Tag Archives: Chronic Wasting Disease

MOSQUITOES carrying ZIKA expected in U.S. next month ~ NEW MEXICAN and COLORADAN die of HANTAVIRUS ~ TICKS with LYME DISEASE increasing in NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND ~ WISCONSINS fear CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE spinning out of control.

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National 05/22/16 kticradio.com: With “well over 500” cases of the Zika virus currently in the U.S., Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on “This Week” Sunday that “forceful preparation” will be critical to preventing further spread in the U.S. this summer. “We already have Zika in the United States. But it is travel related,” Dr. Fauci said on ABC’s “This Week.” “The concern is that we will have local transmission; in other words, people who get infected in the United States, get bitten by a mosquito, but who have never left the continental United States. We fully expect that that will happen as we get to the more robust mosquito season in the next month or so.” “We need to make sure that those local outbreaks don’t become sustained and don’t become disseminated,” Fauci added. “That’s the reason why we need to have a very, very forceful preparation right now before that happens.” The Centers for Disease Control released new figures on Friday showing that 157 pregnant women in the continental U.S. show evidence of possible Zika virus infection, all related to travel outside the U.S. President Obama has requested Congress to allocate $1.9 billion in emergency funding to combat the spread of the virus. “This is something that is solvable. It is not something that we have to panic about. But it is something that we have to take seriously,” President Obama said Friday after meeting with Fauci and other top advisers tackling Zika. “This is not something where we can build a wall to prevent – mosquitoes don’t go through customs. To the extent that we’re not handling this thing on the front end, we’re going to have bigger problems on the back end.” A vaccine to combat Zika would be the main focus of government funding, according to Fauci, saying “We’re right now very aggressively developing the vaccine.” – For complete article see http://kticradio.com/abc_health/dr-fauci-forceful-preparation-key-to-combating-zika-spread-in-us-abcid35694201/

Hantavirus:

New Mexico 05/18/16 krqe.com: State health officials say a 30-year-old man from San Juan County has died of hantavirus. New Mexico Department of Health officials also announced Tuesday that an 84-year-old man from Santa Fe County currently is hospitalized with hantavirus. It’s the third and fourth cases of hantavirus in New Mexico this year. An environmental investigation will be conducted at each patient’s home to help reduce the risk to others. Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. Authorities say the deer mouse is the main carrier for the hantavirus strain found in New Mexico. – For complete article see  http://krqe.com/2016/05/18/state-health-dept-san-juan-county-man-dies-of-hantavirus/

Peromyscus maniculatus

This undated photo provided by the National Park Service, a deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus). The deer mouse helps spread hantavirus to humans. Its head and body are 2-3 inches long, and the tail adds another 2-3 inches. Its coat varies from gray to reddish brown, depending on the animal’s age. Found almost everywhere in North America, the deer mouse likes woodlands but also turns up in desert areas. An investigation of the hantavirus outbreak blamed for three deaths at Yosemite National Park recommends that design changes to tent cabins and other lodging run by private concessionaires first be reviewed by National Park Service officials. (AP Photo/National Park Service, John Good)

Colorado 05/19/16 denver.cbslocal.com: by Matt Kroschel – Public health officials confirmed that a man from Rio Grande County who had been exposed to hantavirus has died. Co-workers told CBS4 on Wednesday that Mark Jones, a local Architect and Philanthropist who friends say is responsible for the recent downtown revitalization in Del Norte, died after being diagnosed with hantavirus. “Speaking of Mark Jones he definitely has left a huge footprint on the town,” said Jones’ friend Kevin Haas. “I think the repercussions will be vast and I think we’ll feel it for a very long time.” The rare respiratory disease case is the second in the San Luis Valley this year. A Saguache County resident died from hantavirus exposure last month. Their deaths have prompted warnings from local health officials about the virus. Another person exposed to the virus is recovering in Montrose County. –  For complete article see http://denver.cbslocal.com/2016/05/19/man-dies-after-hantavirus-exposure-2nd-in-san-luis-valley-this-year/

 

Lyme Disease:

green-tick-logoNorthern New England 05/18/16 washingtontimes.com: by Lisa Ratke – Ticks that carry Lyme disease have reached into northern Maine and are increasing in Vermont, where the state’s entomologist expects cases of the disease to continue to rise and the insects to inhabit new areas. Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire are among 17 states with high-risk counties for Lyme disease. The reasons for the increase in populations are varied: climatic factors, land development patterns and hosts like deer and rodents. “Lyme disease is a real concern,” said Vermont state entomologist Alan Graham, who hopes to do a statewide survey of ticks this year. New Hampshire had one of the one of the highest incidence rates of Lyme disease in the country, with an estimated 1,373 cases identified last year, according to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. – For complete article see http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/18/vermont-expects-lyme-disease-cases-to-rise/

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD):

Response_img_070111Wisconsin 05/18/16 hostmadison.com: by Steven Elbow – Matt Limmex has been hunting deer on his family’s land near Spring Green his entire life. But in recent years the satisfaction of bagging a buck has been tainted by concerns about chronic wasting disease. “An older buck, you’re almost certain it’ll be positive,” said the 52-year-old Iowa County dairy farmer. “Or you’ll be surprised when it isn’t.” For Limmex the annual bounty of the deer hunt has become an exercise in carcass disposal. In recent years he’s been spotting “the droolers and the shakers” with increasing frequency. At the request of the DNR, he has shot down deer that were too sick to run away, and more often than not, they test positive for the disease, which destroys the nervous systems of cervids — elk, deer and moose — reducing them to bony shadows of their former selves. He hasn’t kept track of the numbers, but he estimates that he and his family have killed more than three dozen CWD-positive deer, at least a dozen of them in the last two years. And that, he said, has taken its toll on the once-sublime experience of shooting a deer for the family table. “It’s not much fun to be shooting sick deer,” he said.

20110816__Identity_HuntHarvestHelpLimmex lives smack in the middle of a 144-square-mile cauldron of deer and disease centered in Iowa County’s Wyoming Valley and stretching into western Dane County, one of the most CWD-infected areas in the nation. According the most recent monitoring data, if he shoots a doe, there’s roughly a one-in-four chance that it’s going to have CWD. If he shoots a buck, it’s essentially a flip of the coin. In the Wyoming Valley, the prevalence of the disease among adult male deer — those 2 ½ or older — has seen an annual growth rate of 23 percent since it was discovered in 2002. By 2006, 6 percent of bucks tested had the disease. By 2010, it was 20 percent. In 2015, more than 40 percent. Prevalence among does, for reasons still under study, is lower: just over 25 percent, but growing at a faster clip. The zone is so polluted with the disease that it’s in the soil, likely taken up in plants that deer feed on. And CWD’s geographic reach is expanding, stretching for the first time last fall to the Northwoods at a hunting preserve in Oneida County and popping up at an Eau Claire County deer farm in west central Wisconsin last summer. It’s been found to exist in 18 Wisconsin counties, but because of close proximities to the sick deer, 41 of the state’s 72 counties are banned from baiting and feeding deer in an effort to reduce deer-to-deer infection. Its global reach is expanding as well. It’s been detected in 24 states — up from 18 in 2010 — two Canadian provinces, South Korea, and most recently last year in Norway. – For complete article see http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/environment/some-fear-that-chronic-wasting-disease-is-spinning-out-of/article_fdd10051-8542-577c-84ed-81d83335cced.html

Invasive TICK species moving into MICHIGAN ~ NEW MEXICAN dies of HANTAVIRUS ~ PENNSYLVANIA reports number of DEER with CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE doubled in 2015 ~ APPALACHIAN TRAIL shelter in NORTH CAROLINA closed after BEAR bites camper ~ Five VIRGINIANS exposed to RABIES by STRAY DOG.

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Image compliments of CDC.

Michigan 05/17/16 wwmt.com: A new tick species is spreading throughout Michigan. Entomologists say the Lone Star tick is relatively new and can spread diseases like the Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia and can cause tick paralysis. Experts are also warning of increase tick activity during the warmer months. This is because of the resurgence in the white-tailed deer and wild turkey populations which can serve as hosts for the ticks. – See http://wwmt.com/news/local/new-tick-spreading-in-michigan

Hantavirus:

hantavirus.339988iidNew Mexico 05/17/16 kcbd.com: State health officials say a 30-year-old man from San Juan County has died of hantavirus. New Mexico Department of Health officials also announced Tuesday that an 84-year-old man from Santa Fe County currently is hospitalized with hantavirus. It’s the third and fourth cases of hantavirus in New Mexico this year. An environmental investigation will be conducted at each patient’s home to help reduce the risk to others. Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. Authorities say the deer mouse is the main carrier for the hantavirus strain found in New Mexico. – For complete article see http://www.kcbd.com/story/31998276/state-health-dept-san-juan-county-man-dies-of-hantavirus

 

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD):

HEADERPennsylvania 5/12/16 pennlive.com: by Marcus Schneck – In announcing that a record 12 white-tailed deer were found to be infected with chronic wasting disease in 2015, the Pennsylvania Game Commission said targeted removal of deer may be on the table as it considers options to fight the spread of the disease. The commission outlined possible “active control measures” that could involve targeted removal of deer in locations where CWD-positive animals have been found. The 12 free-ranging deer with CWD were found in Disease Management Area 2, which last year covered all or parts of Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon and Somerset counties, but has now been expanded by 437 square miles. Special rules regarding the hunting, transport and feeding of wild deer apply within all DMAs. CWD is an always fatal neurological disease of white-tailed tree and other members of the deer family. – For complete article see http://www.pennlive.com/pa-sportsman/2016/05/with_deer_disease_doubling_in.html

Bear:

black-bear-backcountry-movie_hNorth Carolina 5/12/16 wlos.com: by Krystyna Biassou & Rex Hodge – A backcountry camping area in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is closed after a bear attack on a hiker. Rangers say 49-year-old Bradley Veeder of Las Vegas was bitten on his leg late Tuesday night while sleeping in his tent near the Spence Field shelter. That’s along the Appalachian Trail. Fellow hikers rendered aid. “He had 2 puncture wounds on his leg and we just did some First Aid, wrapped it up, called the park rangers, let them know it wasn’t life-threatening. They came in on horses in the morning and picked him up and brought a horse for him to ride down,” says Derek Roecklein. Veeder, an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, was transported out of the backcountry by horseback and taken to Blount Memorial Hospital by Rural Metro Ambulances Service on Wednesday. The bear initially ran off, but returned and tore up two tents. – For video and complete article see http://wlos.com/news/local/shelter-closed-after-bear-bites-sleeping-hiker

Rabies:

Dog_1Virginia 5/13/16 scnow.com: Five people have been referred to their health care providers for consultation after potentially being exposed to rabies in the Lynchburg area of Lee County by a stray dog that tested positive for the disease, the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reported Friday. The stray dog began showing neurological symptoms and was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on May 9. Rabies was confirmed in the dog on May 11. During care and handling of the dog, a total of five people were potentially exposed. It is unknown how the dog contracted the rabies virus, however, bite wounds were discovered on the animal. In addition, five pet dogs were potentially exposed to the rabies virus by the stray dog. None of these pets was current on its rabies vaccination and is required to undergo a 180-day quarantine period or be euthanized per the Rabies Control Act. – For complete article see http://www.scnow.com/news/local/article_ed05db96-1944-11e6-9e7c-4f06dc166821.html

 

TEXAS reports first locally acquired probable case of CHIKUNGUNYA ~ PUPPY exposes 32 people to RABIES in MISSOURI ~ Wild RABBIT found with TULAREMIA in COLORADO ~ Sportsmen’s group in WISCONSIN wants crack down on DEER farms to fight CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ CANADA: SASKATCHEWAN woman fights off BLACK BEAR.

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Texas 05/02/16 rgvproud.com: Cameron County Department of Health and Human Services has been investigating a probable case of Chikungunya virus infection. This case initially presented to a doctor’s office in November 2015 and tested in January 2016; however, it was not reported to the health department until April 2016. The investigation has since determined that the case was acquired locally and is being considered the first locally acquired probable case of Chikungunya in the State of Texas. Chikungunya virus is transmitted to people through mosquito bites and cannot be spread from one person to another person. The most common symptoms of Chikungunya virus infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash. Should anyone experience any of these symptoms, a visit to the health care provider should be scheduled. “While this is the first reported locally acquired probable case of Chikungunya, the overall risk of being infected with Chikungunya virus in South Texas is very low and we have no additional evidence that the virus is circulating in the local mosquito population,” stated James W. Castillo, Cameron County Health Authority. “A critical key point to also remember here is the importance of physicians reporting these conditions. It would have allowed us to work with our local municipalities to assess the mosquito issue and appropriately respond.” – For complete article and preventive measures see http://www.rgvproud.com/news/local-news/cameron-county-reports-probable-case-of-chikungunya-in-texas

Rabies:

78483649Missouri 05/06/16 ozarksfirst.com: The first confirmed case of rabies has been reported to the Howell County Health Department by the Missouri State Public Health Lab in Jefferson City. The case involved a rabid 8 week old puppy near the Moody area, which became ill and died. Howell County Health Department officials say the puppy had exposure to 32 people who have started Post Exposure Prophylactic shots. The puppy’s mother, 5 littermates, and 2 other dogs have had to be euthanized due to exposure to a rabid animal, all of which were not current on rabies vaccinations.- For complete article see http://www.ozarksfirst.com/news/rabies-confirmed-in-howell-county-8-dogs-euthanized-32-people-exposed

Tularemia:

baq4ijctzixmuu7acvc5Colorado 05/05/16 fox21news.com: by Angela Case – A wild rabbit found in Pueblo West has tested positive for tularemia, also known as rabbit fever. The rabbit was found in the Liberty Point area. The Pueblo City-County Health Department said it had no contact with people. Tularemia is a bacterial infection most commonly transmitted to humans by the handling of sick or dead animals. Infection can also occur from the bite of infected insects, including ticks and deer flies, and exposure to soil and vegetation. Dogs and cats get tularemia by eating infected rabbits or other rodents and through tick and deer fly bites. – See http://fox21news.com/2016/05/05/wild-rabbit-found-in-pueblo-west-tests-positive-for-tularemia/

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD):

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Deer with CWD

Wisconsin 05/05/16 startribune.com: by Todd Richmond – A prominent sportsmen’s group wants Gov. Scott Walker to crack down on captive deer farms as he considers revising the state’s chronic wasting disease tactics. The Wisconsin Wildlife Federation’s letter to Walker, announced Thursday, asked him to impose regulations designed to keep CWD from spreading from captive deer to wild deer. The recommendations include requiring farms to double fence, installing warning devices that can detect open gates and annual fence inspections by the state or an independent inspector. The letter also suggests that farmers be required to inspect their own fences at least monthly and immediately after any major wind storms. They would have to kill their herds within a month if they haven’t double fenced and one of their deer tests positive for CWD. They also would have to maintain liability insurance to cover any damages to the state resulting from escapes. The DNR recorded 29 escapes from deer farms in 2015 alone. Nevertheless, the agency in December adopted an emergency rule allowing farmers to opt of the state’s CWD program without upgrading their fences. – For complete article see http://www.startribune.com/wildlife-group-proposes-deer-farm-crackdown-to-fight-cwd/378266561/

CANADA

Black Bear:

black-bear-backcountry-movie_hSaskatchewan 05/05/16 cbc.ca/news: by Stefani Langenegger – A Saskatchewan woman says it was both her scariest and her luckiest day — she fought off a black bear after it bit her on the leg during an afternoon walk. Raschel Zeschuk lives in Paradise Hill, northeast of Lloydminster, and goes on daily walks with her two dogs. But on April 21 the walk was anything but routine. Zeschuk had just reached the end point of her usual route and turned around to return home when she heard rustling behind her. Behind her dog was a black bear in hot pursuit. She says she started to scream in an effort to scare the bear off and looked around for higher ground. “All I could kind of think of was, ‘Get up on something,'” Zeschuk said. She began running towards some poplar trees which had fallen over in the bush.  “The bear immediately turned away from my dog and started chasing me,” Zeschuk said. “It caught up to me pretty fast.” The bear grabbed her leg, scratching it on one side and biting it on the other. Zeschuk scrambled up on the poplar tree, which gave way and she fell backwards. “This is where it’s kind of hazy,” she said. Her dog, Cosmo, began barking and Zeschuk had time to scramble back up on the tree. “It started trying to climb up after me and that’s when I kicked it in the nose as hard as I could and it ran off,” she said. Zeschuk says she then ran home as quickly as she could. She has six stitches in her leg and is getting her last rabies shot today.  Zeschuk says she loves hiking and is working with someone to overcome her anxiety about future walks, given her recent experience. Mostly she just feels very grateful. – For complete article and photos see http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatchewan/sask-woman-fights-black-bear-1.3567714

WHO expects ZIKA VIRUS to reach most countries of the AMERICAS ~ CDC expands ZIKA VIRUS TRAVEL WARNING ~ CDC officials says big ZIKA VIRUS outbreak unlikely in US ~ ARIZONA officials confirm HANTAVIRUS fatality ~ ARIZONA scientist says DEER are developing genetic resistance to CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE.

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South, Central and North America 01/25/16 wcvb.com: by Emily Smith – The World Health Organization anticipates that the Zika virus will spread to all but two countries in South, Central and North America. The mosquito-borne disease has raged in South America and other regions for several months. Twenty-one countries and territories of the Americas have reported cases of the virus since Brazil reported the first cases of local transmission in May 2015, WHO’s regional office for the Americas said in a statement. “Aedes mosquitoes — the main vector for Zika transmission — are present in all the region’s countries except Canada and continental Chile,” the statement said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged pregnant women to postpone travel to Bolivia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Martin, Suriname, Samoa, Venezuela and Puerto Rico. The CDC also recommended that women who have recently traveled to these places during their pregnancy be screened and monitored for the virus. – For complete article see http://www.wcvb.com/health/who-expects-zika-virus-to-spread/37620996

Caribbean 01/26/16 cdc.gov: Media Release – Today, CDC added the following destinations to the Zika virus travel alertsUnited States Virgin Islands and Dominican Republic.  Previously, CDC issued a travel alert (Level 2-Practice Enhanced Precautions) for people traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing: the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory; Barbados; Bolivia; Brazil; Cape Verde; Colombia; Ecuador; El Salvador; French Guiana; Guadeloupe; Guatemala; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; Martinique; Mexico; Panama; Paraguay; Saint Martin; Samoa; Suriname; and Venezuela.  Specific areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing are often difficult to determine and are likely to continue to change over time. As more information becomes available, CDC travel alerts will be updated. – For complete release see http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/s0126-zika-travel-guidance.html

National 01/27/16 npr.org: by Rob Stein – The outbreak of Zika virus in Brazil and other countries has raised concern that the pathogen could start spreading widely in the United States, as well. But federal health officials and other infectious disease specialists say so far that seems unlikely. “Based on what we know right now, we don’t think that widespread transmission in the United States is likely,” says Dr. Beth Bell, director of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are several reasons for Bell’s cautious optimism that isolated cases that show up in the U.S. could be contained. The first is that the two species of mosquitoes that could be capable of transmitting the virus, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, live mostly in the southern, more tropical parts of the U.S. That makes it likely that transmission would be limited primarily to these areas. And for various reasons, the chain of events and conditions the virus needs in order to spread is more easily disrupted in the U.S. than elsewhere. For example, many people in the U.S. have air conditioning in the summer, so aren’t as likely to leave windows open at the times of day when mosquitoes are especially active. Open windows also tend to have screens. And many counties and other municipalities spray to kill mosquitoes and are vigilant in trying to eliminate pools of standing water where the insects can breed. “These are all conditions that make it less likely for ongoing, large-scale spread to occur,” Bell says. – For complete article see http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/01/26/464459350/big-zika-virus-outbreak-unlikely-in-the-u-s-officials-say

Hantavirus:
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Arizona 01/25/16 lakepowelllife.com: by John Christian Hopkins – A 17-year-old Cameron girl is the first victim of the Hantavirus on the Navajo Nation in 2016. The death was confirmed by the Navajo Department of Health and the Navajo Epidemiology Center on January 19. . . . The girl was active in her community and had a 4.0 GPA. She had Hantavirus symptoms when she visited the Tuba City Hospital, and died en route to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque. – For complete article see http://www.lakepowelllife.com/navajo-girl-dies-from-hantavirus/

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD):

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National 01/22/16 greatfallstribune.com: by Nicholas Haley, DVM, PhD – Perhaps no issue is as controversial in the hunting community right now as Chronic Wasting Disease. There’s constant finger-pointing and a lot of theories about how it will change hunting forever for the worse. But fortunately, emerging scientific research suggests that CWD doesn’t have to be the scourge that many fear. Last year, a herd at an Iowa ranch was depopulated after one of the animals tested positive for CWD, as is standard U.S. Department of Agriculture protocol. However, the situation took years to resolve as the ranch owner fought for a more equitable solution. As such, CWD naturally spread among the animals. This provided a unique opportunity for testing of the animals, since depopulation normally occurs relatively quickly. After testing and euthanizing the entire herd, sadly a large percentage were identified as CWD positive. The silver lining was that 20 percent were negative, and we are currently looking at a genetic link to resistance in these animals. If we can further characterize this resistance in deer, that’s very promising. As CWD spreads — and it will, since you can’t stop free-ranging deer from moving around — then the deer that are more genetically susceptible to the disease will die off at higher rates than those that are less genetically susceptible. The net result will be a hardier population of deer that is more resistant to CWD. With farmed deer, there’s the potential to select for this resistance faster than nature herself could. – For complete article see http://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/opinion/guest-opinions/2016/01/22/chronic-wasting-disease-prognosis/79199086/

CANADIAN toddler attacked by MOUNTAIN LION ~ Texan hunting moose in ALASKA mauled by BROWN BEAR ~ CANADIAN sheep hunter attacked by GRIZZLY ~ CA, MD, MI, MO and OK confirm WEST NILE VIRUS fatalities ~ COLORADO reports two more human cases of TULAREMIA ~ NEW MEXICO reports fourth human case of PLAGUE ~ More DEER escape from WISCONSIN farm where CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE was found ~ Second CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE-infected deer in TEXAS breeder herd confirmed ~ RABIES reports from PA, SC, VA & WV. ~ ANNOUNCEMENT – Natural Unseen Hazards Blog will not be published for several months

Mountain Lion. Courtesy U.S. Dept of Agriculture

Mountain Lion. Courtesy U.S. Dept of Agriculture

Canada:

British Columbia 09/21/15 vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca: A two-year-old girl sitting with her parents in deck chairs in their backyard on Vancouver Island last Monday was attacked by a mountain lion that pounced on her from behind. The cat released the child when her father punched it. The girl was treated for lacerations on her earlobe, chest and back. – For photos and article see http://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/b-c-dad-slugs-cougar-that-attacked-two-year-old-daughter-1.2574512

Bear Attack:

887897spNPSAlaska 09/23/15 abcnews.go.com: by Rachel D’Oro – A Texas man who was mauled by a brown bear while moose hunting in Alaska was expected to survive serious injuries, authorities said Wednesday. The bear with two cubs attacked 47-year-old Gregory Joseph Matthews of Plano, Texas, as he hunted Tuesday with his brother in Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, authorities said. Fishermen in the area alerted Alaska State Troopers shortly after 6 p.m. and Matthews was flown to Central Peninsula Hospital in nearby Soldotna. Matthews was listed in good condition Wednesday. He declined requests from The Associated Press for an interview. It was the third bear attack on the Kenai Peninsula in recent weeks. – For complete article see http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/brown-bear-cubs-mauls-texas-moose-hunter-alaska-33980023

Canada:

British Columbia 09/24/15 prpeak.com: by Chris Bolster – Conservation officers are searching for a bear responsible for sending a 51-year-old man to hospital in the early hours of Thursday, September 24. Powell River RCMP have confirmed that a man walking his dog on the 4700 block of Redonda Avenue, behind the Town Centre Mall, was attacked by a bear at approximately 5:30 am. The man sustained only minor injuries in the attack and did not require BC Ambulance Service paramedics to transport him to Powell River General Hospital, Constable Tim Kenning told the Peak at 9 am. Kenning said that the unnamed man told him “the bear came out of nowhere. “He stepped in trying to protect his animal, thinking the bear was going after his dog,” said Kenning. “Next thing he knew he was on the ground with a bear on top of him.” Kenning added that a neighbour came out to see what happening after hearing the man yell and saw the bear and two cubs running away. The attack likely occurred because the bear was protecting its two cubs, said Kenning. – See http://www.prpeak.com/articles/2015/09/24/news/doc560430aba9e53331700834.txt

grizzly5Alberta 09/22/15 edmontonsun.com: by Trevor Robb – An Alberta hunter was sent to hospital over the weekend after being attacked by a grizzly bear near Hinton. Alberta Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Michelle Davio said in a statement that a male hunter -who was reportedly legally hunting bighorn sheep in the area — had called the Report-A-Poacher telephone line and 911 at 8 p.m. on Saturday night after he was injured during a confrontation with a female grizzly . Davio says the man suffered undisclosed, non-life threatening injuries when the grizzly charged at him and knocked him over. “The hunter played dead and after the bear stood over the hunter for a moment, the bear moved on,” said Davio. Upon getting the call, Davio says a team consisting of Fish and Wildlife officers, two emergency medical technicians and two civilian guides were deployed to rescue the hunter. However, he was in a remote location near Cadomin, near the Teck mine site, which is approximately 55km south of Hinton, in rugged terrain, which made the hunter not accessible by vehicle. – For complete article see http://www.edmontonsun.com/2015/09/22/hunter-survives-bear-attack-near-hinton

WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV):

07cd7361057a7994e7e590e1fb0d3868ed6ff5ad-1California 09/20/15 loscerritosnews.net: A Norwalk resident is the second person to die of WNV-related causes in Los Angeles County this year. – See http://www.loscerritosnews.net/2015/09/19/norwalk-man-dies-of-west-nile/

Maryland  09/19/15 patch.com: An elderly woman from Laurel in Prince George’s County is the second WNV-related fatality in the state so far this year. There have been 29 human cases of WNV reported this year including two deaths. – See http://patch.com/maryland/bowie/west-nile-virus-cause-laurel-womans-death-icymi-0

Michigan 09/25/15 detroitnews.com: by James David Dickson – An Oakland County woman, 81, has become Michigan’s first West Nile Virus-related death this year, the Oakland County Department of Health announced Friday morning. Oakland County hadn’t suffered a West Nile-related virus death since 2003.  – See http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/oakland-county/2015/09/25/west-nile/72796238/

Missouri 09/19/15 stltoday.com: Officials have confirmed three WNV-related deaths: two in St. Louis County and one in Pettis County. – See http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/health/two-deaths-in-st-louis-area-from-west-nile-virus/article_95ff8dba-bf77-55e7-91f2-8c201e41ffd9.html

Oklahoma 09/24/15 newsok.com: The Oklahoma State Department of Health is reporting the fourth West Nile virus death of 2015 in the state. The department says the latest death was a Kingfisher County resident. Previous deaths were reported in Rogers, Stephens and Carter counties. There have now been 53 confirmed cases of West Nile virus in Oklahoma this year — up from 18 in 2014 when there were no deaths due to the virus. – See http://newsok.com/oklahoma-has-4th-death-of-year-due-to-west-nile-virus/article/5449060

TULAREMIA (RABBIT FEVER):

tularemia.332oe998Colorado 09/22/15 canyoncourier.com: Two more human cases of tularemia have been reported in Jefferson and Clear Creek counties. – See http://www.canyoncourier.com/content/tularemia-surfaces-jeffco-clear-creek

PLAGUE:

Santa_Fe_attacks_plagu48f91501New Mexico 09/23/15 kcbd.com: The New Mexico Department of Health announced today a laboratory confirmed case of plague in a 73-year-old woman from Santa Fe County. The case was confirmed at the Department of Health’s Scientific Laboratory Division.  This is the fourth human case of plague in New Mexico this year and the second in Santa Fe County.  The woman was hospitalized and is back home recovering. The other cases in the state occurred in a 52-year-old woman from Santa Fe County, who died from the illness, and in a 65-year-old man and a 59-year-old woman, both from Bernalillo County, who have recovered. – For complete article see http://www.kcbd.com/story/30100644/human-plague-case-confirmed-in-santa-fe-county

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE (CWD):

HEADERWisconsin 09/18/15 wqow.com: by Keith Edwards –  A concern about chronic wasting disease in Eau Claire County is growing, after more deer escaped from a deer farm near Fairchild where CWD was found.  Officials confirmed on Friday that 12 deer escaped early last week from the farm. The DNR said they reportedly got out through (an) open gate. Most were captured, but three remain missing in addition to the two deer that escaped in May. The DNR said the public and media were not immediately notified of the most recent escape because they give the owner a reasonable amount of time to try to find them on his own. The DNR is now asking residents around Fairchild and Augusta to report any sightings of the deer, which all have ear tags.  After the first escape, the DNR planned to kill all of the deer at the farm to prevent any possible spread of CWD, which hasn’t happened yet due to a shortage of funding. More federal money is expected to be available Oct. 1.  – See video at http://www.wqow.com/story/30065987/2015/09/18/more-deer-escape-from-farm-where-cwd-found

Texas 09/23/15 wilsoncountynews.com: The Texas Animal Health Commission and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced that a captive white-tailed deer in a Lavaca County deer breeding facility has been confirmed positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in College Station detected the presence of CWD in samples submitted, and the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the findings Sept. 15. The newly quarantined Lavaca County facility is a result of testing trace out animals that originated from a Medina County index captive white-tailed deer herd where the disease was first detected June 30. CWD was first detected in Texas in 2012 in free-ranging mule deer in far West Texas in the Hueco Mountains. The Lavaca County herd is the second infected breeder herd detected in Texas. – See http://www.wilsoncountynews.com/article.php?id=68201&n=section-general-news-cwd-confirmed-lavaca-county

RABIES:

imagesCAMMOSTLPennsylvania 09/24/15 Allegheny County: Members of an entire family in Wilmerding that took in two stray kittens are now being treated for potential exposure to rabies after the kittens tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.wpxi.com/news/news/local/kittens-test-positive-rabies-wilmerding-family-pos/nnm8R/

South Carolina 09/18/15 Spartanburg County: Six people in the Woodruff area have been potentially exposed to rabies because the family cat’s rabies vaccination was not current. The cat had been wounded but was not immediately taken to a veterinarian until it had bitten five family members and one other individual. On September 15th the cat tested positive for the rabies virus. – See http://www.wyff4.com/news/cat-exposed-6-people-to-rabies-in-upstate/35351186

Virginia 09/23/15 Virginia Beach: Four people who were in contact with a black and white cat at the Virginia Beach Sports Complex on Landstown Road are being treated for potential exposure to rabies after the cat tested positive for the virus. – See http://wtkr.com/2015/09/23/rabid-cat-found-at-virginia-beach-sports-complex/

West Virginia 09/21/15 Ohio County: A kitten dropped off at Long Run Pet Hospital on GC&P Road in Wheeling has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wtov9.com/shared/news/features/top-stories/stories/wtov_cat-tests-positive-rabies-ohio-county-10275.shtml

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~ ANNOUNCEMENT ~~~

With the possible exception of very unusual

reports, such as a rabid human attacking

a grizzly in downtown Manhattan, the

NATURAL UNSEEN HAZARDS

blog will not be published for several months

while its blogger completes a book project.

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/