Category Archives: Book review

Three FLORIDIANS hospitalized after BEE attack ~ NEW JERSEY resident attacked by COYOTE ~ FERAL CATS pose risk of TYPHUS to general public ~ FLEA infested PRAIRIE DOG den in ARIZONA tests positive for BUBONIC PLAGUE ~ New book updating LYME DISEASE ~ RABIES reports from GA, NY & NC.

Honey bee. Photo by Vera Buhl. Wikimedia Commons.

Honey bee. Photo by Vera Buhl. Wikimedia Commons.

Florida 04/06/15 Pasco Fire Rescue crews responded to a report of a bee attack in New Port Richey Sunday afternoon in which three people were hospitalized. The wild bee hive was in a tree in the 7800 block of Calabash Lane. Experts believe there are between 20,000 and 30,000 bees in the hive. The neighbor Alisson Osteen saw the bees from her home. “I saw my neighbor’s brother on the ground rolling, just covered in bees all over his face, his neck, his arms. So I called 911,” she said. “He was screaming for help.” Pasco County Fire Rescue firefighters used a hose to spray the bees to get them to disperse and help the two men. They had as many as about 50 stings each. A woman who walked out of her home also received about a dozen stings but was not as seriously injured. Osteen said she didn’t see how it happened, but there was a ladder by the tree. “I don’t know if that was the bee keeper’s ladder or if that was the ladder they were using to touch the nest if they were trying to remove it themselves trying to get honey. I don’t know what they were trying to do,” she said. Firefighters cleared the scene at about 2 p.m. Sunday. Nobody on the crew was injured or stung. Crews are expected to return to the hive on Monday, however the bee expert is waiting for the bees to calm down before doing anything with the hive. –


Coyote%20stalking%20prey%20-%20note%20radio%20collar%20and%20ear%20tags%20for%20research%20projectNew Jersey 04/06/15 by Jim Norman – A man working in his garden in the Twin Brooks area of (Saddle River) was attacked Monday by a coyote that was then hunted down and euthanized, authorities said. The man, whose identity was not released, was taken to a hospital for treatment and then released for recovery at home, according to a report on the Saddle River Police Department’s Facebook page. The man was attacked from behind by the animal and managed to escape, the police report said. Officers who investigated the incident learned that the same coyote had attacked a neighbor’s dog last week, requiring the dog’s owner to have it treated at a veterinarian’s office, police said. In addition, the police report said, workers in the area reported having seen the coyote several times on Monday, acting aggressively toward other dogs. Officers who responded to the attack saw the coyote running through a neighbor’s yard during daylight and called a local pest control company, which arrived, along with officers from the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife. The coyote was found in a wooded area and put down, police said. The animal’s body was removed by the Fish and Wildlife officers for testing and analysis. Police asked any resident who has had an encounter with the coyote to call 201-327-5300, to document the event. Police also are reminding local residents to report aggressive wildlife behavior immediately, to head off the chance of another attack. – See


typhus-transmission-cycleCalifornia 04/06/15 Orange County: by Matthew Cunningham – Flea-borne (endemic) typhus is carried by the common cat flea, which is found primarily on feral cats, raccoon and opossums. Common cat fleas bite people and their infected feces enters the bloodstream, causing severe illness. In 2006, there was a single reported case of flea-borne typhus infection in Orange County – the first since 2013. Between 2006 and 2014, there have been more than 100 reported cases of flea-borne typhus in OC. – See


prairiedogUSParksArizona 04/06/15 by Brooks Hays – Arizona health officials and wildlife managers are monitoring flea infestations more closely after several specimens in Picture Canyon, near Flagstaff, tested positive for Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that causes the disease known as the bubonic plague. Officials grew concerned when they were alerted to a prairie dog den that appeared to features an unusually large number of dead or dying prairie dogs. Several surrounding burrows were tested, revealing the culprit to be the plague . . . Nearby burrows are now being cleared and disinfected, in an effort to stem any possible outbreak of the disease. Late last week, following the positive test, officials returned to test a much broader area for the dangerous bacteria. Those results are due back later this week. – See


LymeDiseaseBookBook Review 04/06/15 by Nancy Szokan – In in the 1970s, public health professionals began noticing a kind of rheumatoid arthritis affecting children around Lyme, Conn. Soon they began associating it with a skin rash, possibly caused by a deer tick. In 1981, researchers Willy Burgdorfer and Alan G. Barbour identified the cause of what had come to be known as Lyme disease. Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are 300,000 new cases a year. So there’s probably a large audience for a new book by Barbour, who’s now a professor of medicine and microbiology at the medical school at the University of California at Irvine: “Lyme Disease: Why It’s Spreading, How It Makes You Sick, and What to Do About It.” Drawing on his decades of research and involvement with patients, he gives a thorough and comprehensive overview of the disease, including the biology of the microbe that causes it and the tick that transmits it; how diagnosis is made and test results are interpreted; the use of antibiotics; disease prevention at the individual and community level; and the controversial condition called Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome, in which symptoms persist for years after antibiotic therapy ends. He ends with a somewhat pessimistic view of how we as a society are handling a disease that seems to be more prevalent every year. It’s not a particularly easy read; Barbour writes like the highly educated scientist he is, and he doesn’t mince technical terms. But his indisputable credentials and his clearly sympathetic concern make this a worthwhile book. – See


Georgia 04/02/15 Worth County: A dog that was adopted by a southwest Georgia resident using an online service has tested positive for rabies. Existing pets in the household didn’t have up-to-date vaccinations and “(a)s a result, this well-intentioned individual ended up losing beloved pets that had been exposed and could not be saved,” a county health specialist said. – See

sidebar_RabiesAlertNew York 04/05/15 Franklin County: A second person is undergoing treatment for exposure to the rabies virus, and two more are being evaluated after caring for dogs that had attacked raccoons later found to be rabid. “I cannot stress enough the importance of getting your dog vaccinated,” Public Health Director Kathleen F. Strack said. Cats should also be vaccinated, she said. – See

North Carolina 04/01/15 Robeson County: A dog that was shot after attacking its owners in Pembroke has tested positive for rabies. Two victims, a father and daughter, have been advised to begin post-exposure rabies treatments. – See

Four LYME DISEASE-related fatalities due to condition called LYME CARDITIS ~ PENNSYLVANIA physician publishes textbook focusing on LYME DISEASE ~ EEE & WNV reports from CA, FL, IL, IN, NH, & TX.


8033351959_bfd0bd5841_zBingFreeUseLicLyme Disease:

International 10/06/13 by Roberto LoBianco – Four deaths have been reported in medical journals from a heart condition associated with Lyme disease called Lyme carditis. The condition is being investigated in the death of a 17-year-old Poughkeepsie High School honor student who died Aug. 5; evidence of Lyme disease was found in his blood, organs and heart. The cases, drawn from references provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, include:

• A 37-year old man who died in 2008 the day after visiting a doctor. The man reported a month-long series of fevers, rash and other symptoms.

dl3l4l34d9• A patient who died from cardiac arrest caused by Lyme myocarditis or heart inflammation. The patient, described in a 1993 report in the Journal of Neurology, was among patients with Lyme myositis, or muscle inflammation, between the ages of 37 and 70.

• A 31 year-old male farm worker in Great Britain — the only geographical reference in the four articles — who tested positive for Lyme disease on his first screening. An autopsy found the man suffered from an enlarged heart and an irregular heart beat; he had no telltale Lyme disease rash before becoming ill, according to a 1990 article in the Postgraduate Medical Journal.

4df3ff714678c.preview-300• A 66-year old man who died of “cardiac involvement of Lyme disease.” According to a 1985 report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, he died 18 hours after being taken to the hospital with chills, muscle pain and other symptoms. – For details and complete article see

227757International 10/06/13 by Ilene Raymond Rush – For Kathy Spreen, Lyme disease is a family affair. The trouble for her West Chester family started with her husband, who complained of fatigue and shoulder pain. Diagnosed with Lyme, he was treated with antibiotics and cured. About a year later, suffering with fatigue and joint pain, Spreen was treated twice for Lyme, which led to arthroscopic surgery and an eventual knee replacement. But when her 20-year old son Chris was rushed to the emergency room with a fever near 106 degrees and lapsing in and out of consciousness, she felt helpless. Despite her credentials as a physician, a tick taken from her son’s flank, and a telltale rash, she and her asset_upload_file730_103598husband could not get the medical staff to acknowledge that he might have Lyme. A doctor eventually administered a Lyme test that came back positive and Chris was treated with the antibiotic doxycycline, but his disease flared repeatedly over the next few years, inducing crippling fatigue and interfering with his aeronautical engineering studies at Purdue University.

51odrXSU6qLSpreen’s response to this sequence of events is the Compendium of Tick-Borne Disease: A Thousand Pearls, an 856-page textbook that addresses the diagnosis, treatment and care of Lyme disease. Intended for practitioners, caregivers, and patients, this self-published tome, which sells for $120 on Amazon – with discounts available through Lyme advocacy groups – proposes a new paradigm of open-mindedness about tick-borne illnesses. Julia Wagner, president of PA Lyme Resource Network, says the book “will change education, and help physicians quickly get their arms around a huge body of research.” “It’s the book that I wished I had when my son got sick,” says Spreen, 59, who has master’s degrees in biochemistry and public health and board certifications in preventive and family medicine. Until her retirement in 2006, she had worked for 20 years in the pharmaceutical industry, including Wyeth, AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson in research and development. She hopes her book will “lay out some options for better care.” – For complete article see

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

San Bernadino Cty CACalifornia 10/08/13 San Bernardino County: Officials confirmed today that an Upland resident is the first person to die of WNV in the county this year. – See

Jackson_County_FLFlorida 10/07/13 Jackson County: Officials have confirmed that a horse stabled in the vicinity of Bethlehem Road south of Cottondale has tested positive for WNV. – See

Kankakee-County.ILIllinois 10/05/13 Kankakee County: Officials have confirmed the first human case of WNV in the county was diagnosed in a male resident of Manteno in his 50s. – See

Marion cty INIndiana 10/04/13 Marion County: Officials have confirmed the county’s first human case of WNV this year. Statewide, 11 people have been diagnosed with the virus. – See

nh-medicaidNew Hampshire 10/08/13 NH Dept of Health: Officials confirmed today that a horse stabled in Deerfield has tested positive for EEE. – See

Floyd_County.TXTexas 10/05/13 Floyd County: State officials have confirmed a total of two human cases of WNV in the county, including one fatality. – See

COLLARED: Politics and Personalities in Oregon’s Wolf Country, a new book about the impact of the WOLF’s return to OREGON ~ EEE & WNV reports from CA, CO, IL, IA, ME, NM, OK, TN, & TX ~ RABIES reports from AL, COx2, NJx3, NM, NY, NCx2, OH, SC, TXx2, & VA.


Oregon 10/04/13 by Mark Floyd – The reappearance of wolves in Oregon and the impact this apex predator has on people from ranchers to conservationists to attorneys is the subject of a new book by the Oregon State University Press. “Collared: Politics and Personalities in Oregon’s Wolf Country” was written by Aimee Lyn Eaton, a former science communicator at OSU who also has worked as a free-lance writer for the New York Times, National Geographic and other publications. Eaton describes her experience in seeing wolves first-hand, and meeting many Oregonians most affected by their return. She takes the reader to the State Capitol in Salem, to town hall meetings in rural northeastern Oregon and beyond. Tom Booth of the OSU Press said the book encourages “a deeper, multi-faceted understanding of the controversial and storied presence of wolves in Oregon.” Four events are scheduled for the author in Portland and Corvallis next week. – See

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

San Bernadino Cty CACalifornia 10/05/13 San Bernardino County: Officials have confirmed the first WNV-related fatality this year. There have been six other WNV-related deaths in the state this year. = See

Pueblo_County_COColorado 10/02/13 Pueblo County: Officials have confirmed three new human cases of WNV in the county in the past week bringing the total to four this year. – See

Rock_Island_County_IllinoisIllinois 10/03/13 Rock Island County: Officials have confirmed that a horse stabled in the county has tested positive for WNV. – See

map_of_sioux_city_iaIowa 10/03/13 Plymouth and Woodbury counties: A Mercy Medical Center-Sioux City official confirmed that four human cases of neuro-invasive WNV are currently being treated. Six human cases of WNV have been treated at the center so far this year. One patient died. State officials say 26 human cases of WNV have been reported in the state this year. – See

Somerset_County.MEMaine 10/01/13 Somerset County: Town officials have confirmed that a horse testing positive for EEE died in Fairfield. So far this year, three horses and an emu have died of the virus statewide, most in the southern tier of the state. – See

NM_image_miniNew Mexico 10/04/13 NM Dept of Health: Officials have confirmed that ten new human cases of WNV have been reported in the state, bringing the statewide total to 20 cases this year. August and September are peak times for West Nile cases in New Mexico though infectious mosquitoes can be present until the first hard frost. A horse from Otero County also tested positive for West Nile Virus infection. The new cases are in Bernalillo, Curry, Lea, Quay, Roosevelt, and San Juan counties. – See

07cd7361057a7994e7e590e1fb0d3868ed6ff5ad-1Oklahoma 10/04/13 Officials have confirmed three more fatal human cases of WNV, two in Oklahoma County and one in Ellis County, bringing the state’s total number of WNV-related deaths this year to five. Statewide, 38 people have tested positive for the virus, with 25 hospitalized, in 2013. – See

Rutherford_County.TNTennessee 10/03/13 Rutherford County: A Murfreesboro man, 82, has been hospitalized and is in an intensive care unit after being diagnosed with WNV. At least 12 other human cases of WNV have been reported in the state so far this year. – See

Lubbock_County_TXTexas 10/04/13 Lubbock County: Officials have confirmed a WNV-related fatality in the City of Lubbock reported recently is the first death tied to the virus this year. The victim lived in ZIP code 79424. – See


337278_koshka_kot_rebenok_ditya_devochka_kosichka_ulybka_2990x2170_( 10/03/13 Henry County: A stray cat that Abbeville residents said was “acting strangely” has tested positive for rabies. – See

injured.bat23300f8Colorado 10/04/13 Weld County: Two University of Northern Colorado students are receiving post-exposure rabies treatment after rescuing an injured bat in their dorm room that later tested positive for the virus. – See

wood-farm1Colorado 10/02/13 Weld County: A stray cat that bit a man working on a backyard fence in the vicinity of the Platteville Elementary School in Platteville has tested positive for rabies. – See

havahart-skunk_120New Jersey 10/04/13 Cumberland County: A skunk killed by a dog last Friday in the area of Lincoln and Sherman avenues in Vineland has tested positive for rabies. – See

GE DIGITAL CAMERANew Jersey 10/02/13 Camden County: A bat removed from a home in the Blackwood section of Gloucester Township on September 30th has tested positive for rabies. – See

111009110345_Raccoon3 - CopyNew Jersey 10/02/13 Salem County: A raccoon that fought with a vaccinated dog in a Pittsgrove Township resident’s backyard on September 20th has tested positive for rabies. – See

New Mexico 10/03/13 Bernalillo County: Six students at Polk Middle School in Albuquerque are being treated for potential exposure to rabies after they were found playing with a bat that tested positive for the virus. – See injured.bat4968fo

New York 10/02/13 Suffolk County: A third grade student at Nokomis Elementary School in Holbrook is being treated for potential exposure to rabies as a precaution after a bat bit her on the arm in the girls lavatory. The bat was not captured. – See

5731289-very-cute-child-with-a-cat-in-armsNorth Carolina 10/03/13 Cumberland County: A stray cat found dead on Tom Starling Road in Gray’s Creek is being treated as a case of rabies because it bit a man on Hall Park Road this past Sunday. Tests were inconclusive due to the cat’s state of decomposition. – See

angry%20racNorth Carolina 10/01/13 Cumberland County: Officials have issued a Rabies Alert after a raccoon that was killed by two stray dogs tested positive for the virus. The raccoon was found on Billy Joe Lane in Linden, off Honeybee and Colliers Chapel roads on September 28th. Two stray dogs were earlier seen fighting with the raccoon. Officials have no description of the stray dogs. – See

Ohio 10/03/13 Medina County: A bat found in a Brunswick home on September 26th  has tested positive for rabies. – See

South Carolina 10/03/13 Charleston County: Three adult residents of the City of Charleston are receiving post exposure rabies treatment as a precaution after being exposed to a bat that tested positive for the virus. – See

Texas 10/03/13 Gray County: A dead bat found in an unoccupied barn on the southeast corner of Pampa has tested positive for rabies. – See

skunk245mn2Texas 10/02/13 Collin and Denton counties: A skunk killed by a Frisco resident’s vaccinated dogs in the vicinity of Panther Creek Parkway and Farm-to-Market 423 late last month has tested positive for rabies. – See

1426663Virginia 10/04/13 Newport News: Peninsula Health District officials have confirmed that a  raccoon killed by a dog in the vicinity of Colony and Marlboro roads has tested positive for rabies. – See

FOLLOW-UP REPORTS: Celebrity WOLF OR-7 returns to OREGON without an Oscar ~ ILLINOIS city issues COYOTE warning ~ ARIZONA reports rapid rise of ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER ~ CANADA: YUKON xcountry ski club warns of WOLVES ~ RABIES reports from SOUTH CAROLINA, TEXAS, & VIRGINIA ~ BOOK REVIEW: Out of the Woods: Healing from LYME DISEASE and other Chronic Illness ~ CDC Reports: Results of CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE study.

Gray Wolf. Courtesy National Park Service.

Follow-Up Reports:

(For previous reports on this topic use search term OR-7)

Oregon 03/02/12 News Release – Wolf OR-7 was located in Oregon for the first time since late December at noon yesterday, March 1. As of midnight last night, OR-7 was in Jackson County, Oregon. OR-7 had been in northern Siskiyou County, California, less than 10 miles from the Oregon-California border, for the past 12 days. While OR-7 crossed a state boundary yesterday, his movement was small (about 30 miles). “While wolves crossing state boundaries may be significant for people, wolves and other wildlife don’t pay attention to state borders,” said Russ Morgan, ODFW wolf coordinator. “It’s possible OR-7 will cross back into California and be using areas in both states. ODFW will continue to monitor his location and coordinate with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and California Fish and Game.” While OR-7 is west of Highways 395-78-95 in Oregon, he remains protected by both the federal and state Endangered Species Acts.

OR-7 left the Imnaha pack in September 2011 and went through Baker, Grant, Lake, Crook, Harney, Deschutes, Klamath and Jackson counties before entering California Dec. 28, 2011. While in California, he travelled through eastern Siskiyou County, northeastern Shasta County and then resided in Lassen County for a few weeks. On Feb. 11 he re-entered Shasta County and then, about a week later, he crossed north into Siskiyou County. California Fish and Game has been updating his status on the website For more information on wolves in Oregon visit

Illinois 02/29/12 The city issued a warning for residents Thursday — be on the lookout for coyotes. City officials said they have received 25 calls from residents since the beginning of the year reporting coyote sightings in residential areas. There has been a large increase in the coyote population in Illinois in the past two decades, especially in the Chicago area, city officials note. In Aurora, reported coyote sightings so far this year are on track to exceed 2011 when Animal Control fielded 53 such calls, officials said. Sightings have been reported on the city’s far southeast side where homes are adjacent to rural or wooded areas, and on the West Side. Animal Control officials said the increased sightings are not unusual at this time of year because the coyotes’ mating cycles result in younger animals leaving their family territories and venturing out on their own. Coyotes are mainly nocturnal animals but may be more visible during the daytime in spring and summer. While most coyotes are leery of people and tend to stay clear of humans, they can still be a danger, especially to young children, Animal Control officials warn. It is not unusual for coyotes to attack dogs and other pets. The most effective way to prevent attacks is to eliminate feeding coyotes either intentionally or accidentally. Coyotes can be attracted to bird and squirrel feeders, bread that is fed to ducks and geese, pet food that is left outside, and other unintentional food sources. When coyotes find these types of food in residential areas, they may lose their fear of humans and eventually test both people and pets as possible prey, officials said. Anyone approached by a coyote should yell, wave their arms, or throw an object at the coyote — but should never run away. Family pets like dogs and cats — especially small pets — should not be left unwatched while outside.  Residents who are attacked by a coyote, or who have a pet that is attacked, should contact Aurora Animal Control at 630-256-3630.

Brown Dog Tick.

Arizona 02/29/12 by Brittany Smith – Reported Arizona cases of a potentially fatal disease spread by ticks have increased steadily over the past decade and spiked within the last two years. With temperatures warming, state and federal officials say those heading into the outdoors should be aware of the danger. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is an infection that in Arizona is spread primarily by the common brown dog tick, which is common in higher elevations. The ticks often attach to dogs and can then move over to people. Will Humble, director of the state Department of Health Services, said Arizonans need to manage their pets in the outdoors to keep the disease from spreading. “If everyone used tick collars on their dogs, I think we’d have a lot fewer cases,” Humble said. “People may not realize that if they take their Phoenix dog to the high mountain they need to use a tick collar.”

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever petechial rash

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever first appeared on the department’s radar in 2002. Since then, the number of reported cases in the state has steadily increased, with 23 cases reported in 2009 and 52 cases in 2011. There was one known death in 2009 and five known deaths in 2011, according to the state health department. Most cases have been in eastern Arizona, but Humble said there are now cases being reported in southern Arizona. – For complete article see


Yukon 03/02/12 The Whitehorse Cross Country Ski Club has posted “wolves in the area” signs for the first time ever after some unusual encounters between wolves and skiers on a couple of the trails. The operations manager for the ski trails, Mike Gladish, says it’s not unusual for wolves to be on the trails. He often sees their tracks. “But there were a couple of sightings last week where one skier had an encounter with two wolves that kind of stood their ground and then we had another skier notice a wolf behind her for a couple of kilometres.” Gladish said the encounters were on the Pierre Harvey Loop and the 10 K. Robyn Dunfield regularly skis at Mount MacIntyre, towing her two children. The youngest is just four months old. She said she is now sticking to a well-travelled route close to the chalet. “It makes me very nervous,” she said. “I don’t know a lot about wolves, but I also don’t want to encounter them ever.”  Mike Gladish said this is the first time wolf warnings have been posted on the trails, but adds it’s no different from other safety advisories.

South Carolina 03/02/12 Columbia, Lexington & Richland Counties: A third fox attack in two weeks has another area resident, this time a firefighter, receiving post-exposure prophylaxis rabies treatments. A gray fox bit Robert Adkins, 20, as he walked away from a fire training site near a wooded area on Ball Park Road. See

Texas 03/01/12 College Station, Brazos County: Officials are looking for a brown Dachshund that bit a person in the 400 block of Walton Drive so they can confirm the dog’s rabies vaccination status. See–7005320

Virginia 03/01/12 Pittsylvania/Danville Health District: A rabies alert has been issued for residents of Franklin Turnpike after a second skunk tested positive for the virus this week. See

Book Review:

Out of the Woods: Healing from Lyme Disease and other Chronic Illness by Katina I. Makris – Review by Olivera Baumgartner-Jackson: When a healer and a health care columnist spends several years completely baffled and in absolute torment, chances are that her mysterious flu-like illness is something that is truly difficult to diagnose. It took Katina Makris five years to receive a correct diagnosis, and a long time to even partially recover from it. Her journey is described beautifully in Out of the Woods, which encompasses both her memoirs and an eye-opening “Nuts and Bolts” section on signs, symptoms, and available treatments for Lyme disease. There were many valuable lessons to be learned from this beautifully written book. Some were rather obvious ones about cherishing what we have, since it could so easily be gone the very next moment, the importance of having a good support system and the need to work with one’s doctor(s). Then there were those that should be obvious, but many times are not, like the importance of being persistent in trying to get your point across to the doctor when one does not feel that the real issue is being addressed. – For complete review see

CDC Reports:

North America & South Korea Emerging Infectious Diseases, Volume 18, Number 3 – March 2012: Abstract – Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal, transmissible prion disease that affects captive and free-ranging deer, elk, and moose. Although the zoonotic potential of CWD is considered low, identification of multiple CWD strains and the potential for agent evolution upon serial passage hinders a definitive conclusion. Surveillance for CWD in free-ranging populations has documented a continual geographic spread of the disease throughout North America. CWD prions are shed from clinically and preclinically affected hosts, and CWD transmission is mediated at least in part by the environment, perhaps by soil. Much remains unknown, including the sites and mechanisms of prion uptake in the naive host. There are no therapeutics or effective eradication measures for CWD-endemic populations. Continued surveillance and research of CWD and its effects on cervid ecosystems is vital for controlling the long-term consequences of this emerging disease. – For complete report see

Excerpt from Carl Zimmer’s new book A Planet of Viruses; UI researchers find dramatic increase in U.S. hospitalizations due to Dengue Fever; Montana woman dies of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome; Connecticut man attacked by Coyotes; South Carolina woman suggests fashion world could decimate Coyote population; Rabies reports from Alabama, Oklahoma, & West Virginia; & a Coyote report from Indiana.

National 04/25/11 by Alisa Opar – In his fascinating new book, author Carl Zimmer explores the viruses living within and around us. With lively writing and fascinating details—if you put all the viruses of the oceans on a scale, they would equal the weight of 75 million blue whales—it’s a gripping and educational read. The book is available May 1, but you can enjoy a sneak peek below.

Becoming an American: West Nile Virus. Excerpted from A Planet of Viruses, by Carl Zimmer. The University of Chicago Presss, 109 pages.

In the summer of 1999, Tracey McNamara got worried. McNamara was the chief pathologist at the Bronx Zoo. When an animal at the zoo died, it was her job to figure out what killed it. She began to see dead crows on the ground near the zoo, and she wondered if they were being killed by some new virus spreading through the city. If the crows were dying, the zoo’s animals might start to die too. Over Labor Day weekend, her worst fears were realized: three flamingoes died suddenly. So did a pheasant, a bald eagle, and a cormorant. McNamara examined the dead birds and found they had all suffered bleeding in their brains. Their symptoms suggested that they had been killed by the same pathogen. But McNamara could not figure out what pathogen was responsible, so she sent tissue samples to government laboratories. The government scientists ran test after test for the various pathogens that might be responsible. For weeks, the tests kept coming up negative.

Carl Zimmer

Meanwhile, doctors in Queens were seeing a worrying number of cases of encephalitis—an inflammation of the brain. The entire city of New York normally only sees nine cases a year, but in August 1999, doctors in Queens found eight cases in one weekend. As the summer waned, more cases came to light. Some patients suffered fevers so dire that they became paralyzed, and by September nine had died. Initial tests pointed to a viral disease called Saint Louis encephalitis, but later tests failed to match the results. As doctors struggled to make sense of the human outbreak, McNamara was finally getting the answer to her own mystery. The National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa managed to grow viruses from the bird tissue samples she had sent them from the zoo. They bore a resemblance to the Saint Louis encephalitis virus. McNamara wondered now if both humans and birds were succumbing to the same pathogen. She convinced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to analyze the genetic material in the viruses. On September 22, the CDC researchers were stunned to find that the birds were not killed by Saint Louis encephalitis. Instead, the culprit was a pathogen called West Nile virus, which infects birds as well as people in parts of Asia, Europe, and Africa. No one had imagined that the Bronx Zoo birds were dying of West Nile virus, because it had never been seen in a bird in the Western Hemisphere before. Public health workers puzzling over the human cases of

Dr. Ian Lipkin

encephalitis decided it was time to broaden their search as well. Two teams—one at the CDC and another led by Ian Lipkin, who was then at the University of California, Irvine—isolated the genetic material from the human viruses. It was the same virus that was killing birds: West Nile. And once again, it took researchers by surprise. No human in North or South America had ever suffered from it before. (For complete review go to )

Global May 2011 The results of a recent study published in the May 2011 issue of CDC-EID found a dramatic increase in the number of hospitalizations for patients with dengue fever in the United States. This increase is not surprising considering that 1) the number of cases in disease-endemic regions has increased in recent years, and 2) a substantial number of travelers annually enter the United States from the tropics and subtropics. Although infrequent, severe consequences of dengue infection may occur in returning travelers. As individual travelers increasingly make multiple visits to dengue-endemic areas, the risk for severe dengue infections may similarly increase. A survey of 219 travelers who received treatment for dengue in Europe showed that 23 (11%) had severe clinical manifestations, including internal hemorrhage, plasma leakage, shock, and marked thrombocytopenia. We were unable to ascertain whether mosquito-borne hemorrhagic fever (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, code 065.4) also increased because the code appears quite infrequently, making statistical inferences unreliable. We also attempted to use deaths as a marker for disease severity, but we could not detect an increase in disease severity in our analysis because number of deaths was insufficient to accurately estimate a mortality rate. Dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever have been described as potential public health threats for residents of the US mainland. Despite the proximity of circulating dengue virus to the continental United States and the spread of the vector mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus) to at least 26 states, autochthonous cases in the continental United States have been relatively rare until the recent Floridaoutbreak. The increase in reported cases that we have documented highlights a potential risk for dengue spread within the United States. Although

Dr. Judy Streit

dengue fever was previously classified as reportable in some states, it did not become a reportable illness at the national level until 2010. Thus, some time is required before cases reported to public health departments can be used to establish reliable statistical estimates of national trends. Furthermore, the number of cases may not be linked to other relevant clinical data. The major limitation to our study is that we used administrative data, and thus we did not have access to laboratory data or patients’ travel histories. In addition, milder cases treated on an outpatient basis were not captured. Nevertheless, our results indicate that the decision to make dengue fever a reportable disease in the United States was warranted and that increased vigilance focused on these new surveillance data is needed. In addition, administrative data, as we describe here, can be used to estimate the effects and severity of illness attributable to dengue.

Dr Judy A. Streit is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Iowa where she an infectious disease specialist and the director of the travel medicine clinic. Her research interests include tropical medicine and related phenomena.

Montana04/25/11 Park County health officials say a 46-year-old

Deer mouse feeding pups.

Livingston-area woman has died of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Coroner Al Jenkins tells the Livingston Enterprise that Hillary Johnson died on April 8 while she was being transported to a Billings hospital. Johnson had visited Park Clinic on April 7 with symptoms including a high fever, muscle fatigue and an extreme headache. She checked into the emergency room the next day also suffering from shortness of breath and extreme congestion. Hantavirus can be contracted through inhaling the droppings or urine of deer mice or touching the droppings or urine and then touching one’s eyes, nose or mouth.

Connecticut 04/25/11 by Hillary Federico – Old Lyme – A man was attacked by a coyote while mowing his lawn Sunday, but was able to drive himself to a local clinic, according to a spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection. The victim, who lives on Tantummaheag Road, was not seriously injured. He received a few cuts and scratches, said Dennis Schain, DEP spokesman. “There is a certain chance [that the coyote may have been rabid]. This is really the first instance of a coyote attacking a person since I’ve been here,” Schain said. “It is highly unusual.” Schain said there has not been a coyote attack on a human within Connecticut since 2006, when a coyote attacked two men in Washington. One of the men was jogging when he was attacked but was not seriously injured. The second man was attacked by the same coyote later in the day while walking his dog. He, too, was not seriously injured. “It turns out that the coyote did have rabies and was [killed],” Schain said. Local police alerted neighbors of the attack and warned them to take precautions. The risk of a coyote attacking a person is extremely low, though Schain noted the risk can increase if coyotes are intentionally fed. If this is the case, the animal begins to associate people with food.

Alabama 04/25/11 Two dogs in the Coates Bend area have been quarantined after they fought with a raccoon that tested positive for rabies, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. Dr. Dee W. Jones, state public health veterinarian, in a press release said the raccoon was killed April 19, and that this is the first laboratory-confirmed case of animal rabies in Etowah County this year. He said the dogs were quarantined according to state regulations for rabies observation. For more information, contact the Alabama Department of Public Health, Bureau of Communicable Disease, Division of Epidemiology, at 1-800-677-0939, or the Etowah County Health Department at 256-547-6311.

Indiana 04/26/11 by Vanessa Renderman – A St. John family is mourning the loss of a pet that was snatched from its backyard by a pack of coyotes Sunday night. John Melendez, who lives in the Renaissance subdivision, said he wants residents to be aware of the threat the predators pose. “These things aren’t only a nuisance but are quite detrimental to the area,” he said. The attack happened about 11 p.m. Sunday, when the family let two of its miniature pinschers outside in the 9100 block of West 96th Place. One ran back into the garage, acting strangely. There was loud yelping and snarling. When John’s wife, Debbie Melendez, checked on the commotion, she saw what she described as a pack of wolves in possession of the dog, St. John Animal Control Officer Rick Conaway said. “There are no wolves in Northwest Indiana,” Conaway said. “They’re coyotes.” John Melendez said that when his wife approached the pack, they began growling at her. The animals were the size of German shepherds. The miniature pinscher’s disappearance and presumed death adds to the grief the family already was going through, after having to euthanize another pet dog Wednesday, John Melendez said. Conaway said the Sunday incident is the second of its type to happen in town since 2009, although the dog in the first incident later was found alive. He cautioned that pets less than 25 pounds should not be left unattended at any time of day. Coyotes hunt around the clock and feed on squirrels, raccoons, rabbits and other small animals. “A coyote will eat anything from a grasshopper to a groundhog,” he said. The subdivision where Sunday’s incident happened is near Clark Middle School — where the mascot is a coyote — and near a large undeveloped area.

Oklahoma 04/25/11 by Dianna F. Dandridge – Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Department last week reported being called to a residence west of Sallisaw where a skunk had attacked a dog. Deputies destroyed the skunk and sent the remains to the Oklahoma Public Health Laboratory for analysis. The dog was placed in quarantine. Cox said that the incidence of rabies in Sequoyah County has traditionally been extremely low, but that Sebastian County, Ark., is already seeing a number of cases.

South Carolina04/25/11 by Beth Richardson – Over the past decade and longer, coyotes have migrated into South Carolina from western states. Don’t worry; the coyotes did not jump over Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. The coyote is not native to the southeastern United States. Coyotes are meat eaters and will eat anything that is easy to catch. Research at the Savannah River Site clearly shows that one of the coyote’s favorite meals is the fawn. The coyote population and fawn depredation have reached a point where it has affected the number of deer allowed to be shot on the property. So far, research on other animals has not been completed, but one may be able to carry this research to other animals, thus, turkey, rabbits, and other small animal populations may be affected by the coyotes. There is an answer to the problem and the answer has worked in years past. The answer is … are you ready???? WOMEN! Yeah, I know, you did not see that coming, but keep reading.

Coyote fur outfit

Back in the 19th and early 20th century, women wore bird plumes in their hats. In fact, some plumes were in such demand that certain populations of bird species were driven close to extinction if not to extinction. It was the women’s fashion world that made it chic to wear beautiful plumes in their hats. This made the birds valuable; this meant that the hunters of these birds made enough money to warrant their catching/killing the birds to retrieve the plumes. Ergo, this fashion, because of women, created a supply and demand. The demand was so great that some of these birds did not make it, such as the Carolina parakeet. So, the plan is, if we can get the women fashion designers of New York and Paris to design the new accessories (the coyote tail cap, scarf, wrap and belt) and get it sold to the “in crowd” as an environmental statement of protecting native animals and fauna against non-native species, then there would be a value to the coyote. That value would be high enough whereby people could make a living off of trapping and shooting coyotes; thus, decimating the coyote population where it is not native. Beth Richardson is an agent with the Clemson Extension Service in Orangeburg County.

West Virginia 04/2/11 by Liz Beavers – A recent rabies case has been confirmed in the Painter Hollow Road area near Fort Ashby, according to the Mineral County Health Department. The raccoon submitted tested positive for rabies. For further information, or to report any suspicious animals, call the health department at 304-788-1321.