Category Archives: Announcement

CANADIAN toddler attacked by MOUNTAIN LION ~ Texan hunting moose in ALASKA mauled by BROWN BEAR ~ CANADIAN sheep hunter attacked by GRIZZLY ~ CA, MD, MI, MO and OK confirm WEST NILE VIRUS fatalities ~ COLORADO reports two more human cases of TULAREMIA ~ NEW MEXICO reports fourth human case of PLAGUE ~ More DEER escape from WISCONSIN farm where CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE was found ~ Second CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE-infected deer in TEXAS breeder herd confirmed ~ RABIES reports from PA, SC, VA & WV. ~ ANNOUNCEMENT – Natural Unseen Hazards Blog will not be published for several months

Mountain Lion. Courtesy U.S. Dept of Agriculture

Mountain Lion. Courtesy U.S. Dept of Agriculture


British Columbia 09/21/15 A two-year-old girl sitting with her parents in deck chairs in their backyard on Vancouver Island last Monday was attacked by a mountain lion that pounced on her from behind. The cat released the child when her father punched it. The girl was treated for lacerations on her earlobe, chest and back. – For photos and article see

Bear Attack:

887897spNPSAlaska 09/23/15 by Rachel D’Oro – A Texas man who was mauled by a brown bear while moose hunting in Alaska was expected to survive serious injuries, authorities said Wednesday. The bear with two cubs attacked 47-year-old Gregory Joseph Matthews of Plano, Texas, as he hunted Tuesday with his brother in Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, authorities said. Fishermen in the area alerted Alaska State Troopers shortly after 6 p.m. and Matthews was flown to Central Peninsula Hospital in nearby Soldotna. Matthews was listed in good condition Wednesday. He declined requests from The Associated Press for an interview. It was the third bear attack on the Kenai Peninsula in recent weeks. – For complete article see


British Columbia 09/24/15 by Chris Bolster – Conservation officers are searching for a bear responsible for sending a 51-year-old man to hospital in the early hours of Thursday, September 24. Powell River RCMP have confirmed that a man walking his dog on the 4700 block of Redonda Avenue, behind the Town Centre Mall, was attacked by a bear at approximately 5:30 am. The man sustained only minor injuries in the attack and did not require BC Ambulance Service paramedics to transport him to Powell River General Hospital, Constable Tim Kenning told the Peak at 9 am. Kenning said that the unnamed man told him “the bear came out of nowhere. “He stepped in trying to protect his animal, thinking the bear was going after his dog,” said Kenning. “Next thing he knew he was on the ground with a bear on top of him.” Kenning added that a neighbour came out to see what happening after hearing the man yell and saw the bear and two cubs running away. The attack likely occurred because the bear was protecting its two cubs, said Kenning. – See

grizzly5Alberta 09/22/15 by Trevor Robb – An Alberta hunter was sent to hospital over the weekend after being attacked by a grizzly bear near Hinton. Alberta Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Michelle Davio said in a statement that a male hunter -who was reportedly legally hunting bighorn sheep in the area — had called the Report-A-Poacher telephone line and 911 at 8 p.m. on Saturday night after he was injured during a confrontation with a female grizzly . Davio says the man suffered undisclosed, non-life threatening injuries when the grizzly charged at him and knocked him over. “The hunter played dead and after the bear stood over the hunter for a moment, the bear moved on,” said Davio. Upon getting the call, Davio says a team consisting of Fish and Wildlife officers, two emergency medical technicians and two civilian guides were deployed to rescue the hunter. However, he was in a remote location near Cadomin, near the Teck mine site, which is approximately 55km south of Hinton, in rugged terrain, which made the hunter not accessible by vehicle. – For complete article see


07cd7361057a7994e7e590e1fb0d3868ed6ff5ad-1California 09/20/15 A Norwalk resident is the second person to die of WNV-related causes in Los Angeles County this year. – See

Maryland  09/19/15 An elderly woman from Laurel in Prince George’s County is the second WNV-related fatality in the state so far this year. There have been 29 human cases of WNV reported this year including two deaths. – See

Michigan 09/25/15 by James David Dickson – An Oakland County woman, 81, has become Michigan’s first West Nile Virus-related death this year, the Oakland County Department of Health announced Friday morning. Oakland County hadn’t suffered a West Nile-related virus death since 2003.  – See

Missouri 09/19/15 Officials have confirmed three WNV-related deaths: two in St. Louis County and one in Pettis County. – See

Oklahoma 09/24/15 The Oklahoma State Department of Health is reporting the fourth West Nile virus death of 2015 in the state. The department says the latest death was a Kingfisher County resident. Previous deaths were reported in Rogers, Stephens and Carter counties. There have now been 53 confirmed cases of West Nile virus in Oklahoma this year — up from 18 in 2014 when there were no deaths due to the virus. – See


tularemia.332oe998Colorado 09/22/15 Two more human cases of tularemia have been reported in Jefferson and Clear Creek counties. – See


Santa_Fe_attacks_plagu48f91501New Mexico 09/23/15 The New Mexico Department of Health announced today a laboratory confirmed case of plague in a 73-year-old woman from Santa Fe County. The case was confirmed at the Department of Health’s Scientific Laboratory Division.  This is the fourth human case of plague in New Mexico this year and the second in Santa Fe County.  The woman was hospitalized and is back home recovering. The other cases in the state occurred in a 52-year-old woman from Santa Fe County, who died from the illness, and in a 65-year-old man and a 59-year-old woman, both from Bernalillo County, who have recovered. – For complete article see


HEADERWisconsin 09/18/15 by Keith Edwards –  A concern about chronic wasting disease in Eau Claire County is growing, after more deer escaped from a deer farm near Fairchild where CWD was found.  Officials confirmed on Friday that 12 deer escaped early last week from the farm. The DNR said they reportedly got out through (an) open gate. Most were captured, but three remain missing in addition to the two deer that escaped in May. The DNR said the public and media were not immediately notified of the most recent escape because they give the owner a reasonable amount of time to try to find them on his own. The DNR is now asking residents around Fairchild and Augusta to report any sightings of the deer, which all have ear tags.  After the first escape, the DNR planned to kill all of the deer at the farm to prevent any possible spread of CWD, which hasn’t happened yet due to a shortage of funding. More federal money is expected to be available Oct. 1.  – See video at

Texas 09/23/15 The Texas Animal Health Commission and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced that a captive white-tailed deer in a Lavaca County deer breeding facility has been confirmed positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in College Station detected the presence of CWD in samples submitted, and the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the findings Sept. 15. The newly quarantined Lavaca County facility is a result of testing trace out animals that originated from a Medina County index captive white-tailed deer herd where the disease was first detected June 30. CWD was first detected in Texas in 2012 in free-ranging mule deer in far West Texas in the Hueco Mountains. The Lavaca County herd is the second infected breeder herd detected in Texas. – See


imagesCAMMOSTLPennsylvania 09/24/15 Allegheny County: Members of an entire family in Wilmerding that took in two stray kittens are now being treated for potential exposure to rabies after the kittens tested positive for the virus. – See

South Carolina 09/18/15 Spartanburg County: Six people in the Woodruff area have been potentially exposed to rabies because the family cat’s rabies vaccination was not current. The cat had been wounded but was not immediately taken to a veterinarian until it had bitten five family members and one other individual. On September 15th the cat tested positive for the rabies virus. – See

Virginia 09/23/15 Virginia Beach: Four people who were in contact with a black and white cat at the Virginia Beach Sports Complex on Landstown Road are being treated for potential exposure to rabies after the cat tested positive for the virus. – See

West Virginia 09/21/15 Ohio County: A kitten dropped off at Long Run Pet Hospital on GC&P Road in Wheeling has tested positive for rabies. – See



With the possible exception of very unusual

reports, such as a rabid human attacking

a grizzly in downtown Manhattan, the


blog will not be published for several months

while its blogger completes a book project.

ALASKAN attacked by BROWN BEAR while on walk in woods ~ GRIZZLY attacks hunter in BRITISH COLUMBIA ~ CA, CO, MD, NE, NJ & OK confirm WEST NILE VIRUS fatalities ~ RABID BUCK charges NPS ranger in MARYLAND ~ COLORADO to host HUMAN RABIES SYMPOSIUM.

Brown Bear. Photo by Ursos Arctos_600. Wikimedia Commons.

Brown Bear. Photo by Ursos Arctos_600. Wikimedia Commons.

Alaska 09/13/15 A 62-year-old Funny River man required a medevac Sunday after he was mauled by a brown bear on the Kenai Peninsula, according to Alaska State Troopers. In an online dispatch, troopers said Danny High was walking in the woods when the mauling occurred. Officials responded to the mauling at Mile 11 of Funny River Road, east of Soldotna, around 4:30 p.m. Sunday. High suffered “major injuries” in the incident and required a LifeMed flight to an area hospital for treatment, troopers wrote. “High wasn’t armed with a gun or bear spray when attacked,” troopers wrote. Troopers were unable to locate the bear responsible for the attack. – See


Grizzly-Bear877843 - CopyBritish Columbia 09/14/15 Conservation officers in B.C. are urging vigilance after a fourth grizzly bear attack in two weeks where someone startled a bear near a food source, and was mauled. This time, a hunter came between a mother grizzly, her cub and a recent elk kill, at about 7:30 a.m. MT yesterday northeast of Sparwood, in the East Kootenay. The attack was defensive, and the hunter was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, said the B.C. Conservation Officer Service. “He had no warning whatsoever,” said Sgt. Cam Schley. “It was just a very quick and sudden attack. There was nothing he could have done differently to have prevented that.” The man is now recovering in Kelowna General Hospital with serious, but not life-threatening injuries. Conservation officers have posted a notice that the area is closed, and will monitor it for bear activity — but will not try to trap the bear, said Schley.  – For complete article see


West-Nile-Virus-Alert3344-jpgCalifornia 09/15/15 Los Angeles County public health officials have confirmed the county’s first West Nile virus death this season. Officials say the elderly man from the San Gabriel Valley had pre-existing health conditions before he was hospitalized and eventually died from the virus. – See

Colorado 09/17/15 A Pueblo County resident is the first WNV-related fatality confirmed in the state so far this year. – See

Maryland 09/15/15 An older adult resident of Baltimore County is the first person to die of WNV so far this year. – See

Nebraska 09/17/15 Norma Beth Frye, 89, of Thayer County is the first WNV-related fatality in the state this year. There have been 39 other cases reported this year. – See

New Jersey 09/15/15 A 57-year-old woman who was a resident of Wall died last week of West Nile Virus. She is the second WNV-related fatality in the state so far this year. – See

Oklahoma 09/17/15 Officials have confirmed that a Rogers County resident is the third WNV-related fatality in the state this year. There have been 42 other cases reported this year, including three fatalities. – See


deerwidnr-gov-e1328246113720Maryland 09/17/15 An eight-point buck that charged a National Park Service ranger near Sycamore Landing on September 16th has tested positive for rabies. The buck, which was killed along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, looked sick and was having difficulty standing. The ranger was not injured. – See


Free Symposium and Webinar Broadcast

on Human Rabies Prevention and Treatment

Loveland, Colorado

October 9, 2015, 8am-12pm MDT


New study IDs BIRDS that carry LYME DISEASE bacteria in CALIFORNIA ~ CHIKUNGUNYA update ~ ANNOUNCEMENT: GARC offers RABIES Educator Certificate

Golden-crowned sparrow. Photo by Dick Daniels. Wikimedia-Commons.

Golden-crowned sparrow. Photo by Dick Daniels. Wikimedia-Commons.

California 02/25/15 by Sarah Yang – Birds are more important than previously recognized as hosts for Lyme disease-causing bacteria in California, according to a new study led by UC Berkeley researchers. The findings, published today (Wednesday, Feb. 25) in the journal PLOS ONE, shine a light on an important new reservoir in the western United States for the corkscrew-shaped bacterium, Borrelia burgdorferi, responsible for Lyme disease. Wood rats, western gray squirrels and other small mammals have been identified in previous studies as wildlife hosts of the Lyme disease spirochete bacterium in California, but fewer studies have looked at the role of birds as reservoirs.

Dark-eyed Junco. PD

Dark-eyed Junco. PD

“The role of birds in the maintenance of Lyme disease bacteria in California is poorly understood,” said study lead author Erica Newman, a UC Berkeley Ph.D. student in the Energy and Resources Group and the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management. “This is the most extensive study of the role of birds in Lyme disease ecology in the western United States, and the first to consider the diversity of bird species, their behaviors and their habitats in identifying which birds are truly the most important as carriers.” Moreover, the birds in the study that were found to be important hosts of Lyme disease bacteria, such as American robins, dark-eyed juncos and golden-crowned sparrows, are coincidentally ones that are commonly found in suburban environments. – For complete article see


index445Global 03/01/15 by Robert Herriman – The chikungunya epidemic in the Western hemisphere has increased by 3,000 cases during the past week with the new tally at 1,247,000 since the first autochthonous cases were reported on the Caribbean island of St. Martin in December 2013, 183 fatalities have been reported. Countries reporting an largest increase in cases include Puerto Rico (1,700) and El Salvador (1,383). The Dominican Republic and Colombia continue to have reported the most cumulative cases to date with 539,183 and 177,187 cases, respectively. In 2015 to date, the United States has seen 43 imported chikungunya cases from 13 states as of Feb. 24. During 2015, no locally-transmitted cases have been reported from U.S. states. In the Pacific, the French Polynesia outbreak is at more than 69,000 estimated cases since 10 October 2014, as of 25 January 2015. 728 hospitalizations, 48 severe cases, 9 fatal cases have been documented. Officials say the outbreak is decreasing. Elsewhere in the Pacific Islands, Samoa has reported 4,431 cases since 21 July 2014 as the outbreak winds down. Chikungunya outbreaks are increasing in New Caledonia (50 cases), the Cook Islands (83) and Kiribati (36). Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes such as Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. It can cause high fever, join and muscle pain, and headache. Chikungunya does not often result in death, but the joint pain may last for months or years and may become a cause of chronic pain and disability. There is no specific treatment for chikungunya infection, nor any vaccine to prevent it. Pending the development of a new vaccine, the only effective means of prevention is to protect individuals against mosquito bites. – See

Author’s Note: The CDC confirmed more than 2,340 cases of Chikungunya fever imported to the United States last year, and 11 locally transmitted cases last year in Florda. – See TEXAS county preparing for CHIKUNGUNYA outbreak posted on this blog January 19, 2015.


garcThe Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC) is pleased to announce the launch of the first of its online education programs, the Rabies Educator Certificate (REC). This is a free web-based course for individuals such as community educators and health workers who would like to learn about rabies and how to teach others to prevent rabies and reduce deaths in their communities. The REC has been developed to help meet the need to effectively disseminate accurate, life-saving information to at-risk communities.

The course is open to anyone but aimed specifically at people who work regularly in these communities, and who are in a position to address community education on rabies. These people may be health/veterinary/community personnel who regularly visit communities, or it may be key people within the communities themselves who want to do something about rabies education.

This online course has five modules:

  • What is rabies and how do people and animals get the disease?
  • How to avoid dog bites and prevent rabies
  • Caring for animals
  • Understanding the role of a community educator in preventing dog bites and rabies
  • Communicating with people

Each module contains specific and clear information that should be applicable to all situations, regardless of geographical location and circumstances.

Participants can access the course at It is self-paced, so participants can complete it in their own time, although it should take between four and seven hours in total depending on previous knowledge and experience. For those with slow or intermittent internet access, the whole course can be downloaded and studied offline. On passing a final online assessment, participants receive a certificate of achievement and should be ready to provide life saving information to their target communities.

This is the first of GARC’s new online courses, and there are plans to provide it in other languages besides English by the end of the year.  We look forward to hearing the feedback of stakeholders and participants: please join the course at and share this information with your networks. GARC is grateful to Crucell for its generous support for the development of this course. For queries or more information, please contact us here – See more at:

Author’s Note: I asked GARC: “Will the new on-line Rabies course also cover feral cat colonies and the rabies threat they pose to local communities? You specifically mention dogs, but not cats.”

GARC’s response: ” The REC course focuses primarily on canine rabies seeing as 90% of rabies deaths in developing countries are associated with dog bite cases. The REC course does however mention the fact that any warm blooded mammal is susceptible to the disease and that any animal bite case should be treated as a potential exposure. We will be revising the course contents annually and I have noted that this is a potential focus point once we revise. Thank you for the valuable feedback. Kind regards, Andre Coetzer, Course Facilitator, GARC Education Program”

COLORADAN succumbs to HANTAVIRUS ~ CANADA confirms new case of MAD COW DISEASE ~ A Smithsonian Science Q & A about TICKS ~ CANADA reports H5N1 AVIAN FLU outbreak ~ STUDY shows LYME DISEASE costs may top $1 billion annually ~ RABIES report from FLORIDA ~ ANNOUNCEMENT: Call for papers in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

Deer mouse. Courtesy Center for Disease Control.

Deer mouse. Courtesy Center for Disease Control.

Colorado 02/13/15 by Maisie Ramsay – Hantavirus caused the death of 53-year-old Buena Vista resident Chris Banning, Chaffee County health officials confirmed Friday. “Chris Banning’s official cause of death was hantavirus pulmonary syndrome,” Chaffee County Coroner Randy Amettis said. Banning died Jan. 11 at Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center in Salida. “It was a very sad situation because he was an extremely healthy person,” Chaffee County Public Health director Susan Ellis said. “Your heart just breaks for these types of things. They happen so quickly.” Hantavirus is contracted from exposure to feces, urine or saliva from infected rodents such as deer mice. The disease is rare, but has a high mortality rate, killing about 40 percent of those who contract the virus.

CO-CDPHE_logoFifty cases of hantavirus were reported in Colorado between 2003 and 2013, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. During that 10-year period, CDPHE reported only one case in Chaffee County. Chaffee County Public Health evaluated sites where Banning may have contracted hantavirus, but none were identified as the specific source of contamination. None of the sites were public locations, Ellis said. The coroner alerted Banning’s family and others to their risk of exposure. They were advised to watch their symptoms for six weeks following potential exposure. It takes 1-5 weeks before those exposed to hantavirus show symptoms, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The disease is not transmittable between humans, cats or dogs. – For complete article with symptoms and precautions see



madcowAlberta 02/13/15 Canada confirmed its first case of mad cow disease since 2011 on Friday but said the discovery, which helped drive cattle prices higher, should not hit a beef export sector worth C$2 billion ($1.6 billion) a year. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said no part of the animal, a beef cow from Alberta, had reached the human food or animal feed systems. Mad cow is formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), a progressive, fatal neurological disease. “The CFIA is seeking to confirm the age of the animal, its history and how it became infected. The investigation will focus in on the feed supplied to this animal during the first year of its life,” the agency said. Canadian exports were badly hit in 2003 after the first case of BSE was detected. Canada subsequently tightened its controls and many nations have since resumed the beef trade with Canada, despite the discovery of more cases since then. Asked whether he was concerned about exports being harmed, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz told reporters in Calgary: “Not at this time, no.” He added though that markets in South Korea and Japan were generally very concerned about the potential risk from BSE. A fresh discovery of BSE may not close borders to beef, given the tougher measures, but it could delay Canada’s efforts to upgrade its international risk status from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Ritz said Canada’s current OIE risk status meant it could report up to 12 outbreaks in a calendar year. – For complete article and video see


Ticks_KnownDiseases_HorizGlobal 02/11/15 – Have you ever wondered how many species of ticks have been identified? Or given any thought at all to whether ticks are insects or arachnids? For a Smithsonian Science Q & A about ticks with Lorenza Beati, curator of the U.S. National Tick Collection, see



H5N1_46225British Columbia 02/0-9/15 by Sybille de la Hamaide – Canada reported an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu virus in the province of British Columbia, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Monday. The outbreak was detected on Feb. 2 in a backyard poultry flock in the province, where bird flu cases of the separate H5N2 strain had been reported in December, OIE said, citing the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The agency stressed that H5N1 avian influenza had not been reported in a commercial poultry flock in Canada and that the virus found in British Columbia was different from a strain circulating in Asia. No human infections have been reported with the H5N1 virus detected in Canada, unlike the genetically different Asian strain, an OIE spokeswoman said. H5N1 bird flu, which first infected humans in 1997 in Hong Kong, has since spread from Asia to Europe and Africa and has become entrenched in poultry in some countries, causing millions of poultry infections and several hundred human deaths. “Based on the limited partial sequence of the H5 and N1 gene segments obtained this far, it appears very likely that this is the same or a very similar virus to the … H5N1 virus in Washington state, but more sequencing will be needed to make a final conclusion,” the CFIA said in its report. – See


dollar-signlyme-disease-awareness-ribbon-mdNational 02/06/15 Researchers from Johns Hopkins University reported that the long-term consequences of Lyme disease infection is having a significant impact on the United States health care system — costing upwards of $1.3 billion annually, or almost $3,000 a patient on average. “Routine follow up of patients after initial treatment of Lyme disease may be important to identify those who go on to develop post-treatment Lyme symptoms,” John Aucott, MD, assistant professor of rheumatology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told Infectious Disease News. “Symptoms of unusual fatigue, new musculoskeletal symptoms, or other unexplained symptoms in a patient recently treated for Lyme disease should raise the question of possible Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome.” Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome, or PTLDS, continues to be a controversial topic. Some physicians and patient advocacy groups claim that PTLDS is a chronic condition lasting weeks, months or even years after initial antibiotic treatment has been dispensed, calling it “chronic Lyme disease.” Others argue that there is insufficient evidence of the persistence of viable Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria in PTLDS, and that long-term symptoms like fatigue, musculoskeletal pain and neurological manifestations are unrelated to the infection.

jhu-logoaaCDC-LogoAccording to the CDC, 10% to 20% of patients treated for Lyme disease with the recommended 2- to 4-week course of antibiotics have PTLDS. After initial antibiotic therapy, there are limited treatment options for patients reporting persistent symptoms of Lyme disease. “Our study looks at the actual costs of treating patients in the year following their Lyme diagnosis,” Emily R. Adrion, MSc, a PhD candidate in the department of health policy and management at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said in a press release. “Regardless of what you call it, our data show that many people who have been diagnosed with Lyme disease are in fact going back to the doctor complaining of persistent symptoms, getting multiple tests and being retreated. They cost the health care system about $1 billion a year and it is clear that we need effective, cost-effective and compassionate management of these patients to improve their outcomes even if we don’t know what to call the disease.” – For complete article see


520bc0501588c.preview-300Florida 02/06/15 Alachua County: A Rabies Alert has been issued after an unvaccinated dog belonging to a local business owner tested positive for the virus. At least 10 people were treated for potential exposure after it was learned they had been in contact with the 30-pound, black-and-white bull terrier near Gateway Farms at 22413 NW 227th Drive in High Springs. Others who may have been in contact with the dog are being urged to seek immediate medical advice. – See



Dynamics in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (DMID)

DMID is an open access journal that publishes articles in all the fields of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. All manuscripts are reviewed by the editorial board members or qualified reviewers. Our peer review process is very fast, highly rigorous and it takes just a few days to weeks, and authors are carried along adequately in all the publication processes. The Journal welcomes the submission of manuscript(s) that meet the general scope and criteria of DMID. Our objective is to inform authors of the decision on their manuscript(s) within a few weeks of submission. Authors should submit their original manuscripts, reviews, commentaries and perspectives via email attachment to or our on-line platform a – See

MICE captured in southern CALIFORNIA county test positive for HANTAVIRUS ~ RABIES reports from GA, MA, & SC ~ ANNOUNCEMENT: Bayer Animal Health Division supports 3rd Annual Canine Vector-Borne Disease web conference

Deer mouse. Courtesy CDC.

Deer mouse. Courtesy CDC.

California 01/10/14 San Diego County: Two mice recently captured in Campo and Poway have tested positive for hantavirus, prompting officials to urge residents to take whatever measures are necessary to keep their homes rodent-free. The virus can result in a life-threatening lung condition. Wild rodents, especially deer mice, can carry hantavirus, which can be spread through their saliva, urine and feces. Sweeping infected mouse droppings and raising dust can cause the virus to be breathed in if the area is enclosed. – See


Billboard1-1Georgia 01/10/14 Chatham County: Eight people are being treated for potential exposure to rabies after a family’s pet dog tested positive for the virus. The people include several animal control officers. The dog, a 70 to 80 pound, gray and white bull mix, was kept on the east side of the county between Causton Bluff Road and Utah Street. It was not current with its rabies shots and ran away from home apparently coming in contact with a animal that was carrying the rabies virus.- See

xchng_rabid_meanieMassachusetts 01/13/14 Middlesex County: A raccoon that was in contact with a vaccinated dog on Westminster Avenue in Arlington on Wednesday, Jan 8th, has tested positive for rabies. – See

vaccines65567South Carolina 01/14/14 Williamsburg County: A cat brought to the Chandler Animal Hospital in Hemingway on Jan 7th for an exam scratched an employee and later tested positive for rabies. The cat’s owner resides in the Bartell community and was concerned because the cat was having difficulty walking. – See




Thursday, March 20, 2014

To raise awareness of parasitic diseases such as those transmitted via ticks (Lyme disease), fleas (canine bartonellosis), and sand flies (leishmaniosis).

There will be two sessions: a targeted case study session for veterinarians and a roundtable session for veterinarians, physicians, and allied and public health professionals.


MINNESOTA teenager attacked by WOLF ~ MISSOURI to hold public meetings to discuss CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ OHIO resident hospitalized with LA CROSSE ENCEPHALITIS ~ EEE & WNV reports from CA, KY, & SD ~ RABIES reports from NY, & OH.

Photo by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Photo by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Minnesota 08/26/13 MN Dept of Natural Resources: Officials have confirmed that a 16-year-old boy was injured in an apparent wolf attack early Saturday morning at West Winnie Campground on Lake Winnibigoshish in the Chippewa National Forest. The boy sustained multiple puncture wounds and a laceration to his head before he was able to kick the wolf off and it ran into the woods. The boy was then transported to a hospital in Bemidji where he was treated for his wounds, none of which were determined to be life-threatening.

Chippewa_National_Forest MNStatements from other campers indicated there were other incidents at the U.S. Forest Service campground where an animal bit through tents, one resulting in the puncturing of an air mattress. Another camper indicated that he witnessed a wolf near his campsite with coloration and markings matching the description of the animal involved in the attack on the boy. On early Monday morning, an average-sized male wolf of about 75 pounds, matching the description of the wolf in the attack, was trapped and killed in the campground. The wolf is being taken to the University of Minnesota veterinary diagnostic lab to be tested for rabies. Also, the lab will collect samples for DNA analyses and complete a thorough medical examination to determine the health of the animal. – For complete news release see

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD):

cwd1Missouri 08/27/13 MO Dept of Conservation: Public meetings have been scheduled around the state to provide information on deer and CWD, and to get comments about limiting the spread of the disease among captive and free-ranging deer. For more information about CWD as well as the time and place for meetings scheduled see Comments can also be posted online at

La Crosse Encephalitis:

lacrosseOhio 0827/13 by Matt Lucas – A Pike County resident has been identified as having contracted La Crosse encephalitis, according to the Pike County General Health District. The resident is continuing recovery at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, and it is hoped that the individual will make a full recovery. “We continue to remind individuals to use insect repellant (DEET), wear long sleeves and slacks, and to avoid stagnant water,” stated Wally Burden, Pike County health commissioner. “The mosquito that transmits La Crosse virus is usually found in tree holes and man-made containers. “Unlike most mosquitoes, this particular mosquito bites during the day. In addition, we would remind folks that this virus is non-contagious and spread only by mosquitoes.” – For complete article see

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

CA-Sacramento-YoloCalifornia 08/26/13 Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District: Sacramento County:  2 human cases, 129 dead birds and 304 mosquito samples, 3 horses, 3 sentinel chickens have tested positive for WNV to date. Yolo County: 1 human case, 70 dead birds, 212 mosquito samples, 6 sentinel chickens have tested positive for WNV to date. – See

Hart_County_KYKentucky 08/26/13 Hart County: A horse, described as listless, sleep and unable to eat, that died on August 18th about 48 hours after symptoms became noticeable has tested positive for EEE. – See

SouthDakotaDOHSouth Dakota 08/27/13 SD Dept of Health: Sixty-one human cases of WNV disease have been reported in the following counties:  Brown 13, Brookings 5, Beadle 4, Spink 4, Hughes 3, Buffalo 2, Clark 2, Codington 2, Day 2, Minnehaha 2, and 1 case in each in Brule, Butte, Charles Mix, Corson, Dewey, Edmunds, Faulk, Jones, Lincoln, Lyman, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Mellette, Miner, Moody, Sanborn, Tripp, Turner, Walworth. – See


USDA_ImageNew York 08/25/13 U.S. Dept of Agriculture: by Thomas Prohaska – More than 200,000 raccoon baits containing rabies vaccine will be distributed in Niagara and Erie counties, starting Tuesday. James J. Devald, Niagara County environmental health director, said the U.S. Department of Agriculture will be in charge of the effort, beginning with drops of the baits from low-flying planes. Helicopters also will be used in some areas until the annual program ends Sept. 4. Vaccine-laced baits will be spread by hand in Niagara Falls and nearby areas, Devald said. – For complete article with details see

Oral Rabies Vaccine Bait

Oral Rabies Vaccine Bait

Ohio 08/26/13 Lake County: The health district will begin its annual distribution of oral rabies vaccination bait for raccoons and skunks in northeast Ohio on Tuesday continuing through September 6th. In rural areas the bait will be distributed by plane, and in more populated areas distribution will be marked vehicles or on foot. – See

New study suggests brains of some ANIMALS grow as HUMANS change their landscape ~ EEE & WNV reports from CT, IL, ME, MA, NY, OH, & SD ~ RABIES reports from FL, SC, TXx2, & VA ~ ANNOUNCEMENT: RABIES Symposium in MS.

Little_Gray_Mouse_-_Father_with_His_Newspaper_(18)Image in Public Domain. Wikipedia.

Global 08/22/13 by Carl Zimmer – Evolutionary biologists have come to recognize humans as a tremendous evolutionary force. In hospitals, we drive the evolution of resistant bacteria by giving patients antibiotics. In the oceans, we drive the evolution of small-bodied fish by catching the big ones. In a new study, a University of Minnesota biologist, Emilie C. Snell-Rood, offers evidence suggesting we may be driving evolution in a more surprising way. As we alter the places where animals live, we may be fueling the evolution of bigger brains. Dr. Snell-Rood bases her conclusion on a collection of mammal skulls kept at the Bell Museum of Natural History at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Snell-Rood picked out 10 species to study, minnincluding mice, shrews, bats and gophers. She selected dozens of individual skulls that were collected as far back as a century ago. An undergraduate student named Naomi Wick measured the dimensions of the skulls, making it possible to estimate the size of their brains.

Dr. Emilie Snell-Rood

Dr. Emilie Snell-Rood

Two important results emerged from their research. In two species — the white-footed mouse and the meadow vole — the brains of animals from cities or suburbs were about 6 percent bigger than the brains of animals collected from farms or other rural areas. Dr. Snell-Rood concludes that when these species moved to cities and towns, their brains became significantly bigger. Dr. Snell-Rood and Ms. Wick also found that in rural parts of Minnesota, two species of shrews and two species of bats experienced an increase in brain size as well. Dr. Snell-Rood proposes that the brains of all six species have gotten bigger because humans have radically changed Minnesota. Where there were once pristine forests and prairies, there are now cities and farms. In this disrupted environment, animals that were better at learning new things were more likely to survive and have offspring. – For complete article see

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

DEEP-Logo-LargeConnecticut 08/21/13 CT DEEP: Officials have announced that two campgrounds in the Pachaug State Forest have been closed until further notice after mosquitoes trapped at the parks tested positive for EEE. The decision to close the Mt. Misery campground and the nearby Horse Camp also known as the Frog Hollow Horse Camp, was made in consultation with the CAES and the Department of Public Health (DPH). – For complete news release see

ILLINOIS_DPHIllinois 08/21/13 IL Dept of Public Health: Officials have confirmed a McHenry County woman in her 50s is the first human case of WNV reported in the state this year. – See

ME_CDC_logoMaine 08/20/13 Maine CDC: Officials have confirmed a mosquito pool collected in the York County town of York has tested positive for EEE. This is the second pool in York County to test positive for the virus this year. – See

MA_220px-MADPH_LogoMassachusetts 08/21/13 MA Dept of Health: DPH officials today announced that it has advanced its ongoing epidemiological investigation of a previously announced human case of EEE in a Norfolk County resident and as a result has raised the EEE risk level to “High” in Hanover, Hanson, Rockland, Weymouth, and Whitman.  DPH urges communities designated as “High” to curtail planned evening outdoor events for the remainder of the mosquito season. – See

New York State Department of HealthNew York 08/20/13 NY Dept of Health: State officials have announced that EEE has been identified in fifteen (15) pools of mosquitoes in both Oswego (5) and Chautauqua (10) counties. Two human cases of WNV have been identified in New York City (Staten Island, NY) and one case has been identified in a horse in Oneida County.  The state’s mosquito surveillance program has also identified mosquitoes with WNV in several counties, including Chautauqua, Erie, Madison, Nassau, Onondaga, Oswego, Rockland, Suffolk, and Westchester, as well as New York City. – See

odh_logoOhio 08/20/13 OH Dept of Health: Officials have confirmed a 72-year-old female in Cuyahoga County has been hospitalized with the first human case of WNV meningitis in the state this year. – See

SDdhSouth Dakota 08/20/13 SD Dept of Health: State officials have confirmed that a Turner County resident in the 70 to 79 age group is the state’s first WNV-related fatality this year. Fifty-two human cases of WNV have been reported in the following counties: Brown 12, Beadle 4, Brookings 4, Spink 4, Hughes 3, Buffalo 2, Codington 2, Day 2, Minnehaha 2, and 1 case in each of the following counties Brule, Clark, Corson, Dewey, Edmunds, Faulk, Jones, Lincoln, Lyman, Marshall, Meade, Mellette, Moody, Sanborn, Tripp, Turner, and Walworth. – See


raccoon1545Florida 08/21/13 Seminole County: Health officials have extended a Rabies Alert in the county after a raccoon found in the Casselbery area last week tested positive for rabies. An initial alert was issued last month after a bobcat found in the Geneva area tested positive for the virus. – See

fox1d5South Carolina 08/21/13 Berkeley County: A fox that bit a 12-year-old Pineville girl on the ankle as she left for school on Monday has tested positive for rabies. – See

TX-DSHS_Logo2Texas 08/22/13 TX Dept of Health: Officials have announced that 100,000 oral rabies vaccine baits will be distributed in various parts of Fort Bend and Waller counties between September 16-20, 2013. – For details see

Bat 1on sidewalkTexas 08/18/13 Hays County: A bat found on the sidewalk at 100 W. Center Street in Kyle has tested positive for rabies. – See

0coonvsdog422 - CopyVirginia 08/20/13 Henrico County: A raccoon that fought with a dog in the 3200 block of Ella Road has tested positive for rabies. – See



Sixth Annual Merial Rabies Symposium

Merial and Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Saturday, September 28, 2013 from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM (CDT)

Starkville, MS

Join us on World Rabies Day, Saturday, September 28 for the Sixth Annual Merial Rabies Symposium! This interactive symposium brings together veterinary students, veterinarians, public health and medical experts in a discussion about the continued threat of rabies worldwide. This event is an opportunity to hear from some of the top experts in rabies, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Global Alliance for Rabies Control and various other state and local authorities. This year’s Merial Rabies Symposium, themed “Protecting Animals, People and Our Future,” will allow veterinary students and a diverse group of public health and veterinary experts to explore successes and challenges in rabies prevention on both local and global scales. The event will feature interactive breakout sessions for attendees to discuss rabies cases and management from the veterinary, public health and human health perspectives. – For more information see