Category Archives: Viral disease

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

mosquito-repellent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MOSQUITOES carrying ZIKA expected in U.S. next month ~ NEW MEXICAN and COLORADAN die of HANTAVIRUS ~ TICKS with LYME DISEASE increasing in NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND ~ WISCONSINS fear CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE spinning out of control.

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National 05/22/16 kticradio.com: With “well over 500” cases of the Zika virus currently in the U.S., Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on “This Week” Sunday that “forceful preparation” will be critical to preventing further spread in the U.S. this summer. “We already have Zika in the United States. But it is travel related,” Dr. Fauci said on ABC’s “This Week.” “The concern is that we will have local transmission; in other words, people who get infected in the United States, get bitten by a mosquito, but who have never left the continental United States. We fully expect that that will happen as we get to the more robust mosquito season in the next month or so.” “We need to make sure that those local outbreaks don’t become sustained and don’t become disseminated,” Fauci added. “That’s the reason why we need to have a very, very forceful preparation right now before that happens.” The Centers for Disease Control released new figures on Friday showing that 157 pregnant women in the continental U.S. show evidence of possible Zika virus infection, all related to travel outside the U.S. President Obama has requested Congress to allocate $1.9 billion in emergency funding to combat the spread of the virus. “This is something that is solvable. It is not something that we have to panic about. But it is something that we have to take seriously,” President Obama said Friday after meeting with Fauci and other top advisers tackling Zika. “This is not something where we can build a wall to prevent – mosquitoes don’t go through customs. To the extent that we’re not handling this thing on the front end, we’re going to have bigger problems on the back end.” A vaccine to combat Zika would be the main focus of government funding, according to Fauci, saying “We’re right now very aggressively developing the vaccine.” – For complete article see http://kticradio.com/abc_health/dr-fauci-forceful-preparation-key-to-combating-zika-spread-in-us-abcid35694201/

Hantavirus:

New Mexico 05/18/16 krqe.com: State health officials say a 30-year-old man from San Juan County has died of hantavirus. New Mexico Department of Health officials also announced Tuesday that an 84-year-old man from Santa Fe County currently is hospitalized with hantavirus. It’s the third and fourth cases of hantavirus in New Mexico this year. An environmental investigation will be conducted at each patient’s home to help reduce the risk to others. Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. Authorities say the deer mouse is the main carrier for the hantavirus strain found in New Mexico. – For complete article see  http://krqe.com/2016/05/18/state-health-dept-san-juan-county-man-dies-of-hantavirus/

Peromyscus maniculatus

This undated photo provided by the National Park Service, a deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus). The deer mouse helps spread hantavirus to humans. Its head and body are 2-3 inches long, and the tail adds another 2-3 inches. Its coat varies from gray to reddish brown, depending on the animal’s age. Found almost everywhere in North America, the deer mouse likes woodlands but also turns up in desert areas. An investigation of the hantavirus outbreak blamed for three deaths at Yosemite National Park recommends that design changes to tent cabins and other lodging run by private concessionaires first be reviewed by National Park Service officials. (AP Photo/National Park Service, John Good)

Colorado 05/19/16 denver.cbslocal.com: by Matt Kroschel – Public health officials confirmed that a man from Rio Grande County who had been exposed to hantavirus has died. Co-workers told CBS4 on Wednesday that Mark Jones, a local Architect and Philanthropist who friends say is responsible for the recent downtown revitalization in Del Norte, died after being diagnosed with hantavirus. “Speaking of Mark Jones he definitely has left a huge footprint on the town,” said Jones’ friend Kevin Haas. “I think the repercussions will be vast and I think we’ll feel it for a very long time.” The rare respiratory disease case is the second in the San Luis Valley this year. A Saguache County resident died from hantavirus exposure last month. Their deaths have prompted warnings from local health officials about the virus. Another person exposed to the virus is recovering in Montrose County. –  For complete article see http://denver.cbslocal.com/2016/05/19/man-dies-after-hantavirus-exposure-2nd-in-san-luis-valley-this-year/

 

Lyme Disease:

green-tick-logoNorthern New England 05/18/16 washingtontimes.com: by Lisa Ratke – Ticks that carry Lyme disease have reached into northern Maine and are increasing in Vermont, where the state’s entomologist expects cases of the disease to continue to rise and the insects to inhabit new areas. Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire are among 17 states with high-risk counties for Lyme disease. The reasons for the increase in populations are varied: climatic factors, land development patterns and hosts like deer and rodents. “Lyme disease is a real concern,” said Vermont state entomologist Alan Graham, who hopes to do a statewide survey of ticks this year. New Hampshire had one of the one of the highest incidence rates of Lyme disease in the country, with an estimated 1,373 cases identified last year, according to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. – For complete article see http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/18/vermont-expects-lyme-disease-cases-to-rise/

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD):

Response_img_070111Wisconsin 05/18/16 hostmadison.com: by Steven Elbow – Matt Limmex has been hunting deer on his family’s land near Spring Green his entire life. But in recent years the satisfaction of bagging a buck has been tainted by concerns about chronic wasting disease. “An older buck, you’re almost certain it’ll be positive,” said the 52-year-old Iowa County dairy farmer. “Or you’ll be surprised when it isn’t.” For Limmex the annual bounty of the deer hunt has become an exercise in carcass disposal. In recent years he’s been spotting “the droolers and the shakers” with increasing frequency. At the request of the DNR, he has shot down deer that were too sick to run away, and more often than not, they test positive for the disease, which destroys the nervous systems of cervids — elk, deer and moose — reducing them to bony shadows of their former selves. He hasn’t kept track of the numbers, but he estimates that he and his family have killed more than three dozen CWD-positive deer, at least a dozen of them in the last two years. And that, he said, has taken its toll on the once-sublime experience of shooting a deer for the family table. “It’s not much fun to be shooting sick deer,” he said.

20110816__Identity_HuntHarvestHelpLimmex lives smack in the middle of a 144-square-mile cauldron of deer and disease centered in Iowa County’s Wyoming Valley and stretching into western Dane County, one of the most CWD-infected areas in the nation. According the most recent monitoring data, if he shoots a doe, there’s roughly a one-in-four chance that it’s going to have CWD. If he shoots a buck, it’s essentially a flip of the coin. In the Wyoming Valley, the prevalence of the disease among adult male deer — those 2 ½ or older — has seen an annual growth rate of 23 percent since it was discovered in 2002. By 2006, 6 percent of bucks tested had the disease. By 2010, it was 20 percent. In 2015, more than 40 percent. Prevalence among does, for reasons still under study, is lower: just over 25 percent, but growing at a faster clip. The zone is so polluted with the disease that it’s in the soil, likely taken up in plants that deer feed on. And CWD’s geographic reach is expanding, stretching for the first time last fall to the Northwoods at a hunting preserve in Oneida County and popping up at an Eau Claire County deer farm in west central Wisconsin last summer. It’s been found to exist in 18 Wisconsin counties, but because of close proximities to the sick deer, 41 of the state’s 72 counties are banned from baiting and feeding deer in an effort to reduce deer-to-deer infection. Its global reach is expanding as well. It’s been detected in 24 states — up from 18 in 2010 — two Canadian provinces, South Korea, and most recently last year in Norway. – For complete article see http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/environment/some-fear-that-chronic-wasting-disease-is-spinning-out-of/article_fdd10051-8542-577c-84ed-81d83335cced.html

Invasive TICK species moving into MICHIGAN ~ NEW MEXICAN dies of HANTAVIRUS ~ PENNSYLVANIA reports number of DEER with CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE doubled in 2015 ~ APPALACHIAN TRAIL shelter in NORTH CAROLINA closed after BEAR bites camper ~ Five VIRGINIANS exposed to RABIES by STRAY DOG.

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Image compliments of CDC.

Michigan 05/17/16 wwmt.com: A new tick species is spreading throughout Michigan. Entomologists say the Lone Star tick is relatively new and can spread diseases like the Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia and can cause tick paralysis. Experts are also warning of increase tick activity during the warmer months. This is because of the resurgence in the white-tailed deer and wild turkey populations which can serve as hosts for the ticks. – See http://wwmt.com/news/local/new-tick-spreading-in-michigan

Hantavirus:

hantavirus.339988iidNew Mexico 05/17/16 kcbd.com: State health officials say a 30-year-old man from San Juan County has died of hantavirus. New Mexico Department of Health officials also announced Tuesday that an 84-year-old man from Santa Fe County currently is hospitalized with hantavirus. It’s the third and fourth cases of hantavirus in New Mexico this year. An environmental investigation will be conducted at each patient’s home to help reduce the risk to others. Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. Authorities say the deer mouse is the main carrier for the hantavirus strain found in New Mexico. – For complete article see http://www.kcbd.com/story/31998276/state-health-dept-san-juan-county-man-dies-of-hantavirus

 

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD):

HEADERPennsylvania 5/12/16 pennlive.com: by Marcus Schneck – In announcing that a record 12 white-tailed deer were found to be infected with chronic wasting disease in 2015, the Pennsylvania Game Commission said targeted removal of deer may be on the table as it considers options to fight the spread of the disease. The commission outlined possible “active control measures” that could involve targeted removal of deer in locations where CWD-positive animals have been found. The 12 free-ranging deer with CWD were found in Disease Management Area 2, which last year covered all or parts of Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon and Somerset counties, but has now been expanded by 437 square miles. Special rules regarding the hunting, transport and feeding of wild deer apply within all DMAs. CWD is an always fatal neurological disease of white-tailed tree and other members of the deer family. – For complete article see http://www.pennlive.com/pa-sportsman/2016/05/with_deer_disease_doubling_in.html

Bear:

black-bear-backcountry-movie_hNorth Carolina 5/12/16 wlos.com: by Krystyna Biassou & Rex Hodge – A backcountry camping area in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is closed after a bear attack on a hiker. Rangers say 49-year-old Bradley Veeder of Las Vegas was bitten on his leg late Tuesday night while sleeping in his tent near the Spence Field shelter. That’s along the Appalachian Trail. Fellow hikers rendered aid. “He had 2 puncture wounds on his leg and we just did some First Aid, wrapped it up, called the park rangers, let them know it wasn’t life-threatening. They came in on horses in the morning and picked him up and brought a horse for him to ride down,” says Derek Roecklein. Veeder, an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, was transported out of the backcountry by horseback and taken to Blount Memorial Hospital by Rural Metro Ambulances Service on Wednesday. The bear initially ran off, but returned and tore up two tents. – For video and complete article see http://wlos.com/news/local/shelter-closed-after-bear-bites-sleeping-hiker

Rabies:

Dog_1Virginia 5/13/16 scnow.com: Five people have been referred to their health care providers for consultation after potentially being exposed to rabies in the Lynchburg area of Lee County by a stray dog that tested positive for the disease, the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reported Friday. The stray dog began showing neurological symptoms and was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on May 9. Rabies was confirmed in the dog on May 11. During care and handling of the dog, a total of five people were potentially exposed. It is unknown how the dog contracted the rabies virus, however, bite wounds were discovered on the animal. In addition, five pet dogs were potentially exposed to the rabies virus by the stray dog. None of these pets was current on its rabies vaccination and is required to undergo a 180-day quarantine period or be euthanized per the Rabies Control Act. – For complete article see http://www.scnow.com/news/local/article_ed05db96-1944-11e6-9e7c-4f06dc166821.html

 

TEXAS reports first locally acquired probable case of CHIKUNGUNYA ~ PUPPY exposes 32 people to RABIES in MISSOURI ~ Wild RABBIT found with TULAREMIA in COLORADO ~ Sportsmen’s group in WISCONSIN wants crack down on DEER farms to fight CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ CANADA: SASKATCHEWAN woman fights off BLACK BEAR.

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Texas 05/02/16 rgvproud.com: Cameron County Department of Health and Human Services has been investigating a probable case of Chikungunya virus infection. This case initially presented to a doctor’s office in November 2015 and tested in January 2016; however, it was not reported to the health department until April 2016. The investigation has since determined that the case was acquired locally and is being considered the first locally acquired probable case of Chikungunya in the State of Texas. Chikungunya virus is transmitted to people through mosquito bites and cannot be spread from one person to another person. The most common symptoms of Chikungunya virus infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash. Should anyone experience any of these symptoms, a visit to the health care provider should be scheduled. “While this is the first reported locally acquired probable case of Chikungunya, the overall risk of being infected with Chikungunya virus in South Texas is very low and we have no additional evidence that the virus is circulating in the local mosquito population,” stated James W. Castillo, Cameron County Health Authority. “A critical key point to also remember here is the importance of physicians reporting these conditions. It would have allowed us to work with our local municipalities to assess the mosquito issue and appropriately respond.” – For complete article and preventive measures see http://www.rgvproud.com/news/local-news/cameron-county-reports-probable-case-of-chikungunya-in-texas

Rabies:

78483649Missouri 05/06/16 ozarksfirst.com: The first confirmed case of rabies has been reported to the Howell County Health Department by the Missouri State Public Health Lab in Jefferson City. The case involved a rabid 8 week old puppy near the Moody area, which became ill and died. Howell County Health Department officials say the puppy had exposure to 32 people who have started Post Exposure Prophylactic shots. The puppy’s mother, 5 littermates, and 2 other dogs have had to be euthanized due to exposure to a rabid animal, all of which were not current on rabies vaccinations.- For complete article see http://www.ozarksfirst.com/news/rabies-confirmed-in-howell-county-8-dogs-euthanized-32-people-exposed

Tularemia:

baq4ijctzixmuu7acvc5Colorado 05/05/16 fox21news.com: by Angela Case – A wild rabbit found in Pueblo West has tested positive for tularemia, also known as rabbit fever. The rabbit was found in the Liberty Point area. The Pueblo City-County Health Department said it had no contact with people. Tularemia is a bacterial infection most commonly transmitted to humans by the handling of sick or dead animals. Infection can also occur from the bite of infected insects, including ticks and deer flies, and exposure to soil and vegetation. Dogs and cats get tularemia by eating infected rabbits or other rodents and through tick and deer fly bites. – See http://fox21news.com/2016/05/05/wild-rabbit-found-in-pueblo-west-tests-positive-for-tularemia/

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD):

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Deer with CWD

Wisconsin 05/05/16 startribune.com: by Todd Richmond – A prominent sportsmen’s group wants Gov. Scott Walker to crack down on captive deer farms as he considers revising the state’s chronic wasting disease tactics. The Wisconsin Wildlife Federation’s letter to Walker, announced Thursday, asked him to impose regulations designed to keep CWD from spreading from captive deer to wild deer. The recommendations include requiring farms to double fence, installing warning devices that can detect open gates and annual fence inspections by the state or an independent inspector. The letter also suggests that farmers be required to inspect their own fences at least monthly and immediately after any major wind storms. They would have to kill their herds within a month if they haven’t double fenced and one of their deer tests positive for CWD. They also would have to maintain liability insurance to cover any damages to the state resulting from escapes. The DNR recorded 29 escapes from deer farms in 2015 alone. Nevertheless, the agency in December adopted an emergency rule allowing farmers to opt of the state’s CWD program without upgrading their fences. – For complete article see http://www.startribune.com/wildlife-group-proposes-deer-farm-crackdown-to-fight-cwd/378266561/

CANADA

Black Bear:

black-bear-backcountry-movie_hSaskatchewan 05/05/16 cbc.ca/news: by Stefani Langenegger – A Saskatchewan woman says it was both her scariest and her luckiest day — she fought off a black bear after it bit her on the leg during an afternoon walk. Raschel Zeschuk lives in Paradise Hill, northeast of Lloydminster, and goes on daily walks with her two dogs. But on April 21 the walk was anything but routine. Zeschuk had just reached the end point of her usual route and turned around to return home when she heard rustling behind her. Behind her dog was a black bear in hot pursuit. She says she started to scream in an effort to scare the bear off and looked around for higher ground. “All I could kind of think of was, ‘Get up on something,'” Zeschuk said. She began running towards some poplar trees which had fallen over in the bush.  “The bear immediately turned away from my dog and started chasing me,” Zeschuk said. “It caught up to me pretty fast.” The bear grabbed her leg, scratching it on one side and biting it on the other. Zeschuk scrambled up on the poplar tree, which gave way and she fell backwards. “This is where it’s kind of hazy,” she said. Her dog, Cosmo, began barking and Zeschuk had time to scramble back up on the tree. “It started trying to climb up after me and that’s when I kicked it in the nose as hard as I could and it ran off,” she said. Zeschuk says she then ran home as quickly as she could. She has six stitches in her leg and is getting her last rabies shot today.  Zeschuk says she loves hiking and is working with someone to overcome her anxiety about future walks, given her recent experience. Mostly she just feels very grateful. – For complete article and photos see http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/sask-woman-fights-black-bear-1.3567714

PUERTO RICO reports sharp rise in ZIKA VIRUS cases ~ OREGON county reports first-ever case of HANTAVIRUS

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Puerto Rico 02/12/16 washingtonpost.com: by Brady Dennis – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday detailed a sharp rise in Zika virus infections in Puerto Rico, from a single case involving an 80-year-old late last year to nearly 30 confirmed patients by the end of January. One case involved a woman in the first trimester of pregnancy, and another occurred in a patient hospitalized for Guillain-Barré syndrome, a potentially paralyzing condition that has followed Zika infections in some patients. The CDC said the commonwealth has not reported any Zika-associated cases of microcephaly — the congenital defect, characterized by abnormally small head size and brain damage, that is suspected in hundreds of newborns at the outbreak’s epicenter in Brazil. Public health officials expect the prevalence of the virus to only increase in Puerto Rico in coming weeks and months. One big reason: The mosquito that most commonly transmits it, Aedes aegypti, is present throughout the island. “The risk to Puerto Rico is significant,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said recently. The U.S. territory has experienced previous widespread outbreaks of dengue fever, another virus spread by the same type of mosquito. Most of the people infected with Zika so far live on the the eastern side of the island or around the populous capital of San Juan, according to the CDC. Four patients have been hospitalized, but most have reported only minor symptoms, such as rash, joint pain or eye pain. – For complete article see https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/02/12/cdc-puerto-rico-seeing-mounting-cases-of-zika-virus-infection/

HANTAVIRUS:

hantavirus.339988iidOregon 02/12/16 eastoregonian.com: Hantavirus is here. The sometimes fatal rodent-borne virus has been diagnosed in a Umatilla County resident for the first time ever. The county health department wouldn’t give details about the victim to protect the person’s privacy, but the case prompted Umatilla County’s Public Health Officer Dr. Jon Hitzman to issue a warning. “Hantavirus is a rare but serious disease spread by rodents,” Hitzman said. “This disease can frequently become fatal, but there are steps you can take to reduce your exposure.” The virus lurks in enclosed areas such as barns, outbuildings and sheds where mice nest. Since hantavirus was first identified in 1993, 588 cases showed up nationally, 21 of them in Oregon. About two thirds of cases in Oregon were contracted through direct contact with rodents or rodent droppings. Other cases came through indirect exposure while camping or farming. – For complete article see http://www.eastoregonian.com/eo/local-news/20160212/first-ever-umatilla-county-hantavirus-case-diagnosed

New strain of LYME DISEASE complicates diagnosis ~ Mayor of HAWAII COUNTY declares State of Emergency due to DENGUE epidemic

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National 02/10/16 startribune.com: by Allie Shah – Mayo researchers have discovered a new strain of Lyme disease that is raising concerns because it does not produce the bull’s-eye rash that typically alerts people to the condition. The culprit is a new species of bacteria found in the Upper Midwest and reported in the online medical journal, the Lancet Infectious Diseases. “It was a fortuitous discovery,” said Dr. Bobbi Pritt, director of the Clinical Parasitology Laboratory at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. “We weren’t setting out to find a new organism.” Before the discovery, scientists believed that only one species of bacteria — called Borrelia burgdorferi — caused Lyme disease in humans. But when scientists tested samples from patients for evidence of Lyme disease they found a new bacteria in a small number of the cases. It is carried by the black-legged tick, or deer tick, as it’s commonly known. Most of the patients infected with the new bacteria showed different symptoms than the classic Lyme disease signs. A low-grade fever, body aches and chills are common symptoms. But the new bacteria caused many of the patients to experience nausea and vomiting too. “One of the most important differences was their rash,” Pritt said. Most of the patients infected with the new bacteria suffered from a diffuse rash all over their body instead of the typical bull’s-eye rash. – For complete article see http://www.startribune.com/new-strain-of-lyme-disease-produces-different-symptoms-that-could-complicate-diagnosis/368313801/

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Author’s Note: Are TICKS active in the winter? See the Univ. of Rhode Island TickEncounter Resource Center Winter 2016 Newsletter at https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/152cc1ac26833141

DENGUE FEVER:

 

dengue_alert548HAWAII 02/08/16 staradvertiser.com: by Craig Gima – Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi declared a state of emergency today. The emergency proclamation stated that there have been 250 confirmed cases of dengue fever on Hawaii island since Oct. 29 and that state and county officials are working on mosquito control and public education measures to break the cycle of dengue infection and transmission. The mayor said the state of emergency is needed to prevent the spread of the outbreak and eliminate dengue fever virus from the island. The immediate effect of the proclamation is to suspend a county law that prohibits the acceptance of tires at county landfills. The emergency period is in effect for 60 days and could be extended. (Governor) Ige said in a news release that the state will issue an emergency proclamation if certain conditions are met, including requiring additional resources beyond current levels; the outbreak spreading to other islands; the outbreak expands to include zika and other diseases; if there’s a need to waive laws and regulations; and if the state needs federal assistance. – For complete article and declaration see http://www.staradvertiser.com/breaking-news/hawaii-county-mayor-declares-state-of-emergency-over-dengue-fever-outbreak/

WHO expects ZIKA VIRUS to reach most countries of the AMERICAS ~ CDC expands ZIKA VIRUS TRAVEL WARNING ~ CDC officials says big ZIKA VIRUS outbreak unlikely in US ~ ARIZONA officials confirm HANTAVIRUS fatality ~ ARIZONA scientist says DEER are developing genetic resistance to CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE.

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South, Central and North America 01/25/16 wcvb.com: by Emily Smith – The World Health Organization anticipates that the Zika virus will spread to all but two countries in South, Central and North America. The mosquito-borne disease has raged in South America and other regions for several months. Twenty-one countries and territories of the Americas have reported cases of the virus since Brazil reported the first cases of local transmission in May 2015, WHO’s regional office for the Americas said in a statement. “Aedes mosquitoes — the main vector for Zika transmission — are present in all the region’s countries except Canada and continental Chile,” the statement said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged pregnant women to postpone travel to Bolivia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Martin, Suriname, Samoa, Venezuela and Puerto Rico. The CDC also recommended that women who have recently traveled to these places during their pregnancy be screened and monitored for the virus. – For complete article see http://www.wcvb.com/health/who-expects-zika-virus-to-spread/37620996

Caribbean 01/26/16 cdc.gov: Media Release – Today, CDC added the following destinations to the Zika virus travel alertsUnited States Virgin Islands and Dominican Republic.  Previously, CDC issued a travel alert (Level 2-Practice Enhanced Precautions) for people traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing: the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory; Barbados; Bolivia; Brazil; Cape Verde; Colombia; Ecuador; El Salvador; French Guiana; Guadeloupe; Guatemala; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; Martinique; Mexico; Panama; Paraguay; Saint Martin; Samoa; Suriname; and Venezuela.  Specific areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing are often difficult to determine and are likely to continue to change over time. As more information becomes available, CDC travel alerts will be updated. – For complete release see http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/s0126-zika-travel-guidance.html

National 01/27/16 npr.org: by Rob Stein – The outbreak of Zika virus in Brazil and other countries has raised concern that the pathogen could start spreading widely in the United States, as well. But federal health officials and other infectious disease specialists say so far that seems unlikely. “Based on what we know right now, we don’t think that widespread transmission in the United States is likely,” says Dr. Beth Bell, director of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are several reasons for Bell’s cautious optimism that isolated cases that show up in the U.S. could be contained. The first is that the two species of mosquitoes that could be capable of transmitting the virus, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, live mostly in the southern, more tropical parts of the U.S. That makes it likely that transmission would be limited primarily to these areas. And for various reasons, the chain of events and conditions the virus needs in order to spread is more easily disrupted in the U.S. than elsewhere. For example, many people in the U.S. have air conditioning in the summer, so aren’t as likely to leave windows open at the times of day when mosquitoes are especially active. Open windows also tend to have screens. And many counties and other municipalities spray to kill mosquitoes and are vigilant in trying to eliminate pools of standing water where the insects can breed. “These are all conditions that make it less likely for ongoing, large-scale spread to occur,” Bell says. – For complete article see http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/01/26/464459350/big-zika-virus-outbreak-unlikely-in-the-u-s-officials-say

Hantavirus:
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Arizona 01/25/16 lakepowelllife.com: by John Christian Hopkins – A 17-year-old Cameron girl is the first victim of the Hantavirus on the Navajo Nation in 2016. The death was confirmed by the Navajo Department of Health and the Navajo Epidemiology Center on January 19. . . . The girl was active in her community and had a 4.0 GPA. She had Hantavirus symptoms when she visited the Tuba City Hospital, and died en route to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque. – For complete article see http://www.lakepowelllife.com/navajo-girl-dies-from-hantavirus/

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD):

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National 01/22/16 greatfallstribune.com: by Nicholas Haley, DVM, PhD – Perhaps no issue is as controversial in the hunting community right now as Chronic Wasting Disease. There’s constant finger-pointing and a lot of theories about how it will change hunting forever for the worse. But fortunately, emerging scientific research suggests that CWD doesn’t have to be the scourge that many fear. Last year, a herd at an Iowa ranch was depopulated after one of the animals tested positive for CWD, as is standard U.S. Department of Agriculture protocol. However, the situation took years to resolve as the ranch owner fought for a more equitable solution. As such, CWD naturally spread among the animals. This provided a unique opportunity for testing of the animals, since depopulation normally occurs relatively quickly. After testing and euthanizing the entire herd, sadly a large percentage were identified as CWD positive. The silver lining was that 20 percent were negative, and we are currently looking at a genetic link to resistance in these animals. If we can further characterize this resistance in deer, that’s very promising. As CWD spreads — and it will, since you can’t stop free-ranging deer from moving around — then the deer that are more genetically susceptible to the disease will die off at higher rates than those that are less genetically susceptible. The net result will be a hardier population of deer that is more resistant to CWD. With farmed deer, there’s the potential to select for this resistance faster than nature herself could. – For complete article see http://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/opinion/guest-opinions/2016/01/22/chronic-wasting-disease-prognosis/79199086/