Tag Archives: Chikungunya

OPOSSUMS eat TICKS and FOXES eat RODENTS so both help control LYME DISEASE ~ 55 cases of CHIKUNGUNYA imported to U.S. so far this year ~ Is CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE a threat to HUMANS? ~ U.S. healthcare worker with EBOLA in Sierra Leone to be treated at NIH Bethesda, MARYLAND ~ RABIES reports from SC & Canada-ON.

Red fox chasing mouse. Courtesy State of Connecticut.

Red fox chasing mouse. Courtesy State of Connecticut.

Global 03/14/15 poughkeepsiejournal.com: by John Ferro – They come out at night. They have scary teeth. They have a weird name with an extra vowel most people don’t pronounce. And they are where Lyme disease goes to die. Say hello to the opossum, the American marsupial with a pointy nose and prehensile tail that dines on ticks like a vacuum dines on dust. (Most people drop the first vowel when speaking of ‘possums, but possums actually belong to a different species native to Australia.) . . . (T)iny adolescent ticks that carry Lyme disease bacteria are most active during the late spring months, typically May and even as early as April during warmer years. But whereas these ticks can be found in large numbers on mice, shrews and chipmunks, they are eaten in large numbers by opossum. Research led by scientists based at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook placed different species into cages, covered them with ticks and waited for the biting arachnids to jump off. The scientists then counted how many survived. Opossums can eat or remove as much as 96 percent of the ticks that land on them.

Virginia opossum

Virginia opossum

Cary scientists are continuing to examine the correlation between the frequency of different types of mammals, and the infection rates of ticks found in the same area. The initial thought? Where foxes thrive, Lyme doesn’t. That’s because foxes are good hunters of the small mammals that serve as the most effective reservoirs of the Lyme pathogen. – For complete article see http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/tech/science/environment/2015/03/14/lyme-disease-opossum-ticks/70221442/ and for relative video about foxes see http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/videos/news/health/lyme-disease/2014/10/27/18000483/

CHIKUNGUNYA:

States reporting imported ChikV.

States reporting imported ChikV.

National 03/12/15 outbreaknestoday.com: by Robert Herriman – In an update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week, there has been a total of 55 chikungunya virus disease cases that have been reported to ArboNET from 14 U.S. states, as of Mar. 10. Of the 55 travel associated cases seen this year, 60 percent of cases are from three statesFlorida, New York and Maryland. No locally-transmitted cases have been reported from U.S. states. Chikungunya became a nationally notifiable disease in the United States in 2015. Last year, there were 2,481 travel associated cases reported from all states except, North Dakota, Wyoming and Alaska. Eleven locally-transmitted cases were reported from Florida. – See http://outbreaknewstoday.com/us-reports-55-imported-chikungunya-in-2015-to-date-89590/

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE:

thumbnailCA84UOUZGlobal 03/11/15 virology.ws: Dr. Vincent Racaniello, Professor of Microbiology & Immunology in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columba University, and author of the Virology Blog, has posted a blog about Chronic Wasting Disease, a prion disease of deer, elk and moose. Hunters and others who have an interest in the topic will want to read it. – See http://www.virology.ws/

EBOLA VIRUS:

ebola-virus32Maryland 03/12/15 medscape.com: by Robert Lowes – An American healthcare worker who has tested positive for the Ebola virus is expected to arrive tomorrow from Sierra Leone at an infectious-disease containment unit of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, the federal agency announced today. The American had been volunteering in an Ebola treatment facility in Sierra Leone, one of three nations bearing the brunt of the disease’s outbreak in West Africa since it began in December 2013. A chartered aircraft will transport the individual while in isolation to the Special Clinical Studies Unit (SCSU) at the NIH Clinical Center. The NIH did not release any further details about the identity of the American. The SCSU is one of a handful of high-level containment units in the country designed to treat patients with a virulent infectious disease such as Ebola and prevent further disease transmission. The healthcare worker, due to arrive tomorrow at the SCSU, will be the second patient with Ebola treated there. – See http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/841408?src=wnl_edit_newsal&uac=218349HV

RABIES:

rabiesAlert521d4-1South Carolina 03/11/15 Abbeville County: A stray cat found in the City of Abbeville that came in contact with at least four people has tested positive for rabies. – For further information see http://www.wyff4.com/news/dhec-cat-exposes-south-carolinians-to-rabies/31743790

Canada:

help7689Ontario 03/12/15 Grey Bruce Health Services: Officials are looking for the owner of a cat that bit a man in Owen Sound on Saturday. Staff at the health unit need to confirm that the cat, found in the 1500 block of 3rd Ave. E. at approximately 12:30 p.m., has had a current rabies vaccination. The grey cat was hiding under a vehicle and when the man reached under the vehicle to remove it, he was bitten. The cat is believed to be an indoor cat. If it is determined the cat has been vaccinated, the man can avoid post-exposure rabies treatment. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the health unit at 519-376-9420. – See http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/2015/03/12/health-unit-seeking-cats-owner

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

TERC_150x75

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

CHIKUNGUNYA:

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

MOUNTAIN LION:

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

RABIES:

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

OTTER attacks young girl swimming in WISCONSIN lake ~ ALASKAN woman survives BROWN BEAR attack ~ COLORADAN may have contracted TULAREMIA while mowing lawn ~ New VACCINE for CHIKUNGUNYA VIRUS shows promise ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) reports from CA, ID, LA & MS ~ Notable RABIES reports from FL, PA & TX.

Otter. Photo by Peter Trimming. Wikimedia Commons.

Otter. Photo by Peter Trimming. Wikimedia Commons.

Wisconsin 08/13/14 twincities.com: by Andy Rathbun – It was a fun time at the lake — until the otter arrived. After spending about an hour swimming with friends in Bone Lake near Luck, Wis., on Saturday, Rory Kliewer began to climb a ladder onto a dock when she suddenly felt something bite her backside and thigh. “I thought it was a northern pike,” the 12-year-old Minneapolis girl said Wednesday. “I thought a fish was after me.” As she threw the creature off of her, she realized that the animal was an otter — later estimated at 3 1/2 feet long and about 40 pounds. “It was a big, nasty one,” said Rory, who had been staying at a friend’s family cabin over the weekend. The otter then bit Rory’s head and pulled itself onto her, scratching her face.

1407973737000-Otter2Rory managed to climb the ladder onto the dock and then throw the otter off her once again, screaming throughout the incident, she said. But the otter didn’t stop there. It jumped onto the dock, and Rory ran onto land with the otter in pursuit, she said. A dog and her friend’s mother tried to scare the animal away, but it rose up on its hind legs and hissed. The otter didn’t retreat until Pat Hinschberger, the cabin’s owner and Rory’s friend’s father, rushed to the scene and yelled at the animal. “As far as I’m concerned, this thing was literally trying to kill this kid,” Hinschberger said. He added that the incident lasted no more than a minute, but it felt like much longer. Rory was taken to a local emergency room, where doctors told her it was their first time treating a victim of an otter attack, she said. Speaking from her home Wednesday, Rory was still recovering from bite wounds, scratches and bruises, and possibly the most significant injury: the trauma of the experience, which she called “really frightening.” – For video, photo and complete article see http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_26331000/wisconsin-otter-attacks-swimming-girl

Bear Attack:

American Brown BearAlaska 08/13/14 adn.com: by Laurel Andrews – Thea Thomas tried to step off the trail as a brown bear sprinted toward her, chasing a friend’s dog that she had brought along for a hike in Cordova on Tuesday afternoon. Yet in an instant, Thomas was flat on the ground, face-to-face with an angry bear that bit her repeatedly during the mauling on Heney Ridge Trail. . . . Thomas, a 57-year-old commercial fisherman, has lived in the Southcentral Alaska community of Cordova for 32 years, she said. “I hike those trails all the time.” Heney Ridge Trail is a 4.1-mile trail that follows Hartney Bay before climbing up through spruce-hemlock forest, salmon-spawning streams and a mile of steep incline up above the treeline, according to the U.S. Forest Service website. . . . She described the brown bear as 6-7 feet tall on its hind legs, with a thick auburn-orange coat. The bear appeared to be in good health. “I kept thinking he was going to stop,” Thomas said. But the attack continued. The bear walked away a couple of times, but would then turn back and bite her again, she said. At one point she tried to get up, but it pulled her back, she said. . . . She was medevaced to an Anchorage hospital on Tuesday. “I’ve got a feeling I’m going to be here a while,” she said. The bear bit her around seven times, she said. The worst bites were to her back and inner thigh. – For complete article see http://www.adn.com/article/20140813/woman-mauled-brown-bear-cordova-hiking-trail-describes-attack

Tularemia:

Media.aspxColorado 08/12/14 9news.com: A Larimer County man hospitalized for tularemia may have been exposed to the disease while mowing a property outside of Windsor. He was treated with two courses of antibiotics that offered no improvement, but he was released after several days and is expected to make a full recovery. – See http://www.9news.com/story/news/health/2014/08/12/tularemia-fort-collins-weld-larimer-county/13964835/

Chikungunya Virus:

Canine-Health-Dog-Vaccinations-Bordetella-Vaccine-for-DogsGlobal 08/15 /14 techtimes.com: by Linda Nguyen – People afraid of contracting chikungunya from mosquitoes have reason to hope. A vaccine for the virus is currently undergoing its first stages of human trials. The vaccine so far has shown promise for protecting people from the chikungunya virus. The report is published online in the Lancet. “The vaccine was safe and well-tolerated, and we believe that this vaccine makes a type of antibody that is effective against chikungunya,” said Dr. Julie Ledgerwood, leader of the study. This would be the first medication to treat or prevent this virus which manifests with fever and severe arthiritis. The Chikungunya virus has spread through Africa and Asia to the Caribbean, and now to the United States. The first domestic cases of the virus were reported in Florida last month when four Americans caught the virus. Ledgerwood said the next step in the clinical trials will be to test the vaccine on more people and more age groups since the current study looked at a relatively small 25-person group. She said the vaccine also has to be tested in areas where the virus is endemic to see whether it truly protects patients. She estimates that the testing will take another five years before it is on the market for the public. She added that it could be given to people living in the areas and to travelers and military personnel if it is proven to be safe and effective. – For complete article see http://www.techtimes.com/articles/13164/20140815/new-vaccine-may-ward-off-chikungunya-virus.htm

West Nile Virus (WNV):

santaclaractyhealthCalifornia 08/15/14 Santa Clara County Public Health: Officials have confirmed that five county residents have been infected with WNV. Two of the cases are the more severe neuro-invasive form of the disease. – See http://www.sccgov.org/sites/sccphd/en-u/Newsandevents/Pages/West-Nile-Virus-First-Human-Cases-2014.aspx

IDHW_col_stack_smallIdaho 08/12/14 ID Dept of Health: Officials have confirmed the first human case of WNV in the state so far this year in a Blaine County woman in her 20s. The woman was not hospitalized and is recovering. – See http://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/AboutUs/Newsroom/tabid/130/ctl/ArticleView/mid/3061/articleId/1777/First-West-Nile-Infection-Reported-in-Blaine-County.aspx

LA-DHHLouisiana 08/15/14 LA Dept of Health & Hospitals: Media Release – Officials have confirmed 13 new human cases of WNV, of which five are neuro-invasive disease infections, bringing this year’s total to 42 reported human cases. This week’s new infections include neuro-invasive disease cases in Caddo (3), East Baton Rouge (1) and Livingston (1) parishes. There were also new cases of West Nile fever reported from Caddo (4), Calcasieu (1) and East Baton Rouge (1) parishes, and asymptomatic cases in Ascension (1) and East Baton Rouge (1) parishes. – See http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/newsroom/detail/3090

MS_71058_121809421211160_5406251_nMississippi 08/12/14 MS State Dept of Health: Officials have confirmed the death of a Yazoo County resident from WNV. So far this year, seven human cases of WNV have been reported in Adams, Hinds, Newton, Rankin(2), Yazoo and Wilkinson counties. – See http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/23,15486,341.html

Rabies:

Florida 08/14/14 Duval County: A stray cat that bit a man and his daughter in Jacksonville’s Southside neighborhood when they coaxed it out from under their car has tested positive for rabies. A Rabies Alert has been issued throughout their section of the Southside and Arlington effective until October. – See http://www.news4jax.com/news/man-daughter-bitten-by-rabid-cat-on-5731289-very-cute-child-with-a-cat-in-armssouthside/27488858

Pennsylvania 08/14/14 Northampton County: A stray cat found in by a woman in her yard in Glendon and delivered to the Center for Animal Health and Wealth in Williams Township has tested positive for rabies. Eleven people so far have been advised to receive post-exposure treatment for the virus including eight at the shelter, two at the Easton Animal Hospital, and the Glendon woman. – See http://www.wfmz.com/news/news-regional-lehighvalley/eight-getting-rabies-vaccine-after-contact-with-cat/27483698

austin-congress-bridge-bats_7335_large_slideshowTexas 08/14/14 Williamson County: Health officials are asking the public to help them identify a woman who may have been exposed to rabies in Round Rock when she was bitten by a bat while leaving the Wal-Mart on East Palm Valley Boulevard at about 9:15 pm, Wednesday, August 6th. She is described as white, possibly in her 20s and wearing shorts, flip-flops and a blue shirt. – See http://www.wcchd.org/news/press_releases/docs/2014_Wilco_Rabies_Incident_Release_080820114.pdf

NEW YORK woman attacked and bitten by COYOTE while walking DOG ~ CHIKUNGUNYA cases in CARIBBEAN now approaching 16,000 ~ TENNESSEE firm develops oral bait LYME DISEASE vaccine for RODENTS ~ CALIFORNIA officials confirm two cases of TYPHUS in L.A. County ~ RABIES reports from CAx2, GA, MA, NJ, NY, NC, SC, TXx3 & VA.

Coyote. Courtesy U.S. National Park Service.

Coyote. Courtesy U.S. National Park Service.

New York 03/25/14 lohud.com: by Steve Lieberman – A woman who was attacked and bitten by a coyote while walking her dog in Orangeburg early Tuesday said she “took one for the team” after police shot and killed the possibly rabid animal. Mary Lou Gardner was walking Jasmine, her 18-pound shih tzu, near Greywood Drive about 6:30 a.m. when the coyote began to stalk them. “I saw it walking between two houses and coming at us,” the 52-year-old said. “I didn’t want to let my dog off the leash.” Gardner held her dog tight and threw her coat on the coyote as it approached. “It went after Jasmine (and) I started kicking the coyote, so (it) turned on me and started biting my leg,” she said.
Neighbors heard the attack and rushed outside, yelling and banging on things to distract the animal, which finally retreated into a back yard as Gardner ran to a house with her dog. Orangeburg police arrived a short time later and shot the coyote, which was taken to the Rockland County Medical Examiner’s Office; it will be tested for rabies at a state police laboratory. Gardner, who was given a tetanus shot at the Nyack Hospital emergency room, suffered bites to her left leg and forearm, and was waiting to find out whether she’ll need rabies shots. Her dog was given a rabies shot as a precaution. Noting that the rabies treatment isn’t as severe as it was years ago, she was philosophical about her wildlife encounter. “I’m glad it was me and not someone else,” said the mother of two grown daughters and a son. “I have a lot of elderly neighbors and there are children here. I took one for the team.” – For complete article see http://www.lohud.com/story/news/local/rockland/2014/03/25/orangetown-woman-bitten-coyote-walking-dog/6871461/
Chikungunya:
5667h6h6Caribbean 03/24/14 umn.edu: The Caribbean now has 15,913 confirmed, probable, or suspected cases of chikungunya, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in an update today, up from 10,476 at the end of February. The outbreak is the first known in the Americas; it began on St. Martin in December 2013. Martinique continues to have the most cases, with 7,630 suspected and 1,141 confirmed or probable cases, the ECDC said. The French side of St. Martin is next, with 2,640 suspected and 782 confirmed or probable cases, but the pace of new cases appears to be slowing there. Guadeloupe has 1,960 suspected and 586 confirmed or probable cases. The next hardest-hit areas are: St. Barthelemy, 420 suspected and 134 confirmed or probable cases; the Dutch side of St. Martin, 115 confirmed cases; Dominica, 392 suspected and 56 confirmed cases; French Guiana, 22 confirmed locally acquired and 10 imported cases; Anguilla, 14 confirmed cases; and Aruba and St. Kitts/Nevis each with 1 confirmed case. The ECDC also reported 3 chikingunya-related deaths on the French side of St. Martin and 2 on Martinique. – See http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2014/03/news-scan-mar-24-2014
Lyme Disease:

 

White-footed mouse.

White-footed mouse.

Tennessee 03/20/14 bizjournals.com: by Michael Sheffield – Memphis-based U.S. Biologic is looking to rabies prevention as inspiration for the launch of its first product. The company, which has developed an oral bait Lyme disease vaccine that is distributed to white-footed mice in fields around the northeast, is taking a similar approach as rabies prevention with the delivery method for its product. According to Mason Kauffman, the company’s president and CEO, a similar method of leaving bait with the vaccine inside in wooded areas for wolves and raccoons was first used 15 years ago to help prevent rabies. The approach was so successful there was one reported case of rabies in 2013, he said. “We want to change it from a danger zone to a treatment zone,” Kauffman said. “If we can be half as successful (as rabies prevention has been) with Lyme disease, we’ve had a huge impact.” . . . . .
UnivMemphisUSB-Logo-for-Color-254-X-55-5.14.2012-300x59U.S. Biologic has worked with the University of Memphis to develop intimate mapping of wooded areas, soil types, parks and every demographic of every property in the U.S. “down to the square meter”, Kauffman said, in order to track where mouse and tick populations interact with humans. – See http://www.bizjournals.com/memphis/news/2014/03/20/u-s-biologic-moving-forward-with-lyme-disease.html

Typhus:
California 03/20/14 go.com: A case of flea-borne typhus was confirmed in Burbank by Los Angeles County Vector Control. The case is the first in Burbank

Flea.

Flea.

this year. – See http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/los_angeles&id=9474295
California 02/27/14 go.com: A case of flea-borne typhus was reported in a neighborhood around Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach, police announced today. The L.A. County Department of Public Health contacted Manhattan Beach police about the case. – See http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/los_angeles&id=9448070

Rabies:

surfeit of skunksCalifornia 03/20/14 El Dorado County: A Rabies Alert has been issued after officials announced that more skunks have tested positive for the virus in the county than is usual for this time of year. So far, seven rabid skunks have been identified in 2014: two in Pollock Pines, one in Shingle Springs, three in Garden Valley, and one in the Pleasant Valley area. – See http://www.sacbee.com/2014/03/20/6255061/el-dorado-county-official-say.html
Help_button_2California 03/18/14 El Dorado County: Officials are looking for a dog that bit a South Lake Tahoe man on March 16th in the vicinity of Tahoe Keys Blvd. and Washington Ave. The dog, which was roaming in the neighborhood, is described as a medium-size, husky-type breed with fluffy gray and white fur, and wearing a blue collar and tags. Animals Services officials would like to speak with the dog’s owner to verify that the dog is current on its rabies vaccinations so that the man does not have to have post-exposure rabies treatments. Anyone with information is asked to call Animal Services at (530) 573-7925. – See http://www.sacbee.com/2014/03/18/6248413/dog-sought-after-biting-incident.html
Georgia 03/17/14 Habersham County: A raccoon that was in contact with a vaccinated dog on March 11th in the 3900 block of Georgia Highway 197, south of Ivy Mountain Road, between Clarkesville and Batesville, has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=272536
thumbnailCAT9WVWG - CopyMassachusetts 03/18/14 Worcester County: A raccoon that attacked a Holden man in his yard on Towle Drive last week has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.thelandmark.com/news/2014-03-20/Holden_News/Raccoon_that_bit_man_tests_positive_for_rabies.html
New Jersey 03/19/14 Atlantic County: A raccoon found on March 14th aggressively scratching at the back door of a home on Malaron Circle in Egg Harbor Township has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.nbc40.net/story/25020581/second-case-of-rabies-confirmed-in-eht-raccoon

Cow dying of rabies.

Cow dying of rabies.

New York 03/20/14 Madison County: An unvaccinated cow kept in Lebanon is the first confirmed animal to be infected with the rabies virus in the county this year. – See http://www.oneidadispatch.com/general-news/20140320/first-2014-rabies-case-in-madison-county
520bc0501588c.preview-300North Carolina 03/17/14 Cleveland County: A shepherd/husky-mix dog that was abandoned by a driver on the side of Elam Road on March 5th, became ill on March 9th, and died March 14th, has tested positive for rabies. Officials said a second dog that was released with the rabid dog, was exposed to the virus but remains at large. – See http://www.shelbystar.com/news/local/officials-dog-county-s-first-rabies-case-this-year-1.292406
imagesCAQVTCKPSouth Carolina 03/19/14 Greenwood County: A raccoon that came in contact with a person in Troy has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.foxcarolina.com/story/25015249/person-exposed-to-rabies-by-raccoon-in-greenwood-co
Lorena rabid dogTexas 03/19/14 McLennan County: A stray dog found in the 200 block of Front Street in Lorena, a neighborhood filled with kids and pets, has tested positive for rabies. The dog, a two-year-old, female, Labrador-Pyrenees mix, has been roaming the city’s streets for almost a week. – For article and video see http://www.kcentv.com/story/25015901/lorena-dog-tested-positive-for-rabies
Texas 03/19/14 Collin and Denton counties: A skunk found injured on March 14th near the intersection of Eldorado Parkway and Preston Road in Frisco has tested positive for rabies. This is the second rabid skunk found in the city in less than one week. – See http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/frisco/headlines/20140319-frisco-reports-second-skunk89940t9skunk-tested-positive-for-rabies.ece
Texas 03/17/14 Denton County: A skunk found within the Lewisville city limits this month has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.dallasnews.com/news/community-news/lewisville-flower-mound/headlines/20140317-rabid-skunk-in-lewisville-city-limits-prompts-rabies-warning.ece
nm_Coyote_090722_mainVirginia 03/19/14 Williamsburg: A coyote seen March 13th near the Cedar Grove Cemetery and later on South England Street was found dead on College of William and Mary property and has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.vagazette.com/news/va-vg-coyote-tests-rabies-positive-20140319,0,7994376.story

New study suggests LYME DISEASE may be sexually transmitted ~ RABIES reports from AZ, GA, MD, NY NCx2, OK, TXx4, VA, & WY ~ TRAVEL WARNING: CHIKUNGUNYA reaching epidemic proportions in eastern CARIBBEAN.

imagesCA7XMARS

North America 01/20/14 afmr.org: A new study suggests that Lyme disease may be sexually transmitted. The study was presented at the annual Western Regional Meeting of the American Federation for Medical Research, and an abstract of the research was published in the January issue of the Journal of Investigative Medicine. “Our findings will change the way Lyme disease is viewed by doctors and patients,” said Marianne Middelveen, lead author of the study presented in Carmel. “It explains why the disease is more common than one would think if only ticks were involved in transmission.”

AFMR-Logo-TopIn the study, researchers tested semen samples and vaginal secretions from three groups of patients: control subjects without evidence of Lyme disease, random subjects who tested positive for Lyme disease, and married heterosexual couples engaging in unprotected sex who tested positive for the disease. As expected, all of the control subjects tested negative for Borrelia burgdorferi in semen samples or vaginal secretions. In contrast, all women with Lyme disease tested positive for Borrelia burgdorferi in vaginal secretions, while about half of the men with Lyme disease tested positive for the Lyme spirochete in semen samples. Furthermore, one of the heterosexual couples with Lyme disease showed identical strains of the Lyme spirochete in their genital secretions. “The presence of the Lyme spirochete in genital secretions and identical strains in married couples strongly suggests that sexual transmission of the disease occurs,” said Dr. Mayne. “We don’t yet understand why women with Lyme disease have consistently positive vaginal secretions, whilst semen samples are more variable. Obviously there is more work to be done here.” – See press release at http://www.onlineprnews.com/news/454866-1390261507-lyme-disease-may-be-sexually-transmitted-study-suggests.html

Rabies:

3821fefe9b4884850185047e22654718Arizona 01/23/14 Pima County: A skunk found in the middle of a busy trail at Catalina State Park on January 21st has tested positive for rabies. A ranger found the animal surrounded by 30 or more people, some with pets, and it’s unknown if there was any contact, which could require post-exposure treatment. – See http://tucsoncitizen.com/pima-county-news/2014/01/23/skunk-with-rabies-found-among-hikers-at-catalina-state-park/

ebf690e90681d99a574659bc81d78f29Georgia 01/16/14 Harris County: Officials have issued a Rabies Alert after a fox attacked two pets in Catuala on Preston Road Jan 14th. The fox has since tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.wtvm.com/story/24471421/breaking

Maryland 01/23/14 Carroll County: A stray cat found in the York Road area of Manchester has tested positive for rabies. The cat was a domestic short hair with a gray and white coat. Anyone who might have been exposed should seed immediate medical advice. – See http://westminster.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/manchester-area-stray-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies

Horse%20TeethNew York 01/26/14 Herkimer County: A horse stabled in the town of Newport has tested positive for rabies. See http://www.littlefallstimes.com/article/20140126/NEWS/140129449

North Carolina 01/21/14 Wake County: A Rabies Alert was issued today for Wendell after a raccoon that came in contact with a dog tested positive for the virus. The incident occurred in the vicinity of Wood Green Drive and Deer Lake Trail. – See http://www.easternwakenews.com/2014/01/21/3552717/wake-county-issues-rabies-notice.html

Raccoon-SiedePreis-smNorth Carolina 01/18/14 Wake County: A raccoon that was in contact with a family and its pets in the vicinity of Winding Way and Friendship Road in Apex on January 17th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/01/18/3544888/rabid-raccoon-found-in-apex.html

Oklahoma 01/19/14 Pottawatomie County:  An unvaccinated dog that fought with a skunk in the backyard of its owner’s home in south Shawnee has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.news-star.com/article/20140117/NEWS/140119668/-1/sports

Texas 01/20/14 Hill County: A cat that bit a woman on the toe January 14th has tested positive for rabies. The incident occurred at the woman’s residence on First Street in Mount Calm. The woman and her daughter, 9, are being treated for potential exposure to the virus, and seven other cats at the residence were impounded and will be euthanized. – See http://hillsbororeporter.com/rabies-case-reported-in-mount-calm-p17289-54.htm

090828-free-tailed-bats-love-songs_bigTexas 01/20/14 Lackland Air Force Base: The U.S. Air Force is vaccinating more than 200 recruits against rabies after bats were found in their dorms on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. The Air Force stressed that it did not consider the situation an emergency, but was “exercising an abundance of caution”.  Bats were seen in only four of the 20 dorms in the complex and one that was captured is being tested for the virus. – See http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/military/article/Lackland-recruits-get-rabies-shots-after-bats-5157522.php

imagesj88d7dTexas 01/20/14 West Texas: The Texas Department of State Health Services is preparing to launch its 20th annual airdrop of rabies vaccine in portions of the state. The effort has successfully eliminated the canine strain of rabies and virtually eliminated the fox strain of rabies in Texas by vaccinating coyotes and gray foxes in a wide swath of southern and western Texas over the last 20 years. Now, the Oral Rabies Vaccination Program is testing an expanded effort to vaccinate skunks. The 2014 ORVP will begin with planes taking off from an airport in Del Rio on January 15 and from Zapata and Alpine on or about January 21. Those aircraft will drop vaccine baits over rural areas along the Rio Grande to maintain protection against rabies as animals migrate in and out of the state. “Skunks and bats are now the animals in Texas most likely to have and spread rabies,” said Dr. Laura Robinson, ORVP director. “Early tests involving skunks have been promising, and we’re hopeful that expanding our study area will help show us the best way to eliminate skunk rabies in Texas.” A small bait drop will occur on or about January 25 in an area centered on the Concho/McCulloch county line where a single cow tested positive for the Texas fox strain of rabies in 2013. Finally, starting on or about January 26 DSHS will begin the expanded effort to vaccinate skunks. Baits will be dropped over rural areas and wildlife habitats in the expanded skunk study zone, covering an area from Madison and Walker counties running southwest to Bastrop County then southeast to Waller County. – See http://bigbendnow.com/2014/01/aerial-vaccine-drops-to-combat-rabies-begins-next-week-in-far-west-texas/

Texas 01/15/14 Collin County: A skunk that came in contact with a pet in the vicinity of West Parker and Midway roads in Plano has tested positive for a - Copyrabies. – See http://planoblog.dallasnews.com/2014/01/skunk-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-west-plano.html/

Virginia 01/22/14 Henrico County: A skunk found dead near a dog pen in a homeowner’s backyard last week has tested positive for rabies. Police say two dogs were exposed and will be quarantined. – See http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/skunk-in-henrico-tests-positive-for-rabies/2014/01/22/4fea0e62-833d-11e3-a273-6ffd9cf9f4ba_story.html

Wyoming 01/21/14 Goshen County: A Rabies Alert has been issued county-wide after three skunks and a house cat tested positive for the virus. The cat bit its owner, who has been treated for potential exposure to rabies. – See http://www.kgoskerm.com/news/regional-news/stories/871-rabies-virus-in-goshen-county

Travel Warning:

chikungunyaCaribbean Basin 01/23/14 fodors.com: by Catie L’Heureux – Several Caribbean islands are facing a mosquito-borne virus outbreak, with more than 480 cases reported in the region as of January 20th. Fortunately, there’s no need to cancel your winter getaway yet—but be sure to keep track of the latest news on the virus and take any necessary precautions before traveling there.  Caribbean’s Mosquito-Borne Virus Prompts Travel Precautions First, the facts: The chikungunya virus is spread by bites from an infected female Aedes aegypti mosquito, and this is the first time the virus has appeared in the Caribbean. Since the disease was first recorded in 1952, it has affected millions of people in Africa and Asia. In December 2013, there were only 10 confirmed cases in St. Martin. Now, according to a January 20th report from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), “confirmed/probable” chikungunya virus cases are present in the following islands: St. Martin with the highest number of 294 cases and the death of an elderly man who contracted the virus but was already severely ill; Martinique, 127; St. Barthelemy , 31; Guadeloupe , 27; Saint Maarten, three; British Virgin Islands, three; Dominica, one; and French Guiana, one.

joint_painThe most common symptoms, which can take up to seven days to appear, include high fever and joint pain in the wrists and ankles. Although symptoms often last three to 10 days, joint pain can last longer and be more debilitating, but severe hospitalization cases are rare. Because there is no vaccine to prevent or cure the virus, treatment focuses on allieviating the symptoms. “The fact that it is a new virus to the region, that is why this is such a concern,” a medical entomologist who works for CARPHA said. She noted that there are high populations of the Aedes aegypti mosquito in all of the Caribbean islands. People also frequently travel between the islands, which helps spread the virus. CARPHA, the World Health Organization, and other key organizations are working to reduce the outbreak by eliminating the mosquitoes’ potential breeding sites. The good news? “There is no need to cancel plans,” the CARPHA medical entomologist said. “We’re not at that point. None of our borders have been closed.”

CANADA: BRITISH COLUMBIAN woman and dog attacked by COYOTES while walking popular trail ~ CHIKUNGUNYA virus spreads in the AMERICAS ~ TRAVEL WARNING: 39 die of PLAGUE in MADAGASCAR ~ RABIES reports from FL, MA, NM, NC & VA.

 

Coyote. Bing free use license.

Coyote. Bing free use license.

Canada:

British Columbia 12/13/13 Okanagan: by Deborah Pfeiffer – A Summerland woman was recovering Thursday, after being attacked by what are believed to be three coyotes, while walking on a popular trail Wednesday morning. Sarah James was walking a friend’s dog Rosie on the Summerland Centennial Trail when the three animals, a large one and two smaller ones, surrounded her. Believing the small labradoodle to be in great danger, she immediately covered her with her body. “My primary focus was Rosie, absolutely, unconditionally,” she said. “I went into survival mode for her.” James coyotePacksaid she first noticed the three animals when she was walking a larger dog, a labrador retreiver cross, earlier in the morning at the bird sanctuary off of Peach Orchard Road. As they started to approach she yelled and they took off. At around 10:30 a.m., she started a second walk with Rosie on the trail that runs parallel to Peach Orchard. She was letting the dog run free and calling her back for treats, when the coyotes came out and surrounded her. Two came from the side and one from behind. She undid her ski jacket and  dove on top of the dog, covered her with her right hand and with her left hand swatted them away. “Rosie was crying up a storm and the whole thing lasted about two to three minutes, although it felt like it lasted way longer,” she said. “Then it went quiet, and they went away to the north side of the creek.” James waited about 30 seconds, comforting the small shaking dog, before picking her up and running down the trail . . .

OkanaganSgt. Stephane Lacroix with the Summerland RCMP said a police report was filed on the incident. In the report it states, James sustained major scrapes and her coat was torn to shreds, but she did not require any treatment or ambulance at the scene. He said additional patrols were made during the day and they then contacted a conservation officer. “We were advised by the conservation officer there is an increased problem with coyotes in the Summerland area and the officer has a plan in place to deal with coyote issues,” he said. The conservation officer was not available to comment on Thursday, but James said a culling of the animals was planned because there are several dens in the area, and the animals don’t have any natural predators. The fact the animals are exhibiting pack behaviour is the danger, she added. – For complete article and photos see http://www.castanet.net/news/Penticton/104627/Summerland-woman-attacked-by-coyotes

Author’s Note: A BC conservation officer killed a large coyote this week he believes was one of three referred to in previous report. – See http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/coyote-shot-dead-after-3-attack-b-c-woman-1.2463889

Chikungunya:

chikungunya091St. Martin 12/13/13 newscientist.com: by Debora MacKenzie – A dozen people on the tiny Caribbean island of St Martin have been infected with the chikungunya virus. It is the first time the mosquito-borne virus is known to have spread in the Americas. Eight years ago it spread beyond Africa, where it originated, to Eurasia. Now it has crossed the planet – and could already be more widespread than health agencies realise. Chikungunya is rarely lethal, but it is painful and can cause chronic, debilitating joint pain. On reaching Asia, it spread rapidly and made millions ill, as people had no immunity. A few experimental treatments and vaccines exist, but none has yet left the lab. Two years ago, when the Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO), a public health agency that works in all countries in the Americas, drew up a plan for Chikungunya’s arrival, it warned that the Americas could face the same situation as Asia. “The resulting large outbreaks would likely tax existing health-care systems and the public health infrastructure,” it said, “and could potentially cripple some of society’s functioning.”

stmartincaribOn 10 December, the World Health Organization announced two confirmed cases of chikungunya in the French half of St Martin, with 10 more suspected. The people affected complained of joint pain and were initially thought to have dengue, which had been circulating on the island since January. But blood samples sent for testing in France confirmed the presence of chikungunya. The virus would have been brought to the island by a human carrier. There could yet be more cases elsewhere that have not been tested. “It cannot be excluded that a similar epidemiological situation might be ongoing in the Dutch part of the island,” says a risk assessment report by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), based in Stockholm, Sweden. “The extent of the outbreak is difficult to assess and might have remained undetected… on other islands.” French St Martin may simply have spotted chikungunya first because it is a familiar adversary. The virus’s first appearance outside Africa, in 2005, was in another French territory, the Indian Ocean island of Réunion. In the Americas, only Brazil, Canada, the US and the French territories of French Guiana, Guadeloupe and Martinique have the capability to test for the virus, says Donna Eberwine-Villagrán of PAHO. “We do not know if there are cases in other countries.” – For complete article see http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24757-threatwatch-chikungunya-virus-spreads-in-the-americas.html#.Uq0mRxBKOUm

Travel Warning:

madagascar.flag_256Madagascar 12/12/13 thenational.ae: At least 39 people have been killed by an outbreak of bubonic plague in Madagascar in recent weeks, the country’s health ministry confirmed yesterday. “There is an epidemic in Madagascar which is madagascar.mapcurrently affecting five districts out of 112. Eighty-six people have been infected by the plague, of which 39 have died,” the ministry said. Police in the northwestern district of Mandritsara had said on Wednesday the deceased could not be treated in time. But the death toll they gave, which was 20, was revised upwards yesterday. – See http://www.thenational.ae/39-dead-in-bubonic-plague-outbreak

Rabies:

urban-raccoons-by-liz-west-ccFlorida 12/12/13 Lee County: Officials have issued a Rabies Alert after receiving five reports of raccoon bites in less than three weeks. Only one of the raccoons was captured and it tested positive for the virus. It was found in the vicinity of Estero.Two people were bitten by raccoons in Fort Myers last week, and two others in Cape Coral this week, also by raccoons, but none of the animals were captured. Raccoons have also been reported acting strangely on Pine Island, though no bites have been reported. – See  http://www.fox4now.com/features/4inyourcorner/Rabies-warning-in-Lee-County-235605491.html

red-fox1Massachusetts 12/13/13 Franklin County: Officials have issued a Rabies Alert for the Millers Falls section of Montague after a fox tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.recorder.com/home/9752554-95/montague-warns-of-rabies-in-area

120912_540169-tdy-120907-bayley-01.blocks_desktop_mediumNew Mexico 12/12/13 Eddy County: A skunk that fought with an unvaccinated pet dog on skunkDecember 9th on Russell Street in Carlsbad has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.krqe.com/news/local/rabies-case-results-in-euthanization?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+krqe-topstories+%28KRQE+News+13+-+Top+Stories%29

CAS_Kitten_Child_02North Carolina 12/12/13 Davidson County: Three people in the Denton community are being treated for potential exposure to rabies after being bitten by a kitten earlier this month. The kitten died and has tested positive for the virus. Officials issued a warning not to handle  a pet with bare hands after it has had contact with a wild animal.- See http://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20131212/News/312129984/-1/NEWS?Title=Rabid-kitten-bites-three-people-in-Denton-before-dying

image001skunkandcanineVirginia 12/14/13 Washington County: A skunk that fought with a vaccinated dog in the vicinity of Elliot Street in Abingdon on November 24th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.swvatoday.com/news/washington_county/article_06a2f95e-6357-11e3-8a76-0019bb30f31a.html

Purdue University researchers seek new vaccines and drugs to fight West Nile, EEE, Chikungunya, and other common viruses

National  11/18/09  physorg.com:  Purdue University is leading a team of researchers in a federally funded effort aimed ultimately at developing better vaccines and antiviral drugs against two types of disease-causing viruses. One group, called flaviviruses, includes West Nile and dengue. The other group, called alphaviruses, includes eastern equine encephalitis and chikungunya. (For more information on chikungunya, see the Natural Unseen Hazards Blog post for September 23, 2009.)

The work is led by Richard Kuhn, top left, a professor and head of the Department of Biological Sciences, Michael Rossmann, right standing, the Hanley Distinguished Professor of Biological Sciences, and Wen Jiang, an assistant professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. (Purdue University photo/Andrew Hancock)

Richard Kuhn, a professor and head of the Department of Biological Sciences at Purdue, said “Viruses within these two groups pose significant risks to large segments of the population, and methods for controlling infection and disease are few. These are really important human diseases.”

Dengue infects more than 50 million people annually, killing about 24,000 each year, primarily in tropical regions,” Kuhn said. Both types of viruses are transmitted by mosquitoes and sometimes ticks.

“Although these viruses are now mostly restricted to the tropics, as population density increases in cities and there is a greater global movement of people, there is the fear that these viruses are going to gain a greater geographical range,” Kuhn said. “There also is the possibility of terrorists using weapons made from these viruses, so a better understanding of their life cycles could lead to ways to defend against attacks.”

The work is funded with a two-year $4 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant through the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.