Category Archives: Viral disease

CANADIAN toddler attacked by MOUNTAIN LION ~ Texan hunting moose in ALASKA mauled by BROWN BEAR ~ CANADIAN sheep hunter attacked by GRIZZLY ~ CA, MD, MI, MO and OK confirm WEST NILE VIRUS fatalities ~ COLORADO reports two more human cases of TULAREMIA ~ NEW MEXICO reports fourth human case of PLAGUE ~ More DEER escape from WISCONSIN farm where CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE was found ~ Second CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE-infected deer in TEXAS breeder herd confirmed ~ RABIES reports from PA, SC, VA & WV. ~ ANNOUNCEMENT – Natural Unseen Hazards Blog will not be published for several months

Mountain Lion. Courtesy U.S. Dept of Agriculture

Mountain Lion. Courtesy U.S. Dept of Agriculture


British Columbia 09/21/15 A two-year-old girl sitting with her parents in deck chairs in their backyard on Vancouver Island last Monday was attacked by a mountain lion that pounced on her from behind. The cat released the child when her father punched it. The girl was treated for lacerations on her earlobe, chest and back. – For photos and article see

Bear Attack:

887897spNPSAlaska 09/23/15 by Rachel D’Oro – A Texas man who was mauled by a brown bear while moose hunting in Alaska was expected to survive serious injuries, authorities said Wednesday. The bear with two cubs attacked 47-year-old Gregory Joseph Matthews of Plano, Texas, as he hunted Tuesday with his brother in Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, authorities said. Fishermen in the area alerted Alaska State Troopers shortly after 6 p.m. and Matthews was flown to Central Peninsula Hospital in nearby Soldotna. Matthews was listed in good condition Wednesday. He declined requests from The Associated Press for an interview. It was the third bear attack on the Kenai Peninsula in recent weeks. – For complete article see


British Columbia 09/24/15 by Chris Bolster – Conservation officers are searching for a bear responsible for sending a 51-year-old man to hospital in the early hours of Thursday, September 24. Powell River RCMP have confirmed that a man walking his dog on the 4700 block of Redonda Avenue, behind the Town Centre Mall, was attacked by a bear at approximately 5:30 am. The man sustained only minor injuries in the attack and did not require BC Ambulance Service paramedics to transport him to Powell River General Hospital, Constable Tim Kenning told the Peak at 9 am. Kenning said that the unnamed man told him “the bear came out of nowhere. “He stepped in trying to protect his animal, thinking the bear was going after his dog,” said Kenning. “Next thing he knew he was on the ground with a bear on top of him.” Kenning added that a neighbour came out to see what happening after hearing the man yell and saw the bear and two cubs running away. The attack likely occurred because the bear was protecting its two cubs, said Kenning. – See

grizzly5Alberta 09/22/15 by Trevor Robb – An Alberta hunter was sent to hospital over the weekend after being attacked by a grizzly bear near Hinton. Alberta Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Michelle Davio said in a statement that a male hunter -who was reportedly legally hunting bighorn sheep in the area — had called the Report-A-Poacher telephone line and 911 at 8 p.m. on Saturday night after he was injured during a confrontation with a female grizzly . Davio says the man suffered undisclosed, non-life threatening injuries when the grizzly charged at him and knocked him over. “The hunter played dead and after the bear stood over the hunter for a moment, the bear moved on,” said Davio. Upon getting the call, Davio says a team consisting of Fish and Wildlife officers, two emergency medical technicians and two civilian guides were deployed to rescue the hunter. However, he was in a remote location near Cadomin, near the Teck mine site, which is approximately 55km south of Hinton, in rugged terrain, which made the hunter not accessible by vehicle. – For complete article see


07cd7361057a7994e7e590e1fb0d3868ed6ff5ad-1California 09/20/15 A Norwalk resident is the second person to die of WNV-related causes in Los Angeles County this year. – See

Maryland  09/19/15 An elderly woman from Laurel in Prince George’s County is the second WNV-related fatality in the state so far this year. There have been 29 human cases of WNV reported this year including two deaths. – See

Michigan 09/25/15 by James David Dickson – An Oakland County woman, 81, has become Michigan’s first West Nile Virus-related death this year, the Oakland County Department of Health announced Friday morning. Oakland County hadn’t suffered a West Nile-related virus death since 2003.  – See

Missouri 09/19/15 Officials have confirmed three WNV-related deaths: two in St. Louis County and one in Pettis County. – See

Oklahoma 09/24/15 The Oklahoma State Department of Health is reporting the fourth West Nile virus death of 2015 in the state. The department says the latest death was a Kingfisher County resident. Previous deaths were reported in Rogers, Stephens and Carter counties. There have now been 53 confirmed cases of West Nile virus in Oklahoma this year — up from 18 in 2014 when there were no deaths due to the virus. – See


tularemia.332oe998Colorado 09/22/15 Two more human cases of tularemia have been reported in Jefferson and Clear Creek counties. – See


Santa_Fe_attacks_plagu48f91501New Mexico 09/23/15 The New Mexico Department of Health announced today a laboratory confirmed case of plague in a 73-year-old woman from Santa Fe County. The case was confirmed at the Department of Health’s Scientific Laboratory Division.  This is the fourth human case of plague in New Mexico this year and the second in Santa Fe County.  The woman was hospitalized and is back home recovering. The other cases in the state occurred in a 52-year-old woman from Santa Fe County, who died from the illness, and in a 65-year-old man and a 59-year-old woman, both from Bernalillo County, who have recovered. – For complete article see


HEADERWisconsin 09/18/15 by Keith Edwards –  A concern about chronic wasting disease in Eau Claire County is growing, after more deer escaped from a deer farm near Fairchild where CWD was found.  Officials confirmed on Friday that 12 deer escaped early last week from the farm. The DNR said they reportedly got out through (an) open gate. Most were captured, but three remain missing in addition to the two deer that escaped in May. The DNR said the public and media were not immediately notified of the most recent escape because they give the owner a reasonable amount of time to try to find them on his own. The DNR is now asking residents around Fairchild and Augusta to report any sightings of the deer, which all have ear tags.  After the first escape, the DNR planned to kill all of the deer at the farm to prevent any possible spread of CWD, which hasn’t happened yet due to a shortage of funding. More federal money is expected to be available Oct. 1.  – See video at

Texas 09/23/15 The Texas Animal Health Commission and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced that a captive white-tailed deer in a Lavaca County deer breeding facility has been confirmed positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in College Station detected the presence of CWD in samples submitted, and the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the findings Sept. 15. The newly quarantined Lavaca County facility is a result of testing trace out animals that originated from a Medina County index captive white-tailed deer herd where the disease was first detected June 30. CWD was first detected in Texas in 2012 in free-ranging mule deer in far West Texas in the Hueco Mountains. The Lavaca County herd is the second infected breeder herd detected in Texas. – See


imagesCAMMOSTLPennsylvania 09/24/15 Allegheny County: Members of an entire family in Wilmerding that took in two stray kittens are now being treated for potential exposure to rabies after the kittens tested positive for the virus. – See

South Carolina 09/18/15 Spartanburg County: Six people in the Woodruff area have been potentially exposed to rabies because the family cat’s rabies vaccination was not current. The cat had been wounded but was not immediately taken to a veterinarian until it had bitten five family members and one other individual. On September 15th the cat tested positive for the rabies virus. – See

Virginia 09/23/15 Virginia Beach: Four people who were in contact with a black and white cat at the Virginia Beach Sports Complex on Landstown Road are being treated for potential exposure to rabies after the cat tested positive for the virus. – See

West Virginia 09/21/15 Ohio County: A kitten dropped off at Long Run Pet Hospital on GC&P Road in Wheeling has tested positive for rabies. – See



With the possible exception of very unusual

reports, such as a rabid human attacking

a grizzly in downtown Manhattan, the


blog will not be published for several months

while its blogger completes a book project.

ALASKAN attacked by BROWN BEAR while on walk in woods ~ GRIZZLY attacks hunter in BRITISH COLUMBIA ~ CA, CO, MD, NE, NJ & OK confirm WEST NILE VIRUS fatalities ~ RABID BUCK charges NPS ranger in MARYLAND ~ COLORADO to host HUMAN RABIES SYMPOSIUM.

Brown Bear. Photo by Ursos Arctos_600. Wikimedia Commons.

Brown Bear. Photo by Ursos Arctos_600. Wikimedia Commons.

Alaska 09/13/15 A 62-year-old Funny River man required a medevac Sunday after he was mauled by a brown bear on the Kenai Peninsula, according to Alaska State Troopers. In an online dispatch, troopers said Danny High was walking in the woods when the mauling occurred. Officials responded to the mauling at Mile 11 of Funny River Road, east of Soldotna, around 4:30 p.m. Sunday. High suffered “major injuries” in the incident and required a LifeMed flight to an area hospital for treatment, troopers wrote. “High wasn’t armed with a gun or bear spray when attacked,” troopers wrote. Troopers were unable to locate the bear responsible for the attack. – See


Grizzly-Bear877843 - CopyBritish Columbia 09/14/15 Conservation officers in B.C. are urging vigilance after a fourth grizzly bear attack in two weeks where someone startled a bear near a food source, and was mauled. This time, a hunter came between a mother grizzly, her cub and a recent elk kill, at about 7:30 a.m. MT yesterday northeast of Sparwood, in the East Kootenay. The attack was defensive, and the hunter was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, said the B.C. Conservation Officer Service. “He had no warning whatsoever,” said Sgt. Cam Schley. “It was just a very quick and sudden attack. There was nothing he could have done differently to have prevented that.” The man is now recovering in Kelowna General Hospital with serious, but not life-threatening injuries. Conservation officers have posted a notice that the area is closed, and will monitor it for bear activity — but will not try to trap the bear, said Schley.  – For complete article see


West-Nile-Virus-Alert3344-jpgCalifornia 09/15/15 Los Angeles County public health officials have confirmed the county’s first West Nile virus death this season. Officials say the elderly man from the San Gabriel Valley had pre-existing health conditions before he was hospitalized and eventually died from the virus. – See

Colorado 09/17/15 A Pueblo County resident is the first WNV-related fatality confirmed in the state so far this year. – See

Maryland 09/15/15 An older adult resident of Baltimore County is the first person to die of WNV so far this year. – See

Nebraska 09/17/15 Norma Beth Frye, 89, of Thayer County is the first WNV-related fatality in the state this year. There have been 39 other cases reported this year. – See

New Jersey 09/15/15 A 57-year-old woman who was a resident of Wall died last week of West Nile Virus. She is the second WNV-related fatality in the state so far this year. – See

Oklahoma 09/17/15 Officials have confirmed that a Rogers County resident is the third WNV-related fatality in the state this year. There have been 42 other cases reported this year, including three fatalities. – See


deerwidnr-gov-e1328246113720Maryland 09/17/15 An eight-point buck that charged a National Park Service ranger near Sycamore Landing on September 16th has tested positive for rabies. The buck, which was killed along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, looked sick and was having difficulty standing. The ranger was not injured. – See


Free Symposium and Webinar Broadcast

on Human Rabies Prevention and Treatment

Loveland, Colorado

October 9, 2015, 8am-12pm MDT


Rare outbreak of TULAREMIA baffles health officials ~ Two sheep hunters medevaced after GRIZZLY attack in BRITISH COLUMBIA ~ Angler attacked by GRIZZLY in BRITISH COLUMBIA ~ Moose hunter medevaced after GRIZZLY attack in NORTHWEST TERRITORIES ~ NEW MEXICAN jogger attacked by BLACK BEAR ~ Elk hunter attacked by BLACK BEAR in NEW MEXICO ~ CALIFORNIA, ILLINOIS & NORTH CAROLINA confirm WEST NILE VIRUS related fatalities ~ NEW YORK resident dies of EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS ~ UTAHN dies of PLAGUE ~ EBOLA VIRUS remains in semen longer than thought ~ RABID FERAL CAT reports from NC & PA.

Cat with rabbit. Photo by Eddy Van 3000. Wikimedia Commons.

Cat with rabbit. Photo by Eddy Van 3000. Wikimedia Commons.


National 09/10/15 by Laura Zuckerman – U.S. health officials said on Thursday they were puzzled by a surge in the number of people who have contracted a rare bacterial disease usually found in rabbits that has already killed a Wyoming man and sickened dozens of people in Colorado, South Dakota and Nebraska this year. The unusually high number of cases of tularemia, sometimes called rabbit fever, have been concentrated in northeastern Wyoming and in neighboring parts of South Dakota and Nebraska and farther south in the Colorado Front Range, where there have been reported die-offs of animals like rabbits and voles that can carry the infectious disease, Wyoming health officials said. While tularemia, whose symptoms can include fever, sore throat and muscle aches, is often present in the environment, it rarely sickens more than a few people a year in Wyoming, a handful in Colorado and just a few in South Dakota, health officials said. That compares to 41 confirmed human cases so far this year in Colorado, 14 in Wyoming – the highest number in the quarter century that reliable records have been compiled – and at least 19 in South Dakota, the most since 34 people acquired the ailment in 1984, state epidemiologists said. “This is quite unusual,” South Dakota epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger said.

zoonosis_tularemia (2)The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is studying cases in those states and Nebraska to identify common factors, Wyoming State epidemiologist Tracy Murphy said. The disease is treatable with antibiotics but can be deadly. It killed an elderly Wyoming man earlier this year after causing a severe infection of his central nervous system, Murphy said. Tularemia can be transmitted to people through handling of sick animals, including pets like cats and dogs that have come in contact with infected rabbits or rodents, as well as bites from ticks, deer flies or horse flies. Infections also are linked to activities such as lawn mowing, in which people inhale bacteria from contaminated dust, or handling animal carcasses, health officials said. – For complete article see



20091222142651GrizzlyNPSBritish Columbia 09/07/15 by Paula Baker – Two men are recovering in hospital after being attacked by a grizzly bear sow south of Fort Nelson, B.C. on Sunday. According to B.C. Conservation, the two men were legally hunting sheep when they walked over a ridge and were attacked by a grizzly bear sow. The sow was with her two cubs in an area northeast of Buckinghorse River. The hunters, who are both in their 30s and from the Peace River area, were carrying a sheep cape and meat. The men had been part of a larger party but were in a remote area about 40 kilometres west of Alaska Highway, which is accessible only by foot, helicopter or horse, said Mark West with B.C. Conservation. West says the sow was reacting “defensively” and this was not a predatory attack. In an attempt to stop the grizzly, one hunter told conservation officers he may have gotten off two shots but was unsure if he hit the bear. – For complete article and video see

grizzly_alaska_frBritish Columbia 09/11/15 by Arne Petryshen – A grizzly bear attacked an angler near Canal Flats (a village at the south end of Columbia Lake) on Wednesday night. The attack occurred just off Findlay Creek Road, about eight kilometres up. Conservation Officer Joe Caravetta said the man was walking along a path and  startled a young grizzly bear at a distance of about three meters. “The bear attacked the angler, biting him on his leg and hand. The bear fled shortly and the angler made his way back to the vehicle, returned to Canal Flats and contacted 911,” Caravetta said. The man was then taken to the Invermere hospital, with non-life threatening injuries. “Conservation Officer Services and the RCMP attended at the site where the attack occurred and closed the area off and advised others in there to the incident and to leave the area,” he said. Caravetta said they determined there was no immediate threat to the public at that site at that time. Four officers attended the site Thursday morning to further investigate. “They determined that there was a large, domestic cow carcass, buried where the attack occurred,” he said. “The carcass was fairly old and consisted of mostly bones and hide. The bear was also seen by the officers and confirmed to be about a three year old grizzly — so a fairly small grizzly bear and fairly young.” Caravetta said it was at that point that a decision was made not to pursue the bear. – See

GrizzlyUSFWSNorthwest Territories 09/11/15 A hunter has been medevaced to Yellowknife with serious injuries after he was attacked by a grizzly bear in the Mackenzie Mountains near Norman Wells, N.W.T. The attack happened around 11 a.m. Thursday morning. According to the RCMP, the hunter and a guide were spotting moose when the bear attacked them. The hunter and the guide didn’t see the grizzly until it made its attack. RCMP say the bear pulled the hunter down an embankment and he received “multiple injuries during the attack.” The guide fired a shot which scared the bear off and stopped the attack. The injured hunter was rescued by a helicopter, treated in Norman Wells, and then medevaced to Yellowknife for more treatment. The bear is unaccounted for at this time. – See

Black-Bear-Cub-and-Mom-BingFreeUseLicenseNew Mexico 09/10/15 by Elizabeth Reed – Game and Fish officers are searching for an adult black bear that attacked a runner on a hiking trail near Los Alamos Wednesday night. The attack occurred on the Cañon de Valle trail around 7 p.m. Officers said the man was running on the trail when he encountered a female bear and her cub.  The man tried to scare the bear away by making a noise, but it charged, knocking him into a stream. The department says the bear started biting and clawing at his head.  After the bear left, the man was able to walk 2.5 miles back to his car and flag down a passing motorist, who took him to Los Alamos Medical Center. He suffered deep flesh wounds and scratches to his head, according to Game and Fish. – See

BlackBearNPSNew Mexico 09/12/15 by Staci Matlock – State Game and Fish Department officers are searching for a black bear that attacked a 60-year-old man from Missouri who was elk hunting west of Wagon Mound, the second bear attack on a person in two days in Northern New Mexico, officials said Friday. The hunter received bite injuries to his foot through his boot as he climbed a tree to try to escape the bear. He was taken to Alta Vista Hospital in Las Vegas, N.M., where he was treated and released. The attack, which occurred Thursday near the tiny village of Ocate, marked the seventh time a black bear has attacked a human in the state this year, the highest number in the past 16 years, according to Lance Cherry, a spokesman for the Game and Fish Department. It was the fourth attack this year resulting in an injury. None of the attacks was fatal. – For complete article see


California 09/10/15 by Brian Rokos – A 77-year-old Riverside County man who died last month tested positive for the West Nile virus, the county Department of Public Health announced Thursday, Sept. 10. The man was the first person in Riverside County with the mosquito-borne virus to die since 2008, according to a news release from the department. – See

wnv1_clip_image002Illinois 09/08/15 A St. Clair County resident has become the third WNV-related fatality in the state so far this year. – For article see

North Carolina 09/08/15 State authorities on Tuesday reported the first death of 2015 from a confirmed case of WNV. The state Department of Health and Human services did not release the name, age, gender, or location of the person who died, citing confidentiality laws. However, Charles Hogan identified the patient as his father, Roscoe Hogan. Hogan said that his father died at Duke Regional Hospital on Aug. 27. The previous day, doctors told him that his father’s lab results revealed West Nile virus. Roscoe Hogan was 76 at the time of his death and had been a resident of Durham. – For complete article see


eee-threat-249x187New York 09/08/15 syracuse,com: by James T. Mulder –  An elderly Salina man diagnosed with Eastern equine encephalitis has died, according to the Onondaga County Health Department. It is the sixth reported Eastern equine encephalitis death in Central New York since 1971. The Salina man was the first person in the state and the second in the nation diagnosed this year with the potentially deadly mosquito-borne virus, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. – For article see


yersiniaUtah 09/10/15 by Molly Marcello – An elderly San Juan County man died after contracting plague last month, according to the Utah Department of Health. While officials do not know exactly how the man contracted the disease, they speculate he was infected by fleas carried by rodents or cats. “The individual lived on a rural property so we’re pretty certain that it likely came from a flea bite from rodents on the property such as prairie dogs, or potentially, cats,” said San Juan County Public Health Director Worthy Glover. “[The man] had a lot of cats in [his] barn to deal with the rodents — those cats could potentially have had fleas.” – For complete article see


ebola.stopGlobal 09/09/15 by Tom Miles – Isolated flare-ups of Ebola may point to a higher risk of transmission via the semen of male survivors than previously thought, undermining hopes of ending West Africa’s deadly outbreak by the end of the year. The World Health Organization’s advice is that all male survivors should be tested three months after the onset of symptoms and then monthly until they know they have no risk of passing on the virus through their semen, Bruce Aylward, head of the WHO’s Ebola response, told a news conference. But a forthcoming study in the New England Journal of Medicine, based on around 200 survivors, found that around half still had traces of the virus in their semen after six months, a clinician familiar with the study told Reuters. “The old advice of three months is no longer good,” the clinician said. “The number of people with persistent virus in their semen is much greater than expected.” The clinician, who was not authorized to speak about the study, added that the risk might not only be from sex but also from masturbation. “It’s not the sex that is dangerous, it’s the semen that is dangerous,” said Aylward, who mentioned the study during a news conference but did not give details. “How people actually get exposed, in soiled linens or whatever, is not clear.”

WHO.33454Transmission through semen may explain why a few cases continue to occur even though the outbreak has been almost completely eradicated by an intense international effort, recently bolstered by the deployment of a trial vaccine in Guinea and Sierra Leone. “This virus and this outbreak in particular has a nasty sting in the tail,” Aylward said. “It’s not finished, by a long shot.” The latest flare-up, in a village on the northern border of Sierra Leone, followed the death of a 67-year-old woman late last month, 50 days after the previous confirmed case in the region. Transmission chains are considered to have been broken after 42 days with no new infections. However, Aylward said that sexual transmission was “obviously not a huge risk, because if it were we would have seen a lot more in the areas that were hardest hit at the beginning of this outbreak.” – See


North Carolina 09/08/15 A brown tabby feral cat that attacked and bit a man’s leg in the 500 block of East Cabarrus Street in Raleigh last week has tested positive for rabies. – See

13620Pennsylvania 09/10/15 A feral cat that jumped out from under a car and bit the owner on her leg and arm, and the woman’s daughter on the arm, has tested positive for rabies. The incident occurred on Dietz Road,. Wilmot Township, Bradford County. – See


Grizzly. Bing Free Use License.

Grizzly. Bing Free Use License.

Idaho 09/02/15 : An archery hunter pursuing elk is recovering after being attacked by a grizzly bear with three cubs in eastern Idaho. Wildlife officials say they could find no signs the bear had been wounded when the hunter fired at it with a .44-caliber handgun. Gregg Losinski of Idaho Fish and Game on Tuesday said the hunter received no broken bones but had soft-tissue damage to his left hand and arm from the Monday morning encounter in the Island Park area below Sawtell Peak. That’s about 15 miles west of Yellowstone National Park. Fremont County Sheriff Len Humphries said the hunter, Mike Adams, of Idaho Falls, used his cellphone to call for help.

mapIslandParkIdaho2Officials were able to use an advanced 911 system to pinpoint his location and direct him several miles out of the Caribou-Targhee National Forest using the easiest route to a waiting ambulance. “He had an arm chewed up pretty good,” the sheriff said. “He was able to wrap it up and stop the bleeding and walk out.” Adams was taken to Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg, where a spokeswoman said he was treated and released.  – For complete article see


campusBCmapSMBritish Columbia 09/02/15 A female grizzly bear that charged and attacked a hunter near  Cranbrook, B.C., was protecting its two cubs, says the conservation officer who investigated the attack. “Our position is, it was a defensive attack,” said Joe Caravetta, an inspector with the B.C. Conservation Service’s Kootenay-Boundary region. “The hunter did nothing wrong,” Caravetta told CBC’s On the Coast. “The bear and the hunter happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time and we are not pursuing these bears. “She was doing what was natural to protect her cubs.” The hunter is recovering in hospital in Calgary and his injuries are not life threatening, Caravetta said.  The hunter was armed with a bow and arrow and looking for elk, but instead a grizzly bear and its cubs appeared. Caravetta said the hunter yelled at the bear to scare it off, but the grizzly charged. The hunter said he managed to fire one arrow at the bear before it attacked, throwing him to the ground. The sow eventually retreated and the man managed to get back to his vehicle to call for help.- For complete article see

Black-Bear-Cub-and-Mom-BingFreeUseLicenseWest Virginia
09/03/15 by Jarrod Clay – The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources is investigating an attack on a man by a black bear in the Mount Nebo area of Nicholas County. A man was knocked down and bitten several times Aug. 24 by a female black bear, according to a news release from the West Virginia DNR. The release said the man unexpectedly walked up on a bear cub while hiking on a trail. Colin Carpenter, the black bear project leader for the DNR, said the man was able to fight off the bear and escaped the attack with minor injuries. “Bear attacks on humans are rare, but this recent incident should serve to remind people how unpredictable wild animals can be,” Carpenter said in the news release. “Although this appears to be a defensive attack by a female with young cubs, the fact that the man fought back aggressively most likely prevented more severe injuries.” – See


imagesCACMXFDXIllinois 09/02/15  Illinois officials have confirmed two deaths from West Nile virus this year. Health officials say the deaths are a reminder that the mosquitoborne virus can cause serious illness. The Illinois Department of Public Health said Tuesday the deaths were reported in Cook and Kendall counties. One victim was a man in his early 90s from south suburban Chicago. That case was announced Monday by the Cook County Department of Public Health. The Kendall County victim reportedly was a person in their 70s. – See

Mississippi 08/31/15 Health officials have confirmed the death of an Attala County resident from WNV. This is the first human death from the mosquito-borne virus in the state this year. – See

imagesCAWX5STJTexas 09/03/15 A Seymour woman, Dortha Jo Conner, 89, has died from West Nile Virus, according to the Baylor County Banner. Matt Gwinn with the Banner said Conners’ son, Rex, is being treated for the same disease. United Regional officials said Rex Conner was treated at United Regional before being transferred to a different facility. Conner and her son were living together in a home on the south side of Seymour. She died on Tuesday in Wichita Falls. – See


lacrosse (2)West Virginia 09/03/15 by Brandon Bates – Fayette County residents are mourning the loss of a young boy who died from an illness believed to be caused by a mosquito bite. Health officials say 11 year old, Sammy Burdette, of Fayette County was taken off of life support during the morning of Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015 after suffering from Encephalitis. Health experts said this could have been caused by a mosquito carrying the LaCrosse Encephalitis virus.  – For complete article and video see

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.


National 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


08/21/15 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

Arizona 08/18/15 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

Colorado 08/21/15 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


080722_west_nile_generic (2)California 08/17/15 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

Ohio 08/18/15 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

Oklahoma 08/29/15 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

Texas 08/29/15 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


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

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

Virginia 08/27/15 Newport News: A feral cat found in the 900 block of Jefferson Avenue has tested positive for rabies. – See

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.

Black Bear.

California 08/13/15 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 York 08/12/15 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


T_rmsf1 (2)Oklahoma
08/11/15 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

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


tularemia.rr7788rr3New Mexico 08/14 /15 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


Santa_Fe_attacks_plagu48f91501Yosemite National Park 08/14/15 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


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–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

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

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

Bear ID Handout: Center for Wildlife Information, Montana.

Bear ID Handout: Center for Wildlife Information, Montana.

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

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

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

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

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


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


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


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

ebola-vaccine-thumbnail-1280x768She’s right: this is wonderful news, and a great testament to human ingenuity. A genetically engineered hybrid  of the benign vesicular stomatitis virus and the Zaire strain of Ebola, together called rVSV-ZEBOV, was tested in a multi-site clinical trial conducted amid a massive aid response in Guinea, one of the poorest countries in Africa. The scientific and logistical acrobatics required to pull this off boggle the mind. Yet, for three reasons, we cannot know if the vaccine really worked, or how well. Those reasons are the lack of placebo comparison, the way the investigators diagnosed vaccine failure and the possibility of statistical flukes. – For lengthy article analyzing these three reasons see