Category Archives: Toxins

HEALTH ALERT – California’s Los Angeles County updates WEST NILE VIRUS levels to EPIDEMIC levels; Mississippi confirms WEST NILE VIRUS to blame for one new death and five other new human infections; Washington officials close OYSTER harvest in some areas; Virginia HORSE with WEST NILE VIRUS put down; Missouri landowner kills MOUNTAIN LION; and a WEST NILE VIRUS report from Tennessee. Canada: BC wildlife officer confirms MOUNTAIN LION killed two SHEEP in Erickson; and police in Battlefords, Sask., believe MOUNTAIN LION injured two HORSES. Travel Warnings for The Bahamas.

California 09/06/11 the-signal.com: by Cory Minderhout – Three more mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus in the Santa Clarita Valley, a vector control official said Tuesday. “We’re seeing levels of West Nile virus in birds and mosquito equal to 2004 and 2008,” Brown said. Two mosquito samples were found in Newhall and one was found in Canyon Country, said Crystal Brown, a public information officer for the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District. The mosquito samples were collected from vector control traps in August, Brown said. West Nile virus has been updated to epidemic levels in Los Angeles County, Brown said. The virus was first introduced to Los Angeles County in 2003, Brown said. So far this year, 128 birds, eight humans, one horse, 284 mosquito samples and 14 chickens have been found infected with West Nile virus in L.A. County, according to a California Department of Public Health website. Officials declined to say which areas of the county the infected people lived. This year is being considered an epidemic year because the virus levels are the same as they were in 2004 and 2008, which were the highest reported years for L.A. County, Brown said.(For complete article go to http://www.the-signal.com/section/36/article/50655/ )

Mississippi 09/07/11 wlox.com: The Mississippi State Department of Health has confirmed one new death in Pearl River County related to the West Nile Virus. There are also new reports of five people infected with the virus in Madison, Pearl River, Tate and Washington Counties. The two newly reported Pearl River County cases became ill sometime in late July through early August but were just recently determined to be positive for WNV after consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The other three cases became ill in mid-August. So far this year, cases have been confirmed in Coahoma, Forrest (three), Hinds (four), Jones (three), Madison, Pearl River (six), and one case each in: Rankin, Tallahatchie, Tate, Wayne, and Washington counties. Two deaths have been confirmed in Jones and Pearl River counties. In 2010, Mississippi had eight WNV cases and no deaths.

Washington 09/07/11 wa.gov: News Release – Several people who ate raw oysters from the Samish Bay and Hood Canal areas got sick from a naturally-occurring bacteria called Vibrio parahaemolyticus.

Oyster harvesting at Washington's Dosewallips State Park

Cooking shellfish thoroughly prevents vibriosis illness and is especially important during the summer months when warm temperatures and low tides allow the bacteria to thrive. State health officials close a shellfish growing area when there are four or more sporadic illnesses in a specific area; this recently happened in Samish Bay and in Hood Canal 5, which runs from Clark Creek (about a mile north of Hoodsport) north to Cummings Pointe. Oyster harvest in both areas has been closed by the state Department of Health to reduce exposure to Vibrio bacteria. There have been other vibriosis cases identified this summer, scattered around the state’s growing areas. Typically, Washington sees about 50 cases of vibriosis a year. More information, including maps of the affected areas, is available on the agency’s website (http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/sf/default-sf.htm). It’s important to remember that just because an area doesn’t appear to be closed because of Vibrio parahaemolyticus, it may be closed for marine biotoxins. Check our biotoxin Web page http://ww4.doh.wa.gov/gis/mogifs/biotoxin.htm  to make sure an area you wish to harvest in is free from marine biotoxins.

Virginia 09/07/11 necn.com: A horse in Clarke County has been euthanized after testing positive for equine West Nile virus, Virginia’s first reported case this year. The state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said Tuesday that the horse was euthanized Aug. 31, one day after it started showing symptoms of the illness. The horse had been vaccinated for the virus, but was due for a booster in September.

Missouri 09/06/11 mo.gov: Posted by Joe Jerek – A landowner in Texas County shot a mountain lion on Sept. 5 after encountering it on his property. The landowner then called Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) regional offices to report the incident. Shannon County Conservation Agent Justin Emery responded to the incident and conducted an investigation. Emery found no grounds for charges at this time. Although mountain lions are protected by law, Missouri’s Wildlife Code does allow people to protect themselves and their property if they feel threatened. MDC took possession of the sub-adult male mountain lion, which will be used for educational purposes and DNA testing.

The incident occurred approximately three miles from where a Shannon County landowner’s trail camera captured an image of a mountain lion on July 29. In a separate sighting, an Oregon County landowner captured an image on his trail camera of a mountain lion on Aug. 23 northeast of Alton. MDC Biologist Jeff Beringer, who is a member of MDC’s Mountain Lion Response Team, says that widely scattered mountain lion sightings have been confirmed in Missouri and likely will continue. Evidence to date indicates these animals are dispersing from other states to the west of Missouri. The most extreme evidence of this dispersal occurred in early 2011 when a mountain lion that was killed in Connecticut was genetically traced to South Dakota. MDC has no confirmed evidence of a breeding population in Missouri. MDC receives many reports each year from people who believe they have seen mountain lions. “We encourage these reports, but we can only confirm those for which there is physical evidence such as hair, scat, footprints, photos, video, a dead cougar or prey showing evidence of mountain-lion attack,” says Beringer. Reports of sightings can be sent to mountain.lion@mdc.mo.gov, or by contacting Beringer at 573-882-9909, ext. 3211, Rex Martensen at 573-522-4115, ext. 3147, or Shawn Gruber at 573-522-4115, ext. 3262. Beringer adds that mountain lions are naturally shy of humans and generally pose little danger to people, even in states with thriving breeding populations. For more information, visit http://www.mdc.mo.gov and search “mountain lion.”

Knox County

Tennessee 09/07/11 volunteertv.com: Knox County Health Department (KCHD) has received another lab report confirming the presence of West Nile Virus (WNV) in mosquitoes in the Milligan Street area of East Knox County near the zoo. Following national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocol, the affected area will be sprayed to reduce the mosquito population and the risk of further WNV spread. Spraying is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 8 from 9 p.m. to midnight. The spray area will include all areas east of North Cherry Street, north of Magnolia Avenue, west of North Beaman Street and South of I-40. Also included are Lakeside and Kirkwood Streets and American Avenue. Follow-up spraying will be on Thursday, Sept. 22 if weather allows.

Canada:

British Columbia 09/07/11 bclocalnews.com: by Lorne Eckeresley – A cougar attack in Erickson that left two sheep dead on Monday should serve as a reminder that cougars, like grizzly bears, are all around us, Sgt. Arnold Deboon of the BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) said on Tuesday. “It was probably a predator passing through the area,” Deboon said, referring to Monday’s incident. “People don’t realize how often they are probably close to cougars — they are very stealthy.” A live trap has been set up in an effort to catch the offending cat, but Deboon said other options are limited. “We can’t set up other types of traps because the Erickson area has lots of pets,” he said. “And, in this hot, dry weather we have only a short period in which to get tracking hounds on the scent. Unless the ground is damp, the cougar scent dissipates within an hour. … “Cougar populations further out in the wild seem to be healthy and there would be little incentive for those animals to get close to human settlements. The ones that live closer to populated areas are probably motivated by the small huckleberry crop this year.” Because cougars can roam in large areas, conservation officers don’t normally take action for a single sighting, other than to add it to their information base. “If cougars linger, though, we try to get the hounds out,” he said. Timeliness of reporting is critical, he said. Cougar sightings should be reported immediately by calling 1-877-952-7277.

Saskatchewan 09/07/11 winnipegfreepress.com: Police are urging people to be cautious following a possible cougar attack on horses just outside a Saskatchewan community. Battlefords RCMP say they were called to an acreage where two horses had long scrapes along their backs, sides and legs. The owner of the horses indicated that he had seen what appeared to be a cougar in the area. Another witness also saw what appeared to be a wildcat around the same time. Police say it’s been the only sighting and alleged attack so far. They are advising residents to travel in groups, supervise pets and children and report any sightings to the detachment.

Travel Warnings:

The Bahamas 09/08/11 thenassauguardian.com: by Krystel Rolle – There are as many as 10 cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever in The Bahamas, deputy chief medical officer Delon Brennen has revealed. Dengue hemorrhagic fever is the most dangerous strain of the vector-borne disease and can be fatal. However, Dr. Brennen noted that the cases of hemorrhagic fever are few compared to the more than 3,500 cases of dengue fever that were confirmed in recent weeks. (For complete article go to http://www.thenassauguardian.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=12673&Itemid=27 )

Arizona officer kills Mountain Lion that refuses to leave residential/golf course neighborhood; Canada – British Columbian officer kills Mountain Lion that killed a deer and is thought to have confronted a jogger; Utah confirms Tularemia in dead Cats; Washington warns of Biotoxin in Shellfish; Coyotes take fourth pet in Altadena; West Nile Virus reports from CA, CT, & NV; Eastern Equine Encephalitis report from MA; and Rabies reports from NC, RI, & TX. Canada: Ontario schedules Rabies Vaccine Bait drop. Follow-Up Report: Seven Coyotes killed in California’s Laguna Woods area so far.

Mountain Lion. Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Arizona 08/11/11 therepublic.com: State Game and Fish Department officers tracked down and killed a mountain lion that wandered across a Prescott golf course. Homeowners say they first saw the male cat Wednesday morning. The mountain lion wasn’t hurting anything, but residents were concerned about golfers and people out walking possibly crossing paths with the cat. The Prescott Daily Courier reports (http://bit.ly/nJR1sX) the cat ran up a tree and wildlife officers later darted it. After it was knocked out, officers removed the cat, took it out of town and killed it. A regional Game and Fish supervisor says protocol directed the decision to put the animal down because the agency does not remove and relocate lion.

Canada:

British Columbia 08/11/11 canada.com: by Julia Prinselaar – A male (mountain lion) cougar has been destroyed after a Ucluelet local found a deer carcass and notified authorities. Ron Clayton was taking his dog for a walk on the morning of August 9 near Terrace Beach when the dog detected something just off the road. “It was quite evident that there was a deer that had been mauled. It was ripped right open,” he said. Clayton notified municipal staff, who called Jeff Tyre, a BC Conservation Officer based out of Port Alberni. “From the kill we identified that a cougar had definitely fed on it. Generally cougars don’t go very far once they’ve fed, so it was worth calling the hounds in,” said Tyre. At around noon Tyre arrived with a houndsman and within 30 minutes the dogs had treed a young male cougar, weighing between 27 to 36 kilograms (60 to 80 lbs.) The cat was killed shortly after. “I destroyed it based on its location,” said Tyre. He said that he could not rule out whether or not this cougar was the same cat that confronted a jogger in the Port Albion area one week prior, but made the decision based on the proximity and timing of both incidents. “Had that encounter not occurred earlier I probably would have attempted to relocate it, but with that encounter in mind I’m not willing to take that chance,” he said. “Given its proximity it looks like its hunting territory is in Ucluelet. It’s on the far side of town; really it has no place to go.” Tyre added there are only a handful of cougars that cover the immediate area. The BC Conservation office advises the public to report wildlife sightings by dialing toll free 1-877-952-7277.

Utah 08/10/11 midutahradio.com: by Bruce Mehew – The Central Utah Public Health Department in Richfield has confirmed the death of two cats in Sanpete County was due to a bacterial disease known as tularemia. CUPHD Information Officer Mike Carter says the cats contracted the disease by eating an infected rabbit. Carter said tularemia is a disease found in animals, especially rabbits and can be transferred to humans, though no cases have been reported in humans. He said it’s usually spread by ticks, fleas and deerfly bites and can also be spread by mosquitoes.

Washington 08/11/11 wa.gov: News Release – State health officials warn that a type of biotoxin never before found in Washington shellfish has been detected in shellfish from the Sequim Bay area. The discovery led to a commercial and recreational harvest closure in Sequim Bay, and people are urged not to eat shellfish from that area until further notice due to the risk of Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning (DSP). A recall was conducted for commercially sold products from the area dating back to August 1; all recalled product has been accounted for and is not currently on the market. This is the first time in Washington or the United States that DSP toxin has been found above acceptable food safety limits. Since this is new to the state, the Department of Health is sampling and testing shellfish areas throughout the state to learn more about it. New information will be shared as it is received. This biotoxin has been a problem in several European countries for some time and was recently found in British Columbia waters. The Department of Health Office of Shellfish and Water Protection has suspected the biotoxin may become a concern in Washington waters. The program is working with federal partners and the University of Washington on this emerging issue in order to protect public health. As environmental monitoring was underway, we learned of illnesses matching the description of DSP in a local family. Shellfish samples were tested at the federal Food and Drug Administration lab, which confirmed presence of the toxin. Unlike bacterial contamination, DSP is a toxin, so it is not killed by cooking. Eating shellfish contaminated with DSP may cause Diarrhetic Shellfish Poisoning, a foodborne illness. DSP can cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps and chills, very similar to gastrointestinal or stomach flu type symptoms. If you eat DSP-tainted shellfish, symptoms could begin within a few hours and last one to three days at the most. The Office of Shellfish and Water Protection (http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/sf/default-sf.htm) provides updated information on shellfish safety, warnings, closures and restrictions for locations throughout the state (ww4.doh.wa.gov/scripts/esrimap.dll?name=bioview&Cmd=Map&Step=1).

California 08/08/11 msnbc.msn.com: by Scott Weber – A fourth dog was killed during a coyote attack in Altadena Sunday. Diane and Verne Williams’ dog Abby went out to the backyard early Sunday morning through a doggie door, according to their daughter, Bethany Williams. Around 6:30 a.m., she found the dog, a Bichon Frise, dead, with bite marks to its neck.  Williams, who also lives in the house located on the 2300 block of North Braeburn, said she was surprised the coyotes were able to attack since their entire backyard is enclosed in a five-foot high fence. Neighbors reported seeing coyotes wandering the area in packs late at night, according to Williams. She said this wasn’t the first time her parents encountered problems. “A year ago they had two dogs that got into a scrape with coyotes. Fortunately somebody saw them in the yard and got my father and chased them away before any damage was done,” Williams said. Altadena residents have been on edge since July, after a series of attacks killed three dogs in the 1100 block of Mendocino Street. As many as 13 coyote sightings were reported to the Sheriff’s Department at that time. Animal experts believe recent fires and hot weather may have forced them from nearby hills to go looking for food.

California 08/10/11 whittierdailynews.com: by Mike Sprague – Two dead birds and 16 mosquito samples in the Whittier area have been found to have the West Nile virus. In addition, two unnamed people in Los Angeles County have come down with the virus, said Truc Dever, director of community affairs for the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District. “We’re looking at an epidemic this year,” Dever said. “We can expect many more human cases.” The level of West Nile virus detected in mosquito samples and dead birds in Los Angeles County this July is the highest it’s been since the last epidemic year in 2008, said Susanne Kluh, director of scientific-technical services. In total, the district has reported 13 West Nile virus-positive dead birds and 31 positive mosquito samples countywide. Additionally, four chickens used to check for the disease tested positive for West Nile virus antibodies. Read more: West Nile virus found in dead birds, mosquitoes in Whittier – Whittier Daily News http://www.whittierdailynews.com/ci_18657854#ixzz1UllVrNWl

Connecticut 08/11/11 ct.gov: News Release – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that mosquitoes trapped in Trumbull on August 1, 2011 tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These results represent the first positive mosquitoes identified in Trumbull by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year.

Nevada 08/11/11 recordcourier.com: The Nevada Department of Agriculture’s Animal Disease and Food Safety Laboratory has to date identified (West Nile Virus WNV) positive mosquito pools from Lyon County, Churchill County and Clark County. Additionally a clinically sick horse from Lyon County was confirmed positive for WNV infection.

Massachusetts 08/10/11 patch.com: by Patrick Maguire – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) announced that (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) EEE virus has been detected in mosquitoes collected from Easton.  In 2010, 3,558 mosquito samples were tested for EEE virus, and 65 positive samples were identified in Massachusetts.  Easton has had 5 EEE virus positive mosquito samples identified in 2011. EEE is a rare but serious illness spread by the bite of an infected mosquito. While EEE can infect people of all ages, people under 15 years of age or over 50 years of age are at greatest risk for serious illness.

North Carolina 08/10/11carrborocitizen.com: A raccoon and a fox found in Chapel Hill recently tested positive for rabies at the State Laboratory of Public Health. The raccoon was submitted after a resident in the vicinity of Kingston and Butternut drives saw her dog circling a tree that the raccoon had climbed. The dog was currently vaccinated against rabies and received a booster shot within five days in accordance with state law. Unvaccinated animals must either be quarantined for six months or destroyed. The fox was submitted after a resident in the vicinity of Old Greensboro and Jones Ferry roads found it biting her dog on its leg. Animal Control removed the fox from the property, and the dog, which was currently vaccinated against rabies, received a booster shot immediately. Orange County has received seven positive rabies tests this year. If any possible exposure to a bat, raccoon or fox is suspected, call Animal Control at 245-2075 or call 911.

Rhode Island 08/10/11 wpri.com: A Coventry house cat has tested positive for rabies. The feline was located near Francis and Holden Streets. Animal control officers were called to the area after receiving a report that a cat attacked a dog and scratched a person. If you know a person or pet that also may have had contact with this animal, please call Coventry Animal Control 822-9106.

Texas 08/10/11 llanonews.com: While Llano County residents are diligently working to conserve water as this exceptional drought continues across Central Texas, another concern has state officials urging caution. Searching for water and food, a greater than average number of wild animals are approaching residential areas, according to reports. With this influx of wild animals, comes the increase of confirmed cases of rabies, with almost double the amount of confirmed rabies cases for the first six months of 2011 in Texas as there were for the same time frame in 2010. The Texas Department of State Health Services is asking that people take extra precautions to reduce the risk for contracting rabies. Vaccinating family pets is one step; avoiding animals that are wild or acting strangely is another. In Central Texas, TDSHS reported a total of 268 confirmed cases through June 30 as opposed to just 109 cases through June of 2010, skunks being the most infected. According to the TDSHS, “Bats and skunks are the most common animals found to have rabies in Texas. For more information go to http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/disease/rabies/

Canada:

Ontario 08/10/11 ontario.ca: News Release – Ontario will continue with one of the most successful rabies eradication programs in North America by distributing 366,000 baits containing rabies vaccine this summer.

The vaccine will control the spread of rabies in skunks and foxes and help continue to keep Ontario raccoons free of rabies. The baits will be distributed in the following areas:

  • Throughout southwestern Ontario.
  • In the Niagara region between Welland Canal and Niagara River, including Navy Island.
  • On Wolfe, Howe and Hill islands in St. Lawrence River as well as a small area on the mainland near Brockville.

The flavoured baits immunize most skunks, foxes and raccoons that eat them. Baits are small and khaki green, with a toll-free rabies hotline number stamped on them. If you see baits, please leave them undisturbed.

QUICK FACTS

  • Ontario raccoons have been free of rabies since September 2005.
  • 2010 marked the lowest number of rabies positive animals with ‘Ontario fox’ strain in the province since the disease became established in Ontario in 1958.
  • Last year there were only 39 cases of rabies diagnosed in Ontario. Of these cases, only 10 were found in wildlife.
  • Ontario has reduced the number of rabies cases in the province by more than 99 per cent since rabies control programs began 20 years ago.
  • Exposure to a bait is not harmful to people or pets. However, if a person or a pet comes in contact with the vaccine in the bait, contacting a doctor or veterinarian as a precaution is recommended.

Follow-Up Report:

California 08/11/11 latimes.com: The news comes days after an 82-year-old woman said a coyote snatched her small dog off its leash as she was stepping out of her patio for a morning walk. The dog, a parti poodle named Mocha, was killed, the woman’s daughter told the Orange County Register. Police and animal control officers stepped up their efforts to prevent such attacks after two incidents in which women were injured while trying to protect their dogs from coyotes. Extra traps were set for the wild animals, and the city hired a professional hunter to shoot any coyotes he saw. So far, seven coyotes have been removed from the area, said Jim Beres, a civilian supervisor for the Laguna Beach Police Department, which oversees animal services in Laguna Woods. Six of the animals were caught in traps and euthanized. One was shot and killed by the licensed hunter on Tuesday. Still, Beres said, authorities believe there is one more aggressive adult male coyote still prowling the area, and they hope to catch him. “After we find him, we’re going to reassess and see if the attacks stop, and if they do then we know we’ve gotten all of the problematic coyotes,” Beres said.

The goal isn’t to remove all of the coyotes from the area, Beres said. Instead, authorities want to make sure the overly aggressive animals — the ones who stalk the neighborhoods and attack pets in broad daylight — are gone. “You want them to have that fear of humans,” Beres said. “When they lose that, that’s not good.” It’s standard industry practice to euthanize captured coyotes rather than relocate them, Beres said. Otherwise, the animals would just continue the dangerous behavior somewhere else. “It just relocates the problem to another community,” Beres said. “They propagate so quickly — they’re not an endangered species by any means — and once they’ve learned to come in contact with humans, that doesn’t go away.” Beres said the trapping operations would continue until authorities were satisfied the problem was solved, but pointed out that coyotes are par for the course in Southern California. People can reduce the risk of having coyotes near their homes by not leaving food out for outdoor pets, making sure garbage cans are secured and keeping small pets indoors, but ultimately the wild animals are here for good. “Coyotes are endemic,” Beres said. “They’ve been here and will continue to be here.” (See August 11, 2011, post: Coyotes take another pet in California’s Laguna Woods)

Alaska reports Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning; California reports 38 Rodents with Hantavirus in San Diego County so far this year; West Nile Virus reports from California, Missouri, and Ohio; and Rabies reports from North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. CDC zoonotic disease summary for week ending June 11, 2011. Travel Warnings for India, and St. Lucia.

Illustration courtesy National Institutes of Health.

Alaska 06/23/11 state.ak.us: Epidemiology Bulletin –  On June 6, 2011, the Alaska Section of Epidemiology (SOE) received a report that a person had been medevaced from Metlakatla to Ketchikan due to possible paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP).  SOE personnel conducted interviews and collected shellfish from ill persons and at implicated beaches. As a result, eight probable and five confirmed PSP cases were identified in Metlakatla. Additionally, while the epidemiologists were in Metlakatla, two persons were hospitalized in Ketchikan with suspected PSP. Subsequent active case finding in Ketchikan identified five more probable cases. One other confirmed case of PSP in Ketchikan had been reported to SOE in May. In total, 21 cases of PSP were identified in Southeast Alaska during May and June, 2011. Of these 21 cases, 15 (71%) were associated with cockles, four (19%) with blue mussels, one (5%) with butter clams and cockles, and one (5%) with unspecified clams. Four of the 21 (19%) ill persons were hospitalized; none died. Eight of the 21 (38%) ill persons had laboratory-confirmed PSP.

Metlakatla, Alaska

Implicated shellfish collected from both Metlakatla and Ketchikan tested positive for high levels of saxitoxin. PSP is a potentially fatal neuroparalytic condition that results from ingestion of saxitoxin, a marine toxin produced by dinoflagellate algae, that accumulates in bivalve mollusks. PSP can result in mild symptoms, such as short-lived parasthesia of the mouth or lips, or can cause severe illness with respiratory or cardiac involvement that can be fatal. Symptoms occur within minutes to hours of consumption.

Deer mouse

California 06/22/11 sdcounty.ca.gov: Press Release – Six rodents trapped during routine monitoring in the last week in North County and East County have tested positive for the potentially-deadly hantavirus. Infected rodents rarely pose a danger to people if they are in the wild and there has been just one non-fatal human case in the county, in 2004. But people can inhale hantavirus by stirring up rodent droppings, then get sick and even die. There is no treatment, vaccine or cure for hantavirus infections, which are deadly in 38 percent of cases. “People should never sweep up or vacuum rodent droppings or nesting material when they find it,” said Jack Miller, director of the County Department of Environmental Health. “Instead, they should ventilate closed areas for at least 30 minutes, and then carefully use bleach or a full-strength disinfectant before removing them.”

California vole

The best way people can prevent the disease is to keep mice out of houses, garages and sheds by sealing holes larger than the size of a dime, County officials said. Hantavirus can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), which begins with flu-like symptoms but can grow into severe breathing difficulties and even death. The rodents that tested positive during the last week included: two deer mice from Campo; one deer mouse each from Carlsbad and Escondido; one harvest mouse from Oceanside and a vole from Carlsbad. Thirty-eight rodents have tested positive for hantavirus in the county this year, compared to 21 in 2010. For more information, contact the County Department of Environmental Health at (858) 694-2888 or visit DEH’s Hantavirus page.

California 06/23/11 sacbee.com: by Bill Lindelof – Another dead crow suspected of carrying the West Nile Virus has been found in the Sacramento area. The bird was found in the Arden-Arcade neighborhood. Earlier, it was confirmed that a dead crow in Elk Grove had tested positive for the West Nile virus. In 2010, six deaths and 111 human West Nile Virus cases were reported in the state. To report dead birds, call the California Department of Public Health hotline at (877) 968-2473.

Missouri 06/23/11 st-louis.mo.us: Department of Health Press Release – Mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus have been discovered in communities ranging from Lemay to Florissant, although no human cases have been reported, according to the Saint Louis County Department of Health. Positive results have also been reported in mosquitoes in Mehlville, Richmond Heights, Clayton, Hanley Hills and Manchester.

North Carolina 06/22/11gastongazette.com: by Wade Allen – A Gastonia man killed a raccoon Monday that has tested positive for rabies, marking the third documented rabies case in Gaston this year. The raccoon attacked a dog belonging to Darren Wells, who lives on Acapulco Drive. The neighborhood is off Monterey Park Drive. He killed the raccoon Monday and contacted the Gaston County Animal Control officials, who investigated and sent the carcass to the State Diagnostics Lab in Raleigh. Wells declined to comment on the incident or the dog he turned over to Animal Control for euthanasia; it had not been vaccinated for rabies. In February, a rabid puppy was found off Hickory Grove Road near McAdenville, marking the first documented rabies case in 2011. The second involved a rabid raccoon that attacked farm animals at the Stanley home of Linda Burchfield. This marks the 23rd documented case of rabies in Gaston County since 2006.

Ohio 06/23/11 dispatch.com: by Molly Gray – Two pools of mosquitoes collected by Columbus Public Health have tested positive for West Nile Virus. These are the first reported cases found in the city and state this season. The positive tests were collected from areas south of Downtown that were recently sprayed. For more information on West Nile Virus and weekly fogging schedules, go to www.publichealth.columbus.gov .

Pennsylvania 06/22/11 necn.com:  A fox is being tested for rabies after it bit a central Pennsylvania woman and attacked a wildlife officer who killed the animal after he was called in by local police. Blair County Wildlife Conservation Officer Stephen Hanczar tells the Altoona-Mirror that the animal “came directly at me” Tuesday. He had to knock the animal far enough away with the butt of his shotgun so he could kill it without destroying the animal’s head. The head was needed to complete tests for rabies, canine distemper and other diseases. Police in Logan Township, near Altoona, are not identifying the 23-year-old woman who was bitten on the heel by the fox while taking her dog outside Tuesday morning. She’s being treated for rabies as a precaution.

CDC-MMWR Week ending June 11, 2011 /60(23); 789-802:

Zoonotic disease cases in the U. S. by state reported to the CDC for the week ending June 11, 2011:

Babesiosis . . . 2 cases . . . New York (2);

Brucellosis . . . 1 . . . North Dakota;

Q Fever . . . 1 . . . Florida;

Tularemia . . . 1 . . . Indiana;

Ehrlichosis . . . 12 . . . Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Missouri (4), New York, Tennessee (3), Virginia;

Anaplasmosis . . . 4 . . . Maine (2), New York (2);

Giardia . . . 147 . . . Alabama (2), Arizona (2), California (15), Colorado (17), Florida (23), Georgia (12), Iowa, Idaho (2), Maine, Maryland (10), Michigan (3), Missouri (5), Nebraska (2), Nevada (2), New York (27), Ohio (6), Pennsylvania (3), Vermont (2), Virginia (3), Washington (7), Wisconsin (2);

 Lyme Disease . . . 233 . . . California, Connecticut (2), Delaware (7), Florida (4), Maine (2), Maryland (12), Michigan, New Hampshire (2), New Jersey, New York (56), Pennsylvania (118), Tennessee, Texas, Vermont (5), Virginia (16), Wisconsin (4);

Rabies, Animal . . . 62 . . . Alabama, Arizona, Kansas (2), Maine (2), Michigan, New York (9), North Dakota (3), Utah, Virginia (12), West Virginia (30).

Travel Warnings:

India 06/24/11 gulfnews.com: by Lata Rani –  Health experts have finally identified the “killer disease” which has killed close to 40 children, aged between two and eight years, in the past week, creating panic among the families in Bihar. The experts came to this conclusion after two days of extensive examination of victims in city hospitals and a study of symptoms noticed in them. All the victims had displayed high fever and bouts of unconsciousness as well as convulsions. “Right now we can say the reason for the deaths of children is encephalitis but at this stage it’s difficult to say what kind of encephalitis it is — whether Japanese or viral one. This can only be ascertained after a detailed clinical test,” Dr I.P. Chaudhary, a member of three-member central team from Federal Health Ministry, told the media Thursday.

St. Lucia 06/23/11 jamaicaobserver.com: Public health officials have warned of “disturbing” levels of dengue fever and leptospirosis cases on the island. The warning came as the health department launched a public education and clean-up campaign to rid the island of disease-carrying mosquitos and rats. Public health officials attributed the exceptionally high number of infections to the rainy weather in the aftermath of Hurricane Tomas in 2010, they told journalists yesterday.  Last month, there were over 40 recorded cases of dengue fever, which is spread by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. So so far this year there were 169 reported cases of dengue fever as compared to 95 cases in 2010 and only 18 in 2009, she said.