Category Archives: Vectors

FLORIDA confirms 9 human cases of LEPROSY so far this year ~ New study suggests CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE may be transmissible to HUMANS ~ WYOMING confirms three cases of TULAREMIA ~ Officials confirm first CALIFORNIA death due to WEST NILE VIRUS in 2015 ~ RABIES report from VIRGINIA

Armadillo. Photo by Vlad Lazarenko. Wikimedia Commons.

Armadillo. Photo by Vlad Lazarenko. Wikimedia Commons.

Florida 07/23/15 cnn.com: by Jareen Imam – There are an unusually high number of leprosy cases cropping up in Florida. Experts said they believe the spike is because of people coming into contact with armadillos. Florida typically sees two to 12 cases of leprosy a year, but so far there have been nine cases in 2015, according to the Florida Department of Health. The latest case was diagnosed in Flagler County three weeks ago. Some armadillos, placental mammals with leathery armor, are naturally infected with leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Armadillos are one of the only known animals to carry leprosy, an age-old disease that causes skin and nerve damage. The CDC says it is possible to contract leprosy through contact with armadillos, but it is usually unlikely. Leprosy is a rare disease, and there are on average 50 to 100 cases in the United States every year, according to Dr. Sunil Joshi, president-elect of the Duval County Medical Society in Florida. Joshi said leprosy, much like tuberculosis, is spread through coughing and sneezing, but 95% of the human population is immune to the disease. For video and complete article see http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/21/health/florida-leprosy-cases-armadillos-irpt/index.html

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE:

Deer with CWD.

Deer with CWD.

Global 07/24/15 superiortelegram.com: by Rich Kremer – A forthcoming study shows that chronic wasting disease may be able to infect humans.  A team of researchers from universities in the United States and France say they’ve found new evidence that it’s possible for humans to contract the agents that cause CWD. They injected mice, whose DNA had been modified to resemble humans, with mutated proteins called prions.  Testing showed two out of 20 mice tested positive for prion infection. But former Wisconsin Natural Resources Board Member Dave Clausen advised the results are not cause for alarm.  “This study does not mean that human infection is a foregone conclusion,” Clausen said. “All it does is demonstrate that it is possible.”  Clausen said more research is needed but the results show that hunters in CWD zones should take the disease seriously. The Department of Natural Resources and Department of Health Services did not respond to requests for comment on this story. – See http://www.superiortelegram.com/news/wisconsin/3803717-chronic-wasting-disease-possibly-transmissible-humans-study-suggests

TULAREMIA (RABBIT FEVER):

imagesCAC3YRG5Wyoming 07/23/15 Crook/Weston County: The WY Department of Health is advising people to steer clear of wild rodent corpses found, especially in the eastern part of the state. Three human cases of Tularemia have been reported so far this year. The disease can be spread by deer flies and ticks that have been on dead rodents. Even breathing the air around an infected animal can transfer the disease. – For video and complete article see http://www.kotatv.com/news/wyoming-news/rabbit-fever-hits-wyo-and-you-do-not-want-to-catch-it/34324894

WEST NILE VIRUS:

887877f77fCalifornia 07/20/15 contracostatimes.com: A Nevada County woman was California’s first confirmed death this year due to West Nile virus, state public health department officials announced Monday. The woman was 65 or older, according to the department; no other details were provided. “This death is a tragic reminder of how severe West Nile virus disease can be,” Dr. Karen Smith, the state’s public health director, said in a statement. “West Nile virus activity is more widespread in 2015 than in years past. Californians need to be vigilant in protecting themselves.” Last year, 31 Californians died from the virus — the most since California began recording West Nile cases in 2003. – For complete article see http://www.contracostatimes.com/breaking-news/ci_28513009/nevada-county-woman-is-first-reported-west-nile

RABIES:

14410-Boy+child+kitten+music+catVirginia 07/23/15 Yorktown: A black feral cat 3-9 months old found in the vicinity f the 100 block of Old Railway Road has tested positive for rabies. Anyone exposed to this animal should contact the Peninsula Heath District Newport News Environmental Health office at 757-594-7340. – See http://wtkr.com/2015/07/23/cat-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-yorktown/

ALABAMA woman attacked by rabid BOB CAT ~ CANADIAN engineer survives GRIZZLY attack ~ TEXAS teen attacked by COYOTE ~ NEW MEXICO and WYOMING officials warn residents of TULAREMIA threat ~ Two ARIZONANS succumb to WEST NILE VIRUS ~ COLORADAN contracts BUBONIC PLAGUE ~ PLAGUE kills colony of PRAIRIE DOGS in UTAH ~ CDC researchers find LYME DISEASE is spreading farther south and west ~ CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE found in captive TEXAS DEER ~ OTHER RABIES REPORTS from NJ & TX.

Bobcat. Photo by Don DeBold. Wikimidia Commons.

Bobcat. Photo by Don DeBold. Wikimidia Commons.

Alabama 07/14/15 greenvilleadvocate.com: A bob cat that attacked a Sardis resident in the front yard of her Sweetwater Road home earlier in the week biting her on the arm and hip has tested positive for rabies. – For a lengthy account of the attack and how the bob cat was finally killed see http://www.greenvilleadvocate.com/2015/07/14/woman-survives-attack-by-rabid-bobcat/

GRIZZLY ATTACK:

Canada:

grizzly5British Columbia 07/17/15 cbc.ca: by Lisa Johnson – An engineer with a Vancouver logging company thought he was going to die yesterday as a mother grizzly bear tore the flesh of his arm and back, and tried to throw him in the air. But George Knoll, 41, survived thanks to quick thinking, his work boots and luck. Knoll, who works with A&A Trading, had been walking through the bush, flagging trees for logging along a creek at Burke Channel near Bella Bella, on B.C.’s Central Coast. At about 8:30 a.m. PT, he looked up and saw a mother grizzly bear and her cub. Because of the sound of the rushing water, he hadn’t heard the bear and her cub approach through the bush — nor had the bear heard him — until they were just six metres apart. “I knew I was in trouble, because of the cub,” said Knoll from his hospital bed in Vancouver Friday. Knoll said he tried to run backward and sideways to get away from the bear, but she charged him from below. “She basically tackled me,” he said. He tried to play dead, curling in a ball with his arms protecting his neck, but her teeth were ripping into the flesh of his arm and back as she tried to toss him “like a rag doll.” “I thought in my head, ‘This is it, I’m going to die, this thing is going to eat me,'” he said. “I thought, ‘Oh man, what a shitty way to go … I’m not going to see my daughter and my wife again.”

mapThe bear’s face was so close to his, Knoll could smell and feel her breath. “I remember distinctly the bad breath on that bear, smelled like rotten fish. Dirty fur.” Playing dead wasn’t working, he realized. “At that point … I thought I better do something, so I kicked her in the face.” Knoll kicked the bear twice in the snout with his caulk boots, the heavy spiked work boots often worn by loggers. She stopped attacking him immediately, retreating to pace and huff. There was blood on her snout, but Knoll didn’t know if it was hers, or his own. Another lunge, another kick, and the mother bear was gone. Help came quickly. Knoll radioed his partner to tell him of the attack, and he used a pressure bandage as a tourniquet on his left arm to stop the bleeding. He remembers being “delirious” walking the 200 metres uphill to a helipad, where the work crew’s helicopter airlifted him to Bella Bella, before he was flown to Vancouver. Sometime on the flight, he was able to call his wife. “I told her I loved her,” he said. Knoll is doing well in Vancouver General Hospital, with puncture wounds but no serious internal injuries, said Sgt. Len Butler of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service. Conservation officers are still investigating, but since the mother bear had a cub with her, they consider the attack to be “defensive” — meaning she wasn’t trying to prey on the engineer, and won’t be killed. –  For video see http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/grizzly-bear-attack-near-bella-bella-b-c-ends-with-kick-to-the-face-1.3157849

COYOTE ATTACK:

thumbnailcoydogTexas 07/15/15 nbcvdfw.com: by Julie Fine – Coyote sightings in North Texas are not all that unusual, but attacks are rare. Zane Weddell, 15, said he was walking out of a movie at the Cinemark Tinsletown Sunday night in Grapevine when he was bitten by a coyote. “I was like shocked there was a coyote,” he said. Zane said he and his girlfriend walked around the back of the theater, and the coyote came around the bushes. “It came at me, came at us, so I grabbed my shoe and I threw it at it, hit it, and it came back, came at me, so I like kicked it with my foot. And it got hold of my foot and shook me around a little bit, and it like let go and took off,” he explained. His mother was waiting for him at the front of the theater, so he ran to her car, where she saw blood on his foot. They then went to the emergency room, where Zane had five shots. – For video and complete article see http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Coyote-Bites-Teen-in-Grapevine-Movie-Theater-Parking-Lot-315116341.html

TULAREMIA (RABBIT FEVER):

New Mexico 07/13/15 kob.com: State officials today confirmed a case of tularemia in a 51-year-old Los Alamos County male resident who was hospitalized but has since recovered. Officials say there have also been 33 cases of the disease this year in pet dogs and cats from Bernalillo, Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Taos and Torrance counties. “Tularemia can cause serious illness in both people and pets.  I encourage people around the state to follow the same precautions they would to avoid contracting plague, which includes not handling sick or dead animals,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary, Retta Ward, MPH. “People can get tularemia if they handle infected animals such as rabbits or rodents or if they are bitten by infected ticks or deer flies.” Tularemia is a potentially serious illness in people that occurs in many parts of the United States. It is caused by a bacteria found in animals, especially rodents, rabbits and hares. Tularemia can also make dogs and cats sick and they can give the disease to people. Other possible, but much less likely, exposures are through contact with infected soil or water or by inhaling the bacteria. – For complete article see http://www.kob.com/article/stories/s3850814.shtml#.VaR0vflVhBc

tularemia33987ir6Wyoming 07/17/15 outbreaknewstoday.com: State officials issued a tularemia warning today after recent human and animal cases reported in northern Wyoming.  “Recently, we are hearing about rabbit die-offs and have seen tularemia cases confirmed in two Weston County residents, in dead voles near Devils Tower in Crook County and in a Washakie County cat,” said Dr. Tracy Murphy, state epidemiologist with WDH. “Tularemia is always a concern but is not common. To see this activity is concerning.” – For complete article see http://outbreaknewstoday.com/tularemia-reported-in-weston-county-wyoming-residents-98356/

WEST NILE VIRUS:

07cd7361057a7994e7e590e1fb0d3868ed6ff5ad-1Arizona 07/17/15 azcentral.com: by Anthony Marroquin – Two Valley residents have died after contracting the West Nile virus, according to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health. The first victim was a man in his early 60’s and the second was a woman in her 70’s, the department said. Both were from the East Valley and had previous underlying health conditions. These were the first two deaths from West Nile virus in the 2015 season, according to the department.  – For complete article see http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2015/07/17/maricopa-county-west-nile-virus-deaths/30306825/

BUBONIC PLAGUE:

Colorado 07/20/15 themountainmail.com: by Paul J. Goetz – Chaffee County Health Department reported Friday that bubonic plague has been confirmed in a Chaffee County resident recently. The unidentified individual was hospitalized and has survived following intravenous antibiotic treatment, Susan Ellis, county health director, wrote in a press release. Identification of the disease was made by the state public health laboratory July 10. Colorado Department of Public Health reports that 17 human plague cases have been confirmed in Colorado since 2005. This would make the 18th case. Investigation revealed that the family dog became ill with symptoms consistent with plague a few days prior to the onset of illness in the dog’s owner. The dog has recovered and test results from the dog are pending. – For complete article see http://www.themountainmail.com/free_content/article_9a5d5224-2e9a-11e5-8845-abc56056813b.htmldog-hunting-01-medium

Utah 07/14/15 ksl.com: by Amy Joi O’Donoghue – Bubonic plague wiped out a colony of Utah prairie dogs in a remote area of the Uintah Basin, and health officials are urging residents to refrain from handling any of the dead rodents they may find. The plague outbreak, which is not uncommon in prairie dogs, was discovered last week in an area called Coyote Basin, southeast of Vernal, said Dax Mangus, wildlife program manager in the northeastern region for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. The outbreak killed a colony of between 60 and 80 prairie dogs. Mangus said the outbreak occurred in an area under monitoring because it is a site for the reintroduction of the black footed ferret, which prey on the dogs. The black footed ferret, North America’s only native wild ferret species, has been listed as endangered since 1967 and 90 percent of its diet is prairie dogs. – For video and complete article see http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=35498521

LYME DISEASE:

green-tick-logoNational 07/15/15 nbcnews.com: by Maggie Fox – Lyme disease is gradually spreading from the Northeast and becoming more common farther south and west, government researchers reported Wednesday. A county-by-county look at the infections shows it’s found in four times as many counties now as it was in 1993, a team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. It’s not clear why – experts say climate change, forest regrowth and the spread of deer might all be factors. What is clear is that many more people than before need to watch out for the ticks that carry the infection, CDC says. “Over time, the number of counties identified as having high incidence of Lyme disease in the northeastern states increased more than 320 percent: from 43 (1993-1997) to 90 (1998-2002) to 130 (2003-2007) to 182 (2008-2012),” Kiersten Kugeler of the CDC’s center in Fort Collins, Colorado, and colleagues write in their report. The northern coast of New Jersey is no longer a hotbed of new Lyme infections, but now east-central Pennsylvania is, they said. Lyme disease is caused by bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, carried by blacklegged ticks. It was first recognized in the Lyme, Connecticut, area in 1975 and it’s spread from there to the northeast and to the mid-Atlantic and upper Northwest regions and elsewhere. The CDC found high-risk counties in 17 states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota. – For complete article see http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/lyme-disease-spreads-government-report-finds-n392626

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE:join

Texas 07/01/15 TX Parks & Wildlife: Media Release – A two-year-old white-tailed deer in a Medina County deer breeding facility has been confirmed positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). This is the first case of CWD detected in captive white-tailed deer in Texas. CWD was first detected in Texas in 2012 in free-ranging mule deer in the Hueco Mountains in far West Texas. The Medina County tissue samples submitted by the breeder facility in early June as part of routine deer mortality surveillance revealed the presence of CWD during testing at the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) in College Station. The National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the findings on Tuesday, June 30. – For complete release see http://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/?req=20150701a

OTHER RABIES REPORTS:

New Jersey 07/15/15 Middlesex County: A feral cat found in the vicinity of Deans Lane and Route 1 in South Brunswick has tested positive for rabies. – For complete article see http://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/local/middlesex-county/2015/07/15/cat-tests-positive-rabies-south-brunswick/30206899/

78483649Texas 07/15/15 Wichita County: A litter of nine puppies advertised on Craigslist in Henrietta were all potentially exposed to the rabies virus. An individual from Wichita Falls who adopted one of the puppies was bitten and the puppy later tested positive for rabies. Of the 9 puppies exposed to rabies, 8 have been accounted for. The Health Department is still looking for the ninth puppy. Three of the located puppies are in Wichita Falls. Please contact the Health District immediately at 940-761-7833 or 7824 if you took one of these puppies home or was exposed to the litter in Henrietta. Also, if you know of someone that handled the puppies or took one home, please have them contact the Health District immediately. – For photo and complete article see http://www.texomashomepage.com/story/d/story/wichita-falls-puppy-tests-positive-for-rabies/31938/pLqt6PB8UkSLISqk0NMb5w

CALIFORNIA children attacked by COYOTES in four separate incidents ~ MASSACHUSETTS woman is one of the first to be diagnosed with MIYAMOTOI ~ TEXAS confirms first human HANTAVIRUS case of 2015 ~ What you need to know about three types of the PLAGUE

Coyote. Photo by Christopher Bruno. Wikimedia Commons.

Coyote. Photo by Christopher Bruno. Wikimedia Commons.

California 07/10/15 abcnews.go.com: by Kaylee Heck – California residents are being warned to be more vigilant about coyotes after four attacks on children in the past month in the Irvine area. The most recent incident — this past Sunday — involved a 2-year-old child. “It was a child, about approximately 2 years old, was in the garage. They opened the garage up and the coyote came in and actually got the child on the neck area and part of the cheek,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife Lt. Kent Smirl told ABC’s Los Angeles station KABC.

thumbnailCAQSN1GHThe California Department of Fish and Wildlife reported four incidents involving coyotes and young children in the past month in Irvine, where the children have either been bitten or scratched by a coyote. All four had minor injuries from the attacks. “These incidents highlight the importance of communities working together to eliminate sources of food that may attract wildlife to neighborhoods,” Capt. Rebecca Hartman said. “When coyotes are fed, either intentionally or unintentionally by food being left out, they can become a public safety threat.” Trappers have recently humanely euthanized five coyotes in the area and one was linked back to an attack through its DNA, KABC reported. Officials are concerned that coyotes are losing their natural fear of humans because they’re now associating humans with food. If a coyote approaches and looks aggressive, pick up small children and pets and throw rocks to deter the animal, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said. The only reported coyote-caused fatality in the state, according to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, occurred in 1981 when a 3-year-old girl was killed. – For video and links to related reports see http://abcnews.go.com/US/california-town-high-alert-coyotes-attack-children/story?id=32355667

MIYAMOTOI:

Deer Tick

Deer Tick

Massachusetts 07/11/15 southcoasttoday.com: by Sandy Quadros Bpwles – Elizabeth Moniz immediately knew something was wrong. The 43-year-old North Dartmouth resident ate dinner as usual one evening in August 2013. But when she sat down after the meal, she felt “flu-ish’’ and spiked a fever. “I didn’t think it was something I ate,’’ she said. “I knew something was wrong to spike a fever that quickly. I went from cool as a cucumber to a temperature of 102.’’ A bite seemed a logical deduction, she said, especially because she spends much of her time outdoors as education/outreach director for Lloyd Center for the Environment in Dartmouth. She ruled out bees, hornets and wasps, because of her medical history: She would have suffered an immediate and extreme allergic reaction. And she didn’t think it was a tick, because she faithfully checks for ticks and pulls them off before they have time to do damage. Ticks have to remain attached for at least 24 hours before they transmit disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Still, when she visited a walk-in clinic, her blood work was tested for suspected tick-borne diseases. Doctors assumed she had anaplasmosis, a tick-borne disease. But the results revealed that “something was off,’’ the doctor told her.

Dog Tick

Dog Tick

The doctor referred her to Dr. Hanumara Ram Chowdri, an infectious disease specialist with a practice in New Bedford. Chowdri performed a blood test and, after looking for certain antibodies in her system, diagnosed her with an infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia miyamotoi, called miyamotoi. The disease is spread by deer ticks, which were the culprit, despite her aggressive efforts to search for and shower them off. Deer ticks can also spread Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and babesiosis. Dog ticks may spread tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. This was no ordinary diagnosis presented to Moniz. At the time, she was one of only five people in Massachusetts and 17 across the country to be diagnosed with the infection, which was originally identified in Russia, she was told.

ticks.posted.imagesA recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine described miyamotoi as something that “may be an emerging tickborne infection in the northeastern United States.’’ Patients diagnosed with the disease had a range of symptoms, including headache, fever and chills. The symptoms can become severe, with more than 50 percent of patients in the study diagnosed with sepsis, a potentially deadly inflammation caused by an infection. The study suggests that “10 percent of tick-exposed New England residents may have been exposed to miyamotoi’’ but not realized it because the condition may have symptoms similar to other tick-borne conditions. For every 4,000 Lyme disease cases, at least 200 cases were likely miyomoti, said Dr. Sam R. Telford III, a professor in the Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Grafton, who co-authored the study that identified miyomoti. Chowdri has since treated six to eight cases, with varying severity of symptoms, which range from a severe headache to others who are “quite sick-looking.’’ In the Northeast, 25 percent of the 51 patients diagnosed with the infection required hospitalization, he said. – For complete article see http://www.southcoasttoday.com/article/20150711/NEWS/150719854/101077

HANTAVIRUS:

imagesCAULAVUQTexas 0710/15 amarillo.com: by Vanessa Garcia – Texas health officials confirmed Monday that, for the first time this year, a Texas Panhandle resident has contracted hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a virus that some rats and mice carry. “It’s rare, but half of the reported cases for hantavirus (in Texas) … since 1993 were residents from the Texas Panhandle and South Plains area,” said Christine Mann, spokeswoman for Texas Department of State Health Services. Hantavirus is carried by certain species of rats and mice that shed the virus in their urine, droppings and saliva. HPS can cause death if not treated. The resident who had contracted the disease was not from Potter or Randall counties, said Hope LaFreniere, city of Amarillo community relations assistant. The person with the HPS case recovered, health officials said. – For complete article see http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/2015-07-10/texas-panhandle-residents-contracts-hantavirus

PLAGUE:

Santa_Fe_attacks_plagu48f91501Global cdc.gov: There are three types of plague caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis: Bubonic, which is the most common; Pneumonic; and Septicemic. The bacterium is usually transmitted  through the bite of infected rodent fleas. Less common exposures include handling infected animal tissues (hunters, wildlife personnel), inhalation of infectious droplets from cats or dogs with plague, and, rarely, contact with a pneumonic plague patient. Those who reside in or travel to Africa, central Asia and the Indian subcontinent, northeastern South America and parts of the southwestern United States should especially be familiar with how they are transmitted and their symptoms. – See http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2016/infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/plague-bubonic-pneumonic-septicemic

Twenty treated for MURINE TYPHUS in TEXAS ~ COLORADO now confirms 15 human cases of TULAREMIA this year ~ Captive DEER in TEXAS found with CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ RABIES reports from CAx2 & SC.

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Texas 07/01/15 khou.com: by Lauren Talarico – A disease rarely seen since the 1940s has turned up again in the Galveston area. Murine typhus is spread by fleas on rats and opossums to people. At least 20 people have been treated for the disease at (University of Texas Medical Branch) UTMB. Infectious disease expert Dr. Lucas Blanton first noticed its comeback in 2012 when a patient displayed a fever and rash. “It looked and smelled like it could be murine typhus. Then months later, we diagnosed another one,” Dr. Blanton said. “So when you have one case, it is interesting. When you have two cases, well that gets even more interesting,” Dr. Blanton has worked with Galveston’s animal control officers to take blood and flea samples from opossums. Two out of three tested positive for murine typhus. The disease had been close to eradication since the 1950s thanks to a pesticide called DDT. It’s widely used to kill fleas on rats. “I don’t think there’s any cause for mass hysteria,” said Dr. Blanton. “We love our pets. We should keep our pets, but perhaps flea control.” Murine typhus mimics the flu. Although it’s rarely deadly, without antibiotics the disease takes its time to clear up and leaves patients miserable. – See http://www.khou.com/story/news/health/2015/07/01/rare-disease-linked-to-fleas-returns-to-galveston/29589859/

TULAREMIA (RABBIT FEVER):

80ab05b3670e2bdcb7165060f8167dfd (2)Colorado 07/07/15 ifreepress.com: So far this year, 15 people have been infected with tularemia, or rabbit fever in Colorado. The microorganism is often carried by wild animals, especially hares, rabbits and rodents. Fed by unusually lush vegetation, rabbits have been breeding like rabbits about Colorado, escalating the risk for what is typically a uncommon bacterial illness in the state. It is then transmitted to humans through insect bites from ticks and deerflies. Doctors in Colorado are being told to keep tularemia in mind with patients who have fever, chills, and headaches. As per a data, rabbit fever can be found across the nation and on yearly basis, around 135 cases are reported and majority of them are reported in the south central United States. – For complete article see http://www.ifreepress.com/health/5024-15-cases-of-rabbit-fever-in-colorado-west-texas-news

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE (CWD):

HEADERTexas 07/02/15 dailyjournal.net: A Texas official says no white-tailed deer can be bought or sold at the facility where an animal with chronic wasting disease was found. Texas Animal Health Commission spokeswoman Kyle McNulty said Thursday that the case involving a 2-year-old white-tailed deer at a Medina County breeding facility was confirmed by a federal lab in Iowa. CWD was first detected in Texas in 2012 in free-ranging mule deer in far West Texas. The disease is caused by proteins believed to be spread through deer urine, saliva and feces. CWD has been found in deer in 23 states and two Canadian provinces since first being recognized in Colorado in 1967. There is no evidence humans are at risk. Medina County is just west of San Antonio. – See http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/7388a63d74bb4fdbb19635cabfa1cbe8/TX–Chronic-Wasting-Disease

RABIES:

California 07/02/15 Mendocino County: A cat in the Fort Bragg area has tested positive for rabies, and is the first animal to do so within Mendocino County since 2012, according to the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency . . . In California, most cases of rabies occur in skunks and bats, but also in a variety of wild animals including foxes, according to the HHSA. – See http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/general-news/20150702/cat-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-fort-bragg

Looking-for-Kittens-001California 07/08/15 Monterey County: A domestic cat owned by a resident of the City of Monterey has tested positive for rabies. Officials are investigating to determine if all those who were exposed to the virus are being treated. – See http://www.kionrightnow.com/news/local-news/monterey-county-warning-over-rabies-case/34024662

South Carolina 06/29/15 Richland County: The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control has referred 11 people to their private health care providers for post-exposure treatment after being potentially exposed to a rabid cat in Richland County near Chapin. After roaming outdoors, the family cat returned home on May 29,  with visible wounds caused by an unknown animal, DHEC officials said.  The incident was reported to DHEC once the cat began showing symptoms of rabies around June 25. During that period, the cat exposed family members and the veterinary clinic staff who treated the animal. The cat was not current on its rabies vaccine. It was confirmed rabid on June 26. – For complete article see http://www.wistv.com/story/29434501/family-cat-exposes-11-people-to-rabies-in-richland-county

New LYME DISEASE research center opens in MARYLAND ~ Another COLORADAN succumbs to HANTAVIRUS ~ COLORADO officials confirm 11 cases of TULAREMIA this year ~ BEAR attacks camper at COLORADO campground ~ RABIES report from MARYLAND.

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Global 06/24/15 natureworldnews.com: A new research center focusing on the tick-borne Lyme Disease has opened in Baltimore. The Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center is the first such facility to be housed at a major US medical research center. Center founder and director John Aucott, a Johns Hopkins internist, said, ” “If you live anywhere from Maine to Virginia, it’s almost impossible for Lyme disease not to affect someone you know, someone in your family or yourself.”  The center’s first study will attempt to learn why some patients develop post-treatment Lyme Disease syndrome lasting months or years, while others do not. – For complete article see http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/15336/20150624/lyme-disease-research-now-home-johns-hopkins.htm

HANTAVIRUS:

Deer mouse.

Deer mouse.

Colorado 06/25/15 washingtontimes.com: A south Weld County man who was working in an enclosed space in the presence of rodent droppings while repairing his home has died of Hantavirus Pulmonary syndrome. People can be infected by inhaling the virus after disturbing dust, feces or urine from mice nests or other contaminated areas. – See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jun/25/weld-county-man-dies-after-contracting-hantavirus/

TULAREMIA:

zoonosis_TularemiaColorado 06/24/15 CO Dept of Public Health – Media Release – Officials have confirmed 11 human cases of Tularemia in the state so far this year. In all of 2014, there were 16 cases reported, and the worst year was 1983 with 20 cases. People can get tularemia if they handle infected animals, such as rabbits, rodents or hares, or are bitten by ticks or deer flies. They also can be exposed by touching contaminated soil, drinking contaminated water or inhaling bacteria. – For complete release see https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/14e26e2cfe86b38b

BEAR:

bear1jf99Colorado 06/26/15 denver.cbslocal.com: A camper sleeping in his tent at the Dearhamer Campground near Ruedi Reservoir east of Basalt was bitten by a bear on June 17th. Rangers said the camper had food inside his tent and in a cooler outside the tent. Officials have restricted the campground to “hard-sided campers” only. The Forest Service has food storage containers  at the campground and bear-proof trash dumpsters just 30 to 40 yards away from the site and all campers are encouraged to use them. – See http://denver.cbslocal.com/2015/06/26/bear-attacks-camper-at-ruedi-reservoir/

RABIES:

5731289-very-cute-child-with-a-cat-in-armsMaryland 06/26/15 Charles County: A stray cat found in the vicinity of Marshall Corner Road, near McDonough High School and Rose Hill Road, in Pomfret has tested positive for rabies. The cat was a black-and-white male of less than 20 pounds. – See http://www.thebaynet.com/articles/0615/local-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies.html

GRIZZLY attacks CANADIAN hiker in surprise encounter ~ BEAR attacks CALIFORNIA woman in her yard ~ COLORADO teenager dies of PLAGUE ~ Three COLORADO men contract TULAREMIA while working in their yards ~ RABIES reports from GA, MD, PA & VA.

Grizzly by Jean-Pierre Lavoie. Wikimedia-Commons.

Grizzly by Jean-Pierre Lavoie. Wikimedia-Commons.

CANADA:

British Columbia 06/18/15 cbc.ca: by Tamsyn Burgmann – A woman who surprised a grizzly while hiking up remote mountains in British Columbia’s Interior had no time to protect herself or prevent the bear attack, a conservation officer said. The bear lunged at the woman and bit her, breaking her arm in a “chance encounter” on Friday, said Len Butler of B.C.’s Conservation Officer Service. The bear was just trying to protect itself as it happened upon the woman and her boyfriend, he added. “They hiked along a trail, they were in some of the open meadows and there was a small little pass to go up through,” said Butler. “It was so quick. They did nothing wrong.”

cariboo_mapThe incident occurred about mid-afternoon while the pair from Williams Lake, B.C., was ascending in the Big Slide Mountain Area near the community of Horsefly, in the province’s Cariboo region. It was a blustery day, meaning winds were diffusing the hikers’ scents and obstructing the crunch of their boots along the foliage, said Butler. The couple emerged upon a knoll about the same time the animal arrived from the opposite direction uphill. The bear and hikers were only about seven to nine metres apart when they spotted each other. “They kind of stared at each other for a second, then the bear bluff-charged and stopped,” Butler said. “Then the bear lunged at the female, grabbed her arm, threw her to the side and the bear then just immediately ran off into the trees.” Butler described the bear’s reaction as standard and said it took the path of least resistance to escape. He said the woman, in her mid-20s, had bear spray holstered to her hip but simply couldn’t respond fast enough. – For complete article see http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/grizzly-bear-attack-terrifies-couple-hiking-near-horsefly-b-c-1.3117983


800px-Yellowstone-171California
06/23/15 contracostatimes.com: by Steve Schoonover – A woman and her dog were injured when they were attacked by a bear Monday night outside a home near Chico, in Butte County. At about 11:30 p.m. Monday a woman who lives in Magalia heard a noise in her yard and her dog began barking. She let the dog out, heard sounds of a fight and stepped out herself. According to California Department of Fish and Wildlife Capt. Patrick Foy, she said a bear immediately came out from beneath a blue tarp, clawed her on the shoulder and bit her before running off. The woman was taken to the hospital and treated for non-life-threatening wounds and given rabies treatment. The dog, a 9-year-old golden retriever, was taken to a veterinarian, and is in tough shape, according to Foy. “Sounds like he fought hardily,” Foy said of the dog. Fish and Wildlife are deploying a trap to the area to try and capture the offending bear. Foy said it should be in place by the end of the day. – For complete article see http://www.contracostatimes.com/breaking-news/ci_28366614/woman-and-dog-injured-bear-attack-near-chico

SEPTICEMIC PLAGUE:   

plague445654534Colorado 06/20/15 coloradoan.com: by Jason Pohl – A 16-year-old Poudre High School student who suddenly became ill this month died from a rare strain of plague. He is believed to have been the first Larimer County resident to have contracted the deadly disease since 1999, health officials say. An investigation is ongoing, but it is believed that Taylor Gaes contracted the septicemic plague from fleas on a dead rodent or other animal on the family’s land in the Cherokee Park area near Livermore, northwest of Fort Collins, Larimer County health officials confirmed to the Coloradoan Saturday. Septicemic plague occurs when bacteria enters the bloodstream directly — it is highly fatal and very rare in humans. Officials now are warning people who visited the family’s home after Gaes’ June 8 death — the day after his 16th birthday — to be extra vigilant. “There is a small chance that others might have been bitten by infected fleas, so anyone who was on the family’s land in the last seven days should seek medical attention immediately if a fever occurs. The last exposure to others was likely on June 14,” Larimer health officials said in a statement late Friday. – For completer article see http://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2015/06/20/officials-say-rare-form-plague-killed-poudre-student/29031569/

TULAREMIA (RABBIT FEVER):

Colorado 06/18/15 denverpost.com: by Jesse Paul – Two Weld County men were diagnosed with tularemia — also known as rabbit fever — this week and health officials believe both were most likely exposed while mowing or working in their yards. County health officials say one of the men is hospitalized while the other is recovering at home, according to a news release issued Thursday. The two have been identified as a 79-year old from Milliken and an 80-year old from Greeley. “We are seeing an unusually high number of human tularemia cases along the Front Range this year,” Dr. Mark E. Wallace, executive director of the Weld County Health Department, said in a statement. “The public really needs to be cautious and not get exposed to this disease.” A Boulder County resident who contracted tularemia last month after doing yard work later died. That person’s case was the first in Boulder County this year. In 2014, Colorado saw at least 11 cases of tularemia in humans, more than three times the previous average in the state, according to county health data. – See http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_28337050/2-weld-county-men-tularemia33987ir6diagnosed-tularemia-this-week

Colorado 06/23/15 kvnf.org. by Laura Palmisano – A Delta County man is recovering after contracting tularemia. Although it’s the first reported case of the disease on the Western Slope this year, health officials are concerned . . . So far this year, 11 people have contracted the disease (statewide). Health officials said one of the most recent cases involves a Delta County man who likely got exposed to it while excavating dirt on his property. – For complete article see http://kvnf.org/post/delta-county-sees-first-human-case-tularemia-health-officials-concerned

RABIES:

Georgia 06/16/15 Thomas County: A stray cat that bit two adults within a block of each other in a Raleigh Avenue neighborhood in Thomasville has tested positive for rabies. An elderly woman and a middle-aged man are being treated for exposure to the virus. – See http://www.timesenterprise.com/news/local_news/rabid-cat-confirmed-in-the-city/article_366a7f2c-1481-11e5-8309-8bda5d1ece15.html

Maryland 06/23/15 City of Baltimore: A stray cat trapped in Fort Armistead Park in Brooklyn on June 10 has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wbaltv.com/news/stray-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-feralcat.3399rir778baltimore/33735152

Pennsylvania 06/18/15 Lehigh Valley: A stray cat that bit a woman who had been feeding it and others in the Luna Street area of Bethlehem has tested positive for rabies. “I strongly recommend that citizens never feed wildlife, stray or feral cats, or stray dogs, or attempt to handle any animal that is not their own,” Bethlehem Health Director Kristen Wenrich said in a statement. – See http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2015/06/stray_cat_that_bit_bethlehem_r.html

Virginia 06/19/15 Spotsylvania County: A stray cat that bit a person after it was picked up near a gas station in the 11000 block of Leavells Road has tested positive for rabies. The cat is described as a male, orange tabby cat about 1½ years old. – See http://patch.com/virginia/fredericksburg/health-warning-rabies-case-confirmed-county-0?

CDC issues emergency advisory warning doctors of H5N2 BIRD FLU now in 20+ states ~ NEW MEXICO hunter attacked by BLACK BEAR ~ COLORADO camper attacked by BEAR ~ OKLAHOMA reports two human cases of WEST NILE VIRUS ~ RABIES reports from CO, CT, FL, GA & RI.

h5n2.fjuj 4487

National 06/03/15 emergency.cdc.gov: Health Advisory

Summary

aaCDC-LogoHighly-pathogenic avian influenza A H5 viruses have been identified in birds in the United States since December 2014. The purpose of this HAN Advisory is to notify public health workers and clinicians of the potential for human infection with these viruses and to describe CDC recommendations for patient investigation and testing, infection control including the use personal protective equipment, and antiviral treatment and prophylaxis.

Background

USDA-LogoBetween December 15, 2014, and May 29, 2015, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed more than 200 findings of birds infected with highly-pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A (H5N2), (H5N8), and (H5N1)viruses. The majority of these infections have occurred in poultry, including backyard and commercial flocks. USDA surveillance indicates that more than 40 million birds have been affected (either infected or exposed) in 20 states. These are the first reported infections with these viruses in US wild or domestic birds. – For complete advisory see http://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00378.asp

BEAR ATTACKS:

bear.in.tent.334Colorado 06/03/15 durangoherald.com: by John Peel & Shaun Stanley – A bear that bit two people camping near the Durango Tech Center, sending one man to the hospital early Monday morning, was shot and killed hours later by Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers. Joshua E. Barber, 21, was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center after the incident. He was in good condition Monday afternoon, hospital spokesman David Bruzzese said. Several others who were camped illegally in the area northwest of the Tech Center, just a couple of miles west of downtown Durango, said they helped fight off the bear, which had tackled Barber and was biting him in the back of the neck and head when they arrived to help. The latest bear attack, which occurred Sunday night, was in the same area where a bear bit two people May 26. Wildlife officers tracked down the bear after a second man was bitten Monday morning. The bear was shot and killed.

black_bear_picnic_table_285NPSJoe Lewandowski, a spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said the condition of the camp played a big role in attracting the ursine. “I was just up there. It was disgusting. There were piles of garbage and cans of food,” he said. The bear may have gotten too comfortable and became more brazen after finding easy meals around the camp, Lewandowski said. – For complete article and video see http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20150601/NEWS01/150609987/-1/news&source=RSS

Black Bear photo by Lynn Chamberlain, Utah Division of Wildlife ResourcesNew Mexico 06/02/15 krqe.com:  Authorities are searching for an adult black bear involved in the attack of a 55-year-old hunter in New Mexico’s Lincoln National Forest. State Department of Game and Fish officials say the man suffered deep flesh wounds from scratches on his chest and a bite to his leg Monday. He was treated and released from Lincoln County Medical Center in Ruidoso. Conservation officers are searching for the bear so it can be tested for rabies. The attack occurred in the forest near Baca Campground. The man had been hunting for antler sheds in thick brush when he apparently surprised the bear, which attacked the hunter before fleeing into the woods. The injured man notified his hunting companion by two-way radio. The two hiked to their vehicle and drove to the hospital. – See http://krqe.com/2015/06/02/new-mexico-hunter-sent-to-hospital-after-bear-attack/

WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV):

fig2_lgOklahoma 06/04/15 OK State Dept of Health: Media Release – The first cases of West Nile virus (WNV) in Oklahoma have been confirmed in Okfuskee and McIntosh counties. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) encourages residents to take precautions to reduce the risk of contracting WNV, a mosquito-borne illness. WNV is spread through the bite of the Culex mosquito, which feeds on infected birds and transmits the virus when biting humans, horses, and some other mammals. This type of mosquito increases in numbers during mid to late summer when the temperatures climb and the weather pattern is drier. Floodwater mosquito populations created  by recent rain in Oklahoma do not increase the risk of WNV.  The type of mosquitoes that hatch after severe flooding are primarily the species of mosquitoes classified as “nuisance mosquitoes”. They bite aggressively and cause lots of itchy bites, but they are not typically involved with transmission of diseases. Floodwater mosquito populations tend to die out three weeks after the rains stop and the sun dries out affected low lying areas.  – For complete release see http://www.ok.gov/triton/modules/newsroom/newsroom_article.php?id=150&article_id=15922

RABIES:

feral.cat.j4463Colorado 06/02/15 Elbert County: by Blair Shiff – A stray cat in Elbert county was infected with rabies, according to the Tri-County Health Department. The cat was located in the vicinity of Cimarron and Stage Run neighborhoods, near Elizabeth. The normally tame long-haired gray-and-white cat named “Bob” was often fed by local residents but was recently acting aggressively and had to be euthanized. There was at least one known human exposure to the cat, and that person is receiving a rabies vaccine. Local residents have been notified, but anyone who may have come in contact with the cat between May 15 and 25 is urged to call the Tri-County Health Department at 303-220- 9200. – See http://www.9news.com/story/news/local/2015/06/02/cat-rabies-elbert-county/28342287/

feral.cats.4435Connecticut 06/05/15 nhregister.com: Animal control officers found a  medium-haired black kitten in Shelton May 12 shortly after 5 p.m. near Howe Avenue and Wooster Street. The kitten died Monday and a positive test for rabies came back Thursday, Detective Chris Nugent said in a press release. Nugent said two other stray kittens were reported near Howe Avenue and Maple Street. He said people who have handled or were exposed to a stray cat or kitten in that area should contact their health care provider. – See http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20150605/kitten-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-shelton


feral.cat.79983Florida
06/03/15 St. Lucie County: by Laurie K. Blandford –  “A rabies alert has been issued for the central part of St. Lucie County after a feral cat tested positive Tuesday for the disease. ” “The center of the alert is at Boston Avenue and South 30th Street, with the following boundaries: south of Orange Avenue, north of Delaware Avenue, east of South 33rd Street and west of South 25th Street. The area on alert includes Dreamland Park and is near Elks Park and John Carroll Catholic High and St. Anastasia Catholic schools. Fort Pierce animal control officers picked up the cat Saturday after it bit a pet dog in the 200 block of South 30th Street in Fort Pierce, said city Animal Control Officer Peggy Arraiz.” – See http://www.tcpalm.com/news/local-news/st-lucie-county/rabies-alert-issued-for-central-st-lucie-county_49929599

feral.cat.988Georgia 06/05/15 madisonjournaltoday.com: A woman was recently bitten on the leg by a rabid feral cat in Madison County. “We have had a positive rabies case in the 900 block of Hwy 106 North involving a human and a feral cat,” reported county animal control officials. “The cat was underneath her car and came out and bit her on the leg.” The cat also fought with three other stray cats at the location, a black with some white on the chest, and two greys with white paws. These cats were exposed to the rabies virus. There were also some kittens, unknown colors, in the area as well. “The cats exposed to rabies on Hwy 106 have been captured,” officials later reported. “It is still important to stress the rabies shots and not approaching any animal that you are not familiar with.” – See http://www.madisonjournaltoday.com/archives/7695-Woman-bitten-by-rabid-feral-cat.html

feral.cat.1348781293_3312_035Rhode Island 06/05/15 valleybreeze.com: The Department of Environmental Management and the Department of Health are advising people who live in the Rathbun Street area of Woonsocket that a feral cat in the area tested positive for rabies. The cat was a thin, male, brown tabby, and lived in a feral colony. The cat was caught approximately three-quarters of a mile from the intersection of Rathbun Street and Social Street, between 268 and 290 Rathbun Street. It was caught by a volunteer so the cat could be neutered and get medical care. While the cat was at the veterinarian, it exhibited symptoms consistent with rabies. The cat was euthanized and has since tested positive for rabies. Anyone who may have had any physical contact with this cat or any feral cats in the Rathbun Street area of Woonsocket should call HEALTH immediately at 401-222-2577, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; or 401-272-5952 after hours. Anyone who has a pet that may have had contact with this cat or any feral cat in this area should contact Woonsocket Animal Control at 401-766-6571 during normal business hours or the Woonsocket Police Department at 401-766-1212 after hours. – See http://www.valleybreeze.com/2015-06-05/woonsocket-north-smithfield/feral-cat-woonsocket-tests-positive-rabies#.VXPGmM9VhBc