Category Archives: Prion disease

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 chaffeecountytimes.com: 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 http://www.chaffeecountytimes.com/free_content/article_31f01628-b3d8-11e4-9a2a-8b2a52d556a8.html

MAD COW DISEASE:

CANADA:

madcowAlberta 02/13/15 bnn.ca: 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 http://www.bnn.ca/News/2015/2/13/Mad-cow-disease-confirmed-in-Alberta-cow.aspx

TICKS:

Ticks_KnownDiseases_HorizGlobal 02/11/15 smithsonianscience.org: – 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 http://smithsonianscience.org/2015/02/tickstick/

H5N1 AVIAN FLU:

Canada:

H5N1_46225British Columbia 02/0-9/15 reuters.com: 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 http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/09/us-canada-birdflu-idUSKBN0LD1QL20150209

LYME DISEASE:

dollar-signlyme-disease-awareness-ribbon-mdNational 02/06/15 healio.com: 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 http://www.healio.com/infectious-disease/zoonotic-infections/news/online/%7Beb7cb6ca-f815-4412-a75f-0ea8ac60b01d%7D/ptlds-costs-estimated-at-1-billion-annually-in-us

RABIES:

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 http://www.gainesville.com/article/20150206/ARTICLES/150209708

~ ANNOUNCEMENT ~

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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 dmid@journaldynamics.org or our on-line platform a http://www.journaldynamics.org/submitmanuscript/dmid/. – See http://www.journaldynamics.org/callforpapers/dmid/

BLACK BEAR attacks FLORIDA teenager ~ TEXAS reports fifth HANTAVIRUS case this year ~ NEW YORK scientists develop VACCINE to fight CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ LYME DISEASE cases in NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND remain high.

Black bear. Photo by Cephas. Wikimedia Commons.

Black bear. Photo by Cephas. Wikimedia Commons.

Florida 12/21/14 mypanhandle.com provided by FL Fish & Wildlife: A 15-year-old is currently undergoing surgery after being attacked by a bear in Eastpoint, Florida. According to her mother the teenager sustained significant injuries to her legs, back, neck and face and was transported to Bay Medical Sacred Heart in Panama City. “Even as I sit here now I can’t believe what happened,” said Sherry Mann, the girl’s mother. “The bears are all over the place and I know how hard I would fight to protect my kids, but a momma bear can do so much more damage than me with just one swipe.” Mann says her daughter was walking her dog by the Big Top Supermarket off Highway 98 when she says she saw a dark shadow and then black. She says her daughter was dragged into a nearby ditch by the bear and tried screaming for help. Sherry Mann said her daughter Leah Reeder remembered to “play dead” and as she did her dog came to her rescue lunging at the animal. The bear retreated to the nearby woods and Reeder was able to walk home to her father’s house, which was a block away. “The worst injuries are to her face,” said Mann. “She has a huge laceration on top of her head and one across her forehead and deep, deep puncture wounds to the side of her head.” As of midnight Monday morning Reeder had been in surgery nearly two hours. – See http://www.mypanhandle.com/story/d/story/15-year-old-reportedly-attacked-by-bear-in-east-po/13441/COd76GVsPkK409SP2VqWJw

HANTAVIRUS:

rodents.44k498Texas 12/22/14 outbreaknewstoday.com: The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)is reporting a case of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) in a resident of the Golden Crescent region along the central Texas coast. This is the fifth case of hantavirus this year in the state. Hantavirus is carried by certain species of rats and mice that shed the virus in their urine, droppings and saliva. The virus can be transmitted to people by stirring up nesting materials or contaminated dust, allowing the virus to be breathed in by humans. Cases have been linked to cleaning out buildings where rodents live and working in dusty environments like ranches and oilfields . . . A total of 43 HPS cases have been confirmed in Texas since 1993, the first year the disease was detected. Of those, 14 were fatal. – For complete article see http://outbreaknewstoday.com/texas-reports-5th-hantavirus-case-of-2014/

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE:

white_tail_doeGlobal 12/21/14 medicalxpress.com: Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center and elsewhere say that a vaccination they have developed to fight a brain-based, wasting syndrome among deer and other animals may hold promise on two additional fronts: Protecting U.S. livestock from contracting the disease, and preventing similar brain infections in humans. The study, to be published in Vaccine online Dec. 21, documents a scientific milestone: The first successful vaccination of deer against chronic wasting disease (CWD), a fatal brain disorder caused by unusual infectious proteins known as prions. Prions propagate by converting otherwise healthy proteins into a disease state.

jjg8877gEqually important, the researchers say, this study may hold promise against human diseases suspected to be caused by prion infections, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, kuru, familial insomnia, and variably protease-sensitive prionopathy. Some studies also have associated prion-like infections with Alzheimer’s disease. “Now that we have found that preventing prion infection is possible in animals, it’s likely feasible in humans as well,” says senior study investigator and neurologist Thomas Wisniewski, MD, a professor at NYU Langone. CWD afflicts as much as 100 percent of North America’s captive deer population, as well as large numbers of other cervids that populate the plains and forests of the Northern Hemisphere, including wild deer, elk, caribou and moose. There is growing concern among scientists that CWD could possibly spread to livestock in the same regions, especially cattle, a major life stream for the U.S. economy, in much the same manner that bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or Mad Cow Disease, another prion-based infection, spread through the United Kingdom almost two decades ago. – See http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-12-successful-vaccination-mad-cow-like-disease.html

LYME DISEASE:

green-tick-logoNew England 12/21/14 bostonglobe.com: by Patrick Whittle – Environmental factors and improved reporting methods led to another year of high totals for Lyme disease in northern New England. Reported cases are expected to be on par with, or exceed, records set recently in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Maine is likely to exceed last year’s record of 1,384 cases of the tick-borne illness, said Sheila Pinette, director of the state’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Vermont officials said their state is on track for its second- or third-highest total on record, following the 2013 high of 671. In New Hampshire, officials said numbers are falling in line with recent years, which included a record in 2013. – For complete article see http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/12/21/numerous-reports-lyme-disease-new-england/IxOdrlSz0P8MQjQu2U8t7J/story.html

DEER HUNTERS in PENNSYLVANIA face new reality: CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ NORTH DAKOTA researchers confirm local TICKS carrying LYME DISEASE ~ US Army enlists COWS with human genes to fight HANTAVIRUS.

Whitetail buck. Courtesy National Park Service.

Whitetail buck. Courtesy National Park Service.

Pennsylvania 11/30/14 citizensvoice.com: by Kent Jackson – Hunters entering the woods in Pennsylvania on Monday for the start of the rifle deer season face a new realty. Some of the deer that they pursue carry an incurable, fatal disease. Chronic wasting disease appeared in a deer in Pennsylvania in 2012 after advancing through 21 other states and two provinces of Canada. “From other states regardless of what you do, you can’t eliminate it. It is there to stay once it’s on the landscape,” Matthew Hough, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said during a conference call with reporters on Nov. 19. The commission set special rules for three areas of the state where deer tested positive for the disease. Hunters cannot transport parts of the deer such as the brain, spinal cord, lymph nodes, spleen and eyeballs out of those areas. Nor can they feed deer or use urine-based lures, which bring deer close together where the risk of spreading the disease heightens.

Whitetail buck with CWD.

Whitetail buck with CWD.

In the rest of the state, hunters should take precautions such as wearing gloves, boning out meat, and minimizing contact with high-risk parts when they field dress deer. The rifle season starts Monday and concludes Dec. 13. In most of the state, hunters can take bucks through Friday, but they can hunt a buck or a doe from Saturday to the end of the season. The buck-only territory for the first five days includes Hazleton and parts of Schuylkill, Carbon and Columbia counties in Wildlife Management Unit 4C and 13 other WMUs. Nine WMUs have buck and doe hunting throughout the two-week season. While there is no evidence that chronic wasting disease affects humans, research isn’t conclusive, and hunters are advised not to eat meat from infected animals. – For complete article including PA contacts for CWD testing see http://citizensvoice.com/sports/it-is-here-to-stay-here-to-stay-1.1795223

LYME DISEASE:

lyme_disease_hidden_epidemic_poster-p228833588305763989t5wm_400North Dakota 11/25/14 prairiebizmag.com: by Anna Burleson – Lyme disease has been found in ticks in the Red River Valley by several researchers at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. The disease is transmitted through the bites of a certain breed of infected tick and if left untreated can spread throughout a person’s nervous system, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

und-logo-20116UND Biology Department professor Jefferson Vaughan led a team with assistant professor Catherine Brissette from the School of Medicine and Health Sciences to look into the prevalence of the disease after he discovered local veterinarians had seen “different-looking” ticks on pets they were treating. “People are beginning to really realize particularly that dogs and sometimes cats are sentinels for types of diseases that are normally wildlife diseases, but can also cause diseases in humans,” Vaughan said.

American Dog Tick

American Dog Tick

The breed of tick most frequently found in the Red River Valley is commonly called an American Dog Tick and is known for its large brown appearance.Vaughan and graduate student Nate Russart began investigating the appearance of the much smaller Deer Tick, as it’s commonly known, in 2010 and discovered the ticks were carrying Lyme disease.

Deer Tick

Deer Tick

But Vaughan said the discovery simply means people should be more diligent about searching themselves for the presence of ticks after being in fields or forests. “It used to be an annoyance, just like mosquitoes were ten years ago, but now they’re more than an annoyance,” he said. “It’s a public health issue.” – For complete article see http://www.prairiebizmag.com/event/article/id/21810/#sthash.zBpHdMsR.dpuf

HANTAVIRUS:

09 Antibody StructureGlobal 11/26/14 sciencemag.org: by David Shultz – Humans have been using antibody therapies to treat infectious disease for more than 100 years. Blood plasma from influenza survivors administered to sick patients in 1912 may have contributed to their dramatic turnaround. In the years since, immune proteins from survivors have been administered to infected individuals in an attempt to combat diseases like Lassa fever, SARS, and even Ebola.

300px-USAMRIID_LogoIt’s hard, however, to find survivors who can donate plasma containing these lifesaving immune proteins. Now, a team led by researchers at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Frederick, Maryland, has used genetically engineered cows to produce large amounts of human antibodies against hantavirus, an often deadly disease mainly transmitted from rodents to people. In animal models, at least, these antibodies provided robust protection against the virus, opening the door to therapies to treat and prevent hantavirus, for which there is no cure. The bioproduction technique also holds promise for generating antibodies against other infectious agents. – For complete article see http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/11/cows-human-chromosomes-enlisted-fight-hantavirus

CALIFORNIAN attacked by BOBCAT ~ DEER farm in IOWA is new CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE title holder ~ COLORADO warns HUNTERS of widespread TULAREMIA ~ RABIES reports from MD & VA.

Bobcat. Courtesy National Park Service.

Bobcat. Courtesy National Park Service.

California 10/02/14 keyt.com: by Claire Scholl and Tracy Lehr – A 65-year-old woman is recovering in the hospital from multiple bobcat bites and scratches to her hand, arm and neck. The attack occurred at the Alisal Guest Ranch at about 12:30 p.m. Thursday. State Department of Fish and Wildlife officers said the woman, who works at the ranch, was eating lunch at a picnic table around the corner from the ranch entrance when she was attacked. They did not know what she was eating, but they said she tried to push the bobcat away but the animal came back. Officers said the bobcat had mange and looked emaciated. They found the bobcat beneath a wooden bridge nearby and killed it. Ranch guests said they heard a shot fired. They saw the dead animal and said it looked like it may have been in poor health before the incident. Some people think the drought is pushing animals out of the hills to search for food and water. The ranch is in the 1000 block of Alisal Road just a few miles from Solvang. – For video and complete article see http://www.keyt.com/news/woman-attacked-by-bobcat-while-eating-lunch/28377576

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE (CWD):

HEADERIowa 10/04/14 jsonline.com: by Paul A. Smith – In the world of deer hunting, records are kept of antler size, deer harvests and license sales. States and hunters often claim bragging rights. There’s a flip side, too. News came Thursday that Iowa claimed a dubious title previously held by Wisconsin. The Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship announced 284 of 356 deer (80%) from a captive herd in north-central Iowa tested positive for chronic wasting disease. The finding represents the highest number of CWD-positive animals detected at a facility, according to wildlife health officials. “This is what happens when you allow disease to sit and percolate on a game farm,” said Bryan Richards, the CWD project leader at the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center in Madison.

Deer with CWD.

Deer with CWD.

A deer farm near Portage, Wis., is infamous for having 60 of 76 deer test positive for the disease in 2006. Wisconsin purchased the farm in order to keep fences in place and prevent wild deer from entering the property. However, in 2013 a wild deer near the facility tested positive for the disease. To help combat the spread of CWD, Wisconsin has banned baiting and feeding of deer in 35 counties and requires CWD tests on all animals that die on deer and elk farms. CWD is a progressive, degenerative neurological disease found in deer, elk and moose. There is no known treatment. CWD is similar to other prion diseases including bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease) and human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. CWD has not been linked to human illness, but the Centers for Disease Control recommends humans not consume meat from CWD-positive animals. – For complete article see http://www.jsonline.com/sports/outdoors/iowa-deer-farm-riddled-with-chronic-wasting-disease-b99364005z1-278133231.html

TULAREMIA:

tularemia-pueblo-county-jpgColorado 10/01/14 CO Dept of Public Health: Media Release – October is the beginning of small game hunting season in Colorado. As the number of human tularemia cases in our state continues to rise, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment reminds small game hunters to “hunt healthy” this year.  “We haven’t seen this many tularemia cases in Colorado since the 1980s,” said State Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Jennifer House. “Historically, we see cases of tularemia in hunters, and the disease is so widespread this year, we want to make sure our hunters understand the risks.” “In the last 10 years Colorado has averaged three human cases of tularemia a year,” Dr. House said. “So far in 2014 we have had 11, and additional suspected cases are under investigation.”

zoonosis_TularemiaLocal health departments have received numerous reports of rabbit and rodent die-offs across the state this year. Animals from 12 counties tested positive for tularemia, a bacterial disease that can affect small game animals. It commonly causes illness and death in rabbits and rodents such as squirrels. People can get tularemia if they handle infected animals or are bitten by ticks or deer flies. People also can be exposed to tularemia by touching contaminated soil, drinking contaminated water or inhaling bacteria. Hunters are most at risk when skinning game and preparing and consuming the meat. – For precaution and complete release see https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/news/tularemia-hunters

RABIES:

Maryland 10/01/14 Baltimore County: A male, gray-striped tabby cat, possibly with a limp, found in the vicinity of Delight Road in Reisterstown has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wbaltv.com/news/cat-5731289-very-cute-child-with-a-cat-in-armsfrom-reisterstown-area-tests-positive-for-rabies/28357964

Virginia 10/01/14 Warren County: A domestic short hair orange tabby cat with white feet and white belly that attacked a person on Fletcher Street near the Happy Creek Bike Trail in Front Royal on September 29th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.nvdaily.com/news/2014/10/cat-tests-positive-for-rabies.php

Study finds ELK may adapt to CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ BEAR attacks DANISH birdwatcher in CANADA ~ COLORADAN hospitalized with HANTAVIRUS infection ~ Interesting RABIES reports from MD, SC, TX & VT.

Bull elk bugling. Courtesy National Park Service.

Bull elk bugling. Courtesy National Park Service.

Wyoming 07/21/14 ktvq.com: A 10-year study conducted by the University of Wyoming and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department suggests that the effects of chronic wasting disease (CWD) on elk populations may not be as devastating as once believed. Research has shown that genes play a role in elk susceptibility to CWD. Some elk have genes that prolong the time between exposure to the CWD prion, the infectious agent of CWD, and the onset of the disease. These genes become dominant over many decades, greatly reducing the impact of CWD on the population. Elk with these genes live longer even when heavily exposed to CWD and therefore have more opportunity to reproduce than elk with other genes.

WY-2010-12-06_16-28-11_078Some people have feared that winter feed grounds for elk would concentrate the disease resulting in much higher incidence of CWD. “This study model essentially represents the worst-case scenario that would face feed ground elk,” said Dr. Terry Kreeger, retired state wildlife veterinarian for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. “We predict a genetic shift over several decades favoring genes that prolong the incubation time of CWD resulting in elk populations that are able to persist in the face of the disease.”

WY_GFD-LogoScott Edberg, deputy chief of the Wyoming Game and Fish Wildlife Division states: “It helps to know that based on this research, if CWD should become established on feed grounds, we won’t see a devastating effect on populations as many have feared. This research also looked at how hunting would affect populations, and it appears, Game and Fish would still need to have hunting seasons to manage elk populations even if faced with CWD on feed grounds.” – See http://www.ktvq.com/news/study-finds-elk-may-be-able-to-adapt-to-chronic-wasting-disease-214986/

Bear Attack:

field_trip_atlas_of_canada_subsetCanada 07/22/14 Alberta: A 53-year-old tourist from Copenhagen, Denmark, was attacked by a bear on July 19th while looking for a good spot to birdwatch along the Powerline trail by Quarry Lake near Canmore. The man defended himself with his binoculars and there was a struggle, and the man suffered bruises and scratches, but the bear suddenly turned and left without ever so much as knocking the man to the ground. It’s believed the bear as feeding on berries and was startled. Fish and Wildlife officers have closed the area and set traps for the bear, but it hasn’t been seen since the attack. – For complete article see http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/alberta/blue+this+bear+attacked+recalls+Danish+birdwatcher/10052325/story.html

Hantavirus:

504f618286f53_preview-300Colorado 07/23/14 postindependent.com: Officials have confirmed a case of hantavirus in a Mesa County resident. The patient was being treated at a Denver hospital as of July 21st. – See http://www.postindependent.com/news/12325603-113/hantavirus-case-county-droppings

Rabies:

rabies.warningMaryland 07/21/14 Wicomico County: A feral cat found in the Friendship Road area of Pittsville has tested positive for rabies. Individuals recently exposed to a feral cat in the Pittsville area should call Animal Control at the county Humane Society. – See http://www.wboc.com/story/26072724/cat-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-wicomico-county

South Carolina 07/23/14 Greenville County: A feral cat that was in contact with an area resident has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wyff4.com/news/cat-exposes-person-to-rabies-in-greenville-county/27108696#!bkT7Wj

can_you_helpTexas 07/23/14 Austin/Travis County Health: Officials are asking the public to help locate a man who may have been exposed to rabies. On Saturday, July 19th at approximately 10:30 a.m., a call came into Animal Services dispatch regarding a grounded bat. By the time APD arrived, a man had picked up the bat, running toward the Ann Richards Bridge.  If anyone has information, please contact our Disease Surveillance Program at 512-972-5555. Rabies exposure occurs only when a person is bitten or scratched by a potentially rabid animal, or when abrasions, open wounds, or mucous membranes are contaminated with the saliva, brain, or nervous system tissue of a potentially rabid animal. It may take several weeks or longer for people to show symptoms after being infected with rabies. The early signs of rabies can be fever or headache, but this changes quickly to nervous system signs such as confusion, sleepiness, or agitation. Once someone with a rabies infection has the advanced symptoms, that person usually does not survive. – See http://www.austintexas.gov/news/possible-human-exposure-rabies-2

Vermont 07/22/14 Chittendon County: A woodchuck that bit a South Road resident in Williston last weekend has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/story/news/local/2014/07/22/williston-woodchuck-test-positive-rabies/13013557/

FLORIDA woman attacked by BLACK BEAR ~ TICK taken from CALIFORNIA park carrying TULAREMIA ~ IOWA reports first case of CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE in a wild DEER ~ RABIES reports from CT, GAx2, MA, NH, NJx2, NYx2, NC, TXx4, VT, VA & WI.

Black bear. Courtesy freepik.com.

Black bear. Courtesy freepik.com.

Florida 04/13/14 Seminole County: Officials are investigating a black bear attack that occurred in Lake Mary on April 12th around 8 p.m. Firefighters say they were called to a home at 1900 Brackenhurst Place after one of five bears rooting through trash at the residence attacked a woman identified as Terri Franna who was taken to a local hospital for treatment and later released. Wildlife officials say they have since put down four bears that did not appear to be fearful of humans, which is considered dangerous. The director of the state’s bear management programs said bears are looking for food this time of year and, if they can’t find it in your neighborhood, they’ll move on. – See http://www.clickorlando.com/news/woman-attacked-by-bear-in-lake-mary/25453094

Tularemia:

th777389546ddCalifornia 04/10/14 San Diego County: Officials have issued a warning to hikers and others who work or play in the great outdoors that a tick taken during routine monitoring in Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve, an urban park in San Diego, has tested positive for tularemia, also known as “rabbit fever”. Ticks in the U.S. that can transmit the F. tularensis bacteria include the dog, wood and long star varieties. Deer flies can also transmit the bacteria. Tularemia can be very difficult to diagnose. It is a rare but potentially serious disease. During 2001-2010, a total of 1,208 cases were reported from a total of 47 states, but more than half of the total number of cases were in MO, AR, OK, MA, SD and KS. – See http://poway.patch.com/groups/around-town/p/county-urges-public-to-protect-against-ticks-after-tularemia-find-poway

Author’s Note: For more information about Tularemia see http://www.cdc.gov/tularemia/index.html

Chronic Wasting Disease:

CWD-TitleIowa 04/09/14 IA Dept of Natural Resources: Media Release – The first case of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a wild Iowa deer has been confirmed. The deer was reported as harvested in Allamakee County during the first shotgun season in early December. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is currently working to obtain as much information as possible about the infected deer to implement its CWD response plan. “We have been testing for CWD in Iowa’s deer herd for more than a decade and are optimistic, given the extensive data we have collected, that we have caught this early,” said Chuck Gipp, DNR director. “The next step will be to focus our monitoring efforts in the area where the animal was harvested and work closely with local landowners and hunters to gather more information.” said Gipp.

Deer infected with CWD.

Deer infected with CWD.

CWD is a neurological disease affecting primarily deer and elk. It is caused by an abnormal protein, called a prion that attacks the brains of infected animals, causing them to lose weight, display abnormal behavior and lose bodily functions. Signs include excessive salivation, thirst and urination, loss of appetite, progressive weight loss, listlessness and drooping ears and head. The only reliable test for CWD requires testing of lymph nodes or brain material. There is currently no evidence that humans can contract CWD by eating venison. However, the National Institute of Health and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that hunters do not eat the brain, eyeballs or spinal cord of deer and that hunters wear protective gloves while field dressing game and boning out meat for consumption. Prior to the positive detection in Iowa, CWD had been detected in every bordering state.

Rabies:

batinlaundryConnecticut 04/07/14 New London County: A bat captured in a Gales Ferry home on April 4th in the Eagle Ridge Drive area of Ledyard has tested positive for rabies. – See http://groton.patch.com/groups/around-town/p/bat-captured-in-gales-ferry-tests-positive-for-rabies-groton

Georgia 04/11/14 Hall County: Officials have issued a Rabies Alert for the Persimmon Tree Road area after a raccoon that was in contact with a dog tested positive for the virus. This is the fifth confirmed case of rabies found in the county this year. – See http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/section/6/article/98112/

Georgia 04/10/14 Henry County: A raccoon that was killed by a dog on April 2nd in the City of McDonough has tested positive for rabies. Officials have issued a city-wide quarantine. – See http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/25214076/henry-county-issues-rabies-quarantine-88e779r0efor-mcdonough#axzz2ydBtnx7b

Massachusetts 04/07/14 Middlesex County: A skunk found near the Framingham/Southborough town line has tested positive for rabies. – See http://framingham.wickedlocal.com/article/20140407/NEWS/140406953

4541357140foxNew Hampshire 04/11/14 Rockingham County: A fox that attacked two children at the Don Ball Park in Derry on April 10th has tested positive for rabies. The animal knocked a boy down, and then bit a 5-year-old girl after she came down a slide. Police and wildlife officials finally cornered the animal in nearby woods and killed it, but in the interim the fox also attacked a porcupine and dog. – See http://www.wmur.com/news/fox-that-attacked-children-tests-positive-for-rabies/25438202

New Jersey 04/11/14 Monmouth County: Health officials have issued a Rabies Alert for the Middletown area after two raccoons tested positive for the virus this week. The first was found in the vicinity of Michael Drive off Nutswamp Road, and the second was found in the vicinity of Essex Street and Bray Avenue in the northern section of the township. – See http://www.ahherald.com/newsbrief/local-news/17351-rabies-alert-in-middletown

111009110345_Raccoon3 - CopyNew Jersey 04/09/14 Hunterdon County: A raccoon captured in the vicinity of Brown Street in Flemington has tested positive for rabies. The animal might have been in contact with several stray cats in the area. – See http://www.nj.com/hunterdon-county-democrat/index.ssf/2014/04/raccoon_cuaght_in_flemington_t.html

New York 04/11/14 Niagara County: A raccoon killed by two dogs on Stone Road in Hartland has tested positive for rabies. – http://wivb.com/2014/04/11/niagara-co-reports-first-rabies-case-of-2014/

rabidcatNew York 04/07/14 Oneida County: A man who tried to help what he thought was an injured cat was bitten on the hand last week when he picked the animal up. The cat later tested positive for rabies and the victim is receiving post-exposure treatment. – See http://www.wktv.com/news/local/Oneida-County-man-exposed-to-rabies-by-injured-cat-254233751.html

GA_Gray_Fox_6869North Carolina 04/10/14 Cumberland County: A fox that attacked two unvaccinated dogs on April 9th outside their owner’s home on Lake Upchurch Road in Parkton has tested positive for rabies. The owner of the dogs is being treated for potential exposure to virus when he grabbed the fox and broke its neck. – See http://www.fayobserver.com/news/local/article_3ca95f9e-f7c3-5939-99fa-678cb761daaf.html

Texas 04/11/14 Wichita County: A second skunk has tested positive for rabies in the city of Wichita Falls within two weeks. The first was in the southern part of the city while this latest case is in the northern sector. – See http://www.timesrecordnews.com/news/2014/apr/10/second-case-rabies-wichita-falls/

2195804032_bb25565f77-copyTexas 04/11/14 Young County: Two skunks found in the City of Graham have tested positive for rabies. One was found near Pioneer Cemetery and the other in the northeast part of the city. – See http://www.grahamleader.com/ci_25546497/rabies-cases-reported-graham

Texas 04/10/14 McClellan County: A skunk found in the 600 block of Regina Drive in Hewitt on April 7th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.kcentv.com/story/25206822/skunk-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-hewitt

Texas 04/08/14 Bell County: A skunk that scratched a dog in the 4500 block of Lonesome Dove in Killeen has tested positive for rabies. – http://www.kxxv.com/story/25197702/rabid-skunk-spurs-caution-in-bell-county

lottaraccoons - CopyVermont 04/11/14 Chittenden County: Four raccoons trapped in Burlington and South Burlington in the last ten days have all tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.boston.com/news/local/vermont/2014/04/11/animal-rabies-found-near-vermont-largest-city/OTbD8fi44nBSYDmPkeRrDO/story.html

Rabid-cat-4-11-14 VaVirginia 04/11/14 Virginia Beach: A stray cat that was following children waiting for the school bus in the 1200 block of Warwick Drive has tested positive for rabies. Anyone who came in contact with the cat is advised to seek medical advice immediately. – See http://wavy.com/2014/04/11/cat-found-near-school-bus-stop-tests-positive-for-rabies/

help7689Wisconsin 04/09/14 Marathon County: Officials are looking for the owner of a large Rottweiler-type dog that bit a seven-year-old boy around 7:30 p.m. on April 8th near the corner of S. 5th Avenue and West Street in Wausau. The dog was wearing a dark green or black harness and was being walked by a woman with brown, shoulder length hair. She is believed to have been in her 30s and was wearing running pants and a bright pink shirt. Anyone with information should call the health department at (715) 849-7785. – http://www.wsaw.com/home/headlines/Health-Dept-Searching-for-Dog-to-Prevent-Boy-from-going-through-Rabies-Shots-254575171.html?ref=171

 

MOUNTAIN LION behaving aggressively toward people in CALIFORNIA park ~ Follow-Up Report: MOUNTAIN LION returns to Fontana, CALIFORNIA ~ MISSOURI cautiously optimistic that efforts to check CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE are working ~ RABIES reports from GA, TX, & VA.

Mountain lion. Bing free use license.

Mountain lion. Bing free use license.

California 03/08/14 thereporter.com: by Catherine Mijs – Vacaville parkgoers got more than they bargained for Friday evening: Several reported hair-raising run-ins with a mountain lion that has frequented Lagoon Valley Park in the last few weeks, officials said. With four sightings between 6 and 7 p.m., including one instance where the powerful predator came within 25 feet of people and “growled,” Vacaville police began making efforts to contact California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials to help corral the cougar, said Sgt. Charlie Spruill. According to Spruill, the mountain lion was also spotted in the hills across the road from the dog park, going toward Hidden Grove — about 25 yards from the walking path. On Feb. 21, the city of Vacaville issued a warning to parkgoers, urging them to be on the lookout for the lion following several sightings by local residents on trails near Lagoon Valley and by other hikers near Cherry Glen Road. Temporary signs were posted at the park’s trailheads, advising hikers of what to do if they encountered a mountain lion. Friday’s encounters, however, were much more aggressive than the initial glimpses that were reported to authorities. – For complete article see http://www.thereporter.com/news/ci_25302322/mountain-lion-growls-at-people-vacavilles-lagoon-valley?source=most_viewed

Follow-Up Report:

(See MOUNTAIN LION kills 100 lb German Shepherd in CALIFORNIA family’s backyard posted 03/08/14)

s_mountain-lion-0002 (2)California 03/10/14 nbclosangeles.com: Mountain lion sightings were reported during the weekend in the same community where a big cat attacked and killed a family’s German Sherpherd last week. The sightings in Fontana, about 50 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, were reported Saturday within about 30 minutes. The first report came from a resident who saw the mountain lion walking north of Edmonton Street near Regina Way Saturday morning. Officers in a helicopter later found the animal under power lines northwest of Reservoir Road near Edmonton Street. “The officers in the helicopter lost sight of the mountain lion and were unable to locate after a lengthy search,” according to a statement from the Fontana Police Department. . . . California Fish and Wildlife officials described the mountain lion’s behavior as “anything but normal” and consider it a significant public safety threat. An animal is considered a public safety threat if there is “a likelihood of human injury based on the totality of the circumstances,” according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. The lion’s behavior, proximity to schools and other factors are considered in making that determination. Police have asked residents to keep pets inside, especially during dusk to dawn hours. – For complete article see http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Mountain-Lion-Sighting-German-Shepherd-Dog-Attack-Fontana-249304501.html

Chronic Wasting Disease:

Whitetail buck. Courtesy MO Dept of Conservation.

Whitetail buck. Courtesy MO Dept of Conservation.

Missouri 03/11/14 mdc.mo.gov: News Release – Following the testing of 3,666 free-ranging deer harvested during and after the 2013 deer-hunting season, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has detected no additional cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in Missouri free-ranging deer. The total number of confirmed cases in Missouri free-ranging deer remains limited to 10 found in 2012 and early 2013. All were from a small area of northwest Macon County near where CWD was confirmed in 10 captive deer in 2012 at a private hunting preserve. Missouri’s first case of CWD was discovered in 2010 in a captive deer at private hunting facility in southeast Linn County owned by the same private hunting preserve. “While I am cautiously optimistic that these latest test results suggest our efforts to limit the spread of CWD may be working, the threat of this infectious disease remains significant,” said MDC State Wildlife Veterinarian Kelly Straka. “Therefore, continued surveillance is important.” – For complete release see http://mdc.mo.gov/newsroom/mdc-testing-results-show-no-new-cases-chronic-wasting-disease

Rabies:

raccoon-mom-and-baby-0567Georgia 03/10/14 Barrow County: A raccoon found on Hidden Court off Sims Road in Winder has tested positive for rabies. This is the second rabid raccoon found in Winder in less than one week. The first confirmed case was on Meadowbrook Drive. – See http://www.barrowcountynews.com/section/14/article/22100/

maxresdefaultTexas 03/10/14 Brazos County: A skunk killed by two dogs in their own fenced-in yard in the vicinity of Tabor Road and Dilly Shaw Tap northeast of Bryan has tested positive for rabies. – See http://wtaw.com/2014/03/10/aggieland-humane-society-issues-rabies-advisory/

20040118-RosesRaccoonSkunk(lo) - CopyVirginia  03/10/14 Pittsylvania County: A raccoon found on Tucker Road in Gretna, and a skunk found on Mapleton Road in Callands, Wednesday and Thursday of last week respectively, have both tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.godanriver.com/news/pittsylvania_county/two-rabid-animals-found-in-pittsylvania-county/article_29c80f5c-a8ab-11e3-a9ef-001a4bcf6878.html