Tag Archives: Bear

RED WOLF population in decline once again ~ Woman in NEW MEXICO dies of PLAGUE ~ SQUIRREL in COLORADO tests positive for PLAGUE ~ CANADIAN woman victim of BEAR attack ~ MUSKRAT in COLORADO tests positive for TULAREMIA ~ TULAREMIA found in four NORTH DAKOTA counties.

Red Wolf and pups. Courtesy US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Red Wolf and pups. Courtesy US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Southeast US 07/25/15 wral.com: by Emery P. Dalesio – A revised population estimate puts the world’s only wild population of endangered red wolves at their lowest level since the late 1990s amid recent moves to protect the bigger, predatory relatives of dogs from hunters’ misdirected bullets. Once common in the Southeast, the red wolf had been considered extinct in the wild as of 1980 for reasons including hunting and lost habitat. In 1987, wildlife officials released captive-bred red wolves into the wilds of a federal tract in North Carolina. For years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that about 100 wolves roamed the land in coastal Dare, Hyde, Washington, Tyrrell and Beaufort counties and also drifted onto neighboring private property. Now the federal agency has drastically cut its population estimate to between 50 and 75 wild red wolves. The revision was the result of fewer breeding adult wolves producing fewer babies to replace those animals that die, FWS supervisory wildlife biologist Rebecca Harrison said. “The decrease is a reflection of two years in a row of very low pup production in combination with the standing mortality,” Harrison said. While in the past wildlife officials have found 30 to 50 pups a year, last year 19 were found and this year only seven, Harrison said. The wolves breed a single litter of pups annually that are born in the spring.

wmi.88e8e290rAn outside study last year of the red wolf recovery program by the nonprofit Wildlife Management Institute said it couldn’t determine the specific reasons for the red wolf decline. Over the past decade, there was a tripling of wolf deaths from gunshots, the report said. Illegal killings of red wolves was the leading cause of deaths over the first 25 years of the program, the report said, with shootings and poisonings making up 30 percent of their deaths. Most of the red wolf shooting deaths of breeding-aged red wolves happened during the last three months of the year just before the animals breed, the report said. Deer season also increases hunters in the forests in the fall. The threats to red wolves from gunfire have increased as coyotes — which are often confused for their bigger, endangered cousins — multiplied across the state into the red wolf’s range. North Carolina’s Wildlife Resources Commission in 2013 decided to allow coyote hunting at night on private land and under certain circumstances on public land. Conservationists said that resulted in the shooting deaths of red wolves since even experts often couldn’t distinguish them from coyotes in a distant flashlight’s glare. –  Read more at http://www.wral.com/wild-red-wolf-count-falls-as-fewer-parents-making-fewer-pups/14794393/#LKVu6mCc32VcrhaU.99

PNEUMONIC PLAGUE:

plague.322998New Mexico 07/24/15 santafenewmexican.com: by Anne Constable – State Health Department officials said Friday that a 52-year-old Santa Fe County woman died after testing positive for plague, and workers were going door to door in her neighborhood to inform other residents of the risk. But the Health Department would not release the name of the hospital where the woman was treated or the section of the county where she lived. The state’s Scientific Laboratory Division is conducting a test to confirm the woman’s suspected case of pneumonic plague, the rarest of the three forms of the bacterial disease, which is usually contracted from flea bites or rodent droppings. If the lab test proves positive, this would be the first human case of plague in New Mexico this year. Last year, there were two human cases of plague in New Mexico, and both patients — a 43-year-old woman from Rio Arriba County and a 57-year-old man from Torrance County — recovered. Between 2010 and 2014, there were nine cases in the state, three of them in Santa Fe County. Santa Fe leads the counties in New Mexico for human plague, with 59 out of 271 cases across the state from 1949 to 2014. – For complete article see http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/health_and_science/health-officials-santa-fe-county-woman-s-death-could-be/article_1bc73a49-0570-577f-8710-0e1fd23e5944.html

plague.53400445Colorado 07/25/15 kdvr.com: by Chris Jose – Jefferson County Public Health received confirmation on Friday that a squirrel located at 15th and Jackson (in Golden) tested positive for bubonic plague. Postings are being placed around the area today with information reminding citizens to take simple precautions to avoid exposure. Plague is a highly infectious bacterial disease carried by various types of wild rodents and is transmitted primarily by flea bites. Squirrels, rodents, prairie dogs and other mammals, such as rabbits and cats are susceptible to plague because they carry fleas. – For video and complete article see http://kdvr.com/2015/07/25/squirrel-in-golden-tests-positive-for-bubonic-plague/

CANADA:

BEAR ATTACK:

bear_activity_470x245Ontario 07/26/15 timminstimes.com: Ontario Provincial Police say a 60-year old woman was treated and released from hospital for injuries after being attacked by an “aggressive bear” near Matheson on Friday afternoon. Police said two women were walking in the cottage area of Watabeag Lake when they encountered the bear. The OPP news release said one of the women was attacked by the bear and sustained injuries requiring medical treatment at the Matheson hospital. The nature of the woman’s injuries was not described by police. “OPP officers attended the area and located the bear,” said the police news release. “The bear displayed aggressive tendencies toward the officers and the bear was destroyed by the officers as a result.” The woman who was attacked is from the Guelph area. Watabeag Lake is located approximately 40 kilometers south west of Matheson. – See http://www.timminstimes.com/2015/07/26/friday-afternoon-bear-attack-near-matheson

TULAREMIA (RABBIT FEVER):

muskrat3Colorado 07/24/15 denverpost.com: by Anthony Cotton – A dead muskrat found recently at the Lily Lake area in Rocky Mountain National Park tested positive for tularemia, park officials said Friday. According to Colorado health officials, as of late May, there were 11 reported human cases of tularemia. A naturally occurring bacterial disease transmitted by infected insects and ticks to rabbits, hares, muskrats, beavers and other small rodents, tularemia can also spread to humans and can cause serious clinical symptoms. – For complete article see http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_28374467/colorado-health-officials-tularemia-cases-record-breaking-pace

zoonosis_tularemia (2)North Dakota 07/24/15 valleynewslive.com: The ND Department of Health and the ND  Department of Agriculture, Animal Health Division, have received reports of two confirmed human cases of tularemia in LaMoure and Burleigh counties; one unconfirmed but likely positive human case in Stark County; a case in a squirrel from the Roosevelt Zoo in Minot; and cases in two primates from the Dakota Zoo in Bismarck. The Roosevelt and Dakota Zoos are taking precautions to protect their animals, staff and visitors from the disease. Visiting a zoo does not pose an increased risk to the general public. However, people are advised to follow guidelines against touching animals that are posted by the zoos, and to avoid direct contact with wild animals, such as rabbits and rodents, which are known carriers of tularemia. Tularemia, also known as rabbit fever, is caused by bacteria that are commonly transmitted to humans and animals by ticks and deer flies. Pets can also become infected if they consume the remains of an infected animal. Other means of infection in humans include skin contact with blood or tissue  of infected animals, inhalation of contaminated dust or aerosols, and ingestion of contaminated food or water. – For complete article see http://www.valleynewslive.com/home/headlines/Tularemia-Identified-In-Four-North-Dakota-Counties-318509531.html

RABIES:

cat-and-bat.4778t5California 07/25/15 Monterey County: A domestic cat that was reported dead on July 2nd by its owner, a City of Monterey resident, has tested positive for a strain of the rabies virus that is carried by bats. – See http://www.mercurynews.com/health/ci_28537775/monterey-health-department-confirms-rabid-cat-died-from

ALABAMA woman attacked by rabid BOB CAT ~ CANADIAN engineer survives GRIZZLY attack ~ TEXAS teen attacked by COYOTE ~ NEW MEXICO and WYOMING officials warn residents of TULAREMIA threat ~ Two ARIZONANS succumb to WEST NILE VIRUS ~ COLORADAN contracts BUBONIC PLAGUE ~ PLAGUE kills colony of PRAIRIE DOGS in UTAH ~ CDC researchers find LYME DISEASE is spreading farther south and west ~ CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE found in captive TEXAS DEER ~ OTHER RABIES REPORTS from NJ & TX.

Bobcat. Photo by Don DeBold. Wikimidia Commons.

Bobcat. Photo by Don DeBold. Wikimidia Commons.

Alabama 07/14/15 greenvilleadvocate.com: A bob cat that attacked a Sardis resident in the front yard of her Sweetwater Road home earlier in the week biting her on the arm and hip has tested positive for rabies. – For a lengthy account of the attack and how the bob cat was finally killed see http://www.greenvilleadvocate.com/2015/07/14/woman-survives-attack-by-rabid-bobcat/

GRIZZLY ATTACK:

Canada:

grizzly5British Columbia 07/17/15 cbc.ca: by Lisa Johnson – An engineer with a Vancouver logging company thought he was going to die yesterday as a mother grizzly bear tore the flesh of his arm and back, and tried to throw him in the air. But George Knoll, 41, survived thanks to quick thinking, his work boots and luck. Knoll, who works with A&A Trading, had been walking through the bush, flagging trees for logging along a creek at Burke Channel near Bella Bella, on B.C.’s Central Coast. At about 8:30 a.m. PT, he looked up and saw a mother grizzly bear and her cub. Because of the sound of the rushing water, he hadn’t heard the bear and her cub approach through the bush — nor had the bear heard him — until they were just six metres apart. “I knew I was in trouble, because of the cub,” said Knoll from his hospital bed in Vancouver Friday. Knoll said he tried to run backward and sideways to get away from the bear, but she charged him from below. “She basically tackled me,” he said. He tried to play dead, curling in a ball with his arms protecting his neck, but her teeth were ripping into the flesh of his arm and back as she tried to toss him “like a rag doll.” “I thought in my head, ‘This is it, I’m going to die, this thing is going to eat me,'” he said. “I thought, ‘Oh man, what a shitty way to go … I’m not going to see my daughter and my wife again.”

mapThe bear’s face was so close to his, Knoll could smell and feel her breath. “I remember distinctly the bad breath on that bear, smelled like rotten fish. Dirty fur.” Playing dead wasn’t working, he realized. “At that point … I thought I better do something, so I kicked her in the face.” Knoll kicked the bear twice in the snout with his caulk boots, the heavy spiked work boots often worn by loggers. She stopped attacking him immediately, retreating to pace and huff. There was blood on her snout, but Knoll didn’t know if it was hers, or his own. Another lunge, another kick, and the mother bear was gone. Help came quickly. Knoll radioed his partner to tell him of the attack, and he used a pressure bandage as a tourniquet on his left arm to stop the bleeding. He remembers being “delirious” walking the 200 metres uphill to a helipad, where the work crew’s helicopter airlifted him to Bella Bella, before he was flown to Vancouver. Sometime on the flight, he was able to call his wife. “I told her I loved her,” he said. Knoll is doing well in Vancouver General Hospital, with puncture wounds but no serious internal injuries, said Sgt. Len Butler of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service. Conservation officers are still investigating, but since the mother bear had a cub with her, they consider the attack to be “defensive” — meaning she wasn’t trying to prey on the engineer, and won’t be killed. –  For video see http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/grizzly-bear-attack-near-bella-bella-b-c-ends-with-kick-to-the-face-1.3157849

COYOTE ATTACK:

thumbnailcoydogTexas 07/15/15 nbcvdfw.com: by Julie Fine – Coyote sightings in North Texas are not all that unusual, but attacks are rare. Zane Weddell, 15, said he was walking out of a movie at the Cinemark Tinsletown Sunday night in Grapevine when he was bitten by a coyote. “I was like shocked there was a coyote,” he said. Zane said he and his girlfriend walked around the back of the theater, and the coyote came around the bushes. “It came at me, came at us, so I grabbed my shoe and I threw it at it, hit it, and it came back, came at me, so I like kicked it with my foot. And it got hold of my foot and shook me around a little bit, and it like let go and took off,” he explained. His mother was waiting for him at the front of the theater, so he ran to her car, where she saw blood on his foot. They then went to the emergency room, where Zane had five shots. – For video and complete article see http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Coyote-Bites-Teen-in-Grapevine-Movie-Theater-Parking-Lot-315116341.html

TULAREMIA (RABBIT FEVER):

New Mexico 07/13/15 kob.com: State officials today confirmed a case of tularemia in a 51-year-old Los Alamos County male resident who was hospitalized but has since recovered. Officials say there have also been 33 cases of the disease this year in pet dogs and cats from Bernalillo, Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Taos and Torrance counties. “Tularemia can cause serious illness in both people and pets.  I encourage people around the state to follow the same precautions they would to avoid contracting plague, which includes not handling sick or dead animals,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary, Retta Ward, MPH. “People can get tularemia if they handle infected animals such as rabbits or rodents or if they are bitten by infected ticks or deer flies.” Tularemia is a potentially serious illness in people that occurs in many parts of the United States. It is caused by a bacteria found in animals, especially rodents, rabbits and hares. Tularemia can also make dogs and cats sick and they can give the disease to people. Other possible, but much less likely, exposures are through contact with infected soil or water or by inhaling the bacteria. – For complete article see http://www.kob.com/article/stories/s3850814.shtml#.VaR0vflVhBc

tularemia33987ir6Wyoming 07/17/15 outbreaknewstoday.com: State officials issued a tularemia warning today after recent human and animal cases reported in northern Wyoming.  “Recently, we are hearing about rabbit die-offs and have seen tularemia cases confirmed in two Weston County residents, in dead voles near Devils Tower in Crook County and in a Washakie County cat,” said Dr. Tracy Murphy, state epidemiologist with WDH. “Tularemia is always a concern but is not common. To see this activity is concerning.” – For complete article see http://outbreaknewstoday.com/tularemia-reported-in-weston-county-wyoming-residents-98356/

WEST NILE VIRUS:

07cd7361057a7994e7e590e1fb0d3868ed6ff5ad-1Arizona 07/17/15 azcentral.com: by Anthony Marroquin – Two Valley residents have died after contracting the West Nile virus, according to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health. The first victim was a man in his early 60’s and the second was a woman in her 70’s, the department said. Both were from the East Valley and had previous underlying health conditions. These were the first two deaths from West Nile virus in the 2015 season, according to the department.  – For complete article see http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2015/07/17/maricopa-county-west-nile-virus-deaths/30306825/

BUBONIC PLAGUE:

Colorado 07/20/15 themountainmail.com: by Paul J. Goetz – Chaffee County Health Department reported Friday that bubonic plague has been confirmed in a Chaffee County resident recently. The unidentified individual was hospitalized and has survived following intravenous antibiotic treatment, Susan Ellis, county health director, wrote in a press release. Identification of the disease was made by the state public health laboratory July 10. Colorado Department of Public Health reports that 17 human plague cases have been confirmed in Colorado since 2005. This would make the 18th case. Investigation revealed that the family dog became ill with symptoms consistent with plague a few days prior to the onset of illness in the dog’s owner. The dog has recovered and test results from the dog are pending. – For complete article see http://www.themountainmail.com/free_content/article_9a5d5224-2e9a-11e5-8845-abc56056813b.htmldog-hunting-01-medium

Utah 07/14/15 ksl.com: by Amy Joi O’Donoghue – Bubonic plague wiped out a colony of Utah prairie dogs in a remote area of the Uintah Basin, and health officials are urging residents to refrain from handling any of the dead rodents they may find. The plague outbreak, which is not uncommon in prairie dogs, was discovered last week in an area called Coyote Basin, southeast of Vernal, said Dax Mangus, wildlife program manager in the northeastern region for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. The outbreak killed a colony of between 60 and 80 prairie dogs. Mangus said the outbreak occurred in an area under monitoring because it is a site for the reintroduction of the black footed ferret, which prey on the dogs. The black footed ferret, North America’s only native wild ferret species, has been listed as endangered since 1967 and 90 percent of its diet is prairie dogs. – For video and complete article see http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=35498521

LYME DISEASE:

green-tick-logoNational 07/15/15 nbcnews.com: by Maggie Fox – Lyme disease is gradually spreading from the Northeast and becoming more common farther south and west, government researchers reported Wednesday. A county-by-county look at the infections shows it’s found in four times as many counties now as it was in 1993, a team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. It’s not clear why – experts say climate change, forest regrowth and the spread of deer might all be factors. What is clear is that many more people than before need to watch out for the ticks that carry the infection, CDC says. “Over time, the number of counties identified as having high incidence of Lyme disease in the northeastern states increased more than 320 percent: from 43 (1993-1997) to 90 (1998-2002) to 130 (2003-2007) to 182 (2008-2012),” Kiersten Kugeler of the CDC’s center in Fort Collins, Colorado, and colleagues write in their report. The northern coast of New Jersey is no longer a hotbed of new Lyme infections, but now east-central Pennsylvania is, they said. Lyme disease is caused by bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, carried by blacklegged ticks. It was first recognized in the Lyme, Connecticut, area in 1975 and it’s spread from there to the northeast and to the mid-Atlantic and upper Northwest regions and elsewhere. The CDC found high-risk counties in 17 states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota. – For complete article see http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/lyme-disease-spreads-government-report-finds-n392626

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE:join

Texas 07/01/15 TX Parks & Wildlife: Media Release – A two-year-old white-tailed deer in a Medina County deer breeding facility has been confirmed positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). This is the first case of CWD detected in captive white-tailed deer in Texas. CWD was first detected in Texas in 2012 in free-ranging mule deer in the Hueco Mountains in far West Texas. The Medina County tissue samples submitted by the breeder facility in early June as part of routine deer mortality surveillance revealed the presence of CWD during testing at the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) in College Station. The National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the findings on Tuesday, June 30. – For complete release see http://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/?req=20150701a

OTHER RABIES REPORTS:

New Jersey 07/15/15 Middlesex County: A feral cat found in the vicinity of Deans Lane and Route 1 in South Brunswick has tested positive for rabies. – For complete article see http://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/local/middlesex-county/2015/07/15/cat-tests-positive-rabies-south-brunswick/30206899/

78483649Texas 07/15/15 Wichita County: A litter of nine puppies advertised on Craigslist in Henrietta were all potentially exposed to the rabies virus. An individual from Wichita Falls who adopted one of the puppies was bitten and the puppy later tested positive for rabies. Of the 9 puppies exposed to rabies, 8 have been accounted for. The Health Department is still looking for the ninth puppy. Three of the located puppies are in Wichita Falls. Please contact the Health District immediately at 940-761-7833 or 7824 if you took one of these puppies home or was exposed to the litter in Henrietta. Also, if you know of someone that handled the puppies or took one home, please have them contact the Health District immediately. – For photo and complete article see http://www.texomashomepage.com/story/d/story/wichita-falls-puppy-tests-positive-for-rabies/31938/pLqt6PB8UkSLISqk0NMb5w

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

lymedisease.77394

Global 06/24/15 natureworldnews.com: A new research center focusing on the tick-borne Lyme Disease has opened in Baltimore. The Johns Hopkins Lyme Disease Clinical Research Center is the first such facility to be housed at a major US medical research center. Center founder and director John Aucott, a Johns Hopkins internist, said, ” “If you live anywhere from Maine to Virginia, it’s almost impossible for Lyme disease not to affect someone you know, someone in your family or yourself.”  The center’s first study will attempt to learn why some patients develop post-treatment Lyme Disease syndrome lasting months or years, while others do not. – For complete article see http://www.natureworldnews.com/articles/15336/20150624/lyme-disease-research-now-home-johns-hopkins.htm

HANTAVIRUS:

Deer mouse.

Deer mouse.

Colorado 06/25/15 washingtontimes.com: A south Weld County man who was working in an enclosed space in the presence of rodent droppings while repairing his home has died of Hantavirus Pulmonary syndrome. People can be infected by inhaling the virus after disturbing dust, feces or urine from mice nests or other contaminated areas. – See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jun/25/weld-county-man-dies-after-contracting-hantavirus/

TULAREMIA:

zoonosis_TularemiaColorado 06/24/15 CO Dept of Public Health – Media Release – Officials have confirmed 11 human cases of Tularemia in the state so far this year. In all of 2014, there were 16 cases reported, and the worst year was 1983 with 20 cases. People can get tularemia if they handle infected animals, such as rabbits, rodents or hares, or are bitten by ticks or deer flies. They also can be exposed by touching contaminated soil, drinking contaminated water or inhaling bacteria. – For complete release see https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/14e26e2cfe86b38b

BEAR:

bear1jf99Colorado 06/26/15 denver.cbslocal.com: A camper sleeping in his tent at the Dearhamer Campground near Ruedi Reservoir east of Basalt was bitten by a bear on June 17th. Rangers said the camper had food inside his tent and in a cooler outside the tent. Officials have restricted the campground to “hard-sided campers” only. The Forest Service has food storage containers  at the campground and bear-proof trash dumpsters just 30 to 40 yards away from the site and all campers are encouraged to use them. – See http://denver.cbslocal.com/2015/06/26/bear-attacks-camper-at-ruedi-reservoir/

RABIES:

5731289-very-cute-child-with-a-cat-in-armsMaryland 06/26/15 Charles County: A stray cat found in the vicinity of Marshall Corner Road, near McDonough High School and Rose Hill Road, in Pomfret has tested positive for rabies. The cat was a black-and-white male of less than 20 pounds. – See http://www.thebaynet.com/articles/0615/local-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies.html

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

Grizzly by Jean-Pierre Lavoie. Wikimedia-Commons.

Grizzly by Jean-Pierre Lavoie. Wikimedia-Commons.

CANADA:

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

cariboo_mapThe incident occurred about mid-afternoon while the pair from Williams Lake, B.C., was ascending in the Big Slide Mountain Area near the community of Horsefly, in the province’s Cariboo region. It was a blustery day, meaning winds were diffusing the hikers’ scents and obstructing the crunch of their boots along the foliage, said Butler. The couple emerged upon a knoll about the same time the animal arrived from the opposite direction uphill. The bear and hikers were only about seven to nine metres apart when they spotted each other. “They kind of stared at each other for a second, then the bear bluff-charged and stopped,” Butler said. “Then the bear lunged at the female, grabbed her arm, threw her to the side and the bear then just immediately ran off into the trees.” Butler described the bear’s reaction as standard and said it took the path of least resistance to escape. He said the woman, in her mid-20s, had bear spray holstered to her hip but simply couldn’t respond fast enough. – For complete article see http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/grizzly-bear-attack-terrifies-couple-hiking-near-horsefly-b-c-1.3117983


800px-Yellowstone-171California
06/23/15 contracostatimes.com: by Steve Schoonover – A woman and her dog were injured when they were attacked by a bear Monday night outside a home near Chico, in Butte County. At about 11:30 p.m. Monday a woman who lives in Magalia heard a noise in her yard and her dog began barking. She let the dog out, heard sounds of a fight and stepped out herself. According to California Department of Fish and Wildlife Capt. Patrick Foy, she said a bear immediately came out from beneath a blue tarp, clawed her on the shoulder and bit her before running off. The woman was taken to the hospital and treated for non-life-threatening wounds and given rabies treatment. The dog, a 9-year-old golden retriever, was taken to a veterinarian, and is in tough shape, according to Foy. “Sounds like he fought hardily,” Foy said of the dog. Fish and Wildlife are deploying a trap to the area to try and capture the offending bear. Foy said it should be in place by the end of the day. – For complete article see http://www.contracostatimes.com/breaking-news/ci_28366614/woman-and-dog-injured-bear-attack-near-chico

SEPTICEMIC PLAGUE:   

plague445654534Colorado 06/20/15 coloradoan.com: by Jason Pohl – A 16-year-old Poudre High School student who suddenly became ill this month died from a rare strain of plague. He is believed to have been the first Larimer County resident to have contracted the deadly disease since 1999, health officials say. An investigation is ongoing, but it is believed that Taylor Gaes contracted the septicemic plague from fleas on a dead rodent or other animal on the family’s land in the Cherokee Park area near Livermore, northwest of Fort Collins, Larimer County health officials confirmed to the Coloradoan Saturday. Septicemic plague occurs when bacteria enters the bloodstream directly — it is highly fatal and very rare in humans. Officials now are warning people who visited the family’s home after Gaes’ June 8 death — the day after his 16th birthday — to be extra vigilant. “There is a small chance that others might have been bitten by infected fleas, so anyone who was on the family’s land in the last seven days should seek medical attention immediately if a fever occurs. The last exposure to others was likely on June 14,” Larimer health officials said in a statement late Friday. – For completer article see http://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2015/06/20/officials-say-rare-form-plague-killed-poudre-student/29031569/

TULAREMIA (RABBIT FEVER):

Colorado 06/18/15 denverpost.com: by Jesse Paul – Two Weld County men were diagnosed with tularemia — also known as rabbit fever — this week and health officials believe both were most likely exposed while mowing or working in their yards. County health officials say one of the men is hospitalized while the other is recovering at home, according to a news release issued Thursday. The two have been identified as a 79-year old from Milliken and an 80-year old from Greeley. “We are seeing an unusually high number of human tularemia cases along the Front Range this year,” Dr. Mark E. Wallace, executive director of the Weld County Health Department, said in a statement. “The public really needs to be cautious and not get exposed to this disease.” A Boulder County resident who contracted tularemia last month after doing yard work later died. That person’s case was the first in Boulder County this year. In 2014, Colorado saw at least 11 cases of tularemia in humans, more than three times the previous average in the state, according to county health data. – See http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_28337050/2-weld-county-men-tularemia33987ir6diagnosed-tularemia-this-week

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

RABIES:

Georgia 06/16/15 Thomas County: A stray cat that bit two adults within a block of each other in a Raleigh Avenue neighborhood in Thomasville has tested positive for rabies. An elderly woman and a middle-aged man are being treated for exposure to the virus. – See http://www.timesenterprise.com/news/local_news/rabid-cat-confirmed-in-the-city/article_366a7f2c-1481-11e5-8309-8bda5d1ece15.html

Maryland 06/23/15 City of Baltimore: A stray cat trapped in Fort Armistead Park in Brooklyn on June 10 has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wbaltv.com/news/stray-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-feralcat.3399rir778baltimore/33735152

Pennsylvania 06/18/15 Lehigh Valley: A stray cat that bit a woman who had been feeding it and others in the Luna Street area of Bethlehem has tested positive for rabies. “I strongly recommend that citizens never feed wildlife, stray or feral cats, or stray dogs, or attempt to handle any animal that is not their own,” Bethlehem Health Director Kristen Wenrich said in a statement. – See http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2015/06/stray_cat_that_bit_bethlehem_r.html

Virginia 06/19/15 Spotsylvania County: A stray cat that bit a person after it was picked up near a gas station in the 11000 block of Leavells Road has tested positive for rabies. The cat is described as a male, orange tabby cat about 1½ years old. – See http://patch.com/virginia/fredericksburg/health-warning-rabies-case-confirmed-county-0?

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

Photo courtesy US National Park Service.

Photo courtesy US National Park Service.

Tennessee 06/07/15 citizen-times.com: by Dale Neal – A bear attacked an Athens, Ohio teenager late Saturday in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, pulling the backpacker from his hammock as he slept. Rangers have closed four trails and half a dozen backcountry campsites in the park as bears are actively foraging for food, said Dana Soehn, a park spokeswoman. The boy, 16, was bitten around the head about 10:30 p.m. as the 250-pound bear pulled him from the hammock. He had no food with him, Soehn said. The attack occurred at backcountry campsite 84, about 4.5 miles from Fontana Lake near Hazel Creek. The boy’s father fended off the bear, then applied first aid to his son. They hiked down to the lake, where they woke campers at backcountry site 86, who had a boat. They were ferried across the lake to Cable Cove boat dock, where they were able to call for help. Graham County Rescue EMS transported them to a landing zone, where the teen was flown by helicopter to Mission Hospital about 3 a.m. The teen suffered multiple injuries, including lacerations to the head. He remained conscious throughout the incident and is in stable condition. – For complete article and survey question see http://www.citizen-times.com/story/news/local/2015/06/07/smokies-campsites-closed-bear-attacks-ohio-teen/28647319/

LYME DISEASE:

lyme-awareness5128Pennsylvania 06/10/15 PA State Dept of Health: Media Release – In 2014, the Department of Health recorded 7,400 cases of Lyme disease in the commonwealth, a 25% increase when compared with 5,900 cases in 2013. The increase in cases can be attributed in part to heightened awareness about Lyme disease, better reporting, and enhanced monitoring efforts, particularly in Allegheny County. Pennsylvania leads the nation in reported cases of Lyme disease and a recent study found that blacklegged ticks were found in all 67 counties. = For complete release see http://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=217

RABIES:

Alabama 06/08/15 Cherokee County: The state Department of Public Health Rabies.syringehas confirmed a case of rabies in a Great Dane/Labrador mix, which resided in the Cedar Bluff area. It was initially treated at Nichols’ Animal Clinic and it was later determined the animal had contact with a rabid raccoon . . .  The animal had never been to a veterinarian, it had never been vaccinated, and was bitten right under the eye. Six and a half days later, the dog presented with signs of rabies. Dr. Deaton, a local veterinarian, said ” Because it was bitten so close to the eye, it can move a lot more rapidly. It gets in the optic nerve and goes straight to the brain instead o having to move up the peripheral nerves. So it has a direct access to the central nervous system. ” – For complete article see http://www.northwestgeorgianews.com/cherokee_county/domesticated-rabies-case-confirmed-in-cherokee-county/article_54d3ca2a-0e2a-11e5-a866-cf2c2dc6627c.html

feralcat446755g5North Carolina 06/08/15 Rockingham County: Health officials are warning residents after more than two dozen cats were recently exposed to rabies. Animal Control officials picked up a colony of 25 cats Saturday from Settle Bridge Road following the exposure. All the cats were euthanized. The cats were exposed to the virus Thursday by a kitten that turned aggressive and attacked litter mates, county health officials said. A relative took the kitten to a vet on Friday, and the kitten tested positive for rabies on Saturday. Health officials ask anyone who may have been around cats in the Settle Bridge Road area since May 20 to call the Rockingham County health department at 336-342-5163. – See http://www.wxii12.com/news/25-cats-exposed-to-rabies-in-Rockingham-County/33468944

help7689Wisconsin 06/08/15 Dane County: Authorities are looking for a kitten that bit a man who now faces painful and costly injections to prevent rabies if the kitten isn’t found. The Department of Public Health said the man was bitten on Sunday around 3 p.m. at a church in the 3700 block of North Sherman Avenue in Madison. The man was bitten as he tried to pick up the kitten. The kitten is described as a 8 to 12-week-old orange tabby. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 608-255-2345 and ask for the animal services officer. – See http://www.channel3000.com/news/Kitten-sought-after-biting-man/33459902

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

h5n2.fjuj 4487

National 06/03/15 emergency.cdc.gov: Health Advisory

Summary

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

Background

USDA-LogoBetween December 15, 2014, and May 29, 2015, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed more than 200 findings of birds infected with highly-pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A (H5N2), (H5N8), and (H5N1)viruses. The majority of these infections have occurred in poultry, including backyard and commercial flocks. USDA surveillance indicates that more than 40 million birds have been affected (either infected or exposed) in 20 states. These are the first reported infections with these viruses in US wild or domestic birds. – For complete advisory see http://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00378.asp

BEAR ATTACKS:

bear.in.tent.334Colorado 06/03/15 durangoherald.com: by John Peel & Shaun Stanley – A bear that bit two people camping near the Durango Tech Center, sending one man to the hospital early Monday morning, was shot and killed hours later by Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers. Joshua E. Barber, 21, was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center after the incident. He was in good condition Monday afternoon, hospital spokesman David Bruzzese said. Several others who were camped illegally in the area northwest of the Tech Center, just a couple of miles west of downtown Durango, said they helped fight off the bear, which had tackled Barber and was biting him in the back of the neck and head when they arrived to help. The latest bear attack, which occurred Sunday night, was in the same area where a bear bit two people May 26. Wildlife officers tracked down the bear after a second man was bitten Monday morning. The bear was shot and killed.

black_bear_picnic_table_285NPSJoe Lewandowski, a spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said the condition of the camp played a big role in attracting the ursine. “I was just up there. It was disgusting. There were piles of garbage and cans of food,” he said. The bear may have gotten too comfortable and became more brazen after finding easy meals around the camp, Lewandowski said. – For complete article and video see http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20150601/NEWS01/150609987/-1/news&source=RSS

Black Bear photo by Lynn Chamberlain, Utah Division of Wildlife ResourcesNew Mexico 06/02/15 krqe.com:  Authorities are searching for an adult black bear involved in the attack of a 55-year-old hunter in New Mexico’s Lincoln National Forest. State Department of Game and Fish officials say the man suffered deep flesh wounds from scratches on his chest and a bite to his leg Monday. He was treated and released from Lincoln County Medical Center in Ruidoso. Conservation officers are searching for the bear so it can be tested for rabies. The attack occurred in the forest near Baca Campground. The man had been hunting for antler sheds in thick brush when he apparently surprised the bear, which attacked the hunter before fleeing into the woods. The injured man notified his hunting companion by two-way radio. The two hiked to their vehicle and drove to the hospital. – See http://krqe.com/2015/06/02/new-mexico-hunter-sent-to-hospital-after-bear-attack/

WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV):

fig2_lgOklahoma 06/04/15 OK State Dept of Health: Media Release – The first cases of West Nile virus (WNV) in Oklahoma have been confirmed in Okfuskee and McIntosh counties. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) encourages residents to take precautions to reduce the risk of contracting WNV, a mosquito-borne illness. WNV is spread through the bite of the Culex mosquito, which feeds on infected birds and transmits the virus when biting humans, horses, and some other mammals. This type of mosquito increases in numbers during mid to late summer when the temperatures climb and the weather pattern is drier. Floodwater mosquito populations created  by recent rain in Oklahoma do not increase the risk of WNV.  The type of mosquitoes that hatch after severe flooding are primarily the species of mosquitoes classified as “nuisance mosquitoes”. They bite aggressively and cause lots of itchy bites, but they are not typically involved with transmission of diseases. Floodwater mosquito populations tend to die out three weeks after the rains stop and the sun dries out affected low lying areas.  – For complete release see http://www.ok.gov/triton/modules/newsroom/newsroom_article.php?id=150&article_id=15922

RABIES:

feral.cat.j4463Colorado 06/02/15 Elbert County: by Blair Shiff – A stray cat in Elbert county was infected with rabies, according to the Tri-County Health Department. The cat was located in the vicinity of Cimarron and Stage Run neighborhoods, near Elizabeth. The normally tame long-haired gray-and-white cat named “Bob” was often fed by local residents but was recently acting aggressively and had to be euthanized. There was at least one known human exposure to the cat, and that person is receiving a rabies vaccine. Local residents have been notified, but anyone who may have come in contact with the cat between May 15 and 25 is urged to call the Tri-County Health Department at 303-220- 9200. – See http://www.9news.com/story/news/local/2015/06/02/cat-rabies-elbert-county/28342287/

feral.cats.4435Connecticut 06/05/15 nhregister.com: Animal control officers found a  medium-haired black kitten in Shelton May 12 shortly after 5 p.m. near Howe Avenue and Wooster Street. The kitten died Monday and a positive test for rabies came back Thursday, Detective Chris Nugent said in a press release. Nugent said two other stray kittens were reported near Howe Avenue and Maple Street. He said people who have handled or were exposed to a stray cat or kitten in that area should contact their health care provider. – See http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20150605/kitten-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-shelton


feral.cat.79983Florida
06/03/15 St. Lucie County: by Laurie K. Blandford –  “A rabies alert has been issued for the central part of St. Lucie County after a feral cat tested positive Tuesday for the disease. ” “The center of the alert is at Boston Avenue and South 30th Street, with the following boundaries: south of Orange Avenue, north of Delaware Avenue, east of South 33rd Street and west of South 25th Street. The area on alert includes Dreamland Park and is near Elks Park and John Carroll Catholic High and St. Anastasia Catholic schools. Fort Pierce animal control officers picked up the cat Saturday after it bit a pet dog in the 200 block of South 30th Street in Fort Pierce, said city Animal Control Officer Peggy Arraiz.” – See http://www.tcpalm.com/news/local-news/st-lucie-county/rabies-alert-issued-for-central-st-lucie-county_49929599

feral.cat.988Georgia 06/05/15 madisonjournaltoday.com: A woman was recently bitten on the leg by a rabid feral cat in Madison County. “We have had a positive rabies case in the 900 block of Hwy 106 North involving a human and a feral cat,” reported county animal control officials. “The cat was underneath her car and came out and bit her on the leg.” The cat also fought with three other stray cats at the location, a black with some white on the chest, and two greys with white paws. These cats were exposed to the rabies virus. There were also some kittens, unknown colors, in the area as well. “The cats exposed to rabies on Hwy 106 have been captured,” officials later reported. “It is still important to stress the rabies shots and not approaching any animal that you are not familiar with.” – See http://www.madisonjournaltoday.com/archives/7695-Woman-bitten-by-rabid-feral-cat.html

feral.cat.1348781293_3312_035Rhode Island 06/05/15 valleybreeze.com: The Department of Environmental Management and the Department of Health are advising people who live in the Rathbun Street area of Woonsocket that a feral cat in the area tested positive for rabies. The cat was a thin, male, brown tabby, and lived in a feral colony. The cat was caught approximately three-quarters of a mile from the intersection of Rathbun Street and Social Street, between 268 and 290 Rathbun Street. It was caught by a volunteer so the cat could be neutered and get medical care. While the cat was at the veterinarian, it exhibited symptoms consistent with rabies. The cat was euthanized and has since tested positive for rabies. Anyone who may have had any physical contact with this cat or any feral cats in the Rathbun Street area of Woonsocket should call HEALTH immediately at 401-222-2577, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; or 401-272-5952 after hours. Anyone who has a pet that may have had contact with this cat or any feral cat in this area should contact Woonsocket Animal Control at 401-766-6571 during normal business hours or the Woonsocket Police Department at 401-766-1212 after hours. – See http://www.valleybreeze.com/2015-06-05/woonsocket-north-smithfield/feral-cat-woonsocket-tests-positive-rabies#.VXPGmM9VhBc

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

lyme.ee776688f82

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

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

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

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

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

” Lewis and his colleagues presented their findings in a paper published online last week in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.” – For complete article see http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-06-discovery-difficulty-lyme-disease.html

BLACK BEAR:

black-bear-backcountry-movie_hMassachusetts 06/01/15 bostonherald.com: A western Massachusetts teenager says she feels lucky after suffering just minor injuries in a bear attack. Seventeen-year-old Carly Hall of Belchertown tells The Daily Hampshire Gazette (http://bit.ly/1K44KMz ) she was walking a family friend’s dog with three other teens in Amherst on Saturday night when they encountered a black bear. The teens scattered, but the bear followed Hall, who had the dog on a leash. She let go of the leash when the bear got too close, and the dog ran. She says the bear scraped her back twice before she jumped on the roof of a parked car and the bear went after the fleeing dog. – See http://www.bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2015/06/massachusetts_teen_taken_to_hospital_after_bear_attack

WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV):

imagesCACMXFDXNew Mexico 05/29/15 Valencia County: A 12-year-old girl is the first to be diagnosed with WNV in the state this year. Though she was reported to have the more serious form of the illness, neuroinvasive disease, she is now home recovering. – See article at http://krqe.com/2015/05/29/12-year-old-girl-diagnosed-with-first-human-case-of-west-nile-in-2015/

TULAREMIA (RABBIT FEVER):

tularemia.rr7788rr3New Mexico 05/29/15 Santa Fe County: Two rabbits found in the vicinity of the City of Santa Fe have tested positive for tularemia, a disease most commonly carried by rabbits and rodents in the wild. Pets such as dogs and cats often become infected. – See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/may/29/2-rabbits-from-santa-fe-area-test-positive-for-tul/

RABIES:

rabies18893Georgia 05/29/15 Henry County: A Stockbridge family of eight is undergoing rabies treatments after interacting with an infected cat. Henry County Animal Control supervisor Vince Farah said a rabies alert was issued Tuesday after multiple members of a family reported being bitten or scratched by a cat that later tested positive for the virus, according to multiple news outlets. Walter McElreath says he was scratched by the cat, which his family had interacted with for a few months, while trying to get it into a cage. All eight members of McElreath’s family, including six children, will begin rabies treatments in the next several days. – See http://wabe.org/post/henry-county-family-8-undergoing-rabies-treatments

South Carolina 05/29/15 Abbeville County: Four people have been referred to their health care providers for consultation after being exposed to rabies in (the city of) Abbeville by a sheep that tested positive for the disease, the Department of Health and Environmental Control reported today. The sheep was potentially exposed to an aggressive skunk, which was not available for testing, roughly one month ago. Three of the four victims provided routine husbandry care for the sheep. The fourth victim was potentially exposed on May 25, 2015. The sheep tested positive for rabies on May 27. – For complete article see http://thetandd.com/news/sheep-exposes-four-to-rabies/article_6dfdc8f5-c118-5b93-95fb-0970d8704d8c.html