COLORADO toddler attacked by MOUNTAIN LION in backyard ~ Officials warn of SQUIRRELS carrying PLAGUE at two CALIFORNIA campgrounds ~ CONNECTICUTT and SOUTH CAROLINA report CATS with RABIES ~ NIH gives UT $11 million to study CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE.

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Colorado 06/22/16 starherald.com:  As he raced to the hospital with his injured son in his car, a Colorado father called 911 to let emergency room staff know to prepare for something unusual. “I am driving from Lower River Road to (the) emergency room. My 5-year-old has got attacked by (a) mountain lion,” Val Loboda told the dispatcher, speaking quickly but calmly. The Pitkin County Sheriff’s office released the recording of the 911 call days after Friday’s attack outside Loboda’s home in a low-rise block of apartments squeezed between a major road and a river on a mountainside about 10 miles northwest of Aspen. The sheriff’s office released its report Wednesday, identifying the family for the first time. Yuri Loboda and his older brother were playing outside when the mountain lion attacked. Alerted by her older son, Anastasia Yukhtenko ran outside, snatched Yuri’s head from the cat’s jaws. She scooped up the child and ran with him. Loboda then returned from his run and set out with his family for the hospital. In a series of brief 911 calls that were repeatedly cut off, Loboda said he “just wanted to give you a heads up to get ready.” Neither Loboda nor Yukhtenko immediately responded to calls from The Associated Press on Wednesday requesting comment. Earlier this week, they released a statement through a Denver hospital where Yuri was taken with deep but not life-threatening cuts to his head, face and neck after initial treatment in Aspen. They said then that he was improving and they requested privacy. A Pitkin County sheriff’s officer had praised Yukhtenko as a hero. She suffered scratches and bites. – For complete article see http://www.C/news/regional_statewide/son-attacked-by-mountain-lion-dad-tells-er-to-prepare/article_a2c2b738-38d0-11e6-8d55-372d92dc2e4b.html

Bubonic Plague:

California_Ground_Squirrel_Dana_Point_Harbor_2007_2California 06/28/16 http://www.pe.com: by Alex Groves – Ground squirrels from two campground sites in the San Jacinto Mountains tested positive for plague earlier this month, prompting Riverside County officials to encourage precautions. Squirrels from both Dark Canyon Campground and Marion Mountain Campground had antibodies which showed they had been exposed to the disease, according to a news release from the Riverside County Department of Environmental Health. The squirrels from Dark Canyon were tested June 8 and the squirrels from Marion Mountain were tested June 13, officials said. County officials consider the risk to the public low and the two campsites will remain open as they conduct follow up investigations, according to the county release. “If I had reservations for those campgrounds, I would still go camping,’ said Dottie Merki, program chief for the Riverside County Environmental health. “But I would definitely take the precautions.” Those include keeping tents away from rodent burrows, not feeding or interacting with wild animals and keeping pets on a leash or even leaving them home. John Miller, spokesman for San Bernardino National Forest — which operates both campgrounds — said that even though county officials have not made any recommendations that the campgrounds be closed, National Forest employees are prepared for that possibility. In the meantime, he said, signs have been posted advising campers of the discovery. – For complete article see http://www.pe.com/articles/prompting-806935-jacinto-riverside.html

Rabies:

cat-child445778Connecticutt 06/25/16 http://connecticut.cbslocal.com/: The Hartford Police Department and Department of Health and Human Services are notifying residents that a stray cat recently tested positive for rabies in the Blue Hills neighborhood of Hartford. The stray cat was captured and tested positive for rabies after biting two individuals who had been feeding the stray cat. Both individuals received appropriate medical treatment. – For complete article see http://connecticut.cbslocal.com/2016/06/25/captured-stray-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies/

IMG4336e-L-001South Carolina 06/28/16 http://www.wfxg.com/: By Amanda Shaw – Some residents in Oconee County are being asked to make sure their pets are up to date on veterinary checks and vaccinations. The Oconee County Sheriff’s Office said a rabid cat was discovered near Main Street and Torrington Road in West Union recently. Deputies said the infected cat was captured and euthanized. – See http://www.wfxg.com/story/32328417/rabid-cat-in-west-union-prompts-call-for-pet-vaccinations

nih.logo_.thumb_National 06/29/16 eurekalert.org: Media Release –  Led by Claudio Soto, Ph.D., researchers from McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have been awarded $11 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to study the pathogenesis, transmission and detection of prion diseases – such as chronic wasting disease in deer – that can potentially spread to humans. Soto will explore the zoonotic – the ability to transfer from animal to human – potential of CWD and factors that may alter the resistance of humans to that transfer. His team at McGovern Medical School will also investigate the possibility that prions accumulate in the environment in plants and other surfaces where they may concentrate and remain infectious for years. Prions are the protein-based infectious agents responsible for a group of diseases called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, CYN05aiUAAAkKOLwhich includes bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease) in cattle, scrapie in sheep, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans and chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer, elk and moose. All are fatal brain diseases with incubation periods that last years or even decades. “Prion diseases are rare but because of their incurability, lethality and potential to spread from animals to humans, we need to better understand them from how they replicate to the development of efficient detection methods,” said Soto, principal investigator and director of The George and Cynthia Mitchell Center for Research in Alzheimer’s disease and Related Brain Disorders. – For complete release see http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-06/uoth-na062916.php

NEW YORK couple attacked by RABID BOBCAT ~ Another BOBCAT in NEW YORK tests positive for RABIES ~ Researchers discover how WEST NILE VIRUS triggers memory loss ~ Case of ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER in MICHIGAN first since 2009.

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Bobcat. Courtesy National Park Service.

New York 06/23/16 timesunion.com: By Lindsay Ellis – A bobcat attack in New Scotland left a husband and wife with deep cuts Wednesday afternoon, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said. Both are being treated for non-life threatening injuries at St. Peter’s Hospital. A deputy responded to Rock Hill Road at about 4 p.m., where a man and woman were bleeding and a bobcat was shot dead on a house’s deck, Apple said. The woman, sitting outside a neighbor’s house, had heard a hissing noise, Apple said. The bobcat then lunged to bite her multiple times in the arms and legs. Her husband, hearing screaming, left the neighbor’s house, and the animal bit him multiple times. The homeowner, after trying to pin down the bobcat, shot it in the head, Apple said. Apple called the attack “an extremely atypical incident.” – See http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Bobcat-attacks-New-Scotland-couple-is-then-shot-8319752.php

Author’s Note: According to Spotlight News ” A necropsy was performed Thursday morning at the DEC’s Wildlife Health Unit at the Wildlife Resources Center in Delmar; the adult male bobcat smelled of skunk spray and its face was covered in porcupine quills. Its head was sent to the NYS Rabies Lab at Wadsworth Lab in Guilderland, where it tested positive for the disease (rabies).” – See http://spotlightnews.com/news/2016/06/23/new-scotland-couple-attacked-by-rabid-bobcat/

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Bobcat. Courtesy National Park Service.

New York 06/22/16 wbng.com/news: A Bobcat has tested positive for rabies in the town of Tompkins, Delaware County. This is the first animal that has positive for rabies in 2016, according to Delaware County Public Health Services. According to a news release, the Bobcat was sent to NYS State Rabies Laboratory for testing. The positive test results were received Thursday June 22, 2016, 2016. There was no human exposure, officials said. – See http://www.wbng.com/news/local/Bobcat-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-Delaware-County-384014311.html

West Nile Virus (WNV):

breakingnews-360wNational 06/22/16 http://medicalxpress.com/: Media Release – Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have discovered how the most severe forms of West Nile virus cause memory loss and mood disorders, opening the door to potential new treatments for the mosquito-borne illness. The study, published in the journal Nature, says 50 percent of patients who survive the most damaging kind of West Nile infection often go on to develop memory loss, learning difficulties, a lack of concentration and irritability. Exactly why this happens has been a mystery until now. Researchers discovered that the virus doesn’t kill off neurons but sparks inflammation that prunes synapses, the connections that carry messages between nerve cells. “What we found in mice, and later confirmed in humans, is that it’s not the death of cells that causes memory loss, it’s the loss of nerve cell connections,” said study co-author Kenneth Tyler, MD, chairman of the department of neurology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “The viral infection activates microglial cells and complement pathways which are helping to fight the infection but in turn end up destroying synapses.” – For complete release see http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-06-west-nile-virus-triggers-memory.html

Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF):

P_infectionK_rockymount_01 (2)Michigan 06/21/16 healthline.com:  by Emily Gadd  –  Besides sunburn and dehydration, there is another thing for hikers and parents to worry about this summer. Michigan has confirmed  that a child has been diagnosed with the state’s first case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) since 2009. RMSF is a tick-borne illness caused by the Rickettsia rickettsii bacterium. Its most distinctive symptom is a red, spotted rash that doesn’t itch. However, not every person who comes down with the infection will get a rash. Other early symptoms include headache, abdominal pain, fever, and confusion. People who receive prompt treatment usually make a full recovery. Untreated,RMSF can cause serious damage to internal organs such as the kidney and heart. Three different types of ticks carry the R. rickettsii bacteria: the American dog tick, the Rocky Mountain wood tick, and the brown dog tick. RMSF is considered a  rare disease, but according to Dr. Dana Hawkinson, an infectious diseases physician at the University of Kansas Hospital, rare is a matter of where you are. – For complete article see http://www.healthline.com/health-news/concerns-resurface-over-rocky-mountain-spotted-fever#1

BLACK BEAR attacks marathon runner in NEW MEXICO ~ COLORADO mother rescues toddler from MOUNTAIN LION ~ NEW MEXICAN dies of HANTAVIRUS ~ First case of CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE confirmed in WYOMING’s STAR VALLEY.

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New Mexico 06/20/16 koat.com: New Mexico Department of Game and Fish conservation officers tracked and killed the bear that attacked a woman running in a marathon Saturday afternoon in the Valles Calderas National Preserve near Los Alamos. The victim apparently surprised a mother bear, whose cub ran up a nearby tree, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish officials said. The woman’s upper body, head and neck were bitten and scratched several times, but her injuries were not considered life-threatening. Her condition was not released. Nearby runners helped the victim until an emergency crew arrived. The victim was airlifted to an Albuquerque area hospital. The bear is to be transported to the state Veterinary Diagnostic Services center for necropsy. State law requires any wild animal that attacks or bites a human be euthanized and tested for rabies which is spread when an infected animal scratches or bites another animal or human.  “It is regrettable when a wildlife encounter results in human injuries and requires we euthanize the animal,” Department Director Alexandra Sandoval said in a statement. “We are thankful that the injuries sustained by the victim were not worse and are hopeful that she is able to recover quickly.” The bear was located not far from where the attack occurred and matches the information given by the victim. The bear was part of a study involving wild bears and was collared with a GPS tracking device which helped Officers confirm the bear’s location at the time of the incident. Officers are confident they caught the right bear. – See http://www.koat.com/news/marathon-runner-injured-in-bear-attack/40126104

Mountain Lion:

Powerful defensive mountain lion guards its kill in the winter snow.

Cougar. Bing Free Use License.

Colorado 06/18/16 cnn.com: by Andreas Preuss – A 5-year-old boy is recovering in a Denver hospital after being attacked by a mountain lion, officials said. The attack happened Friday night about 10 miles northwest of Aspen, Colorado, according to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office. A man called 911 dispatchers to report that his son had been attacked by a mountain lion and he was driving to the Aspen Valley Hospital, police said in a statement. The boy’s mother told police that the boy was playing outside with his older brother when she heard screams. The mother ran out and “physically removed her son from the mountain lion,” according to the statement. After initial treatment in Aspen, the boy was transferred to Children’s Hospital in Denver. He’s in fair condition with injuries to his face, head and neck. His mother was treated and released for minor injuries to her hand and legs. The family has not been identified. After the attack, deputies and an officer with the U.S. Forest Service located a mountain lion in the area and the animal was put down, police said. Investigators are also looking into reports of a second mountain lion in the area earlier in the day. Though mountain lions are not uncommon in Colorado, sightings are rare. – For video and complete article see http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/18/us/colorado-mountain-lion-attack/index.html

Hantavirus:

Hantavirus-OutbreakNew Mexico 06/14/16 lcsun-news.com: State health officials say a 25-year-old man from McKinley County in western New Mexico has died of hantavirus. The Health Department said Tuesday it marks the state’s fifth case of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome this year. An environmental investigation will be done at the patient’s home to help reduce the risk to others. The patient’s name wasn’t released. Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. People can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus. Health officials say the deer mouse is the main carrier for the strain found in New Mexico. Public health veterinarian Paul Etttestad says due to more precipitation, people are seeing a larger than usual number of mice and that’s leading to increased chances of being exposed. – See http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/local/new-mexico/2016/06/14/new-mexico-man-25-dies-hantavirus/85872692/

Chronic Wasting Disease:

cwd01deerWyoming 06/15/16 wyomingpublicmedia.org: by Liam Niemeyer – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has confirmed the first ever case of Chronic Wasting Disease in Star Valley. Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, is a fatal brain disease that affects deer, elk and moose. The disease has mostly been reported in southeastern Wyoming, particularly in Albany and Laramie counties, and cases of CWD are relatively rare west of the continental divide. Two other infected deer were also found near Cody this past April. Scott Edberg of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department said the department isn’t sure how the disease reached Star Valley, but the department plans to monitor the deer population there as a precaution. “It’s a very tough disease to control. So our initial plan is to get an idea, keep our eyes on them, and closely monitor the deer in the area where this one was found and see if there are any other deer that are showing the same symptoms,” Edberg said. Animals with the disease often show symptoms like salivating excessively, not running away from humans, having a rough coat and appearing malnourished. There were 98 confirmed cases of CWD in Wyoming last year. – For complete article see http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/first-case-chronic-wasting-disease-confirmed-star-valley

Researchers map MOSQUITOES that transmit ZIKA, CHIKUNGUNYA, DENGUE and YELLOW FEVER by U.S. county.

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Aggressive MOUNTAIN LION prompts shut-down of CALIFORNIA park ~ ZIKA VIRUS spreading rapidly across PUERTO RICO ~ NANTUCKET residents consider genetically engineered MICE to halt spread of LYME DISEASE ~ HANTAVIRUS claims life of UTAH man ~ NEVADA confirms PLAGUE found at public campground ~ COLORADO confirms FERAL CAT found with BUBONIC PLAGUE.

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California 06/07/16 mercurynews.com: by Marisa Kendall – Santa Clara County deputies found themselves in an unusual standoff Saturday — instead of waiting for a criminal to emerge from a hideout, they were waiting for a mountain lion to come down from a tree. The Sheriff’s Office evacuated McClellan Ranch Preserve as a precaution after a mountain lion growled at children in the park and then ran up a tree, said Captain Rick Sung. Experts from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife who also responded decided against tranquilizing and relocating the animal. Instead, they waited for the cougar to come down and leave of its own accord — which it did, without incident, after night fell. Sung said he was “very concerned” about the mountain lion’s presence, based on a report from a park visitor that it had behaved aggressively toward local children. The animal was camped out in the branches of a tree near McClellan Road and Club House Lane, across the street from a residential neighborhood. “We had a lot of deputies pretty much surrounding the park area just to make sure our residents are safe,” he said. Sung said there were several hundred children in the park with their families when it was evacuated. While the Sheriff’s Office occasionally receives calls about mountain lion sightings, Sung said it’s rare to hear of an animal displaying aggression. “Usually what it is, is people will see it and the mountain lion will just walk away,” he said. There have been 14 reported mountain lion attacks in California since 1986, including three fatal attacks, according to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. A 6-year-old boy was attacked near the Picchetti Winery in Cupertino in 2014 and survived. – For video and complete article see http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_29981034/mountain-lion-prompts-park-evacuation-near-cupertino

Zika Virus –

dt_160309_puerto_rico_map_zika_mosquito_800x600Puerto Rico 06/08/16 wsj.com: by Betsy McKay – The Zika virus is creeping north toward the continental U.S., and Alberto de la Vega has started to detect its signs. In ultrasounds he gives pregnant women who are infected with the virus in this American territory, he has seen a 22-week-old fetus with serious brain damage and two others with stunted growth. He is bracing for more. “If you ask me in a month,” says Dr. de la Vega, an obstetrician-gynecologist and chief of a high-risk-pregnancy unit at the capital’s University Hospital, “we may have 10 times the detection rate.” Zika has blanketed three-quarters of this lush island over the past six months, say health authorities, who expect it to keep spreading now that it is prime mosquito season. More than 1,350 people have tested positive for Zika since the beginning of the epidemic here, including 168 pregnant women. One patient died. Thousands more are likely infected without symptoms, health authorities say. Puerto Rico’s battle with Zika is giving local and U.S. health authorities a rare chance to better understand the disease as it makes its relentless march across the Americas. The island has advantages over Latin American and Caribbean nations that lack its modern medical system. It has strong public-health surveillance and anticipated Zika’s arrival, unlike Brazil, where the virus spread unnoticed for months. – For complete article see http://www.wsj.com/articles/zika-swamps-embattled-puerto-rico-1465395531

Lyme Disease –

Tick-Infested-Area-500Massachusetts 06/07/16 statnews.com: by Ike Swetlitz – Nantucket – This exclusive summer playground could become the site of an unprecedented experiment to combat Lyme disease by releasing genetically modified mice on the island. Nantucket boasts some of the highest Lyme infection rates in the country, and the idea unveiled Monday would involve modifying the genes of tens of thousands of mice to keep them from spreading the Lyme bacterium to ticks, which in turn infect people. Any release is years away, but an MIT professor presented the idea to the Nantucket board of health and an audience of about 20 residents and scientists, who were broadly favorable. If the project is realized, it might be the first release into the wild of animals modified with the cutting-edge gene-editing technique CRISPR. Other types of gene-editing have been used, for instance, to make farmed salmon grow faster and to make disease-carrying mosquitoes unable to reproduce. “This is something new,” said Kevin Esvelt, assistant professor at the MIT Media Lab and the project’s organizer. “We are considering deliberate alteration of the local environment.” Lyme disease is a significant problem for residents of Nantucket: The island had the highest rate of Lyme of any county in the US from 1992 to 2001, and finished in third place from 2002 to 2006, according to government data. – For complete article see https://www.statnews.com/2016/06/07/nantucket-lyme-genetic-engineering/

Hantavirus –

892008Utah 06/02/16 sltrib.com: by Bob Mims – State health officials say that a Utah man died after exposure to hantavirus last month. Medical privacy policies prohibited release of the man’s identity, but Utah Department of Health spokesman Tom Hudachko did confirm Thursday that the victim was between the ages of 45 and 64, and that he died in late May. “I can’t provide anything more specific than that,” he said. “We’ve worked with the family to provide information on how to safely clean rodent droppings from properties they frequent.” Rats, mice, and other burrowing and nesting rodents are known to carry the deadly disease, which can be spread to humans through contact with the animals’ urine, saliva, or feces. Hudachko said his agency now has recorded six hantavirus-related fatalities in Utah since 2009. – See http://www.sltrib.com/news/3959672-155/state-health-officials-confirm-may-hantavirus

Bubonic Plague –

Nevada 06/08/16 http://myfox8.com/: A flea from a yellow chipmunk in the Lake Tahoe area tested positive for plagueUSA Today reports. On Tuesday, the Lake Tahoe Basin Unit of the Forest Service, El Dorado County, Calif., officials and the California Department of Public Health reported they confirmed the presence of plague in the flea taken from Fallen Leaf Campground. The campground is about a quarter mile north of Fallen Leaf Lake in South Lake Tahoe. – For complete article see http://myfox8.com/2016/06/08/bubonic-plague-detected-at-lake-tahoe-area-campground/

2006-06jun-tigger-plus-mouse2Colorado 06/02/16 nbc11news.com:  The Delta County Health Department is warning residents of plague after a feral cat tested positive for the disease over the Memorial Day weekend. Health officials said the cat was found on Hanson Road near Cedaredge, then taken to Surface Creek Veterinary Center where it tested positive for plague before being euthanized. Officials said this is the first plague activity detected this season. “Plague is commonly transmitted by fleas, so taking steps to avoid fleas will help prevent spread of the disease,” said Ken Nordstrom, Delta County Health Department Environmental Health Director. – See http://www.nbc11news.com/content/news/Plague-found-in-Delta-County-health-officials-say-381664391.html

TEXAS reports first locally acquired case of CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER ~ FLORIDA reports locally acquired case of DENGUE FEVER ~ EEE puts three HORSES down in CENTRAL FLORIDA ~ TULAREMIA reported in ALASKAN HARES and MINNESOTAN CATS.

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Texas 06/01/16 click2houston.com: The Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed Tuesday the first locally acquired case of chikungunya, a mosquito borne illness. A Cameron County resident got sick with the illness in November 2015 and was diagnosed in January. The case was reported to the local health department in April. The investigation performed by the Cameron County Department of Health and Human Services determined the patient had not traveled, and the case was confirmed last week by testing at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. – For complete article see http://www.click2houston.com/health/first-texas-acquired-chikungunya-case-announced

Dengue Fever:

dengue-fever_10459Florida 06/01/16 abcnews.com: Florida health officials say a tourist contracted dengue fever while visiting Key West. A statement Wednesday from the Florida Department of Health in Monroe County says the person, who is not a Florida resident, is recovering. It adds “all indications are that this infection was locally acquired,” and mosquito control officials have intensified their activities in the southernmost city in the continental U.S. Dengue fever is rarely fatal but causes debilitating pain. The virus is transmitted by the same mosquitoes that can carry Zika and chikungunya. – For complete article see http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/health-officials-tourist-contracted-dengue-key-west-39531823

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

eee-threat-249x187Florida 05/31/16 wmfe.org: by Abe Aboraya- Three unvaccinated horses in Central Florida have caught eastern equine encephalitis. There have been two cases in Polk County and one in Osceola County. All three horses were euthanized or put down in May, and are the first three cases for the state. – For complete article see http://www.wmfe.org/eastern-equine-encephalitis-an-often-fatal-virus-shows-up-in-c-fla-horses/60388

Tularemia:

Alaska 05/28/16 outbreaknewstoday.com: A sick hare with signs of Tularemia was killed by a North Pole resident on May 11th. The disease was present based on observations during a necropsy performed today by ADF&G wildlife veterinarian, Dr. Kimberlee Beckmen. In addition, a Fairbanks veterinarian reported a suspected case of Tularemia in a dog from the Chena Hot Springs area last week. The dog was found eating a hare two days prior to becoming severely ill with fever. – For complete article see http://outbreaknewstoday.com/alaska-reports-tularemia-in-sick-hares-48103/

tularemia33987ir6Minnesota 05/27/16 kstp.com: by Sarah Thamer – The University of Minnesota Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL) has confirmed three cases of Tularemia in Minnesota since April. Tularemia, a wildlife disease normally found in rabbits, squirrels and other rodents, has now been found in a cat in the Twin Cities. It is a disease that both people and animals can get through tick and fly bites or contact with infected animals. According to the University of Minnesota, three cases of tularemia or rabbit fever in domestic animals have been found since April. The cases have been identified in a cottontail rabbit and two cats – all in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The disease is rare in Minnesota.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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