Category Archives: Viral disease

MAINE CDC confirms 30 farm-raised PHEASANTS have died of EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS (EEE) ~ EEE & WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CO, IL, MAx2, NJ, NY, & SC ~ TRAVEL WARNING: CDC reports SARCOCYSTOSIS in MALAYSIA ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending September 1, 2012.

Pheasant. Photo by David Croad. Wikimedia Commons.

Maine 09/11/12 Lebanon, York County: State health officials have identified cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in a number of farm birds in Lebanon, according to Lebanon Selectman Jason Cole. Maine State Epidemiologist Dr. Stephen Sears on Monday told Robert Frizzell, chairman of the Board of Selectmen that state officials found the disease in a number of pheasants raised on a farm in Lebanon, and 30 birds have died of the disease. “The Lebanon Board of Selectmen wants to make sure that the residents are aware of the situation and are provided the facts that we were provided,” Frizzell said in a statement. “There is no need for alarm. We simply want to ensure the residents have the information that we have been provided so they can make the appropriate safety measures.” – See http://www.keepmecurrent.com/news_now/birds-in-lebanon-die-of-equine-encephalitis/article_2c6abf34-fc22-11e1-b50d-0019bb2963f4.html

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) & West Nile Virus (WNV):

Colorado 09/11/12 cdphe.state.co.us: Update – As of Sept. 7, health officials have confirmed 51 human cases of WNV in the state, including two deaths in Montrose County. – See https://mail.google.com/mail/?hl=en&shva=1#inbox/139b69328cb10c21

Illinois 09/09/12 Lake County: Health officials have confirmed five human cases of WNV in the county including a 68-yearold man in Buffalo Grove, a 60-year-old man in Mundelein, a 65-year-old woman in Grayslake, a 42-year-old woman in Libertyville, and a 69-year-old man in Lake Zurich. In addition, 81 mosquito pools and three birds have tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.wlsam.com/Article.asp?id=2529438&spid=

Massachusetts 09/10/12 Franklin and Worcester counties: Health officials have confirmed a third human case of EEE in a girl under 18 who is currently hospitalized. The danger of EEE in the communities of Athol, Orange, and Royalston has been raised to a “critical” threat level, and nearby communities have been raised to a “high” threat level. – See http://www.necn.com/09/10/12/3rd-human-case-of-EEE-in-Mass-confirmed/landing.html?blockID=771099&feedID=4753

Massachusetts 09/11/12 Rochester, Plymouth County: The risk level for EEE has been raised to “critical” after a horse was confirmed infected with the virus. The risk level was raised to “high” in nearby Wareham, Freetown, Acushnet, Marion, Middleboro, Lakeville, and Mattapoisett. – See http://wareham-ma.villagesoup.com/community/story/triple-e-threat-raised-to-high-in-wareham/895288

New Jersey 09/10/12 njspotlight.com: by Anthony Vecchione – According to the health department, state officials have  confirmed 15 (human) cases of WNV from 12 counties, including: Bergen (1), Burlington (1), Camden (1), Essex (2), Gloucester (1), Hudson (1), Mercer (1), Middlesex (1), Monmouth (1), Ocean (3), Passaic (1) and Salem (1). An elderly Burlington County man who tested positive for WNV died last week. – See http://www.njspotlight.com/stories/12/0909/2310/

New York 09/09/12 silive.com: Three human cases of WNV have been reported on Staten Island. Citywide there have been 17 human cases reported, including one fatality. – See http://www.silive.com/news/index.ssf/2012/09/west_nile_threat_centered_on_s_2.html

South Carolina 09/11/12 North Augusta, Aiken County: Health officials have confirmed that Stacy Furtick, 80, is the first man in the state to die of WNV this year. A total of 17 human cases have been identified by SCDHEC in 11 different counties across the state and five of those were in Aiken County. Statewide, three animals and 13 birds have also tested positive for the illness. – See http://www.aikenstandard.com/story/0911-west-nile-virus-death-con

Travel Warning:

Malaysia 09/10/12 cdc.gov: Outbreak Notice – CDC has received reports of four cases of sarcocystosis that have been associated with 2012 summer travel to Tioman Island. Sarcocystosis is a disease caused by a parasite called Sarcocystis. Sarcocystosis occurs in tropical or subtropical countries, including countries in Southeast Asia. This disease is common among wild and domestic animals but can also cause disease in humans. Two forms of the disease can occur: one causes diarrhea and the other causes muscle pain, fevers, and other symptoms. Muscle sarcocystosis is spread through the ingestion of food, water, or soil contaminated with infected animal feces. Many people infected with Sarcocystis may not have symptoms. The travelers described in this notice returned from Malaysia with severe muscle pain. Other reported symptoms included mild diarrhea and fever. Most people were ill for 2-4 weeks after leaving the island. – See http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/outbreak-notice/sarcocystosis-malaysia-outbreak.htm

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending September 1, 2012:

Published September 7, 2012/ 61(35); ND-480-ND-493

Anaplasmosis . . . 8 . . . New York (8),

Babesiosis . . . 3 . . . New York (3),

Brucellosis . . . 1 . . . California,     

Ehrlichiosis . . . 5 . . . Arkansas, Missouri (2), Virginia (2),

Giardiasis . . . 169 . . . Alabama (2), Arizona (2), Arkansas (2), California (20), Florida (26), Idaho (3), Iowa, Maine (4), Maryland (5), Michigan (3), Missouri (6), Nebraska, Nevada, New York (43), Ohio (24), Oregon, Pennsylvania (10), South Carolina (2), Virginia, Washington (12),

Lyme Disease . . .  138. . .  California, Florida (3), Maryland (5), New York (59), Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania (60), Vermont, Virginia (6), Washington,

Rabies (Animal) . . . 45. . . Connecticut (2), Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, New York (13), Ohio (4), Texas (7), Vermont (6), Virginia (8), West Virginia (2),

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Confirmed) . . . 2. . . Indiana (2),

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 12 . . . Arkansas, Idaho, Missouri (4), New York, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee , Virginia (2),

Tularemia . . . 2 . . . Indiana, Washington.

CANADA: BC teen attacked by BROWN BEAR sow with cub near Sitka ~ Third HANTAVIRUS death linked to YOSEMITE ~ TEXAS home quarantined due to fear of HANTAVIRUS ~ MOUNTAIN LION sighting reported near CHICAGO ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS & WEST NILE VIRUS reports from FL, GA, IN, MAx3, NJ, OH, TX, VT, & WA ~ RABIES reports from CA, CT, GA, NE, NM, NY, NC, & PA.

Brown Bear. Courtesy National Park Service.

Canada:

British Columbia 09/05/12 kcaw.org: by Robert Woolsey – An 18-year-old Vancouver, BC, resident suffered minor injuries after being attacked by a brown bear sow on a popular trail near Sitka. The young woman was traveling on the state ferry with her family. The attack occurred on the Mosquito Cove Trail on Tuesday (9-4-12), about a mile from the Sitka ferry terminal. Mosquito Cove is a mile-and-a-quarter loop that begins and ends in the Forest Service campground in the Starrigavan Valley. The woman, Nicola Rammell, was out in front of the rest of her family, jogging during a ferry layover. The area of trail where she met the sow runs along the ocean, in the thick forest fringe at the base of a cliff. ADF&G biologist Phil Mooney says the bear and cub were traveling in the same direction as Rammell, who had almost no time to react. “When she stepped up on the knob, essentially she was looking right at the bear’s butt. She yelled, and turned around to flee, and fell off the corner of the trail there, down the hill. The bear pounced on her and bit her on the buttocks.” This bite is the only injury Rammell suffered. Unlike Sitka’s last harmful bear encounter – between a mountain-biker and another sow at Heart Lake in 2009 – the bear did not swipe Rammell with her claws. But the episode was not quite over.

“She screamed again and the bear let her go and rejoined its cub. She then stood up and waved at the bear, and the bear charged her again – a bluff charge – and didn’t make any physical contact that time. Then, it turned around and picked up the cub and left the scene.” All of this happened so quickly that the young woman’s family never knew she was in distress. Mooney says the sow is probably a new mother, around seven years old. Her cub was born this year, and appears a little scrawny for this late in the summer. The sow has had two other notable encounters with people: A few weeks ago, she bluff-charged the occupants of the Starrigavan recreation cabin, and just the day before this incident, she climbed up on the boardwalk and bluff-charged a local resident who had gotten between the sow and her cub. The Forest Service has now closed all trails and the campground in the Starrigavan Valley. Mooney, however, says trail users elsewhere in Sitka should be aware that this kind of encounter is not unique to Starrigavan. – For complete article see http://www.kcaw.org/2012/09/05/trail-campground-closed-after-bear-attack/

Hantavirus:

West Virginia 09/07/12 google.com: by John Raby – A West Virginian is the third person to die so far from a rodent-borne illness linked to some tent cabins at Yosemite National Park that has now stricken eight people in all, health officials said Thursday. Five people are ill from the outbreak reported last week by park officials, who said up to 10,000 guests could have been exposed to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome from sleeping in the cabins since June 10. More infections could be reported. Alerts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sent to public health agencies, doctors and hospitals have turned up other suspected cases that have not yet been confirmed. This week the European CDC and the World Health Organization issued global alerts for travelers to any country to avoid exposure to rodents. Dr. Rahul Gupta, director of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, declined to release details of the West Virginia victim at a news conference. Gupta said the victim had visited the park since June but declined to be more specific, citing the family’s wish to grieve in private. The other deaths occurred in California and Pennsylvania. Those that were sickened also were from California and the National Park Service said Wednesday they were either improving or recovering. – For complete article see http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g_BHcK8uXnfgD7h1YKMY-jzUK7yw?docId=425f673c46944cce9d21f6aafde488cc

Texas 09/08/12 chron.com: by Carol Christian & Anita Hassan – A home in The Woodlands remained under quarantine Saturday as health officials wait for test results to confirm the presence of the deadly rodent-borne hantavirus. Officials took the unusual step of closing the house on a small cul-de-sac in the 11000 block of Slash Pine Drive after a woman who had been helping clean the home for the TLC television show “Hoarding: Buried Alive” developed a respiratory illness, said Dr. Mark Escott with the Montgomery County‘s deputy local health authority. The female patient was treated at a hospital in Montgomery County, but specifics of her condition can’t be released, Escott said. Montgomery County health officials plan to drive Sunday to Austin with another sample from the house to test at a state laboratory. “We’re expecting that result will be positive,” Escott said of the report, which should be available late Monday afternoon. – For complete article see http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/article/Fatal-virus-found-at-Woodlands-house-under-3850404.php

Mountain Lion Sightings:

Illinois 09/06/12 Winettka, Cook County: A family driving east on Willow Road Monday reported what they believe was a mountain lion sighting on the parkway. The incident has not been confirmed. – See http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/winnetka_northfield/ct-met-north-shore-cougar-sightings-20120906,0,426821.story

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) & West Nile Virus (WNV):

Florida 09/08/12 Okaloosa County: Health officials confirmed on Friday that a person has died from complications related to WNV. It was the county’s first WNV-related fatality and second confirmed human case of the virus. – See http://www.pnj.com/article/20120909/NEWS01/309090045/West-Nile-virus-blame-Okaloosa-death?nclick_check=1

Georgia 09/08/12 Savannah, Chatham County: Dr. Richard S. Roth says he’s encountered the first human case of WNV in the county this year. The patient is a middle-aged man who spent four days hospitalized but is expected to recover. – http://onlineathens.com/local-news/2012-09-08/1st-case-west-nile-virus-reported-chatham-county

Indiana 09/06/12 Marion County: Health officials announced Thursday that a second resident has died of WNV. An Evansville-area person died in August from the virus. The two deaths in the county occurred in Wayne and Warren townships. The State Department of Health has confirmed at least 33 human cases of WNV this year. Marion County has had 11 cases. – See http://www.indystar.com/article/20120906/NEWS/120906055/2nd-West-Nile-death-confirmed-in-Marion-County?odyssey=tab|mostpopular|text|NEWS

Massachusetts 09/08/12 Belchertown, Hampshire County: The threat of EEE is considered “critical” in Belchertown, and “high” in towns surrounding it, including Amherst, Granby, Pelham, New Salem, Palmer, South Hadley, and Ware, after state health officials confirmed late Thursday that a horse in Belchertown died from EEE. – See http://www.gazettenet.com/2012/09/08/caution-urged-after-eee-found-in-valley

Massachusetts 09/07/12 boston.com: by Chelsea Conaboy – A Worcester (County) man has died of West Nile virus, the first fatal case in Massachusetts during a year in which there has been an unprecedented level of infection across the United States. The state announced three other human cases of West Nile Friday and raised the risk level for mosquito-borne illnesses for all Massachusetts communities to at least moderate . . . The death was announced one day after state officials said that a Metrowest man had died of Eastern equine encephalitis — the state’s first EEE death this year. Former research scientist and US Army veteran Benjamin Duce of Westborough was infected with EEE in early August and died several days later, according to his family. The 79-year-old had worked for Astra Pharmaceutical (now AstraZeneca) for more than 20 years and was an avid gardener, said his wife of 56 years, Diane Duce . . . The state has raised the threat level for EEE in Westborough to critical. The level for nearby towns of Grafton, Hopkinton, Northborough, Shrewsbury, Southborough, and Upton, have been raised to high. Mattapoisett also has been listed as high-risk after mosquitoes there tested positive for EEE. – For complete article see http://www.boston.com/whitecoatnotes/2012/09/07/boston-woman-infected-with-west-nile/4jLiBpbAfm7d5AijE2mLDK/story.html

Massachusetts 09/06/12 Hampden County: State health officials have raised the WNV threat level to “critical” in Chicopee, and to “high” in Springfield and other local communities, after the mosquito-borne virus was detected in a horse in Chicopee. Officials confirmed last week that a 69-year-old Chicopee man had contracted WNV. – See http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2012/09/state_health_officials_raise_w.html

New Jersey 09/07/12 doh.state.nj.us: News Release – The number of human cases of WNV statewide has risen to 15, including the state’s first WNV-related fatality, an elderly Burlington County man. – See https://mail.google.com/mail/?hl=en&shva=1#inbox/139a1e9bf4ec65df

Ohio 09/07/12 wsls.com: The state’s confirmed number of WNV cases has increased to 67, more than double the human cases documented just three weeks ago, state health officials said. Two people — a 76-year-old man in Hamilton County and an 87-year-old man in Cuyahoga Countyhave died. Statewide, 50 people have been hospitalized. – For complete article see http://www2.wsls.com/lifestyles/2012/sep/07/ohio-records-67-west-nile-virus-cases-in-humans-ar-2190379/

Texas 09/07/12 Bexar County: Another human case of WNV has been reported in the county, city health officials said Thursday, raising the local total to 10. The most recent victim is an 81-year-old man. So far this year, two people have died in Bexar from the disease. – See http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/New-West-Nile-case-makes-10-countywide-3845279.php

Vermont 09/06/12 Chittenden County: Health officials said Wednesday that an adult was hospitalized with WNV. – See http://www.benningtonbanner.com/local/ci_21476758/vt-adult-infected-west-nile-hospitalized

Washington 09/07/12 doh.wa.gov: News Release – Two residents confirmed with WNV infection are the first human cases in the state in two years. A Pierce County woman in her 70s was likely exposed to the virus while traveling out of state; a Yakima man in his 30s hadn’t left the state. – See http://www.doh.wa.gov/Newsroom/2012NewsReleases/12134WestNileVirusfirstWaRsidentCasesOfYear.aspx

Rabies:

California 09/06/12 San Anselmo, Marin County: A bat found near the main parking lot at Lake Lagunitas has tested positive for rabies. – See http://millvalley.patch.com/articles/rabid-bat-found-near-lake-lagunitas-marin-rabies-alert-issued-89d0e0cd

Connecticut 09/07/12 Mystic, New London County: According to Ledge Light Health District officials, a skunk found in the vicinity of Clift Street has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.thewesterlysun.com/news/skunk-trapped-in-mystic-tests-positive-for-rabies/article_ff46ae7c-f961-11e1-a163-0019bb2963f4.html

Georgia 09/06/12 Folkston, Charlton County: A fox killed by police after it attacked two dogs at a local residence has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.charltoncountyherald.com/articles/2012/09/06/news/doc5048d6999c9a1968344258.txt

Nebraska 09/06/12 Sidney, Cheyenne County: A skunk that attacked a dog on August 21st just southeast of the city limits has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.suntelegraph.com/cms/news/story-640549.html

New Mexico 09/08/12 Carlsbad, Eddy County: A raccoon that fought with two dogs near the corner of Calloway and Watson has tested positive for rabies. In a separate incident, a bat that attacked two dogs in the 600 block of Blodgett has tested positive for rabies. And in a third incident, a man who tried to get a bat out of his garage was bitten before the bat flew away. At least one of the dogs has been euthanized, and the man has begun post-exposure rabies shots. – See http://www.currentargus.com/ci_21487660/rabies-outbreak-continues-carlsbad

New York 09/06/12 Highland, Sullivan County: A fox that attacked two people in the hamlet of Barryville last weekend has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.riverreporter.com/news/11/2012/09/06/rabid-fox-barryville-no-longer-public-threat

North Carolina 09/06/12 Beaufort County: A raccoon found on Asbury Church Road near River Road has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.witn.com/news/headlines/Health-Warning-Rabid-Raccoon-Found-In-Beaufort-County-168809376.html?ref=376

Pennsylvania 09/08/12 Montgomery County: Health officials have reported three more cases of bats with rabies – one in the Gladwyne section of Lower Merion and two in the King of Prussia area of Upper Merion. This brings the total number of confirmed bat rabies cases in the county this year to eight. – See http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/local/the_intelligencer_news/rabies-cases-up-in-montco/article_5faa1cf6-8d67-523d-8934-26e5ab9766c0.html

RABID BEAVER attacks elderly swimmer in VIRGINIA lake ~ Five DEER in IOWA test positive for CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ COYOTE report from NEW MEXICO ~ MOUNTAIN LION report from WYOMING ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS & WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CDC National, IN, IA, NE, RI, SD, & VT ~ RABIES reports from FL, GAx2, ID, LA, NC, & PA.

Beaver. Photo by Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Virginia 09/05/12 Bailey’s Crossroads, Fairfax County: A beaver that attacked an 83-year-old woman while she was swimming in Lake Barcroft has tested positive for rabies. See http://www.wtop.com/149/3022304/Beaver-attacks-elderly-woman-in-Fairfax

Iowa 09/04/12 omaha.com: by Andrew J. Nelson – Five deer at an unnamed Pottawattamie County breeding facility have tested positive for chronic wasting disease, leading state officials to quarantine the operation, the Iowa Departments of Natural Resources and Agriculture announced Tuesday. The quarantine comes on the heels of the first known case of chronic wasting disease in Iowa, in a white-tail deer on a hunting preserve in Davis County, in the southeast part of the state, in July. At the time, officials described it as an isolated case. However the cases appear related. Three of the five deer from Pottawattamie County and the deer from Davis County have been traced to a breeding facility in Cerro Gordo County, in north-central Iowa. Officials have quarantined the Cerro Gordo County operation as well, where one deer has also been found to have the disease. “It’s not out in the general deer population that we know of, so that’s good,” said Dustin Vande Hoef, spokesman for Iowa Department of Agriculture. “We’re trying to chase it down to make sure we have them all contained.” – For complete article see http://www.omaha.com/article/20120904/NEWS/709059902/1707

Coyote Attacks:

New Mexico 09/04/12 Albuquerque, Bernalillo County: Neighbors near the Tanoan Golf Course are worried a pack of coyotes are starting to like their greens a little too much. Louie the miniature poodle is moving a little slowly, but his owner says he’s lucky to be alive. Louie and his family live just off the ninth hole in Tanoan. His owner let him out early last Tuesday morning when she heard a terrible screech. She says a coyote jumped into her yard and took a big bite out of the little dog. A week before that, neighbors say a small dog next door was mauled to death in its yard by a coyote. – See http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/coyotes-attacking-dogs-near-golf-course

Mountain Lion Sightings:

Wyoming 09/05/12 Lander, Fremont County: An employee arriving for work at Mr. D’s Food Center in Lander just before 3:30 a.m. was surprised to see a mountain lion in street next to the store and notified police. Chief Jim Carey said officers responded to the call and observed the lion heading south at 7th and Cliff streets. The lion turned east on Cliff and entered the backyard of a residence in the 600 block. Police awoke the resident there then searched the back yard but could not find the lion. It was later spotted running east along the 500 block of Fremont and was last seen along the 300 block heading east. Carey said the Wyoming Game and Fish Department was notified and they assisted with the search. – See http://county10.com/2012/09/05/police-blotter-mountain-lion-spotted-in-lander/

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) & West Nile Virus (WNV):

CDC-National Report 09/05/12 cdc.gov: CDC Telebriefing on West Nile Virus Update – As of September 4, 2012, 48 states have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes.  The only states not reporting West Nile activity are Alaska and Hawaii.  Forty-four states have reported at least one human case.  A total of 1,993 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 87 deaths, have been reported to CDC.  Of these, 1,069 (54 percent) were classified as neuroinvasive disease (such as meningitis or encephalitis) and 924 (46 percent) were classified as non-neuroinvasive disease.  For comparison, the numbers reported last week were 1,590 total cases, 889 neuroinvasive disease cases, and 66 deaths. So, this week numbers represent about a 25 percent increase over last week. The 1,993 cases reported thus far in 2012 is the highest number of West Nile virus disease cases reported to CDC through the first week in September since West Nile virus was first detected in the United States in 1999.  As was true last week, over 70 percent of the cases have been reported from the following six states: Texas, South Dakota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Michigan, and Louisiana.  And nearly 45 percent of all cases have been reported from Texas. – For complete telebriefing see http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2012/t0905_west_nile_update.html

Indiana 09/05/12 pal-item.com: Health officials have confirmed ten human cases of WNV distributed through nine counties in the state so far this year. At least 67 counties have reported mosquitoes testing positive for the virus. – See http://www.pal-item.com/article/20120905/OPINION/309050004?nclick_check=1

Iowa 09/05/12 Scott County: Health officials report the county’s sentinel chicken flock has tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.kwqc.com/story/19463970/scott-county-west-nile-virus-found

Nebraska 09/05/12 ne.gov: WNV Update – State health officials confirm 40 human cases of WNV including one fatality statewide. The report also confirms 16 positive blood donors, 8 positive dead birds, and 190 positive mosquito pools statewide. – See http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/wnvData2012.aspx

Rhode Island 09/04/12 Tiverton, Newport County: A third batch of mosquitoes trapped within the state this year has tested positive for EEE. This is the second time EEE has been identified in Tiverton this year. A batch trapped in North Providence earlier also tested positive. – See http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/84b1100dffd340a0aea05b6432cc0746/RI–Mosquito-Viruses

South Dakota 09/05/12 doh.sd.gov: WNV Update – State health officials confirm 119 human cases of WNV including 2 fatalities.  The report also confirms 27 viremic blood donors, 8 horses, 2 birds, and 68 WNV positive mosquito pools statewide. – See https://mail.google.com/mail/?hl=en&shva=1#inbox/139967c0eedf6147

Vermont 09/06/12 burlingtonfreepress.com: by Mike Donoghue – One person has died in Vermont due to (EEE), Vermont Health Department spokesman Robert Stirewalt said Tuesday evening. Stirewalt said that until the death certificate is filed, he was unable to provide information about the person, including the name, age or gender. “All we can say is, it is an individual,” he said. – See http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20120904/NEWS07/309040026/Health-Department-confirms-Vermont-death-mosquito-borne-EEE?odyssey=mod|breaking|text|FRONTPAGE&nclick_check=1

Rabies:

Florida 09/05/12 Apalachicola, Franklin County: A fox that bit a woman working in her yard in the vicinity of Avenue D has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.apalachtimes.com/news/case-10524-apalachicola-rabies.html

Georgia 09/03/12 Forsyth County: A rabies alert has been issued after a 72-year-old man was bitten by a raccoon in his barn off of Hopewell Road. The raccoon tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/19445039/second-confirmed-case-of-rabies-in-forysth-county

Georgia 09/04/12 McDuffie County: A fox that attempted to attack a person near Sweetwater Park off Wrens Highway on August 27th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.mcduffieprogress.com/article_4640.shtml

Idaho 09/05/12 Ada County: Another bat tested positive for rabies last week bringing the total in the county to five, and the statewide total to 13 this year. – See http://www.messenger-index.com/news/article_40084f72-f6b2-11e1-babc-0019bb2963f4.html

Louisiana 09/04/12 South Mansfield, DeSoto Parish: The Parish Sheriff’s office has confirmed that a recently captured skunk has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.news-journal.com/panola/news/rabies-confirmed-in-neighboring-parish/article_77549c9a-5123-5b49-9b0d-eb4988e1fe9b.html

North Carolina 09/03/12 Wilmington, New Hanover County: Three people and two dogs have been bitten by foxes this week in the vicinity of George Anderson Drive and 17th Street. It was not reported that the foxes were captured. Only one of the dogs was up-to-date on its rabies vaccination. – See http://critters.blogs.starnewsonline.com/14202/wect-three-people-and-two-dogs-bitten-by-foxes-over-last-two-days/

Pennsylvania 09/04/12 Gladwyne, Montgomery County: A bat captured at a home on the 700 block of Mill Creek Road has tested positive for rabies. – See http://brynmawr.patch.com/articles/gladwyne-bat-tests-positive-for-rabies-county-says

EHD killing hundreds of DEER in ILLINOIS ~ A cluster of another SWINE FLU variant (H1N2v) reported by MINNESOTA ~ Scientists in SOUTH AFRICA may have found cure for MALARIA ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS & WEST NILE VIRUS reports from IL, IN, MA, MI, TN, TX, & VT ~ RABIES report from CALIFORNIA.

Whitetailed buck. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Illinois 09/01/12 dailyherald.com: by Marie Denecke – A disease that was unknown to local experts until only a few weeks ago is killing hundreds of deer in the Chicago area — and until the first frost comes, those numbers could still go up. Humans can’t be infected, but so far, it has caused the deaths of roughly 200 deer in Cook County. Six suspect cases have also been reported in Kane County. None have been reported so far in DuPage and Lake counties. “I have been working here for 30 years, but I have never come across EHD,” said Chris Anchor, wildlife biologist for the Cook County Forest Preserve District. EHD is short for epizootic hemorrhagic disease, a virus that usually kills deer within a week after infection. It spreads from deer to deer through midges — small, biting flies. And until only a few weeks ago, it had been unknown in this part of Illinois.

Midge fly. Carrier of EDHV.

EHD has been around in the United States for roughly 60 years, the first outbreak occurring in Michigan and New Jersey in 1955. The disease, which usually appears in the Midwest and Northeast, apparently found its way to this area because of a combination of “a mild winter and a hot summer,” said Anchor. It is a disease that seems to spread rapidly. Anchor heard of the first cases of EHD in Cook County only two weeks ago. And the number of deer deaths attributed to it has doubled in the last week. Cases have been concentrated in Hanover, Schaumburg and Palatine townships. – For complete article see http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20120901/news/709019918/

Minnesota 08/31/12 state.mn.us: News Release – Three people are believed to have developed a strain of influenza known as variant H1N2 (H1N2v) after exhibiting pigs or spending time in the swine barn at the Minnesota State Fair. The illness has been confirmed in a teenage girl who was exhibiting pigs at the fair and became ill on Aug. 26. The other two cases occurred in an elementary-school-aged boy who became ill on Aug. 27 after spending all day in the swine barn on Aug. 24, and a woman in her late seventies who became ill on Aug. 26 after spending a prolonged period of time in the swine barn and at the swine show in the Exhibit Hall on Aug 24. Both the boy and the older woman had underlying health conditions, and were treated with antiviral drugs. The woman was hospitalized, but has now been released. All three patients have recovered or are recovering. The H1N2v strain is different from the H3N2v strain that has prompted stepped up surveillance and prevention efforts nationwide, after causing 289 reported cases of illness and one death since the beginning of the year. – For complete release see http://www.health.state.mn.us/news/pressrel/2012/h1n2083112.html

Global 09/01/12 nationalgeographic.com: by Steve Boyes – The University of Cape Town’s Science Department believes that it has found a single dose cure for Malaria. This was announced by researchers that have been working on this compound, from the aminopyridine class, for several years. Unlike conventional multidrug malaria treatments that the malaria parasite has become resistant to, Professor Kelly Chibale and his colleagues now believe that they have discovered a drug that over 18 months of trials ”killed these resistant parasites instantly”. Animal tests also showed that it was not only safe and effective, but there were no adverse reported side effects. Clinical tests are scheduled for the end of 2013.

Dr. Kelly Chibale

If this tablet is approved in coming years, this achievement will surely usher in a new age for science in Africa. It will save millions upon millions of lives on the continent, helping avoid at least 24 percent of child deaths in sub-Saharan Africa. Professor Chibale proudly explains: “This is the first ever clinical molecule that’s been discovered out of Africa, by Africans, from a modern pharmaceutical industry drug discovery programme. The potent drug has been tested on animals and has shown that a single oral dose has completely cured those infected with malaria parasites.” This “super pill” could potentially cure millions of people every year, and save the lives of over one million people from around the world each year. This “cure” will most likely save health care systems throughout the developing world billions of dollars and open new areas for development and settlement.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) & West Nile Virus (WNV):

Illinois 08/31/12 Cook County: New human cases of WNV have been reported including an adult in Evergreen Park and a child in Oak Lawn, health officials said. As of August 31st, there have been 37 human cases of WNV reported in the county. – See http://palos.patch.com/articles/new-west-nile-virus-cases-crop-up-in-evergreen-park-oak-lawn-313c37c4#c

Indiana 09/01/12 Delaware County: Health officials have announced that the county’s first human case of WNV has been diagnosed in a woman over 60-years-of-age who has been hospitalized with serious complications. As of last Friday, there had been 26 human cases of WNV in the state including two deaths. – See http://www.thestarpress.com/article/20120902/NEWS01/309020032/Delaware-County-West-Nile-Virus?nclick_check=1

Massachusetts 09/02/12 Halifax, Plymouth County: Health officials warn that the town’s risk rate for EEE has now been boosted to “critical” by the state due to the recent death of an alpaca from the disease. – See http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2012/09/02/residents_warned_of_critical_risk_for_eee/

Michigan 09/03/12 Birmingham, Oakland County: So far this year, there have been 12 confirmed human cases of WNV in Oakland County, according to the Oakland County Health Division. Statewide, there have been 104 human cases and five deaths. In addition, Michigan Department of Public Heath public information officer Angela Minicuci said the virus has been appearing in clusters throughout Metro Detroit, notably Birmingham’s neighbors of Royal Oak and Berkley. – See http://birmingham.patch.com/articles/birmingham-takes-extra-precautions-against-west-nile-virus

Tennessee 09/03/12 tennessean.com: by Nancy DeVille – The Tennessee Department of Health has reported 10 human cases of West Nile this summer, but none in or around Nashville. There have been no deaths related to the virus this year, but last year, two of 18 cases resulted in deaths. – See http://www.tennessean.com/article/20120903/NEWS07/309030018/Nashville-avoids-West-Nile-cases?nclick_check=1

Texas 09/02/12 Permian Basin: As of Friday there were seven human cases of WNV reported in Ector County, and three confirmed deaths within the Permian Basin. One of the fatalities was from Ector County. The other two were residents from Andrews and Midland counties. Christine Mann, assistant press officer for the Texas Department of State Health Services, said there were 933 reported cases of WNV in all of Texas with 37 reported deaths. Dallas County had the most reported cases with 268 human WNV cases and 12 deaths. – See http://www.oaoa.com/news/nile-92662-west-officials.html

Vermont 09/02/12 Addison and Rutland counties: State health officials said Saturday that two people have been hospitalized with EEE.  Both cases involve adults from western Vermont. – See http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/viewart/20120902/NEWS07/120902001/First-2-human-EEE-cases-confirmed-Vermont-?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Rabies:

California 08/31/12 Altadena, Los Angeles County: An injured bat found in the 1000 block of Alpine Villa Drive on August 18th has tested positive for rabies. According to the county Public Health web site, 42 rabid bats have been found in the county so far this year. That’s the highest number found within a single year since testing of bats began in 1961. – See http://www.sgvtribune.com/news/ci_21448687/rabid-bat-discovered-altadena

OHIO reports first known H3N2v SWINE FLU related DEATH ~ CALIFORNIA reports MOUNTAIN LION sighting ~ WEST NILE VIRUS report from MASSACHUSETTS ~ RABIES reports from FL, GA, MA, NJ, RI, & WI ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending August 25, 2012.

Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Ohio 09/01/12 newsnet5.com: by Cassandra Nist – The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has reported Ohio’s first known H3N2v– associated death Friday. The individual had direct contact with swine at the Ross County Fair before coming ill. Click here for a complete list of Ohio’s county fairs. The 61-year-old female Madison County resident passed away earlier this week. Testing at the Ohio Department of Health Laboratory confirmed that the individual had been infected with the H3N2v influenza virus. The patient had multiple other underlying medical conditions, but the influenza virus may have contributed to the death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the main risk factor for infection is direct exposure to swine. CDC points out that the virus does not spread easily from person-to-person, but limited human-to-human infection has occurred. “H3N2v, like many other viruses, has the greatest potential to impact those with weakened immune systems,” said Dr. Ted Wymyslo, Director of ODH. “We have been seeing a mild illness in most individuals infected with the H3N2v virus, so there’s no need for alarm. However, it is important for those at-risk individuals to take extra precautions like avoiding swine exhibits to protect themselves.” Ohio is currently reporting 102 cases of H3N2v statewide. Those with confirmed cases of H3N2v are between the ages of 6 months and 61 years old. Most ill individuals have recovered on their own or were treated and released after a short stay in the hospital. – For complete article see http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/local_news/oh_cuyahoga/one-person-has-died-from-h3n2v-after-attending-ross-county-fair

Author’s Note: According to The New York Times, “Most cases have been in Ohio and Indiana,” but other cases have been confirmed as far away as Maine and Hawaii.  For a state-by-state breakdown of the 301 cases reported since August 2011 see http://www.cdc.gov/flu/swineflu/h3n2v-case-count.htm

Mountain Lion Sightings:

California 08/31/12 Sebastopol, Sonoma County: A mountain lion sighting south of town on Friday follows at least two possible sightings reported earlier in the spring near the downtown area. The most recent report involves a woman who said she saw what appeared to be a lion in an open field near Elphick and Bollinger avenues. – See http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20120831/ARTICLES/120839883

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Massachusetts 09/01/12 Middlesex and Hampden counties: Four more human cases of the WNV have been confirmed, bringing the total to eight in the state this season, health officials said Friday night. Three residents in Middlesex County and one in Hampden County, who were listed as probable cases earlier, were confirmed with the illness and all patients were recovering, officials said. – See http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2012/09/01/four_more_west_nile_virus_cases_confirmed_in_state/

Rabies:

Florida 08/31/12 Auburndale, Polk County: A bat found in Tenoroc High has tested positive for rabies, officials said. This is the seventh confirmed case of rabies this year in the county. See http://www.baynews9.com/content/news/baynews9/news/article.html/content/news/articles/bn9/2012/8/31/bat_found_in_tenoroc.html

Georgia 08/31/12 Madison County: Three rabies cases have been confirmed in the county within the past week, county leaders said Friday. Two of the cases involved skunks at locations on Applebaum Way and Charles Hart Road in the Colbert area. In both cases, the skunks had been killed by local residents and turned over to animal control. The third case involved a deceased horse in the area of Friendship Church Road and Chandler Road. – See http://www.madisonjournaltoday.com/archives/5464-Three-rabies-cases-confirmed-in-Madison-County.html

Massachusetts 08/31/12 Hingham, Plymouth County: An 11-year-old Hingham boy, who lives on the 100 block of lower Main Street, was bitten in his yard late afternoon on Monday, Aug. 27, by a cat.  The cat’s teeth punctured his skin, which requires determining the cat’s rabies vaccination status. No one is looking to punish the cat or its owners, but rather to find out its rabies status to determine whether they boy will need a series of rabies treatments.  The cat is not a complete stranger as he visits the boy’s yard from time to time, but not frequently. The cat appears to be well fed and cared for, but does not wear a collar.  He is mostly orange with some white stripes on his body, on his tail, and white on his paws.  The cat does not belong to any of the boy’s immediate neighbors. It is imperative to find out who owns the cat and its vaccination status.  Per the State Board of Health, there is a 10-day window of opportunity from this past Monday to find the cat before the boy must begin the rabies series. Anyone who owns this cat or knows of someone that owns this cat can contact Leslie Badger, Hingham Animal Control Officer, at 781-741-1490, or Marisa Ronan at 781-749-1862.

New Jersey 08/31/12 Hillsborough, Somerset County:  Health officials say there have been an unusual number of animals that have tested positive for rabies between Aug. 15 and 20.  A rabid skunk was found on Brook Drive on Aug. 15. Another rabid skunk was found at the Royce Brook Golf Course on Aug. 20. There was also a rabid cat behind the Goodyear on Route 206 on Aug. 20 (this was a young cat which was white with patches of tiger markings, with short hair.) – See http://www.centraljersey.com/articles/2012/08/31/hillsborough_beacon/news/doc50411ffa53a6a408491769.txt

Rhode Island 08/31/12 Barrington, Bristol County: A raccoon that bit the finger of a 4-year-old girl in her family’s garage has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.eastbayri.com/news/2012/aug/31/rabid-raccoon-bites-young-barrington-girl/

Wisconsin 08/31/12: The Eau Claire City-County Health Department is looking for two dogs involved with different biting events. The department is looking for a dog that bit a woman at the corner of Washington Street and State Street Thursday at about 5 p.m. The dog is described as a large sized Husky type dog, black and white in color. The woman walking with the dog was dressed in green shorts and a purple tee-shirt. The Health Department is urgently requesting health and rabies status of this dog.

The department is also looking for a dog that bit a child near the beach access to Elk Creek on Friday, Aug. 24. The dog is described as a large bulldog-type snub-nosed breed dog. The dog was with a younger couple with three other dogs. All had collars and tags. The dogs were called Jasper, Jackie, Melon and Sophie. The health and rabies status of the dog needs to be determined. If anyone has information about these two dogs, they should contact the Eau Claire Communications Center at 715-839-4972.

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending August 25, 2012:

Published August 31, 2012/ 61(34); ND-466-ND-479

Anaplasmosis . . . 23 . . . Arkansas, New Hampshire, New York (13), North Carolina, Rhode Island (6), Virginia,

Babesiosis . . . 3 . . . New York (3),

Brucellosis . . . 1 . . . Maryland,     

Ehrlichiosis . . . 13 . . . Arkansas, Delaware, North Carolina (8), Tennessee (2), Virginia,

Giardiasis . . . 183 . . . Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas (6), California (22), Florida (26), Hawaii, Idaho (3), Iowa (6), Maine, Maryland (2), Massachusetts (9), Michigan (7), Missouri (5), Montana, Nebraska (9), Nevada (2), New York (31), Ohio (19), Oregon (4), Pennsylvania (9), South Carolina (3), Vermont (3), Virginia (4), Washington (7), Wisconsin,

HME/HGE Undetermined . . . 1 . . . Indiana,

Lyme Disease . . .  163. . .  California, Connecticut, Delaware (5), Florida, Idaho, Maryland (9), Michigan (2), New York (74), North Carolina (9), Ohio, Pennsylvania (44), Vermont (2), Virginia (13),

Q Fever (Chronic) . . . 1 . . . Maryland, 

Rabies (Animal) . . . 47. . . Illinois (4), Kansas (2), Kentucky, Maine (3), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (10), Ohio (2), Texas (3), Vermont (3), Virginia (17),

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 34 . . . Arkansas (14), Florida (2), Maryland, Nebraska, South Carolina (2), Tennessee (11), Virginia (3),

Tularemia . . . 1 . . . Washington.

HANTAVIRUS cases linked to YOSEMITE now total six including two fatalities ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALTIS & WEST NILE VIRUS reports from FL, IL, ME, MD, & WI ~ RABIES reports from DE, OH, & CANADA: ONTARIO ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending August 18, 2012.

Yosemite National Park. Courtesy National Park Service.

Yosemite National Park 08/31/12 latimes.com: The number of hantavirus cases linked to Yosemite National Park rose Thursday as authorities said three more cases of the rare, rodent-borne disease have been confirmed. The California Department of Public Health announced two new cases and confirmed reports of the death of a Pennsylvania man and a non-fatal case involving a Californian, bringing the total number of cases linked to the park to six. Two people — the Pennsylvania man and a California man — have died. The remaining cases all involve California residents who are recovering, said Yosemite spokeswoman Kari Cobb.

Deer mouse. Photo courtesy of National Park Service.

Officials have shut down the 91 “signature tent cabins” in Curry Village, where they traced some cases to deer mouse droppings found in the area. The first three victims all stayed in cabins within 100 feet of one another in mid-June. Cobb said officials are still trying to determine where the other victims stayed. – For complete article see http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/08/more-cases-of-hantavirus-at-yosemite-some-camp-cabins-closed.html

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) & West Nile Virus (WNV):

Florida 08/31/12 Gulf County: Health officials have confirmed that a horse has tested positive for EEE. – See http://www.wmbb.com/story/19428303/confirmed-case-of-eee-in-gulf-county

Illinois 08/31/12 Romeoville, Will County: A woman in her early 40s is the first confirmed human case of WNV in the county this year. She was hospitalized, but has since recovered. Health officials have reported 59 human cases of WNV, including two fatalities, in the state this year. – See http://bolingbrook.patch.com/articles/will-countys-first-human-case-of-west-nile-reported-in-romeoville

Maine 08/31/12 Standish, Cumberland County: Health officials have confirmed that a mosquito sample collected in Standish has tested positive for WNV. The virus has also been found in Gorham, and Lebanon. – See http://www.boston.com/news/local/maine/2012/08/31/west-nile-virus-confirmed-standish-mosquitoes/F2PVMHsszW7ffAvh7tZwrO/story.html

Maryland 08/30/12 washingtonpost.com: One person, an adult, has died of WNV, health officials confirmed Thursday, but they declined to divulge the victim’s age, sex or place of residence. There have been 13 human cases of WNV in the state since July 1. – See http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/maryland-sees-first-west-nile-virus-death/2012/08/30/e0ecfcc0-f2da-11e1-a612-3cfc842a6d89_story.html

Wisconsin 08/31/12 Polk County: A health advisory has been issued by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services after blood samples from a quarter horse tested positive for EEE. This is the third horse to be diagnosed with the disease in the past ten days. – See http://www.wqow.com/story/19430990/equine-encephalitis-found-in-polk-county-horse

Rabies:

Delaware 08/30/12 RehobothBeach, Sussex County: A fox that bit two people on Pennsylvania and Oak avenues has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wgmd.com/?p=68029

Ohio 08/30/12 Boardman, Mahoning County: Potential exposure to rabies may lead to a family receiving treatment after a bat found in their home on Sunday tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.vindy.com/news/2012/aug/30/rabid-bat-found-boardman-home/?nw

Canada:

Ontario 08/30/12 Chatham-Kent: A bat that bit the foot of a 46-year-old Wallaceburg woman has tested positive for rabies. The attack occurred when she stepped out onto the balcony of her condo in the early evening. – See http://www.chathamdailynews.ca/2012/08/30/rabid-bat-bites-burg-woman

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending August 18, 2012:

Published August 24, 2012/ 61(33); ND-452-ND-465

Anaplasmosis . . . 15 . . . Maine (2), Maryland, New York (12),

Babesiosis . . . 7 . . . New York (7),

Brucellosis . . . 4 . . . Arizona, California, North Carolina (2),    

Ehrlichiosis . . . 3 . . . Missouri, New York, Tennessee,

Giardiasis . . . 145 . . . Alabama, Alaska (2), California (15), Florida (28), Idaho (2), Iowa (4), Maine (4), Maryland (5), Michigan (3), Missouri (3), Montana (3), Nebraska (2), Nevada (5), New York (24), Ohio (25), Oregon (4), Pennsylvania (8), Vermont (2), Washington (4), Wisconsin,

Lyme Disease . . .  236. . .  Delaware, Florida (5), Maryland (7), Massachusetts (2), New York (156), Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania (60), Tennessee, Vermont (2),

Q Fever (Acute) . . . 1 . . . Florida, 

Rabies (Animal) . . . 70. . . Connecticut (6), Illinois (5), Maine, New Hampshire (2), New York (20), Ohio (7), Texas (12), Vermont, Virginia (15), West Virginia,

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 17 . . . Michigan, Missouri (4), Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee (9).

Two MISSOURI farmers lead scientists to new, possibly TICK-borne, disease called HEARTLAND VIRUS ~ WEST NILE VIRUS deaths in U.S. now at 66 ~ COLORADO MAN likely contracted BUBONIC PLAGUE at San Juan National Forest campground ~ DOG euthanized in MICHIGAN after contracting EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS ~ MOUNTAIN LION reports from CO, NE, & WY ~ COYOTE report from MASSACHUSETTS ~ LA CROSSE ENCEPHALITIS report from NORTH CAROLINA ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS & WEST NILE VIRUS reports from IN, MAx2, NH, NM, SD, & WA ~ RABIES reports from GA, IA, LA, NY, NC, & VAx2.

This photograph depicts a dorsal view of a female “lone star tick”, Amblyomma americanum. Note the characteristic “lone star” marking located centrally on its dorsal surface, at the distal tip of its scutum. Courtesy CDC.

National 08/30/12 discovery.com: Two men in Missouri who became severely ill after sustaining tick bites were found to be infected with a new type of virus, according to a study from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Both men were admitted to hospitals after experiencing high fevers, fatigue, diarrhea and loss of appetite. They were originally thought to be suffering from a bacterial infection, but doubts arose when they didn’t improve after being treated with antibiotics. Further tests revealed their blood contained a new virus, which the researchers dubbed the Heartland virus. It belongs to a group called phleboviruses, which are carried by flies, mosquitoes or ticks, and can cause disease in humans. While the genetic material of Heartland virus appears similar to that of other phleboviruses, the particular proteins it produces are different enough to call it a new species, said study researcher Laura McMullan, a senior scientist at the CDC. Because the Heartland virus causes such general symptoms, it could be “a more common cause of human illness than is currently recognized,” the researchers wrote in the Aug. 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. More studies are needed to identify the natural hosts of the virus, learn how many people are infected with it and find risk factors for infection, McMullan said. Because both men experienced tick bites shortly before they became ill — one man, a farmer, reported receiving an average of 20 tick bites a day — the researchers said it’s likely that the Heartland virus is spread by ticks, although more research is needed to confirm this. The new virus’s closest relative is another tick-borne phlebovirus, called SFTS virus, which was identified last year in China, and causes death in 12 percent of cases.

The Missouri men, who were both infected in 2009, recovered after 10 to 12 days in the hospital, although one of the men has reported recurrent headaches and fatigue in the two years since his hospitalization. The researchers suspect a species of tick commonly found in Missouri, called Amblyomma americanum, is one of the hosts of the Heartland virus. For now, taking precautions to prevent tick bites is the best way to avoid the virus, McMullan said. To prevent tick bites, the CDC recommends using repellents that contain 20 percent or more DEET, as well as avoiding wooded areas or areas with high grass.

Culex sp. mosquito. Known carrier of West Nile Virus.

National 08/29/12 reuters.com: by Sharon Begley – A total of 1,590 (human) cases of West Nile Virus, including 66 deaths, were reported through late August this year in the United States, the highest human toll by that point in the calendar since the mosquito-borne disease was first detected in the country in 1999, health officials said on Wednesday. The toll is increasing quickly. “We think the numbers will continue to rise,” said Dr. Lyle Petersen, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases. Through last week, 1,118 cases and 41 deaths had been reported. The updated figures represent a 40 percent increase in the number of cases and a 61 percent spike in the number of deaths, but are short of the all-time record for a full year: 9,862 cases and 264 deaths in 2003. – See http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/29/us-usa-health-westnile-idUSBRE87S0WC20120829

Colorado 08/29/12 durangoherald.com: by Dale Rodebaugh – In the first confirmed (human) case of bubonic plague in the state since 2006, an Archuleta County resident has tested positive for the disease. The last human case in Archuleta County was in 1998. Although the investigation is ongoing, it is believed that the person contracted the plague during a family outing in the Cimarrona Campground northwest of Pagosa Springs, a news release from the San Juan Basin Health Department said. The department declined to give the gender or age of the victim.

Warning signs are being posted in the campground and environs in cooperation with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the U.S. Forest Service. The plague often spreads through rodent populations. – For complete article see http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20120829/NEWS01/708299897/Plague-case-reported-in-Archuleta-County

Michigan 08/29/12 Paw Paw, Van Buren County: Health officials confirmed on Wednesday that an 8-week-old puppy has contracted Eastern Equine Encephalitis. It may be the first known incident of a dog contracting the mosquito-borne virus in the state. The puppy was euthanized. – See http://www.freep.com/article/20120829/NEWS06/120829065/Authorities-Paw-Paw-puppy-gets-equine-encephalitis

Mountain Lion Sightings:

Colorado 08/29/12 Boulder, Boulder County: Two mountain lions were spotted in city neighborhoods Monday night. The first, seen in a backyard near Folsom and Walnut streets, responded to hazing and ran away. The second, seen near Maapleton Avenue and 26th Street, killed a house cat and allowed rangers to get within a distance of 10 feet. It’s lack of fear of humans prompted the rangers to shoot it. The two lions are thought to be siblings about 2-years-old. – See http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/31393945/detail.html

Nebraska 08/29/12 Scotts Bluff County: A 110 pound mountain lion found dead in the Wildcat Hills is believed to have been struck by a truck or other large vehicle on State Highway 71. This is the second lion reported in the area recently. – See http://www.omaha.com/article/20120829/NEWS/120829671/1707

Wyoming 08/30/12 Pavillion, Fremont County: Wildlife officials have confirmed that a mountain lion jumped from a homeowners pine tree and fled when the man came from the house to turn off a lawn sprinkler. Because the lion fled, officials don’t believe there is any reason for concern. – See http://county10.com/2012/08/30/mountain-lion-reappears-in-pavillion-wednesday-night-g-bears-now-active-in-lower-elevations/

Coyote Attacks:

Massachusetts 08/28/12 Newton, Middlesex County: A small, off-leash dog was attacked and carried off by a coyote on August 10th in the vicinity of William Street in West Newton. Neighbors reported that at least two area cats were also attacked by coyotes recently. A coyote sighting was more recently reported on Vista Avenue. – See http://www.wickedlocal.com/newton/news/x821894346/Coyote-attacks-reoccur-in-West-Newton#axzz24yRn4tKI

La Crosse Encephalitis (LAC):

North Carolina 08/30/12 Macon County: Health officials have confirmed that two children have been diagnosed with LAC. One child is from the Highlands and the other is from Franklin. Both children were hospitalized but have been released and are recovering. – See http://www.maconnews.com/features/health-a-wellness/3510-la-crosse-encephalitis-in-macon-county

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) & West Nile Virus (WNV):

Indiana 08/29/12 Jeffersonville, Clark County: Health officials confirmed that mosquitoes found in a routine sampling tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.wdrb.com/story/19409290/west-nile-virus-discovered-in-mosquitoes-in-southern-indiana

Massachusetts 08/28/12 Fall River, Bristol County: Health officials confirm that mosquitoes collected from the Oak Grove Cemetery have tested positive for EEE. – See http://www.wpri.com/dpp/news/local_news/se_mass/eee-found-in-mosquitoes-in-fall-river

Massachusetts 08/30/12 Newton, Middlesex County: Health officials confirm that a woman in her 50s is the first reported human case of WNV in the city so far this year. – See http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/newton/2012/08/newton_has_its_first_human_cas.html

New Hampshire 08/3012 Sandown, Rockingham County: State health officials have announced that a batch of mosquitoes trapped in Sandown has tested positive for EEE.  – See https://mail.google.com/mail/?hl=en&shva=1#inbox/139780871d4dc70b

New Mexico 08/29/12 Doña Ana County: A second county resident has been diagnosed with WNV, bringing the total in the state to eight human cases this year. – See http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-news/ci_21429006/west-nile-strikes-2nd-do-241-ana-county

South Dakota 08/28/12 doh.sd.gov: Update – Health officials confirm 98 human cases of WNV, and one related death, have been reported in the state so far this year. In addition, 8 horses, 1 bird, and 62 positive mosquito pools have been identified. – See https://mail.google.com/mail/?hl=en&shva=1#inbox/139735a4e93e7650

Washington 08/30/12 Grandview, Yakima County: The state Agriculture Department has confirmed that a horse with WNV has been euthanized. – See http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/30/4771496/grandview-horse-with-west-nile.html

Rabies:

Georgia 08/29/12 Murrayville, Hall County: A rabies alert has been issued after a skunk that came in contact with two dogs in the Tony Peck Road area tested positive for rabies. This is the 17th confirmed rabies case in the county this year. – See http://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/19406657/rabies-alerts-in-hall-dekalb-counties

Iowa 08/29/12 Keokuk, Lee County: A case of rabies in a pet cat has prompted area veterinary clinics to host vaccination clinics. – See http://www.wgem.com/story/19407070/hancock-county

Louisiana 08/28/12 South Mansfield, DeSoto Parish: A skunk picked up in the vicinity of Saunders Street has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.ksla.com/story/19399038/skunk-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-desoto-parish

New York 08/29/12 St. Lawrence County: Two raccoons, one found in Potsdam and the other in Gouverneur, have tested positive for rabies. – See http://northcountrynow.com/news/raccoons-potsdam-and-gouverneur-test-positive-rabies-health-officials-warn-public-again-065156

North Carolina 08/29/12 Guilford and Davidson counties: A raccoon found on Church Street in Greensboro, and a fox found in Reeds, have both tested positive for rabies. Three dogs, a cat, and a person were all potentially exposed to the virus. – See http://www.digtriad.com/news/local/article/242881/57/Triad-Counties-Report-More-Rabies-Cases

Virginia 08/28/12 Ware Neck, Gloucester County: A skunk killed by two dogs last week has tested positive for rabies. This is the fourth confirmed case of the virus in the county this year. – See http://www.dailypress.com/news/gloucester-county/dp-nws-gloucester-rabid-skunk-0829-20120828,0,950529.story

Virginia 08/29/12 Virginia Beach: A fox that bit a man several times while he was working in his yard Tuesday, and two hours later attacked another man working in his yard, has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Fox-tested-for-rabies-after-attacking-2-men-in-Va-3824547.php