Category Archives: Books of Note

RABIES in FERAL CAT COLONY prompts city in VIRGINIA to issue RABID CAT ALERT ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS reports from FL, & NC ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA, CO, IL, LA, & WI ~ RABIES reports from CA, FLx3, GAx2, MA, NH, NCx3, VT, VA, & WA.

Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Defense.

Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Defense.

Virginia 07/18/13 Stafford County: Health officials have issued a Rabid Cat Alert after a feral cat from a colony in the 700 block of Brooke Road in Fredericksburg tested positive for rabies. The cat bit a person on July 12th and was brought to an animal shelter where it was placed in quarantine, but it was found dead on the morning of July 15th. Eight more of the cats from that colony are now in quarantine, but at least three remain loose. Two other feral cats found in the county earlier this year also tested positive for rabies. One of these scratched a woman in Garrisonville in March. – See

41vzEGOpnhL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_Author’s Note: The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has published a peer-reviewed guide titled “Feral Cats and Their Management” . See

And Stephen M. Vantassel, Wildlife Damage Project Coordinator, National Wildlife Control Operators Association board member, and co-author of the guide has also published a book titled “The Practical Guide to the Control of Feral Cats”, which is available at and from other book retailers. Query: Does anyone know if a similar study has been done recently focusing on stray dogs?

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

Florida-Department-of-Health-LOGO1-e1293997049361-300x115Florida 07/18/13 Health officials have confirmed that 16 horses in the state have tested positive for the EEE virus so far this year. Cases have been reported in Levy, Lake, Gilchrist (4), Alachua, Madison, St. Johns, Columbia, Gilchrist/Columbia (the horse had been in both counties during the two weeks prior to onset), Hamilton, Bradford (2), Putnam, and Hernando counties. All of the affected horses were euthanized. – See

Brunswick_County_NCNorth Carolina 07/18/13 Brunswick County: A horse that died in the county earlier this month was the first confirmed case of EEE in the state so far this year. – See

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Alameda_County_CACalifornia 07/17/13 Alameda County: Two dead crows found this week in Oakland and Pleasanton have tested positive for WNV. – See

Garfield_County.COColorado 07/17/13 Garfield County: Mosquitoes trapped at Willow Creek in Battlement Mesa, Cottonwood Park in Parachute, and Mile Pond Road southeast of Rifle, have tested positive for WNV. – See

Monroe_County.ILIllinois 07/18/13 Monroe County: Health officials have confirmed that a starling found on June 27th in Waterloo has tested positive for WNV. – See

Lafayette_Parish_LALouisiana 07/17/13 Lafayette Parish: Health officials have confirmed that test results obtained from dead birds, sentinel chickens, and mosquito pools all indicate a very high level of WNV is present throughout the parish. – See

Fond_du_Lac_County.WIWisconsin 07/18/13 Fond du Lac County: A dead crow found in the county on July 10th has tested positive for WNV. – See


1055_bat2BrownBatWICalifornia 07/17/13 Los Angeles County: A bat that was being carried around by an unvaccinated dog in the city of Santa Clarita’s Saugus neighborhood has tested positive for rabies. The dog has been quarantined for six months. – See

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAFlorida 07/18/13 Franklin County: A fox that bit a woman working in her yard on North Bayshore Drive in Eastpoint on Monday has tested positive for rabies. In a separate incident, another fox attacked a dog in the same vicinity on Wednesday but escaped. However, a dead fox found in the area on Thursday and believed to be the one that attacked the dog is now being tested for the virus. – See

images4g44g78Florida 07/18/13 Marion County: A Rabies Alert has been issued after a raccoon found just north of Ocala on July 17th tested positive for the virus. – For boundaries of the alert see

thumbnailCA96GGSLFlorida 07/17/13 Seminole County: A Rabies Alert issued on July 11th will remain in effect through September 9th after officials discovered a bobcat in Geneva that has tested positive for the virus. – See

800px-Raccoon_femaleGeorgia 07/18/13 Columbia County: A raccoon that attacked a dog near Gay Road just north of Harlem on July 13th has tested positive for rabies. – See

20731_279434686800_6409457_aGeorgia 07/17/13 Hall County: A raccoon that came in contact with a dog in the vicinity of Wellington Avenue in the northern part of the county has tested positive for rabies. This is the second confirmed Rabies Alert in the county this week. – See

Massachusetts 07/17/13 Middlesex County: A fox that bit a man’s boot on Cypress Road in Arlington last Saturday has tested positive for rabies. – See

GreyFox_decNYNew Hampshire 07/18/13 Strafford County: A grey fox that bit a man, 78, and a woman, 83, in separate incidents in Durham was shot Wednesday but was not tested for rabies. – See

North Carolina 07/18/13 Cumberland County: A fox that was attacked and killed by nine dogs off Crittercreek Road in the Gray’s Creek area of Fayetteville on Tuesday has tested positive for rabies. The dogs were not vaccinated and an official say the dogs’ owners had not decided whether to euthanize or pay for quarantining their pets. – See

North Carolina 07/16/13 Yadkin County: A raccoon that bit a stray dog in the vicinity of U.S. Highway 21 south of Arnold Road in Hamptonville on July 9th has tested positive for rabies. The dog, pictured here in captivity, was running without identification and was euthanized. It was a “boxer type” with a bobtail, 50-60 pounds, and dark brown with a white chest, four white paws, and Raccoon-SiedePreis-sma black snout. Anyone who came in contact with this dog should seek immediate medical advice. – See

North Carolina 07/17/13 Orange County: A raccoon that was attacked by a vaccinated dog in Chapel Hill on Tuesday has tested positive for rabies. – See

Vermont 07/17/13 Windham County: A grey fox that attacked a young 5704860-portrait-of-gray-fox-barkingman at a residence in Jamaica on June 29th has tested positive for rabies. A second young person was potentially exposed to the virus in spattered blood and saliva. – See

Virginia 07/18/13 Isle of Wight County: A fox that attacked a girl in the vicinity of Lee’s Mill Road has tested positive for rabies. This is the second incident involving a rabid fox in the county this month. – See

neverbarehandedsmWashington 07/18/13 King County: A sick bat found on the beach at Madison Park in Seattle on July 15th has tested positive for rabies, prompting a public health alert. Anyone who had contact with the bat should seek immediate medical advice. The bat was found under a tree at the south end of the park located at E. Madison and E. Howe streets. – See and a report in this blog posted on July 13, 2013.

Former wildlife manager’s book claims ELK feeding program in WYOMING risks exposing herd to CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ OREGON’s Imnaha WOLF pack has 19 confirmed LIVESTOCK kills in less than two years ~ NEW MEXICO RABIES ALERT ~ NORTH CAROLINA COYOTE ALERT.

Bugling Elk. Photo by New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation.

Wyoming 12/12/11 by Nick Gevock – The decades-old practice of feeding elk throughout western Wyoming has created a grossly overpopulated herd that is rife to catch disease that could cause large die-offs and spread throughout the Yellowstone region. That’s among the findings of a new book written by Sheridan resident Bruce Smith, a retired wildlife manager who ran the feeding program on the U.S. National Elk Refuge near Jackson.

Smith, in his new book titled “Where Elk Roam: Conservation and Biopolitics of Our National Elk Herd,” argues that Wyoming has grown accustomed to holding far more elk than the ecosystem can support in many areas. And that heavy concentration is setting the herd up to potentially catch chronic wasting disease, which is always fatal in wildlife. “It’s foolish to try to lead people to believe that a place as snowbound as Jackson Hole can support 12,000 elk, because it never did before,” Smith said in a telephone interview. “Those feed grounds in western Wyoming potentially are going to become biological hotspots for spreading chronic wasting disease throughout the greater Yellowstone ecosystem.”

Dr. Bruce Smith

Smith, who holds a doctorate in zoology from the University of Wyoming, worked as a wildlife manager on the elk refuge for 22 years before retiring in 2004. He ran the feeding program on the range but said his long history of publications pointed out the problems with the policy. – For complete article go to

Imnaha pack alpha male.

Oregon 12/13/11 ODFW confirmed that another cow was killed by wolves from the Imnaha pack over the weekend. The yearling heifer was found dead on private land in Wallowa   County. This brings the total number of confirmed livestock losses by Imnaha pack wolves to 19 since spring 2010. It is the fifth confirmed livestock loss to wolves since an Oct. 5, 2011 court-ordered stay ended ODFW plans to kill two wolves from the Imnaha pack in an attempt to stop further livestock losses. While the pack is continuing a pattern of chronic livestock depredation begun in spring 2010, ODFW wolf coordinator Russ Morgan characterizes the recent kills as a “significant” change in the pack’s behavior. Previously the pack killed mostly smaller calves, but now it has shifted to larger-sized yearling and adult cows. The timing is also new, as depredation by this pack has not been previously confirmed during the period October through December.

“The latest incident reaffirms that the pack is in a pattern of chronic depredation, which we expect to continue,” said Morgan. “While we believe the appropriate response is lethal removal of these problem wolves under the chronic depredation rule that option is off the table due to litigation.” The wolves targeted the ranch twice over two days. The cattle involved had recently been gathered and placed into a holding pasture near the main ranch house, as they were scheduled to be hauled on Monday. On Sunday morning, the landowner discovered that the cattle had been run through the fence and the yearling heifer was found dead a half mile away. The cattle were returned to the pasture, only to be scattered again by Monday morning. GPS radio-collar data shows that the alpha male of the Imnaha wolf pack was present at the site of the depredation and was also in the area when the cows were scattered the next day. Other wolves from the pack were likely with the alpha male, but their VHF radio-collars don’t allow such close location tracking. The alpha male wolf was in remote country about five miles  from the pasture the evening before the Sunday morning attack, yet by 2 a.m. he  was only about 300 yards from the main ranch house, on the way to the pasture  with cattle.

This rancher had taken a variety of non-lethal measures on different areas of his large ranch over the past two years. He had installed barrier fences with fladry (flagged fencing that can deter wolves) on parts of his ranch and has used a radio-activated guard device that makes noise when a radio-collared wolf approaches. The rancher had also increased monitoring of his livestock and has used a radio receiver to detect when a collared wolf was nearby. “This is a good example of a situation where the landowner had done everything right,” said Morgan. “I don’t think there are other measures that could have been reasonably taken in this case, so it is a very frustrating situation for livestock producers and wildlife managers.”

ODFW continues to work with area landowners on non-lethal ways to avoid wolf-livestock problems. For example, ODFW sends twice-daily text messages about wolves’ locations to area livestock producers. A range rider funded by ODFW and Defenders of Wildlife has monitored the wolves’ location in relation to livestock. Besides non-lethal measures, ODFW has also provided some ranchers with permits to kill a wolf they catch “in the act of biting, wounding or killing” livestock or with permits that allow them to haze wolves. The chance to use these permits is rare because wolves typically avoid people and usually attack livestock at night. None of these permits issued by ODFW has ever been used, again because it is very rare for a person to actually be present when a wolf is “in the act” of attacking livestock.

This landowner and others that have lost livestock animals to wolves are likely to be compensated for their losses. Earlier this year, the Oregon State Legislature and Governor Kitzhaber directed the Oregon Department of Agriculture to create a wolf compensation program. The program is expected to be in effect in early 2012. Ranchers that lost livestock since early September 2011 (when a compensation program funded by Defenders of Wildlife ended) will be eligible for retroactive compensation. Summaries of the wolf investigations and confirmations can be found on ODFW’s livestock loss investigations page.

New Mexico 12/12/11: Carlsbad, Eddy County – State health officials urge pet and livestock owners to get animals vaccinated after three skunks test positive for rabies. See

North Carolina 12/12/11: Charlotte, Mecklenburg County – Pet dog attacked, nearly killed by coyote outside pet owner’s garage in residential neighborhood. See

Florida CHILD attacked by RACCOON and bitten eight times ~ RABIES reports from Georgia, New Jersey, Texas, & Virginia ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from Indiana, Texas, & Wisconsin ~ Books of Note: The Viral Storm ~ CDC Reports: CDC issues new Compendium of Animal RABIES Prevention and Control, 2011.

Raccoon. Photo by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Florida 11/02/11 from article by Jennifer Edwards – A 9-year-old was attacked by a raccoon and bitten eight times on the campus of Florida’s School for the Deaf and the Blind. The raccoon was not caught but the girl was vaccinated for rabies as a precaution. See

Georgia 11/03/11 Hartwell, Hart County: Several Hartwell Elementary School students are being treated after touching a dead bat on the school grounds. The bat was tested for rabies, but as it had deteriorated significantly the results were considered inconclusive. See

New Jersey 11/02/11 Absecon, Atlantic County: A raccoon removed from a local residence tested positive for rabies. This is the 12th case of rabies in the county this year; eight of them raccoons. See

Texas 11/02/11 Wood County: A skunk that wandered into a family’s yard and fought with their three dogs has tested positive for rabies. See

Virginia 11/02/11 Gate City, Scott County: A skunk killed by three dogs in the Yuma community has tested positive for rabies. See          

Indiana 11/02/11 Whiting, Lake County: Former Hammond police chief Frank DuPey, 78, has died from complications of West Nile Virus. See

Texas 111/02/11 Montgomery County: Health officials have confirmed a new case of human West Nile Virus. It is the third case in the county this year. Statewide, 26 cases have been reported by the Texas Department of State Health Services in 2011. See

Wisconsin 11/03/11 Polk County Health Department: A dead crow found in the Amery area has tested positive for West Nile Virus. See

Books of Note:

California 10/25/11 News Release –

In his new book, Nathan Wolfe, a professor of Biology at Stanford University, chronicles the changes in human behavior that have shaped our experience with pandemics and he ultimately provides a vision for predicting and preventing future outbreaks. Wolfe’s firsthand knowledge from over a decade of virus hunting is woven throughout the book. His early work in Cameroon, in west-central Africa, sent him to villages where the inhabitants relied on wild game, or bushmeat, for protein. When hunters contact animal fluids during butchering, it makes them especially vulnerable to hosting novel bugs. Many viruses, like HIV and influenza, jumped to humans from other animals.

Hunters are important allies for studying emerging disease. By enlisting them to collect thousands of blood samples, Wolfe and his colleagues found unique forms of viruses, including retroviruses like HIV. Since then, Wolfe and his team have established the Cameroon monitoring system in countries throughout the world, including China, Southeast Asia and other parts of central Africa. While viruses may emerge from far-flung places, Wolfe emphasizes that modern transportation networks help microbes spread faster than ever. For that reason, Wolfe says The Viral Storm is written “for anyone who rides the subway, or takes an airplane, or kisses their children goodbye on their way off to school.” The global connectivity that helps viruses spread also makes them easier to track. Wolfe is also the founder and CEO of San Francisco-based Global Viral Forecasting Initiative, which works in 20 countries trying to find potential pandemics. A digital surveillance team monitors chatter on hundreds of websites, looking for the signal of a threatening outbreak in online noise. By combining technology with boots-on-the-ground natural science, GVFI aims to catch viruses before they become world travelers.

“In the last chapter of the book I portray a fictional scenario for the future of how I hope that we’ll address some of these pandemics,” Wolfe said. “I think the exciting thing about GVFI is that we’re really working on a daily basis to move that towards a reality.” To predict and prevent the next pandemic, GVFI will rely equally on hunters in Africa and analysts crunching data in California. “Whether it’s epidemiology or virology or computer science, we bring all of those to bear to find the best solutions to addressing these problems,” Wolfe said. Wolfe wants to confine images of plague-racing vaccine developers to movies like Contagion. “Historically, the way we’ve focused on disease control when it comes to pandemics is very much a reactive, responsive approach,” he said. “I think now we’ve crossed the threshold into having a lot of organizations and governments that now recognize that prediction is important.” According to Wolfe, stopping deadly bugs before they spread also depends on how individuals think about pandemics. In The Viral Storm, he talks about “risk literacy,” referring to the ability to compare and interpret relative risks. “I think there is a real importance for people to understand the nature of these risks,” Wolfe said. “And while we may not perceive them in the way that we perceive more visually traumatic risks like hurricanes and earthquakes, they represent, in many ways, more profound threats.”

CDC Reports:

National 11/04/11 Summary – Rabies has one of the highest case-fatality ratios of any infectious disease. This report provides recommendations for public health officials, veterinarians, animal control officials, and other parties engaged in rabies prevention and control activities and should serve as the basis for standardizing procedures among jurisdictions. The recommendations regarding domestic animal vaccination, management of animals exposed to rabies, and management of animals that bite humans are the core elements of animal rabies control and human rabies prevention. These updated 2011 guidelines include the national case definition for animal rabies and clarify the role of the CDC rabies laboratory in providing confirmatory testing of suspect animals. The table of rabies vaccines licensed and marketed in the United States has been updated, and additional references have been included to provide scientific support for information in this report. – National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, Inc. (NASPHV), Recommendations and Reports November 4, 2011 / 60(RR06); 1-14. – For complete report see