Tag Archives: American Crow

Scientists say CROWS may transport PRIONS that cause CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ Health officials in WASHINGTON say WOMAN likely died of HANTAVIRUS ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CDC NATIONAL, FL, MS, OH, & OK ~ RABIES reports from CA, GA, MD, NC, TX, & VA.

American Crow. Photo by Jack Wolf. Wikimedia Commons.

National 10/17/12 phys.org: Crows fed on prion-infected brains from mice can transmit these infectious agents in their feces and may play a role in the geographic spread of diseases caused by prions, such as chronic wasting disease or scrapie.

The new research published Oct. 17 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Kurt VerCauteren from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other colleagues, shows that prions can pass through crows’ digestive systems without being destroyed, and may be excreted intact after ingestion by the birds. According to the authors, their results demonstrate a potential role for the common crow in the spread of infectious diseases caused by prions.

Prions are infectious proteins that cause diseases in humans and other animals. Studies so far have suggested that insects, poultry and scavengers like crows may be passive carriers of infectious prions, but this is the first demonstration that prions can retain their ability to cause disease after passing through the avian digestive system.

Dr. Kurt VerCauteren.

The authors fed crows with brain samples from mice infected with prions, and found that the crows passed infectious prions up to 4 hours after eating the infected samples. When healthy mice were injected with the infected crow excretions, all the mice showed signs of prion disease. The authors state that their results support the possibility that crows that encounter infected carcasses or consume infected tissue may have the capacity to transport infectious prions to new locations. – For More information: VerCauteren KC, Pilon JL, Nash PB, Phillips GE, Fischer JW (2012) Prion Remains Infectious after Passage through Digestive System of American Crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos). PLoS ONE 7(10): e45774. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0045774 Journal reference: PLoS ONE search and more info website Provided by Public Library of Science


Washington 10/17/12 Grant County: Health officials have confirmed that a woman who likely died of hantavirus last month was probably exposed to the virus in her recreational vehicle south of Moses Lake. This is the second hantavirus-related death in the county this year. – See http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2012/10/grant-county-reports-hantavirus-death/

West Nile Virus (WNV):

National 10/16/12 cdc.gov: Update – As of October 16, 2012, 48 states have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes. A total of 4,531 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 183 deaths, have been reported to CDC. Of these, 2,293 (51%) were classified as neuroinvasive disease (such as meningitis or encephalitis) and 2,238 (49%) were classified as non-neuroinvasive disease. The 4,531 cases reported thus far in 2012 is the highest number of West Nile virus disease cases reported to CDC through the third week in October since 2003. Almost 70 percent of the cases have been reported from eight states (Texas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, Illinois, South Dakota, Michigan, and Oklahoma) and over a third of all cases have been reported from Texas. – For further details see http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm

Florida 10/17/12 Duval County: Two men, 19 and 46 years of age, are the most recent Jacksonville residents to be diagnosed with WNV. This brings the total of confirmed cases in the city to 25 so far this year. – See http://www.news4jax.com/news/Jax-teen-man-test-positive-for-West-Nile-virus/-/475880/17023354/-/chfsp7/-/index.html

Mississippi 10/17/12 msdh.state.ms.us: Update – State health officials have confirmed a total of 232 human cases of WNV in the state this year including 5 deaths. They have also found 52 horses, 55 mosquito samples, and 12 human blood donors infected with the virus. – For county statistics see http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/14,0,93,554.html

Ohio 10/17/12 Allen County: David Sunderhaus, 58, of Lima, died Saturday of WNV marking the state’s 6th WNV-related fatality this year. – http://www.limaohio.com/news/local_news/article_c7bc6614-187d-11e2-b88b-001a4bcf6878.html

Oklahoma 10/17/12 kxii.com: The state’s Department of Health says there have now been 170 confirmed human cases of WNV this year and 11 deaths due to the disease. – See http://www.kxii.com/news/headlines/170-West-Nile-cases-in-Okla-11-deaths-reported-174654751.html


California 10/16/12 Yolo County: The Sheriff’s Department is asking the public’s help to locate a dog involved in a biting incident Oct. 6 in West Sacramento. A woman was walking a dog on a leash about 11 a.m. in the area of a bike bath in the 3500 block of Bridgeway Lakes Drive when another woman jogged by on the bike path. The dog lunged at the jogger and bit her, causing moderate injury, according to a Sheriff’s Department news release. The dog owner stopped and advised the victim that her dog was current on its rabies vaccination, but the victim failed to get any personal information from the dog owner at the time to be able to verify the information, officials said. Animal Services authorities received the bite report from the victim, but a search of the area has failed to locate the owner or the dog.

The dog is described as medium size, short haired, mostly black with some reddish-colored markings. The victim was unsure of the breed, but recalled that the owner or handler used a red leash to restrain the animal. The woman walking the dog was described as white, about 50 years old, with a medium build and light brown hair that reached to the middle of her back. She was wearing a white T-shirt, black spandex walking shorts and large glasses. Authorities want to identify the dog to verify the current rabies vaccination to possibly spare the victim post-exposure rabies treatment. Anyone with information about the dog or owner is asked to call the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office, Animal Services Section at (530) 668-5287, or email animal.bite@yolocounty.org

Georgia 10/17/12 Gwinnett County: A rabies alert has been issued after two raccoons found Oct. 6th on Scenic Drive in Snellville tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/rabid-raccoons-found-in-snellville/nSfq6/

Maryland 10/16/12 Prince George’s County: by Lauren DeMarco – There is a warning from animal control after two reports of fox attacks in Bowie.  The incidents happened less than a mile apart Sunday evening in the Meadowbrook neighborhood just behind Bowie High School. The youngest victim is four years old. He received a bite to the hand. Both victims were treated for possible rabies infections. The City of Bowie Animal Services asks that residents be cautious, keep a close eye on children and pets, and be aware that any type of food or trash near your home can attract wildlife.

North Carolina 10/17/12 Iredell County: A raccoon killed by two dogs near Mocksville Highway and New Salem Road tested positive for rabies. – See http://www2.mooresvilletribune.com/news/2012/oct/17/iredells-13th-rabies-case-year-confirmed-ar-2701869/

Texas 10/17/12 Washington County: A dead skunk found last Friday near the corner of Thiel and Barbee streets in Brenham has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.brenhambanner.com/news/rabid-skunk-found-dead-in-city-limits/article_dec9384c-1877-11e2-ba22-001a4bcf887a.html

Virginia 10/16/12 Henrico County: A dead raccoon found in the 8400 block of Marroit Road in the western section of the county on Oct. 13th has tested positive for rabies. The raccoon had been killed by a vaccinated dog. – See http://www.wric.com/story/19834763/dead-raccoon-found-in-henrico-had-rabies

Florida CHILD attacked by RACCOON and bitten eight times ~ RABIES reports from Georgia, New Jersey, Texas, & Virginia ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from Indiana, Texas, & Wisconsin ~ Books of Note: The Viral Storm ~ CDC Reports: CDC issues new Compendium of Animal RABIES Prevention and Control, 2011.

Raccoon. Photo by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Florida 11/02/11 staugustine.com: from article by Jennifer Edwards – A 9-year-old was attacked by a raccoon and bitten eight times on the campus of Florida’s School for the Deaf and the Blind. The raccoon was not caught but the girl was vaccinated for rabies as a precaution. See http://staugustine.com/news/local-news/2011-11-02/girl-stable-after-raccoon-attack

Georgia 11/03/11 Hartwell, Hart County: Several Hartwell Elementary School students are being treated after touching a dead bat on the school grounds. The bat was tested for rabies, but as it had deteriorated significantly the results were considered inconclusive. See http://www.thehartwellsun.com/articles/2011/11/02/news/news02.txt

New Jersey 11/02/11 Absecon, Atlantic County: A raccoon removed from a local residence tested positive for rabies. This is the 12th case of rabies in the county this year; eight of them raccoons. See http://galloway.patch.com/articles/raccoon-found-in-absecon-tests-positive-for-rabies

Texas 11/02/11 Wood County: A skunk that wandered into a family’s yard and fought with their three dogs has tested positive for rabies. See http://www.news-journal.com/woodcounty/news/rabid-animals-found-lurking-in-wood-county/article_65f719ab-2da1-5bb6-b9d9-d6ec7151a813.html

Virginia 11/02/11 Gate City, Scott County: A skunk killed by three dogs in the Yuma community has tested positive for rabies. See                    http://www.necn.com/11/02/11/Scott-Co-reports-1st-animal-rabies-case-/landing_health.html?&apID=2714a23fbbf34accb81507bc54ca9e14

Indiana 11/02/11 Whiting, Lake County: Former Hammond police chief Frank DuPey, 78, has died from complications of West Nile Virus. See http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/lake/hammond/ex-hammond-police-chief-army-veteran-frank-dupey-laid-to/article_a991af2a-6d71-5b03-9875-09837fb701fd.html

Texas 111/02/11 Montgomery County: Health officials have confirmed a new case of human West Nile Virus. It is the third case in the county this year. Statewide, 26 cases have been reported by the Texas Department of State Health Services in 2011. See http://www.khou.com/news/local/New-case-of-human-West-Nile-Virus-reported-in-Montgomery-County-133112123.html

Wisconsin 11/03/11 Polk County Health Department: A dead crow found in the Amery area has tested positive for West Nile Virus. See http://www.weau.com/home/headlines/West_Nile_Virus_confirmed_in_Polk_County_133164303.html

Books of Note:

California 10/25/11 stanford.edu: News Release –

In his new book, Nathan Wolfe, a professor of Biology at Stanford University, chronicles the changes in human behavior that have shaped our experience with pandemics and he ultimately provides a vision for predicting and preventing future outbreaks. Wolfe’s firsthand knowledge from over a decade of virus hunting is woven throughout the book. His early work in Cameroon, in west-central Africa, sent him to villages where the inhabitants relied on wild game, or bushmeat, for protein. When hunters contact animal fluids during butchering, it makes them especially vulnerable to hosting novel bugs. Many viruses, like HIV and influenza, jumped to humans from other animals.

Hunters are important allies for studying emerging disease. By enlisting them to collect thousands of blood samples, Wolfe and his colleagues found unique forms of viruses, including retroviruses like HIV. Since then, Wolfe and his team have established the Cameroon monitoring system in countries throughout the world, including China, Southeast Asia and other parts of central Africa. While viruses may emerge from far-flung places, Wolfe emphasizes that modern transportation networks help microbes spread faster than ever. For that reason, Wolfe says The Viral Storm is written “for anyone who rides the subway, or takes an airplane, or kisses their children goodbye on their way off to school.” The global connectivity that helps viruses spread also makes them easier to track. Wolfe is also the founder and CEO of San Francisco-based Global Viral Forecasting Initiative, which works in 20 countries trying to find potential pandemics. A digital surveillance team monitors chatter on hundreds of websites, looking for the signal of a threatening outbreak in online noise. By combining technology with boots-on-the-ground natural science, GVFI aims to catch viruses before they become world travelers.

“In the last chapter of the book I portray a fictional scenario for the future of how I hope that we’ll address some of these pandemics,” Wolfe said. “I think the exciting thing about GVFI is that we’re really working on a daily basis to move that towards a reality.” To predict and prevent the next pandemic, GVFI will rely equally on hunters in Africa and analysts crunching data in California. “Whether it’s epidemiology or virology or computer science, we bring all of those to bear to find the best solutions to addressing these problems,” Wolfe said. Wolfe wants to confine images of plague-racing vaccine developers to movies like Contagion. “Historically, the way we’ve focused on disease control when it comes to pandemics is very much a reactive, responsive approach,” he said. “I think now we’ve crossed the threshold into having a lot of organizations and governments that now recognize that prediction is important.” According to Wolfe, stopping deadly bugs before they spread also depends on how individuals think about pandemics. In The Viral Storm, he talks about “risk literacy,” referring to the ability to compare and interpret relative risks. “I think there is a real importance for people to understand the nature of these risks,” Wolfe said. “And while we may not perceive them in the way that we perceive more visually traumatic risks like hurricanes and earthquakes, they represent, in many ways, more profound threats.”

CDC Reports:

National 11/04/11 cdc.gov: Summary – Rabies has one of the highest case-fatality ratios of any infectious disease. This report provides recommendations for public health officials, veterinarians, animal control officials, and other parties engaged in rabies prevention and control activities and should serve as the basis for standardizing procedures among jurisdictions. The recommendations regarding domestic animal vaccination, management of animals exposed to rabies, and management of animals that bite humans are the core elements of animal rabies control and human rabies prevention. These updated 2011 guidelines include the national case definition for animal rabies and clarify the role of the CDC rabies laboratory in providing confirmatory testing of suspect animals. The table of rabies vaccines licensed and marketed in the United States has been updated, and additional references have been included to provide scientific support for information in this report. – National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, Inc. (NASPHV), Recommendations and Reports November 4, 2011 / 60(RR06); 1-14. – For complete report see http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr6006a1.htm?s_cid=rr6006a1_e&source=govdelivery

California neighborhood’s SKUNK population has noses out of joint ~ New study confirms WEST NILE VIRUS transmission linked to land-use patterns and specific BIRDS called “super-spreaders” ~ Canada: BC hunter kills charging GRIZZLY.

Photo by birdphotos.com.

California 10/23/11 recordnet.com: by Michael Fitzgerald – Nature arms skunks with scent glands on their rumps. Skunks can accurately shoot a “highly offensive” spray that reeks of “rotten eggs, garlic and burnt rubber.” This jinxed odor pervades the Collegeview neighborhood these days, where an unusually big invasion of skunks has residents’ noses out of joint. “The whole neighborhood is just, like, inundated with skunks,” said neighborhood resident Betty Stover. The Stovers tried everything to rid their house of skunk smell. Shutting windows, buying fans to cleanse the air; feverishly Febrezing. Nothing worked. The odor intensified. First, it stank just at night – skunks are evening foragers – but then by day, too. Finally the powerful smell hung in the air 24/7. Under the circumstance, Martha Stewart living became difficult. “People would come in and they’d go, ‘Eeeewww!’ ” A skunk hosed their dog. “We had to bring the dog into the back shower and get all kinds of concoctions and wash her down,” Stover said. “And she still reeked for weeks.” Stover became paranoid. “I was afraid to go out at night. I was afraid I might run into a skunk. It’s like being a prisoner in her house. … We were, like, ready to move out.” Instead the Stovers hired a trapper. Nick Catrina of Animal Damage Control spied skunk tracks leading to a broken screen opening to the space under Stover’s house. He set traps. He trapped 12 skunks living under the house. Twelve skunks – not as unusual as you might think, Catrina said. “The most skunks I ever pulled out from under a house in Stockton was 56,” he said. “Couple years ago. Next to the biggest house in Brookside.” Stockton’s skunk population rises and falls in cycles, says Pat Claerbout, the head of the city’s Animal Services. This is a boom. Things are worse in the Collegeview neighborhood because it abuts the Calaveras River. – For complete article go to http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20111023/A_NEWS0803/110230314/-1/A_NEWS03

American Robin. Photo by Kristof. Wikimedia Commons.

North America 10/20/11 nsf.gov: News Release – A National Science Foundation funded study published in this week’s issue of the journal Science, confirms that only a handful of bird species appear to be important in the transmission of West Nile Virus (WNV). According to Marm Kilpatrick, a biologist at the University of California-Santa Cruz, the familiar American Robin plays a key role across much of North America. In fact, the robin is such an important host species that Kilpatrick refers to them as “super-spreaders” of the virus.

Dr. Marm Kilpatrick

In any given area, the one or two species of mosquitoes that also play a role prefer robins over other, often even more abundant species of birds such as house sparrows. These mosquitoes also like crows, but the crow population has dropped off, probably because of WNV, and the robin population, which had been growing rapidly, has leveled off. Kilpatrick suspects that is also because of WNV. Kilpatrick also notes that the birds, including the robin, and the mosquitoes that transmit WNV are abundant in areas that have been modified by human activities and, as a result, transmission of the virus is highest in urbanized and agricultural habitats. – For complete article go to http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=122007&WT.mc_id=USNSF_51&WT.mc_ev=click


British Columbia 10/24/11 cfjctv.com: by Sandy Hall – A hunter was forced to shoot and kill a grizzly bear that charged him and his dog near Lumby. The man was hunting deer last Wednesday when he spotted the large bruin going after his dog. When the hunter yelled the bear turned on him. The man managed to fire at the bear from about a 10 metre distance and the wounded animal ran away. The animal died of its injury and was discovered the next day. It was a 550 pound male, about 7 to 9 years old.

Maine health officials investigating case of H3N2 SWINE FLU ~ and WEST NILE VIRUS reports from Connecticut, & Louisiana ~ Canada: Saskatchewan man dies of HANTAVIRUS ~ CDC Reports: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending October 8, 2011.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Maine 10/20/11 wlbz2.com: by Ken Christian – Maine health officials are investigating a case of a young boy coming down with what is being described as an unusual strain of influenza. The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention says the 7- or 8-year-old boy from Cumberland County came down with flu-like symptoms in early October, not long after being exposed to pigs at an agricultural fair. State Epidemiologist Stephen Sears says the H3N2 swine-origin strain of influenza was confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control as genetically similar to a strain identified in three cases in Pennsylvania and one case in Indiana. Sears said the boy was treated by his family doctor and is back up and playing. He said health experts don’t expect the new strain to pose a widespread threat.

Connecticut 10/21/11 Durham, Middlesex County: Dead CROWS found on town-owned White’s Farm property tested positive for WEST NILE VIRUS. See http://www.courant.com/community/durham/hc-durham-open-space-1022-20111021,0,3004213.story

Louisiana 10/21/11 St. Tammany Parish: DHH confirms two new HUMAN cases of WEST NILE VIRUS. See http://www.katc.com/news/dhh-confirms-two-new-cases-of-west-nile-virus/


Deer mouse.

Saskatchewan 10/21/11 gov.sk.ca: News Release – Saskatchewan residents are urged to take precautions to avoid infection with hantavirus, especially when cleaning up rodent infested barns, homes or other buildings in their communities, following a recent hantavirus fatality in West Central Saskatchewan. Humans are most often exposed to the virus by breathing in air particles contaminated by deer mouse saliva, urine or droppings containing infectious hantaviruses. There have been 21 cases of Hantavirus reported in Saskatchewan since 1994, including four cases in 2004, one case in 2008, one case in 2010 and one this year. For more detailed information about Hantavirus and how to prevent infection, please visit the Ministry of Health’s website at www.health.gov.sk.ca/hantavirus. Guidelines for workplaces with heavy infestations are available at http://www.lrws.gov.sk.ca/hantavirus-disease-guidelines-protecting-workers-public. – For complete News Release go to http://www.gov.sk.ca/news?newsId=7957b012-c18d-4a99-9d3f-a04919bbf86c

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending October 8, 2011:

Published October 14, 2011 / 60(40); 1397-1411

Anaplasmosis . . . 19 . . . Nebraska, New York (18),

Babesiosis . . . 25 . . . New York (25),

Ehrlichiosis . . . 3 . . . Arkansas, New York, Virginia,

Giardiasis . . . 216 . . . Alabama, Arkansas (3), California (24), Delaware, Florida (29), Idaho, Iowa (5), Louisiana (2), Maine (3), Maryland (7), Massachusetts (8), Michigan (2),  Missouri (9), Montana (2), Nebraska (2), New York (53), North Dakota, Ohio (11), Oregon (2), Pennsylvania (10), Puerto Rico (3), South Carolina (2), Vermont (11), Virginia (2), Washington (21), Wisconsin (3), Wyoming,

Hansen Disease (Leprosy) . . . 1 . . . California, 

Lyme Disease . . .  356 . . . California, Florida (2), Georgia (4), Maryland (7), Massachusetts, New Jersey (85), New York (143), Oregon, Pennsylvania (108), Virginia (4),

Rabies (Animal) . . . 20 . . . Alabama, Idaho, New York (6), Ohio (3), Virginia (7), West Virginia (2),

Spotted Fever (Confirmed) . . . 4 . . . Georgia (3), Missouri,

Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 9 . . . Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Missouri (3), Tennessee (2), Virginia,

Tularemia . . . 3 . . . California, Missouri, Virginia.

New Jersey officers believe BEAR that killed a HORSE is also dead ~ Pennsylvania DEER farmer loses 90% of herd to EHD ~ Seven California HORSES have WEST NILE VIRUS ~ Mississippi confirms nine new HUMAN cases of WEST NILE VIRUS ~ Officials believe two Virginia children contracted DENGUE FEVER in The Bahamas ~ RABIES reports from Alabama, New Jersey, and Virginia ~ and WEST NILE VIRUS reports from New York (2) ~ Canada: Officials shoot MOUNTAIN LION seen stalking HUMANS.

Black bear. Courtesy National Park Service.

New Jersey 09/17/11 njherald.com: by Steven Reilly – The bear that attacked and killed a pony on a Frankford farm Friday morning is still at large, but State Police and New Jersey Fish and Wildlife officers suspect the shotgun blast Nick Civitan managed to get off mortally wounded the bruin. Civitan has been over his property with neighbors a few times looking for the bear, or any sign of which way it went after the early-morning encounter, but so far there are no clues. “The fish and game people told me to keep an eye on the turkey vultures and watch where they start to circle,” Civitan said. The use of traps has been ruled out, Civitan said, based on the size of the bear. “They figured a bear that size doesn’t get to be that size by doing something stupid like climb in a trap,” Civitan said. “The wildlife officer said that the trauma from the shotgun shot would also help prevent the bear from coming back here.” The extraordinary behavior of the bear was tied to the sudden cold weather over the past two nights, Civitan said he was told. With temperatures dropping to the mid-40s, the bear’s natural instinct to consume as many calories as possible to gain weight kicked in and that led to the bold attack on Friday.

Pennsylvania 09/15/11 mcall.com: by Gary R. Blockus – Larry Kleintop stood in his barn on Wednesday night and pointed out a picture his cousin had taken in August. He looked at it with pride, but with a tear in his eye. Kleintop, of Danielsville, is a dairy farmer with more than 400 head of cattle, but he is better known as the owner of Mountain View Deer Farm. At the end of July, he had a herd of 100 deer, which are used for breeding or sold to preserves and ranches. Kleintop touched the photo of a massive deer and said, quietly, “This was going to be my first 500-pound deer.” The 3-year-old buck weighed 458 pounds and had 57 points. “This one just started growing,” he said sadly of the biggest deer he had raised in 33 years of operation. “It would have continued to grow until the beginning of October.” Instead, the monster buck succumbed to epizootic hemorrhagic disease, as did 89 of the herd, from Aug. 1 through Sept. 1. It’s the first outbreak of EHD in Pennsylvania since 2007, according to the state Game Commission. Outbreaks also have been confirmed in New York and New Jersey (see Sept 1, 2011 post: Dead DEER in New Jersey may be victims of MIDGE FLIES). It’s particularly alarming in Pennsylvania, where the archery season for antlerless deer hunting opens locally on Saturday. And, although officials say EHD is not a public health issue, they advice against eating the meat of animals that were ill.

EHD is a virus transmitted by midges, tiny flies that are most often called gnats or no-see-ums. The virus is prevalent in the South, where deer have built up a resistance and it is not as lethal as it is in areas of the Northeast. One of the veterinarians Kleintop uses to help breed his deer theorized the hurricane and tropical storm winds from the South brought the virus-carrying midges. Tropical birds, such as sooty terns, and seafaring birds such as the jaeger and frigate bird, were sighted near Philadelphia following Hurricane Irene’s passing, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The virus is restricted to cervids, the family of mammals composed of deer, elk and moose, and it does not infect other mammals, including humans. The 400 head of cattle that Kleintop maintains as a dairy farmer cannot contract the disease. – For complete article go to http://www.mcall.com/sports/outdoors/mc-deer-disease-09152011-20110915,0,6463707.story

California 09/19/11 thehorse.com: by Erica Larson – Seven horses in California have been confirmed positive for West Nile virus (WNV) so far in 2011, according to a statement from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). One of the seven was euthanized as a result of the disease, the statement said, while the other six animals are recovering. The statement reported that the affected animals are located in the following counties: Fresno (two confirmed cases), Kern, Los Angeles, Placer, Merced, and Tulare. The report did not note if the WNV-positive horses had been vaccinated against the disease.

Mississippi 09/19/11 ms.gov: News Release – Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports nine new human West Nile virus (WNV) cases in Forrest, Hinds, Jasper, Jones, Lincoln, Madison (3), and Rankin counties, bringing the state’s total to 33 for 2011. So far this year, cases have been confirmed in Forrest (4), Hinds (5), Jones (4), Madison (5), Pearl River (6), Rankin (2) and one case each in Coahoma, Jasper, Lincoln, Tallahatchie, Tate, Wayne, and Washington counties. Two deaths have been confirmed, in Jones and Pearl River counties. In 2010, Mississippi had eight WNV cases and no deaths.

Virginia 09/18/11 patch.com: by Beth Lawton – Two children from Northern Virginia—one from Lorton, the other from Springfield—have recovered from Dengue fever. Both had vacationed separately in the Bahamas this summer and were sick upon returning to the United States, The Washington Post reported. Both the 14-year-old boy from Lorton and the 10-year-old boy from Springfield have fully recovered.

Alabama 09/16/11 alabama.gov: News Release – A hunting dog and a rabid raccoon became involved in a struggle within the Talladega city limits recently, with each animal biting one another. The raccoon died, and the dog’s owner followed through by bringing the dead raccoon’s body to his veterinarian for rabies testing. Public health authorities recommend that anyone touching a dead animal use caution, wear gloves, and remove and place the carcass in a bag before transporting it. For additional information please contact the Alabama Department of Public Health, Bureau of Communicable Disease, Division of Epidemiology, at 1-800-677-0939 or Alita Chappell, Environmental Services, Talladega County Health Department, (256) 362-2593.

New Jersey 09/17/11 thedailyjournal.com: The city’s Health Department is warning people to be vigilant after a man was attacked Tuesday by a rabid black cat on East Avenue, between Garden and Forest Grove roads. The man alerted the city’s animal control officer after the cat scratched him while he was getting into his car, said Jeannie Garbarino, the city’s principal environmental health specialist. An animal control officer was able to capture the cat and the city’s health department got the animal tested for rabies. The state Department of Health and Senior Services Rabies laboratory confirmed Friday the cat was rabid and the man is getting treatment to prevent further complications, Garbarino said. State health officials note cats have accounted for 90 percent of the domestic animal rabies cases in New Jersey since 1989. For the last five years there has been an average of 17 cats infected with rabies annually, according to state health statistics. Any bite involving a human, a pet, or a dead animal should be reported to the health department at (856) 794-4131.

Virginia 09/17/11 chron.com: A bat found dead in the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in Virginia’s Lee County has tested positive for rabies. The Virginia Department of Health says the rabid bat was confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The bat was found in a cave last month by a National Park Service employee. Health officials serving Lee, Scott and Wise counties and the city of Norton are asking residents and visitors to leave live bats alone, avoid touching dead bats and make sure their pets are vaccinated against rabies.

New York 09/18/11 topnews.us: by Ria Pael – According to a recent statement by the Columbia County officials, a crow has tested positive for the West Nile virus in Valatie. Reporting about the infected crow, the Columbia County Health Department has also added that, thus far, there has been no detection of the West Nile virus in the residents of the Valatie area.

New York 09/18/11 watertowndailytimes.com: by Steve Virkler – The state Department of Health on Monday notified Lewis County Public Health that a mosquito sample collected in the town of Lowville during routine surveillance activities this summer had tested positive for West Nile virus. No cases of the virus in humans or other animals have been reported. According to Times records, this is the first reported instance of the disease in Lewis County since a crow in Lowville tested positive in 2006. A crow in Watertown tested positive for the virus in 2007.


British Columbia 09/18/11 timescolonist.com: Parks Canada officials shot and killed a cougar Saturday evening after it was spotted stalking people on Cox Bay Beach in Tofino. The cougar “posed a risk to public safety” because it continued to stalk several adults throughout the day, Parks Canada said in a statement. Parts of Pacific Rim National Park have been under a wolf and cougar advisory since Aug. 13 due to increase in “carnivore activity.” The advisory remains in effect, Parks Canada said. Anyone who spots a cougar in Pacific Rim National Park should call 1-877-852-3100. Cougars spotted outside the park should be reported to the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.

CDC advises U.S. blood supply vulnerable to BABESIA; Study finds new species of TICK-BORNE EHRLICHIOSIS; Florida confirms two more cases of WEST NILE VIRUS in Duval County; New York loses third HORSE to EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS this year; FeederWatch says data shows WEST NILE VIRUS contributing to dramatic decline in HOUSE FINCH population; a WEST NILE VIRUS report from Georgia; and New York groups host presentations on LYME DISEASE. Canada: Two MOUNTAIN LIONS killed on B.C.’s Vancouver Island; and WEST NILE VIRUS reports from Ontario (2). Travel Warnings for Pakistan’s Punjab Province.

National 09/06/11 cdc.gov: News Release – Babesia, a tick-borne parasite of red blood cells, is being transmitted through blood transfusions, according to results of a collaborative study, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of data from the past three decades. Transfusion–associated cases of babesiosis have been increasingly recognized since 1979, the year the first known case occurred. The article about the study and an accompanying editorial appear today online in the Annals of Internal Medicine. In the report, CDC and collaborators describe 159 transfusion–related babesiosis cases that occurred during 1979–2009, most (77 percent) from 2000 to 2009. No Babesia test approved by the Food and Drug Administration is available for screening prospective blood donors, who can feel fine despite being infected.

Babesiosis is a potentially fatal but treatable complication of transfusion. Severe consequences, such as multi–organ failure and death, are most often seen in persons without a spleen, the elderly, and those with a weak immune system. The study authors say prevention strategies, including development of a screening test, are needed. Some manufacturers are working with investigators at blood establishments to develop FDA–approved tests for Babesia for donor–screening purposes. “We want clinicians to become more aware of babesiosis, including the small possibility of transmission via blood transfusion,” says Barbara Herwaldt, M.D., M.P.H., CDC medical epidemiologist, and lead author of the article. “If a patient develops unexplained fever or hemolytic anemia after a transfusion, babesiosis should be considered as a possible cause, regardless of the season or U.S. region.” Because babesiosis is spread most commonly by ticks, the risk of this disease is another reason for people to prevent tick bites. People who unknowingly become infected through the bite of a tiny tick (about the size of a poppy seed) can transmit the parasite via blood transfusion. Therefore, prevention of tickborne infection can help safeguard the blood supply.

Most U.S. tickborne Babesia cases have occurred in seven states in the Northeast and the upper Midwest (in parts of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin), particularly during the warm months of the year. However, transfusion–associated Babesia cases have been identified in 19 states and have occurred year–round. Dr. Herwaldt points out that even severe Babesia cases, not just cases that are asymptomatic or mild, are easily missed unless the diagnosis is considered. Even then, babesiosis often is mistakenly diagnosed as malaria, which also infects red blood cells. In January 2011, babesiosis became a nationally notifiable disease, which means state health departments are encouraged to share information about cases of babesiosis with CDC. More accurate information about tick-borne and transfusion–transmitted cases of babesiosis will help CDC and its partners, including the Food and Drug Administration, in their continued efforts to make the blood supply even safer.

Annals of Internal Medicine   Article:  http://www.annals.org/content/early/2011/09/02/0003-4819-155-8-201110180-00362

Editorial:  http://www.annals.org/content/early/2011/09/02/0003-4819-155-8-201110180-00363

See links below for two government–sponsored events that focused on improving blood safety from babesiosis risk.

Information on babesiosis: http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/babesiosis/index.html

Information on Babesia parasite:http://www.dpd.cdc.gov/dpdx/HTML/Babesiosis.htm

Information on ticks: http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/

Information on CDC role in monitoring blood safety: http://www.cdc.gov/bloodsafety

Ixodes scapularis

National 09/06/11 nejm.org: New England Journal of Medicine 2011; 365: 422-429 ] August 4, 2011 — Preview – Ehrlichiosis is a clinically important, emerging zoonosis. Only Ehrlichia chaffeensis and E. ewingii have been thought to cause ehrlichiosis in humans in the United States. Patients with suspected ehrlichiosis routinely undergo testing to ensure proper diagnosis and to ascertain the cause. Lead investigator Bobbi S. Pritt, M.D., and others, used molecular methods, culturing, and serologic testing to diagnose and ascertain the cause of cases of ehrlichiosis. On testing, four cases of ehrlichiosis in Minnesota or Wisconsin were found not to be from E. chaffeensis or E. ewingii and instead to be caused by a newly discovered ehrlichia species. At least 17 of 697 Ixodes scapularis ticks collected in Minnesota or Wisconsin were positive for the same ehrlichia species. Genetic analyses revealed that this new ehrlichia species is closely related to E. muris. Conclusions: This study found a new ehrlichia species in Minnesota and Wisconsin and provides supportive clinical, epidemiologic, culture, DNA-sequence, and vector data. Physicians need to be aware of this newly discovered close relative of E. muris to ensure appropriate testing, treatment, and regional surveillance. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)  (For complete preview go to http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1010493?query=infectious-disease )

Florida 09/06/11 news4jax.com: The Duval County Health Department has confirmed two more cases of West Nile virus in Jacksonville. The most recent cases involve a 53-year-old man and an 85-year-old man. Duval County has 11 confirmed cases this year. There has been one reported death associated with the virus. About one in 150 people infected with West Nile virus will develop severe illness. A 79-year-old woman was diagnosed with the mosquito-borne illness last week. Dr. Bob Harmon, of the Duval County Health Department, said statistics show that between 800 and 1,200 people have been bitten by infected mosquitoes in Duval County in recent weeks. He said 80 percent of those people will experience no symptoms at all, while 20 percent will have symptoms. Harmon said one out of 150 people can develop a serious neurological disease. “Ninety-nine percent of these cases are not the serious cases we are talking about,” Harmon said.

New York 09/06/11 uticaod.com: A third horse in Oneida County has reportedly contracted eastern equine encephalitis. The horse, which is from the north Rome, Lee Center area, was euthanized last week after developing neurological symptoms, according to the Oneida County Health Department. Other horses that previously contracted the virus resided in Westmoreland and Camden. Health officials said they are waiting on laboratory results from two more cases they suspect may come back positive for EEE. The virus is spread through mosquito bites and can be fatal in horses. An animal that survives can be left with impairments and neurological problems, often requiring that the animal be put down, according to health officials. This year, Oswego County has reported five cases of EEE in horses and a human case that resulted in the death of a five-year-old girl. Herkimer County is also investigating a possible EEE death involving a dog. The Oneida County Health Department is asking people to reduce their expose to EEE by limiting outdoor activity at dusk and dawn and by wearing long sleeves and pants.

National 09/05/11 projectfeederwatch.wordpress.com: FeederWatch data show that House Finch populations have declined dramatically since the mid-1990s, and recent research from California suggests that West Nile virus may be contributing to the declines.

House finch

Researchers Anne Pellegrini and colleagues reported on the survival rates of House Finches in Sacramento County before and after the arrival of West Nile virus in the area. The researchers took blood samples from wild House Finches and tested mosquitoes (the primary vector for the virus) for infection in order to pinpoint the arrival of the disease. They first detected infected mosquitoes in the county in late 2004. Before the virus arrived, annual survival for House Finches from 2001-2004 was approximately 0.59 (meaning that 59% of birds would survive from one year to the next, on average). Following the arrival of West Nile virus, annual survival probabilities dropped to 0.47 from 2005-2008. The researchers concluded that West Nile virus was contributing to further population declines in House Finches in their area. (For complete article go to http://projectfeederwatch.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/house-finches-face-multiple-disease-threats/ )

Fulton County

Georgia 09/04/11 cbslocal.com: by Jean Ross – The Georgia Department of Public Health has notified the Fulton County Department of Health Services that 20 mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). A mosquito “pool” refers to a collection of mosquitoes from a particular area that is tested for the virus. The affected areas are the Greensferry Combined Sewer Overflow, Whitter Mill Park, Frankie Allen Park, 1388 West Avenue, the Atlanta Mounted Police Station, Tanyard Creek Combined Sewer Overflow, and H.J.C. Bowden Senior Multi-purpose Center in East Point. For more information about West Nile Virus and prevention methods, call the Mosquito Hotline: 404-730-5296 or contact the Fulton County Department of Health Services, Division of Environmental Health at (404) 613-1301 or online at http://www.fultoncountygahealth.org.

New York 09/05/11 lymebites.com: by Eric Rutlante – The Capital Region Chapter of the Empire State Lyme Disease Association is sponsoring a public presentation entitled “Lions and Tigers and Borrelia Burgdorferi…! What Every Family Needs to Know About Lyme Disease” by Albany pediatrician, Dr. Kari W. Bovenzi, on Monday, September 19, from 6:30 -8:30 pm at the Redeemer Church,183 Schoolhouse Rd., Albany, NY. Dr. Bovenzi’s presentation will explain the reasons why families need to be well informed about Lyme disease, and she will focus on what both children and adults need to know and to look for as we go into the fall season. Ticks are very active at this time of year, and with the leaf litter that fall brings, heightened awareness and caution are urged. Dr. Bovenzi will assess such topics as how to prevent Lyme disease; how to recognize the most common symptoms of Lyme disease; how to recognize the less common symptoms of the disease, both in children and in adults; when to seek medical attention; and what treatments are available for both children and adults. Dr. Bovenzi will discuss some of the unique challenges inherent in diagnosing children, and she will discuss some of the common misdiagnoses that often send parents and doctors on a frustrating, demoralizing, and expensive journey looking for medical solutions.

Dr. Kari W. Bovenzi

Lyme Disease is now endemic in the Capital Region. It is a highly complex disease transmitted through the bite of a tick that that is often never even seen. Ticks transmit not only Lyme disease, but other co-infections, such as babesia, bartonella, and ehrichia as well. Dr. Bovenzi will also explain these co-infections. All these co-infections are being reported in the Capital District, and they are appearing in both children and adults from nearly all areas of the eastern US, the Capital Region included. Dr. Bovenzi has been a practicing pediatrician in the region for 17 years. With ever increasing incidences of Lyme disease appearing in her practice, Dr. Bovenzi undertook advanced training in the fields of diagnosing and treating Lyme disease in children with some of the country’s leading experts in the field. Her clinical experience with the disease and its treatment can provide helpful information to both practitioners and the general public. The presentation is free and open to the public.

New York 09/05/11 poststar.com: SUNY Adirondack’s Science and Health Science Divisions will co-sponsor a presentation on the difficulties of Lyme disease testing at 7 p.m. on Sept. 14. The presentation will be in the Scoville Learning Center auditorium on the Queensbury campus. Guest speaker Robert Giguere will speak on “Variations in Laboratory Tests for Lyme Disease.” Giguere represents a leading Lyme-disease-specializing medical lab, IGeneX Inc., located in Palo Alto, Calif. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. The presentation is free and the public is invited. Giguere’s presentation “balances good science with good humor to help his audience understand the challenges in dealing with Lyme disease,” the college said in a press release. “Testing for the disease is often tricky and different labs handle the procedure differently. Results are often not accurate or inconclusive.” “Giguere will present information on the various reasons why testing procedures can be problematic as well as new information that can help medical professionals better evaluate test results regardless of the testing labs,” the college said.


British Columbia 09/06/11 vancouversun.com: Two cougars were shot and killed on Vancouver Island over the long weekend after being spotted near areas where people were camping or swimming. An 18-month-old female cougar was killed in Goldstream Provincial Park Monday morning, while another, thought to be about two years old, was shot in Parksville on Saturday morning near an oceanfront resort. Both killings come after another cougar, not yet found, attacked an 18-month-old boy Aug. 29 at Swim Beach, in the Kennedy Lake day-use area of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, about 16 kilometres east of Ucluelet. (For complete article go to http://www.vancouversun.com/news/cougars+shot+dead+Vancouver+Island+after+brushes+with+public/5355682/story.html )

Ontario 09/06/11 scribd.com: News Release – A mosquito pool in the City of North Bay has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). This is the first mosquito pool in the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit area to test positive for the virus. Surveillance will be done by health unit staff to determine whether subsequent mosquito pools in the surrounding area are carrying the virus. The risk of acquiring WNV continues to remain low in the NBPSDHU area. For more information, call the Health Unit at 705-474-1400 or 1-800-563-2808, or visitwww.healthunit.biz .

Ontario 09/06/11 orangeville.com: Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) warns residents to be aware of the threat of West Nile virus (WNV). A dead crow recently found in Guelph tested positive for the virus, which is spread to humans through mosquito bites. “The positive result is a reminder for residents,” Shawn Zentner, health protection manager for WDGPH, said in a news release. “Taking precautions to limit mosquito bites and minimize mosquito breeding sites are still important even at this time of year.”

Travel Warnings:

Pakistan 09/05/11 pakistantoday.com.pk: Lahore – A total of 1,400 cases of dengue fever so far in Lahore alone. District administrations across Punjab have failed to curb the quickly spreading dengue epidemic as the deadly fever has gripped all major cities of Punjab, with 174 new cases reported on Monday, Pakistan Today has learnt. Increasing number of cases across all big cities of Punjab enervates the claims of the provincial government, especially health EDOs, about preparedness to cope with the dengue virus. The number of patients affected with any of the four kinds of dengue virus is on the rise in other cities of the province as well, with Lahore on top, which has induced panic in the public. According to statistics provided by the Health Department, during the recent outbreak of the disease as many as 1,400 cases of dengue were reported in Lahore, while Faisalabad is the second worst-hit city with 52 cases, followed by Multan with 26. Fourteen cases have surfaced in Sheikhupura, 11 in Nankana Sahib and 5 in Chakwal.

National Science Foundation awards grants to help digitize biological collections; Montana and Idaho wildlife officials propose Wolf hunt plans; West Nile Virus reports from California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and South Dakota; and Rabies reports from Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania (2), Texas, and Virginia. Travel Warnings: Dengue Fever outbreak in Ecuador.

Global 07/08/11 nsf.gov: Press Release – Centuries of discovery document the diversity of life on Earth. Records of that biodiversity are, for the most part, in varied and distinct natural history collections, making assessing the information a difficult task. Now, the National Science Foundation (NSF), through its Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections program, is responding to the need for greater accessibility of biological collections data by awarding four major grants that seek to create a national resource of digital data documenting existing biological collections.

Infectious disease transmission links disease vectors, disease hosts and human habitations. Credit: Nicolle Rager Fuller, National Science Foundation.

Biological diversity is critical to the future of our planet, say researchers. Incomplete information on species, their distributions and environmental and biological changes over time make it difficult, however, to assess the status of and changes in biodiversity.

Much of the relevant information exists in the nation’s research collections, but the majority isn’t integrated and isn’t readily available online. It’s “dark data”–inaccessible to most biologists, policy-makers and the general public.

Dr. Lawrence Page

Dr. Christopher Dietrich

“Biological research collections are valuable national resources that document hundreds of years of environmental change as reflected in changes in biodiversity, and provide baseline data for studies of the effects of climate and land use change, and invasive species, on organisms,” says Joann Roskoski, acting director of NSF’s Directorate for Biological Sciences. “This program will markedly increase the accessibility of valuable information residing as ‘dark data’ in collections to researchers, educators and the public, and will stimulate new research across many fields of science and engineering.”

University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Limnology

One award will establish a central National Resource for Digitization of Biological Collections, and three large collaborative awards will allow for the development of Thematic Collections Networks (TCNs) to digitize data from biological research collections, and make the data available to scientists and the public. The program is expected to result in more efficient and innovative ways to provide access to information in biological research collections, and to speed up the process of integrating diverse information on the genetic, ecological, organismal and molecular biology of specimens in collections.

Dr. Randall T. Schuh

Dr. Corinna Gries

Standardized digital photos of specimens will be linked with DNA sequences, pathogens found on the specimens, environmental variables at the collecting localities, and electron micrographs, for example. Training for future researchers on collections techniques, informatics technology and data integration is part of the efforts. The awards provide graduate and undergraduate training opportunities, and outreach to K-12 educators, students and non-scientists. Each of the three TCNs focuses on “grand challenge” (major scientific) questions in biodiversity, and offers multiple research opportunities as data become widely available. The TCN awards include 92 institutions in 45 states. The principal investigators are Dr. Lawrence Page of the Florida Museum of Natural History, Dr. Christopher Dietrich of Illinois Natural History Survey, Dr. Randall T. Schuh of the American Museum of Natural History, and Dr. Corinna Gries of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Limnology.  (For complete press release go to http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=121015&WT.mc_id=USNSF_51&WT.mc_ev=click )

Montana 07/09/11 missoulian.com: by Rob Chaney – Idaho’s proposed 2011 wolf hunt will run without quotas in most parts of the state, wildlife officials said Friday. “We really don’t have a number we’re trying to get to,” Idaho Fish and Game director Virgil Moore said at a news conference in Boise. “What we’re trying to do is be sure we can relieve both social and biological conflicts, where we have more wolves than needed. It’s no different than any other big-game animal. We haven’t established a number, but we will monitor the harvest to make sure we never get close to the delisting threshold that was established by the 2002 legislative plan and the plan established by the (U.S.) Fish and Wildlife Service.” Idaho currently has about 1,000 wolves. Gray wolves could be reconsidered for federal endangered species protection if their numbers fall below 150 individuals or 15 breeding pairs in Idaho, Montana or Wyoming. The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will decide on its wolf rules at its July 27-28 meeting in Salmon.

Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission meets July 14 to consider its own 2011 wolf hunt plan. Unlike Idaho, Montana wildlife managers proposed a quota of 220 wolves, distributed across 14 wolf management units. That’s up from the 75 wolves allowed in the state’s first modern-day wolf hunt in 2009. Barely one-third of 1 percent of Montana’s 19,000 wolf tag buyers killed a wolf that year.

In Idaho, the success rate for its wolf hunt was just 1 percent. Moore said about 20,000 of the state’s 30,000 tag buyers actually tried to hunt wolves that year. “Seeing wolf tracks or wolf scat, even hearing wolves howl, is not the same thing as seeing a wolf and having an opportunity to take a wolf,” Idaho Fish and Game big-game manager Jon Rachael said. Nevertheless, Idaho ranchers reported a significant drop in livestock depredations after the 2009 hunt. When a lawsuit canceled the 2010 hunt, those depredation counts went back up to average, he said. Idaho is adding trapping to its allowable wolf-killing methods this year. The state has about 1,000 licensed trappers, but Moore said it was unknown how many would be skilled enough or willing to invest the time and equipment necessary to successfully trap wolves.

Montana’s wolf season will not allow trapping, according to FWP spokesman Ron Aasheim. “We’re going to learn what we can about hunting before we add that,” Aasheim said on Friday. “We want to be more surgical in our management.” Montana wolf hunters would have to report their kills within 12 hours, while Idaho hunters have 72 hours to contact game wardens about a kill. Five areas will receive careful attention in the Idaho hunt, including the Lolo Zone along the Montana-Idaho border. Idaho authorized a population reduction there last year because those wolves were suspected of over-hunting elk herds. Montana officials considered a similar action on their Bitterroot Valley side of the border, but dropped plans after the wolf was delisted. Wolves also move across the border, so both states must be careful to preserve the genetic connectivity of the area, Moore said. But having the hunt in place should relieve some of the public concern about loss of elk there. “That pent-up frustration is taken care of just by having the hunting season,” Moore said. “The frustration we saw at check stations in 2008 went away in 2009 (the year of the first wolf hunt). Hunters knew we needed to manage wolves, and hunting is part of that management toolbox. Once they had that tag in their pocket, the frustration level dropped dramatically.”

California 07/08/11 patch.com: by MarieSam Sanchez – Officials from the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) announced today that three more dead birds infected with the West Nile virus have been found in Cerritos, upping the total to six discoveries in the city this year alone. Five of the six birds have been identified as American Crows and one bird was listed as an “unknown” species, Truc Dever, Director of Community Affairs for the GLACVCD, told Patch. “They were all collected in June between June 8th and 22nd,” Dever stated. “The location in Cerritos is the area north of Cerritos Towne Center.” More specifically, the cluster was found between Norwalk Boulevard and Shoemaker Avenue and the Golden State (5) and Artesia (91) freeways, she added. It was exactly two weeks ago when district officials announced the discovery of two WNV infected American Crows in the city. The dead crows were found on Beach Street near Frontier Park, and in a residential neighborhood on Glen Creek Road. The agency had been alerted to the birds by people living in the area. Experts say Los Angeles County is quickly seeing an amplification in West Nile virus activity as summer temperatures continue to soar, prompting district staff to amp up mosquito control, surveillance, and public education activities in areas where increased virus activity has been confirmed. There have been nine total positive mosquito samples confirmed within District boundaries this year to date, according to Dever.

Illinois 07/09/11 patch.com: by Mary Ann Lopez – Mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus in DuPage County, the county Health Department reported Friday. The mosquitoes were found in traps in Lemont on Wednesday and Thursday. The mosquitoes are the first to test positive for the virus in the county and were found in a trap in an area of Lemont that is in southern DuPage, the Health Department said in a news release Friday. So far, no human cases have been reported in the county this summer, according to the news release. The DuPage County Health Department is collecting dead birds for testing. County residents who find freshly dead birds, like crows or jays, are asked to contact the department. The birds must not show any signs of decay or trauma and the Health Department must be able to pick them up in time to be shipped to the state laboratory by the close of business on Thursdays. To report a dead bird, call 630-682-7400.

Massachusetts 07/08/11 boston.com: by Deborah Kotz – For the first time this year, West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes in Massachusetts, the Department of Public Health reported today. The infected mosquitoes were found in Boston Wednesday.  So far, there have been no human cases of the infection, which is transmitted through a mosquito bite.  Last year, seven state residents came down with the virus, which can cause high fevers and headaches but usually isn’t life threatening, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All of the infected individuals recovered. The Boston Public Health Commission also reported today that two positive mosquito pools were found in West Roxbury. The city has begun putting larvicide in catch basins in Boston neighborhoods, to help reduce the number of mosquitoes.

South Dakota 07/08/11 sd.gov: Press Release – South Dakota’s first West Nile virus (WNV) case of the 2011 season is a Brown County resident in the 50-59 age group, the Department of Health reported today. Peak transmission in South Dakota is from July through early September but WNV cases can also occur earlier.  Last year, in 2010, the state reported its first case July 2.  Since its first human WNV case in 2002, the state has reported 1,757 cases and 26 deaths. “We do expect more mosquitoes this summer with so many areas affected by flooding and we expect other people to be bitten and infected with the WNV,” said Dr. Lon Kightlinger, State Epidemiologist for the South Dakota Department of Health. “West Nile has already been detected in mosquitoes in neighboring states (Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming) and in mammals in North Dakota) and the peak transmission period for the virus is approaching so now is the time to get in the habit of using insect repellent.”

Georgia 07/08/11 gainesvilletimes.com: A rabies alert has been issued for the Trudy Circle area of West Hall County after a rabid raccoon was confirmed in the area. The raccoon came in contact with two dogs July 2. The raccoon was shipped to the Georgia Public Health Lab, Virology Section in Decatur and confirmed positive for rabies on Friday. This is the sixth confirmed case of 2011. Alert signs will be posted in the area where the rabid raccoon was found. If you live in this area or you see an animal acting abnormally, contact Hall County Animal Services at 770-531-6830 or during nonworking hours call Hall County Dispatch at 770-536-8812.

Maine 07/08/11 maine.gov: A fox killed Thursday at Two Lights State Park in Cape Elizabeth was found to be rabid after testing on Friday by the Maine State Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory. It is the second animal tested and found rabid this year in Cape Elizabeth, according to Corey Hamilton, South Portland animal control officer. That first rabid animal also was a fox, he said. It is the ninth animal tested and found rabid in Cumberland County this year, according to the state lab website. A total of 26 animals so far have been tested and found rabid in Maine. The fox attacked and bit a 3-year-old boy and his mother at the park’s playground on Thursday afternoon. The child had tried to pet the fox, thinking it was a cat. The animal also attacked a park ranger, who wasn’t bitten by the animal. Under emergency protocol, the state park was closed and evacuated by park staff until the fox was found and killed.  Hamilton described the animal as male gray fox, about 1 year old and weighing 15 to 16 pounds. The fox carcass was taken to the state lab Friday morning, with testing completed that afternoon. The results were reported to the Maine Department of Conservation, which oversees the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL).

State Epidemiologist Dr. Stephen Sears, of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, reminds Maine residents to avoid contact with wild animals and to make sure their pets are up to date on rabies vaccination. “By avoiding contact with wild animals and maintaining pet vaccinations, we can prevent the spread of rabies,” Sears said. “Maine law requires that all dogs and cats be vaccinated because they often have contact with animals at high risk for rabies.” “It was very unfortunate that the child and mother were bitten and we wish them a speedy recovery,” Will Harris, BPL director, said Friday afternoon. “We hope our visitors will continue to enjoy our state parks, and we will continue to do everything we can to make sure they have a positive experience. Our visitors also should protect themselves by staying back and observing, rather than approaching wildlife.”

Massachusetts 07/08/11 capenews.net: by Diana T. Barth – A rabid fox attacked a Bournedale resident in his driveway across from Great Herring Pond near the Plymouth/Bourne line just before 8 o’clock on Sunday evening. Bourne Heath Agent Cynthia A. Coffin said the man suffered from a scratch that made it necessary for him to undergo post-exposure rabies vaccinations. “Everybody did the right thing,” said Timothy W. Mullen, director of the Bourne Department of Natural Resources. Mr. Mullen said the resident was able to kick the fox away, creating some distance, although not before the fox left a scratch on his leg with either its teeth or nails. When the fox ran toward the woods, rather than let the animal escape to attack someone else, the man chased after it and killed it with a paddle. The resident called the police to report the incident, and officers responded shortly thereafter. The police, in turn, called the DNR. A natural resources officer asked that the fox carcass be kept on ice until the officer could get to the scene. Mr. Mullen said the man was then persuaded to go to the hospital, while his wife brought the fox carcass to Cape Cod Veterinary Specialists in Buzzards Bay to be prepared for testing. On Monday morning at 8, a DNR officer brought the fox’s head to the state laboratory in Jamaica Plain, where it tested positive for rabies.

New Jersey 07/08/11 therepublic.com: Testing shows a kitten and another cat that attacked humans in northwestern New Jersey last week were rabid. Animal control officials tell the New Jersey Herald of Newton that other animals in the Wantage Township area may be infected, so residents are being warned to avoid wild or strangely acting animals. In one incident, a woman was attacked twice by the same feral cat as she got out of her car. The other involved three family members who were scratched by a kitten they took in because they thought it had a broken leg. They’re undergoing shots for rabies exposure. Officials have “strong suspicions” that a skunk, woodchuck and opossum found around the family’s home also may have rabies. Test results on those animals won’t be available until Monday.

New York 07/08/11 by Sarah Studley – A woodchuck captured in Ossining has been confirmed rabid, the Westchester County Department of Health said today. According to a statement, “The woodchuck appeared unhealthy and was captured and submitted for rabies testing on July 1. Test results received late yesterday confirmed that it was rabid.” The woodchuck was found in the area of Morningside Drive, between Nord Circle and Ridgeview Drive on July 1. “Anyone who believes that they or a pet may have had contact with this woodchuck, should contact the Westchester County Department of Health immediately at (914) 813-5000 to assess the need for rabies treatment,” said Westchester County Acting Commissioner of Health, Dr. Cheryl Archbald. “Anyone bitten by a rabid animal, or having contact with its saliva, may need to receive immediate rabies vaccination.”

Pennsylvania 07/10/11 timesleader.com: Edwardsville – Police are searching for a dog that viscously attacked a young girl Saturday morning. Police said the dog attacked the 6-year-old girl in her yard at 25 Church Street, biting the girl in her cheek, eye and nose area. The girl’s parents heard her cries and came to the backyard, at which point the dog ran away, police said. The girl was undergoing treatment at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital for non-life threatening injuries Saturday, police said, and may need to undergo a series of rabies shots if the dog that bit her cannot be located. The animal is described as a black and white dog, possibly a pit bull or Labrador retriever, last seen in the area of Church Street. Anyone with information about the dog’s owners or whereabouts is asked to contact Officer Lehman of the Edwardsville Police at 288-8463.

Pennsylvania 07/08/11 goerie.com: by David Bruce – A skunk found on a Union Township farm has tested positive for rabies. Six Yorkshire terriers who fought with the animal are quarantined for observation, said Karen Martin, veterinarian for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s northwest region. The skunk is the third animal to test positive for rabies in Erie County in 2011. Nine animals tested positive for the virus in 2010.

Texas 07/09/11 mysanantonio.com: by Zeke MacCormack – The death last week of a rabid raccoon at an animal rehabilitation center in Kendalia has prompted renewed warnings by authorities in Kendall County, where three rabies cases were previously reported this year. The ailing raccoon was found in a Bergheim resident’s yard June 3 and taken to the rehabilitation center, where it died Tuesday and was sent for testing at the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, according to Kendall County Chief Deputy Matt King. Anyone who has concerns about a possibly-rabid animal should call the Kendall County Animal Shelter at 830-537-3430.

Virginia 07/08/11 tricities.com: by Allie Robinson – A raccoon picked up on New Hampshire Avenue last week tested positive for rabies, according to preliminary results sent Wednesday to the Bristol Virginia Police Department from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services, according to a written statement from the Police Department. The raccoon was found near an area of King Mill Pike, where another rabid raccoon was found in June.

Travel Warnings:

Ecuador 07/09/11 typepad.com: A 13-year-old died a month ago from hemorrhagic dengue in Esmeraldas and four more cases of this disease have recently been confirmed, one in the same province and three in Manabí. They have set off epidemiological alarms in both coastal jurisdictions, where hundreds of cases of classic dengue are also reported. In Esmeraldas the Provincial Health Directorate considered the southern neighbourhoods the focus of the outbreak. The Directorate extended the alert to the neighbourhoods of Las Tolitas and San Rafael, saying they are “highly” likely to develop the disease, which is caused by the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The agency reported that in the Codesa sector alone, 265 classic dengue cases have been reported so far this year. César Díaz Cortez, provincial health director, said that the cause of the increase in cases is the lack of potable water: People conserve it in containers inside and outside their homes, converting them into mosquito nurseries.