probable cases are in residents of Olivehurst, Marysville, and a rural area of the county. – See

California 09/21/12 San Francisco County: A dead bird found near the City College of San Francisco has tested positive for WNV. There have been no human cases of WNV in the city of San Francisco since 2005, but 126 human cases of WNV have been reported in the state so far this year, including six deaths. – See

Massachusetts 09/20/12 Updates – Health officials have confirmed the 6th human case of EEE in an Amesbury woman in her 60s. They have also confirmed the 17th human case of WNV in a Brookline woman in her 20s. – See details and “Choosing an Effective Repellent” at

New Hampshire 09/20/12 News Release – Health officials announced today that two emus in the Cheshire County town of Fitzwilliam, and a horse in the Hillsborough County town of Derry have been diagnosed with EEE. The risk level for EEE in those communities has been raised from “remote” to “high”. – See

New York 09/20/12 Suffolk County: State health officials have confirmed a third human case of WNV in the county, and several other potential cases are still being analyzed. – See

Texas 09/20/12 Lubbock County: City health officials in Lubbock have confirmed the 8th human case of WNV in a female over the age of 50 who did not travel outside the county within two prior to the onset of her illness. – See

Wisconsin 09/21/12 Outagamie, Calumet, and Winnebago counties: Health officials in Appleton announced that a bird has tested positive for WNV. – See


Arizona 09/18/12 Pima County: A bat found in the parking lot of the county’s Juvenile Court in Tucson has tested positive for rabies. – See

Florida 09/19/12 Palm Beach County: A raccoon that attacked a dog in West Palm Beach east of Jog Road between Belvedere and Southern boulevards has tested positive for rabies. – See

Florida 09/19/12 Suwannee County: A rabies alert has been issued after a skunk that was found in an area north of US-90 West and CR-132 South near the Suwannee River State Park tested positive for rabies. – See

Idaho 09/20/12 Southwest District: Health officials have issued a rabies warning after reports of unusual daylight bat activity along with an increasing number of bats testing positive for the virus in the district. – See

Illinois 09/19/12 Will County: A bat found in the backyard of a home in the 24000 block of Brown Lane in Plainfield has tested positive for rabies. – See

Pennsylvania 09/19/12 Bucks County: A 15-month-old boy from West Rockhill Township underwent treatment for infected wounds on his face and may have to be treated for potential exposure to rabies following an attack on Saturday by a Black Labrador mix at James Memorial Park. According to NBC10, James Heller was playing with his mother and her fiancé at the park, when a dog attacked and pounced on him. Heller’s mother, Jacque Heller, said she saw the dog approach out of the corner of her eye, but wasn’t initially concerned because the park is located next to a dog park. Heller’s fiancé kicked the dog off James, according to the article, and Jacque rushed her bleeding son to her truck and transported him to Grandview Hospital for emergency treatment. James received stitches and was released, but was readmitted Tuesday night because the cuts became infected. Rabies shots might be needed because police cannot find the dog. James Heller was still at Grandview Hospital on Wednesday and might also need plastic surgery. If anyone has information about the dog, please contact Pennridge Regional Police at 215-257-5104.

Rhode Island 09/20/12 Newport County: Police officers in Jamestown have set traps at Fort Wetherill State Park in an attempt to catch feral cats that may be infected with rabies. The fear stems from the fact that an injured kitten found at the park last month and adopted by a local family became ill and later tested positive for the virus. – See

Texas 09/21/12 Burnet County: Officials in the city of Burnet have issued a rabies warning after a skunk that bit a resident in the 800 block of Mildred Street tested positive for the virus. – See


Grizzly bear. Photo by State of California.


Alberta 09/19/12 by Jana G. Pruden and Mariam Ibrahim – A specialized “bear response team” is en route to the scene of a grizzly bear attack that left a 48-year-old man in hospital with life-threatening injuries. The man, whose name has not been released, was hunting alone in a forested area about nine kilometres northwest of Swan Hills on Tuesday morning when the bear attacked him from behind, said STARS air ambulance spokesman Cam Heke. The attack continued until the hunter was able to reach his gun and fire a round, scaring off the bear, Heke said. The hunter then walked several kilometres before he could get a cellphone signal and call for help. Emergency crews used an all-terrain vehicle to take the man out of the forest to the STARS helicopter, which took him to hospital in Grande Prairie. Dan Laville, a spokesman for Solicitor General and Public Safety, said the specialized bear team has been sent to the area to find out exactly what happened, including identifying the particular animal involved in the attack. “At this point, we don’t know which bear it is,” Laville said. “In Solicitor General terms, it’s under investigation.” He said the bear team’s investigation will include interviewing the victim, if possible, and visiting the scene of the attack. DNA samples from the injured hunter can be used to confirm whether a particular bear was the attacker. – For complete article see

Deer with CWD.

New Mexico 09/18/12 BY Laura Paskus – This week, the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish announced it’s keeping a closer eye on southern New Mexico, where some deer are infected with chronic wasting disease. That disease attacks the brain and spinal column of deer and elk, causing them to become emaciated and eventually die. Chronic wasting disease isn’t widespread in New Mexico, but there are some hot zones near Cloudcroft and Alamogordo. To monitor the disease, the state is setting up field testing stations. They’re also making sure hunters don’t leave those areas with brain or spinal tissue from ANY deer. – For complete article see
Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) & West Nile Virus (WNV):

National 09/18/12 Update – As of September 18, 2012, 48 states have reported WNV infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes. A total of 3,142 human cases of WNV disease, including 134 deaths, have been reported to CDC. Of these, 1,630 (52%) were classified as neuroinvasive disease (such as meningitis or encephalitis) and 1,512 (48%) were classified as non-neuroinvasive disease. The 3,142 cases reported thus far in 2012 is the highest number of WNV disease cases reported to CDC through the third week in September since 2003. Two thirds of the cases have been reported from seven states (Texas, Mississippi, Michigan, South Dakota, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and California) and almost 40 percent of all cases have been reported from Texas. – See

Illinois 09/19/12 DuPage County: Health officials have confirmed 2 new human cases of WNV in the county bringing the total so far this year to 19, including 2 deaths. The cases all range in age from 20s to 70s and comprise residents of Addison, Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Hinsdale, Lisle, Lombard, Naperville, Villa Park and Westmont. – See

Massachusetts 09/19/12 Middlesex County: Mosquitoes trapped on North Main Street in Newton have tested positive for EEE. – See

Massachusetts 09/19/12 Essex County: State health officials have confirmed the first human case of EEE in the county has been reported in Georgetown. – See

Minnesota 09/19/12 State health officials confirm eight new human cases of WNV have been reported bringing the total number of WNV cases in the state so far this year to 60, including one death. – See

New Mexico 09/19/12 Update – Two new human cases of WNV have been reported bringing the total for the state so far this year to 28, including one death. The new cases involve a 64-year-old man from Bernalillo County, and a 77-year-old woman from San Juan County. – See

Vermont 09/19/12 Rutland County: State health officials have confirmed a second EEE-related death. Scott Sgorbati, 49, of Sudbury, died within the last few days after fighting the virus for several weeks. Two weeks ago, Richard Hollis Breen, 87, of Brandon died after five days of illness. – See


World Rabies Day Webinar

For details see

TEXAS confirms 1,293 with WEST NILE VIRUS and 58 have died ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS & WEST NILE VIRUS reports from LA, MA, RI, & SD ~ MOUNTAIN LION reports from CA, IL, MO, & NE ~ RABIES reports from CT, FL, & NJ.

Image by Texas Department of State Health Services. Last updated September 18, 2012.

Texas 09/17/12 Update – State health officials have confirmed 1,276 human cases of WNV spread across 107 counties in the state so far this year, including 58 deaths. In addition, officials have confirmed 150 birds, 41 horses, and 1,293 mosquito samples have tested positive for the virus. – For county details see

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) & West Nile Virus (WNV):

Louisiana 09/18/12 Lafayette Parish: At least two human cases of WNV have been diagnosed in the city of Lafayette. On Friday, officials confirmed a new WNV human case in a man older than 75 years who has since recovered. Officials have confirmed 215 human cases of WNV in the state so far this year, including 10 deaths. – See

Massachusetts 09/18/12: News Release – Health officials announced today the 5th human case of EEE has been diagnosed in an Essex County resident in his 70s who is hospitalized. They also confirmed the 15th human case of WNV in a Greater Boston resident in his 40s. Officials said another horse, this one stabled in Plympton, has also been diagnosed with EEE. – See

Rhode Island 09/18/12 Washington County: Health officials confirm a mosquito trapped in Westerly has tested positive for WNV. – See

South Dakota 09/19/12 Update – State health officials confirm there have been 14 new human cases of WNV since last week bring the state total to 158 so far this year including 2 deaths. Counties with human cases are Aurora -4, Beadle -11, Brookings -5, Brown -35, Clark -2, Clay -1, Codington -6, Custer -1, Davison -7, Day -3, Edmunds -2, Faulk -2, Grant -2, Hamlin -2, Hanson -3, Hughes -6, Hutchinson -2, Hyde -2, Jerauld -2, Kingsbury -7, Lake -5, Lawrence -1, Lincoln -5, Marshall -6, McCook -1, McPherson -2, Miner -1, Minnehaha -14, Moody -2, Pennington -1, Roberts -1, Sanborn -3, Spink -4, Sully -1, Tripp -1, Turner -1, Union -1, Walworth -1, and Yankton -2.  In addition, 32 blood donors, 9 horses, 4 birds, and 77 mosquito pools have tested positive. – See

Mountain Lion Sightings:

California 09/18/12 Madera County: Last week a family in Oakhurst contacted the U.S.D.A. and the state’s Department of Fish & Game to report that something had attacked and killed their goat. A baited trap was set and they caught a mountain lion that was euthanized in the interest of protecting community residents, pets, and livestock. – See

Illinois 09/18/12 Cook and Lake counties: Residents in Highland Park and Northfield have reported mountain lion sightings. Since April 15th, at least seven unconfirmed sightings have been reported in North Shore communities. – See

Missouri 09/18/12 Shannon County: A wildlife camera captured photos of a mountain lion on September 9th near Eminence. There have been several reports of mountain lions in the Ozarks over the past few years and officials say they are likely moving from western states, though there is no evidence that they have established a local breeding population. – See,0,3166465.story

Nebraska 09/18/12 Sheridan County: A mountain lion spotted in a tree overlooking a family’s chicken coop in Rushville last weekend was shot and killed by the property owner. Officials say sightings have increased in the area since the Wellnitz Fire that burned several thousand acres. – See


Connecticut 09/17/12 New Haven County: A skunk that bit a Cheshire woman in her garage has tested positive for rabies. – See news video at

Florida 09/18/12 Palm Beach County: A raccoon that attacked a dog on Caloosa Boulevard near Bee Line Highway in Palm Beach Gardens has tested positive for rabies. Residents say nearby flood waters are forcing wild animals into their communities. – See article and news video at

New Jersey 09/17/12 Middlesex County: A bat found near a home in the vicinity of Valentine Street and South 4th Avenue in Highland Park has tested positive for rabies. This is the ninth rabid animal found in the county so far this year. – See|head&nclick_check=1

WASHINGTON ranchers say 15 CATTLE killed or injured by WOLVES since mid-July ~ Second PLAGUE victim associated with earlier OREGON case ~ ANNOUNCEMENT: LYME DISEASE conference to be held in PENNSYLVANIA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from MS, NM, & CANADA: MANITOBA.

Black wolf. Photo by Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife.

Washington 09/17/12 by Rich – Another five calves have been attacked by wolves at the Diamond M Ranch in Eastern Washington, bringing wolf-livestock conflicts to a tally of 15 in a short three-month period. Three calves were found dead last week and two more suffered severe injuries, according to ranch co-owner Bill McIrvin. The two calves that survived were discovered on Sept. 12 and 14. Both had suffered severe bites and torn flesh to their hindquarters. One of the calves had parts of her reproductive and urinary track torn from her body so she can no longer urinate properly.

Oregon range rider protects livestock from wolves – USFWS program. Photo by Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife.

The Diamond M, located in a portion of Eastern Washington known as the “Wedge”, has been working with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) for several months to implement non-lethal methods to prevent damage to their cattle herd. Abiding with agency recommendations, the Diamond M waited to turn their calves out on summer range until they were 200 pounds. The ranch also employed more cowboys to patrol their grazing range. Despite these efforts, attacks to the herd have persisted resulting in a state confirmation of 10 dead and five injured since June.  The McIrvin’s herd records suggest there are likely a total of 40 dead from wolf attacks. – For complete report see

Oregon 09/17/12 by Denise A. Justin – A woman who tried to help her friend save a cat that was choking on a mouse contracted Bubonic plague from the diseased feline, Portland health officials announced on Friday, September 14 . . . The woman, who wished to remain unidentified, was bitten at the same time as Paul Gaylord, who received national attention this summer when he almost died after contracting the infection (see posts in this blog dated June 13, 2012, and July 19, 2012). The 59-year-old Prineville man was hospitalized in critical condition with Black Plague on June 9 and spent nearly a month in intensive care on life support. “His heart stopped,” said his mother, Almeda Gaylord. “His lung collapsed. They told us he wasn’t going to make it.” On July 11, doctors announced that they would have to sever the top half of Gaylord’s fingers. They’ll also cut off the tips of his toes. Charlie, Gaylord’s cat, most likely was infected by a flea carrying the plague, officials concluded. The Oregon woman who was a “family friend” tried to help Gaylord when Charlie came home one day choking, with a mouse stuck in the back of his mouth. Gaylord tried to pull the mouse out and in the process, Charlie bit him and the woman. When they realized they couldn’t help the cat, Gaylord reportedly borrowed a gun from a neighbor and shot Charlie to stop his suffering, according to Public health officials sent the cat’s body to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It confirmed that Charlie had the plague, said Emilio DeBess, state public health veterinarian. – For complete article see


Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and the Lyme Disease Association announce their jointly sponsored 13th annual national conference, entitled “Lyme and Tick-Borne Diseases: Microbial Persistence & Tick-Borne Diseases New Scientific & Clinical Directions.” Designed for health care providers and offering 13.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ to CME registrants, the conference is Sept. 29/30, Hyatt Bellevue, Philadelphia, PA. The public is also invited to register. . Twenty faculty members including two European presenters, are led by conference Course Co-Directors, Brian Fallon, MD, MPH, Director, Columbia Lyme & Tick-Borne Diseases Research Center in New York, well-known for research on neurologic and neuropsychiatric Lyme disease; and Stephen Barthold, DVM, PhD, University of California, Davis, member of the Institute of Medicine and pioneer in the study of Borrelia in the mouse model. The conference presenters will provide their expertise covering a broad range of research and clinical topics. A focus of the meeting is to explore the significance of recent findings in the monkey and mouse model that demonstrate the persistence of Borrelia burdorferi (Bb) infection despite antibiotic treatment. A presentation from the Chief of the Bacterial Diseases Branch of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, will describe recent trends in tick-borne diseases, including information about the newly described phlebovirus (aka Heartland virus) identified in 2 patients after tick exposure in Missouri. – See–clinical-developments-170020516.html

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Mississippi 09/17/12 Public health Report – State health officials confirm 29 new human cases of WNV reported in Adams (2), Claiborne (1), Harrison (1), Hinds (5), Humphreys (1), Jackson (1), Jefferson Davis (1), Lamar (1), Lauderdale (1), Madison (5), Perry (1), Rankin (6), Sunflower (1), Warren (1), and Yazoo (1) counties, bringing the state total to 169 cases including 4 deaths. – See,0,93,554.html

New Mexico 09/17/12 San Juan County: Health officials confirm two new human cases of WNV in the county: a woman 32 and another who is 70. There are now 26 human cases statewide including one death. – See–West-Nile-San-Juan-County


Manitoba 09/16/12 by Angela Brown – Health officials confirm the Province has identified 33 human cases of WNV so far this year. As of Sept. 14th, the Southern Regional Health Authority has reported 15 cases, Winnipeg has had 9, Western 5 and Interlake-Eastern 4. – See

FOX that bites two WOMEN in DELAWARE had RABIES ~ UTAH family traps MOUNTAIN LION in their backyard shed ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from FL, LA, NV, NJ, RI, TN, & TX ~ RABIES reports from NJ, TX, & ONTARIO, CANADA ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending September 8, 2012.

Red fox. Photo by Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Delaware 09/14/12 Sussex County: A fox that was first reported when seen on Park Avenue in Rehoboth, and later bit two women, one on Pennsylvania Avenue and another on nearby Oak Avenue, was pursued and killed by Rehoboth Beach PD Sgt. Scott O’Bier in the vicinity of Lake Gerar. Health officials have confirmed that the fox tested positive for rabies. – See

Mountain Lion Sightings:

Utah 09/14/12 Duchesne County: A father and son were confronted by a mountain lion when they walked into a shed behind the father’s home at 675 W. 200 North in Roosevelt on Wednesday. The home is in a residential area near the Kings Peak Elementary School and the Utah Basin Medical Center. Fortunately, the men were able to get out of the shed and close the door, trapping the animal until state wildlife agents could arrive and tranquilize it. The lion was released Thursday into a remote area of the Wasatch Mountains. – See

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Florida 09/15/12 Walton County: Health officials have confirmed the county’s first human case of WNV this year. – See

Louisiana 09/15/12 DHH officials have confirmed 39 new human cases of WNV in the state bringing the total to 215 human cases so far this year, including 10 fatalities. – See

Nevada 09/14/12 Clark County: Two weeks after health officials found WNV-infected mosquitoes in the Las Vegas Valley a human case involving a 75-year-old woman has been identified. The woman has been hospitalized with the serious neuroinvasive form of the virus. – See

New Jersey 09/15/12 Camden County: Health officials have confirmed two more human cases of WNV, one in a 64-year-old Camden man, and another in a 50-year-old Collingswood woman. At least 22 human cases of WNV have been confirmed in the state so far this year, including a fatality involving a man in Burlington County. – See

Rhode Island 09/14/12 Washington County: State health officials have confirmed that a mosquito trapped in the Cross Mills area of Charlestown has tested positive for WNV. It is the first time the virus has been found in the town this year. – See

Tennessee 09/15/12 Shelby County: Health officials have confirmed that two men, ages 37 and 57, have been diagnosed with WNV raising the total number of human cases to 12 in the county and 21 in the state so far this year. – See

Texas 09/14/12 Waller County: Health officials have confirmed that a person living in the Hempstead area is the first WNV-related fatality in the county this year. There have been 57 WNV-related fatalities in the state so far this year. – See


New Jersey 09/14/12 Middlesex County: A raccoon picked up in the vicinity of Ludlow Street and Rivercrest Drive in Piscataway has tested positive for rabies. – See

Texas 09/14/12 Travis & Hidalgo counties: The Austin/-Travis County Health and Human Services Department and Animal Services Office is working to identify an adult male who came in contact with a bat that has tested positive for rabies. The incident occurred on Wednesday evening at 1401 San Jacinto St. A state trooper witnessed Kirk E. Morse handling a bat in the middle of the road with his bare hands. Morse is believed to be a resident of McAllen, but may still be in the Austin area. Multiple attempts have been made both in Austin and McAllen to locate Morse. Anyone who may have information about Morse is asked to contact the Disease Surveillance Program at 512-972-5555. – See


Ontario 09/14/12 Huron-Kinloss: The Grey Bruce Health Unit wants to find the owner of a cat that bit a child in Ripley. Officials say it happened Tuesday as the young girl was playing in her backyard on William Street. The girl tried to pet the cat when she was bitten. The cat was black and it was wearing a red harness. Officials want to find the owner to ensure the cat doesn’t have rabies — and the young girl doesn’t have to go through painful rabies treatment. If you have any information related to this incident, contact the Grey Bruce Health Unit at 519-376-9420.

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending September 8, 2012:

Published September 14, 2012/ 61(36); ND-494-ND-507

Anaplasmosis . . . 4 . . . New York (4),

Babesiosis . . . 3 . . . Maryland, New Hampshire, Vermont,

Brucellosis . . . 1 . . . Indiana,     

Ehrlichiosis . . . 2 . . . Florida, Virginia,

Giardiasis . . . 140 . . . Arizona, Arkansas (2), California (16), Delaware, Florida (21), Hawaii, Idaho (3), Iowa (2), Maine (9), Maryland (8), Michigan (2), Missouri (2), Montana (2), Nebraska (6), Nevada (2), New York (20), Ohio (14), Oregon (7), Pennsylvania (5), South Carolina, Vermont (3), Washington (11), Wisconsin,

Lyme Disease . . .  101. . .  Connecticut, Florida (2), Georgia, Maryland (3), Michigan, New York (53), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (35), Virginia (2), West Virginia,

Rabies (Animal) . . . 30. . . Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, New York (13), Ohio (5), Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Texas (6), Vermont,

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Confirmed) . . . 1. . . Georgia,

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 25 . . . Arkansas (3), Florida (2), North Carolina (11), South Carolina, Tennessee (8).