Category Archives: Travel Warning

CDC expands ZIKA VIRUS TRAVEL ALERT adding 8 more locations and reporting suspected link between ZIKA VIRUS and GUILLAIN-BARRÈ syndrome

zika-virus

National 01/22/16 medscape.com: by Robert Lowes – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced today that it has added eight more countries and territories — some outside the Americas — to the list that pregnant women should avoid on account of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which is strongly suspected of causing microcephaly.

microcephaly-comparison-500pxIn addition, the agency is conducting research with hard-hit Brazil into a possible link between the virus and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), which has been reported in patients with probable Zika infections.

K_guillianBarre1Last week, the CDC advised pregnant women to consider postponing trips to 14 countries and territories in Central and South America and the Caribbean where mosquitos have spread the Zika virus. It also suggested that women trying to become pregnant should first consult their physician before traveling to those areas, and if they do, to apply insect repellent and take other measures to avoid mosquito bites. These 14 countries and territories are Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Of the eight countries and territories added to the list of Zika hot spots, six are in the Caribbean and South America: Barbados, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guadeloupe, Saint Martin, and Guyana. The two others, Cape Verde and Samoa, break the geographic pattern. Cape Verde is off the coast of Africa while Samoa is in Polynesia. – For complete article see http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/857693?nlid=98072_3901&src=wnl_newsalrt_160122_MSCPEDIT&uac=218349HV&impID=965828&faf=1

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BEAR kills researcher in WYOMING ~ Follow-Up Report: CALIFORNIA officials kill MOUNTAIN LION that attacked young boy ~ Another NEW MEXICAN contracts HANTAVIRUS ~ VERMONTER contracts HANTAVIRUS ~ 2 COLORADANS test positive for TULAREMIA ~ Travel Warning: 113 deaths in CARIBBEAN region attributed to CHIKUNGUNYA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) report from IL ~ RABIES reports from CT, MD, SC & TX.

Grizzly. Bing free use license.

Grizzly. Bing free use license.

Wyoming 09/15/14 go.com: by Bob Moen – A 31-year-old Utah man doing research alone in a remote backcountry area has died in a bear attack in the Bridger-Teton National Forest in northwest Wyoming. Officials aren’t certain yet what type of bear killed Adam Thomas Stewart of Virgin, Utah. “I’m assuming grizzly, but we don’t have the bear so I can’t say for certain,” Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan said Monday. “At this particular time we’re still putting stuff together.” Fremont County Undersheriff Ryan Lee said Stewart was in a remote area checking on a research plot when he failed to return as expected on Sept. 5. He was reported missing on Sept. 7, prompting a search. His body was found last Friday between his campsite and the research plot, Lee said.

washakie-wilderness01.gifStewart last contacted his employer on Sept. 4 from a trailhead, he said. Lee didn’t have the name of the company Stewart worked for. “It was a very short trip. It was basically an in and out type thing with at least one overnight stay,” Lee said. Stewart’s camp was found intact about 3 miles from where his body was found, he said. Lee and McAuslan declined to release what details led them to believe it was a bear attack. Jason Hunter, a regional supervisor with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department, said investigators saw signs of both grizzly and black bears in the area where Stewart’s body was found. – For complete article see http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/bear-attack-wyoming-kills-utah-man-25517661

Follow-Up Report:

Mountain Lion:

s_mountain-lion-0002(See CALIFORNIA child attacked by MOUNTAIN LION posted Sept. 13, 2014)

California 09/12/14 kcra.com: Officials say DNA testing has confirmed that a 74-pound, 2-year-old mountain lion shot and killed on Sept. 10th is the same one that attacked a young boy on a hiking trail near Cupertino on Sept. 7th. The lion was treed before being shot just about 130 yards from the attack site. – See http://www.kcra.com/news/tests-show-slain-mountain-lion-attacked-boy-in-bay-area/28032766

Hantavirus:

Deer mouse.

Deer mouse.

New Mexico 09/17/14 NM Dept of Health: Media Release – A 50-year-old man from San Juan County is hospitalized with laboratory confirmed Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). This is the fourth case of Hantavirus in New Mexico this year. An environmental investigation will be conducted at the home of the patient to help reduce the risk to others. “This case is another reminder that Hantavirus is present in deer mice in New Mexico,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Retta Ward, MPH. “I want all New Mexicans to make sure they follow our prevention guidelines to keep themselves and their families safe from Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome.” – See http://nmhealth.org/news/disease/2014/9/?view=136

Vermont 09/16/14 VT Dept of Health: Media Release – An out-of-state resident who was cleaning a poorly ventilated seasonal home last month contracted hantavirus. It’s most likely that the victim was exposed to rodent droppings that often carry the virus, which can become airborne during the cleaning process and cause a life-threatening respiratory illness. About one-third of those who contract hantavirus do not survive. – See http://healthvermont.gov/news/2014/091614_hantavirus.aspx

Tularemia:

Colorado 09/16/14 El Paso County Public Health: Media Release – A dead rabbit found south of Highway 94 and west of Yoder has tested positive for tularemia, also known as rabbit fever. – See http://www.elpasocountyhealth.org/news/news-release/2014/tularemia-found-baq4ijctzixmuu7acvc5eastern-el-paso-county-wild-rabbit

Colorado 09/18/14 Boulder County Dept of Health: Media Release – A Louisville resident has tested positive for tularemia after exposure to a dead rabbit while walking with her dog near Coyote Run Open Space in Louisville. The resident had a small cut on her knee, where the tularemia bacteria are thought to have entered her body. The resident was seen by multiple doctors after experiencing swollen lymph nodes, abdominal pain, and pain in the front of her knee. She developed a high fever, headache, and general malaise and was admitted to the hospital. Her condition has greatly improved, and she is recovering at home. This is the second Boulder County resident to test positive for the tularemia this year; nine people have tested positive for the disease in Colorado. In most of the cases, people were exposed to the disease while participating in outdoor activities, such as mowing or recreating in areas where sick or dead wildlife were present. – See http://www.bouldercounty.org/apps/newsroom/templates/bc12.aspx?articleid=4212&zoneid=5

Travel Warning:

716ed7c4d80f74Caribbean Basin 09/15/14 foxnews.com: At least 113 people have died in the Americas, with all the fatalities reported in the Caribbean region, after becoming infected with the Chikungunya virus, the Pan American Health Organization, or PAHO, said, adding that it was not yet clear if these deaths were directly attributable to the virus. In its latest report, which includes figures as of Sept. 12, the PAHO confirmed 55 deaths linked to the virus in Martinique since last December, when the disease was first detected in the Americas. Forty-nine deaths were reported in Guadeloupe, six in the Dominican Republic and three in St. Martin, where the virus was first found in the Americas. . . . . . A total of 644,686 suspected and 9,640 confirmed Chikungunya cases have been reported in the region as of Sept. 8, the Caribbean Public Health Agency, or CARPHA, said. – See http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/health/2014/09/15/death-toll-from-chikungunya-hits-113-in-caribbean-paho-says/

West Nile Virus (WNV):

DuPage_logoIllinois 09/15/14 Dupage County Health Dept: Media Release – The first reported human case of WNV in the county has been confirmed in a male Naperville resident in his 50s. – See http://www.dupagehealth.org/news/wnvhuman2014

Rabies:

help984-05834Connecticut 09/17/14 New Haven County: by David Moran – Police are seeking the public’s help in locating a man who dropped a bat off at a local veterinarian that tested positive for rabies because they fear he may have been exposed to the virus himself. An unidentified man left a box containing a live bat at the Mount Carmel Veterinary Hospital on Whitney Avenue in Hamden on Sept. 16 and then left without giving his name. The veterinarian chose to euthanize the bat and sent it to the Connecticut Department of Public Health where it tested positive for rabies. Hamden police said it is “strongly recommended” that the man who delivered the live bat to the animal hospital immediately seek medical attention to determine if he may have contacted rabies from the animal. Police describe the man as a black male between the ages of 18 and 25, standing approximately 5’10,” with a medium build and a “Mohawk-style” haircut. Anyone with information on this individual is asked to call Hamden Animal control at 203-230-4080. – See http://www.courant.com/community/hamden/hc-hamden-rabies-outbreak-0918-20140917-story.html

Maryland 09/17/14 Worcester County: A stray cat that bit an adult on Sept.15th at the Milburn Landing campground area of the Pocomoke River State Park in Snow Hill has tested positive for rabies. The cat was described as a medium adult male, dark gray with white under its chin and belly, with four white feet. – See http://www.delmarvanow.com/story/news/local/maryland/2014/09/17/rabites-bite-worcester/15768459/

South Carolina 09/15/14 Anderson County: A stray cat in the southeastern part of the county that potentially exposed two people to rabies on Sept. 11th has tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.wyff4.com/news/stray-cat-exposes-two-people-to-rabies/28064590

Texas 09/17/14 Brazos County: The College Station Police Department Animal Control is investigating two dog attacks. The first victim says she was visiting a store in the 1900 block of Texas Ave Saturday evening when she was bitten by a dog. The dog was described as being brown and fluffy, medium in help-desk545451size, and of unknown gender and breed. She was not able to describe the dog’s owner.

The second attack happened Monday afternoon. The victim said she was at the dog park on Rock Prairie Road with her two dogs. When one of them ran towards the pond, the victim said another dog, described as a red/white male pit bull wearing a red collar, charged at her dog and began attacking it. The victim grabbed the back legs of the pit bull to get it off her dog. The pit bull turned around and bit the woman’s right hand. Animal Control is asking for the public’s help in locating these dogs to allow for observation and rule out possible rabies exposure to the victims. Anyone with information is asked to contact College Station Police Department Animal Control at (979)764-3600.

CANADIAN mauled to death by GRIZZLY sow ~ CALIFORNIA child attacked by MOUNTAIN LION ~ COLORADAN hospitalized with SEPTICEMIC PLAGUE ~ ILLINOIS reports increase in LYME DISEASE ~ OREGON’s celebrity WOLF OR-7’s mate also a wanderer ~ Travel Warning: CDC warns of CHIKUNGUNYA outbreak in AMERICAN SAMOA ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS (EEE) report from NH ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) reports from NY, ND & SD.

Grizzly. Bing free use license.

Grizzly. Bing free use license.

Alberta 09/08/14 globalnews.ca: by The Canadian Press – Mounties say a hunter who had been missing in southern Alberta’s Kananaskis Country was found dead Monday after a fatal bear attack. RCMP would not confirm the identity of the hunter but it’s thought to be Rick Cross, a 54-year-old Calgary business man who was reported missing by his family after he did not return from a sheep hunting trip near PickleJar Lakes on the weekend.RCMP said a ground and air search was begun for the hunter on Sunday.

zCM-SouthwestAlberta“Evidence was located suggesting that the hunter had been injured at a location approximately four kilometres east from the PickleJar day use area parking lot on Highway 40,” RCMP said in a news release. “Search teams also encountered a female grizzly bear and cub in the immediate area.” The search resumed Monday morning, when teams found the man’s remains in the same area. “The hunter had suffered obvious trauma consistent with a bear attack and is believed to have died from those injuries,” said the release. “The hunter was alone at the time of the incident.” – For video and complete article see http://globalnews.ca/news/1552033/bear-kills-missing-hunter-in-kananaskis-country/

Mountain Lion:

cougar2498California 09/10/14 torontosun.com: Game wardens and hounds combed steep, wooded canyons and ravines for a third day near California’s Silicon Valley on Tuesday, searching for a mountain lion that injured a 6-year-old boy, but the cat has so far evaded trackers, wildlife officials said. The boy was hiking a trail with family and friends on Sunday in a densely wooded preserve adjacent to a winery, just west of the town of Cupertino, when the mountain lion pounced on him and tried to drag the child away, his parents told officials. The boy’s father and another man in the group rushed the cat shouting at the animal, and the cougar retreated into the woods. The boy was left with bite wounds and scratches to his upper body, head and neck, and was hospitalized following the attack. Kirsten Macintyre, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the boy has since been released and was home with his family, who officials have not publicly identified. A team of sheriff’s deputies, game wardens and a tracker with dogs immediately mounted a search for the lion, which resumed after daybreak on Monday and was extended into Tuesday with the addition of a second tracking crew, Macintyre said. She said motion-sensitive cameras also were being been set up in the vicinity, along with several live cage traps. On Tuesday, DNA from cougar saliva samples taken from the victim’s clothing showed the mountain lion was a male. From witness accounts and the size of paw prints left behind, the cat is believed to be a young adult, about three-quarters full grown, or roughly 90 pounds in weight, Macintyre said. If the animal is captured and its DNA matches the saliva samples, the lion will be killed in the interest of public safety, officials said. – For complete article see http://www.torontosun.com/2014/09/10/california-officials-hunt-for-cougar-that-attacked-boy

Author’s Note: California Dept of Fish & Wildlife officials said on Sept 10th that they have captured and killed the mountain lion believed to be responsible for the attack. – See http://abc7news.com/news/authorities-capture-mountain-lion-that-attacked-boy-in-cupertino/303485/

Plague:

types-plagueColorado 09/05/14 San Juan Basin Health Dept: Media Release – Officials have confirmed a human case of septicemic plague in a La Plata County resident. An investigation is underway to determine the source of exposure. The patient is currently receiving treatment. Bubonic plague is the most common form of plague; septicemic plague is seen less often. Symptoms typically include fever, chills, extreme weakness, abdominal pain, shock, and possibly bleeding into the skin and other organs. You can get septicemic plague from handling an infected animal or from bites of infected fleas. This is the second case of plague in La Plata County this year. Since 1957, Colorado has identified 65 cases of human plague, nine (14%) of which were fatal. – See http://sjbhd.org/public-health-news/

Lyme Disease:

ribbonIllinois 09/08/14 peoriapublicradio.org: by Hannah Meisel – Reported cases of Lyme disease are on the rise in Illinois. Instances of the illness have gone up about 250 percent in the last ten years. Melaney Arnold, with the Illinois Department of Public Health, says Lyme disease’s carrier — the deer tick — has a carrier of its own. “Very much like the name mentions, they typically ride on deer. So as deer migrate south, we do see some of that southern migration of the ticks.” – See http://peoriapublicradio.org/post/cases-lyme-disease-illinois

Wolf OR-7:

Remote camera photo of a wolf using the same area as the wolf known as OR-7. This is the first evidence that OR-7 has found another wolf in the Oregon Cascades. Photo courtesy of USFWS.

Remote camera photo of a wolf using the same area as the wolf known as OR-7. This is the first evidence that OR-7 has found another wolf in the Oregon Cascades. Photo courtesy of USFWS.

Oregon 09/05/14 oregonlive.com: by Lynne Terry – Oregon’s erstwhile wandering wolf OR-7 truly met one of his own when he mated with a small black female earlier this year: She, too, is a traveler and perhaps even from northeast Oregon as well. DNA tests on her scat indicate she came from northeast Oregon or even Idaho. She shares bloodlines with the Minam and Snake River packs, which include wolves from both those areas, said John Stephenson, wolf coordinator for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. That means she traveled several hundred miles or more to the western Cascades where she mated with OR-7 earlier this year. “It’s fascinating that after dispersing such a great distance to an area where there are so few wolves that they were able to find one another,” Stephenson said.

Oregon's erstwhile wandering wolf, OR-7, has at least three pups that were born in April. Photos by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Oregon’s erstwhile wandering wolf, OR-7, has at least three pups that were born in April. Photos by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

OR-7 was born into the Imnaha Pack in northeast Oregon, then traveled several thousand miles to California and back to Oregon looking for territory and a mate. The two produced offspring in the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest in April. Biologists gathered scat from the area in May and July and sent the samples to the University of Idaho for DNA testing. They also collected images of OR-7’s mate and three pups, all snapped by stationary, motion-detecting cameras in the wilderness. The results do not pin down the birthplace of the small, black female but indicate her heritage. – For photos and complete article see http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2014/09/oregon_wolf_or-7_pups_are_his.html

Travel Warning:

300px-Flag_of_American_Samoa.svgAmerican Samoa 09/09/14 Outbreaknewstoday.com: Post by Robert Herriman – Since the chikungunya outbreak was first geography-of-american-samoa0recognized in American Samoa in late July, the case count has grown to more than 700 cases. This is the first report of locally transmitted chikungunya in Samoa. – For complete post see http://outbreaknewstoday.com/cdc-travel-notice-issued-for-american-samoa-chikungunya-outbreak-now-over-700-cases-64070/

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

EEE54fgh84New Hampshire 09/10/14 NH Dept of Health: Media Release – Officials have confirmed the second human case of EEE this season in an adult from Hopkinton. The first human case of EEE in New Hampshire this season was confirmed on August 22nd in Conway, NH. – See http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/media/pr/2014/09-sept/09102014eeecase.htm

West Nile Virus (WNV):

NY-HealthDept-LargeNew York 09/08/14 NYC Health Dept: Media Release – Officials have confirmed the season’s first human cases of illness with WNV in five New York City residents, all over the age of 50. Two patients reside in Brooklyn, and one each from Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan. Three of the patients were hospitalized and diagnosed with meningitis; all have been discharged. The other two cases did not require hospitalization. – For complete release see http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/pr2014/pr031-14.shtml

Logo677854North Dakota 09/09/14 ND Dept of Health: Media Release – WNV Surveillance Coordinator Alicia Lepp has announced the state’s first WNV-related death in 2014. The individual was a woman who was hospitalized and was older than 60 years of age. Today’s report brings the total number of cases in North Dakota this season to12. – For complete release see http://www.ndhan.gov/data/mrNews/2014-09-09-First%202014%20WNV%20Human%20Death-v%20FINAL.pdf

index5587155South Dakota 09/09/14 SD Dept of Health: Media Release – Officials have confirmed 31 human cases of WNV in 18 counties so far this year. – See http://doh.sd.gov/documents/statistics/ID/Aug2014.pdf

COLORADAN dies of HANTAVIRUS ~ Second person in SASKATCHEWAN dies of HANTAVIRUS ~ CHIKUNGUNYA cases in the CARIBBEAN top half-million mark ~ ARIZONA warns of PSITTACOSIS in LOVEBIRDS ~ RABBITS and CATS in COLORADO positive for TULAREMIA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) numbers NATIONALLY and WNV reports from ND, SD & TX ~ Interesting RABIES cases reported in GAx2, KS, MDx2 & NJ.

Deer Mouse. Courtesy CDC.

Deer Mouse. Courtesy CDC.

Colorado 08/05/14 Eagle County: A 41-year-old man had lived in Eagle County for only two months before hantavirus killed him. Manuel Hernandez was from Mexico and was here on a work visa. His death makes him Eagle County’s first case of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome since 2005, said Jennifer Ludwig, the county’s public health director. Coroner Kara Bettis said Hernandez’s manner of death was natural. He died a couple weeks ago, Bettis said. The investigation took that long because the Centers for Disease Control requires two sets of lab results to confirm a hantavirus death. “Hantavirus causes death in approximately 40 percent of cases,” Ludwig said. – For complete article and more re Hantavirus see http://www.vaildaily.com/news/12488973-113/hantavirus-rodent-areas-cases

Canada 08/05/14 Saskatchewan: An adult in the northern tier of the province has died after contracting hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. It is the second death and fourth case reported in the province so far this year. Hantavirus can be transmitted by breathing in contaminated airborne particles from the droppings, urine and saliva of infected deer mice and certain other rodents that carry the disease. – For complete article and precautions see http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Second+hantavirus+death+reported+Saskatchewan/10091160/story.html

Chikungunya Fever:

image[3]Western Hemisphere 08/04/14 cidrap.umn.edu: by Robert Roos – The tally of chikungunya cases in the Caribbean climbed by nearly 38,000 last week, topping the half million mark, with the Dominican Republic again contributing most of the increase, according to an Aug 1 update from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The total reached 513,393 cases, compared with 473,523 a week earlier, an increase of 37,870, or 8.0%. Those numbers include suspected and confirmed illnesses that are locally acquired and imported cases. The vast majority of them—508,122 as of Aug 1—are suspected local cases. The Dominican Republic accounted for 26,012 of the new cases last week and more than half of all cases, with an overall total of 307,933, according to PAHO. Neighboring Haiti had only 50 new cases last week, all classified as suspected, for a total of 64,709. The death toll in the epidemic, which began last December, grew by 6, to 32. All 6 deaths were in Martinique, where the toll is now 19. The country’s overall case count reached 54,075, or 3,620 more than the week before. The total of confirmed local cases actually dropped by 524 last week, from 5,260 to 4,736, largely because of a decrease in French Guiana. The tally of confirmed local cases there sank from 665 to 89, while suspected cases jumped from zero to 1,194 and imported cases dropped from 216 to zero. Another Caribbean country that had a sizable jump in cases was Guadeloupe, where the total rose by 6,740, to 71,068.

joint_painIn Central America, El Salvador reported 376 new cases for a total of 2,353. Puerto Rico reported 390 new suspected cases for a total of 1,033. The numbers of confirmed and imported cases stayed the same at 215 and 17, respectively. As for the United States, PAHO listed 380 imported cases, or 18 fewer than the 398 reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Jul 30. The nation has had four locally acquired cases, all in Florida, including two reported last week. Meanwhile, imported cases in Mexico reached 380, an increase of 98, with local cases staying at 2. Venezuela reported 86 cases, with 30 local confirmed and 56 imported ones, compared with 57 a week earlier, according to PAHO. – See http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2014/08/caribbean-chikungunya-cases-climb-8-top-500000

Psittacosis:

Agapornis_-probably_a_hybrid-5iArizona 08/05/14 azcentral.com: by Chris Williams – Arizona Game and Fish Department officials want the public to be aware of a potential health threat following the discovery of the disease psittacosis, also known as parrot fever, in dead lovebirds in Scottsdale. Recently a Scottsdale homeowner reported finding 20 dead lovebirds in his yard. Game and Fish test results came in Friday, showing the birds had psittacosis. The disease can spread to humans and be difficult to diagnose. Last summer, it infected an east Mesa woman who used a leaf blower to clean up after some messy lovebirds, according to Game and Fish. She came down with a mysterious respiratory condition doctors had a tough time figuring out. When Game and Fish discovered psittacosis in dead birds on her property, that gave doctors the information they needed to diagnose her. – For complete article and precautions see http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/scottsdale/2014/08/05/12news-parrot-fever-psittacosis-scottsdale/13624329/

Tularemia:

imagesCAC3YRG5Colorado 08/03/14 Montrosepress.com: Wild rabbits and two domestic cats in Montrose County have tested presumptively positive for tularemia, which can be transmitted to humans, most commonly through handling infected animals. – See http://www.montrosepress.com/news/county-warns-of-tularemia-after-cats-turn-up-positive/article_c1f3e8e8-1acd-11e4-8967-001a4bcf887a.html

West Nile Virus (WNV):

West+Nile+Virus55447National 08/01/14 outbreaknewstoday.com: by Robert Herriman – California has accounted for 33 percent of the at least 60 confirmed human West Nile virus (WNV) cases reported nationally, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). The Golden State has reported 20 human WNV cases to date from the following counties: Butte (1), Contra Costa (1), Fresno (4), Kern (1), Lake (1), Orange (3), Solano (1), Stanislaus (5) and Tulare (3). . . . To date, three people have died from complications due to WNV–Arizona, Louisiana and Missouri. – For complete article see http://outbreaknewstoday.com/california-accounts-for-a-third-of-all-human-west-nile-virus-cases-99491/

North Dakota 08/05/14 ND Dept of Health: Media Release – Officials have confirmed the first human case of WNV in the state so far this year. The patient is a female in her 50s residing in Richland County. – For complete release see http://www.ndhan.gov/data/mrNews/2014-08-05-WNV%20First%20Human%20Case%202014%20NR%20-%20v%20FINAL.pdf

South Dakota 08/05/14 SD Sept of Health: Officials have confirmed 12 human cases of WNV statewide so far this year. – For details, including counties reporting one or more cases see http://doh.sd.gov/documents/diseases/WNVupdate8-5.pdf

Texas 08/06/14 TX Dept of State Health: Officials have confirmed 15 human cases of WNV statewide so far this year. Seven cases are the more severe neuro-invasive form and eight cases are the milder fever form of the disease. Montgomery County alone has reported a total of six cases. – For a list of the other eight counties reporting WNV, and more re WNV, see https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/news/updates.shtm

Rabies:

RabidgoatGeorgia 08/04/14 Pike County: A goat, which was part of a herd of 17 stabled on McCrary Road in Molena has tested positive for rabies. Family members have received post-exposure vaccinations. – See http://www.pikecountygeorgia.com/archives/4765-Case-of-rabies-confirmed-in-Molena.html

Looking-for-Kittens-001Georgia 08/05/14 Hall County: A cat in the Gillsville Highway area of the eastern part of the county has tested positive for rabies. Two people are being treated after being exposed to the virus. – See http://www.cbs46.com/story/26201097/cat-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-hall-county

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAKansas 07/29/14 Lyon County: A cow stabled in the county has tested positive for rabies. – http://cjonline.com/news/2014-07-29/rabies-confirmed-lyon-county-cow

 

3610192083_22eaf9db7aMaryland 07/28/14 Wicomico County: A feral kitten that scratched a Pittsville resident on Friendship Road has tested positive for rabies. Area residents are reported to have said “the (feral) cat population has become a big problem in town.” – See http://www.wboc.com/story/26132372/rabies-clinic-scheduled-after-rabid-cat-found

help_signMaryland 07/28/14 Frederick County: (Health officials are) searching for the owner of a dog that repeatedly bit a man Saturday night in Frederick.  The incident happened Saturday, July 26, 2014 around 10 p.m. near Hillcrest Drive at Hill Street Park. The FCHD said they need to speak with the owner of the dog so that the bite victim may avoid receiving unnecessary post-exposure rabies vaccinations.  The dog is described as a brownish, medium-sized, medium hair length, possible pit bull-mix that was not leashed. The dog was wearing a collar, officials say.  Anyone who has information about the owner’s identity is asked to call the FCHD at 301-600-1717 or Frederick County Animal Control at 301-600-1544.  Human cases of rabies are fatal if untreated. If you or someone in your family is bitten or scratched by a dog or cat, you should contact FCAC for assistance.  – See http://www.your4state.com/story/d/story/man-bitten-by-dog-in-frederick-officials-search-fo/27729/sDWUr9x_M0mhe3VD1SEH0g

IMG4336e-L-001New Jersey 07/30/14 Burlington County: A kitten in the township of Medford that has tested positive for rabies has reportedly exposed at least 13 people to the virus, all of whom must now receive post-exposure prophylaxis treatment. At least three other cats and a dog were also exposed and will be quarantined for six months. – See http://www.burlingtoncountytimes.com/news/local/rabies-alert-issued-in-medford-after-kitten-tests-positive/article_9e211201-9ad0-5474-980d-8d7f128dfe1e.html

 

FLORIDA reports first case of CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER acquired in the United States ~ CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER outbreak in CARIBBEAN REGION now exceeds 355,000 hum an cases.

Chikungunya Fever causes "bonebreaking" pain in joints

Chikungunya Fever causes “bonebreaking” pain in joints

National 07/17/14 cdc.gov: Media Release – Seven months after the mosquito-borne virus chikungunya was recognized in the Western Hemisphere, the first locally acquired case of the disease has surfaced in the continental United States. The case was reported today in Florida in a male who had not recently traveled outside the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working closely with the Florida Department of Health to investigate how the patient contracted the virus; CDC will also monitor for additional locally acquired U.S. cases in the coming weeks and months. Since 2006, the United States has averaged 28 imported cases of chikungunya (chik-un-GUHN-ya) per year in travelers returning from countries where the virus is common. To date this year, 243 travel-associated cases have been reported in 31 states and two territories. However, the newly reported case represents the first time that mosquitoes in the continental United States are thought to have spread the virus to a non-traveler.

Aedes aegypti . CDC

Aedes aegypti . CDC

Chikungunya virus is transmitted to people by two species of mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. Both species are found in the southeastern United States and limited parts of the southwest; Aedes albopictus is also found further north up the East Coast, through the Mid-Atlantic States and is also found in the lower Midwest. It is not known what course chikungunya will take now in the United States.

Aedes albopictus

Aedes albopictus

CDC officials believe chikungunya will behave like dengue virus in the United States, where imported cases have resulted in sporadic local transmission but have not caused widespread outbreaks. None of the more than 200 imported chikungunya cases between 2006 and 2013 have triggered a local outbreak. However, more chikungunya-infected travelers coming into the United States increases the likelihood that local chikungunya transmission will occur. Infection with chikungunya virus is rarely fatal, but the joint pain can often be severe and debilitating. This virus is not spread person to person. There is no vaccine and no specific treatment for infection, but research is underway in both areas. Patients recover in about a week, although long-term joint pain occurs in some people. – For complete rmedia release see http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0717-chikungunya.html

Chikungunya988405Caribbean Region 07/14/14 cidrap.umn.edu: by Lisa Schnirring – The number of chikungunya infections in an ongoing outbreak in the Caribbean region saw another steep rise last week, with the Dominican Republic again accounting for much of the new activity, along with Guadeloupe and Martinique, according to the latest update from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The total number of suspected and confirmed cases rose to 355,617, an increase of 48,780 from the week before, according to PAHO’s Jul 11 update. Nearly 28,000 of the new cases were reported from the Dominican Republic, while new case numbers were not listed from neighboring Haiti, another outbreak hotspot. Other areas that contributed sizable parts of last week’s increase are Guadeloupe with 11,600 new cases and Martinique with 8,550, according to the PAHO report.

ecdc.logoThe European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in its communicable disease threat update today that most of the affected outbreak areas continue to report cases, “but the situation is particularly severe in the island of Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic).” Elsewhere, the first locally acquired chikungunya cases have been detected in Trinidad and Tobago, according to a Jul 13 report from the Trinidad Express newspaper. James Hospedales, MD, executive director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency, said the outbreak appears to be spreading to one new country per week, according to the report. PAHO said the only US territory that saw a notable increase was Puerto Rico, which reported 177 more suspected or confirmed cases for a total of 405 so far. The number of deaths held steady at 21. – For complete article see http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2014/07/chikungunya-outbreak-exceeds-355000-cases

Celebrity WOLF OR-7 has fathered pups in OREGON – GRIZZLY attacks car on CANADIAN highway – TRAVEL WARNING: CDC places CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER on Level 1 Watch List in CARIBBEAN – MISSISSIPPI confirms second HUMAN case of WEST NILE VIRUS – NORTH DAKOTA confirms HANTAVIRUS fatality – RABID STRAY CATS found in NY & PA.

OR-7's pups. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

OR-7’s pups. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Wolf OR-7:

Oregon 06/04/14 chicoer.com: by Jeff Barnard – Oregon’s famous wandering wolf has fathered pups with a mate in the southern Cascade Range — the first confirmed wolf pack in those mountains since the 1940s, officials said today. Biologists made the determination after traveling Monday to a site on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest east of Medford, where photos and a GPS tracking collar showed the wolf known as OR-7 has been living with a mate. They saw two pups peering out from a pile of logs and may have heard more, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said. OR-7 and his mate were nowhere to be seen but could well have been nearby in the dense timber, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist John Stephenson said. “It was pretty exciting seeing the pups,” he said. “OR-7 was probably off getting some food. We saw a couple deer (and elk) legs that had obviously been getting chewed on.” Scientists also saw some ground disturbance where the pack “clearly had been playing around,” Stephenson said. The discovery marked the farthest west and south a wolf pack has established itself since the animals were reintroduced in the Northern Rockies in the 1990s, he said. – For complete article see http://www.chicoer.com/breakingnews/ci_25897080/wandering-wolf-or-7-has-fathered-pups

Canada:

Grizzly Bear:

Not related to article. For size comparison only. National Geographic image.

Not related to article. For size comparison only. National Geographic image.

Alberta 06/12/14 huffingtonpost.ca: A female resident of Jasper reported that her vehicle was attacked by a GRIZZLY when she slowed down on Highway 16 to let two bears cross in front of her car. The female decided to cross, she said, and the male stopped so she proceeded slowly between them. The male charged her car hitting it full force and rocking it violently. “I could see his teeth, the drool on his face,” she said. She told The Fitzhugh, a Jasper newspaper, she heard the bear’s claws scrape against the metal of her car as he sped away. About a kilometer down the road she stopped and could see the bears chasing after her. She told the Edmonton Journal that repairing the dents left in the car’s side panels would cost about $5,500.00. Parks Canada confirmed a similar incident about an hour earlier near the same location and they suspect the same GRIZZLY was involved.  – For complete article and video see http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/06/12/grizzly-attacks-car-jasper_n_5488751.html

Travel Warning:        

Chikungunya Fever:

chikVCaribbean06/02/14 travelweekly.com: by Gay Nagle Myers -U.S. and Caribbean health officials report that chikungunya, a viral disease spread by the bite of an infected mosquito, now has reached 17 Caribbean countries with 4,406 confirmed cases and more than 103,000 suspected cases. The mosquito-borne disease first appeared in French St. Martin in December. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that Florida has reported 10 cases coming from travelers returning from Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Martinique and St. Maarten/Martin. To date, no case has been reported of people contracting the disease in Florida, “but there is a high likelihood, as we continue to monitor and investigate, that we will find some,” according to Roger Nasci, a CDC expert on vector-borne diseases. The CDC has placedchikungunya on its Level 1 Watch List in the Caribbean, urging travelers to follow precautions. The risk to travelers “is slightly above the baseline risk,” the CDC said. – For complete article see http://www.travelweekly.com/Caribbean-Travel/Mosquito-borne-illness-spreads-in-Caribbean/

West Nile Virus:

imagesGW02ZP9VMississippi06/05/14 vaccinenewsdaily.com: A second human case of West Nile virus (WNV) in the state this year had been confirmed. The WNV case was confirmed in NewtownCounty. The first case was confirmed in HindsCounty in February. “This serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of preventing mosquito exposures, particularly as we approach the historically active summer months,” Thomas Dobbs, an epidemiologist for MSDH, said. – See http://vaccinenewsdaily.com/medical_countermeasures/330914-second-west-nile-case-confirmed-in-mississippi/

Hantavirus:

504f618286f53_preview-300North Dakota06/12/14 ND State Health Dept: State officials have confirmed the death of an adult resident due to Hantavirus, which is found in the feces and urine of rodents and can be inhaled while cleaning poorly ventilated areas. No other information was provided. – See http://www.theolympian.com/2014/06/12/3178016/death-in-central-nd-attributed.html?sp=/99/988/

Rabies:

imagesPG7OKBFQNew York06/06/14ErieCounty: An apparently ill feral cat found by children on Cedar Road in Newstead has tested positive for rabies. No description of the cat was provided. – See http://wivb.com/2014/06/06/cat-tests-positive-for-rabies/

Pennsylvania06/06/14AdamsCounty: A feral cat that attacked a woman in the 400-block of Sibert Road in StrabanTownship has tested positive for rabies. No description of the cat was provided. – See http://www.gettysburgtimes.com/news/local/article_0098850e-2937-5739-bcc2-97ac223bc623.html

 

 

 

 

 

Will CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER spread to the U.S.? ~ TRAVEL WARNINGS: CHIKUNGUNYA spreads throughout eastern CARIBBEAN ~ MISSISSIPPI reports first WEST NILE VIRUS case of 2014 ~ MEXICAN GRAY WOLD population highest since reintroduction 16 years ago ~ RABIES reports from AZ, & GA.

chikungunya_1

Western Hemisphere 02/10/14 livescience.com: by Marc Lallanilla – Health experts are concerned that chikungunya fever — a debilitating mosquito-borne disease that was once confined to Africa and Asia — has now spread to the Caribbean and may soon begin to make its way across North and South America. An infection with the chikungunya (chik-un-GUN-ya) virus causes severe pain, high fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and rash. The name is derived from an East African word for “that which bends,” a reference to the hi_4333.chikungunyaposture adopted by infected people who are stooped over from severe joint pain. And though the disease can’t be spread directly from person to person, a mosquito that bites a person who’s infected with the virus can easily spread the disease by biting another person, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The spread of chikungunya was first reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) in December 2013, after 10 residents on the Caribbean island of St. Martin were confirmed to have the disease. In the months since then, chikungunya has spread to other Caribbean countries, including popular tourist destinations such as Guadeloupe, Martinique and the British Virgin Islands.

Will chikungunya spread to the US?

0209-web-subCARIBBEANmap.chikungunyaThe disease isn’t unknown in the United States, but all previous documented cases have been in people who traveled outside the U.S. to countries where chikungunya is established, and were not caused by infected mosquitos within the U.S. That may change, however, since the mosquitos that carry the virus —Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus — are already found in the U.S. Some experts worry that it’s only a matter of time before chikungunya fever spreads to the U.S. “We definitely should be concerned,” said Laura Harrington, a professor of entomology at Cornell University who specializes in the spread of chikungunya and other tropical diseases. The death rate from chikungunya is fairly low — about 1 to 2 percent — “but it does cause a lot of discomfort,” Harrington told LiveScience. Most of the deaths caused by the disease are among the elderly or people with compromised immune systems.- For complete article see http://www.livescience.com/43241-what-is-chikungunya-fever-virus-mosquito.html

TRAVEL WARNINGS:

saim-LMAP-mdEastern Caribbean 02/08/14 theglobaldispatch.com: Since the chikungunya virus first made it’s appearance in the Western Hemisphere in early December on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, the outbreak has continued to grow and spread throughout many parts of the region showing little sign of slowing. The newest numbers released by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) on Feb. 7 shows that the total case count is pushing 1,500, up several hundred from just one week ago. According to European authorities, as of Friday the numbers are as follows: Saint Martin (FR):  601 probable or confirmed cases, Sint Maarten (NL): 60 confirmed cases, Saint Barthélemy: 83 probable or confirmed cases, Martinique: 518 probable or confirmed cases, Guadeloupe: 175 probable or confirmed cases, British Virgin Islands, Jost Van Dyke islands: six confirmed cases and Dominica: 3 confirmed cases and 1 imported confirmed case probably originating from Saint Martin. The Dominica number may be updated very soon as at least one news source from the island, Dominica News Online reported Friday the case count is now actually 13. In addition to the autochthonous cases reported above, imported cases have been reported from French Guiana: 4 confirmed imported cases: 3 from Martinique and 1 from Saint Martin, with no evidence of local transmission, one imported confirmed case on the Island of Anguilla probably originating from Saint Martin and one imported case reported on the Aruba.

lancet80-4-5ui76In a paper in The Lancet published today, researchers state:

It is likely that the chikungunya epidemic will extend to other Caribbean islands, and it also has substantial potential for spreading from this region visited yearly by millions of tourists to the American mainland where A aegypti is endemic. Assuming that this strain will be transmitted efficiently by A albopictus mosquitoes, its persistence in the Caribbean would also represent, as a consequence of seasonal synchronicity, a great threat for southern European countries where the mosquito has recently dispersed. This situation warrants reinforced epidemiological surveillance and specific preparedness.

CDC-LogoThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released an updated travel notice for those going to the Caribbean islands on Thursday saying, “Travelers who go to these islands in the Caribbean are at risk of getting chikungunya.” Chikungunya is an illness caused by a virus that spreads through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of chikungunya are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.

West Nile Virus (WNV):

HindsCountyMSMississippi 02/10/14 Hinds County: Officials have confirmed the state’s first human case of WNV for 2014. Last year, 45 human cases of WNV were reported in the state, including five fatalities. – See http://www.wjtv.com/story/24681817/first-west-nile-virus-human-case-of-2014

 

Mexican Gray Wolves:

MW_Header_5Arizona & New Mexico 02/10/14 wmicentral.com: by Terence Corrigan – The population of Mexican gray wolves has reached its highest level since the reintroduction program released the first wolves 16 years ago near Alpine. The Interagency Field Team recently completed its annual count and determined that the minimum number of Mexican wolves is 83 –  43 in New Mexico and 37 in Arizona. The population of wolves in the wild has nearly doubled in the last four years. The count was 75 in January 2013, and 58 in 2012. In 2013, seven packs produced 17 pups that survived through December. The gain in wolf numbers was offset by seven deaths, four were killed illegally. The official number is expressed as the “minimum count” because it’s a number they’re sure of. It’s entirely likely that there are additional animals that were not seen. Preparation for the annual survey begins in September and October on the ground with field team members confirming locations of animals that are fitted with telemetry collars. In January the official count begins with an aerial telemetry survey from an airplane. The airplane survey is followed by a visual count from a helicopter.

r_gray_wolf_pups1The field team currently has a pair of wolves in a pen in the forest and plans to release them sometime in the early spring. There is also a pair being held in captivity that Fish and Wildlife plans to release this year. The management policy now is to release only a pair with newly born pups which tends to keep them near the release site. In the past newly released single animals have bolted from the release site and strayed far outside the boundaries where wolves are currently allowed to be. All of the wolves counted were born in the wild, which program personnel say bodes well for success. Wild born pups “seem to have what it takes to survive … and not get into trouble as relates to human interactions,” said Dr. Benjamin Tuggle, Southwest Regional Director of U.S. Fish and Wildlife. – For complete article see http://www.wmicentral.com/news/apache_county/wolf-population-increases-to/article_119b47ba-8f8c-11e3-bea4-001a4bcf887a.html

 Rabies:

striped-skunks-01_000Arizona 02/10/14 Pima and Santa Cruz counties: State officials have issued a Rabies Alert in two southern counties effective immediately. Thirteen skunks have tested positive for the virus in these areas. – See https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?shva=1#inbox/14423701dbe07afc

Georgia 02/09/14 White County: A skunk that was in contact with a female dog and her litter of puppies has tested positive for rabies. The incident occurred in the 4700 block of Highway 254. An earlier case of the virus was reported last month just two blocks away. – See http://www.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=270963