Tag Archives: Cougar

Part of national park in COLORADO closed due to MOUNTAIN LION activity ~ NEVADA firefighter’s death due to HANTAVIRUS ~ CANADA: NEW BRUNSWICK reports COYOTES attacking PETS ~ TRAVEL WARNINGS for AUSTRALIA, BRAZIL, INDONESIA, MARSHALL ISLANDS, & MALAYSIA.

Mountain Lion. Courtesy of US Department of Agriculture.

Colorado 12/15/11 nps.gov: News Release – Dinosaur National Monument has closed the Split Mountain Campground, Picnic Area and Green River Access effective immediately due to mountain lion activity. On the afternoon of December 11th, a mountain lion was observed dragging a mule deer kill down from the hill to a cache site in the Campground. Mountain lions can cache their kills and return to feed for a number of days, and they exhibit defensive behavior around the carcass during that time. In winter conditions, the lion can remain near the cached carcass for one to two weeks. Due to the significant safety risk posed by the lion and the cached food supply, the Split Mountain area is closed until further notice. It is anticipated that the area will reopen within two weeks. Visitors are reminded that although mountain lions, also known as cougars, are rare to see, all of Dinosaur National Monument is suitable habitat. -For precautions that should be observed within the monument go to http://www.nps.gov/dino/parknews/mountain-lion-closure.htm

Deer Mouse

Nevada 12/14/11 mynews4.com: The Elko County coroner has confirmed that the death of Paul Cash, 39, a fire captain with the Nevada Department of Forestry who died last February, was due to complications from a Hantavirus infection. In a complaint filed by the Occupational Safety and Health Chief Administrative Officer, the coroner claims Cash contracted the virus at one of the Spring Creek fire stations just outside of Elko. According to the complaint, firefighters were potentially exposed to deer mice feces, but despite federal law, they were not required to use protective gear while cleaning up areas with mouse droppings. The complaint goes on to state that firefighters routinely swept up the station with equipment that had been stored next to possible deer mice nesting sites. It is known that Hantavirus infection can be contracted by inhaling dust containing deer mouse feces. After receiving confirmation that Cash died because of occupational exposure to Hantavirus, the Nevada division of forestry failed to notify OSHA as federal law requires.

Canada:

New Brunswick 12/13/11 cbc.ca: The Department of Natural Resources is investigating three recent reports of coyotes attacking pets in Oromocto. See http://news.sympatico.cbc.ca/local/ac/oromocto_residents_warned_after_coyote_attacks/314ca6f5

Travel Warnings:

World Travel Health Alerts 12/14/11 etravelblackboard.com:

AUSTRALIA: Dengue warning for North Queensland
Heading to North Queensland? Beware of dengue. That’s the message to both residents and travelers as the state’s north prepares for the wet season. More details.
Advice to travelers: Travelers visiting Queensland’s tropical north should take the same bite-prevention measures as those heading to tropical destinations overseas. Cover up and apply an insect repellent containing effective active ingredients, such as DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, or oil of lemon eucalyptus, to exposed skin when outdoors. There is no vaccine or preventative medication for dengue.

BRAZIL: Dengue epidemic alerts
The Brazilian Ministry of Health has issued an alert warning of the potential for dengue epidemics in 48 municipalities due to high numbers of Aedes aegypti mosquito breeding sites. More details

INDONESIA: South Jakarta a hot spot for dengue
The Kebayoran Lama district in South Jakarta has one of the highest rates of dengue in the national capital. Other districts with high case numbers include: Pasar Minggu (194), Tebet (151), Jagakarsa (123), Cilandak (118), Pesanggrahan (93), Kebayoran Baru and Setiabudi (85), Pancoran (61), and Mampang Prapatan (49). More details.

MARSHALL ISLANDS: Dengue count now tops 500
Three months after i ts sudden arrival, 506 dengue cases have been reported, including 138 hospital admissions. There have also been cases on Ebeye Island (3) and the outer islands of Arno (5), Utrik (7), and Enewetak (3). The outbreak has prompted a massive local clean-up. More details.

MALAYSIA: Sarcocystosis cluster on Tioman Island                            A cluster of sarcocystosis cases have been reported among travelers returning to various countries from Tioman Island, located on the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. More details.
Advice to travellers: Sarcocystosis is caused by a parasite called sarcocystis, and occurs in tropical or subtropical countries, mainly in South East Asia. Most people infected with sarcocystis do not have symptoms, however it can cause muscle pain, mild diarrhea, and fever. While there is no vaccine or treatment for sarcocystosis, most infected people recover without treatment. Travelers should follow safe food and water guidelines, and practice good hygiene.

14-year-old Illinois hunter says he survived MOUNTAIN LION attack ~ Pennsylvania couple attacked by BLACK BEAR in their home ~ Two Californians succumb to WEST NILE VIRUS ~ New Mexico confirms two San Juan County women treated for TULAREMIA ~ FOLLOW-UP REPORTS: Yellowstone GRIZZLY linked to death of two HIKERS euthanized ~ TRAVEL WARNINGS for Costa Rica ~ CDC Reports: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending September 24, 2011 ~ AUTHOR’S NOTE.

Mountain lion preparing to pounce. Photo by Steve Jurvetson. Wikimedia Commons.

Illinois 10/03/11 connecttristates.com: by Brooke Hasch – A 14-year-old hunter says he (barely) escaped an attack from a mountain lion this weekend. Jeremiah Dice was bow-hunting on his family’s property in Baylis, Illinois in Pike County Saturday night when he says a mountain lion crossed his path. He says the lion attacked him not once but three separate times before Dice was able to injure it with a knife from his pocket. Dice was able to escape and run home with minor injuries thanks to his jacket and hat that protected him from most of the lion’s blows. “As he landed on me, my head hit the ground and I grabbed him by the throat. His mouth was open. He was trying to bite me. He used his paw to tear at my jacket and the other at my face,” said Dice. Dice says there was no mistaking his attacker for any other cat. He was treated and released from an area hospital. “I can’t sleep well at nights now. I have flashbacks. I’m just a different person,” said Dice. Officials with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources are investigating the incident.

Pennsylvania 10/03/11 reuters.com: by Daniel Lovering –  A black bear chased a dog into a central Pennsylvania house on Monday, attacking and injuring a couple who lived there, an official said. The bear entered the house in Oliver Township, Perry County, “hot on the tracks” of the dog, which had been let out early this morning, said Jerry Feaser, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Game Commission. An unidentified man who lived there tried to intercede and was bitten and scratched by the bear, he said. A woman then tried to get the bear away from him, but the animal turned on her and injured her too, Feaser said. The two were taken to a hospital in Harrisburg. Further details about their injuries were not immediately available. A Game Commission officer was searching the area around the house and planned to lay a trap, he said. Once captured, the animal may either be relocated or killed if it appears rabid. “Our suspicion — and I emphasize suspicion — is that this is most likely a female bear that had cubs in the area” and saw the dog as a threat, Feaser said. Another possibility, he said, was that the bear had rabies, which “makes mammals do strange things.” The incident was highly unusual. In all other reports of bears entering houses in Pennsylvania, the animal was searching for food, Feaser said.

California 10/03/11 kget.com: The Kern County Department of Public Health sadly announces the death of two Kern County residents from complications of a neuroinvasive West Nile virus infection. An 86 year-old male resident of Arvin and a 37 year old male resident of Bakersfield were confirmed with West Nile virus disease. “I am sad to report that we have lost two members of our community to West Nile Virus,” said Claudia Jonah, M.D., Health Officer. “It is necessary to remember that depending on who becomes infected, there are occasions in which this illness can be deadly.” Contact your local mosquito and vector control agency if there is a significant mosquito problem where you live or work. For more information about West Nile virus and to report green pools in Kern County, call the Kern Public Health West Nile virus hotline at 1-877-81-VIRUS (1-877-818-4787). To report dead birds or squirrels, call the California Department of Public Health West Nile virus line at 1 877 WNV BIRD; or on line at http://westnile.ca.gov.

New Mexico 10/03/11 daily-times.com: Two San Juan County women were hospitalized with Tularemia in September, the New Mexico health department announced Friday. The illness can be life-threatening, though it is usually treated with antibiotics.  It is caused by a bacteria found in animals, especially rodents, rabbits and hares. Commons symptoms are fever, not eating, lethargy and swollen lymph glands. “I would encourage people in San Juan County and around the state to follow the same precautions they would to avoid the plague,” Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Dr. Catherine Torres said in a release. “Don’t handle sick or dead rodents, don’t allow pets to roam and hunt, and use a tick and flea product on your pets.”Tularemia can be treated with antibiotics so prompt evaluation by a physician is required as tularemia can be fatal in a small percentage of cases.”

Follow-Up Reports:

Yellowstone National Park 10/03/11 kbzk.com: (See Aug 31, 2011 Post: Yellowstone hiker found Friday was killed by a GRIZZLY BEAR; and Sept 21, 2011 post: Report released on fatal GRIZZLY attack in July on Yellowstone’s Wapiti Lake Trail.) A grizzly bear sow and two cubs captured by Yellowstone National Park have been linked to the scene of the recent mauling death of a hiker in the Hayden Valley. Results from genetic (DNA) tests obtained from the bear hair and scat samples indicate the 250-pound, 6 to 7 year-old sow was present at the scene on the Mary Mountain Trail where hiker John Wallace’s body was recovered August 26. This is the same bear that was responsible for the deal of a hiker Brian Matayoshi during a defensive attack on July 6 on the Wapiti Lake Trail. Rangers and an Interagency Board of review determined Mr. Matayoshi’s death near Canyon Village on the Wapiti Lake Trail resulted from a defensive attack by the sow protecting her cubs. “We will more than likely never know what role, if any, the sow might have played in Mr. Wallace’s death due to the lack of witnesses and presence of multiple bears at the incident scene,” said Superintendent Dan Wenk. “But because the DNA analysis indicates the same bear was present at the scene of both fatalities, we euthanized her to eliminate the risk of future interaction with Yellowstone visitors and staff.”

The adult female grizzly was captured on Wednesday, September 28. Her two cubs were captured Thursday September 29 and placed in the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center in West Yellowstone, Montana. The sow was euthanized on Sunday morning, October 2.  Grizzly bear cubs typically adapt successfully to captivity. Adult bears that are removed from the wild do not adapt well to captivity.In the Wallace incident, Yellowstone officials determined that at least nine grizzly bears were feeding on two bison carcasses in the area, including one carcass which was located 150 yards from where Mr. Wallace was hiking alone on the Mary Mountain Trail. Seventeen bear “daybeds” were also found in the same vicinity. Capture operations, reconnaissance flights, and DNA sampling and testing will continue through the fall. Any future management decisions will be made on a case by case basis for any additional bears that are captured and provide a DNA link to the scene. Hikers are encouraged to travel in groups of three or more, make noise on the trail and carry bear spray. Visitors are reminded that park regulations require people to stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves and at least 25 yards away from all other large animals.

Travel Warnings:

Costa Rica 10/02/11 courant.com: A new outbreak of the mosquito-borne illness dengue fever has health officials worried. Through Sept. 10, the health ministry reported 6,650 cases of the illness, with more than four thousand of those infections occurring on the Atlantic coast. By contrast, in all of 2010 the Atlantic coast reported only 1,000 cases. Limón province is now host to three of the four known strains of dengue, making it difficult to curb the illness’ spread. The government has taken efforts to spray for dengue-carrying mosquitoes, but the best way to protect oneself is simply to avoid mosquito breeding grounds, namely stagnant water, and to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending September 24, 2011:

Published September 30, 2011 / 60(38); 1322-1335

Anaplasmosis . . . 23 . . . New York (17), Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Virginia (3),

Babesiosis . . . 8 . . . New York (7), Pennsylvania,

Brucellosis . . . 1 . . . Pennsylvania, 

Ehrlichiosis . . . 13 . . . Maryland, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma (10),

Giardiasis . . . 245 . . . Alabama (2), Arkansas (3), California (25), Colorado (25), Florida (25), Georgia (8), Idaho, Iowa, Maine (3), Maryland (4), Michigan (2),  Missouri (15), Montana (3), Nebraska (3), New Mexico, New York (50), North Dakota (12), Ohio (23), Oregon (7), Pennsylvania (23), South Carolina, Vermont (2), Virginia (3), Wisconsin (3),

HME/HGE Undetermined . . . 2 . . . New York, Virginia

Lyme Disease . . .  372 . . . California (4), Delaware (8), Florida (6), Maryland (12), Michigan (2), New Jersey (84), New York (138), Pennsylvania (101), South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia (9), West Virginia (6),

Q Fever (Acute) . . . 1 . . . Missouri, 

Rabies (Animal) . . . 27 . . . Alabama, California (4), Idaho, Kansas, New York (12), Ohio, Virginia (7),

Spotted Fever (Confirmed) . . . 1 . . . Oklahoma,

Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 36 . . . Alabama, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma (17), Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee (8), Texas, Virginia (5),

Tularemia . . . 1 . . . Missouri,  

West Nile Virus (Neuroinvasive) . . . 1 . . . Michigan.

AUTHOR’S NOTE

Posts will be limited

through October 15

due to

carpal tunnel syndrome.

Idaho ELK hunter attacked by BEAR believed to be GRIZZLY ~ Oregon officers will kill two WOLVES involved in another LIVESTOCK loss ~ Colorado officials not expected to track down MOUNTAIN LION that killed pet DOG ~ Ohio town tries to trap COYOTES killing pets ~ Wisconsin warns of EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS outbreak ~ Vermont confirms EMU positive for EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS ~ MOSQUITOES in Florida’s Pinellas County positive for ST. LOUIS ENCEPHALITIS and WEST NILE VIRUS ~ and RABIES reports from Georgia, & South Carolina ~ Follow-Up Reports: Pentagon seeks to identify service members exposed to RABIES.

Grizzly. Photo by Jean-Pierre Lavoie. Wikimedia Commons.

Idaho 09/24/11 washingtonpost.com: An Idaho elk hunter who apparently stumbled across a bear’s resting spot Saturday was hospitalized after the animal bit him and broke his right arm, officials said. Richard Paini, 40, suffered puncture wounds and an injured left hand along with the broken forearm in the attack at about 9 a.m. He was taken to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls. A hospital spokesman said Paini, of Island Park, was listed in serious condition Saturday afternoon. She declined to release details about the extent of his injuries. The bear involved in the attack fled after Paini’s archery hunting partner, John Stiehl of Island Park, used bear spray to scare off the bear. Stiehl told authorities he believed it was a grizzly bear.

The Wildlife Human Attack Response Team was activated to investigate the attack, said Gregg Losinski, a spokesman for Idaho Fish and Game and a member of the team. “It was described to be a large bear,” Losinski said. He said the attack, first reported by KIFI-TV in Idaho Falls, occurred about a half mile east of Last Chance in the Caribou-Targhee National Forest. He said hair samples collected at the site have been sent to a lab that will identify whether it was a black bear or grizzly bear. The bear’s reaction, Losinski said, was typical of grizzly bears, which tend to be more aggressive than black bears, though a surprised black bear could also be dangerous. – For complete article go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/e-idaho-elk-hunter-hospitalized-in-serious-condition-after-bear-attack/2011/09/24/gIQA2MD0tK_story.html

Oregon 09/23/11 state.or.us: News Release – Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) staff will kill two wolves from the Imnaha pack after confirming they were involved in another livestock loss. The two wolves that will be targeted are the alpha male and an uncollared wolf in the pack. Data from the alpha male’s GPS collar confirm he was at the scene where the calf was killed earlier this week. Removing two wolves will reduce the size of Imnaha pack to two—the adult/alpha female and a pup born in spring 2011. Other wolves from the Imnaha pack moved to new areas earlier this year. “Today’s decision was not made lightly,” said ODFW Director Roy Elicker. “We’re working hard to conserve wolves in Oregon, yet be sensitive to the losses suffered by livestock owners.” Yesterday’s investigation brings to 14 the number of livestock animals confirmed to be killed by the Imnaha pack in the past year and a half. ODFW or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed seven losses this year (two in February, and on April 30, May 4 and 17, June 5, and Sept. 22) and seven last year. The 2011 losses are repeating a pattern similar to 2010, when the Imnaha pack wolves killed livestock April through early June and again in the fall (September). An additional two losses were determined to be probable wolf kills by this pack, including one on Sept. 7, 2011. ODFW assumed responsibility for wolf management in the eastern third of Oregon May 5, 2011, after wolves in this area were delisted from the federal Endangered Species Act. After four confirmed livestock losses in spring 2011, ODFW killed two wolves from the Imnaha pack in mid-May.

Under the Wolf Conservation and Management Plan, ODFW kills wolves after chronic livestock depredation. Yesterday’s investigation scene showed clear evidence of a wolf attack. The large spring calf had been dead less than two days, yet was almost completely consumed, suggesting the entire pack had fed on it. The alpha female was observed near the investigation site the following day, and GPS collar data indicates the alpha male was with her at the time. This latest confirmed depredation occurred in the same area where livestock losses had been confirmed in May and June 2011, on private property with livestock operations near Joseph.  Landowners in this area have been using numerous non-lethal measures to avoid wolf-livestock problems. Find more information on wolves in Oregon.

Colorado 09/24/11 summitcountyvoice.com: A mountain lion killed a pet dog this week near Sunlight Ski Area, and another lion was seen in Carbondale, prompting Colorado wildlife managers to warn that encounters with the potentially dangerous animals will become more frequent as the state’s population grows to 5 million and lion populations rebound. A resident living near the Sunlight Ski Resort told a wildlife officer that an attack happened when she let her dogs walk outside at approximately 10 p.m., Wednesday (Sept. 20). She ran out to her deck after hearing distressed barking, and watched as a mountain lion ran off with her 14 year-old poodle/shih tzu mix in its mouth. “As troubling as the incident may seem, residents in this area need to remember that they live in mountain lion country and this can happen anytime,” said Perry Will, wildlife manager for the area. “Lions are opportunistic predators, so we caution people to keep a close eye on their dogs, cats or other domesticated animals.” Wildlife managers take human safety or loss of livestock into consideration when deciding whether to relocate or lethally manage a predator. However, they do not typically kill a lion that preys on an unsupervised pet. – For complete article go to http://summitcountyvoice.com/2011/09/24/colorado-mountain-lion-kills-dog-near-glenwood-springs/

Ohio 09/25/11 hudsonhubtimes.com: Police are warning residents to keep a close eye on their pets after a coyote attack was reported Sept. 19 in the Lakes of Aurora neighborhood. The city also has initiated a program with its animal control contractor to try to trap coyotes around town. Laurie Sovich told the Aurora Advocate on Sept. 20 that the family’s Maltese-mixed dog was snatched from the yard by a coyote and carried into the woods while her husband and son were sitting on the front porch the evening of Sept. 19. A handful of Lakes of Aurora residents also have told the Advocate in recent weeks that their cats have turned up missing.

Wisconsin 09/24/11 channel3000.com: An outbreak of Eastern equine encephalitis is expanding in Wisconsin. State veterinarian Robert Ehlenfeldt said 25 cases of a mosquito-borne disease have been confirmed in Wisconsin since mid-August, mostly in the north-central part of the state. Ehlenfeldt advised horse owners to call a veterinarian if their horses show any signs of central nervous system disease. Those include loss of appetite, dropping eyelids and lower lip, aimless wandering and circling and sometimes paralysis. The disease has a mortality rate of 90 percent or higher. So far, the disease has been detected in Price, Lincoln, Taylor, Clark, Marathon and Dunn counties. Ehlenfeldt said he expects more cases to be confirmed. He said warm weather forecast for next week might mean mosquitoes are more active.

Vermont 09/23/11 townofbrandon.com: Public Notice – The Vermont Department of Health and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets announced today that Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) was confirmed on September 22 in an emu from Brandon. This is the first time that EEE virus has been confirmed in a live animal in Vermont. No cases in people have been reported. While EEE virus has never caused illness in Vermont, EEE in animals and people had been reported in Vermont’s bordering states and Quebec. In 2010, testing of deer and moose samples confirmed that EEE virus was present in Vermont. – For complete notice go to http://townofbrandon.com/2011/09/23/eastern-equine-encephalitis-detected-in-vermont-bird/

Pinellas County

Florida 09/23/11 tbo.com: Pinellas County officials Friday evening confirmed that St. Louis encephalitis and West Nile virus have popped up on sentinel chickens around the county. In a news release, the county’s mosquito control division said that a total of 15 St. Louis encephalitis and three West Nile virus cases were found in chickens. No human cases have been reported. The chickens that contracted the West Nile virus were in Palm Harbor, Oldsmar and Seminole. The St. Louis encephalitis cases were detected in Clearwater, Tarpon Springs, Palm Harbor, Oldsmar, St. Petersburg and Seminole. Officials said that the increased numbers of positive tests do not indicate an increase in the presence of the viruses. A mosquito-borne advisory issued by the Florida Department of Health last week is in effect because tests on sentinel chickens were confirmed positive.

Georgia 09/23/11 wrdw.com: The Richmond County Health Department is issuing a warning to residents of Richmond County about rabies and your pets. They say a raccoon that was picked up in a wooded area close to Rosier Road, Wentworth Road, Chadwick Road and the Pepperidge subdivision has tested positive for rabies. Any contact of humans with wild animals should be reported to the Richmond County Health Department Environmentalist Health Section office at (706) 667-4234 and contact of pets with wild animals to Richmond County Animal Control at (706) 790- 6836.

South Carolina 09/23/11 thestate.com: A man who picked up a raccoon in the Hopkins area of Richland County is under the care of a physician after the animal tested positive for rabies, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control reported Friday. “The raccoon was found on a road, and the man wanted to help it,” said Sue Ferguson of DHEC’s Bureau of Environmental Health. “The raccoon eventually bit the man on his hand.”

Follow-Up Reports:

National 09/23/11 military.com: News Release – (See August 26, 2011 post: New York soldier returning from deployment diagnosed with RABIES ~ August 28, 2011 Follow-Up Reports: media learns source of New York soldier’s RABIES infection ~ September 5, 2011 Follow-Up Reports: SOLDIER at Ft. Drum, New York, with RABIES has died ~ and September 16, 2011 Follow-Up Reports: SOLDIER who died of RABIES did not receive full course of post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) RABIES VACCINE.) A soldier who recently returned from Afghanistan died from rabies last month after contracting the disease from a feral dog while deployed. The Army has initiated an investigation to ensure that other service members who may have been exposed to rabies are identified and receive preventive treatment, if needed. The Army Medical Department, along with the Department of Defense, other uniformed services and the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working together to expeditiously identify, evaluate and treat any service members, DOD civilians and contractors who may have been exposed to rabies while deployed. Individuals who have already been identified as being exposed to the disease while deployed are currently receiving evaluation and treatment. – For complete release go to http://www.military.com/news/article/army-news/army-seeks-to-id-treat-soldiers-exposed-to-rabies.html

Idaho officers shoot MOUNTAIN LION that attacked 10-year-old ~ Maine officers shoot BLACK BEAR in Portland neighborhood ~ Washington issues ADVISORY about OYSTERS harvested in Hood Canal #4 ~ MOSQUITOES in two more Massachusetts towns carrying EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS ~ RABIES reports from Colorado, New Jersey, & Tennessee ~ and WEST NILE VIRUS reports from California (3), Florida, Illinois (2), and Louisiana ~ Canada: B.C. man kills MOUNTAIN LION attacking pet CAT ~ Travel Warnings for Pakistan.

Mountain Lion. PD. Wikimedia Commons.

Idaho 09/23/11 idaho.gov: News Release – Thursday evening about 8 or 8:30 p.m. a young boy went out with his dad to look for a family pet bird dog that had been missing since the day before. They were searching in thick sagebrush near their home in a Mores Creek subdivision when the boy heard noises in the brush. But instead of the missing dog he had hoped to find, he came face to face with a young cougar. He panicked and ran. The lion gave chase. The boy stumbled and found the cat close by. The cat took a swipe with its front paw, scratching the boy on the arm and hand. The boy yelled to his father, who fired a round from his 9 mm handgun to scare the cat away. Idaho Fish and Game conservation officers, an off-duty Meridian police officer and a Boise County deputy responded to the incident. With the help of tracking dogs, the officers located the cat, guarding the pet dog it had killed. The officers killed the lion with shots from handguns and a rifle. The female cat was estimated to be about 50 pounds and a year and a half old. It is not unusual for young lions to get into trouble after they have left the protection their mother and are trying to learn to survive on their own, Senior Conservation Officer Matt O’Connell said. When a lion has made physical contact with a human, especially in the circumstance of having killed a pet dog, protocol is to kill the animal, he said. The boy’s wounds were considered minor. Such events are rare; this the second recorded mountain lion incident involving injury to a human in Idaho. The other involved a 12-year-old boy on the Salmon River in the early 1990s.

Maine 09/24/11 pressherald.com: Officers of the Maine Warden Service shot and killed a black bear today around 7 a.m. in the woods off Veranda Street in the East Deering neighborhood. Portland police reported the treed bear to the Wardens Service around 4:30 a.m. Wardens initially tried to tranquilize the bear, but were unable to, according to Portland police Lt. Jim Sweatt. “It was getting to be 7 o’clock and you don’t want school buses and firearms on the scene,” Sweatt said. The bear initially was spotted in a tree on Oregon Street, a residential area, before climbing down and running off, Sweatt said. A warden tracked the bear down streets and through backyards before shooting it as a last resort because of the school bus concerns and commuter traffic starting to pick up on nearby Route 1. The wardens’ service said the bear weighed 220 pounds. The hide is being sent to the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife so researchers can determine the bear’s sex and age and other factors. The meat will be distributed to soup kitchens. Wildlife officials are warning residents this is the time of year bears are on the prowl for food as they fatten up in preparation for hibernation in late fall.

Hood Canal Oyster Beds

Washington 09/23/11 wa.gov: News Release – Distributors, retailers, restaurants, and consumers have been advised not to eat, sell, or ship oysters harvested between August 30 and September 19 from Washington’s Hood Canal growing area #4. The state Department of Health made the recommendations, including contacting people who bought the oysters over the Internet, as part of a recall of oysters in the shell harvested in that growing area between those dates. The agency closed oyster harvesting in the area after five people who ate raw oysters containing Vibrio parahaemolyticus, got sick with an illness called vibriosis. The recall is a precautionary action to make sure that no oysters in the shell harvested from Hood Canal #4, in this time period, are still for sale or in the hands of consumers. State health officials order a recall when two or more unrelated cases of vibriosis are linked to the same source of oysters from the growing area. There have been several other vibriosis cases reported this summer, scattered around the state’s growing areas. Typically, Washington sees about 50 cases of vibriosis a year. Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria are found naturally in the environment. When water temperature rises, the bacteria can quickly grow to a level that causes illness.

Massachusetts 09/23/11 milforddailynews.com: by Whitney Clearman – Mosquitoes carrying the eastern equine encephalitis virus, which can infect humans through bites, were found yesterday morning near (the Medway) recycling center, according to the Board of Health. The Norfolk County Mosquito Control Project is testing its mosquito traps to see if the finding was an isolated incident or if the virus is in other locations, he said. The virus has historically affected southeast Massachusetts, around Bristol and Plymouth counties, and not MetroWest, said Catherine Brown, state public health veterinarian.

Massachusetts 09/23/11 patch.com: by Jeremie Smith – On Wednesday, Dover-Sherborn Patch reported the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus was found in mosquitoes in Sherborn. Due to Medfield’s close geographical proximity to Sherborn, Medfield Public School administrators issued letters to parents to notify them of Sherborn’s finding and to offer tips on how to prevent their children from being bitten by mosquitoes.

Colorado 09/22/11 reporterherald.com: from an article by Pamela Dickman – A Loveland man is undergoing a series of rabies shots after being bitten on the neck by a bat. “I had no idea a bat had bit me,” he said, until he saw his dog playing with a dead bat in the yard a couple of days later. The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment took the bat to a Colorado State University lab where it tested positive for rabies.  So far this year, 22 humans and 62 domestic animals are believed to have come in contact with a rabid bat across the state, and in Larimer County, six residents – three from the same family – have undergone inoculations to prevent rabies, according to the state and county health departments.

New Jersey 09/22/11 patch.com: by Denise DiSephan – Jack Neary, known locally as Muskrat Jack, the town’s animal control officer, confirmed that a raccoon that was captured during the day on Long Point Lane last Friday has tested positive for rabies, said Point Beach Borough Administrator Christine Riehl in a prepared statement. To report a suspicious animal call the the Point Beach Police Department at 732-892-0500 or Muskrat Jack at 732-295-1618.

Tennessee 09/22/11 clarksvilleonline.com: The Tennessee Department of Health is working with the United States Department of Agriculture to help prevent rabies by distributing oral rabies vaccine for wild raccoons along Tennessee’s borders with Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia. The annual baiting program administered by USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services, will begin in Tennessee on September 30th, 2011. “Control of raccoon rabies is vital to public health, and we are pleased to be part of this important and effective program to reduce rabies in wildlife, which helps prevent transmission to people, pets and livestock,” said Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH, FACOEM. Vaccine packets placed inside fishmeal blocks or coated with fishmeal will be distributed throughout a 15 county area in Tennessee. The barrier varies from 30 to 60 miles wide and covers approximately 3,400 square miles, running along the Virginia/North Carolina border in northeast Tennessee to the Georgia border in southeast Tennessee near Chattanooga. Baits will be distributed by hand from vehicles in urban and suburban areas and dropped from specially equipped airplanes in rural areas. The oral rabies vaccine will be distributed on the following schedule: Sept 30th-Oct 8th: Carter, Cocke, Greene, Hamblen, Hawkins, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington Counties. Oct 5th-15th: Bradley, Hamilton, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe and Polk Counties. For additional information on rabies prevention or the oral rabies vaccine program, call the USDA Wildlife Services toll-free rabies line at 1.866.487.3297 or the Tennessee Department of Health at 1.615.741.7247.

Lake County

California 09/23/11 lakeconews.com: A third sample of mosquitoes collected in Lake County has tested positive for West Nile Virus. The positive sample consisted of 10 Culex tarsalis – the Western encephalitis mosquito – collected east of Middletown on Thursday, Sept. 15, according to the Lake County Vector Control District. The district said the previous two West Nile Virus-positive mosquito samples were collected earlier in September near Kelseyville. No other West Nile Virus activity – in humans or animals – has been reported in Lake County this year. “The mosquitoes that are testing positive for West Nile Virus in Lake County develop in still water,” said Jamesina J. Scott, Ph.D., the district manager and research director of the Lake County Vector Control District. “They will develop in wading pools, neglected swimming pools and spas, ponds, fountains, and other water sources. You can protect your family – and your neighbors – by dumping out small water sources like wading pools, or calling the district for help with larger sources like pools and ponds.” One unmaintained – or “green” – pool can produce hundreds of thousands mosquitoes per week, and those mosquitoes can fly up to five miles away. – For complete article go to http://lakeconews.com/content/view/21535/919/

Riverside County

California 09/22/11 latimes.com: Three Riverside County women contracted the West Nile Virus in August, the county’s first reported cases this year, authorities said Thursday. All three are recovering and there doesn’t appear to be any connection between any of the cases, said Dr. Eric Frykman, the county’s public health officer. A 44-year-old Corona woman and a 63-year-old Norco woman were hospitalized for a short time after contracting the virus last month, the county health department said in a statement released Thursday. In the third case, a 36-year-old Beaumont woman is recovering at home.

San Bernadino County

California 09/22/11 vvdailypress.comA 57-year-old Barstow resident suffering from a case of West Nile virus was bitten by an infected mosquito in Fontana last month and did not contract the disease in Barstow, officials said Thursday. The San Bernardino County Department of Public Health notified city of Barstow officials about the West Nile case Monday, according to the statement. The city worked with San Bernardino County Vector Control Agency, which began trapping mosquitoes in town.

St. Johns County

Florida 09/23/11 staugustine.com: from a report by Jennifer Edwards – Anastasia Mosquito Control District officials have confirmed the presence of West Nile Virus. This is the first known instance here this year, said Anastasia Mosquito Control Director Rudy Xue. It was reported in one of the sentinel chickens that the district keeps on Joe Ashton Road as part of an early detection system. No humans in St. Johns County are known to have been infected with West Nile Virus. Joe Ashton Road is located in the county’s northwest off County Road 13.

Illinois 09/22/11 patch.com: by Jennifer Fisher & Brian Slupski – A Northbrook man in his 60s was the first person to die of West Nile Virus in Illinois in 2011, according to the Cook County Department of Public Health.  The man had underlying health conditions that contributed to his death, said Department of Health spokesperson Amy Poore . . . Poore emphasized the fact that there have been incidences of West Nile Virus throughout Cook County, not just in Northbrook. All told, six people have contracted the virus this year, the Illinois Department of Public Health reports.

Illinois 09/22/11 triblocal.com: by Lawrence Synett – A Woodstock man has contracted the first reported human case of West Nile Virus in McHenry County. The 35-year-old Woodstock man was hospitalized, but has since been released.

Calcasieu Parish

Louisiana 09/23/11 kify.com: Louisiana’s health department says a West Nile virus case in Calcasieu Parish is the tenth diagnosed statewide this year and the fifth dangerous infection of the brain or spinal cord. The Department of Health and Hospitals says the last dangerous “neuroinvasive” case to be diagnosed also was in Calcasieu Parish. Other cases diagnosed earlier include 3 of flu-like West Nile fever and two infections without any symptoms.

Canada:

British Columbia 09/23/11 vancouversun.com: by Keri Sculland – A cougar that has been lurking around a Port Alberni neighbourhood has been killed after it tried to attack a pet cat. People in the area of Lakeshore Road “had been warned” about the large cougar after it was seen stalking a woman and her dog last week, said resident Bob Cole. Cole was pulling out of his driveway Tuesday afternoon when he saw the cougar on top of one of his neighbour’s cats. He hit the gas, aimed for the cougar and hoped the best for the pet’s life. “I just took my chance to hit the cougar,” he said. Cole could not stick around at the scene, leaving his wife in charge of directing RCMP and conservation officers to where the cougar laid. “When the conservation officers came, they found it immediately,” he said. “It went down off the side of the road and they dispatched it.” The cougar, it turns out, was ill. After conservation authorities located the injured animal, it was destroyed and sent away for an autopsy. “The cougar was a young male and it was not in healthy condition,” confirmed RCMP Cpl. Jen Allan. The neighbour’s cat, however, ran away safely.

Travel Warnings:

Pakistan 09/22/11 xinhuanet.com: Death toll from an epidemic of dengue fever, which has gripped Pakistan’s most populous and eastern province of Punjab, has now reached 62 as another man died on Thursday, health officials and local media reported. The fever, which has also been reported in other parts of the country, has infected nearly 8,000 in the last two months, they said. Till Thursday, 100,000 people have rushed to government and private hospitals in Lahore for medical test as every citizen is now wanting to get doctors’ advice. Residents say that 50 percent people now avoid visiting parks and picnic spots in Lahore. There have also been reports of dengue in southern Sindh Province, with the provincial Dengue Surveillance Cell reporting over 200 cases this year, most of them in Karachi.

Massachusetts man says COYOTES killed one of his BUFFALO ~ New York’s Westchester County issues RABIES ALERT ~ California man and South Dakota woman each confront a MOUNTAIN LION to save their pets ~ California hospital looking for 6,000 people who received one or more of six vaccinations, including RABIES VACCINE, that may be subpotent ~ Florida’s Pinellas County finds four more SENTINEL CHICKENS with ST. LOUIS ENCEPHALITIS ~ RABIES (animal) reports from Alabama, California, Connecticut, New Mexico, North Carolina (2), Ohio, South Carolina, & Washington ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (human & horse) reports from Delaware, Maryland, & Pennsylvania ~ and an EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS (horse) report from Michigan ~ Travel Warnings for The Bahamas, & Dominica.

American buffalo. PD. Wikimedia Commons.

Massachusetts 09/16/11 boston.com: by Meghan Irons – Coyotes lurking in the woods in Massachusetts have been known to attack dogs, chickens, cats, and even, in rare instances, people. But a buffalo? You better believe it, pardner.  Tyler Kimball says it actually happened here on his farm in the dark of night on Saturday.

Wolf pack surrounding a buffalo

A pack of coyotes entered a pen where his 14 buffalos grazed. When they were done, one was missing.  The coyotes were sly, Kimball said. They separated a relatively young buffalo, 16 months old, from the rest of the herd, dragged it into a nearby swamp, and devoured it.  “All that was left was skin and bone,” said Kimball, who was keeping watch over the pen today as the herd huddled together and grazed on grass. Kimball decided to raise buffalos a few years ago after he visited a farm in Maine and ate buffalo meat. He raises the animals for their meat and uses them to protect chickens that are in a coop inside the pen. The animals are also huge attractions for visitors. After the coyote attack, he vowed to be vigilant in protecting the animals – armed, if necessary. “I’m going to come out here with my gun, and if I see one, I’ll shoot it,” he said.

New York 09/16/11 patch.com: by Satta Sarmah – The Westchester County Department of Health issued an alert on Friday after rabid animals were spotted in five communities. The alert is for residents who may have had contact with a rabid skunk in Ossining, Mamaroneck, Scarsdale, or Katonah or a rabid raccoon in Yorktown. On Sept. 8, a man in Mamaroneck killed a rabid skunk with a metal rod after it chased him on Center Avenue. In Yorktown, a resident killed a rabid raccoon after it fought with two dogs on Kitchawan Road on Sept. 9. Four days later, a rabid skunk attacked a dog on Belle Avenue in Ossining and was eventually killed by police, while another rabid skunk in Scarsdale followed a dog into a yard before construction workers killed it by pummeling rocks at the animal. The latest rabid animal incident occurred on Thursday morning in Katonah. A sick skunk was found shaking in a front yard on Buckabee Place. Bedford police shot and killed the animal. No person had direct contact with any of the rabid animals, but the pets that did are receiving rabies booster shots. The health department used robo-calls to notify residents who live within a quarter-mile of the location where each of the animals was found. However, anyone who may have had contact with them should call the Westchester County Department of Health immediately at (914) 813-5000 to determine if rabies treatment is needed. For more information about rabies and its prevention, visit the Westchester County Health Department’s website at www.westchestergov.com/health. Residents also can call the RABIES INFOLINE at (914) 813-5010 to listen to a taped message.

California 09/16/11 patch.com: by Nathan McIntire – A Monrovia resident chased away a mountain lion from his hillside neighborhood Thursday night, but not before it killed his cat. Maxwell Harvey was pulling up to his home in the 400 block of Lotone Street at about 10 p.m. Thursday when he saw the mountain lion in a neighbor’s driveway. He noticed it had something clasped in its jaws. “I saw something in its mouth but I didn’t know what it was,” Harvey said. “Then I saw it was my cat so I started to chase after it.” The mountain lion dropped the cat, an orange tabby named “Brett Favre,” in the street a few houses down before scampering back up into the foothills. Harvey said it came back down about an hour later looking for its kill, but he had already picked up the cat’s body. The Monrovia Police Department sent out a robo-call Friday warning residents about the mountain lion sighting. Residents in Sierra Madre also reported seeing a mountain lion roaming the streets on Monday.

South Dakota 09/17/11 rapidcityjournal.com: by Andrea J. Cook – Jill Schad didn’t hesitate when she saw her Sheltie Kay’D clutched in a mountain lion‘s jaws. After calling for help, Schad grabbed a small bottle of antifreeze before advancing on the lion that had her pet in a death grip. “Your adrenalin just kind of takes over,” Schad said. “I just tried to save her.” Schad estimates she was within 18 inches of the lion that had either cornered or carried Kay’D into a boat shed Sept. 4. Game, Fish & Parks officials shot and killed the lion and a female traveling with it later that evening after the animals returned to the area. The killing of the two lions brings to 73 the number of documented lion deaths in South Dakota since the first of the year, Mike Kintigh, regional GF&P supervisor, said. Don and Jill Schad have lived two miles south of Cheyenne Crossing, on U.S. Highway 85, for more than 10 years. This is the first time they’ve seen mountain lions on the property that is surrounded by U.S. Forest Service land. – For complete article go to http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/woman-stood-face-to-face-with-mountain-lion/article_20f719ce-e0ec-11e0-9b8d-001cc4c002e0.html

California 09/16/11 appeal-democrat.com: Fremont Rideout Health Group is trying to reach about 6,000 people who received vaccines that may be subpotent. Letters were sent this week to patients who received six vaccines potentially affected by a refrigeration malfunction, a FRHG official said Friday. The hospital is offering revaccinations as a precautionary measure. The six vaccines were administered to fight pneumonia; measles, mumps and rubella; tetanus; pertussis; rabies; and Hepatitis B. The vaccinations in question date back to February 2010. Chance White, FRHG senior vice president and chief clinical officer, said the vaccines’ manufacturers and the Centers for Disease Control indicated there’s a “small chance” the vaccines could be subpotent. In addition to the free revaccinations, the hospital will offer recipients a vaccine against the 2011-12 flu strain, also at no charge. “The manufacturers and the CDC said there’s no danger in getting subpotent vaccines or having revaccinations,” White said. Addresses for everyone who received the vaccinations are on file, but the hospital is concerned some people may have moved and will not get the letter. In addition to issuing a media advisory, FRHG plans an ad about the revaccinations. The outreach was initiated after FRHG identified a malfunction in the refrigeration unit of the pharmacy used to store vaccines; it was getting colder than the temperature range recommended by the pharmaceutical manufacturer. Unable to retrieve all relevant electronic temperature data for the malfunctioning unit, the hospital decided to revaccinate everyone, White said. “The prudent thing is to offer the revaccinations,” said White. Questions regarding the vaccines and revaccinations can be directed to a hotline, 749-6654, or email vaccines@frhg.org.

Florida 09/16/11 patch.com: by Sunde Farquhar – Pinellas County officials are advising residents of southwest Florida to double efforts to protect themselves from mosquito bites. That is the message from Pinellas County Health officials, concerned about the risks of disease to humans. Four more sentinel chickens tested positive for St. Louis Encephalitis, bringing the total of infected chickens in the county to nine. Sentinel chickens are kept in eight locations throughout the county and are tested weekly for signs of arboviral diseases caused by mosquito bites. County officials say the chickens serve as an early-warning beacon, making them aware of disease-carrying mosquitoes that pose risks to humans. Chickens tested positive in St. Petersburg, Oldsmar, Tarpon Springs, Seminole and Palm Harbor.

Alabama 09/15/11 dothaneagle.com: Houston County’s sixth animal rabies case for the year was discovered in a raccoon found at a residence on Clearmont Drive in Dothan. According to the Houston County Health Department, a resident found the raccoon fighting with his dogs and asked for the raccoon to be tested for rabies. There was no known human exposure to the rabid raccoon and the dogs involved are currently vaccinated for the rabies virus.

California 09/15/11 newsreview.com: Chico Police say a rabid bat bit a young boy at Bidwell Park. The boy required treatment after the Butte County Public Health Laboratory confirmed the animal had rabies. According to a CPD press release, the incident occurred as the 6-year-old played on the grass on the north side of Sycamore Pool at the One-Mile Recreation Area.

Connecticut 09/15/11 patch.com: by Stephanie Riefe – On September 14 at 4:23 p.m., the Simsbury Police Department responded to 18 Windham Drive in Simsbury. A resident witnessed a skunk attack a dog several times. Officers responded and located the skunk and it was exhibiting signs of sickness. Simsbury Animal Control Officer Mark Rudewicz delivered the skunk to the state Department of Public Health (DPH) for testing. On September 15, the Simsbury Police Department was informed by DPH that the skunk tested positive for rabies. If you, someone you know or any domesticated animals came into contact with a skunk in the area of Windham Drive within the last two weeks, it is recommend that you contact your doctor or veterinarian for advice. For any other questions or concerns, contact the Simsbury Police Department at 860-658-3100 or Animal Control Officer Mark Rudewicz at 860-658-3110. For further information, view the CT DPH Rabies website at http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3136&q=396178.

New Mexico 09/15/11 lcsun-news.com: by Diana M. Alba – A rabid bat recently was found at an apartment complex on Solano Drive, a state health official confirmed. It was the first confirmed instance of rabies in Doña Ana County this year. The bat was found two weeks ago at the complex and picked up by city animal control personnel, who, believing it was suspect, shipped the specimen to a state health laboratory in Albuquerque, said Paul Ettestad, state public health veterinarian.

North Carolina 09/16/11 newsobserver.com: Wake County health officials say two cases of rabies were confirmed this week, in Wendell and Willow Springs. Both cases involved rabid foxes. In one case, the fox interacted with a dog that had not received a rabies vaccination and had to be put down. The foxes were found near the intersection of Quail Creek Drive and Eddie Howard Road in Willow Springs and near the intersection of Gillies Spring Lane and Wendell Boulevard in Wendell. Residents of both areas are urged to keep an eye out for animals that are acting strangely and to keep their pets close at hand. County officials ask anyone who sees an animal acting in an unusual manner to call Wake County Animal Control at 212-7387. Anyone who has been bitten or scratched by an unknown animal should call their physician or the county community health department at 250-4462.

North Carolina 09/15/11 statesville.com: by Donna Swicegood – A skunk that attacked a dog in western Iredell County recently has been confirmed to have rabies. Iredell County Animal Services Director Chris Royal said a dog, whose owners live on Doe Trail Lane, was attacked by the skunk.  One of the owners of the dog shot and killed the skunk, and the skunk’s body was sent off to Raleigh for testing. The test came back positive for rabies, Royal said. This is the fifth case of rabies this year in Iredell County, she said. The dog, she said, was injured in the attack and was taken to the veterinarian for treatment. However, because of the dog’s age — 14 — the owners decided to surrender it to animal control and it was euthanized, Royal said.

Ohio 09/15/11 patch.com: by Jason Lea – A rabid skunk was collected in the northwest part of Mentor after it had an encounter with two unvaccinated dogs, according to the Lake County General Health District. To make sure they don’t spread the disease, the dogs will be subject to a six-month quarantine. This is the second rabid skunk found this year in Mentor. The first was located about two miles west in the northern, middle portion of Mentor in mid-July. It was captured during a routine Trap, Vaccinate and Release operation carried out by the USDA Wildlife Services. The skunk is believed to be infected with raccoon strain rabies. Since 2004, 136 animals with raccoon strain rabies have been found in Lake County, according to the health district. Health departments in northeast Ohio have distributed rabies vaccine for raccoons to eat. However, the vaccine is not effective in skunks. A new vaccine for skunks is undergoing trials and it is hoped it will be available for use locally next year. Citizens can call the Lake County General Health District at 440-350-2543 to report dead or sick animals and animals with odd behavior.

South Carolina 09/15/11 islandpacket.com: by Allison Stice – Three people who cared for an injured raccoon in Okatie are undergoing medical treatment after the animal tested positive for rabies, state health officials said Thursday.  Five others are being evaluated to see if they need the preventive inoculation against the virus, which is fatal to humans and animals once it reaches the brain.  The raccoon was found struggling to walk along a road in Okatie when a resident decided to take it home to nurse it, unaware that it was rabid, according to Adam Myrick, public information director for the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. When the animal’s condition worsened, it was taken to a veterinarian where it tested positive for rabies.  Now, two women and a child who handled the raccoon are being treated by a doctor. The animal did not bite them, but the virus can spread through scratches or saliva, Myrick said. DHEC is still determining how much contact five other people may have had with the raccoon.  “We cannot stress enough the importance of resisting the urge to adopt or feed wildlife,” Sue Ferguson of DHEC said in a news release. “Despite the prevalent folklore, there is no way to tell from looking at an animal whether or not it has rabies, and baby animals can carry the disease without showing the symptoms, as well.” The incident is the fifth confirmed rabid animal in Beaufort County this year. Last year’s total was five rabid animals, with 106 confirmed cases in the state.

Washington 09/16/11 theolympian.com: A dead bat found inside a store on Olympia’s west side has tested positive for rabies, according to the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services department. According to a news release: Two customers found the bat Sept. 9 in the Halloween section of the Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Store. The health department was notified Monday and sent the bat to the Washington State Public Health Laboratories for testing. Wednesday, the lab notified Public Health and Social Services that the bat had rabies. The pair who found the bat received rabies vaccinations as a precaution. County health officials are asking the store’s customers to call if they may have touched the bat at the store between Sept. 2 and Sept. 9. The health department can be reached at 360-867-2500. “People who walked, shopped, or worked at Jo-Ann’s are not at risk unless they came in contact with the bat,” Dr. Diana Yu, Thurston County Health Officer, said in the news release. A dozen to as many as 23 bats a year test positive for rabies statewide, said Tim Church, communications director for the state Department of Health. In 2010, out of 200 bats tested, 14 were positive, he said. Nine have tested positive this year, Church said.

New Castle County

Delaware 09/17/11 delawareonline.com: by Hiran Ratnayake – A 71-year-old man from New Castle County has been diagnosed with West Nile virus. The man has underlying health conditions and is hospitalized but his status was not released by the state’s Department of Health and Social Services Friday. “What we can release is that he is 71 and he is from New Castle County and that is the extent of what we can release,” said Jill Fredel, department spokeswoman. Between 2004 and 2009, the state had four cases of West Nile virus, according to the Delaware Division of Public Health. As of Sept. 13, there were 202 human cases of West Nile virus in the nation, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including seven deaths. Fredel said people spending time outside should stay covered up and use insect repellent to protect themselves from mosquitoes. “We have one confirmed case and [Delawareans] should be mindful of it,” Fredel said.

Sussex County

At the same time, state agricultural officials also said the health of a Sussex County horse with clinical signs of the West Nile Virus is improving. Tests to confirm the disease on the horse were inconclusive, according to Delaware’s Department of Agriculture, which was notified about the potential case Sep. 6. Delaware has not had a case of West Nile virus in a horse since 2003.

Prince George's County

Maryland 09/16/11 washingtonpost.com: by Maggie Fazeli Fard – A New Carrollton resident has contracted West Nile virus, Prince George’s County’s first confirmed case of the virus in a human, officials announced Friday. There was no information available on the condition of the infected resident.

Pennsylvania 09/16/11 post-gazette.com: by Jill Daly – A Pittsburgh man, who is Allegheny County’s first case of West Nile virus this year, is now recovering at home after being hospitalized earlier this month. More details of the patient could not be released because of privacy concerns, but he is the first reported West Nile case since 2007, according to county Health Department spokesman Guillermo Cole.

Head pressing horse with EEE

Michigan 09/16/11 chron.com: Officials are reporting Michigan’s first horse death this year related to Eastern equine encephalitis. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development on Thursday announced that lab tests confirmed the diagnosis in a Midland County horse. Last year, the state says there were 56 confirmed horse fatalities related to Eastern equine encephalitis, which is spread by mosquitoes. Others were suspected but not confirmed through lab tests. Suspected cases should be reported to state officials. The disease is rare but can be deadly among humans. Health officials say people should take steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and horses should be vaccinated.

Travel Warnings:

The Bahamas 09/15/11 cdc.gov: CDC Outbreak Notice –  Situation Information – The government of the Bahamas issued a public service advisory announcing heightened dengue activity in New Providence. This island is the most populous and includes the city of Nassau. As a result, the US Embassy in Nassau issued an emergency message for US citizens in the Bahamas related to dengue. In August, the Ministry of Health reported that more than 100 cases were being reported daily. Approximately 1,000 cases of dengue-like symptoms had been reported as of August 9. Mosquito bite prevention measures, such as fogging and communication campaigns, are under way in densely populated areas.

Dengue fever is the most common cause of fever in travelers returning from the Caribbean, Central America, and South Central Asia. Dengue is reported commonly from most tropical and subtropical countries of Oceania, Asia, the Caribbean, the Americas, and occasionally Africa. This disease is caused by four similar viruses (DENV-1, -2, -3, and -4) and is spread through the bites of infected mosquitoes.

Dengue virus transmission occurs in both rural and urban areas; however, dengue is most often reported from urban settings. For the most up-to-date information on dengue worldwide, see the DengueMap on the CDC website. For more information about other countries with dengue in the region, see the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)

Dominica 09/16/11 thedominican.net – The Ministry of Health in Dominica is actively engaged in bringing an end to dengue fever and leptospirosis on the island. Health officials say they will boost intervention in an attempt to curb the outbreak of dengue fever, which has affected several persons in the Roseau area. So far there are no reported deaths from the outbreak but health officials say there have been 15 confirmed cases since the outbreak was first reported a few weeks ago. They are also awaiting the results on nine suspected cases. Dengue fever is spread by the aedes aegypti mosquito and symptoms include high fever, rash, severe headaches, back pain, eye pain, muscles and joint pain.

Meanwhile, the government of Dominica has received assistance from the Cuban government to help control the rodent population in Dominica. Over the past year close to fifty persons have contracted leptospirosis with seven confirmed deaths. The last two deaths were reported in May when Ricky Allport and Jonathan Wilson both succumbed to the disease. Just this month four new cases were reported. According to Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Johnson, “we are working with Cuban officials. We have evidence of a high population of rodents and because of that Leptospirosis is not under control.” Dr Johnson called on the general public to assist the authorities as they work on controlling the rodent population on the island. Leptospirosis is largely spread to humans from animals and rodents, particularly rats. The disease can cause severe fever, headache, muscle aches, abdominal pains, and vomiting.

Colorado city releases draft of new BLACK BEAR and MOUNTAIN LION management plan; Florida’s Duval County confirms second WEST NILE VIRUS death this year; New case of WEST NILE VIRUS in Mississippi’s Madison County brings state’s total to 24 this year; and Wisconsin HORSES felled by EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS. Canada: BC conservation officers shoot COUGAR family in residential area.

Mountain lion. Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Colorado 09/11/11 dailycamera.com: by Mitchell Byars – The city of Boulder has released a draft wildlife management plan to address black bear and mountain lion sightings within the city. One emphasis of the plan is working with neighborhoods to monitor trash to avoid attracting bears. In 2010, trash was identified as an attractant in 39 instances, or about 30 percent of sightings. Under the management plan, city officials would check trash in areas where bears have been spotted to look for signs of bear activity. The city also will be encouraging residents to get more bear-resistant trash bins. Valerie Matheson, Boulder’s urban wildlife coordinator, said the patrols will help compile more data on bear activity, as opposed to relying on reported sightings. “This will help us see where they are and what containers they are knocking over,” she said. “Right now, our database is just based on reports, and I actually think bear sightings are probably under-reported. This will help us get more objective data.”

In addition to bears, the plan calls for more education on mountain lions. Matheson said that since attractants and prey for mountain lions are harder to control, the management plan seeks to educate people on how to react to mountain lion sightings. “With mountain lions, managing what brings them into Boulder is harder,” she said. “We felt like the best thing to do was to educate residents so they can co-exist with the lions.” The city hopes to start a website that will post information on bear and mountain lion sightings as well as information about what to do when they are encountered in the city. The plan also says that the methods departments use to share information with each other about sightings must be streamlined.

Florida 09/12/11 news4jax.com: A second person who had contracted the West Nile virus in recent months has died, according to the Duval County Health Department. The Health Department also confirmed a 12th case of the virus has been reported this year. Health officials said a 57-year-old woman who was the sixth person to contract the virus this year died within the last week. They said a 43-year-old man with the virus is the latest case to be reported. Two cases involving a 53-year-old man and an 85-year-old man were reported last week. A 64-year-old woman with the virus died last month. About one in 150 people infected with West Nile virus will develop severe illness, health officials said. Dr. Bob Harmon, of the Duval County Health Department, said 80 percent of those people infected with the virus will experience no symptoms at all, while 20 percent will have symptoms. Harmon said one out of 150 people can develop a serious neurological disease.

Madison County

Mississippi 09/12/11 wkrg.com: Five newly reported cases of West Nile virus bring the total in Mississippi this year to 24. On Monday, the state Health Department says a new case was found in Madison County. So far this year, cases have been confirmed in Forrest (3), Hinds (4), Jones (3), Madison (2), Pearl River (6), and one case each in: Coahoma, Rankin, Tallahatchie, Tate, Wayne, and Washington counties. Two deaths have been confirmed, in Jones and Pearl River counties. In 2010, Mississippi had eight West Nile virus cases and no deaths.

Wisconsin 09/08/11 ashlandwi.com: by Sara Nemec – A health officer with Bayfield County confirmed Wednesday the county’s first equine death due to a deadly mosquito-borne virus, while an area vet confirmed Tuesday that an Ashland County horse also died last month from the same disease. In the first confirmed case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in the area this year, veterinarian Heidi Jahnke, of the Ashland Area Veterinary Clinic, said the Ashland County mustang horse died Aug. 21 from the fatal neurological disease. In neighboring Bayfield County, a state lab indicated Friday another horse had succumbed to the same disease. Cases have also been confirmed in Dunn, Price and Taylor counties in August, though it is unknown if the disease resulted in animal mortalities in Price and Taylor counties. – For complete article go to http://www.ashlandwi.com/articles/2011/09/10/news/doc4e6846288fd1f637346835.txt

Canada:

British Columbia 09/12/11 vancouversun.com: by Mike Hager – A mother cougar and her two offspring were shot and killed by conservation officers this weekend after they were spotted lounging in a backyard in Squamish, B.C. — the cougar capital of British Columbia. These are the first cats to be destroyed in the area this year, but two have been hit on Highway 99 and there have been 145 cougar sightings and complaints in the rugged town 65 kilometres north of Vancouver — the most of any community in the province. “The thing to realize about these cougars is we were dealing with about six weeks of complaints, and many of them related to human safety,” said Insp. Chris Doyle, a conservation officer for the Sea to Sky district. “The (three) cougars were approaching people and we had reports of them stalking. “There were many serious encounters with mountain bikers in the area. The cougars weren’t backing off and they started to come into people’s yards and up onto decks.” Doyle said the high number of complaints this year could be traced back to this particular family. – For complete article go to http://www.vancouversun.com/news/national/Cougar+family+killed+town/5391024/story.html


HEALTH ALERT – California’s Los Angeles County updates WEST NILE VIRUS levels to EPIDEMIC levels; Mississippi confirms WEST NILE VIRUS to blame for one new death and five other new human infections; Washington officials close OYSTER harvest in some areas; Virginia HORSE with WEST NILE VIRUS put down; Missouri landowner kills MOUNTAIN LION; and a WEST NILE VIRUS report from Tennessee. Canada: BC wildlife officer confirms MOUNTAIN LION killed two SHEEP in Erickson; and police in Battlefords, Sask., believe MOUNTAIN LION injured two HORSES. Travel Warnings for The Bahamas.

California 09/06/11 the-signal.com: by Cory Minderhout – Three more mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus in the Santa Clarita Valley, a vector control official said Tuesday. “We’re seeing levels of West Nile virus in birds and mosquito equal to 2004 and 2008,” Brown said. Two mosquito samples were found in Newhall and one was found in Canyon Country, said Crystal Brown, a public information officer for the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District. The mosquito samples were collected from vector control traps in August, Brown said. West Nile virus has been updated to epidemic levels in Los Angeles County, Brown said. The virus was first introduced to Los Angeles County in 2003, Brown said. So far this year, 128 birds, eight humans, one horse, 284 mosquito samples and 14 chickens have been found infected with West Nile virus in L.A. County, according to a California Department of Public Health website. Officials declined to say which areas of the county the infected people lived. This year is being considered an epidemic year because the virus levels are the same as they were in 2004 and 2008, which were the highest reported years for L.A. County, Brown said.(For complete article go to http://www.the-signal.com/section/36/article/50655/ )

Mississippi 09/07/11 wlox.com: The Mississippi State Department of Health has confirmed one new death in Pearl River County related to the West Nile Virus. There are also new reports of five people infected with the virus in Madison, Pearl River, Tate and Washington Counties. The two newly reported Pearl River County cases became ill sometime in late July through early August but were just recently determined to be positive for WNV after consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The other three cases became ill in mid-August. So far this year, cases have been confirmed in Coahoma, Forrest (three), Hinds (four), Jones (three), Madison, Pearl River (six), and one case each in: Rankin, Tallahatchie, Tate, Wayne, and Washington counties. Two deaths have been confirmed in Jones and Pearl River counties. In 2010, Mississippi had eight WNV cases and no deaths.

Washington 09/07/11 wa.gov: News Release – Several people who ate raw oysters from the Samish Bay and Hood Canal areas got sick from a naturally-occurring bacteria called Vibrio parahaemolyticus.

Oyster harvesting at Washington's Dosewallips State Park

Cooking shellfish thoroughly prevents vibriosis illness and is especially important during the summer months when warm temperatures and low tides allow the bacteria to thrive. State health officials close a shellfish growing area when there are four or more sporadic illnesses in a specific area; this recently happened in Samish Bay and in Hood Canal 5, which runs from Clark Creek (about a mile north of Hoodsport) north to Cummings Pointe. Oyster harvest in both areas has been closed by the state Department of Health to reduce exposure to Vibrio bacteria. There have been other vibriosis cases identified this summer, scattered around the state’s growing areas. Typically, Washington sees about 50 cases of vibriosis a year. More information, including maps of the affected areas, is available on the agency’s website (http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/sf/default-sf.htm). It’s important to remember that just because an area doesn’t appear to be closed because of Vibrio parahaemolyticus, it may be closed for marine biotoxins. Check our biotoxin Web page http://ww4.doh.wa.gov/gis/mogifs/biotoxin.htm  to make sure an area you wish to harvest in is free from marine biotoxins.

Virginia 09/07/11 necn.com: A horse in Clarke County has been euthanized after testing positive for equine West Nile virus, Virginia’s first reported case this year. The state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said Tuesday that the horse was euthanized Aug. 31, one day after it started showing symptoms of the illness. The horse had been vaccinated for the virus, but was due for a booster in September.

Missouri 09/06/11 mo.gov: Posted by Joe Jerek – A landowner in Texas County shot a mountain lion on Sept. 5 after encountering it on his property. The landowner then called Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) regional offices to report the incident. Shannon County Conservation Agent Justin Emery responded to the incident and conducted an investigation. Emery found no grounds for charges at this time. Although mountain lions are protected by law, Missouri’s Wildlife Code does allow people to protect themselves and their property if they feel threatened. MDC took possession of the sub-adult male mountain lion, which will be used for educational purposes and DNA testing.

The incident occurred approximately three miles from where a Shannon County landowner’s trail camera captured an image of a mountain lion on July 29. In a separate sighting, an Oregon County landowner captured an image on his trail camera of a mountain lion on Aug. 23 northeast of Alton. MDC Biologist Jeff Beringer, who is a member of MDC’s Mountain Lion Response Team, says that widely scattered mountain lion sightings have been confirmed in Missouri and likely will continue. Evidence to date indicates these animals are dispersing from other states to the west of Missouri. The most extreme evidence of this dispersal occurred in early 2011 when a mountain lion that was killed in Connecticut was genetically traced to South Dakota. MDC has no confirmed evidence of a breeding population in Missouri. MDC receives many reports each year from people who believe they have seen mountain lions. “We encourage these reports, but we can only confirm those for which there is physical evidence such as hair, scat, footprints, photos, video, a dead cougar or prey showing evidence of mountain-lion attack,” says Beringer. Reports of sightings can be sent to mountain.lion@mdc.mo.gov, or by contacting Beringer at 573-882-9909, ext. 3211, Rex Martensen at 573-522-4115, ext. 3147, or Shawn Gruber at 573-522-4115, ext. 3262. Beringer adds that mountain lions are naturally shy of humans and generally pose little danger to people, even in states with thriving breeding populations. For more information, visit http://www.mdc.mo.gov and search “mountain lion.”

Knox County

Tennessee 09/07/11 volunteertv.com: Knox County Health Department (KCHD) has received another lab report confirming the presence of West Nile Virus (WNV) in mosquitoes in the Milligan Street area of East Knox County near the zoo. Following national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention protocol, the affected area will be sprayed to reduce the mosquito population and the risk of further WNV spread. Spraying is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 8 from 9 p.m. to midnight. The spray area will include all areas east of North Cherry Street, north of Magnolia Avenue, west of North Beaman Street and South of I-40. Also included are Lakeside and Kirkwood Streets and American Avenue. Follow-up spraying will be on Thursday, Sept. 22 if weather allows.

Canada:

British Columbia 09/07/11 bclocalnews.com: by Lorne Eckeresley – A cougar attack in Erickson that left two sheep dead on Monday should serve as a reminder that cougars, like grizzly bears, are all around us, Sgt. Arnold Deboon of the BC Conservation Officer Service (COS) said on Tuesday. “It was probably a predator passing through the area,” Deboon said, referring to Monday’s incident. “People don’t realize how often they are probably close to cougars — they are very stealthy.” A live trap has been set up in an effort to catch the offending cat, but Deboon said other options are limited. “We can’t set up other types of traps because the Erickson area has lots of pets,” he said. “And, in this hot, dry weather we have only a short period in which to get tracking hounds on the scent. Unless the ground is damp, the cougar scent dissipates within an hour. … “Cougar populations further out in the wild seem to be healthy and there would be little incentive for those animals to get close to human settlements. The ones that live closer to populated areas are probably motivated by the small huckleberry crop this year.” Because cougars can roam in large areas, conservation officers don’t normally take action for a single sighting, other than to add it to their information base. “If cougars linger, though, we try to get the hounds out,” he said. Timeliness of reporting is critical, he said. Cougar sightings should be reported immediately by calling 1-877-952-7277.

Saskatchewan 09/07/11 winnipegfreepress.com: Police are urging people to be cautious following a possible cougar attack on horses just outside a Saskatchewan community. Battlefords RCMP say they were called to an acreage where two horses had long scrapes along their backs, sides and legs. The owner of the horses indicated that he had seen what appeared to be a cougar in the area. Another witness also saw what appeared to be a wildcat around the same time. Police say it’s been the only sighting and alleged attack so far. They are advising residents to travel in groups, supervise pets and children and report any sightings to the detachment.

Travel Warnings:

The Bahamas 09/08/11 thenassauguardian.com: by Krystel Rolle – There are as many as 10 cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever in The Bahamas, deputy chief medical officer Delon Brennen has revealed. Dengue hemorrhagic fever is the most dangerous strain of the vector-borne disease and can be fatal. However, Dr. Brennen noted that the cases of hemorrhagic fever are few compared to the more than 3,500 cases of dengue fever that were confirmed in recent weeks. (For complete article go to http://www.thenassauguardian.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=12673&Itemid=27 )