Category Archives: Vaccines

Latest ConsumerReports ratings for INSECT REPELLENTS ~ LONE STAR TICK invading MICHIGAN ~ SOUTH CAROLINA vets urge HORSE owners to vaccinate against EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS ~ DEER tests positive for RABIES in FLORIDA ~ ALASKAN survives BROWN BEAR attack.

mosquito-repellent

Global 2016 consumerreports.org: Consumer Reports’ tests have found several insect repellents that provide excellent or very good protection against mosquito and tick bites. Consumer Reports’ insect repellent reviews will give you honest advice that you can trust. Use their insect repellent buying guide to discover what to consider, including whether you need protection from mosquitoes or ticks, or both pests, and how long you’re going to be out of doors. They also provide unbiased insect repellent Ratings and reviews to help you choose the best insect repellent for your needs, including whether you should buy a product containing the ingredient deet. That chemical can help keep mosquitoes and ticks away, but our safety experts worry that the products might pose risks to people and the environment. Recommended insect repellents are both aerosols and pump sprays, and all provide at least five hours of protection against bites from Aedes and Culex mosquitoes and deer ticks. – See http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/insect-repellent.htm

Lonestartick.usda.A female Lone Star tick is on the right, a male is on the left.

Lone Star Tick – Female on left, male on right.

Michigan 05/23/16 mlive.com: by John Agar –  A tick that can cause meat allergies is turning up in Michigan more frequently, an entomologist says. The Lone Star tick, found in the South and eastern part of the U.S, was once rarely found Michigan’s Lower Peninsula but is now becoming more common, the Associated Press reports. It is a concern because it appears to cause a meat allergy for some who get bit, Howard Russell, a Michigan State University Extension entomologist, told the Times Herald of Port Huron. He told the newspaper that he has received almost daily complaints about the ticks. Jean Tsao, an associate professor in the Departments of Fisheries and Wildlife and Large Animal Clinical Sciences at Michigan State University, says Lone Star ticks have been moving to the North, the AP reported. According to MSU Diagnostic Services, Amblyomma americanum gets its common name because a silvery spot on females looks to some to be shaped like Texas. The bite is considered “quite severe,” and is followed inflammation and lesions. It is linked to tick paralysis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and a bacterial disease. It is not known to spread Lyme Disease. – See http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2016/05/tick_that_can_cause_meat_aller.html

thumbnailCAL5IYPMSouth Carolina 05/24/16 wfxg.com: by Dal Kalsi – South Carolina veterinary officials are urging horse owners to vaccinate their animals after an unusually early case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis was discovered on the coast, according to a report from Clemson University. “This is the earliest in the spring that we’ve seen this disease in many years,” said Adam Eichelberger, a veterinarian overseeing animal health programs for Clemson University Livestock-Poultry Health.  He said a horse in Horry County was euthanized after becoming infected with the mosquito-borne illness in horses that can also affect humans. In unvaccinated horses, Eastern Equine Encephalitis is almost always fatal. “Nine of 10 exposed, unvaccinated horses will succumb to the disease. However, with proper vaccine use the risk of disease is minimized,” Eichelberger said. – For complete article see http://www.wfxg.com/story/32051724/sc-horse-vaccinations-against-deadly-mosquito-borne-illness

White-tailed deer fawn_NPSFlorida 05/27/16 wfla.com:  Health officials have issued a rabies alert in a Sarasota subdivision after a deer tested positive for rabies. The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County received laboratory confirmation on Monday, May 23,of rabies in a fawn that was found by a property owner in the Myakka Valley Ranches Subdivision on Monday, May 16. A local veterinarian who lives in the area considered that this low-risk animal could be rabid. She recalled that Sarasota County had two low-risk goats test positive for rabies last spring. There was no obvious injury to the fawn. However, the animal was showing signs of illness including twitching in the face, poor muscular coordination, salivating and had no apparent fear of humans. The deer was euthanized and tested positive for rabies. At this point, authorities are not sure how the deer contracted rabies. DOH-Sarasota has issued a rabies alert for 60-days in the Myakka Valley Ranches Subdivision.

Brown_Bear_-_Ursus_Arctos_600Alaska 05/22/16 abcnews.go.com: by Aditi Roy and Emily Shapiro – An Alaska man says he feels lucky to be alive after coming face-to-face with a brown bear and surviving its terrifying attack. Kenny Steck, his wife Hannah and six family members were hiking in Southeastern Alaska May 13 when he encountered the predator while filling up water bottles. Steck, an experienced outdoorsman, had left his bear repellent back at camp. The massive animal then came charging at him. “It was a feeling of complete hopelessness and helplessness, really. I felt like I couldn’t do anything to make it stop or make the outcome change,” he told ABC News today. When Steck lifted his leg up to protect himself, the bear clawed it. He tried yelling, but the bear crushed his shoulder and put Steck’s head in his mouth. “All I could do was just hope and pray,” he said. “It was terrifying.” Then suddenly the bear let go and ran away. Luckily, his wife and three other family members on the trip are nurses and were able to treat his wounds right away. Steck suffered injuries to his leg, shoulder and head, but the bear miraculously avoided his skull, his wife Hannah said. He’s expected to make a full recovery. – For complete article, photos and  video see http://abcnews.go.com/US/man-survives-terrifying-bear-attack-alaska-miracle-wife/story?id=39289589

GRIZZLY kills hiker at YELLOWSTONE ~ BLACK BEAR attacks hiker at VIRGINIA state park ~ BLACK BEAR attacks hiker on WASHINGTON military base ~ CANADA: BLACK BEAR attacks woman walking dog in BRITISH COLUMBIA ~ FLORIDA woman loses arm in ALLIGATOR attack ~ NEW HAMPSHIRE scientist questions success of new EBOLA VACCINE

Bear ID Handout: Center for Wildlife Information, Montana.

Bear ID Handout: Center for Wildlife Information, Montana.

Yellowstone National Park 08/10/15 nydailynews.com: by Ashley Lewis – Yellowstone National Park officials are piecing together clues of a bear attack that left a seasoned Montana hiker dead on Friday. The 63-year-old hiker from Billings, Lance Crosby, was the first human to have an encounter with a bear in Yellowstone this year, a park spokeswoman told CNN.  Only four bear-related fatalities were reported from 2010 to 2014, the spokeswoman said. “We may not be able to conclusively determine the circumstances of this bear attack, but we will not risk public safety,” Dan Wenk, superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, said in a statement.  The man was reported missing on Friday when he was a no-show for work, officials said.

8520329_GA park ranger discovered his mutilated body a half mile from the Elephant Black Loop Trail near Lake Village, Wyo., authorities said. The man’s body was partially devoured, but officials said they found defensive wounds on his arms that indicate he didn’t go down without a fight. Paw prints at the scene point to an adult female grizzly and a cub as the culprits, authorities said. – For complete article and photos see http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/seasoned-hiker-attacked-killed-bear-yellowstone-article-1.2320577

Virginia 08/09/15 richmond.com: by Laura Kebede – A Midlothian woman survived a bear attack Saturday at Douthat State Park in Bath County that left her with 14 stitches in her back and 14 in her leg. An adult female black bear believed to be the attacker was tracked and killed early Sunday. The bear attack prompted the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation to close several miles of trails on the west side of state Route 629, which was scheduled to be reopened today. Laurie Cooksey was hiking Saturday with three of her four children after a day of canoeing and camping the night before. When they reached the Tuscarora Overlook and took a selfie, rain clouds were quickly forming, she said. So about 6 p.m., the foursome headed down the steep, windy trail — with Cooksey and her 19-year-old son Ellis walking ahead of her daughter Hannah Cate, 16, and son Blake, 22.

8877449Within five minutes, Ellis spotted the black bear peering at them from behind a tree about 10 yards away, Laurie Cooksey said. Almost immediately, the bear charged. They retreated in the opposite direction, but the bear caught up and headed them off. “He was fast. He was just so fast,” she said. The bear clawed Cooksey’s back and knocked her to the ground off the trail. “The saving grace was it was raining hard and the leaves were slippery,” she said. They both slid in the leaves and she found herself slightly uphill from the bear when it bit her twice on the leg. Cooksey kicked just enough for the bear to lose its balance on the incline and slide far enough away for Cooksey to make a run for it, she said. When they caught up with the other two who were unaware of the incident, the bear reappeared. But this time, Blake continually yelled “Get big! Get loud!” as he and Ellis screamed and jumped to intimidate the bear as they had been instructed in materials they received when they visited Yosemite National Park. It worked. The bear turned around. – For complete article see http://www.richmond.com/news/local/chesterfield/article_4ae3bf43-3cbd-5620-86c0-aaf08527cae4.html

JointBase1Washington 08/06/15 nwguardian.com: by Alexandra Kocik – A hiker and his 15-year-old son wandered into the wrong place at the wrong time Saturday at Training Area 15, near the East Gate Extension on Lewis Main. The two startled a black bear on the trail resulting in the animal attacking the man before the bear was scared away. After scaring the bear away, the man called 911 on his cell phone. The hiker is an Air Force Reservist assigned to a unit in Germany. He was able to drive to a nearby medical facility to get treatment for his injuries — scratches, lacerations and puncture wounds on his arms, legs and face. His son was not injured. Had it been a life threatening emergency, he would have been transported to Madigan Army Medical Center. Joint Base Lewis-McChord Provost Marshal Maj. Jay Cash said the hikers were in an approved area for hiking when they startled the bear. “It should be noted to anyone that JBLM training areas are known to be habitat for a numbers of black bears and other wildlife such as mountain lions,” he said. “They should not assume that these areas are free from risk. JBLM works hard to ensure our natural resources are protected while at the same time, safe for the public.” Cash said the injured hiker most likely startled the bear, which makes them aggressive. The military police are currently working with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officers to determine if trapping and relocating the bear to another location is warranted. – For complete article see http://www.nwguardian.com/2015/08/06/21973/hiker-injured-in-bear-attack.html

CANADA:

374560763British Columbia 08/10/15 globalnews.ca: by Megan Turcato – A Willowbrook woman’s arm was broken when she was attacked by a black bear Wednesday while walking her dog in a park in the rural community near Oliver. She also suffered a scratch to her face as well as cuts and scrapes to her back. “[The bear] knocked her down to start with and she got some scratch marks on her back but they didn’t penetrate, just marks, and then it started to bite at her,” says the victim’s husband Joseph Treitl. “It did bite her really bad [in the forearm] and crunched some bones.” Luckily, the woman was able to escape when the bear chased her dog. Her dog was not hurt. “She was lucky that the dog distracted the bear because if he would’ve come back and started biting at her again, she would’ve been worse off,” says Treitl. The Conservation Officer Service says it was an unprovoked attack by an adult female black bear. Conservation officer Jim Beck says the bear appeared to be healthy and didn’t have any cubs with her. – For video and complete article see http://globalnews.ca/news/2156497/south-okanagan-woman-survives-bear-attack/

ALLIGATOR ATTACK:

15578446Florida 08/09/15 orlandosentinel.com: by Steven Lemogello – The alligator that attacked an Orlando woman swimming in the Wekiva River Saturday afternoon — biting off her arm just above the elbow — has been caught and euthanized, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said Sunday. The gator was caught at 12:25 a.m. Sunday morning, FWC spokeswoman Karen Parker said. The attack took place near Wekiva Island, which rents canoes and cabanas and serves drinks from an outdoor bar. The woman, who was identified Sunday as Rachael D. Lilienthal, 37, of Orlando, was swimming upstream away from a crowded beach area when she was bitten by an alligator, according to FWC officials. Lilienthal was bitten at least twice and her right arm was severed above the elbow, Parker said. A kayaker struck the alligator with a paddle and caused it to release its grip on Lilienthal. Two kayakers brought her to the marina, Parker said, where Seminole County deputies administered first aid. Lilienthal was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center for treatment. Her condition is unknown. – For complete article see http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-update-alligator-attack-woman-wekiwa-springs-20150809-story.html

EBOLA VACCINE:

Global 08/11/15 theconversation.com: by Timothy P. Lahey – Ebola is on the run: the number of cases dipped below 10 a week  recently, and a few days ago investigators announced in the prestigious journal The Lancet  that a new Ebola vaccine was “100% effective.” In response, global health authorities are starting to sound a little giddy. “We believe that the world is on the verge of an efficacious Ebola vaccine,” said  Marie Paule Kieny, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) assistant director-general for health systems and innovation (and an author on the study). “It could be a game changer.”

ebola-vaccine-thumbnail-1280x768She’s right: this is wonderful news, and a great testament to human ingenuity. A genetically engineered hybrid  of the benign vesicular stomatitis virus and the Zaire strain of Ebola, together called rVSV-ZEBOV, was tested in a multi-site clinical trial conducted amid a massive aid response in Guinea, one of the poorest countries in Africa. The scientific and logistical acrobatics required to pull this off boggle the mind. Yet, for three reasons, we cannot know if the vaccine really worked, or how well. Those reasons are the lack of placebo comparison, the way the investigators diagnosed vaccine failure and the possibility of statistical flukes. – For lengthy article analyzing these three reasons see https://theconversation.com/news-about-the-success-of-a-new-ebola-vaccine-may-be-too-good-to-be-true-45801?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+August+11+2015&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+August+11+2015+CID_71d509c2a891957a7c929ad7d07b8b63&utm_source=campaign_monitor_us&utm_term=News%20about%20the%20success%20of%20a%20new%20Ebola%20vaccine%20may%20be%20too%20good%20to%20be%20true

CANADIAN officials warn of WALRUS meat infected with TRICHINELLA ~ SOUTH DAKOTA confirms 7 human cases of TULAREMIA since June ~ County in COLORADO confirms 5 human cases of TULAREMIA this year ~ WYOMING confirms TULAREMIA in wild RABBITS ~ When young people develop sudden heart problems, think LYME DISEASE ~ Trials show new EBOLA VACCINE is “highly effective” ~ RABIES reports from GA, MD, OK, SC, VA, WI.

Walrus. Courtesy of US Geological Survey.

Walrus. Courtesy of US Geological Survey.

CANADA:

Nunavut 07/30/15 cbc.ca: Health officials are warning people in Rankin Inlet who recently ate raw walrus meat, saying some meat has tested positive for trichinella — the parasitic worm that can give people trichinosis. Symptoms include stomach pain, muscle pain, diarrhea, swollen eyelids, sweating and weakness. If you’ve eaten uncooked walrus, and are having any of these symptoms, contact the local health centre. The health department reminds hunters to get walrus meat tested for trichinella. And if someone gives you walrus meat, ask if it has been tested. – See http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/rankin-inlet-walrus-meat-tests-positive-for-trichinella-1.3173547

TULAREMIA (RABBIT FEVER):

South Dakota 07/28/15 SD Dept of Health: Media Release – A state health official says tularemia is on the rise, with seven cases reported in the Black Hills area since June. “Tularemia is a fairly uncommon but potentially severe disease that can be fatal,” said Dr. Lon Kightlinger, state epidemiologist for the Department of Health. “People can be exposed when they come in contact with infected insects and animals, particularly rabbits, rodents and cats.” Six of South Dakota’s cases were adults over the age of 50 and one was a child under 5. Five of the seven were hospitalized. Kightlinger noted that one of the cases had direct contact with a pet cat that tested positive for tularemia. Sometimes called rabbit fever, tularemia most commonly results in a sore developing where the bacteria enter the body, accompanied by swelling of the lymph nodes. In severe cases, it can cause fever and a pneumonia-like illness, which can be fatal. – For complete release see http://news.sd.gov/newsitem.aspx?id=18043

tularemia.332oe998Colorado 07/28/15 Weld County Dept of Public Health: Media ReleaseTularemia, also known as rabbit fever, has sickened five Weld County men. The distribution in age is 56 to 80 and includes a wide dispersal throughout the county, including the municipalities of Greeley, Erie, LaSalle, Milliken, and Longmont. Of the five men, two were hospitalized and three recovered at home. One man remains hospitalized, but is in stable condition. The men were most likely exposed to tularemia while mowing or working in their yards. “This is a rare disease and to have five cases so far this year is highly unusual,” said Dr. Mark E. Wallace, MD MPH, Executive Director of the Weld County Health Department. “In an average year we have zero cases, last year we had one case.” Statewide, Colorado currently has 16 human cases, and in an average year there are less than 4 cases. – For complete release see http://www.co.weld.co.us/assets/49d8bD3600B24A786D2C.pdf

Wyoming 07/31/15 kgwn.tv: A Platte County landowner along Whelen Canyon Road who discovered about 20 dead rabbits contacted the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Two of the rabbits were sent for testing and both were positive for tularemia. Several dead prairie dogs and other rodents at Devil’s Tower National Monument have also tested positive for tularemia. – See http://www.kgwn.tv/home/headlines/Rabbit-Fever-Confirmed-in-Platte-County-Rabbits-320276041.html

LYME DISEASE:

227757Global 07/30/15 pennlive.com: by Carolyn Kimmel – Dr. John Goldman, infectious disease specialist with PinnacleHealth System in Harrisburg (PA),  said people need to remember that Lyme disease can have different symptoms, ranging from the classic bull’s eye rash to a different kind of rash or flu-like symptoms . . . The incidence of Lyme carditis is small – only about 5 to 10 percent of Lyme cases – and usually begins four to six weeks after the initial illness, Goldman said. “It is an unusual presentation of Lyme disease, but it’s usually caught before it gets to a complete heart block,” he said.  “The thing about Lyme disease is that it can present very non-specifically, with a classic bull’s eye rash or a different rash or flu-like symptoms or no symptoms.” Lyme carditis can be very dangerous because if people progress to a complete heart block, their blood pressure may go too low or they may suddenly faint, perhaps while driving or doing some other activity, Goldman said. “Doctors do need to have a higher index of suspicion when a young person comes in with unusual heart symptoms. They should be checking for Lyme,” Dr. Michael Smith, a cardiologist with PinnacleHealth Cardiology in Wormleysburg (PA) said. – For complete article see http://www.pennlive.com/bodyandmind/index.ssf/2015/07/when_a_young_person_suddenly_d.html

EBOLA VACCINE:

ebola88394Global 07/31/15 cnn.com: by Laura Smith-Spark – A newly developed vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus  is “highly effective” and could help prevent its spread in the current and future outbreaks, the World Health Organization said Friday. Trials of the single-dose VSV-EBOV vaccine began in March in Guinea — one of three West African nations at the center of the recent outbreak — and have shown such promise that this week it was decided to extend immediate vaccination to “all people at risk” after close contact with an infected person, a WHO statement said. “This is an extremely promising development,” said Dr. Margaret Chan, the body’s director-general. “The credit goes to the Guinean government, the people living in the communities and our partners in this project. An effective vaccine will be another very important tool for both current and future Ebola outbreaks.” More research is needed, but the results so far on this trial show 100% efficacy. – For complete article see http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/31/health/guinea-ebola-vaccine/index.html

RABIES:

Georgia 07/30/15 Thomas County: A Thomasville woman was hospitalized after a stray cat attacked her and bit her leg is several places earlier this week at her home. The woman is being treated for potential exposure to rabies because the cat has not been captured. – See video and article at http://www.walb.com/story/29672436/attacking-cat-concerns-thomas-countians

cat-child445778Maryland 07/28/15 Calvert County: A adult tan and black striped stray cat found in the Yardley Hills area of Prince Frederick has tested positive for rabies. The cat was reported by a resident who said it was under his car and appeared to be ill. – See http://www.thebaynet.com/articles/0715/cattestspositiveforrabies.html

Oklahoma 07/30/15 Carter County: A kitten rescued by a family after it was born to a stray under their porch attacked two family members and has since tested positive for rabies. Even after insurance, medical bills have cost the family $7,000.00 so far. – See http://www.kxii.com/home/headlines/Family-kitten-contracts-rabies-woman-shares-importance-of-vaccinations-320208861.html

South Carolina 07/28/15  Lexington County: A dog from the Monticello Road area of northwest Columbia with evidence of healed wounds around its neck was given to an adoption agency in the Irmo area by animal control. The dog was later placed into foster care in the Gaston area. During the course of its care, the dog bit two people and exposed two others. This dog has since tested positive for rabies. – See http://counton2.com/2015/07/28/dog-expose-four-to-rabies-in-lexington-county/

river.otter.XT4B8248Virginia 07/31/15 Virginia Beach: A river otter that bit two people near the 2200 block of North Sandpiper Road in Sandbridge has tested positive for rabies. – See http://hamptonroads.com/2015/07/river-otter-tests-positive-rabies-after-biting-two-people-virginia-beach

Wisconsin 07/29/15 Marathon County: Officials are looking for a gray and white cat that bit a woman in the 1100 block of Sixth Avenue in Wausau earlier this week as she attempted to read the cat’s multicolored collar tag. – See http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/story/news/local/2015/07/29/health-department-looking-cat-bit-woman/30852813/

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

Study projects how EBOLA VIRUS will spread ~ Promising EBOLA VACCINE abandoned a decade ago ~ NEW YORK & NEW JERSEY to quarantine all travelers with EBOLA contacts ~ CANADIAN killed when GRIZZLY invades cabin ~ First case of CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE found in OHIO captive DEER ~ FLORIDIAN contracts ST. LOUIS ENCEPHALITIS ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) reports from CA, LA, PA & SD ~ COYOTE attacks weed eater before biting NORTH CAROLINA MAN and other RABIES reports from CA & NC.

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Global 10/20/14 wsj.com: by Gautam Naik – Up to three Ebola-infected people could embark on overseas flights every month from the three most-affected African countries, according to a new study that projected travel patterns based on infection rates and recent flight schedules. The findings, published Monday in the journal Lancet, suggest that Ebola cases could be spread overseas by unwitting travelers from the worst-hit countries—Guinea, Liberia and Sierra who-logoLeone. The World Health Organization has estimated that, by early December, there could be as many as 10,000 new cases a week in west Africa. The upshot is “that controlling the outbreak at the source is the most important thing that needs to happen” to prevent the international spread of the ECE_522805_St-MichaelsHospitalvirus, said Kamran Khan, an infectious disease physician at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto and lead author of the study.

Dr. Kamran Khan

Dr. Kamran Khan

The researchers’ analysis assumed no exit screening in the airports of the three African nations. In reality, exit screenings occur, but the authors contend that this doesn’t change their conclusion because screenings can miss travelers who don’t yet show signs of Ebola. A person can incubate the virus for up to 21 days without exhibiting signs of the disease. – For complete article see http://online.wsj.com/articles/ebola-study-projects-spread-of-virus-on-overseas-flights-1413846023?tesla=y

Money-vaccineGlobal 10/23/14 nytimes.com: by Denise Grady – Almost a decade ago, scientists from Canada and the United States reported that they had created a vaccine that was 100 percent effective in protecting monkeys against the Ebola virus. The results were published in a respected journal, and health officials called them exciting. The researchers said tests in people might start within two years, and a product could potentially be ready for licensing by 2010 or 2011. It never happened. The vaccine sat on a shelf. Only now is it undergoing the most basic safety tests in humans — with nearly 5,000 people dead from Ebola and an epidemic raging out of control in West Africa. Its development stalled in part because Ebola is rare, and until now, outbreaks had infected only a few hundred people at a time. But experts also acknowledge that the absence of follow-up on such a promising candidate reflects a broader failure to produce medicines and vaccines for diseases that afflict poor countries. Most drug companies have resisted spending the enormous sums needed to develop products useful mostly to countries with little ability to pay. – For complete article see http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/24/health/without-lucrative-market-potential-ebola-vaccine-was-shelved-for-years.html?emc=edit_tnt_20141023&nlid=57949252&tntemail0=y

0New York/New Jersey 10/24/14 medscape.com: by Robert Lowes – In the wake of New York City’s first Ebola case, New York and New Jersey will quarantine all healthcare workers arriving at two key airports from Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia for 21 days if they have treated patients with the deadly virus in those countries. The quarantine will extend to all travelers from the three countries who have had direct contact with an infected individual. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced the decision to impose quarantines this afternoon. Calls for this stringent measure have grown louder since Craig Spencer, MD, tested positive for the Ebola virus yesterday after he returned to New York City on October 17 from an assignment with Doctors Without Borders in Guinea. – For complete article see http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/833879?src=wnl_edit_newsal&uac=218349HV

Quarantine-Sign-NHE-18384_600Blog Author’s Note: Definitely a step in the right direction, but the people of the U.S. would be much better served if all travelers from Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia using all modes of transportation were quarantined for 21 days under penalty of prison terms and/or deportation. In addition, all commercial flights to and from these countries should be stopped until the virus is no longer a threat. Healthcare workers and other emergency personnel could travel in and out of these countries on military flights, which would also provide an optimal level of control. Yes, this would be costly to enforce, but if we can spend trillions protecting the American public from terrorists, we can afford a comparative pittance to protect them from the Ebola virus, which at the current survival rate could wipe out half of the U.S. population.

BEAR ATTACK:

Canada:

1306540277907_ORIGINAL.gRIZZLY.Yukon Territory 10/21/14 calgarysun.com: Claudia Huber, 42, a native of Switzerland and naturalized Canadian, died on October 18th as a result of injuries sustained when she was mauled by a 170 kg. older, male grizzly near her home in Johnsons Crossing, about 136 km southeast of Whitehorse. The grizzly climbed through a rear window into her cabin when Claudia and her husband, Matthias Liniger, fled but the grizzly caught up with Claudia. Matthias shot the grizzly, but not before Claudia was badly mauled. A little later that day, some 50 km away in theTeslin health center, Claudia died. The couple has lived in Johnsons Crossing since they came to Canada from Switzerland eight years ago to start a year-round adventure touring company offering like-minded Europeans an opportunity to experience their isolated lifestyle in the Canadian wilderness for short periods of time. – For complete article see http://www.calgarysun.com/2014/10/20/claudia-was-my-soulmate-says-husband-of-grizzly-attack-victim

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE:

whitetail deer 3Ohio 10/25/14 OH Dept of Natural Resources: Media Release – State officials have confirmed the first positive case of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in the state in a captive deer herd in Holmes County. The state continues to take quarantine action to control the further spread of the disease. There is no evidence that CWD has affected the wild deer population in the state. The positive sample was taken from a single buck on a hunting preserve in Millersburg and tested as part of Ohio’s CWD monitoring program for captive white-tailed deer operations. The preserve had been under quarantine since April 24, 2014, and was subject to intensive monitoring and sampling protocols because of a known connection to a captive deer operation in Pennsylvania that tested positive for CWD earlier this year. The quarantine will remain enforced until the state is satisfied that disease transference can no longer occur. The disease is fatal in deer, elk and moose, but there is no evidence CWD can be transmitted to humans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The World Health Organization. Though no human disease has been associated with CWD, the CDC recommends, as a precaution, that people or other animals do not eat any part of an animal diagnosed with or showing signs of CWD. – For complete release see http://ohiodnr.gov/news/post/first-case-of-chronic-wasting-disease-confirmed-in-ohio-on-private-preserve

ST. LOUIS ENCEPHALITIS:

Mosquito_08849rt77Florida 10/22/14 Duval County: A 58-year-old female resident of the county contracted St. Louis Encephalitis but has fully recovered following treatment. This is the first human case of the mosquito-borne virus reported in the state of Florida since 2003. – See http://members.jacksonville.com/news/health-and-fitness/2014-10-22/story/first-st-louis-encephalitis-case-florida-03-found-duval

WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV):

imagesCACMXFDXCalifornia 10/24/14 CA Dept of Public Health: Media Release – There were 46 new WNV human cases reported in California this week from the following counties: Colusa (1), Kern (1), Los Angeles (23), Orange (15), Placer (2), San Diego (1), Stanislaus (2), and Yolo (1). Twenty WNV-related fatalities have been reported to CDPH from ten local health jurisdictions: Glenn (1), Long Beach City (2), Los Angeles (3), Orange (5), Placer (1), Sacramento (2), Shasta (1), Stanislaus (2), Sutter (2), and Tehama (1). Six hundred and eight (608) human cases from 29 counties have tested positive for WNV thus far in 2014. – See http://westnile.ca.gov/

Louisiana 10/17/14 LA Dept of Health & Hospitals: Media Release – Officials have confirmed two (2) new cases of WNV this week, but no new deaths. One (1) new case with fever was reported from Caddo Parish and one (1) new case with fever was reported from East Baton Rouge Parish. – For summary see http://www.dhh.state.la.us/assets/docs/SurveillanceReports/wnv/weekly2014/ARBO_1441.pdf

Pennsylvania 10/18/14 PA Dept of Health: The number of WNV cases statewide has now reached seven and Philadelphia has recorded  the first WNV-related fatality this year. – For a summary see http://www.westnile.state.pa.us/

South Dakota 10/22/14 SD Dept of Health: Media Release – 57 human cases of WNV disease have been reported statewide.   Status:  meningitis/encephalitis 21%, fever 79%; hospitalized 25%; deaths 0.   Counties with cases:  Beadle, Brown(6), Charles Mix(2), Codington(5), Day, Dewey(3), Edmunds(2), Faulk, Grant(2), Hamlin(3), Hand, Hanson, Harding, Hughes(4), Hutchinson, Jackson, Lawrence, Lincoln(3), Marshall, McPherson, Meade(2), Minnehaha(5), Sanborn, Shannon(2), Spink, Tripp, Union(3) and Walworth. – See http://doh.sd.gov/documents/diseases/WNVupdate10-24.pdf

RABIES:

HelpCalifornia 10/23/14 San Diego County: On Tuesday, a bat found near Pizza Nova on North Twin Oaks Road (in San Marcos) was found to be positive for rabies, according to county health officials. Five children spotted the bat under a tree near the restaurant a few days before the County Public Health Laboratory’s rabies result was confirmed. Concerns are that the children or others may have touched the bat, possibly exposing them to the disease. The county is looking for help in finding the five children and any others that might have been in the area and have come into contact with the animal, according to Craig Sturak, communications officer with the County Health and Human Services Agency. Contact the County’s Health and Human Services Agency by calling (619) 692-8499. – See https://thecoastnews.com/2014/10/county-looking-for-kids-that-may-have-handled-rabid-bat/

4904540_GNorth Carolina 10/17/14 tryondailyubulletin.com: by Leah Justice – A man weed eating his yard last Thursday evening was attacked by what he reported to be a coyote, according to Polk County Animal Control. Officers from the sheriff’s office said the man was weed eating around 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 16 on King Stepp Road, off Grassy Knob Road (in Sunny View), when all of a sudden, the animal attacked the weed eater, then bit the man on the leg. The man immediately went to the hospital, where he received rabies shots and several stitches in his leg. Officers described it as a substantial wound. The man described the animal as a small coyote. The coyote was not captured. – See complete article at: http://www.tryondailybulletin.com/2014/10/17/sunny-view-man-attacked-by-suspected-rabid-coyote/#sthash.gcecZrlx.dpuf

North Carolina 10/23/14 Randolph County: A stray cat found in the vicinity of Robbins Farm and Kennedy roads in Trinity has tested positive for rabies. – See http://myfox8.com/2014/10/23/cat-in-trinity-area-tests-positive-for-rabies/

OTTER attacks young girl swimming in WISCONSIN lake ~ ALASKAN woman survives BROWN BEAR attack ~ COLORADAN may have contracted TULAREMIA while mowing lawn ~ New VACCINE for CHIKUNGUNYA VIRUS shows promise ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) reports from CA, ID, LA & MS ~ Notable RABIES reports from FL, PA & TX.

Otter. Photo by Peter Trimming. Wikimedia Commons.

Otter. Photo by Peter Trimming. Wikimedia Commons.

Wisconsin 08/13/14 twincities.com: by Andy Rathbun – It was a fun time at the lake — until the otter arrived. After spending about an hour swimming with friends in Bone Lake near Luck, Wis., on Saturday, Rory Kliewer began to climb a ladder onto a dock when she suddenly felt something bite her backside and thigh. “I thought it was a northern pike,” the 12-year-old Minneapolis girl said Wednesday. “I thought a fish was after me.” As she threw the creature off of her, she realized that the animal was an otter — later estimated at 3 1/2 feet long and about 40 pounds. “It was a big, nasty one,” said Rory, who had been staying at a friend’s family cabin over the weekend. The otter then bit Rory’s head and pulled itself onto her, scratching her face.

1407973737000-Otter2Rory managed to climb the ladder onto the dock and then throw the otter off her once again, screaming throughout the incident, she said. But the otter didn’t stop there. It jumped onto the dock, and Rory ran onto land with the otter in pursuit, she said. A dog and her friend’s mother tried to scare the animal away, but it rose up on its hind legs and hissed. The otter didn’t retreat until Pat Hinschberger, the cabin’s owner and Rory’s friend’s father, rushed to the scene and yelled at the animal. “As far as I’m concerned, this thing was literally trying to kill this kid,” Hinschberger said. He added that the incident lasted no more than a minute, but it felt like much longer. Rory was taken to a local emergency room, where doctors told her it was their first time treating a victim of an otter attack, she said. Speaking from her home Wednesday, Rory was still recovering from bite wounds, scratches and bruises, and possibly the most significant injury: the trauma of the experience, which she called “really frightening.” – For video, photo and complete article see http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_26331000/wisconsin-otter-attacks-swimming-girl

Bear Attack:

American Brown BearAlaska 08/13/14 adn.com: by Laurel Andrews – Thea Thomas tried to step off the trail as a brown bear sprinted toward her, chasing a friend’s dog that she had brought along for a hike in Cordova on Tuesday afternoon. Yet in an instant, Thomas was flat on the ground, face-to-face with an angry bear that bit her repeatedly during the mauling on Heney Ridge Trail. . . . Thomas, a 57-year-old commercial fisherman, has lived in the Southcentral Alaska community of Cordova for 32 years, she said. “I hike those trails all the time.” Heney Ridge Trail is a 4.1-mile trail that follows Hartney Bay before climbing up through spruce-hemlock forest, salmon-spawning streams and a mile of steep incline up above the treeline, according to the U.S. Forest Service website. . . . She described the brown bear as 6-7 feet tall on its hind legs, with a thick auburn-orange coat. The bear appeared to be in good health. “I kept thinking he was going to stop,” Thomas said. But the attack continued. The bear walked away a couple of times, but would then turn back and bite her again, she said. At one point she tried to get up, but it pulled her back, she said. . . . She was medevaced to an Anchorage hospital on Tuesday. “I’ve got a feeling I’m going to be here a while,” she said. The bear bit her around seven times, she said. The worst bites were to her back and inner thigh. – For complete article see http://www.adn.com/article/20140813/woman-mauled-brown-bear-cordova-hiking-trail-describes-attack

Tularemia:

Media.aspxColorado 08/12/14 9news.com: A Larimer County man hospitalized for tularemia may have been exposed to the disease while mowing a property outside of Windsor. He was treated with two courses of antibiotics that offered no improvement, but he was released after several days and is expected to make a full recovery. – See http://www.9news.com/story/news/health/2014/08/12/tularemia-fort-collins-weld-larimer-county/13964835/

Chikungunya Virus:

Canine-Health-Dog-Vaccinations-Bordetella-Vaccine-for-DogsGlobal 08/15 /14 techtimes.com: by Linda Nguyen – People afraid of contracting chikungunya from mosquitoes have reason to hope. A vaccine for the virus is currently undergoing its first stages of human trials. The vaccine so far has shown promise for protecting people from the chikungunya virus. The report is published online in the Lancet. “The vaccine was safe and well-tolerated, and we believe that this vaccine makes a type of antibody that is effective against chikungunya,” said Dr. Julie Ledgerwood, leader of the study. This would be the first medication to treat or prevent this virus which manifests with fever and severe arthiritis. The Chikungunya virus has spread through Africa and Asia to the Caribbean, and now to the United States. The first domestic cases of the virus were reported in Florida last month when four Americans caught the virus. Ledgerwood said the next step in the clinical trials will be to test the vaccine on more people and more age groups since the current study looked at a relatively small 25-person group. She said the vaccine also has to be tested in areas where the virus is endemic to see whether it truly protects patients. She estimates that the testing will take another five years before it is on the market for the public. She added that it could be given to people living in the areas and to travelers and military personnel if it is proven to be safe and effective. – For complete article see http://www.techtimes.com/articles/13164/20140815/new-vaccine-may-ward-off-chikungunya-virus.htm

West Nile Virus (WNV):

santaclaractyhealthCalifornia 08/15/14 Santa Clara County Public Health: Officials have confirmed that five county residents have been infected with WNV. Two of the cases are the more severe neuro-invasive form of the disease. – See http://www.sccgov.org/sites/sccphd/en-u/Newsandevents/Pages/West-Nile-Virus-First-Human-Cases-2014.aspx

IDHW_col_stack_smallIdaho 08/12/14 ID Dept of Health: Officials have confirmed the first human case of WNV in the state so far this year in a Blaine County woman in her 20s. The woman was not hospitalized and is recovering. – See http://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/AboutUs/Newsroom/tabid/130/ctl/ArticleView/mid/3061/articleId/1777/First-West-Nile-Infection-Reported-in-Blaine-County.aspx

LA-DHHLouisiana 08/15/14 LA Dept of Health & Hospitals: Media Release – Officials have confirmed 13 new human cases of WNV, of which five are neuro-invasive disease infections, bringing this year’s total to 42 reported human cases. This week’s new infections include neuro-invasive disease cases in Caddo (3), East Baton Rouge (1) and Livingston (1) parishes. There were also new cases of West Nile fever reported from Caddo (4), Calcasieu (1) and East Baton Rouge (1) parishes, and asymptomatic cases in Ascension (1) and East Baton Rouge (1) parishes. – See http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/newsroom/detail/3090

MS_71058_121809421211160_5406251_nMississippi 08/12/14 MS State Dept of Health: Officials have confirmed the death of a Yazoo County resident from WNV. So far this year, seven human cases of WNV have been reported in Adams, Hinds, Newton, Rankin(2), Yazoo and Wilkinson counties. – See http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/23,15486,341.html

Rabies:

Florida 08/14/14 Duval County: A stray cat that bit a man and his daughter in Jacksonville’s Southside neighborhood when they coaxed it out from under their car has tested positive for rabies. A Rabies Alert has been issued throughout their section of the Southside and Arlington effective until October. – See http://www.news4jax.com/news/man-daughter-bitten-by-rabid-cat-on-5731289-very-cute-child-with-a-cat-in-armssouthside/27488858

Pennsylvania 08/14/14 Northampton County: A stray cat found in by a woman in her yard in Glendon and delivered to the Center for Animal Health and Wealth in Williams Township has tested positive for rabies. Eleven people so far have been advised to receive post-exposure treatment for the virus including eight at the shelter, two at the Easton Animal Hospital, and the Glendon woman. – See http://www.wfmz.com/news/news-regional-lehighvalley/eight-getting-rabies-vaccine-after-contact-with-cat/27483698

austin-congress-bridge-bats_7335_large_slideshowTexas 08/14/14 Williamson County: Health officials are asking the public to help them identify a woman who may have been exposed to rabies in Round Rock when she was bitten by a bat while leaving the Wal-Mart on East Palm Valley Boulevard at about 9:15 pm, Wednesday, August 6th. She is described as white, possibly in her 20s and wearing shorts, flip-flops and a blue shirt. – See http://www.wcchd.org/news/press_releases/docs/2014_Wilco_Rabies_Incident_Release_080820114.pdf

UC-DAVIS scientists find H1N1 INFLUENZA VIRUS in ELEPHANT SEALS ~ WHO warns world not prepared for massive INFLUENZA outbreak ~ WHO says single YELLOW FEVER shot is enough ~ RABIES reports from MO, NH, & VA.

Northern Elephant Seals. Photo by Mike Baird. Wikimedia Commons.

Northern Elephant Seals. Photo by Mike Baird. Wikimedia Commons.

California 05/15/13 ucdavis.edu: News Release – Scientists at the University of California, Davis, detected the H1N1 (2009) virus in free-ranging northern elephant seals off the central California coast a year after the human pandemic began, according to a study published today, May 15, in the journal PLOS ONE. It is the first report of that flu strain in any marine mammal. “We thought we might find influenza viruses, which have been found before in marine mammals, but we did not expect to find pandemic H1N1,” said lead author Tracey Goldstein, an associate professor with the UC Davis One Health Institute and Wildlife Health Center. “This shows influenza viruses can move among species.” UC Davis researchers have been studying flu viruses in wild birds and mammals since 2007 as part of the Centers of Excellence in Influenza Research and Surveillance program funded by National Institutes of Health. The goal of this research is to understand how viruses emerge and move among animals and people.

Dr. Tracey Goldstein of UC-Davis.

Dr. Tracey Goldstein of UC-Davis.

Between 2009 and 2011, the team of scientists tested nasal swabs from more than 900 marine mammals from 10 different species off the Pacific Coast from Alaska to California. They detected H1N1 infection in two northern elephant seals and antibodies to the virus in an additional 28 elephant seals, indicating more widespread exposure. Neither infected seal appeared to be ill, indicating marine mammals may be infected without showing clinical signs of illness. The findings are particularly pertinent to people who handle marine mammals, such as veterinarians and animal rescue and rehabilitation workers, Goldstein said. They are also a reminder of the importance of wearing personal protective gear when working around marine mammals, both to prevent workers’ exposure to diseases, as well as to prevent the transmission of human diseases to animals.

Photo courtesy of National Park Service.

Photo courtesy of National Park Service.

H1N1 originated in pigs. It emerged in humans in 2009, spreading worldwide as a pandemic. The World Health Organization now considers the H1N1 strain from 2009 to be under control, taking on the behavior of a seasonal virus. “H1N1 was circulating in humans in 2009,” said Goldstein. “The seals on land in early 2010 tested negative before they went to sea, but when they returned from sea in spring 2010, they tested positive. So the question is where did it come from?”  When elephant seals are at sea, they spend most of their time foraging in the northeast Pacific Ocean off the continental shelf, which makes direct contact with humans unlikely, the report said. The seals had been satellite tagged and tracked, so the researchers knew exactly where they had been and when they arrived on the coast. The first seal traveled from California on Feb. 11 to southeast Alaska to forage off the continental shelf, returning to Point Piedras Blancas near San Simeon, Calif., on April 24. The second seal left Ano Nuevo State Reserve in San Mateo County, Calif., on Feb. 8, traveling to the northeast Pacific and returning on May 5.  Infections in both seals were detected within days of their return to land. The report said exposure likely occurred in the seals before they reached land, either while at sea or upon entering the near-shore environment. – For complete release see http://news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=10572

Influenza:

070203_bird_fluGlobal 05/21/13 Sixty-sixth World Health Assembly: by Jonathan Fowler (AFP) – The world is unprepared for a massive virus outbreak, the deputy chief of the World Health Organization warned Tuesday, amid fears that H7N9 bird flu striking China could morph into a form that spreads easily among people. Keiji Fukuda told delegates at a WHO meeting that despite efforts since an outbreak of another form of avian influenza, H1N1, in 2009-10, far more contingency planning was essential. “Even though work has been done since that time, the world is not ready for a large, severe outbreak,” Fukuda said. Rapid-reaction systems were crucial, given that health authorities’ efforts are already hampered by lack of knowledge about such diseases, he insisted. “When people get hit with an emerging disease, you can’t just go to a book and know what to do,” he said. According to the latest official data, H7N9 avian influenza has infected 130 people in China, and killed H7N935, since it was found in humans for the first time in March. It is one of a vast array of flu viruses carried by birds, the overwhelming majority of which pose little or no risk to humans. Experts are struggling to understand how it spread to people, amid fears that it could adapt into a form that can be transmitted easily from human to human.- For complete article see http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gA_WiUNz4DDakbWArFcltmTknupw?docId=CNG.945e0940b30f2076656a59b4ea8de2b5.231

Yellow Fever:

Yellow-feverGlobal 05/17/13 who.int: News Release – The yellow fever ‘booster’ vaccination given ten years after the initial vaccination is not necessary, according to WHO. An article published in WHO’s Weekly Epidemiological Record (WER) reveals that the Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunization (SAGE) has reviewed the latest evidence and concluded that a single dose of vaccination is sufficient to confer life-long immunity against yellow fever disease. Since yellow fever vaccination began in the 1930s, only 12 known cases of yellow fever post-vaccination have been identified, after 600 million doses have been dispensed. Evidence showed that among this small number of “vaccine failures”, all cases developed the disease within five years of vaccination. This demonstrates that immunity does not decrease with time. . . .

who-logoYellow fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes that is endemic to 44 countries in tropical areas of Africa and the Americas. Infection with the yellow fever virus causes varying degrees of disease, from mild symptoms to severe illness with bleeding and jaundice and fatal outcomes. There are an estimated 200 000 cases of yellow fever worldwide each year. About 15% of people infected with yellow fever progress to a severe form of the illness, and up to half of those will die, as there is no cure for yellow fever.  – For complete news release see http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2013/yellow_fever_20130517/en/index.html

Author’s Note: The yellow fever virus is an arbovirus of the flavivirus genus, and the mosquito is the primary vector. It carries the virus from one host to another, primarily between monkeys, from monkeys to humans, and from person to person. Several different species of the Aedes and Haemogogus mosquitoes transmit the virus. The mosquitoes either breed around houses (domestic), in the jungle (wild) or in both habitats (semi-domestic). – Source WHO Yellow Fever Fact Sheet  at http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs100/en/index.html

Rabies:

g12c00 - CopyMissouri 05/20/13 Ozark County: Health officials have confirmed that two skunks captured in the county within the last month have tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.ozarkcountytimes.com/news/article_6539ffdc-c18e-11e2-974e-001a4bcf6878.html

450px-Treed_RaccoonsNew Hampshire 05/20/13 Grafton County: Two raccoons that were reported to be acting strangely in Hanover last week have tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.boston.com/news/local/new-hampshire/2013/05/20/raccoons-with-rabies-found-town/3DuImvKRJXhRGOw2iXy4PL/story.html

HelpVirginia 05/20/13 James City County: The Peninsula Health District is looking for a large grey dog, possibly a Rottweiler mix, that bit a child on May 9, 2013, near the intersection of Cardinal Court and The Maine W in James City County. Officials say if this dog is not found, the victim may have to undergo post exposure treatment (shots) for the prevention of rabies. Once found, the animal will not be taken away from its owner – only placed on an in-home confinement period of 10 days, officials say. Anyone who has seen an animal that fits this description in that area is asked to contact the Peninsula Health District – Williamsburg Environmental Health Office at (757) 603-4277. – See http://wtkr.com/2013/05/20/officials-search-for-dog-that-may-have-rabies-in-james-city-co/