PORCUPINE quills kill hungry MOUNTAIN LION in WYOMING ~ COYOTE attacks three people in MASSACHUSETTS ~ OR-7, the wandering WOLF of OREGON, is granted pack status ~ RABIES reports from GA, SCx2 & WI.

Porcupine. Courtesy U.S Fish & Wildlife.

Porcupine. Courtesy U.S Fish & Wildlife.

Wyoming 01/11/15 outdoorhub.com: Even mountain lions will usually maintain a healthy distance from porcupines, but not always. They do occasionally prey on them, if they’re hungry enough. Recently, researchers with Panthera’s Teton Cougar Project found a dead mountain lion near Jackson Hole. During a necropsy, they discovered that the cat’s internal organs had been punctured by a porcupine’s quills and the resulting injuries were the cause of its death, though it was determined that the cat lingered for five weeks before it died. – For complete article see http://www.outdoorhub.com/news/2015/01/11/mountain-lion-eats-porcupine-killed-quills-inside/

COYOTE:

coyote_generic_042413Massachusetts 01/06/15 wcvb.com: Police have issued a warning in Groveland after a coyote attacked local residents, including a father who was walking with his 4-year-old daughter, on Monday. Jon McPherson had just arrived home and was walking up a sidewalk with his daughter when the coyote latched onto his leg and wouldn’t let go. “At first I thought, ‘Oh my God. I just got bit by a dog,'” he said. “I turned around and it was a big coyote. Probably waist-high. I was like, ‘Get out of here!'” McPherson said shouting at the animal didn’t work. “He wasn’t afraid of me in the slightest,” McPherson said. That’s when he hit the animal with a bag full of groceries. “I clocked him with the bag, he kind of shook his head a little bit and moved into the side yard,” McPherson said. After ripping apart the bag, the coyote took off for the woods behind Manor Drive, but minutes later it emerged on nearby Gardner Street. A man on that street said the coyote didn’t seem to have any fear. “The behavior of the coyote in these incidents is very unusual,” Groveland police Sgt. Dwight McDonald said. “Coyotes usually run from humans.” The coyote should be considered rabid and dangerous, police said. Any contact with the animal will require medical attention. – See video at http://www.wcvb.com/news/groveland-police-issue-warning-for-aggressive-coyote/30557304

WOLF:

OR-7

OR-7

Oregon 01/08/15 statesmanjournal.com: by Jeff Barnard – Oregon’s famous wandering wolf, OR-7, is now officially the leader of his own pack. State and federal wildlife agencies said Wednesday they have designated OR-7, his mate and their pups the Rogue Pack, for their location in the Rogue River drainage in the Cascades east of Medford. It’s the first pack in western Oregon and the ninth in the state since wolves from Idaho started swimming the Snake River in the 1990s. As a youngster, OR-7 left his pack in northeastern Oregon in September 2011 in search of a mate. He traveled thousands of miles across Oregon and back and forth into Northern California before finding a mate last winter in the southern Cascades on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest. The GPS collar that tracked his travels is still working, but biologists hope to replace it this spring. Efforts to trap OR-7, his mate or one of the pups to put a tracking collar on them were not successful last fall, said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist John Stephenson. They hope to have better luck this May, when the pack dens up for more pups. Even if the GPS tracking collar fails, a separate unit on the collar that emits a radio signal that can be tracked by a directional antenna should continue working, Stephenson said . . . OR-7 has continued to stay out of trouble as far as livestock are concerned. – For more photos see http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/tech/science/environment/2015/01/08/oregons-wandering-wolf-or-7-gets-official-pack-status/21433743/

RABIES:

Georgia 01/12/15 Hall County: A Rabies Alert has been issued after two people came in contact with a cat that has since tested positive for the virus. Thecat was found in the vicinity of 5th Street in the eastern part of the county. – See http://www.gainesvilletimes.com/section/6/article/107156/

Vaccinate.

Vaccinate.

South Carolina 01/08/15 Spartanburg County: A stray cat that came in contact with at least two people in Moore has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.goupstate.com/article/20150108/ARTICLES/150109751/1083/ARTICLES?Title=Stray-cat-exposes-two-people-to-rabies-in-Moore

South Carolina 01/08/15 Lee County: A stray cat that came in contact with a person in the Ashwood area of Bishopville has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wltx.com/story/news/health/2015/01/08/cat-exposes-person-in-lee-county-to-rabies/21450429/

help-mdWisconsin 01/09/15 Dane County: Police are seeking a dog that bit a woman outside a Madison mall this week. Public Health of Madison and Dane County is looking for information on a dog that bit a woman Tuesday at about 12:30 p.m. According to a release, the woman was outside the food court entrance at East Towne Mall petting a dog that was sitting inside a pickup truck. Public Health said the owner of the short-haired Dalmatian-type dog was present but left before the victim was aware of the rabies risk involved when a strange dog bites a person. The dog was described as a white and black spotted and was sitting in a dark blue mid-90s-year Ford F250 with a topper. The owner was a white man possibly in his mid-60s with gray hair. The dog was possibly named Smoky, according to the report. Anyone with information regarding the dog bite is asked to call 255-2345 and ask for the animal services officer. Public Health said If the animal is not located, the woman may be required to complete a series of painful, costly injections to prevent rabies. – See http://madisoneast.channel3000.com/news/health/464412-police-seek-dog-bit-woman-outside-mall

COYOTE attacks two CALIFORNIANS ~ PUERTO RICO confirms 4000+ cases of CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER ~ Study confirms 1000+ human cases of PLAGUE in U.S. since 1900 ~ Wildlife professional believes MOUNTAIN LIONS are returning to NORTHEASTERN U.S. ~ RABIES reports from FL, MO, RI, SC & TX.

Coyote. Courtesy National Park Service.

Coyote. Courtesy National Park Service.

California 12/31/14 mercurynews.com: by Natalie Neysa Alund – An apparently sick coyote that bit a man and a 5-year-old boy in the city of Fremont’s Mission San Jose neighborhood and was later fatally shot by police has tested negative for rabies, police announced Tuesday. The animal’s necropsy took place Monday and test results from a state lab were released early Tuesday, police spokesman Geneva Bosques said. Police shot and killed the coyote on Dec. 25 after it bit a 42-year-old man and the 5-year-old boy on separate streets about a mile apart that day. The coyote, who appeared injured, was initially spotted about 5:40 p.m. in the 3100 block of Starr Street, just several blocks from Highway 680, where he bit the man on his leg. An hour later, a man jogging on Montevideo Circle was chased by the coyote, although he was able to kick off the animal and escape uninjured. As officers were searching for the animal, dispatch received a call from a local hospital reporting that a 5-year-old boy had been bitten by a coyote while walking on Via Oporto. The animal was eventually found wandering on Nido Court and fatally shot in order to prevent further attacks. The coyote was taken to Tri-City Animal Shelter, where it was tested for rabies. None of the people bitten suffered life-threatening injuries. Bosques, who said the attack appears to be random, said the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife will continue to try and determine why it attacked. – See http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_27229429/coyote-who-bit-two-people-fremont-tests-negative

CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER:

chikungunya-symptoms66734Puerto Rico 12/31/14 foxnews.com: Puerto Rico has logged more than 4,000 confirmed cases of infection with the Chikungunya virus this year, the Health Department said Wednesday. Lab tests confirmed 118 new cases during the Nov. 12-Dec. 9 period, chief epidemiologist Brenda Rivera Garcia said, which brought the total to 4,185, pending data for the rest of December. “Most of the cases confirmed in this report are in the western area of the island,” she said in a statement. “It is important that residents in this region’s municipalities take steps to protect themselves and to eradicate mosquito breeding sites both around houses and work areas.” Chikungunya, like dengue fever, is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito . . . The Chikungunya virus is responsible for five deaths on the island this year, according to the Puerto Rico Health Department. – See http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/health/2014/12/31/puerto-rico-reports-more-than-4000-chikungunya-cases/

PLAGUE:

BubonicPlague4456675National 12/29/14 healio.com: According to researchers at the CDC, human cases of plague continue to occur consistently in the United States, particularly in the rural Southwest. During a 113-year study period, from 1900 to 2012, 1,006 cases of human plague were reported in the US. Of 913 cases for which information on the clinical form of the disease was available, 82% were bubonic, 8% pneumonic, 10% septicemic, 1% pharyngeal and less than 1% gastrointestinal. Of 305 cases for whom exposure information was available, 106 individuals had been bitten by a flea, 91 recently had handled an animal, 64 had butchered or skinned an animal, and 21 had sustained a bite or scratch or were exposed to the cough of an animal. According to the researchers, the most significant current risk factor for plague is direct or indirect human contact with rodents and their fleas. – See http://www.healio.com/infectious-disease/zoonotic-infections/news/online/%7Ba3f39c57-b943-4bb8-90d4-3137144f79ea%7D/plague-continues-to-pose-threat-in-us-particularly-in-southwest

MOUNTAIN LIONS:

MountainLionNortheastern U.S. 01/02/15 centralmaine.com: A Vermont animal tracker known nationally for her expertise in tracking cougars believes the big cats will eventually return to the Northeastern United States and neighboring parts of Canada, but she says the region won’t see large numbers of them anytime soon. The forests of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and upstate New York have ideal cougar habitat, meaning plentiful forest cover and large animals to sustain a cougar population, said Sue Morse of Jericho, the science director and founder of the organization Keeping Track. “Back in the ’80s, I just looked at that huge expanse of country between the Rockies, the western slope of the Rockies and here, and I thought to myself ‘how can this happen?’” said Morse. Since then, scientists have tracked the animals moving out of South Dakota into Midwestern states. Cougars also are moving north into Manitoba, the Canadian province to the west of Ontario, which Morse considers their most likely route back to the Northeast. “We need our apex carnivores in a big way,” Morse said. “We need them for the health of our forests. Our forests are being ravaged by too many deer in some places.” The animals are known by a variety of names: mountain lion, puma, panther, catamount. Vermont’s last known cougar was killed in 1881 in Barnard. – For complete article see http://www.centralmaine.com/2015/01/01/cougar-expert-cats-could-return-to-new-england/

RABIES:

2011RabiesAwarenessWeekFlorida 12/23/14 Jackson County: A horse stabled west of Marianna off U.S. 90 has tested positive for rabies. Another horse and three dogs on the property have been quarantined as a precaution. – See http://www.jcfloridan.com/news/article_a1e1cc72-8af4-11e4-824c-cfd866e432ca.html

Missouri 12/31/14 Texas County: A stray cat that was taken in by a county resident and later became ill has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.ozarksfirst.com/story/d/story/texas-county-under-alert-after-rabid-cat-found/25352/JrGmp7q9a0Sguo0L0HIdMg

Rhode Island 12/30/14 Providence County: A pony stabled in the vicinity of Sherman Avenue in Lincoln has tested positive for rabies. Anyone who may have come in contact with the animal should call the Rhode Island Department of Health at (401) 222-5960. – See http://wpri.com/2014/12/30/pony-put-down-after-testing-positive-for-rabies/

South Carolina 12/29/14 Lancaster County: Two people, who live near the town of Kershaw, have been advised to seek immediate medical advice after an outside pet cat tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/12/29/5412962/2-lancaster-co-residents-exposed.html#.VKdwgnvy0tU

Texas 12/23/14 Kerr County: Four people are being treated for potential exposure to rabies after a pet cat died from the virus in Kerrville. – See http://www.kens5.com/story/news/local/public-safety/2014/12/23/rabies—animals-cats-vaccine/20779433/

BLACK BEAR attacks FLORIDA teenager ~ TEXAS reports fifth HANTAVIRUS case this year ~ NEW YORK scientists develop VACCINE to fight CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ LYME DISEASE cases in NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND remain high.

Black bear. Photo by Cephas. Wikimedia Commons.

Black bear. Photo by Cephas. Wikimedia Commons.

Florida 12/21/14 mypanhandle.com provided by FL Fish & Wildlife: A 15-year-old is currently undergoing surgery after being attacked by a bear in Eastpoint, Florida. According to her mother the teenager sustained significant injuries to her legs, back, neck and face and was transported to Bay Medical Sacred Heart in Panama City. “Even as I sit here now I can’t believe what happened,” said Sherry Mann, the girl’s mother. “The bears are all over the place and I know how hard I would fight to protect my kids, but a momma bear can do so much more damage than me with just one swipe.” Mann says her daughter was walking her dog by the Big Top Supermarket off Highway 98 when she says she saw a dark shadow and then black. She says her daughter was dragged into a nearby ditch by the bear and tried screaming for help. Sherry Mann said her daughter Leah Reeder remembered to “play dead” and as she did her dog came to her rescue lunging at the animal. The bear retreated to the nearby woods and Reeder was able to walk home to her father’s house, which was a block away. “The worst injuries are to her face,” said Mann. “She has a huge laceration on top of her head and one across her forehead and deep, deep puncture wounds to the side of her head.” As of midnight Monday morning Reeder had been in surgery nearly two hours. – See http://www.mypanhandle.com/story/d/story/15-year-old-reportedly-attacked-by-bear-in-east-po/13441/COd76GVsPkK409SP2VqWJw

HANTAVIRUS:

rodents.44k498Texas 12/22/14 outbreaknewstoday.com: The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)is reporting a case of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) in a resident of the Golden Crescent region along the central Texas coast. This is the fifth case of hantavirus this year in the state. Hantavirus is carried by certain species of rats and mice that shed the virus in their urine, droppings and saliva. The virus can be transmitted to people by stirring up nesting materials or contaminated dust, allowing the virus to be breathed in by humans. Cases have been linked to cleaning out buildings where rodents live and working in dusty environments like ranches and oilfields . . . A total of 43 HPS cases have been confirmed in Texas since 1993, the first year the disease was detected. Of those, 14 were fatal. – For complete article see http://outbreaknewstoday.com/texas-reports-5th-hantavirus-case-of-2014/

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE:

white_tail_doeGlobal 12/21/14 medicalxpress.com: Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center and elsewhere say that a vaccination they have developed to fight a brain-based, wasting syndrome among deer and other animals may hold promise on two additional fronts: Protecting U.S. livestock from contracting the disease, and preventing similar brain infections in humans. The study, to be published in Vaccine online Dec. 21, documents a scientific milestone: The first successful vaccination of deer against chronic wasting disease (CWD), a fatal brain disorder caused by unusual infectious proteins known as prions. Prions propagate by converting otherwise healthy proteins into a disease state.

jjg8877gEqually important, the researchers say, this study may hold promise against human diseases suspected to be caused by prion infections, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, kuru, familial insomnia, and variably protease-sensitive prionopathy. Some studies also have associated prion-like infections with Alzheimer’s disease. “Now that we have found that preventing prion infection is possible in animals, it’s likely feasible in humans as well,” says senior study investigator and neurologist Thomas Wisniewski, MD, a professor at NYU Langone. CWD afflicts as much as 100 percent of North America’s captive deer population, as well as large numbers of other cervids that populate the plains and forests of the Northern Hemisphere, including wild deer, elk, caribou and moose. There is growing concern among scientists that CWD could possibly spread to livestock in the same regions, especially cattle, a major life stream for the U.S. economy, in much the same manner that bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or Mad Cow Disease, another prion-based infection, spread through the United Kingdom almost two decades ago. – See http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-12-successful-vaccination-mad-cow-like-disease.html

LYME DISEASE:

green-tick-logoNew England 12/21/14 bostonglobe.com: by Patrick Whittle – Environmental factors and improved reporting methods led to another year of high totals for Lyme disease in northern New England. Reported cases are expected to be on par with, or exceed, records set recently in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Maine is likely to exceed last year’s record of 1,384 cases of the tick-borne illness, said Sheila Pinette, director of the state’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Vermont officials said their state is on track for its second- or third-highest total on record, following the 2013 high of 671. In New Hampshire, officials said numbers are falling in line with recent years, which included a record in 2013. – For complete article see http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/12/21/numerous-reports-lyme-disease-new-england/IxOdrlSz0P8MQjQu2U8t7J/story.html

Doctors say KANSAN died of new TICK-BORNE BOURBON VIRUS ~ Travel associated CHIKUNGUNYA in US tops 2,000 cases – MOUNTAIN LION shot in KENTUCKY ~ RABID STRAY CAT report from NORTH CAROLINA.

TERC_150x75

Kansas 12/18/14 kshb.com: by Shannon Halligan – A new, never before seen virus has been discovered in Kansas. The CDC is now investigating after the tick-borne illness, dubbed “Bourbon Virus,” was linked to the death of a Kansas man. Up until recently, the man’s death remained a mystery. Now, doctors at the University of Kansas Hospital think this discovery may help others . . . This summer a patient came into the University of Kansas hospital with symptoms similar to most tick-borne illnesses, but after testing the man, doctors were stumped. “It was very frustrating. That’s one of the biggest problems with my job, which I love, when we can’t answer those questions, when we can’t help the patients or their families,” Dr. Dana Hawkinson, an Infectious Disease Physician at the hospital said,  People with diseases spread by ticks see symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, muscle aches, and nausea. Dr. Hawkinson explained the Kansas man didn’t respond to typical treatments. He eventually experienced multi-organ failure. Now, six months after his death, the CDC determined the man had “Bourbon Virus.” It’s named after Bourbon County, Kan., where the man lived. – For complete article and video see http://www.kshb.com/news/health/new-tick-borne-virus-discovered-after-the-death-of-kansas-man

CHIKUNGUNYA:

CHIK_State_Report-093014National 12/17/14 outbreaknewstoday.com: by Robert Herriman – After seeing an average of 28 imported chikungunya cases a year in the United States during the past eight years, primarily from travel to Asia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) puts the number of such cases to over 2,000 as of Dec. 16. Beginning in 2014, cases were identified in travelers returning from the Caribbean. As of December 16, a total of 2,021 chikungunya virus disease cases have been reported to ArboNET from U.S. states. Eleven locally-transmitted cases have been reported from Florida. New York has seen the most travel associated chikungunya with 533 case, or 27 percent of the national total. This is followed by Florida with 384, New Jersey with 160 and Massachusetts with 124 cases. Only Alaska, Wyoming , North Dakota and Montana have not reported a single case. Last week, we saw the number of local transmission cases in the Western Hemisphere eclipse the 1 million case mark, one year after the first cases were reported in the Caribbean. – See http://outbreaknewstoday.com/travel-associated-chikungunya-in-the-us-tops-2000-cases-2000/

MOUNTAIN LION:

MtnLionUSDA.govKentucky 12/18/14 therepublic.com: An examination of a mountain lion killed by a Kentucky Fish and Wildlife official has found that it was a 125-pound male that appeared to be young and healthy. But Fish and Wildlife officials still don’t know whether it was a wild animal or one that escaped from captivity. “It seemed to be in very healthy condition, and they determined pretty quickly that it didn’t look like it had traveled long distances on foot,” agency spokesman Mark Marraccini said. An agency officer shot and killed the mountain lion after a concerned caller spotted it in northern Bourbon County. Marraccini says the lion was killed because it was roaming free near a populated area, making it a public safety issue. He said if the mountain lion was a wild animal, it apparently would be the first one confirmed in Kentucky since before the Civil War. “But that is a pretty big ‘if,'” he said. “They took some measurements today, but that’s certainly not enough to go on without looking at everything in total.” The animal’s DNA will be sent to an out-of-state wildlife lab to determine whether its genetic material matches any wild populations. “They can determine the origin,” Marraccini said, though it won’t be fast. He said it could take weeks to get an answer. Mountain lions, which also are known as cougars and panthers, are the largest cats found in North America. – See http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/c392ae52a7bc4a238b5ac4bb4ec6366e/KY–Mountain-Lion-Killed

RABIES:

5071346685_9be11dee0c_zNorth Carolina 12/17/14 Cumberland County: A sick, stray cat that found its way to Hayfield Drive, off of Wade-Stedman Road in Wade on December 13th and was taken in by a local family has tested positive for rabies. – See http://abc11.com/news/cumberland-county-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies/440558/

HANTAVIRUS kills one NEW MEXICAN and hospitalizes another ~ CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER in the AMERICAS tops 1 million cases its first year ~ RABIES reports from PAx2 & VAx2.

Deer mouse. Courtesy of CDC.

Deer mouse. Courtesy of CDC.

New Mexico 12/12/14 ruidosonews.com: by Dianne Stallings – A 28-year-old man from McKinley County died this week from Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome and a 49-year-old man from Otero County still is hospitalized with the viral infection, but improving. . . . New Mexico this year has seen a total of six HPS cases, three resulting in death. 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. The deer mouse is the main carrier for Sin Nombre virus, the Hantavirus strain found in New Mexico. – For complete article see http://www.ruidosonews.com/ruidoso-news/ci_27124697/otero-county-man-hospitalized-hantavirus

CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER:

Chikungunya.33883.cdcWestern Hemisphere 12/13/14 outbreaknewstoday.com: by Robert Herriman – Exactly one year after the mosquito borne virus, chikungunya, made its first appearance in the Western Hemisphere as a locally acquired infection in the French Quarter section of the Caribbean island of St. Martin, the epidemic that has spread throughout the Americas has topped the 1 million case mark, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Friday. The most recent tally from the international health organization put the number of suspected and confirmed autochthonous, or locally acquired cases at 1,011,548, up nearly 36,000 cases from last week’s report. The eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic, after not reporting new cases for weeks, saw 25,381 additional cases reported to the UN agency. The Dominican Republic accounts for slightly more than half (51.8 percent)of all local transmission cases seen in the Western hemisphere with 524,297 total to date. In South America, Colombia saw an additional 6,350 cases, bringing their total to 45,513, the most cases reported on the South American continent. Brazil also reported a little spike recording 1,130 confirmed and 792 suspected chikungunya cases as of epidemiological week 46. Chikungunya virus is transmitted  by the same mosquitoes involved in the dengue fever  transmission (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus). - See http://outbreaknewstoday.com/chikungunya-in-the-americas-tops-1-million-cases-one-year-after-being-introduced-83961/ 

RABIES:

Pennsylvania 12/16/14 Montgomery County: A brown tabby cat named Jinx and missing its tail and hind legs that was being fostered at the Green Lane Veterinary Hospital in Green Lane has tested positive for rabies. Anyone who might have had contact with Jinx at the hospital between Nov. 29 and Dec. 11 should seek immediate medical advice. – See http://www.pottsmerc.comCAS_Kitten_Child_02/general-news/20141216/montco-confirms-rabies-in-crippled-cat-named-jinx

Pennsylvania 12/11/14 Washington County: An orange and white cat that has been held at the Washington Area Humane Society Shelter since May has tested positive for rabies. The incubation period can be as long as several years in rare cases. Currently, three people are being treated for potential exposure to the virus. Anyone who has been at the shelter and might have been exposed should seek immediate medical advice. – See http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/7361289-74/health-cat-officials#axzz3Lvw7N3ux

help984-05834Virginia 12/12/14 James City County: Health officials are looking for a dog that bit a person in James City County Wednesday afternoon. The attack happened around 4:30 p.m. in the neighborhood around Bridgewater Drive, according to the Peninsula Health District. A small white dog with tan spots — possibly a Fox Terrier or Jack Russell — was being walked by its owner when it bit the victim. Health officials say the victim will have to get a series of shots to prevent rabies, if the dog is not found and they can’t figure out if the animal has rabies. Once found, the dog won’t be taken away its owner, but will just have to stay inside for ten days. Anyone who has seen a dog with this description is asked to call the Peninsula Health District at 757-603-4277. – See http://wavy.com/2014/12/12/health-officials-looking-for-pet-dog-that-resident/

555f5f5Virginia 12/10/14 Halifax County: A stray Husky mix dog with a litter of six puppies that was found in the Boxwood Trail vicinity in the northern section of the county has tested positive for rabies. Two days after being picked up the mother began to show symptoms of being sick and was taken to a vet where the decision was made to put her to sleep. Because the pups were still nursing, they were also euthanized. Seven people exposed to the dogs were treated for possible exposure to the rabies virus. – See http://www.yourgv.com/news/local_news/article_69ac91c0-806d-11e4-a833-9b15f1940be0.html

BEAVERS in COLORADO spreading TULAREMIA ~ FLORIDIAN attacked by BLACK BEAR while walking DOG ~ Third NEW MEXICAN this year to die of HANTAVIRUS ~ CANADA: BIRD FLU in BRITISH COLUMBIA “highly pathogenic” ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) cases exceed 2,000 again this year ~ RABIES report from NORTH CAROLINA.

Beaver. Courtesy National Park Service.

Beaver. Courtesy National Park Service.

Colorado 12/03/14 summitdaily.com: Fifteen human cases of tularemia have reported so far this year, which is three times the annual average for the state. Tularemia-related small-mammal die-offs have been reported in at least 27 Colorado counties. Beavers found south of Breckenridge have tested positive for the bacteria, which can cause a potentially life-threatening disease. Of the 15 human cases reported this year, 11 patients have been hospitalized. – See http://www.summitdaily.com/news/14085888-113/tularemia-summit-bacteria-county

BEAR ATTACK:

blackbearjpgFlorida 12/04/14 wtsp.com: A Lake Mary resident who was walking her dog on Wednesday night was attacked by a black bear and bitten on the upper arm. Fortunately, the bear then abruptly left the area. According to officials, the dog spotted the bear and tried to chase it tugging at its leash and causing the woman to fall to the ground. The bear then attacked and ran off. Lake Mary, a suburb of Orlando, is in Seminole County. Last April another Lake Mary resident was mauled by a bear. Three people in the area were later charged for feeding bears. – See http://www.wtsp.com/story/news/local/florida/2014/12/04/fl-woman-bitten-by-bear-while-walking-dog/19914509/

Follow-Up Report: 12/06/14 therepublic.com: Officials have captured and killed the bear suspected to be the one that bit a woman walking her dog in Lake Mary last week. – See http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/460e5dfb2dd145ab99db2c11ab5d51f2/FL–Bear-Attack

HANTAVIRUS:

Deer mouse. NPS.

Deer mouse. NPS.

New Mexico 12/05/14 krqe.com: Health officials say a 28-year-old McKinley County man is the third person in the state to die from Hantavirus this year. The Department of Health says there have been a total of six Hantavirus cases in the state this year. Those include a 49-year-old Otero County man who remains hospitalized but whose condition is improving. Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. The deer mouse is the main carrier of the strain found in New Mexico, and the department says it’s important to seal homes and other structures during cold weather because mice may try to enter buildings for food or shelter. The other fatal New Mexico cases involved a 67-year-old San Juan County woman and a 59-year-old McKinley County man. – See http://krqe.com/2014/12/05/nm-records-3rd-hantavirus-death-in-2014/

Canada:

BIRD FLU VIRUS:

Turkeys-18British Columbia 12/05/14 foxnews.com: The bird flu virus that has killed thousands of birds on two Canadian farms in British Columbia is the “highly pathogenic” H5N2 strain, Canada’s chief veterinary officer Harpreet Kochhar said on Thursday. The strain was last detected in Canada in the province of Manitoba in 2010, but that virus was considered less contagious and deadly, he said. Canada said on Tuesday that tests had found avian influenza on two British Columbia farms that raise turkeys and broiler chickens. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed on Thursday that two additional farms located between the original two had tested positive for bird flu. Kochhar said he was not aware of other farms with unusual levels of bird deaths, but said it was too early to say the disease was now contained.

Florida_chicken_houseAvian influenza is an infectious viral disease of birds. Most bird flu viruses do not infect humans or pose a food safety risk when poultry products are properly handled and cooked. The fact that the British Columbia strain is highly pathogenic does not necessarily mean it poses more risk to humans than previous viruses found in Canada, said John Spika of the Public Health Agency of Canada. South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan have all imposed varying bans on Canadian poultry products. – See http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/12/05/canada-bird-flu-virus-identified-as-highly-pathogenic-strain/

WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV):

aaCDC-LogoNational 12/04/14 outbreaknewstoday.com: by Robert Herriman – The number of human West Nile virus (WNV) infections have exceeded 2,000 in 2014, according to newly published data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This makes it the third year in a row that the United States has seen 2,000 cases or more. As of December 2, overall, 2,002 cases of West Nile virus disease in people have been reported to CDC. Of these, 1,196 (60%) were classified as neuro-invasive disease (such as meningitis or encephalitis) and 806 (40%) were classified as non-neuro-invasive disease. Of this total there has been 76 fatalities, or almost 4 percent. California continues to top all states with 750 cases according to the CDC (California DPH reports 769) accounting for approximately 38 percent of all cases nationally. In 2013, 2,469 cases were reported with 119 deaths, while in 2012, 5,674 cases were reported with 286 deaths. – For complete article with history of WNV see http://outbreaknewstoday.com/west-nile-virus-cases-top-2000-in-the-us-for-3rd-year-in-a-row-73686/

RABIES:

Rabies.syringeNorth Carolina 12/02/14 Catawba County: A dog that bit a veterinarian when it was brought in for treatment at an Emergency Vet Clinic in Hickory on Nov. 26th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wsoctv.com/news/news/local/dog-tests-positive-rabies-after-biting-vet-tech-hi/njKP8/

DEER HUNTERS in PENNSYLVANIA face new reality: CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ NORTH DAKOTA researchers confirm local TICKS carrying LYME DISEASE ~ US Army enlists COWS with human genes to fight HANTAVIRUS.

Whitetail buck. Courtesy National Park Service.

Whitetail buck. Courtesy National Park Service.

Pennsylvania 11/30/14 citizensvoice.com: by Kent Jackson – Hunters entering the woods in Pennsylvania on Monday for the start of the rifle deer season face a new realty. Some of the deer that they pursue carry an incurable, fatal disease. Chronic wasting disease appeared in a deer in Pennsylvania in 2012 after advancing through 21 other states and two provinces of Canada. “From other states regardless of what you do, you can’t eliminate it. It is there to stay once it’s on the landscape,” Matthew Hough, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said during a conference call with reporters on Nov. 19. The commission set special rules for three areas of the state where deer tested positive for the disease. Hunters cannot transport parts of the deer such as the brain, spinal cord, lymph nodes, spleen and eyeballs out of those areas. Nor can they feed deer or use urine-based lures, which bring deer close together where the risk of spreading the disease heightens.

Whitetail buck with CWD.

Whitetail buck with CWD.

In the rest of the state, hunters should take precautions such as wearing gloves, boning out meat, and minimizing contact with high-risk parts when they field dress deer. The rifle season starts Monday and concludes Dec. 13. In most of the state, hunters can take bucks through Friday, but they can hunt a buck or a doe from Saturday to the end of the season. The buck-only territory for the first five days includes Hazleton and parts of Schuylkill, Carbon and Columbia counties in Wildlife Management Unit 4C and 13 other WMUs. Nine WMUs have buck and doe hunting throughout the two-week season. While there is no evidence that chronic wasting disease affects humans, research isn’t conclusive, and hunters are advised not to eat meat from infected animals. – For complete article including PA contacts for CWD testing see http://citizensvoice.com/sports/it-is-here-to-stay-here-to-stay-1.1795223

LYME DISEASE:

lyme_disease_hidden_epidemic_poster-p228833588305763989t5wm_400North Dakota 11/25/14 prairiebizmag.com: by Anna Burleson – Lyme disease has been found in ticks in the Red River Valley by several researchers at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. The disease is transmitted through the bites of a certain breed of infected tick and if left untreated can spread throughout a person’s nervous system, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

und-logo-20116UND Biology Department professor Jefferson Vaughan led a team with assistant professor Catherine Brissette from the School of Medicine and Health Sciences to look into the prevalence of the disease after he discovered local veterinarians had seen “different-looking” ticks on pets they were treating. “People are beginning to really realize particularly that dogs and sometimes cats are sentinels for types of diseases that are normally wildlife diseases, but can also cause diseases in humans,” Vaughan said.

American Dog Tick

American Dog Tick

The breed of tick most frequently found in the Red River Valley is commonly called an American Dog Tick and is known for its large brown appearance.Vaughan and graduate student Nate Russart began investigating the appearance of the much smaller Deer Tick, as it’s commonly known, in 2010 and discovered the ticks were carrying Lyme disease.

Deer Tick

Deer Tick

But Vaughan said the discovery simply means people should be more diligent about searching themselves for the presence of ticks after being in fields or forests. “It used to be an annoyance, just like mosquitoes were ten years ago, but now they’re more than an annoyance,” he said. “It’s a public health issue.” – For complete article see http://www.prairiebizmag.com/event/article/id/21810/#sthash.zBpHdMsR.dpuf

HANTAVIRUS:

09 Antibody StructureGlobal 11/26/14 sciencemag.org: by David Shultz – Humans have been using antibody therapies to treat infectious disease for more than 100 years. Blood plasma from influenza survivors administered to sick patients in 1912 may have contributed to their dramatic turnaround. In the years since, immune proteins from survivors have been administered to infected individuals in an attempt to combat diseases like Lassa fever, SARS, and even Ebola.

300px-USAMRIID_LogoIt’s hard, however, to find survivors who can donate plasma containing these lifesaving immune proteins. Now, a team led by researchers at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Frederick, Maryland, has used genetically engineered cows to produce large amounts of human antibodies against hantavirus, an often deadly disease mainly transmitted from rodents to people. In animal models, at least, these antibodies provided robust protection against the virus, opening the door to therapies to treat and prevent hantavirus, for which there is no cure. The bioproduction technique also holds promise for generating antibodies against other infectious agents. – For complete article see http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/11/cows-human-chromosomes-enlisted-fight-hantavirus