Category Archives: Vectors

CDC reports 11 human cases of PLAGUE since April 2015 ~ WYOMING man dies of TULAREMIA ~ ARIZONA and COLORADO confirm human cases of TULAREMIA ~ CALIFORNIA, OHIO, OKLAHOMA and TEXAS confirm WEST NILE VIRUS fatalities ~ RABIES reports from CT, MS & VA.

plague-warning

National wpbf.com 08/26/15: by Debra Goldschmidt – Since April 1, there have been 11 cases of human plague in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. Three of those patients have died. This is according to a new report from the CDC putting doctors on alert that the number of cases this year seems to be higher than usual. The average number of cases between 2001 and 2012 was seven, with less than one death each year. “We don’t want people to panic but we do want people to be aware of the heightened risk,” said Dr. Natalie Kwit, a veterinarian with the division of vector borne diseases at the CDC. The cases, which are required to be reported to the CDC, have been reported in six states. There have been two cases in Arizona, one in California, four in Colorado, one in Georgia, two in New Mexico and one in Oregon. The cases in California and Georgia have been linked to areas in or near Yosemite National Park in the southern Sierra Nevada, the report says. The youngest of the patients is 14 and the oldest is 79. Nine of the patients were male. – See http://www.wpbf.com/health/cdc-reports-11-cases-of-human-plague-since-april/34912136

TULAREMIA:


tularemia.88855654334Wyoming
08/21/15 trib.com: Officials believe Michael Schwope, 74, may be the first person in the state to die of tularemia this year. Schwope, of Cowley in Big Horn County,  died on August 16th after a 39-day struggle with the bacterial disease that is spread to humans by rodents, especially rabbits, as well as ticks and deer flies. His wife said he was an avid hunter, and had been bailing hay on their farm. – For complete article see http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming-man-dies-after-battle-with-rabbit-fever/article_d81c669b-11cc-5a1b-b1e8-c9e319ac33dc.html

Arizona 08/18/15 idahostatesman.com: Two human cases of tularemia have been confirmed in Coconino County. Officials say both were likely exposed from insect bites. The disease can be transmitted to humans through deer fly and tick bites. – See http://www.idahostatesman.com/2015/08/18/3944075/2-cases-of-tularemia-reported.html

Colorado 08/21/15 denverpost.com: Another human case of tularemia has been confirmed in Mesa County. Officials say the latest case may have been contracted from a deer fly or tick bite while the woman was rafting in the Ruby-Horsethief section of the Colorado River. – See http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_28679143/another-human-case-tularemia-confirmed

WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV):

080722_west_nile_generic (2)California 08/17/15 ktla.com: by Kennedy Ryan – San Bernardino County Health officials on Monday confirmed the county’s first death from West Nile virus in 2015. A total of five West Nile cases were confirmed within the county so far this year. – See http://ktla.com/2015/08/17/health-officials-report-san-bernardino-countys-1st-death-from-west-nile-virus-for-2015/

Ohio 08/18/15 cbslocal.com: The first death caused by WNV in the state in 2015 was on Tuesday in Williams County, according to the Williams County Health Department. No name was released, though the deceased was over 60 years old. – See http://bryantimes.com/news/local/confirmed-west-nile-virus-death-in-williams-county/article_3417e426-bc63-520a-a6f2-b00d06c0833d.html

Oklahoma 08/29/15 koco.com: Health officials have confirmed two WNV-related fatalities in the state so far this year. The latest death occurred in Stephens County following the death of a Carter County resident earlier this month. A total of 21 cases of WNV have been reported in the state this year. – See http://www.koco.com/news/Oklahoma-records-2nd-West-Nile-Virus-death-of-the-year/34993862

Texas 08/29/15 click2houston.com: Dallas County Health and Human Services on Friday announced an elderly person died in Irving. Officials didn’t provide gender of the octogenarian or the date of death. Dallas city officials on Tuesday announced the West Nile-related death of a person who lived near White Rock Lock. The El Paso Department of Health on Thursday announced the death of an 89-year-old man from West Nile virus-related complications. Tarrant County reported a West Nile-related death on Aug. 8. Kleberg County reported a death earlier this month related to West Nile virus. – See http://www.click2houston.com/news/fifth-person-intexas-dies-of-west-nile-virus/34995782

RABIES:

IMG4336e-L-001Connecticut 08/26/15 New Haven County: A stray cat found in a wooded area east of the Whitney Avenue and Armory Street intersection in Hamden has tested positive for rabies. – See http://wtnh.com/2015/08/26/warning-goes-out-after-stray-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies/

Mississippi 08/19/15 Rankin County: A feral kitten found in Starkville near the MSU campus has tested positive for rabies. – See http://wjtv.com/2015/08/19/rabies-found-in-starkville-kitten/

Virginia 08/27/15 Newport News: A feral cat found in the 900 block of Jefferson Avenue has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.dailypress.com/news/newport-news/dp-cat-rabies-newport-news-jefferson-story.html

BLACK BEAR attacks CALIFORNIAN on his porch ~ Unleashed DOG likely cause of BEAR attack in NEW YORK ~ ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER leaves OKLAHOMAN woman a quad amputee ~ NEW MEXICO confirms 3 human cases of TULAREMIA and a DOG with PLAGUE ~ YOSEMITE closes campground due to PLAGUE ~ RABIES reports from DE, FL & NY.

Black Bear. Wiki.org

Black Bear. Wiki.org

California 08/13/15 latimes.com: by Veronica Rocha – A 67-year-old man fought off a bear that attacked him on his front porch as it scavenged for food on the outskirts of Yosemite National Park. The man survived the attack but suffered numerous cuts to his arms, legs and body, as well as defensive wounds to his hands, said Lt. Chris Stoots of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Wardens with the agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture were searching Wednesday for the California black bear, which will be euthanized when caught, he said. The severity of the man’s injuries and the extent of the attack left wildlife officials with no other option, he said. “Bear attacks on humans are very uncommon,” he said. The attack occurred about 4 a.m. when the man walked onto his porch and was ambushed by the bear in Midpines, a community on the edge of Yosemite National Park. The bear was feeding on a bag of trash left 20 feet from the man’s front door, Stoots said. The bear tackled the man and attacked him. But the man fought back, using his legs and arms, and eventually escaped back into his house. Injured and bloodied, the man drove to the hospital, where he was in stable condition Thursday, Stoots said. The bear disappeared before authorities arrived. Drought has wiped out food sources usually found in the wilderness, driving bears into foothill communities in search of their next meals. The drought, Stoots said, will push bears to go to “great lengths to find food and water.” Stoots said people should not leave food or water unattended near a home, and they should always keep trash away from their property.  – See http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-bear-attack-near-yosemite-20150813-story.html

Bear.dog.fightNew York 08/12/15 uticaod.com: by Carolyn Bostick – A man and his dog were injured during a bear attack by the Herkimer County border, according to the Fulton County Department of Environmental Conservation. Around 5 p.m. on Tuesday, a 55-year-old man from Troy was walking his small dog in the Stewart’s Landing in Stratford, when the unleashed dog encountered a bear. Stratford is located near the Town of Salisbury. The bear attacked the dog and the man was also attacked while trying to separate the animals. The man was able to strike the bear on the nose with a stick causing the bear to run away. Both the man and his dog suffered bites, scratches and puncture wounds. The injuries to the man are not considered life-threatening, DEC officers said. – For complete article see http://www.uticaod.com/article/20150812/NEWS/150819802

ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER:


T_rmsf1 (2)Oklahoma
08/11/15 koco.com: by Morgan Chesky – It’s a holiday trip turned nightmare for a Shawnee family. A mother of two is now in a hospital and may never walk again after a disease took over her body in days. “She’s a beautiful, energetic fun person,” cousin Lisa Morgan said. “I mean nobody deserves this.” Four days after visiting Grand Lake, Jo Rogers thought she had the flu. On day five, her family took her to a hospital. “She was shaking her hands because they hurt, her feet hurt,” Morgan said. “They tested her for West Nile Virus and for meningitis.” Those results came back negative. By day six, doctors said Jo’s organs were shutting down. “By Saturday morning, her arms and feet were turning dark blue and black,” Morgan said. “It was crawling up her limbs.” And it was then someone thought to check for what may have happened just one week earlier, a tick bite that went unnoticed. The one tiny bite, enough for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever to ravage Jo’s body, forcing doctor’s to amputate her arms and legs. “Below the knee of her left leg and below both elbows of her arms,” said Morgan. “(They had) to save her life to keep the infection from getting to her vital organs.” – For video and complete article see http://www.koco.com/news/shawnee-mothers-trip-to-grand-lake-ends-with-tragedy/34661720

aaCDC-LogoBlogger’s Note: Patients who had a particularly severe infection requiring prolonged hospitalization may have long-term health problems caused by this disease. Rickettsia rickettsii infects the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels. The damage that occurs in the blood vessels results in a disease process called a “vasculitis”, and bleeding or clotting in the brain or other vital organs may occur. Loss of fluid from damaged vessels can result in loss of circulation to the extremities and damaged fingers, toes or even limbs may ultimately need to be amputated. Patients who suffer this kind of severe vasculitis in the first two weeks of illness may also be left with permanent long-term health problems such as profound neurological deficits, or damage to internal organs. – See http://www.cdc.gov/rmsf/symptoms/index.html

TULAREMIA:

tularemia.rr7788rr3New Mexico 08/14 /15 outbreaknewstoday.com: by Robert Herriman – New Mexico health officials are reporting three human cases of the bacterial infection, tularemia, in Bernalillo County, The patients, a 71-year-old man, a 39-year-old man and a 42-year-old woman, who have all recovered, contracted the disease via deer fly bites. .. In addition, officials have confirmed plague in a Santa Fe area dog, which was likely exposed to plague by infected rodents and their fleas while walking with its owner along the Santa Fe River between Frenchy’s Field and Siler. – For complete article see http://outbreaknewstoday.com/new-mexico-3-tularemia-cases-reported-in-bernalillo-county-plague-confirmed-in-santa-fe-dog-95777/

PLAGUE:

Santa_Fe_attacks_plagu48f91501Yosemite National Park 08/14/15 nbvcnews.com: by Maggie Fox – California’s Yosemite National Park has reopened one campground but is closing another to spray for fleas after a Los Angeles girl caught plague there. The child is recov ering, officials said. The park’s Crane Flat Campground, closed for four nights while teams treated rodent burrows for fleas, was reopening Friday, the California health department said. Tuolumne Meadows Campground in Yosemite will be closed from Monday to Friday next week for similar treatment after two dead squirrels were found to be carrying plague, the department said. “Although this is a rare disease, and the current risk to humans is low, eliminating the fleas is the best way to protect the public from the disease,” said Dr. Karen Smith, California’s chief medical officer. “By eliminating the fleas, we reduce the risk of human exposure and break the cycle of plague in rodents at the sites. People can protect themselves from infection by avoiding any contact with wild rodents.” – For complete article see http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/yosemite-closes-two-campgrounds-after-plague-case-n41021

RABIES:

Delaware 08/14/15 New Castle County: Thirteen people are being treated for exposure to rabies after a kitten found near Middletown tested positive for the deadly virus. State health officials say the rabies case is the eighth to be confirmed in Delaware this year. The kitten was found in mid-July. A family took care of the animal before taking it to a veterinarian. The kitten was unusually weak and died on Sunday night. The veterinary staff who handled the kitten and the family that took care of it are being treated for exposure to the virus, which is fatal if untreated. – See http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/1a469725900544508372f78d4692adb3/DE–Rabid-Kitten

6183687956_0905f1bf96_oFlorida 08/14/15 Sarasota County: The Sheriff’s Office animal services section is searching for a reportedly feral feline who attacked a man collecting his newspaper last week. At about 6:30 a.m. Aug. 5, Sam Giordano, 67, was outside his home on Salerno Street (in Venice), retrieving his newspaper, when a stray cat charged him from under his car and attacked his left leg, according to a report from animal services. The stray had attacked Giordano’s pet cat earlier that day. Giordano suffered “at least 20 large lacerations and about four puncture wounds,” according to the report. Animal services officers are trying to humanely trap the stray cat so they can monitor its behavior for signs of exposure to the rabies virus. The cat has lived in the area for about a year, according to the report. It resembles a “brown tiger looking cat.” If the stray cat is not captured by Sunday, the Sarasota County Health Department will advise Giordano on whether he needs to be tested or treated for the rabies virus, according to SSO spokeswoman Kaitlyn Johnston. – See http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20150814/ARTICLE/150819812

New York 08/12/15 Westchester County: Ossining P.D. Public Health Alert: On Monday August 10th we had an incident on Edward Street and Lafayette Avenue where a gray cat became aggressive with police officers and a few residents. The cat was captured a short while later and delivered to the Westchester County Department of Health. Today we were notified that the cat tested positive for rabies. A robo-call from the Department of Health will be going out to residents in the immediate area. If you, or someone you know, had contact with a stray gray cat in that area, and especially if you were bitten, scratched, or exposed to the cat’s saliva please call the Department of Health immediately at (914)813-5000. – See http://patch.com/new-york/ossining/aggressive-cat-tests-positive-rabies-ossining

CONNECTICUT warns TICK disease called BABESIOSIS is spreading ~ CALIFORNIA confirms first WEST NILE VIRUS death this year ~ Second COLORADAN dies of PLAGUE ~ CALIFORNIA child recovering from PLAGUE ~ COLORADO pet CAT dies of PLAGUE ~ New data shows LYME DISEASE becoming more common in MINNESOTA ~ ALASKAN mauled by GRIZZLY while jogging ~ BEAR attacks man walking on Lewis-McChord military base in WASHINGTON ~ MICHIGAN confirms third DEER found with CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ EBOLA VACCINE tests 100% effective in phase III trial ~ RABIES reports from CT, NJ & PA.

Courtesy US National Park Service.

Courtesy US National Park Service.

Connecticut 08/07/15 wtnh.com: by Kent Pierce – As you make plans to enjoy the great outdoors this weekend, keep this in mind: More and more ticks in Connecticut are testing positive for a disease called babesiosis. It spreads like Lyme disease, but acts more like malaria, and scientists say this past winter’s weather has brought out a bumper crop of ticks this summer. If deer are around, deer ticks are probably around, too. For years in Connecticut, we’ve known the danger of getting Lyme disease from deer ticks. Now there is a rising new threat. “Babesiosis was first documented in Connecticut in 1988,” according to State Entomologist Dr. Kirby Stafford III. “It has been slowly spreading across the state ever since.” Now that slow spread is picking up.

tick.44958749The Agricultural Experiment Station just started testing ticks for babesiosis, and it is finding about one in seven ticks has it. Babesiosis attacks our red blood cells. The elderly are especially susceptible. “You’re talking about high fever, you’re talking chills, headache and shakes,” explained Dr. Stafford. “You know, it’s kind of like having malaria.” If untreated, babesiosis can even be fatal. Connecticut had about 400 confirmed human cases in the past two years, but many more probably had it and didn’t know it. You can also get it from blood transfusions, because no one tests donated blood for babesiosis yet. If you get bit by a tick, it’s like Lyme disease in that it takes a day for tick to infect you. So the key is to find the tick as soon as possible. Or don’t get bitten at all. “Wear long pants, tuck them into pants,” advises Dr. Stafford. “I know it sounds geeky, but it works. Use a repellant, something Deet based or a clothing repellant.” Just as important as prevention is checking for ticks. If you’ve been hiking, camping, even gardening, check yourself, your kids, and your pets for ticks and remove them with tweezers right away. – See  http://wtnh.com/2015/08/07/new-tick-disease-found-in-connecticut/

WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV):

07cd7361057a7994e7e590e1fb0d3868ed6ff5ad-1California 07/31/15 turlockcitynews.com: A senior citizen from Nevada County has been confirmed as the first human death caused by WNV so far this year. – See https://turlockcitynews.com/news/item/5284-first-human-west-nile-virus-death-reported-in-california

PLAGUE:

Colorado 08/05/15 outbreaknewstoday.com: by Robert Herriman – For the third time in two months, Colorado has reported a human plague case in a resident. Health officials with  The Pueblo City-County Health Department  confirmed an adult died from plague. This is the first Pueblo County resident to contract plague since 2004. This is the second fatality due to plague this year in Colorado. On June 8, 16-year-old Poudre High School student in Larimer County, Taylor Gaes, died from septicemic plague. . . While the investigation is still ongoing, the individual may have contracted the disease from fleas on a dead rodent or other animal. – See http://outbreaknewstoday.com/plague-strikes-colorado-for-the-3rd-time-this-year-50236/

Plague ecology, epizootic cycles, enzootic cycles

Plague ecology, epizootic cycles, enzootic cycles

California 08/06/15 ocregister.com: by Jenna Chandler – A child from Los Angeles County has contracted human plague after visiting wilderness areas in Northern California last month, including Yosemite. The child, whose age was not disclosed, is recovering after being treated in a hospital. He or she became ill after visiting Stanislaus National Forest and camping at Crane Flat Campground in Yosemite National Park in mid-July, state public health officials said Thursday. Plague – which leads to a high fever, chills, nausea, weakness and swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit or groin – is caused by a bacteria and is infectious. But it does not usually spread person to person, and human cases of plague are rare, said Dr. Karen Smith, director of the California Department of Public Health. – See http://www.ocregister.com/articles/plague-676248-health-child.html

Colorado 08/06/15 San Miguel County: – by Mary Slosson – A domestic cat tested positive for the plague and died while in isolation at the San Miguel County Veterinary Clinic in Norwood last month, the San Miguel County Department of Health and Environment announced Wednesday. Nobody in the cat owner’s family has become ill following the death. The owners brought their cat to the vet after it started showing signs of illness. The cat was isolated and lab samples were sent to state health officials, who confirmed a diagnosis of the plague. The plague is spread by infected fleas, which can be carried and transmitted through animals like squirrels, chipmunks, prairie dogs and mice. Domestic animals can become infected if bitten by an infected flea or if they eat an infected rodent. – See http://www.telluridenews.com/news/article_4673f7d4-3c8d-11e5-9a87-1b3495c373a4.html

LYME DISEASE:

green-tick-logoMinnesota 08/06/15 kimt.com: by Katie Huinker – New data is available indicating Lyme disease is becoming more common in Minnesota. It is one of 14 states that has the majority of cases in the country. The number of Lyme disease cases varies from year to year, but overall the trend shows an increase since 2000. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Health, the highest number of cases was in 2013, with more than 1,400 cases reported. Each year numbers can be very different, it depends on public awareness, infection rates in ticks and tick distribution. – See http://kimt.com/2015/08/06/new-lyme-disease-data/

BEAR:

Alaska 08/06/15 nbcnews.com: by Kathryn Robinson – An Alaskan woman is recovering after being mauled by a grizzly bear while jogging with a co-worker late Tuesday night, authorities said. Gabbriele Markel, 20, and Kaitlin Haley, 26, were running on a trail along Skilak Lake, 50 miles south of Anchorage, when an adult grizzly bear came out of the thick brush next to the trail and attacked Markel, knocking her to the ground, police said. Police told NBC News the two women work at Alaska Wildland Adventures lodge and were about three-quarters of a mile from the lodge. Police spokeswoman Megan Peters said Haley ran back to the lodge for help while the bear was still on top of Markel.

grizzleysjfksaHaley and several other employees ran back from the lodge, armed with bear spray, and saw Markel walking towards them. The employees transported Markel across the lake via boat and met with emergency officials, Peters said. “She didn’t appear to have life-threatening injuries at the time but they can turn life threatening,” Peters said. “It’s always important to get them to the hospital as soon as possible.” Markel was airlifted to Providence Hospital and staff told NBC News she was upgraded to good condition Wednesday afternoon. – For complete article see http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/alaskan-woman-mauled-bear-while-running-co-worker-n404821

Washington 08/01/15 washingtontimes.com: A man walking in a restricted area on Lewis-McChord military base near Tacoma on Saturday was attacked by a bear but sustained only some scratches. Officials now want to know why the man was in that area. – See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/aug/1/man-attacked-by-bear-at-joint-base-lewis-mcchord/

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE (CWD):

20110816__Identity_HuntHarvestHelpMichigan 08/06/15 hollandsentinel.com: The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced that a third free-ranging deer in Meridian Township in Ingham County tested positive for chronic wasting disease. The deer was a 5-year-old doe. All three CWD-positive deer detected thus far have been discovered within a mile of one another. Genetic analyses carried out by Michigan State University’s Molecular Ecology Laboratory indicate that all three positive animals were related as part of an extended family. Previous research has shown that CWD is often transmitted within family groups because of their close contact. Hunters are critical to helping the DNR understand the prevalence and geographic distribution of the disease. ”We need individuals who have always hunted in Ingham County and surrounding counties to keep hunting,” said Steve Schmitt, DNR wildlife veterinarian in a press release. “The DNR can’t fight this disease without their support. Hunters need to have their deer checked and tested so we can determine if this disease is established over a broad area or just persisting in a local pocket.” – For complete article see http://www.hollandsentinel.com/article/20150806/NEWS/150809512

EBOLA VACCINE:

ebola_Merck_SL.CDCGlobal 08/06/15 fiercevaccines.com: by Amirah Al Idrus – Merck’s Ebola vaccine, developed in tandem with NewLink Genetics and tested in a novel “ring study,” has protected 100% of patients from Ebola infection, according to interim results published in The Lancet on Friday. In the aptly named “Ebola ça suffit,” or “Ebola, that’s enough,” trial, all vaccinated individuals were protected against Ebola infection within 6 to 10 days of vaccination. The trial, conducted by a team that includes researchers from the WHO, the Health Ministry of Guinea, and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health among others, is ongoing, with more than 4,000 patients having already received the jab. – See http://www.fiercevaccines.com/

RABIES:

This is not the kitten in either of these reports.

This is not the kitten in either of these reports.

Connecticut 08/03/15 New Haven County: A stray kitten found in the vicinity of North High and Mill streets in East Haven has tested positive for rabies. The kitten was found on July 9. Anyone in this area who may have seen or taken in any stray kittens or cats is asked to contact the department at 203-481-4233 or animal control at 203-468-3249 immediately. – See http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20150803/stray-kitten-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-east-haven

New Jersey 08/06/15 Hunterdon County: by PC Robinson – County health officials urge (Union Township) residents in the Baptist Church Road area to seek medical advice if they came in contact with a stray male calico kitten that tested positive for rabies on Aug. 4. Rabies is an often fatal disease spread through contact with an infected animal’s saliva. For more information, call 908-788-1351.

Forest_Animals_Wallpaper_-_BeaverPennsylvania 08/06/15 Lycoming County: by Marcus Schneck – A beaver  found along Pine Creek, near Ramsay, has tested positive for rabies, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The department also called for anyone who may have been bitten or exposed to saliva, fluids or tissue from a beaver to call the Lycoming County State Health Center at 570-327-3400 from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays, or 1-877-724-3258 at any time.

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/

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