Category Archives: Viral disease

Japanese brewer’s STUDY claims BEER may have ANTI-VIRUS properties ~ RAT BITE FEVER confirmed in several WASHINGTON residents ~ MOUSE trapped in southern CALIFORNIA positive for HANTAVIRUS ~ FERAL CAT enters pet door and attacks FLORIDA family.

beermug

Author’s Note: How about some NATURAL UNSEEN BENEFITS for a change? And just in time for the holiday season! Beer . . . more than just a breakfast drink . . . it’s also keeping us healthy. But they caution one would have to drink 30 12 oz. cans to derive benefit, which seems to me just another benefit.

uh1lbo00000000khGlobal 12/07/12 huffingtonpost.com: Does beer have anti-virus powers? According to a new study funded by Japanese beer company Sapporo Breweries, a “key ingredient” found in the world’s most popular alcoholic beverage may very well help stave off winter sniffles. Researchers at Sapporo Medical University found that humulone, a chemical compound in hops, was effective against the respiratory syncytial (RS) virus, AFP reports. In addition, humulone was also found to have an anti-inflammatory effect, according to Sapporo’s news release. “The RS virus can cause serious pneumonia and breathing difficulties for infants and toddlers, but no vaccination is available at the moment to contain it,” Jun Fuchimoto, a researcher from the beer company, told AFP. The RS virus, which is said to be particularly prevalent in the winter months, can also cause symptoms similar to that of the common cold in adults. But before you reach for that bottle of your favorite brew, harboring dreams of winter-illness domination, be warned: Since only small quantities of humulone can be found in beer, researchers say a person would have to drink about 30 12 oz. cans of the alcoholic drink to benefit from the anti-virus effect, AFP notes. – For complete article and video see http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/07/beer-has-anti-virus-properties-study-sapporo_n_2258735.html

Rat Bite Fever:

BrownNorwayRatWashington 12/07/12 wenatcheeworld.com: by Dee Riggs – Rat Bite Fever has been confirmed in a few Chelan and Douglas county residents and possibly in a Grant County resident who may have been exposed here. The Chelan-Douglas Health District issued a press release about the illness Friday but offices are closed on Fridays so details on how many cases were not available. Rat bite fever is a bacterial disease carried by rats and is part of the normal flora of their mouths and noses, according to the press release. Other animals such as mice, gerbils, ferrets, squirrels, cats, especially feral cats and dogs can get infected, and may or may not get sick with rat bite fever, but they may also spread it. There is no known person-to-person transmission, and it is more commonly seen in children. A bite, scratch, droppings or urine from an infected rodent can transmit the disease. Any food items potentially rat-removalcontaminated by rodents or their droppings should be thrown away. Contaminated water sources and unpasteurized milk have also been considered possible health risks for rat bite fever. Illness develops within three weeks of the exposure. Initial symptoms include fever, muscle aches, joint pain, headache, nausea, and vomiting and many people develop a rash on their hands and feet one to five days after having a fever. Unlike influenza, there is no cough associated with the illness and it is easily treated with antibiotics.

Hantavirus:

1138_loresDeerMouseCDCCalifornia 12/07/12 fox5sandiego.com: A mouse trapped in Campo by the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health has tested positive for hantavirus,  an illness that is not easily transmitted but can be fatal. The disease is often found in rodents in San Diego’s backcountry, but they rarely pose a threat to humans when they’re in the wild, according to the DEH. At home, people should be careful when cleaning up rodent debris and droppings. An infection could cause Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, which starts out like the flu but can escalate to severe breathing difficulties and, in 36 percent of case, causes death, according to county officials. – See http://fox5sandiego.com/2012/12/06/campo-mouse-tests-positive-for-hantavirus/#axzz2EQn4g1Iu

Feral Cat Attack:

il_430xN_88258052Florida 12/05/12 Lee County:  A feral cat that entered the pet door of a Cape Coral family’s home and attacked a mother and daughter is under quarantine and being observed for signs of rabies. It’s assumed the cat was looking for food. – See http://www.winknews.com/Local-Florida/2012-12-05/Feral-cat-enters-dog-door-attacks-Cape-Coral-family-#.UMK3hHdrRs9

STRAY CATS prompt city wide RABIES ALERTS in GEORGIA, NEW JERSEY, AND NORTH DAKOTA ~ RABIES reports from CT, GA, OR, & VA ~ DEER with CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE found in WISCONSIN’s Racine County ~ WEST NILE VIRUS report from LOUISIANA.

Feral cat colony. PD

Feral cat colony. PD

Georgia 12/04/12 Chatham County: A feral cat found in the Godley Station of Pooler has tested positive for rabies. Officials are looking for a man they believe may have been bitten by the cat, and at least five other people were exposed to the gray and white tabby. – See http://savannahnow.com/latest-news/2012-12-04/cat-tests-positive-rabies-public-health-officials-seek-possible-bite-victim#.UL7JoIYt7WD

Author’s Note:  See Chatham County, Georgia, above. As of 12/06/12, at least ten people and two pets are being treated for potential exposure to rabies due to possible contact this with gray and white tabby cat. – See http://www2.wsav.com/news/2012/dec/06/metro-says-10-people-and-two-pets-were-exposed-rab-ar-5117677/

raccoon_catNew Jersey 12/06/12 Atlantic County: A feral cat that had been bitten by a raccoon has tested positive for rabies, the fourth confirmed case of rabies this year in Atlantic County. The cat was surrendered by the owner of a Mallard Court property in Pleasantville earlier this week according to the Atlantic County Division of Public Health. The property owner stated that the cat had been bitten by a raccoon about a month ago and had since been displaying neurological symptoms. The cat was sent to the state lab for testing where it was confirmed positive on December 4. – See http://www.nbc40.net/story/20279862/fourth-case-of-rabies-found-in-atlantic-county

Billboard1-1North Dqkota 12/06/12 Stutsman County: A cat found on November 30th by local animal control authorities close to the Tesoro gas station at 2015 Eighth Ave. SW in Jamestown has tested positive for rabies. The adult female cat was an orange and white tabby with long hair and was declawed. It is not known who owned the cat, or if the cat was from Jamestown or dropped off there, the Health Department said. Anybody missing a cat matching the description or who may have information about this cat should contact the North Dakota Department of Health. Pet owners who believe one of their pets may have been exposed to the rabid cat should contact their local veterinarian or the state veterinarian’s office.  Anybody who was bitten or otherwise exposed to the saliva of this animal should contact his or her health care provider and the North Dakota Department of Health immediately to determine the need to receive preventive treatment for rabies. – See http://www.jamestownsun.com/event/article/id/175041/group/News/

Other Rabies Reports:

knzjts-080709inknoseskunk - CopyConnecticut 12/06/12 New Haven County: A skunk that was killed by three vaccinated dogs on Wolf Hill Road in Cheshire on Tuesday has tested positive for rabies. – See http://nhregister.com/articles/2012/12/06/news/metro/doc50c11e1a759ac838977365.txt

thumbnailCA7RYDRPGeorgia 12/03/12 Gwinnett County: A raccoon found on November 22nd in the 4300 block of Grey Park Drive in Buford has tested positive for rabies. – See http://loganville.patch.com/articles/rabies-alert-issued-in-gwinnett-county-b2261ea3

RedFoxUSFWS-001Oregon 12/05/12 Jackson County: A dead fox found at a home near Jacksonville on November 27th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121205/NEWS/212050321

raccoon - CopyVirginia 12/06/12 Hampton: A raccoon found in the Sunset Creek area of Victoria Boulevard after it was killed by a family dog has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.dailypress.com/news/breaking/dp-hampton-rabies-1206,0,4675031.story

Chronic Wasting Disease:

Doe-Fawn-Buck-1Wisconsin 12/03/12 journaltimes.com: A deer killed near Bohners Lake has tested positive for chronic wasting disease, the first known case in Racine County, according to a release Monday from the state Department of Natural Resources. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a contagious neurological disease affecting deer, as well as elk and moose. According to the DNR, CWD causes a “spongy degeneration” of the infected animal’s brain, which eventually leads to death. The DNR was sampling for the disease in Racine County kills because of the proximity to Kenosha and Walworth County, where deer have tested positive for the disease in the past. “It’s disappointing but not unexpected to have a CWD-positive in Racine County,” said Tim Lizotte, CWD operations supervisor for the DNR.

Deer with CWD.

Deer with CWD.

Bow-hunters shot the three-and-a-half-year-old doe just south of Burlington on Nov. 12, and volunteered the kill to the DNR for sampling, according to the department. This sampling result does not change any remaining hunting seasons, and it doesn’t change the current CWD management zone boundary, according to the DNR. Deer suffering from the disease exhibit symptoms including lack of fear of humans, excessive urination, teeth grinding, severe emaciation and dehydration, visible weakness and a rough, dull coat.

West Nile Virus (WNV):

LA-DHHLouisiana 11/30/12 dhh.louisiana.gov: Update – State health officials report 11 new human cases and one new death this week. There are four new neuroinvasive disease cases reported this week, with one each from Bossier, Calcasieu, St. Helena and Winn parishes. There are five new West Nile fever cases reported this week, with one each from Bossier, Cameron, Concordia, East Feliciana and Orleans parishes. Two new asymptomatic cases were reported this week, from Grant and Pointe Coupee parishes. Louisiana has had 382 West Nile cases, of which 156 are neuroinvasive disease, and 17 deaths, all of which occurred within two weeks of disease onset, thus far in 2012. – See http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/newsroom/detail/2712

FLORIDA WOMAN attacked by RABID FOX ~ Other RABIES reports from GA, PA, VA, & CANADA’s NEW BRUNSWICK Province ~ CDC announcement of new PLAGUE FACT SHEET.

Gray fox. Photo by New York Department of Environmental Conservation.

Gray fox. Photo by New York Department of Environmental Conservation.

Florida 11/29/12 Martin County: A fox that bit a resident in Port Mayaca’s J&S Park Estates on Monday has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2012/nov/29/rabid-fox-bites-woman-in-port-mayaca/

1426663Georgia 11/30/12 Chatham County: A raccoon that was trapped after fighting with two dogs in the vicinity of LaRoche Avenue on the Isle of Hope has tested positive for rabies. ­ See http://savannahnow.com/latest-news/2012-11-30/raccoon-tests-positive-rabies#.ULmKbIYt7WB

rabiesAlert521d4-1Pennsylvania 11/29/12 Allegheny County: A gray cat that bit a Swissvale woman in the vicinity of the 7300 block of Denniston Avenue has tested positive for rabies. The cat, which is likely a stray, was hit by a car on Monday and went onto a porch where the resident tried to help it and was bitten. Anyone else who may have been bitten or scratched by this cat should seek medical advice. – See http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/3046696-74/cat-health-rabies-county-rabid-bitten-animal-contact-department-swissvale#axzz2Dfxm1Bug

2195804032_bb25565f77 - CopyVirginia 11/29/12 Hopewell: A skunk found on the 500 block of North Ninth Avenue near City Point National Cemetery on Monday has tested positive for rabies. – See http://progress-index.com/news/rabid-skunk-found-in-hopewell-1.1409840

Canada:

rabies_tag_small_websiteNew Brunswick 11/30/12 Restigouche County: An unvaccinated house cat in Balmoral that bit its owner has tested positive for rabies. The New Brunswick Veterinary Medical Association said this incident reinforces that rabies still exists in the province. – See http://atlantic.ctvnews.ca/n-b-house-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies-1.1060786

~ ~ ANNOUNCEMENT ~ ~

cdc_logo

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases

Division of Vector-Borne Diseases / Bacterial Diseases Branch

Fort Collins, Colorado

Is pleased to announce the release of CDC’s

Plague Fact Sheet

(in English and Spanish)

at

http://www.cdc.gov/plague/

USFWS study supports belief that EASTERN WOLF is a distinct species ~ GEORGIA’s Atlanta Zoo Aviary closed after PARAKEET dies of PSITTACOSIS ~ WEST NILE VIRUS report from CDC-National, & MISSISSIPPI ~ RABIES reports from FLx2, NJ, NY, & WI.

Eastern wolf. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

National 11/26/12 mnn.com: by OurAmazingPlanet Staff – Eastern wolves, which used to live in the northeastern United States, but now remain only in southeastern Canada, qualify as a distinct species from their western cousins, according to a review by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service scientists. The finding may be important for the future of North American wolves and could help scientists understand how the animals evolved, as noted by USA Today.

In the study, published in October in the journal North American Fauna, the scientists reviewed decades of research on North American wolves, much of it complicated and contradictory. Some studies found 8 subspecies of gray wolves; others suggested as many as 27. Previously, scientists considered eastern wolves a subspecies of gray wolf, Canis lupus lycaon (pronounced LY-can). However, the new review of reams of genetic data suggests that the animal should be classified as a separate species of wolf entirely.

Gray wolf. Courtesy National Park Service.

Eastern wolves would join two universally recognized species of wolves in North America: gray wolves (Canis lupus) and red wolves (Canis rufus). Gray wolves once ranged throughout most of modern-day America, but were hunted and poisoned to the brink of extinction, maintaining only a single population in northern Minnesota, the study noted. The animals have since recovered slightly and been reintroduced to Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park  (although hunting has since resumed in Minnesota, Wyoming and elsewhere).

Red wolf. Photo by Dave Pape. Wikimedia Commons.

Red wolves were also wiped out from their native range, but have been reintroduced into North Carolina and are thought to be breeding in the wild, according to news reports. The study found that eastern wolves are most closely related to red wolves, and that both species evolved from a common ancestor shared with coyotes. This helps explain why eastern wolves can still mate with and form hybrid offspring with coyotes, so-called coywolves. Gray wolves, on the other hand, are known to kill any coyotes they come across. Smaller than their western cousins, eastern wolves weigh from 62 to 77 pounds (28 to 35 kilograms), according to the study. They preferentially prey on white-tailed deer, unlike gray wolves, which have a more wide-ranging diet, USA Today reported. – For complete article see http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/eastern-wolves-deemed-separate-species

Psittacosis:

Georgia 11/28/12 cbsatlanta.com: by Katie Brace – A parakeet at Zoo Atlanta has died from a bacterial infection which caused staff to temporarily shut down the Boundless Budgies Parakeet Aviary. On their website, Zoo Atlanta said, “A histopathology report from the parakeet indicated the presence of psittacosis, a bacterial infection that can cause respiratory problems in birds and humans.” The exhibit was closed because the infection may be transmitted to humans through direct handling of infected birds or by inhaling bacteria from bird feces or organic debris. “We routinely conduct necropsies so that we can be as proactive as possible about detecting the presence of disease in our collection, and this is the first example of psittacosis in these parakeets that we have seen at Zoo Atlanta,” said Hayley Murphy, DVM, director of veterinary services. Psittacosis primarily affects parrots, parakeets, macaws, lovebirds and cockatoos.

Parakeets. Photo by Kent County, Michigan.

The parakeet collection is treated with antibiotics once a year in an effort to reduce the likelihood of birds contracting the disease. “The veterinary team is taking every appropriate action to test and treat the parakeet flock. We continue to proactively monitor any circumstance which would affect our animal collection or our guests,” said Murphy. Vets will decontaminate the aviary before the venue will be reopened to the public. It is unclear how long that will take. Dr. Hayley Murphy, director of Veterinary Services at Zoo Atlanta, told CBS Atlanta the exhibit will probably be closed for 60 days, as the 250 budgies are treated with antibiotics. Murphy said the risk to humans is extremely low. She said none of the zoo keepers assigned to the birds were sick and no other birds had tested positive for the bacteria. “I wouldn’t worry about it. The chances of you getting it in an open air exhibit like this are so low compared to a home or pet store where there are budgies or parrots,” said Murphy. The bacteria causes mild-like cold symptoms in humans, according to Murphy. The CDC only had 66 reported human cases over four years.

West Nile Virus (WNV):

National 11/27/12 cdc.gov: Update – Forty-eight states have reported WNV infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes. A total of 5,245 cases of WNV disease in people, including 236 deaths, have been reported to CDC. Of these, 2,663 (51%) were classified as neuroinvasive disease (such as meningitis or encephalitis) and 2,582 (49%) were classified as non-neuroinvasive disease. The 5,245 cases reported thus far in 2012 is the highest number of WNV disease cases reported to CDC through the last week in November since 2003. Eighty percent of the cases have been reported from 13 states (Texas, California, Louisiana, Illinois, Mississippi, Michigan, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Colorado, Arizona, Ohio, and New York) and a third of all cases have been reported from Texas. – For details and maps see http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm

Mississippi 11/26/12 msdh.ms.gov: State health officials confirm two new human cases of WNV reported in Wayne and Perry counties, bringing the state total to 244 cases and five deaths. This is the highest number of WNV cases ever reported in Mississippi. – See http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/23,13151,341.html

Rabies:

Florida 11/29/12 Hernando County: A raccoon that bit and scratched a teenager and his dog on Monday near Brookside Street in Spring Hill has tested positive for rabies. Authorities encouraged residents in the area of the attack, just east of Mariner Boulevard and north of Elgin Boulevard, to report any stray animals or wild animals exhibiting aggressive or unusual behavior to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. – See http://www.tampabay.com/news/publicsafety/raccoon-with-rabies-bites-teen-dog-in-spring-hill/1263711

Florida 11/28/12 Polk County: A bat found at Summerlin Academy in Bartow has tested positive for rabies. One child was potentially exposed to the virus. – See http://www2.tbo.com/news/breaking-news/2012/nov/28/eighth-polk-county-case-of-rabies-confirmed-ar-578226/

New Jersey 11/28/12 Bergen County: A skunk found by county animal control officers in Lyndhurst in the vicinity of Riverside County Park has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.northjersey.com/news/181258661_Skunk_tests_positive_for_rabies_in_Lyndhurst.html

New York 11/28/12 Tioga County: Health officials have issued a Rabies Alert after a fox attacked a Tioga Center man and woman in their driveway while they were exiting their vehicle. Both were bitten, but the fox escaped. Due to its erratic behavior, officials are assuming the animal is rabid and both individuals will be treated for potential exposure to the virus. – See http://www.wbng.com/news/local/Suspected-Rabid-Fox-On-The-Loose-in-Tioga-County-181197851.html

Wisconsin 11/27/12 Dane County: The Department of Public Health is looking for information regarding a dog that bit a child on 11/21/12. The incident occurred around 6 or 7pm on Darbo Drive, near Worthington Park in the city of Madison. The dog is described as short-haired, medium in size and white with brown spots. Anyone having information regarding this incident is asked to call Police and Fire dispatcher at 255-2345 and ask for the animal services officer. If the animal is not located, the victim may be required to complete a series of painful and costly injections to prevent rabies.

Elderly CANADIAN couple survive BEAR attack ~ CALIFORNIA MAN bitten by DOG at-large ~ WEST NILE VIRUS report from LOUISIANA.

Grizzly bear. Courtesy National Park Service.

Canada:

Chart courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

British Columbia 11/26/12 thestar.com: A man and woman have been airlifted to a Calgary hospital after surviving a bear attack near Kimberley, B.C. Conservation officer Joe Caravetta says the attack happened late Sunday afternoon in a remote area about 250 kilometres southwest of Calgary. Caravetta says it appears the two hikers may have startled a female bruin and two cubs, and the mother bear attacked when the woman tried to run away. The bear then turned on the man before continuing to attack the woman — leaving both people with serious injuries to their legs, groin, head and arms.

Chart courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

RCMP and four conservation officers were called to the scene and are trying to track the bears to determine if a grizzly or a black bear was involved. Caravetta says it’s likely a grizzly attack because any incident involving a black bear would be quite unusual at this time of year because the animals should be hibernating.

Author’s Note: According to a separate cnn.com report, the man, in his 80s, and his wife, in her 60s, encountered the bear and cubs near a dead deer.

Rabies:

California 11/26/12 willows-journal.com: The Glenn County Sheriff’s Office is looking for a Rottweiler that attacked a Hamilton City man on Saturday. The attack occurred about 5:49 p.m. near the area of 1410 Esperanza Ave. The 34-year-old victim is reported to have suffered puncture wounds to his face, officials said. Sheriff’s officials said it is extremely important that this canine be located quickly to ensure that there is no danger of rabies or additional attacks. The dog is black and tan and weighs approximately 50 to 60 pounds, officials said. The Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone with information about the dog, its location or its owner to call 934-6507 or 934-6431.

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Louisiana 11/19/12 dhh.louisiana.gov: State health officials confirm 15 new WNV cases this week, and reports one death from the disease. There are six new neuroinvasive disease cases reported this week, from Jefferson (1), Orleans (2), Tangipahoa (1) and Rapides (2) parishes. Five of these are newly identified cases, and one is a previously reported case that progressed into neuroinvasive disease. There are 10 new West Nile fever cases reported this week, from Assumption (1), Catahoula (1), East Baton Rouge (2), Ouachita (1), Rapides (2), St. Landry (1) and Winn (2) parishes. Louisiana has had 371 WNV cases, of which 152 are neuroinvasive disease, and 16 deaths, all of which occurred within two weeks of disease onset, thus far in 2012. – See http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/newsroom/detail/2701

Brookfield Zoo in ILLINOIS prepares MEXICAN WOLF for release in NEW MEXICO ~ HIKER attacked by MOUNTAIN LION in TEXAS at Big Bend ~ WHO issues WORLDWIDE ALERT concerning new CORONAVIRUS ~ FERAL CAT exposes three in NEW YORK to RABIES ~ CANADA: Town in ONTARIO reports first WEST NILE VIRUS fatality this year.

Ernesta. Mexican Gray Wolf.
Photo by Jim Schultz. Chicago Zoological Society.

New Mexico 11/23/12 chicagotribue.com: by Joseph Ruzich – She may have not been born free, but Ernesta, a 4-year-old Mexican gray wolf from Brookfield Zoo [Illinois], might be able to live out the rest of her life roaming the wilds of New Mexico. Ernesta was transferred from the west suburban zoo to the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility near Socorro, N.M., on Oct. 27 and is now attending “wolf boot camp” with two other male wolves that arrived when she did. The goal is to prepare them for release into the wild as part of an effort to increase the wolf population in the area. “She is doing well (in her enclosure) and is adapting with the other wolves,” said Maggie Dwire, a biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “She doesn’t like to be around people, but that is a good quality for a wolf in the recovery program.”

Photo by Jim Schultz. Chicago Zoological Soc.

There are only 58 Mexican gray wolves living in the wild in New Mexico and Arizona, but there are 283 living at 52 zoos and other institutions across the United States. Most of the wolves in the wild are second- and third-generation animals that are descendants of wolves that were released from the Sevilleta facility, according to Tom Buckley, public affairs specialist for the Fish and Wildlife Service. The Mexican gray wolf population in the Southwest had been dwindling throughout the 20th century as human settlement and hunting intensified across in the area. The Fish and Wildlife Service first listed the species as endangered in 1976. The Mexican gray wolf is the southernmost-living, rarest and most genetically distinct subspecies of gray wolf in North America.Dwire said Ernesta and the two male wolves are being kept in a large fenced-in area that mimics the high desert landscape that surrounds it. There are about a dozen wolves at Sevilleta. “The goal for her is to accept one of the males as her mate,” Dwire said. “If she gets pregnant, she may be released with her mate in spring, but we might also decide to wait until late summer. There are a lot of factors that must be taken into account.” – For complete article see http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-brookfield-wolf-20121123,0,3875921.story

Mountain Lion:

Texas 11/24/12 nps.gov: Alert – A female hiker was injured by a mountain lion while hiking in a remote area of Big Bend National Park on Friday, November 23. Andrea Pinero Cebrian and her companions were exploring the Mesa de Anguila near Lajitas when she was attacked. Cebrian was treated by Terlingua Medics and her injuries are not considered to be life threatening. The Mesa de Anguila has been closed to all visitors while rangers and park biologists investigate and patrol in search of the mountain lion. Park Superintendent Cindy Ott-Jones noted “Visitor safety is our main concern here in Big Bend and we will monitor and close the Mesa until we deem it safe for visitors.” For updates or additional information please call the park at 432-477-2802.

World Health Organization (WHO) ALERT:

Global 9/23/12 who.int: Alert – On 22 September 2012, the United Kingdom (UK) informed WHO of a case of acute respiratory syndrome with renal failure with travel history to Saudi Arabia and Qatar. . . The Health Protection Agency of the UK (HPA) conducted laboratory testing and has confirmed the presence of a novel coronavirus . . . The HPA compared information from the clinical sample collected from the 49 year-old Qatari national with that of a virus sequenced previously by the Erasmus University Medical Centre, Netherlands. This latter isolate was obtained from lung tissue of a fatal case earlier this year in a 60 year-old Saudi national. This comparison indicated 99.5% identity, with one nucleotide mismatch over the regions compared.

11/23/12: WHO has been notified of four additional cases, including one death, due to infection with the novel coronavirus. The additional cases have been identified as part of the enhanced surveillance in Saudi Arabia (3 cases, including 1 death) and Qatar (1 case). This brings the total of laboratory confirmed cases to 6. Investigations are ongoing in areas of epidemiology, clinical management, and virology, to look into the likely source of infection, the route of exposure, and the possibility of human-to-human transmission of the virus. Close contacts of the recently confirmed cases are being identified and followed-up. – See http://www.who.int/csr/don/archive/disease/coronavirus_infections/en/index.html

Rabies:

New York 11/23/12 Livingston County: An apparently sick, feral cat found by an individual in the Town of York and taken to a vet for treatment has tested positive for rabies. Three people are receiving post-exposure rabies treatments. – See http://thelcn.com/2012/11/23/rabid-cat-found-in-livingston-county/

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Canada:

Ontario 11/23/12 Hamilton: Health officials confirm the first local WNV-related fatality in the city. A family member confirmed the victim was Antonio Occhiuto, 82, who died Thursday at Hamilton General Hospital. – See http://www.cbc.ca/hamilton/news/story/2012/11/23/hamilton-west-nile.html

CONNECTICUT officials looking for WOMAN bitten by RABID CAT ~ FLORIDA county reports first WEST NILE VIRUS fatality ~ TRAVEL WARNING: Portugese island of MADEIRA reports DENGUE outbreak.

Connecticut 11/21/12 Windham County: by cbslocal.com – Health authorities are posting an urgent notice as they try to trace a woman bitten by a cat in Chaplin, Connecticut about two weeks ago.  The cat has since died, and a necropsy found it suffered from rabies, Director Robert Miller of the Eastern Highlands Health District says the woman was driving on South Bear Hill Road, with at least one child in her vehicle.  It was after 5 p.m. around November 8th, but because it was dark, the witness did not have more of a description than that.  The car was travelling between Cross Road and Canada Lane.

The woman had picked the cat up from the road, and told the witness it bit her.  Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus present in the saliva of infected animals. It has been about two weeks since the woman was bitten, and he says typically symptoms show up three weeks to six weeks after exposure. Miller says it is urgent that treatment begin before symptoms appear.  After that it is almost invariably fatal. Anyone who knows who the woman could be is asked to call the health district at (860) 234 6975.

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Florida 11/21/12 Duval County: Health officials have confirmed that a 60-year-old man is the first WNV-related fatality in the county this year. – See http://www.news4jax.com/news/1st-death-associated-with-West-Nile-reported-in-Duval-County/-/475880/17512722/-/fud1yo/-/index.html

Travel Warning:

Madeira 11/21/12 ndtv.com: Europe is experiencing its first sustained transmission of dengue fever since the 1920s with more than 1,300 people infected with the mosquitoborne disease in the Portuguese archipelago of Madeira. In a rapid risk assessment, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said that 25 cases of the disease – which is also called “breakbone fever” because of the severe pain it can cause – have been found elsewhere in Europe in travellers returning from Madeira. Such cases have so far been picked up in Portugal, Britain, Germany, Sweden and France, it said. “Given the dramatic expansion of endemic dengue transmission globally over the last 20 to 30 years and the high number of visitors to Madeira, the outbreak is large and constitutes a significant public health event,” the ECDC said in an assessment issued late on Tuesday. Since the outbreak began in early October, 1,357 cases of dengue fever have been reported by health workers in Madeira, including 669 laboratory-confirmed cases and 688 probable cases. Eighty-nine people have received hospital treatment but there have been no deaths so far. – See http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/large-dengue-fever-outbreak-in-madeira-spreads-cases-in-europe-295327