Tag Archives: Chronic Wasting Disease

CONNECTICUT warns TICK disease called BABESIOSIS is spreading ~ CALIFORNIA confirms first WEST NILE VIRUS death this year ~ Second COLORADAN dies of PLAGUE ~ CALIFORNIA child recovering from PLAGUE ~ COLORADO pet CAT dies of PLAGUE ~ New data shows LYME DISEASE becoming more common in MINNESOTA ~ ALASKAN mauled by GRIZZLY while jogging ~ BEAR attacks man walking on Lewis-McChord military base in WASHINGTON ~ MICHIGAN confirms third DEER found with CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ EBOLA VACCINE tests 100% effective in phase III trial ~ RABIES reports from CT, NJ & PA.

Courtesy US National Park Service.

Courtesy US National Park Service.

Connecticut 08/07/15 wtnh.com: by Kent Pierce – As you make plans to enjoy the great outdoors this weekend, keep this in mind: More and more ticks in Connecticut are testing positive for a disease called babesiosis. It spreads like Lyme disease, but acts more like malaria, and scientists say this past winter’s weather has brought out a bumper crop of ticks this summer. If deer are around, deer ticks are probably around, too. For years in Connecticut, we’ve known the danger of getting Lyme disease from deer ticks. Now there is a rising new threat. “Babesiosis was first documented in Connecticut in 1988,” according to State Entomologist Dr. Kirby Stafford III. “It has been slowly spreading across the state ever since.” Now that slow spread is picking up.

tick.44958749The Agricultural Experiment Station just started testing ticks for babesiosis, and it is finding about one in seven ticks has it. Babesiosis attacks our red blood cells. The elderly are especially susceptible. “You’re talking about high fever, you’re talking chills, headache and shakes,” explained Dr. Stafford. “You know, it’s kind of like having malaria.” If untreated, babesiosis can even be fatal. Connecticut had about 400 confirmed human cases in the past two years, but many more probably had it and didn’t know it. You can also get it from blood transfusions, because no one tests donated blood for babesiosis yet. If you get bit by a tick, it’s like Lyme disease in that it takes a day for tick to infect you. So the key is to find the tick as soon as possible. Or don’t get bitten at all. “Wear long pants, tuck them into pants,” advises Dr. Stafford. “I know it sounds geeky, but it works. Use a repellant, something Deet based or a clothing repellant.” Just as important as prevention is checking for ticks. If you’ve been hiking, camping, even gardening, check yourself, your kids, and your pets for ticks and remove them with tweezers right away. – See  http://wtnh.com/2015/08/07/new-tick-disease-found-in-connecticut/

WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV):

07cd7361057a7994e7e590e1fb0d3868ed6ff5ad-1California 07/31/15 turlockcitynews.com: A senior citizen from Nevada County has been confirmed as the first human death caused by WNV so far this year. – See https://turlockcitynews.com/news/item/5284-first-human-west-nile-virus-death-reported-in-california

PLAGUE:

Colorado 08/05/15 outbreaknewstoday.com: by Robert Herriman – For the third time in two months, Colorado has reported a human plague case in a resident. Health officials with  The Pueblo City-County Health Department  confirmed an adult died from plague. This is the first Pueblo County resident to contract plague since 2004. This is the second fatality due to plague this year in Colorado. On June 8, 16-year-old Poudre High School student in Larimer County, Taylor Gaes, died from septicemic plague. . . While the investigation is still ongoing, the individual may have contracted the disease from fleas on a dead rodent or other animal. – See http://outbreaknewstoday.com/plague-strikes-colorado-for-the-3rd-time-this-year-50236/

Plague ecology, epizootic cycles, enzootic cycles

Plague ecology, epizootic cycles, enzootic cycles

California 08/06/15 ocregister.com: by Jenna Chandler – A child from Los Angeles County has contracted human plague after visiting wilderness areas in Northern California last month, including Yosemite. The child, whose age was not disclosed, is recovering after being treated in a hospital. He or she became ill after visiting Stanislaus National Forest and camping at Crane Flat Campground in Yosemite National Park in mid-July, state public health officials said Thursday. Plague – which leads to a high fever, chills, nausea, weakness and swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit or groin – is caused by a bacteria and is infectious. But it does not usually spread person to person, and human cases of plague are rare, said Dr. Karen Smith, director of the California Department of Public Health. – See http://www.ocregister.com/articles/plague-676248-health-child.html

Colorado 08/06/15 San Miguel County: – by Mary Slosson – A domestic cat tested positive for the plague and died while in isolation at the San Miguel County Veterinary Clinic in Norwood last month, the San Miguel County Department of Health and Environment announced Wednesday. Nobody in the cat owner’s family has become ill following the death. The owners brought their cat to the vet after it started showing signs of illness. The cat was isolated and lab samples were sent to state health officials, who confirmed a diagnosis of the plague. The plague is spread by infected fleas, which can be carried and transmitted through animals like squirrels, chipmunks, prairie dogs and mice. Domestic animals can become infected if bitten by an infected flea or if they eat an infected rodent. – See http://www.telluridenews.com/news/article_4673f7d4-3c8d-11e5-9a87-1b3495c373a4.html

LYME DISEASE:

green-tick-logoMinnesota 08/06/15 kimt.com: by Katie Huinker – New data is available indicating Lyme disease is becoming more common in Minnesota. It is one of 14 states that has the majority of cases in the country. The number of Lyme disease cases varies from year to year, but overall the trend shows an increase since 2000. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Health, the highest number of cases was in 2013, with more than 1,400 cases reported. Each year numbers can be very different, it depends on public awareness, infection rates in ticks and tick distribution. – See http://kimt.com/2015/08/06/new-lyme-disease-data/

BEAR:

Alaska 08/06/15 nbcnews.com: by Kathryn Robinson – An Alaskan woman is recovering after being mauled by a grizzly bear while jogging with a co-worker late Tuesday night, authorities said. Gabbriele Markel, 20, and Kaitlin Haley, 26, were running on a trail along Skilak Lake, 50 miles south of Anchorage, when an adult grizzly bear came out of the thick brush next to the trail and attacked Markel, knocking her to the ground, police said. Police told NBC News the two women work at Alaska Wildland Adventures lodge and were about three-quarters of a mile from the lodge. Police spokeswoman Megan Peters said Haley ran back to the lodge for help while the bear was still on top of Markel.

grizzleysjfksaHaley and several other employees ran back from the lodge, armed with bear spray, and saw Markel walking towards them. The employees transported Markel across the lake via boat and met with emergency officials, Peters said. “She didn’t appear to have life-threatening injuries at the time but they can turn life threatening,” Peters said. “It’s always important to get them to the hospital as soon as possible.” Markel was airlifted to Providence Hospital and staff told NBC News she was upgraded to good condition Wednesday afternoon. – For complete article see http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/alaskan-woman-mauled-bear-while-running-co-worker-n404821

Washington 08/01/15 washingtontimes.com: A man walking in a restricted area on Lewis-McChord military base near Tacoma on Saturday was attacked by a bear but sustained only some scratches. Officials now want to know why the man was in that area. – See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/aug/1/man-attacked-by-bear-at-joint-base-lewis-mcchord/

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE (CWD):

20110816__Identity_HuntHarvestHelpMichigan 08/06/15 hollandsentinel.com: The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced that a third free-ranging deer in Meridian Township in Ingham County tested positive for chronic wasting disease. The deer was a 5-year-old doe. All three CWD-positive deer detected thus far have been discovered within a mile of one another. Genetic analyses carried out by Michigan State University’s Molecular Ecology Laboratory indicate that all three positive animals were related as part of an extended family. Previous research has shown that CWD is often transmitted within family groups because of their close contact. Hunters are critical to helping the DNR understand the prevalence and geographic distribution of the disease. ”We need individuals who have always hunted in Ingham County and surrounding counties to keep hunting,” said Steve Schmitt, DNR wildlife veterinarian in a press release. “The DNR can’t fight this disease without their support. Hunters need to have their deer checked and tested so we can determine if this disease is established over a broad area or just persisting in a local pocket.” – For complete article see http://www.hollandsentinel.com/article/20150806/NEWS/150809512

EBOLA VACCINE:

ebola_Merck_SL.CDCGlobal 08/06/15 fiercevaccines.com: by Amirah Al Idrus – Merck’s Ebola vaccine, developed in tandem with NewLink Genetics and tested in a novel “ring study,” has protected 100% of patients from Ebola infection, according to interim results published in The Lancet on Friday. In the aptly named “Ebola ça suffit,” or “Ebola, that’s enough,” trial, all vaccinated individuals were protected against Ebola infection within 6 to 10 days of vaccination. The trial, conducted by a team that includes researchers from the WHO, the Health Ministry of Guinea, and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health among others, is ongoing, with more than 4,000 patients having already received the jab. – See http://www.fiercevaccines.com/

RABIES:

This is not the kitten in either of these reports.

This is not the kitten in either of these reports.

Connecticut 08/03/15 New Haven County: A stray kitten found in the vicinity of North High and Mill streets in East Haven has tested positive for rabies. The kitten was found on July 9. Anyone in this area who may have seen or taken in any stray kittens or cats is asked to contact the department at 203-481-4233 or animal control at 203-468-3249 immediately. – See http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20150803/stray-kitten-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-east-haven

New Jersey 08/06/15 Hunterdon County: by PC Robinson – County health officials urge (Union Township) residents in the Baptist Church Road area to seek medical advice if they came in contact with a stray male calico kitten that tested positive for rabies on Aug. 4. Rabies is an often fatal disease spread through contact with an infected animal’s saliva. For more information, call 908-788-1351.

Forest_Animals_Wallpaper_-_BeaverPennsylvania 08/06/15 Lycoming County: by Marcus Schneck – A beaver  found along Pine Creek, near Ramsay, has tested positive for rabies, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The department also called for anyone who may have been bitten or exposed to saliva, fluids or tissue from a beaver to call the Lycoming County State Health Center at 570-327-3400 from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays, or 1-877-724-3258 at any time.

FLORIDA confirms 9 human cases of LEPROSY so far this year ~ New study suggests CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE may be transmissible to HUMANS ~ WYOMING confirms three cases of TULAREMIA ~ Officials confirm first CALIFORNIA death due to WEST NILE VIRUS in 2015 ~ RABIES report from VIRGINIA

Armadillo. Photo by Vlad Lazarenko. Wikimedia Commons.

Armadillo. Photo by Vlad Lazarenko. Wikimedia Commons.

Florida 07/23/15 cnn.com: by Jareen Imam – There are an unusually high number of leprosy cases cropping up in Florida. Experts said they believe the spike is because of people coming into contact with armadillos. Florida typically sees two to 12 cases of leprosy a year, but so far there have been nine cases in 2015, according to the Florida Department of Health. The latest case was diagnosed in Flagler County three weeks ago. Some armadillos, placental mammals with leathery armor, are naturally infected with leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Armadillos are one of the only known animals to carry leprosy, an age-old disease that causes skin and nerve damage. The CDC says it is possible to contract leprosy through contact with armadillos, but it is usually unlikely. Leprosy is a rare disease, and there are on average 50 to 100 cases in the United States every year, according to Dr. Sunil Joshi, president-elect of the Duval County Medical Society in Florida. Joshi said leprosy, much like tuberculosis, is spread through coughing and sneezing, but 95% of the human population is immune to the disease. For video and complete article see http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/21/health/florida-leprosy-cases-armadillos-irpt/index.html

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE:

Deer with CWD.

Deer with CWD.

Global 07/24/15 superiortelegram.com: by Rich Kremer – A forthcoming study shows that chronic wasting disease may be able to infect humans.  A team of researchers from universities in the United States and France say they’ve found new evidence that it’s possible for humans to contract the agents that cause CWD. They injected mice, whose DNA had been modified to resemble humans, with mutated proteins called prions.  Testing showed two out of 20 mice tested positive for prion infection. But former Wisconsin Natural Resources Board Member Dave Clausen advised the results are not cause for alarm.  “This study does not mean that human infection is a foregone conclusion,” Clausen said. “All it does is demonstrate that it is possible.”  Clausen said more research is needed but the results show that hunters in CWD zones should take the disease seriously. The Department of Natural Resources and Department of Health Services did not respond to requests for comment on this story. – See http://www.superiortelegram.com/news/wisconsin/3803717-chronic-wasting-disease-possibly-transmissible-humans-study-suggests

TULAREMIA (RABBIT FEVER):

imagesCAC3YRG5Wyoming 07/23/15 Crook/Weston County: The WY Department of Health is advising people to steer clear of wild rodent corpses found, especially in the eastern part of the state. Three human cases of Tularemia have been reported so far this year. The disease can be spread by deer flies and ticks that have been on dead rodents. Even breathing the air around an infected animal can transfer the disease. – For video and complete article see http://www.kotatv.com/news/wyoming-news/rabbit-fever-hits-wyo-and-you-do-not-want-to-catch-it/34324894

WEST NILE VIRUS:

887877f77fCalifornia 07/20/15 contracostatimes.com: A Nevada County woman was California’s first confirmed death this year due to West Nile virus, state public health department officials announced Monday. The woman was 65 or older, according to the department; no other details were provided. “This death is a tragic reminder of how severe West Nile virus disease can be,” Dr. Karen Smith, the state’s public health director, said in a statement. “West Nile virus activity is more widespread in 2015 than in years past. Californians need to be vigilant in protecting themselves.” Last year, 31 Californians died from the virus — the most since California began recording West Nile cases in 2003. – For complete article see http://www.contracostatimes.com/breaking-news/ci_28513009/nevada-county-woman-is-first-reported-west-nile

RABIES:

14410-Boy+child+kitten+music+catVirginia 07/23/15 Yorktown: A black feral cat 3-9 months old found in the vicinity f the 100 block of Old Railway Road has tested positive for rabies. Anyone exposed to this animal should contact the Peninsula Heath District Newport News Environmental Health office at 757-594-7340. – See http://wtkr.com/2015/07/23/cat-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-yorktown/

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

Twenty treated for MURINE TYPHUS in TEXAS ~ COLORADO now confirms 15 human cases of TULAREMIA this year ~ Captive DEER in TEXAS found with CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ RABIES reports from CAx2 & SC.

typhus-120922085821-phpapp02-thumbnail-4

Texas 07/01/15 khou.com: by Lauren Talarico – A disease rarely seen since the 1940s has turned up again in the Galveston area. Murine typhus is spread by fleas on rats and opossums to people. At least 20 people have been treated for the disease at (University of Texas Medical Branch) UTMB. Infectious disease expert Dr. Lucas Blanton first noticed its comeback in 2012 when a patient displayed a fever and rash. “It looked and smelled like it could be murine typhus. Then months later, we diagnosed another one,” Dr. Blanton said. “So when you have one case, it is interesting. When you have two cases, well that gets even more interesting,” Dr. Blanton has worked with Galveston’s animal control officers to take blood and flea samples from opossums. Two out of three tested positive for murine typhus. The disease had been close to eradication since the 1950s thanks to a pesticide called DDT. It’s widely used to kill fleas on rats. “I don’t think there’s any cause for mass hysteria,” said Dr. Blanton. “We love our pets. We should keep our pets, but perhaps flea control.” Murine typhus mimics the flu. Although it’s rarely deadly, without antibiotics the disease takes its time to clear up and leaves patients miserable. – See http://www.khou.com/story/news/health/2015/07/01/rare-disease-linked-to-fleas-returns-to-galveston/29589859/

TULAREMIA (RABBIT FEVER):

80ab05b3670e2bdcb7165060f8167dfd (2)Colorado 07/07/15 ifreepress.com: So far this year, 15 people have been infected with tularemia, or rabbit fever in Colorado. The microorganism is often carried by wild animals, especially hares, rabbits and rodents. Fed by unusually lush vegetation, rabbits have been breeding like rabbits about Colorado, escalating the risk for what is typically a uncommon bacterial illness in the state. It is then transmitted to humans through insect bites from ticks and deerflies. Doctors in Colorado are being told to keep tularemia in mind with patients who have fever, chills, and headaches. As per a data, rabbit fever can be found across the nation and on yearly basis, around 135 cases are reported and majority of them are reported in the south central United States. – For complete article see http://www.ifreepress.com/health/5024-15-cases-of-rabbit-fever-in-colorado-west-texas-news

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE (CWD):

HEADERTexas 07/02/15 dailyjournal.net: A Texas official says no white-tailed deer can be bought or sold at the facility where an animal with chronic wasting disease was found. Texas Animal Health Commission spokeswoman Kyle McNulty said Thursday that the case involving a 2-year-old white-tailed deer at a Medina County breeding facility was confirmed by a federal lab in Iowa. CWD was first detected in Texas in 2012 in free-ranging mule deer in far West Texas. The disease is caused by proteins believed to be spread through deer urine, saliva and feces. CWD has been found in deer in 23 states and two Canadian provinces since first being recognized in Colorado in 1967. There is no evidence humans are at risk. Medina County is just west of San Antonio. – See http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/7388a63d74bb4fdbb19635cabfa1cbe8/TX–Chronic-Wasting-Disease

RABIES:

California 07/02/15 Mendocino County: A cat in the Fort Bragg area has tested positive for rabies, and is the first animal to do so within Mendocino County since 2012, according to the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency . . . In California, most cases of rabies occur in skunks and bats, but also in a variety of wild animals including foxes, according to the HHSA. – See http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/general-news/20150702/cat-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-fort-bragg

Looking-for-Kittens-001California 07/08/15 Monterey County: A domestic cat owned by a resident of the City of Monterey has tested positive for rabies. Officials are investigating to determine if all those who were exposed to the virus are being treated. – See http://www.kionrightnow.com/news/local-news/monterey-county-warning-over-rabies-case/34024662

South Carolina 06/29/15 Richland County: The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control has referred 11 people to their private health care providers for post-exposure treatment after being potentially exposed to a rabid cat in Richland County near Chapin. After roaming outdoors, the family cat returned home on May 29,  with visible wounds caused by an unknown animal, DHEC officials said.  The incident was reported to DHEC once the cat began showing symptoms of rabies around June 25. During that period, the cat exposed family members and the veterinary clinic staff who treated the animal. The cat was not current on its rabies vaccine. It was confirmed rabid on June 26. – For complete article see http://www.wistv.com/story/29434501/family-cat-exposes-11-people-to-rabies-in-richland-county

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

Mastomys natalensis. Courtesy National Institutes of Health.

Mastomys natalensis. Courtesy National Institutes of Health.

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

Flight path

Flight path

The next day, he went to a New Jersey hospital complaining of a sore throat, fever and tiredness. But he didn’t tell the staff there about his travel to West Africa and was sent home the same day, the CDC said. He went back to the hospital Thursday with worsening symptoms and was moved to a treatment center for viral hemorrhagic fevers. A test for Lassa fever came back positive early Monday, according to the CDC. The patient died that evening in isolation. – For complete article see http://www.cnn.com/2015/05/26/health/lassa-fever-death-new-jersey-liberia/

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

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

BOURBON VIRUS:

dl3l4l34d9Oklahoma 05/27/15 tecxomashomepage.com: Health officials say an Oklahoma resident has been diagnosed with a rare tick borne disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that a Payne County resident tested positive for Bourbon virus. This case is the first detected in Oklahoma and only the second case in the United States. Officials with the Oklahoma State Department of Health say that since the disease is so new, more research is needed to understand the severity of Bourbon virus. Symptoms include fever, severe muscle, join pain, fatigue, disorientation, diarrhea and a rash. At this time, there is no treatment for Bourbon virus infections. Fortunately, the Oklahoma patient reported symptoms earlier this month and has since made a full recovery. – For complete article see http://www.texomashomepage.com/story/d/story/payne-county-resident-diagnosed-with-rare-tick-dis/40871/8pwzPq-ctU2L8VFqGKvpEw

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE:

Deer with CWD

Deer with CWD

Michigan 05/26/15 wlns.com: The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is warning people today of a wildlife disease that is being tracked in the state. It’s called chronic wasting disease and it affects deer. DNR Director Keith Creagh explained today that the illness was confirmed in a female whitetail deer found in Meridian Township by DNR biologists. The DNR has set up a Chronic Wasting Disease management zone in Ingham, Clinton and Shiawassee Counties. Feeding and baiting deer is now prohibited in these counties. Hunting will still be allowed in the three counties. This is the first case of Chronic wasting disease found in a free-ranging deer. In 2008 chronic wasting disease was found in a private herd in Kent County. According to Creagh the disease is not transmitted to people. The DNR says the disease has been detected in deer, elk or moose in 23 states. If you should come in contact with deer that is unafraid of humans or appears to be listless and wandering, you are urged to contact the DNR online or call 517-336-5030. – See http://wlns.com/2015/05/26/dnr-warns-of-chronic-wasting-disease-in-whitetail-deer-first-case-seen-in-ingham-county/

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

AVIAN FLU:

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

ksu.logoProfessor Richt and his colleagues focused on the avian influenza virus subtype H5N1, a new strain most active in Indonesia, Egypt and other Southeast Asian and North African countries. H5N1 also has been documented in wild birds in the US, though in fewer numbers. “H5N1 is a zoonotic pathogen, which means that it is transmitted from chickens to humans,” Professor Richt said. “So far it has infected more than 700 people worldwide and has killed about 60 per cent of them. Unfortunately, it has a pretty high mortality rate.” – For complete article see http://www.thepoultrysite.com/poultrynews/35134/kansas-state-researchers-develop-avian-flu-vaccine/

RABIES:


RcG6LEReiGeorgia
05/8/15 myfoxatlanta.com: by Trevor Shirley – Animal control officers in Henry County say a family of eight will have to be treated for rabies, after possibly being exposed to the virus by a stray cat. Officials say that family of six children and two adults took the cat in to care for it. During that time, Henry County Rabies Control Officer Vince Faran says the animal scratched or bit all of them. Thursday morning, tests confirmed the animal was rabid. The family will likely begin treatments in the coming days, according to Faran. He says the prognosis is good since they will be starting treatment soon after the possible exposure. Faran also says there is no risk to anyone that may come into contact with the family. The cat was euthanized. – See http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/29183571/family-of-eight-treated-for-rabies

Can DEER droppings transmit CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE to HUMANS? ~ UNIV OF MONTANA criticized for handling of HANTAVIRUS case – RABIES reports from FL & NC.

Image: Whitetail deer. Public Domain.

Image: Whitetail deer. Public Domain.

Global 03/28/15 triblive.com: by Jessica Walliser – Question: I have a problem and hope that you can help me. My sizable flower garden has deer droppings all through the beds. There are huge piles in some instances. I cannot possibly remove them. Can I just hoe them into the soil like fertilizer? Is there any health issue connected with this? I wear gloves all the time, but I also transplant a lot of perennials and move them around. Any input?

Answer: This is a very good question. The biggest potential problem you face in having so many deer droppings in your garden is the potential for the transmission of E. coli and chronic wasting disease (CWD), a deer and elk disease similar to mad cow disease. The Pennsylvania Game Commission’s website notes that CWD has been detected in several Pennsylvania locations since it was first found in the state in 2012. After a bit of investigating, I discovered that the jury is still out on whether and how chronic wasting disease can be transmitted to humans. That being said, both the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s website and the Center for Disease Control’s website note that there’s no evidence that CWD is transmissible to humans. But they do not recommend eating meat from a deer that has tested positive for CWD. From what I found, fecal-to-oral transmission from deer to humans has not been completely ruled out, meaning the disease could possibly be transmitted to a human if she were to touch contaminated deer excrement and then inadvertently introduce it into her mouth, but no cases of this type of transmission have ever been recorded.

Jessica Walliser

Jessica Walliser

So what does that mean for gardeners? In my mind, it means “better safe than sorry.” Handle deer waste as you would any animal waste — with extreme care. Use gloves when working in the garden and try to remove as much waste as possible, using a shovel to bury it elsewhere, if possible. Scoop it out of the garden very carefully, and certainly do not allow it to come into contact with any edibles. Do not use the contaminated “manure shovel” for any other tasks. Even if CWD is not transmissible to humans via contact with fecal matter, E.coli is. Deer carry dangerous strains of E. coli in their guts. Because of this, deer waste should be composted in a “hot” compost pile (165 degrees F) for a minimum of three months to kill any E. coli bacteria that is present in it. Composting, however, does not kill the disease prions for CWD. Horticulturist Jessica Walliser co-hosts “The Organic Gardeners” at 7 a.m. Sundays on KDKA Radio. She is the author of several gardening books, including “Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control” and “Good Bug, Bad Bug.” Her website is www.jessicawalliser.com.

HANTAVIRUS:

Deer mouse. USDA.

Deer mouse. USDA.

Montana 03/29/15 mtstandard.com: The University of Montana is being criticized for the way it handled a case of hantavirus on campus earlier this month. The response consisted of a “vague email sent out late on a Friday afternoon, and lacked crucial information such as when the infection occurred or became known, what locations might be suspected sources of exposure, or even that it was a student who had been infected.” It is now known that “(s)ometime during the first week of March, Antonio Morsette, 20, began showing symptoms of hantavirus, including intense headaches, fatigue, and hot and cold flashes. He was likely exposed one to five weeks earlier. A junior in environmental studies who hails from Rocky Boy, Morsette returned to classes this week, stronger but not fully recovered. After all, he had to be put into a medically induced coma for four days, and nearly died of hantavirus . . . Morsette believes he was exposed to hantavirus while power-washing recycled materials at the recycling center on campus. The virus can be found in the droppings of contaminated rodents, and can be transmitted to humans when they breathe air containing the virus. Morsette told the Missoulian that the Missoula City-County Health Department said that he and his colleagues at the recycling center should have worn masks while power-washing the recycled materials.” – See http://mtstandard.com/news/opinion/guest/at-um-hantavirus-case-exposed-communication-failure/article_29dfa58a-b3c1-503a-8acf-a1a48b8e17c7.html

RABIES:

a898778rabies-alertFlorida 03/26/15 Sarasota County: A Rabies Alert has been issued for the area within a 1.5-mile radius of Honore Avenue and Bahia Vista Street in the City of Sarasota after a goat tested positive for the virus. A local veterinarian who treated the goat for injuries said it is likely that it was attacked by a rabid fox or raccoon. – See http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20150326/article/150329784

rabies_tag_small_websiteNorth Carolina 03/28/15 Union County: A dog found dead in the area of Mullis Newsome and New Salem roads in Monroe has tested positive for rabies. People and pets who may have been exposed to the dog, described as a brown and white female Husky, should immediately be examined and evaluated for possible treatment.- See http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article16640846.html

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