New LYME DISEASE research center opens in MARYLAND ~ Another COLORADAN succumbs to HANTAVIRUS ~ COLORADO officials confirm 11 cases of TULAREMIA this year ~ BEAR attacks camper at COLORADO campground ~ RABIES report from MARYLAND.


Global 06/24/15 A new research center focusing on the tick-borne Lyme Disease has opened in Baltimore. The Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center is the first such facility to be housed at a major US medical research center. Center founder and director John Aucott, a Johns Hopkins internist, said, ” “If you live anywhere from Maine to Virginia, it’s almost impossible for Lyme disease not to affect someone you know, someone in your family or yourself.”  The center’s first study will attempt to learn why some patients develop post-treatment Lyme Disease syndrome lasting months or years, while others do not. – For complete article see


Deer mouse.

Deer mouse.

Colorado 06/25/15 A south Weld County man who was working in an enclosed space in the presence of rodent droppings while repairing his home has died of Hantavirus Pulmonary syndrome. People can be infected by inhaling the virus after disturbing dust, feces or urine from mice nests or other contaminated areas. – See


zoonosis_TularemiaColorado 06/24/15 CO Dept of Public Health – Media Release – Officials have confirmed 11 human cases of Tularemia in the state so far this year. In all of 2014, there were 16 cases reported, and the worst year was 1983 with 20 cases. People can get tularemia if they handle infected animals, such as rabbits, rodents or hares, or are bitten by ticks or deer flies. They also can be exposed by touching contaminated soil, drinking contaminated water or inhaling bacteria. – For complete release see


bear1jf99Colorado 06/26/15 A camper sleeping in his tent at the Dearhamer Campground near Ruedi Reservoir east of Basalt was bitten by a bear on June 17th. Rangers said the camper had food inside his tent and in a cooler outside the tent. Officials have restricted the campground to “hard-sided campers” only. The Forest Service has food storage containers  at the campground and bear-proof trash dumpsters just 30 to 40 yards away from the site and all campers are encouraged to use them. – See


5731289-very-cute-child-with-a-cat-in-armsMaryland 06/26/15 Charles County: A stray cat found in the vicinity of Marshall Corner Road, near McDonough High School and Rose Hill Road, in Pomfret has tested positive for rabies. The cat was a black-and-white male of less than 20 pounds. – See

GRIZZLY attacks CANADIAN hiker in surprise encounter ~ BEAR attacks CALIFORNIA woman in her yard ~ COLORADO teenager dies of PLAGUE ~ Three COLORADO men contract TULAREMIA while working in their yards ~ RABIES reports from GA, MD, PA & VA.

Grizzly by Jean-Pierre Lavoie. Wikimedia-Commons.

Grizzly by Jean-Pierre Lavoie. Wikimedia-Commons.


British Columbia 06/18/15 by Tamsyn Burgmann – A woman who surprised a grizzly while hiking up remote mountains in British Columbia’s Interior had no time to protect herself or prevent the bear attack, a conservation officer said. The bear lunged at the woman and bit her, breaking her arm in a “chance encounter” on Friday, said Len Butler of B.C.’s Conservation Officer Service. The bear was just trying to protect itself as it happened upon the woman and her boyfriend, he added. “They hiked along a trail, they were in some of the open meadows and there was a small little pass to go up through,” said Butler. “It was so quick. They did nothing wrong.”

cariboo_mapThe incident occurred about mid-afternoon while the pair from Williams Lake, B.C., was ascending in the Big Slide Mountain Area near the community of Horsefly, in the province’s Cariboo region. It was a blustery day, meaning winds were diffusing the hikers’ scents and obstructing the crunch of their boots along the foliage, said Butler. The couple emerged upon a knoll about the same time the animal arrived from the opposite direction uphill. The bear and hikers were only about seven to nine metres apart when they spotted each other. “They kind of stared at each other for a second, then the bear bluff-charged and stopped,” Butler said. “Then the bear lunged at the female, grabbed her arm, threw her to the side and the bear then just immediately ran off into the trees.” Butler described the bear’s reaction as standard and said it took the path of least resistance to escape. He said the woman, in her mid-20s, had bear spray holstered to her hip but simply couldn’t respond fast enough. – For complete article see

06/23/15 by Steve Schoonover – A woman and her dog were injured when they were attacked by a bear Monday night outside a home near Chico, in Butte County. At about 11:30 p.m. Monday a woman who lives in Magalia heard a noise in her yard and her dog began barking. She let the dog out, heard sounds of a fight and stepped out herself. According to California Department of Fish and Wildlife Capt. Patrick Foy, she said a bear immediately came out from beneath a blue tarp, clawed her on the shoulder and bit her before running off. The woman was taken to the hospital and treated for non-life-threatening wounds and given rabies treatment. The dog, a 9-year-old golden retriever, was taken to a veterinarian, and is in tough shape, according to Foy. “Sounds like he fought hardily,” Foy said of the dog. Fish and Wildlife are deploying a trap to the area to try and capture the offending bear. Foy said it should be in place by the end of the day. – For complete article see


plague445654534Colorado 06/20/15 by Jason Pohl – A 16-year-old Poudre High School student who suddenly became ill this month died from a rare strain of plague. He is believed to have been the first Larimer County resident to have contracted the deadly disease since 1999, health officials say. An investigation is ongoing, but it is believed that Taylor Gaes contracted the septicemic plague from fleas on a dead rodent or other animal on the family’s land in the Cherokee Park area near Livermore, northwest of Fort Collins, Larimer County health officials confirmed to the Coloradoan Saturday. Septicemic plague occurs when bacteria enters the bloodstream directly — it is highly fatal and very rare in humans. Officials now are warning people who visited the family’s home after Gaes’ June 8 death — the day after his 16th birthday — to be extra vigilant. “There is a small chance that others might have been bitten by infected fleas, so anyone who was on the family’s land in the last seven days should seek medical attention immediately if a fever occurs. The last exposure to others was likely on June 14,” Larimer health officials said in a statement late Friday. – For completer article see


Colorado 06/18/15 by Jesse Paul – Two Weld County men were diagnosed with tularemia — also known as rabbit fever — this week and health officials believe both were most likely exposed while mowing or working in their yards. County health officials say one of the men is hospitalized while the other is recovering at home, according to a news release issued Thursday. The two have been identified as a 79-year old from Milliken and an 80-year old from Greeley. “We are seeing an unusually high number of human tularemia cases along the Front Range this year,” Dr. Mark E. Wallace, executive director of the Weld County Health Department, said in a statement. “The public really needs to be cautious and not get exposed to this disease.” A Boulder County resident who contracted tularemia last month after doing yard work later died. That person’s case was the first in Boulder County this year. In 2014, Colorado saw at least 11 cases of tularemia in humans, more than three times the previous average in the state, according to county health data. – See

Colorado 06/23/15 by Laura Palmisano – A Delta County man is recovering after contracting tularemia. Although it’s the first reported case of the disease on the Western Slope this year, health officials are concerned . . . So far this year, 11 people have contracted the disease (statewide). Health officials said one of the most recent cases involves a Delta County man who likely got exposed to it while excavating dirt on his property. – For complete article see


Georgia 06/16/15 Thomas County: A stray cat that bit two adults within a block of each other in a Raleigh Avenue neighborhood in Thomasville has tested positive for rabies. An elderly woman and a middle-aged man are being treated for exposure to the virus. – See

Maryland 06/23/15 City of Baltimore: A stray cat trapped in Fort Armistead Park in Brooklyn on June 10 has tested positive for rabies. – See

Pennsylvania 06/18/15 Lehigh Valley: A stray cat that bit a woman who had been feeding it and others in the Luna Street area of Bethlehem has tested positive for rabies. “I strongly recommend that citizens never feed wildlife, stray or feral cats, or stray dogs, or attempt to handle any animal that is not their own,” Bethlehem Health Director Kristen Wenrich said in a statement. – See

Virginia 06/19/15 Spotsylvania County: A stray cat that bit a person after it was picked up near a gas station in the 11000 block of Leavells Road has tested positive for rabies. The cat is described as a male, orange tabby cat about 1½ years old. – See

Teenage camper attacked by BEAR in GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK ~ PENNSYLVANIA confirms 25% increase in LYME DISEASE cases last year ~ RABIES reports from AL, NC & WI.

Photo courtesy US National Park Service.

Photo courtesy US National Park Service.

Tennessee 06/07/15 by Dale Neal – A bear attacked an Athens, Ohio teenager late Saturday in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, pulling the backpacker from his hammock as he slept. Rangers have closed four trails and half a dozen backcountry campsites in the park as bears are actively foraging for food, said Dana Soehn, a park spokeswoman. The boy, 16, was bitten around the head about 10:30 p.m. as the 250-pound bear pulled him from the hammock. He had no food with him, Soehn said. The attack occurred at backcountry campsite 84, about 4.5 miles from Fontana Lake near Hazel Creek. The boy’s father fended off the bear, then applied first aid to his son. They hiked down to the lake, where they woke campers at backcountry site 86, who had a boat. They were ferried across the lake to Cable Cove boat dock, where they were able to call for help. Graham County Rescue EMS transported them to a landing zone, where the teen was flown by helicopter to Mission Hospital about 3 a.m. The teen suffered multiple injuries, including lacerations to the head. He remained conscious throughout the incident and is in stable condition. – For complete article and survey question see


lyme-awareness5128Pennsylvania 06/10/15 PA State Dept of Health: Media Release – In 2014, the Department of Health recorded 7,400 cases of Lyme disease in the commonwealth, a 25% increase when compared with 5,900 cases in 2013. The increase in cases can be attributed in part to heightened awareness about Lyme disease, better reporting, and enhanced monitoring efforts, particularly in Allegheny County. Pennsylvania leads the nation in reported cases of Lyme disease and a recent study found that blacklegged ticks were found in all 67 counties. = For complete release see


Alabama 06/08/15 Cherokee County: The state Department of Public Health Rabies.syringehas confirmed a case of rabies in a Great Dane/Labrador mix, which resided in the Cedar Bluff area. It was initially treated at Nichols’ Animal Clinic and it was later determined the animal had contact with a rabid raccoon . . .  The animal had never been to a veterinarian, it had never been vaccinated, and was bitten right under the eye. Six and a half days later, the dog presented with signs of rabies. Dr. Deaton, a local veterinarian, said ” Because it was bitten so close to the eye, it can move a lot more rapidly. It gets in the optic nerve and goes straight to the brain instead o having to move up the peripheral nerves. So it has a direct access to the central nervous system. ” – For complete article see

feralcat446755g5North Carolina 06/08/15 Rockingham County: Health officials are warning residents after more than two dozen cats were recently exposed to rabies. Animal Control officials picked up a colony of 25 cats Saturday from Settle Bridge Road following the exposure. All the cats were euthanized. The cats were exposed to the virus Thursday by a kitten that turned aggressive and attacked litter mates, county health officials said. A relative took the kitten to a vet on Friday, and the kitten tested positive for rabies on Saturday. Health officials ask anyone who may have been around cats in the Settle Bridge Road area since May 20 to call the Rockingham County health department at 336-342-5163. – See

help7689Wisconsin 06/08/15 Dane County: Authorities are looking for a kitten that bit a man who now faces painful and costly injections to prevent rabies if the kitten isn’t found. The Department of Public Health said the man was bitten on Sunday around 3 p.m. at a church in the 3700 block of North Sherman Avenue in Madison. The man was bitten as he tried to pick up the kitten. The kitten is described as a 8 to 12-week-old orange tabby. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 608-255-2345 and ask for the animal services officer. – See

CDC issues emergency advisory warning doctors of H5N2 BIRD FLU now in 20+ states ~ NEW MEXICO hunter attacked by BLACK BEAR ~ COLORADO camper attacked by BEAR ~ OKLAHOMA reports two human cases of WEST NILE VIRUS ~ RABIES reports from CO, CT, FL, GA & RI.

h5n2.fjuj 4487

National 06/03/15 Health Advisory


aaCDC-LogoHighly-pathogenic avian influenza A H5 viruses have been identified in birds in the United States since December 2014. The purpose of this HAN Advisory is to notify public health workers and clinicians of the potential for human infection with these viruses and to describe CDC recommendations for patient investigation and testing, infection control including the use personal protective equipment, and antiviral treatment and prophylaxis.


USDA-LogoBetween December 15, 2014, and May 29, 2015, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed more than 200 findings of birds infected with highly-pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A (H5N2), (H5N8), and (H5N1)viruses. The majority of these infections have occurred in poultry, including backyard and commercial flocks. USDA surveillance indicates that more than 40 million birds have been affected (either infected or exposed) in 20 states. These are the first reported infections with these viruses in US wild or domestic birds. – For complete advisory see

BEAR ATTACKS: 06/03/15 by John Peel & Shaun Stanley – A bear that bit two people camping near the Durango Tech Center, sending one man to the hospital early Monday morning, was shot and killed hours later by Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers. Joshua E. Barber, 21, was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center after the incident. He was in good condition Monday afternoon, hospital spokesman David Bruzzese said. Several others who were camped illegally in the area northwest of the Tech Center, just a couple of miles west of downtown Durango, said they helped fight off the bear, which had tackled Barber and was biting him in the back of the neck and head when they arrived to help. The latest bear attack, which occurred Sunday night, was in the same area where a bear bit two people May 26. Wildlife officers tracked down the bear after a second man was bitten Monday morning. The bear was shot and killed.

black_bear_picnic_table_285NPSJoe Lewandowski, a spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said the condition of the camp played a big role in attracting the ursine. “I was just up there. It was disgusting. There were piles of garbage and cans of food,” he said. The bear may have gotten too comfortable and became more brazen after finding easy meals around the camp, Lewandowski said. – For complete article and video see

Black Bear photo by Lynn Chamberlain, Utah Division of Wildlife ResourcesNew Mexico 06/02/15  Authorities are searching for an adult black bear involved in the attack of a 55-year-old hunter in New Mexico’s Lincoln National Forest. State Department of Game and Fish officials say the man suffered deep flesh wounds from scratches on his chest and a bite to his leg Monday. He was treated and released from Lincoln County Medical Center in Ruidoso. Conservation officers are searching for the bear so it can be tested for rabies. The attack occurred in the forest near Baca Campground. The man had been hunting for antler sheds in thick brush when he apparently surprised the bear, which attacked the hunter before fleeing into the woods. The injured man notified his hunting companion by two-way radio. The two hiked to their vehicle and drove to the hospital. – See


fig2_lgOklahoma 06/04/15 OK State Dept of Health: Media Release – The first cases of West Nile virus (WNV) in Oklahoma have been confirmed in Okfuskee and McIntosh counties. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) encourages residents to take precautions to reduce the risk of contracting WNV, a mosquito-borne illness. WNV is spread through the bite of the Culex mosquito, which feeds on infected birds and transmits the virus when biting humans, horses, and some other mammals. This type of mosquito increases in numbers during mid to late summer when the temperatures climb and the weather pattern is drier. Floodwater mosquito populations created  by recent rain in Oklahoma do not increase the risk of WNV.  The type of mosquitoes that hatch after severe flooding are primarily the species of mosquitoes classified as “nuisance mosquitoes”. They bite aggressively and cause lots of itchy bites, but they are not typically involved with transmission of diseases. Floodwater mosquito populations tend to die out three weeks after the rains stop and the sun dries out affected low lying areas.  – For complete release see

RABIES: 06/02/15 Elbert County: by Blair Shiff – A stray cat in Elbert county was infected with rabies, according to the Tri-County Health Department. The cat was located in the vicinity of Cimarron and Stage Run neighborhoods, near Elizabeth. The normally tame long-haired gray-and-white cat named “Bob” was often fed by local residents but was recently acting aggressively and had to be euthanized. There was at least one known human exposure to the cat, and that person is receiving a rabies vaccine. Local residents have been notified, but anyone who may have come in contact with the cat between May 15 and 25 is urged to call the Tri-County Health Department at 303-220- 9200. – See

feral.cats.4435Connecticut 06/05/15 Animal control officers found a  medium-haired black kitten in Shelton May 12 shortly after 5 p.m. near Howe Avenue and Wooster Street. The kitten died Monday and a positive test for rabies came back Thursday, Detective Chris Nugent said in a press release. Nugent said two other stray kittens were reported near Howe Avenue and Maple Street. He said people who have handled or were exposed to a stray cat or kitten in that area should contact their health care provider. – See
06/03/15 St. Lucie County: by Laurie K. Blandford –  “A rabies alert has been issued for the central part of St. Lucie County after a feral cat tested positive Tuesday for the disease. ” “The center of the alert is at Boston Avenue and South 30th Street, with the following boundaries: south of Orange Avenue, north of Delaware Avenue, east of South 33rd Street and west of South 25th Street. The area on alert includes Dreamland Park and is near Elks Park and John Carroll Catholic High and St. Anastasia Catholic schools. Fort Pierce animal control officers picked up the cat Saturday after it bit a pet dog in the 200 block of South 30th Street in Fort Pierce, said city Animal Control Officer Peggy Arraiz.” – See 06/05/15 A woman was recently bitten on the leg by a rabid feral cat in Madison County. “We have had a positive rabies case in the 900 block of Hwy 106 North involving a human and a feral cat,” reported county animal control officials. “The cat was underneath her car and came out and bit her on the leg.” The cat also fought with three other stray cats at the location, a black with some white on the chest, and two greys with white paws. These cats were exposed to the rabies virus. There were also some kittens, unknown colors, in the area as well. “The cats exposed to rabies on Hwy 106 have been captured,” officials later reported. “It is still important to stress the rabies shots and not approaching any animal that you are not familiar with.” – See Island 06/05/15 The Department of Environmental Management and the Department of Health are advising people who live in the Rathbun Street area of Woonsocket that a feral cat in the area tested positive for rabies. The cat was a thin, male, brown tabby, and lived in a feral colony. The cat was caught approximately three-quarters of a mile from the intersection of Rathbun Street and Social Street, between 268 and 290 Rathbun Street. It was caught by a volunteer so the cat could be neutered and get medical care. While the cat was at the veterinarian, it exhibited symptoms consistent with rabies. The cat was euthanized and has since tested positive for rabies. Anyone who may have had any physical contact with this cat or any feral cats in the Rathbun Street area of Woonsocket should call HEALTH immediately at 401-222-2577, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; or 401-272-5952 after hours. Anyone who has a pet that may have had contact with this cat or any feral cat in this area should contact Woonsocket Animal Control at 401-766-6571 during normal business hours or the Woonsocket Police Department at 401-766-1212 after hours. – See

Researchers’ discovery may explain difficulty in treating LYME DISEASE ~ MASSACHUSETTS teenager attacked by BLACK BEAR ~ Young girl is NEW MEXICO’s first human case of WEST NILE VIRUS ~ Two RABBITS positive for TULAREMIA in NEW MEXICO ~ RABIES reports from GA & SC.


Global 06/01/15 Excerpts – “Northeastern University researchers have found that the bacterium that causes Lyme disease forms dormant persister cells, which are known to evade antibiotics. This significant finding, they said, could help explain why it’s so difficult to treat the infection in some patients.”

NEUniv.ggf643kjg6“In addition to identifying the presence of these persister cells, Lewis’ team also presented two methods for wiping out the infection—both of which were successful in lab tests. One involved an anti-cancer agent called Mitomycin C, which completely eradicated all cultures of the bacterium in one fell swoop. However, Lewis stressed that, given Mitomycin C’s toxicity, it isn’t a recommended option for treating Lyme disease, though his team’s findings are useful to helping to better understand the disease.

Kim Lewis, University Distinguished Professor and Director of the Antimicrobial Discovery Center in the College of Science.

Kim Lewis, University Distinguished Professor and Director of the Antimicrobial Discovery Center in the College of Science.

“The second approach, which Lewis noted is much more practical, involved pulse-dosing an antibiotic to eliminate persisters. The researchers introduced the antibiotic a first time, which killed the growing cells but not the dormant persisters. But once the antibiotic washed away, the persisters woke up, and before they had time to restore their population the researchers hit them with the antibiotic again. Four rounds of antibiotic treatments completely eradicated the persisters in a test tube.”

” Lewis and his colleagues presented their findings in a paper published online last week in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.” – For complete article see


black-bear-backcountry-movie_hMassachusetts 06/01/15 A western Massachusetts teenager says she feels lucky after suffering just minor injuries in a bear attack. Seventeen-year-old Carly Hall of Belchertown tells The Daily Hampshire Gazette ( ) she was walking a family friend’s dog with three other teens in Amherst on Saturday night when they encountered a black bear. The teens scattered, but the bear followed Hall, who had the dog on a leash. She let go of the leash when the bear got too close, and the dog ran. She says the bear scraped her back twice before she jumped on the roof of a parked car and the bear went after the fleeing dog. – See


imagesCACMXFDXNew Mexico 05/29/15 Valencia County: A 12-year-old girl is the first to be diagnosed with WNV in the state this year. Though she was reported to have the more serious form of the illness, neuroinvasive disease, she is now home recovering. – See article at


tularemia.rr7788rr3New Mexico 05/29/15 Santa Fe County: Two rabbits found in the vicinity of the City of Santa Fe have tested positive for tularemia, a disease most commonly carried by rabbits and rodents in the wild. Pets such as dogs and cats often become infected. – See


rabies18893Georgia 05/29/15 Henry County: A Stockbridge family of eight is undergoing rabies treatments after interacting with an infected cat. Henry County Animal Control supervisor Vince Farah said a rabies alert was issued Tuesday after multiple members of a family reported being bitten or scratched by a cat that later tested positive for the virus, according to multiple news outlets. Walter McElreath says he was scratched by the cat, which his family had interacted with for a few months, while trying to get it into a cage. All eight members of McElreath’s family, including six children, will begin rabies treatments in the next several days. – See

South Carolina 05/29/15 Abbeville County: Four people have been referred to their health care providers for consultation after being exposed to rabies in (the city of) Abbeville by a sheep that tested positive for the disease, the Department of Health and Environmental Control reported today. The sheep was potentially exposed to an aggressive skunk, which was not available for testing, roughly one month ago. Three of the four victims provided routine husbandry care for the sheep. The fourth victim was potentially exposed on May 25, 2015. The sheep tested positive for rabies on May 27. – For complete article see

NEW JERSEY man dies of LASSA FEVER ~ CDC description and history of LASSA FEVER ~ OKLAHOMAN has second case of BOURBON VIRUS diagnosed in US ~ MICHIGAN identifies first case of CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE in a free-ranging DEER ~ KANSAS STATE scientists develop VACCINE for AVIAN FLU ~ RABIES report from GEORGIA.

Mastomys natalensis. Courtesy National Institutes of Health.

Mastomys natalensis. Courtesy National Institutes of Health.

New Jersey 05/26/15 by Jethro Mullen – A man who returned to New Jersey from West Africa has died of Lassa fever, a disease that’s only known to have entered the United States a handful of times in the past few decades, authorities said. The man didn’t have a fever when he left Liberia on May 17, or upon arrival at JFK International Airport in New York, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

Flight path

Flight path

The next day, he went to a New Jersey hospital complaining of a sore throat, fever and tiredness. But he didn’t tell the staff there about his travel to West Africa and was sent home the same day, the CDC said. He went back to the hospital Thursday with worsening symptoms and was moved to a treatment center for viral hemorrhagic fevers. A test for Lassa fever came back positive early Monday, according to the CDC. The patient died that evening in isolation. – For complete article see

aaCDC-LogoAuthor’s Note: According to Rachael Rettner, writing in on -05/26/15, ” Although Lassa fever is common in West Africa, it is rare in the United States — there have been only five other cases of the virus in this country in the last half century, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus doesn’t spread through casual contact, or through the air, and there has never been a case of person-to-person transmission of Lassa fever in the U.S., the CDC said.”

lassa.fever.234Global 05/26/15 Lassa fever is an acute viral illness that occurs in west Africa. The illness was discovered in 1969 when two missionary nurses died in Nigeria. The virus is named after the town in Nigeria where the first cases occurred. The virus, a member of the virus family Arenaviridae, is a single-stranded RNA virus and is zoonotic, or animal-borne. Lassa fever is endemic in parts of west Africa including Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Nigeria; however, other neighboring countries are also at risk, as the animal vector for Lassa virus, the “multimammate rat” (Mastomys natalensis) is distributed throughout the region. In 2009, the first case from Mali was reported in a traveler living in southern Mali; Ghana reported its first cases in late 2011. Isolated cases have also been reported in Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso and there is serologic evidence of Lassa virus infection in Togo and Benin. The number of Lassa virus infections per year in west Africa is estimated at 100,000 to 300,000, with approximately 5,000 deaths. Unfortunately, such estimates are crude, because surveillance for cases of the disease is not uniformly performed. In some areas of Sierra Leone and Liberia, it is known that 10%-16% of people admitted to hospitals every year have Lassa fever, which indicates the serious impact of the disease on the population of this region. – For information regarding Transmission, Diagnosis, Signs & Symptoms, Treatment, Risk of Exposure and Prevention see


dl3l4l34d9Oklahoma 05/27/15 Health officials say an Oklahoma resident has been diagnosed with a rare tick borne disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that a Payne County resident tested positive for Bourbon virus. This case is the first detected in Oklahoma and only the second case in the United States. Officials with the Oklahoma State Department of Health say that since the disease is so new, more research is needed to understand the severity of Bourbon virus. Symptoms include fever, severe muscle, join pain, fatigue, disorientation, diarrhea and a rash. At this time, there is no treatment for Bourbon virus infections. Fortunately, the Oklahoma patient reported symptoms earlier this month and has since made a full recovery. – For complete article see


Deer with CWD

Deer with CWD

Michigan 05/26/15 The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is warning people today of a wildlife disease that is being tracked in the state. It’s called chronic wasting disease and it affects deer. DNR Director Keith Creagh explained today that the illness was confirmed in a female whitetail deer found in Meridian Township by DNR biologists. The DNR has set up a Chronic Wasting Disease management zone in Ingham, Clinton and Shiawassee Counties. Feeding and baiting deer is now prohibited in these counties. Hunting will still be allowed in the three counties. This is the first case of Chronic wasting disease found in a free-ranging deer. In 2008 chronic wasting disease was found in a private herd in Kent County. According to Creagh the disease is not transmitted to people. The DNR says the disease has been detected in deer, elk or moose in 23 states. If you should come in contact with deer that is unafraid of humans or appears to be listless and wandering, you are urged to contact the DNR online or call 517-336-5030. – See

CWD-TitleAuthor’s Note: Is CWD a threat to humans? Dr. Vincent Racaniello, Professor of Microbiology & Immunology in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columba University, and author of the Virology Blog, has posted a blog about Chronic Wasting Disease, a prion disease of deer, elk and moose. Hunters and others who have an interest in the topic will want to read it. – See


avian.flu647Global 05/26/15 A vaccine has been developed for the H5N1 and H7N9 strains of avian influenza, using a method based on the Newcastle disease virus, according to a study from Kansas State University and others. The strains have led to the culling of millions of commercial chickens and turkeys as well as the death of hundreds of people, though they are not responsible for the current epidemic in the US, which is caused by the H5N2 strain. The new vaccine development method is expected to help researchers make vaccines for emerging strains of avian influenza more quickly. This could reduce the number and intensity of large-scale outbreaks at poultry farms as well as curb human transmission. It also may lead to new influenza vaccines for pigs, and novel vaccines for sheep and other livestock, said Jürgen Richt, Regents distinguished professor of veterinary medicine at Kansas State University, and director of the US Department of Homeland Security’s Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases.

ksu.logoProfessor Richt and his colleagues focused on the avian influenza virus subtype H5N1, a new strain most active in Indonesia, Egypt and other Southeast Asian and North African countries. H5N1 also has been documented in wild birds in the US, though in fewer numbers. “H5N1 is a zoonotic pathogen, which means that it is transmitted from chickens to humans,” Professor Richt said. “So far it has infected more than 700 people worldwide and has killed about 60 per cent of them. Unfortunately, it has a pretty high mortality rate.” – For complete article see


05/8/15 by Trevor Shirley – Animal control officers in Henry County say a family of eight will have to be treated for rabies, after possibly being exposed to the virus by a stray cat. Officials say that family of six children and two adults took the cat in to care for it. During that time, Henry County Rabies Control Officer Vince Faran says the animal scratched or bit all of them. Thursday morning, tests confirmed the animal was rabid. The family will likely begin treatments in the coming days, according to Faran. He says the prognosis is good since they will be starting treatment soon after the possible exposure. Faran also says there is no risk to anyone that may come into contact with the family. The cat was euthanized. – See

GEORGIA man dies of RATTLESNAKE bite ~ CALIFORNIA youngster attacked by COYOTE ~ COLORADO confirms HUMAN CASE of HANTAVIRUS ~ COLORADO confirms HUMAN CASE of TULAREMIA ~ TEXAS confirms first HUMAN CASE of WEST NILE VIRUS this year ~ RABIES reports from AL, MD & TX

Rattlesnake. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Rattlesnake. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Georgia 05/20/15 by Blake Giles – David Giles knew snakes. He was trained as a forester. He had lived and worked near remote areas, so he knew snakes. He carried a snakebite kit in his vehicle. “He knows the woods,” said his mother, Jane Giles of Watkinsville. “I don’t know if there is anyone who knows any more about snakes and their habits than he knew. He knew to respect them.” But Giles, 59, of Watkinsville, died Monday from a snakebite. Giles had been living with his mother, Jane, for about four years since he had contracted Lyme disease. She believes that his system might have been compromised already by his illness, compounding the effects of the venom. Giles was on Bullock Road in Oglethorpe County Sunday evening. He had gone to water some plants for his sister, who was out of town. Rather than drive his own vehicle, with the snakebite kit, he drove his mother’s car. Exactly what happened is speculation because Giles was alone. It appears that he had at least turned on the water hose, because it was still running Tuesday when someone returned to the scene. There was some loose lumber at the site. Perhaps the snake was there, or under the house. “It’s a lovely old home, built in the late 1700s,” Jane Giles said. “It is totally surrounded by forest.” Emergency-room physicians told the family that they guessed that it was a rattlesnake bite, based on the size of the bite marks on his right hand. Giles was wearing a glove when the snake bit him. He drove himself about a mile to a nearby house where he practically fell out of the truck. He managed to tell someone, “I have been snakebit.” Jane Giles said her son never regained consciousness after that. – See


1_62_coyote_snarlCalifornia 05/22/15 A 3-year-old girl was attacked by a coyote Friday while playing with a friend in an Orange County park. It happened around 5:50 p.m. at the corner of Equinox and Silverado, according to Irvine police. The coyote charged at the girl “out of nowhere” and lunged at her neck. It could have ended much differently had it not been for a nearby resident who acted quickly. Ginna McKenna was sitting on her patio when she spotted the attack, as told to CBS2’s Stacey Butler. “A little girl was screaming and the mother was screaming, so I came running out and there was a coyote in the park. I chased [the coyote] off,” McKenna said. “They were scared.” The girl was taken to a hospital with what was described as a superficial wound to her neck. Fish and Game and Animal Control officers with the Irvine P.D. are looking for the coyote. Police say coyotes frequent the area, but it’s extremely rare for one to attack a person. – For video see


Hantavirus-OutbreakColorado 05/21/15 Garfield County Public Health officials are working with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to investigate a recent case of hantavirus exposure in the western part of Garfield County. Hantavirus is carried in the saliva, urine and droppings of certain infected mice. When contaminated dirt and dust are stirred up, the virus becomes airborne. “Every year we see cases of hantavirus in Colorado. Our state is second highest in the nation in cases of the disease,” said Yvonne Long, Public Health Director in a written statement. “If you have mice in or around your home, barns, or cabins you are at risk for exposure to hantavirus. That is why we are urging people to exercise extreme caution when they enter or clean up an area with evidence of rodents.” – For complete article see


rabbit.tularemiaColorado 05/21/15 by Anthony Cotton – The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment has confirmed this year’s first human case of tularemia in a county resident. Officials said the resident may have been infected while planting trees or gardening — soil can be contaminated by bacteria from the droppings or urine of sick animals, most likely rabbits. These bacteria can enter the skin through tiny cuts or abrasions. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, in 2014, Colorado saw at least 11 cases of humans contracting tularemia, more than three times the previous average in the state. Residents are advised that tularemia-causing bacteria may infect small animals — especially rabbits and hares — along the Front Range. A recent die-off of rabbits in a neighborhood suggests a possible tularemia outbreak among the animals in that area. These bacteria can persist in the soil or water for weeks, and it takes very few bacteria to cause an infection. Officials said tularemia can be transmitted to people who have handled infected animals, such as hunters. Infection can also arise from the bite of infected insects (most commonly ticks and deer flies); by exposure to contaminated food, water, or soil by eating, drinking, or direct contact with breaks in the skin; or by inhaling particles carrying the bacteria (through mowing or blowing vegetation). – For complete article see


Harris County

Harris County

Texas 05/21/15 Harris County Health Dept: Media Release – – Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services (HCPHES) has confirmed the first human case of the 2015 season of West Nile Virus (WNV) illness in Harris County, and in the state of Texas. West Nile Virus was confirmed in an elderly patient from the northwest portion of Harris County. The patient, whose identity will remain confidential, is expected to recover.  – For complete release see


rabies_tag_small_websiteAlabama 05/22/15 Lee County: A family’s unvaccinated pet Chihuahua from the 600 block of Lee Road 191 has tested positive for rabies after biting its owner who is now receiving post-exposure prophylactic treatment. – See

337278_koshka_kot_rebenok_ditya_devochka_kosichka_ulybka_2990x2170_www-gdefon-ruMaryland 05/21/15 Harford County: A feral cat from a colony on Scarboro Road near the county waste disposal center has tested positive for rabies. – See

6183687956_0905f1bf96_oTexas 05/21/15 Stephens County: A kitten found in the Harpersville area has tested positive for rabies. – See