Study shows CARDINALS are “Super-Suppressors” of WEST NILE VIRUS ~ CALIFORNIA and northern TEXAS report first WEST NILE VIRUS deaths of 2016 ~ More than 1,000 new cases of ZIKA weekly in PUERTO RICO ~ UTAH reports second HANTAVIRUS death of 2016 ~ RABID PET reports from PA, SC.

Northern cardinal pair photo by Ilona L on Flickr noncommercial use permitted with attribution  share alike.

National 08/08/16 seeker.com: Authors of a new study took a closer look at a puzzling circumstance in Georgia: low rates of human infection with the West Nile virus (WNV), even as about a third of Atlanta’s birds carry the disease. The same situation — many infected birds, not so many infected people — applied to the broader American southeast, a team of researchers from Emory University, Texas A&M, the University of Georgia and Georgia’s department of transportation noted. Indeed, they said, Georgia’s WNV infection rate, over the last 15 years, was only about 3 people per 100,000.

Northern cardinal; photo by Jen Goellnitz on FlickTo try to shed light on the discrepancy, the scientists spent three years testing birds and mosquitoes for WNV in Atlanta, analyzing the blood of the insects to determine on which birds they had fed. The scientists were keeping a sharp eye for the number of American robin infections. They consider that species a “super spreader” of WNV, for its capacity to store enough of the virus in its blood to pass along to other mosquitoes. While robins were certainly carriers, the researchers found a twist in the tale, one concerning a favorite of backyard birders everywhere: the cardinal.

Cardinal.female.atoztheusa.com.blog“What we found is that, for some unknown reason, around the middle of July, mosquitoes in Atlanta seem to decide that they have had their fill of robins and they switch to feeding on cardinals,” said the study’s lead author, Rebecca Levine, in a statement.  “But cardinals, even though they can be infected with West Nile virus, are much less likely to have enough virus circulating in their blood to transmit the disease back to feeding mosquitoes,” said Levine, now with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention but at Emory University during the research. “That is why we called them ‘super suppressors’.” . . . But, her team’s findings don’t suggest cardinals are a magic red bullet against WNV, Levine said. The birds might not have the same roles elsewhere, depending on the local ecosystems in which they live.  Findings from the study have just been published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.  – For complete article see http://www.seeker.com/cardinals-super-suppressors-of-west-nile-virus-1964581023.html

West Nile Virus (WNV):

07cd7361057a7994e7e590e1fb0d3868ed6ff5ad-1California 08/05/16 mercurynews.com: by Tracy Seipel –  California public health officials on Friday said that an elderly Sacramento County resident is the state’s first confirmed death from West Nile virus this year. No other information about the victim was provided. susceptible, as this unfortunate fatality illustrates,” Dr. Karen Smith, director of the California Department of Public Health and the state’s health officer, said in a statement. “West Nile virus activity in the state is increasing, so I urge Californians to take every possible precaution to protect themselves against mosquito bites.” The state reported 53 deaths from West Nile virus in 2015, the most since California began recording West Nile cases in 2003. – For complete article see http://www.mercurynews.com/health/ci_30210998/sacramento-county-senior-citizen-is-californias-first-west

imagesCAWX5STJTexas 08/09/16 nbcdfw.com: Dallas County health officials confirm the first death related to West Nile virus for the 2016 season in North Texas. The victim – a person in their 60s – lived in the 75006 ZIP code in Carrollton and was previously diagnosed with the West Nile neuroinvasive disease, officials said in a press release Monday afternoon. – See http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/health/Dallas-County-Confirms-First-West-Nile-Virus-Death-of-2016-389529131.html

Zika Virus:

dt_160309_puerto_rico_map_zika_mosquito_800x600Puerto Rico 08/05/16 npr.org: by Jason Beaubien – The Zika virus outbreak in Puerto Rico is expanding rapidly. Recently, the island has been reporting more than a thousand new cases of Zika each week. The situation is expected to get worse before it gets better. “We are right now probably in the month or 6 weeks of peak transmission,” saysTyler Sharp the lead epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Zika operation in Puerto Rico. Previous outbreaks of dengue fever and chikungunya, which are transmitted by the same mosquito as Zika, Aedes aegypti, suggest the hot, wet summer months in Puerto Rico now are just right for Zika to flourish, Sharp says. “The more rains you get, the more mosquitoes you get. The more mosquitoes, the higher the rate of transmission,” he says. “And also the mosquitoes like warmer temperatures and are able to replicate the virus more efficiently at at least slightly higher temperatures.” He calls August in Puerto Rico the “Goldilocks zone” for Zika virus replication. The island has already had more than 8,000 confirmed cases of Zika. The CDC predicts that by the end of the year, 20 percent to 25 percent of the roughly 3.5 million people on the island could be infected with the virus. – For complete article see http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/08/05/488864340/zika-cases-surge-in-puerto-rico-as-mosquitoes-flourish

Hantavirus:

892008Utah 08/09/16 utahcountyonline.org: Media Release – Utah County Health Department (UCHD) officials are investigating the death of a female Utah County resident related to hantavirus. The female was between the ages of 18 – 44, from Utah County, and had no other apparent health issues. This is the second death related to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in the state in 2016, and tenth case since 2006. Hantavirus infection is a virus transmitted by infected rodents through fresh urine, droppings or saliva. The main way the virus is spread to people is when they breathe in the air contaminated with the virus. Other transmissions can include an infected rodent biting a person, touching objects or eating food contaminated with rodent urine, droppings, or saliva from an infected rodent. – For complete release see http://www.utahcountyonline.org/dept2/health/UtahCountyHantavirusDeath2016Aug9.pdf

Rabies:

5731289-very-cute-child-with-a-cat-in-armsPennsylvania 08/05/16 wearecentralpa.com: A cat in Huntingdon County has tested positive for Rabies. We’re told a family in who lives on Metztown Road in Brady Township took their unvaccinated farm cat to a veterinary clinic after they say it started to act restless and panting. The veterinary told them to keep the cat contained, but the next day the cat escaped  the enclosure they had it in and bit a child. At that point the cat was euthanized and submitted for rabies tests. They came back positive. Several people are receiving post exposure treatment for rabies. – See http://www.wearecentralpa.com/news/cat-tests-positive-for-rabies

555f5f5South Carolina 08/05/16 wyff4.com/ : At least five people were potentially exposed to rabies by a puppy that tested positive for the disease in Chesnee, the Department of Health and Environmental Control reported today. The puppy was a Germany Shepherd-mix puppy that was being sold at Burr’s Trading Post on Old Stage Road, June 20 from an individual not affiliated with the store. The puppy began to show neurological symptoms at the end of July, and was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on Aug. 1. DHEC said several other puppies were for sale. DHEC recommends that anyone who obtained or was exposed to a puppy there around this time should watch the animal for signs and symptoms of rabies and immediately seek veterinary care if the animal becomes ill. – See http://www.wyff4.com/news/upstate-dog-potentially-exposes-at-least-5-people-to-rabies-dhec-says/41072124

New STUDY shows the GRAY WOLF is the only true WOLF species in NORTH​ AMERICA ~ COYOTES reported stalking hikers on popular CANADIAN trail ~ TULAREMIA case prompts warning in WYOMING ~ SOUTH CAROLINIAN hospitalized after exposure to brain-eating AMOEBA ~ CDC issues unprecedented travel warning related to FLORIDA destination with active Zika spread.

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North America 08/01/16 mnn.com/earth-matters/animals: by Jaymi Heimbuch – A new study shows that the various wolf species we know in North America all link back to the gray wolf, and this is the continent’s only true wolf species. The finding could completely change how the Endangered Species Act is used to protect species. A team of researchers analyzed the genomes of 12 pure gray wolves and three coyotes from areas where the two species do not overlap. They also analyzed the genomes of six Eastern wolves and three red wolves. What they found is that the two latter species are actually genetic hybrids of the two former species. “We found that the red wolves are about 75 percent coyote ancestry, and the Eastern wolf has more gray wolf ancestry, about 75 percent,” Robert Wayne, an evolutionary biologist at UCLA and author on the study, told the Los Angeles Times.

5-interesting-facts-about-the-grey-wolf1The findings could shake up conservation efforts for wolves. According to the New York Times: The gray wolf and red wolf were listed as endangered in the lower 48 states under the Endangered Species Act in the 1970s and remain protected today, to the periodic consternation of ranchers and agricultural interests. In 2013, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service recognized the Eastern wolf as a separate species, which led officials to recommend delisting the gray wolf. Conservationists won a lawsuit that forced the agency to abandon the plan. The new findings could help ensure the gray wolf stays on the Endangered Species List and continues to receive protections. It also could change the way we protect wildlife, potentially opening up room for adding hybrid species to the list. This would reflect how nature really works, as species constantly change and adapt — and hybridize — yet still need protections to survive and continue to fill beneficial roles their ecosystem. – For complete article and video see http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/blogs/theres-only-one-true-wolf-species-north-america-says-new-study

CANADA:

1334248032_4291c473d5.jpgOntario 08/01/16 therecord.com/news-story: People walking along the popular Niska Trail in Guelph’s west end are urged to be vigilant after two recent coyote sightings. A coyote was spotted stalking people and dogs in two separate incidents this month, report the City of Guelph and Guelph Humane Society. In the first incident, a coyote attacked a dog while the owner was hiking on the trail. In the second, a coyote attempted to attack a hiker walking two dogs. It’s unknown if the same coyote was involved. Trail users are urged to keep their dogs leashed to ensure the pet’s safety, clean up after their dog because coyotes are attracted to feces, and avoid using the trail at dawn, dusk or in the dark when coyotes are most active. – For complete article see http://www.therecord.com/news-story/6790287-guelph-trail-users-warned-about-coyotes/

Tularemia (Rabbit Fever):

zoonosis_tularemia (2)Wyoming 08/01/16 http://wyomingbusinessreport.com/: by Ann Jantz – With the recent report of a man in Sweetwater County contracting tularemia, Sweetwater County Health Officer Jean Stachon asks people to be aware and take precautions. “This is the season for tularemia and other diseases like giardia,” Stachon said. “The rule of thumb is don’t take a rabbit before it freezes.” Tularemia (too-LUH-ree-MEE-uh) can be a serious disease and, in rare cases, deadly, according to the Wyoming Department of Health. Tularemia, also known as rabbit fever or deer fly fever, frequently affects rabbits, hares and rodents and has been associated with rabbit and rodent die-offs. People may acquire tularemia when bit by infected ticks, deer flies or horse flies. It can also be transmitted by handling infected animals, or through ingestion or contact with untreated, contaminated water or insufficiently cooked meat. – For complete article including symptoms and recommendations see http://wyomingbusinessreport.com/tularemia-case-prompts-warning/

Brain-Eating Amoeba:

RS-Amoeba-1South Carolina 08/03/16 http://abcnews.go.com/: by Catherine Thorbecke – A South Carolina resident has contracted an infection from rare brain-eating amoeba after swimming in the Edisto River in Charleston County, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC). Lab tests conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that the infection resulted from exposure to the organism Naegleria fowleri. The infection is fatal in about 95 percent of cases, according to the SCDHEC. “Naegleria fowleri causes the disease primary amebicmeningoencephalitis  (PAM), a brain infection that leads to the destruction of brain tissue. In its early stages, symptoms of PAM may be similar to symptoms of bacterial  meningitis,” the CDC states on its website. “The disease progresses rapidly and usually causes death within about five days.” Dr. Linda Bell, an SCDHEC epidemiologist, said in a statement, “This organism occurs naturally and is all around us and is present in many warm water lakes, rivers and streams, but infection in humans is very rare. In fact, there have been fewer than 40 cases reported nationwide in the past 10 years.”  Naegleria fowleri is found only in freshwater bodies, not in saltwater. Infection can result if water containing the organism enters a person’s nose. To prevent infection, Bell advises avoiding swimming in or jumping into bodies of warm freshwater when water levels are low. She also recommends holding one’s nose underwater or using a nose plug. A person cannot be infected by drinking water containing the amoeba, she says. – For complete article see http://abcnews.go.com/US/sc-resident-hospitalized-exposed-brain-eating-amoeba/story?id=41091440

 

Zika Virus:

zika.fl.88d8d7Florida Undated cdc.gov: Media Release – The Florida Department of Health has identified an area in one neighborhood of Miami (Wynwood) where Zika is being spread by mosquitoes. This guidance is for people who live in or traveled to this area any time after June 15 (based on the earliest time symptoms can start and the maximum 2-week incubation period for Zika virus). – For complete release and recommendations see http://www.cdc.gov/zika/intheus/florida-update.html and also http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0801-zika-travel-guidance.html

Florida 08/01/16 medscape.com: by Robert Lowes – Florida Governor Rick Scott today said that 10 more individuals in the Miami area have been infected with Zika, likely through mosquito bites, which has quickly brought the total to 14 since the first four cases were announced on July 29. Florida is the first state to report local transmission of the virus, which causes birth defects, most notably, microcephaly. In a sign of a rapidly developing outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a travel advisory cautioning women who are pregnant to avoid unnecessary travel to the one-square-mile neighborhood just north of downtown Miami that is experiencing local Zika transmission. If any pregnant women have visited this area since June 15, they should be tested for the virus. And if women and men considering pregnancy choose to visit it, they should wait 8 weeks after they return home to attempt to conceive. Furthermore, pregnant women and their partners living in the Miami neighborhood should take precautions against mosquito bites and sexual transmission of the virus. Six of the 10 newly identified individuals who contracted the virus from mosquitos were asymptomatic. The Florida Department of Health (DOH) identified them through a door-to-door survey of its Zika zone. In a news conference today, CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, said there is no evidence yet of widespread virus transmission, “but there could be sustained transmission in small areas.” – For complete article see http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/866880?nlid=108696_3901&src=wnl_newsalrt_160801_MSCPEDIT&uac=218349HV&impID=1171105&faf=1

CDC reports it’s likely four cases of ZIKA VIRUS in FLORIDA were locally acquired ~ RABID DOG report from CA – RABID CAT reports from AZ, MD & NY.

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Florida 07/29/16 cdc.gov: Media Release – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been informed by the State of Florida that Zika virus infections in four people were likely caused by bites of local Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.  The cases are likely the first known occurrence of local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission in the continental United States.  CDC is closely coordinating with Florida officials who are leading the ongoing investigations, and at the state’s request, sent a CDC medical epidemiologist to provide additional assistance. State officials have responded rapidly with mosquito control measures and a community-wide search for additional Zika cases.  Under the current situation, there are no plans for limiting travel to the area.

“All the evidence we have seen indicates that this is mosquito-borne transmission that occurred several weeks ago in several blocks in Miami,” said Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., director of the CDC. “We continue to recommend that everyone in areas where Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are present—and especially pregnant women—take steps to avoid mosquito bites. We will continue to support Florida’s efforts to investigate and respond to Zika and will reassess the situation and our recommendations on a daily basis.”

zika-and-pregnancyZika virus spreads to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus), but can also be spread during sex by a person infected with Zika to their partner.  Most people infected with Zika won’t have symptoms, but for those who do, the illness is usually mild.  However, Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly and other severe fetal birth defects.

“We have been working with state and local governments to prepare for the likelihood of local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission in the continental United States and Hawaii,” said Lyle Petersen, M.D., M.P.H., incident manager for CDC’s Zika virus response. “We anticipate that there may be additional cases of ‘homegrown’ Zika in the coming weeks.  Our top priority is to protect pregnant women from the potentially devastating harm caused by Zika.” – For complete release see http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0729-florida-zika-cases.html

Rabies:

555f5f5California 07/28/16 northcoastjournal.com: by Kimberly Wear – Health officials are stressing the importance of vaccinating pets after a Humboldt County dog tested positive for rabies for the first time in more than five years. “The animal is known to have traveled to several locations throughout the county. Public Health officials are working to assess the possibility of exposure to other domestic animals and humans,” a release from the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services state. DHHS reported the dog is believed to have been exposed during a fight with a rabid skunk.

UPDATE:
The 11-month-old dog that was euthanized after contracting rabies earlier this month had undergone its first round of rabies vaccination, which starts at around 3 months old with series of subsequent boosters, and was “legally vaccinated for its age,” said Amanda Ruddy, consumer protection supervisor with the division of Environmental Health. – See http://www.northcoastjournal.com/NewsBlog/archives/2016/07/28/humboldt-dog-tests-positive-for-rabies

Arizona 07/29/16 tucsonnewsnow.com: by Elizabeth Walton – Several months ago a skunk tested positive for rabies, according to the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office at a property south of Sierra Vista off of San Mateo and now the county has its first domestic animal with the virus.  CCSO and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife returned to the area where the skunk was found and trapped several feral cats and a kitten.  According to a recent CCSO release the animals were tested for rabies due to their proximity to the rabid skunk and the kitten was found to be positive for the rabies virus.   The resident at the location had repeated contact with the kitten and is undergoing rabies vaccinations. – See http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/32576987/kitten-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-cochise-county

Looking-for-Kittens-001Maryland 07/21/16 oceancitytoday.net: by Greg Ellison – One rabid cat in West Ocean City, and the fate of other feral cats at the same location have generated hundreds of emails and even spurred a small protest by feline protection activists last Thursday at the government center in Snow Hill. During Tuesday’s Worcester County Commissioner meeting, however, Worcester County Health Officer Debbie Goeller said the department plans to remove and euthanize a colony of feral cats near the Ocean Village condominiums in West Ocean City. The rabid cat reported to the department came from that colony. Goeller said her department was contacted on June 11 by a veterinarian’s office after a cat that appeared to be rabid was spotted by a family renting an Ocean Village unit. “This cat needed to be euthanized and was sent to the state rabies laboratory for testing.” Four days later, the state confirmed that the cat was rabid, Goeller said, at which time her department posted rabies advisory notices in the complex. – See http://www.oceancitytoday.net/p/following-confirmed-rabies-case-county-to-raze-colony/1551118

New York 07/22/16 .localsyr.com: The Oswego County Health Department issued a warning that two adults and a pet dog were recently attacked by a rabid cat on DeMass Road near the Durham Bus Garage in Minetto. The small black female cat was captured and euthanized, and test results showed it was infected with the rabies virus. The dog, which had not been vaccinated for rabies, will need to be quarantined for six months or euthanized, in accordance with New York State Public Health Law. – See http://www.localsyr.com/news/rabid-cat-found-in-minetto-clinics-for-pet-vaccinations-offered-

MASSACHUSETTS warns residents of rare but serious TICK-BORNE POWASSAN VIRUS ~ RABID WOODCHUCK report from CT.

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Massachusetts 07/20/16 capecodextension.org: Media Release – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has received reports of nine cases of Powassan virus in Massachusetts residents since the beginning of 2013 . These occurred in Barnstable, Middlesex, Essex and Norfolk Counties. Powassan virus is a rare but serious disease that is transmitted by the bite of a black legged tick, also known as the deer tick; the specific type of Powassan virus that occurs in Massachusetts is known as Deer Tick Virus. A research project was initiated this spring by Cape Cod Cooperative Extension and the Laboratory of Medical Zoology at UMass-Amherst to conduct surveillance for Powassan virus in the deer tick population on Cape Cod at six locations. Powassan infected ticks were detected in Falmouth, Brewster, Orleans and Truro. Infection rates ranged from 2.5 – 10.5%.

pow-by-state-2004-2013Although most people who are exposed to Powassan virus likely never feel ill, others may become severely ill with meningitis (inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord) or encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). Signs and symptoms include fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, loss of coordination, speech difficulties and seizures. Approximately 10% of people with this severe form of the disease will die and survivors may have long-term health problems. There is no specific treatment once infection with Powassan virus has occurred. Treatment consists of supportive care, rest and fluids to prevent dehydration. – For complete release see http://www.capecodextension.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Press-Release-_Powassan.pdf

Rabies:

400px-RK_0808_278_Marmota_monax_groundhog_ReinhardKraaschWCConnecticut 07/21/16 myrecordjournal.com: by Molly Callahan –   The Meriden Health and Human Services Department is warning residents to take safety precautions around wild animals after a woodchuck recently tested positive for rabies. Health Director Lea Crown said Meriden Animal Control responded to an incident recently during which a woodchuck in the Baldwin Pond area came in contact with a person. Animal control officers sent the animal to the Department of Public Health laboratory in Rocky Hill where it tested positively for rabies. – See http://www.myrecordjournal.com/news/meriden/meridennews/9124928-154/meriden-health-department-cautions-residents-after-rabid-woodchuck-discovered.html

Wildlife officials want to use drones and peanut butter to help vaccinate PRAIRIE DOGS for PLAGUE ~ GRIZZLY attacks woman near CANADIAN campground west of CALGARY ~ Child in NORTH DAKOTA infected with HANTAVIRUS ~ COLORADO​ confirms WILD RABBIT had TULAREMIA ~ RABID CAT reports from NY & TX.

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Black-footed ferret pursuing prairie dog. Image courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Montana 07/20/16 fastcoexist.com: by Adele Peters – For the endangered black-footed ferret—an adorable if vicious predator that lives in prairies—one of the biggest threats to survival is the bubonic plague, which is wiping out their prey: prairie dogs. To help, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hopes to start using drones to spray candy-sized snacks, filled with plague vaccine, across prairie dog colonies. Without the prairie dogs, the ferrets can’t survive; the dogs are both a food source and a source of a burrow .  .  .  The location, the UL Bend National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Montana, is an ideal test site. It’s remote and far from air traffic, so drones wouldn’t interfere with planes. If it works, the technique might eventually be used in some of the other 27 sites where ferrets have been reintroduced. – For complete article and photos see http://www.fastcoexist.com/3061955/wildlife-officials-want-to-use-drones-to-shoot-peanut-butter-snacks-at-prairie-dogs

Bear Attack:

CANADA:

Brown_Bear_-_Ursus_Arctos_600Alberta 07/19/16 http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/: by Colleen Schmidt  – RCMP and emergency crews were called out to a bear attack near the Trapper’s Hill Campground west of Calgary on Tuesday afternoon. Police received a call about a bear complaint at about 12:00 p.m. Tuesday and dispatched members to the scene to investigate. A woman and her boyfriend were having a picnic down by Ghost River and witnesses say they came face-to-face with a grizzly and her cubs. Coleman Blair’s father owns a campground in the area and he was driving when he saw the couple being chased by the bear through the river. Blair rushed in to help and says by that time the bear had the woman’s arm in its mouth but he was able to pry its teeth open.

He says the bear could have done more damage to her if it wanted to and that he believes it was warning her. “If the bear wanted to do some damage, I mean they’d both be dead. It was, in bear talk, more of a warning, a gentle warning, a bite like that, it wasn’t serious in that kind of regard but yeah they got a warning and it happens quick, that’s what people need to understand, it’s not, you don’t have time to get your bear spray out or take your time, it happens right now, they’re already on top of you, they’re fast,” he said. The woman was taken to hospital and is in stable condition. The investigation has been turned over to Fish and Wildlife and they have closed Township Road 270 and are moving campers out of the affected area. – For video see http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/woman-injured-in-bear-attack-west-of-calgary-1.2993337

Hantavirus:

imagesCAULAVUQNorth Dakota 07/20/16 http://bismarcktribune.com/news: by Blair Emerson – A school-age child in northeast North Dakota has been infected by hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a rare, but potentially fatal disease, spread by infected rodent droppings, urine and saliva, the state Health Department reported Wednesday. The child, who was hospitalized, was in contact with rodent-infested buildings, according to a news release.  “This case serves as a reminder for people to be mindful of the presence or evidence of rodents when cleaning a house, barn or other building, especially in rural areas,” said Jill Baber, epidemiologist with the Health Department’s division of Disease Control. “It is important to avoid actions that raise dust, such as sweeping or vacuuming, if signs of rodents are present.” There have only been 15 cases of hantavirus in the state since 1993, seven of which were fatal. Nationally, as of Jan. 6, about 690 cases have been reported and 36 percent of these cases resulted in death. – See http://bismarcktribune.com/news/local/health/school-age-child-infected-with-hantavirus/article_ebc39e4a-3939-5ad7-a54a-35f55da2b677.html

Tularemia aka Rabbit Fever:

tularemia.332oe998Colorado 07/18/16/ krdo.com/news/: by Chris Loveless – Rabbit fever has again been confirmed in Pueblo County. A rabbit that was collected from the Hatchet Ranch area in the southwestern part of the county has tested positive for Tularemia. “Pueblo residents are advised that tularemia-causing bacteria may be present in some of the mammals – especially rabbits, rodents and hares, and on the ground where these animals may be active,” said Vicki Carlton, program manager in the Environmental Health and Emergency Preparedness division at the Pueblo City-County Health Department. “Although there are no human cases of tularemia identified in Pueblo so far this year, Colorado has experienced human tularemia cases in people who have been exposed to contaminated soil, drinking contaminated water or inhaling bacteria,” she said. – For complete article see http://www.krdo.com/news/Pueblo-County-rabbit-tests-positive-for-Tularemia/40732732

Rabies:

rabidcat.niagractyhealthdeptNew York 07/20/16 niagara-gazette.com/news: A cat that attacked a woman and her dog on July 13 on Demler Drive in Wheatfield has tested positive for rabies, according to the Niagara County Health Department. The woman, who sustained multiple bites and scratches, is undergoing treatment to prevent rabies infection. That treatment includes post-exposure treatment of immune globulin injection at the site of the bite along with a series of four rabies vaccine injections in the arm muscle (deltoid) over a 14-day period. The cat was humanely euthanized. Anyone who may have had contact with the white, grey and black cat on or before July 13 is being asked to call the Niagara County Department of Health Environmental Division at 439-7444. – See http://www.niagara-gazette.com/news/local_news/cat-that-attacked-woman-in-wheatfield-had-rabies/article_e20f1eb4-4e0f-11e6-8c31-5bba39688a84.html

Texas 07/15/16 .ksla.com: The Animal Control Officer in DeKalb has issued an alert advising residents to have pets vaccinated for rabies after a woman was bitten by a cat on her own property and the cat has since tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.ksla.com/story/32457796/etx-city-on-alert-for-rabies-after-woman-bitten-by-cat-gets-infected

RABID BEAVER attacks woman at NORTH CAROLINA lake.

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Image courtesy of Steve, Wash DC. Wikipedia Commons.

North Carolina 07/`2/16 citizen-times.com: The beaver that attacked and bit a paddle boarder on Beaver Lake tested positive for rabies. The attack, which occurred Friday on the popular North Asheville lake, sent a 67-year-old woman to Mission Hospital with lacerations and bites on her leg and both hands. Dr. Richard Oliver, director of the state’s Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Arden, confirmed Tuesday afternoon that testing done on the beaver’s brain showed the animal had rabies. Oliver has seen plenty of rabies cases in other animals in his 31-year career, but never before in a beaver. Mike Carraway, a wildlife biologist with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, said it is unusual for beavers to get rabies, but the confirmed case in this beaver is cause for concern with other beavers at the lake, as well as other animals. Beaver Lake, off Merrimon Avenue, is popular with paddlers and people who walk and run around the lake’s perimeter. – For complete article see http://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2016/07/12/beaver-attacked-paddle-boarder-rabid/87000540/

NEW MEXICO confirms two new human cases of TULAREMIA ~ RABID CAT report from MD.

 

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New Mexico 07/12/16 abqjournal.com: by Olivier Uyttebrouck – Two cases of human tularemia have been confirmed in Bernalillo County, including one unusual infection in the Rio Grande bosque, health officials said Tuesday. The exposure to tularemia in the bosque may be a first, said Dr. Mark DiMenna, deputy director of Albuquerque’s Environmental Health Department. The infection likely is the result of a bite from an infected deer fly in the area. “Tularemia exposure in the Rio Grande bosque area appears to be a new development for us that we are taking seriously,” he said. Tularemia infections in Bernalillo County historically have occurred in the East Mountains and in far northern and eastern Albuquerque. The bosque “may be a new area to be concerned about.” – See http://www.abqjournal.com/806684/two-human-tularemia-infections-confirmed-in-bernalillo-county.html

Rabies:

girl-kittenMaryland 07/10/16 .capitalgazette.com: by Gerald Fischman – The county Health Department is asking to be called by anyone who may have come in contact with a cat, found in Glen Burnie, that has tested positive for rabies. The grey and black tiger shorthair tabby was found on Thursday near Hamlen Road in the Munroe Gardens community, according to a Health Department release. – See http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/for_the_record/ph-ac-cn-rabid-cat-0710-20160710-story.html