Tag Archives: Coyotes

GEORGIA man dies of RATTLESNAKE bite ~ CALIFORNIA youngster attacked by COYOTE ~ COLORADO confirms HUMAN CASE of HANTAVIRUS ~ COLORADO confirms HUMAN CASE of TULAREMIA ~ TEXAS confirms first HUMAN CASE of WEST NILE VIRUS this year ~ RABIES reports from AL, MD & TX

Rattlesnake. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Rattlesnake. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Georgia 05/20/15 oconeeenterprise.com: by Blake Giles – David Giles knew snakes. He was trained as a forester. He had lived and worked near remote areas, so he knew snakes. He carried a snakebite kit in his vehicle. “He knows the woods,” said his mother, Jane Giles of Watkinsville. “I don’t know if there is anyone who knows any more about snakes and their habits than he knew. He knew to respect them.” But Giles, 59, of Watkinsville, died Monday from a snakebite. Giles had been living with his mother, Jane, for about four years since he had contracted Lyme disease. She believes that his system might have been compromised already by his illness, compounding the effects of the venom. Giles was on Bullock Road in Oglethorpe County Sunday evening. He had gone to water some plants for his sister, who was out of town. Rather than drive his own vehicle, with the snakebite kit, he drove his mother’s car. Exactly what happened is speculation because Giles was alone. It appears that he had at least turned on the water hose, because it was still running Tuesday when someone returned to the scene. There was some loose lumber at the site. Perhaps the snake was there, or under the house. “It’s a lovely old home, built in the late 1700s,” Jane Giles said. “It is totally surrounded by forest.” Emergency-room physicians told the family that they guessed that it was a rattlesnake bite, based on the size of the bite marks on his right hand. Giles was wearing a glove when the snake bit him. He drove himself about a mile to a nearby house where he practically fell out of the truck. He managed to tell someone, “I have been snakebit.” Jane Giles said her son never regained consciousness after that. – See http://www.oconeeenterprise.com/news/article_0ed5546e-ff00-11e4-a74d-6b0eeeff7035.html

COYOTE:

1_62_coyote_snarlCalifornia 05/22/15 losangeles.cbslocal.com: A 3-year-old girl was attacked by a coyote Friday while playing with a friend in an Orange County park. It happened around 5:50 p.m. at the corner of Equinox and Silverado, according to Irvine police. The coyote charged at the girl “out of nowhere” and lunged at her neck. It could have ended much differently had it not been for a nearby resident who acted quickly. Ginna McKenna was sitting on her patio when she spotted the attack, as told to CBS2’s Stacey Butler. “A little girl was screaming and the mother was screaming, so I came running out and there was a coyote in the park. I chased [the coyote] off,” McKenna said. “They were scared.” The girl was taken to a hospital with what was described as a superficial wound to her neck. Fish and Game and Animal Control officers with the Irvine P.D. are looking for the coyote. Police say coyotes frequent the area, but it’s extremely rare for one to attack a person. – For video see http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2015/05/22/coyote-bites-3-year-old-girl-in-irvine/

HANTAVIRUS:

Hantavirus-OutbreakColorado 05/21/15 nbc11news.com: Garfield County Public Health officials are working with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to investigate a recent case of hantavirus exposure in the western part of Garfield County. Hantavirus is carried in the saliva, urine and droppings of certain infected mice. When contaminated dirt and dust are stirred up, the virus becomes airborne. “Every year we see cases of hantavirus in Colorado. Our state is second highest in the nation in cases of the disease,” said Yvonne Long, Public Health Director in a written statement. “If you have mice in or around your home, barns, or cabins you are at risk for exposure to hantavirus. That is why we are urging people to exercise extreme caution when they enter or clean up an area with evidence of rodents.” – For complete article see http://www.nbc11news.com/home/headlines/Hantavirus-case-reported-in-Garfield-County-304650041.html

TULAREMIA:

rabbit.tularemiaColorado 05/21/15 denverpost.com: by Anthony Cotton – The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment has confirmed this year’s first human case of tularemia in a county resident. Officials said the resident may have been infected while planting trees or gardening — soil can be contaminated by bacteria from the droppings or urine of sick animals, most likely rabbits. These bacteria can enter the skin through tiny cuts or abrasions. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, in 2014, Colorado saw at least 11 cases of humans contracting tularemia, more than three times the previous average in the state. Residents are advised that tularemia-causing bacteria may infect small animals — especially rabbits and hares — along the Front Range. A recent die-off of rabbits in a neighborhood suggests a possible tularemia outbreak among the animals in that area. These bacteria can persist in the soil or water for weeks, and it takes very few bacteria to cause an infection. Officials said tularemia can be transmitted to people who have handled infected animals, such as hunters. Infection can also arise from the bite of infected insects (most commonly ticks and deer flies); by exposure to contaminated food, water, or soil by eating, drinking, or direct contact with breaks in the skin; or by inhaling particles carrying the bacteria (through mowing or blowing vegetation). – For complete article see http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_28165479/larimer-county-confirms-first-2015-human-case-tularemia

WEST NILE VIRUS:

Harris County

Harris County

Texas 05/21/15 Harris County Health Dept: Media Release – – Harris County Public Health & Environmental Services (HCPHES) has confirmed the first human case of the 2015 season of West Nile Virus (WNV) illness in Harris County, and in the state of Texas. West Nile Virus was confirmed in an elderly patient from the northwest portion of Harris County. The patient, whose identity will remain confidential, is expected to recover.  – For complete release see http://www.hcphes.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_72972/File/News%20and%20Media/Press%20Release_WNV%20human%20case_May%202015.pdf

RABIES:

rabies_tag_small_websiteAlabama 05/22/15 Lee County: A family’s unvaccinated pet Chihuahua from the 600 block of Lee Road 191 has tested positive for rabies after biting its owner who is now receiving post-exposure prophylactic treatment. – See http://www.oanow.com/news/auburn/article_64688270-00e0-11e5-9a09-4b06d28b805a.html

337278_koshka_kot_rebenok_ditya_devochka_kosichka_ulybka_2990x2170_www-gdefon-ruMaryland 05/21/15 Harford County: A feral cat from a colony on Scarboro Road near the county waste disposal center has tested positive for rabies. – See http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2015/05/21/feral-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies/

6183687956_0905f1bf96_oTexas 05/21/15 Stephens County: A kitten found in the Harpersville area has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.ktxs.com/news/stephens-county-reports-its-first-rabies-case-of-year/33146132

CANADA: BLACK BEAR kills camper in BRITISH COLUMBIA ~ FLORIDA man attacked by COYOTE ~ NEW MEXICAN officials find TULAREMIA in two RABBIT carcasses ~ GRAY FOX in NEW MEXICO found to have new strain of RABIES ~ RABIES reports from FL, GA, NCx2 & VA.

Black bear. Courtesy Ohio Dept of Natural Resources.

Black bear. Courtesy Ohio Dept of Natural Resources.

Canada:

British Columbia 05/11/15 cbc.ca: A 27-year-old man from Mackenzie, B.C., was dragged from his campsite and killed by a black bear while camping with his fiancée last weekend, according to family and the BC Coroners Service. On Saturday night, Daniel Ward Folland O’Connor, known as Ward, went to sleep near the fire pit at his campsite while his fiancée, Jami Wallace, slept in their motorhome at a small forest service campground about 10 kilometres from Mackenzie. When Wallace woke up, O’Connor was gone, and there was a trail of blood from their campsite, said his father Danny O’Connor. “She followed the blood trail to find him, but the bear was gone when she got there, because she was doing a lot of screaming for him,” said the father. With no cell service, Wallace got in their car at about 9:30 a.m. PT and drove to get his father to help. Danny O’Connor rushed to the campground and started searching through the bush for his son. “I wanted to get out there and see if I could save him,” he said. “When I got there the bear was there,” standing over his son’s body, he said. “I couldn’t go closer.” Danny O’Connor sat in his truck and waited for RCMP and the B.C. Conservation Officer Service to arrive. Shortly after the officers arrived, they shot a lone wolf, as they were still unsure what had killed O’Connor. Shortly after, they spotted a large male black bear weighing an estimated 140 kilograms and shot it as well. – For photos and complete article see http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bear-attack-kills-camper-daniel-ward-o-connor-near-mackenzie-b-c-1.3069202

COYOTE:

2384478345_223136ab5fFlorida 05/15/15 wptv.com: by Jamel Lanee – A West Boca neighborhood is on edge tonight. One resident says he was attacked by a coyote and his neighbors fear this won’t be the last. This is the same subdivision where 3 weeks ago a mother says a coyote came after her daughter and her small dog in the Boca Winds community. Now, a resident is opening up about being attacked by a coyote five days ago. “Took like eight or nine times to fend it off,” said Greg Robinson. He says he was attacked by a coyote five days ago. “Heard footsteps coming towards me, thought it was a dog, it wasn’t. It actually jumped at me,” he said. He says the attack happened early in the morning last week. Robinson’s neighbor, Rebecca Baker, also saw the coyote. She snapped a picture Wednesday morning. Baker said, “I actually was coming back from dropping off my kids at school and I noticed it in the neighbor’s yard, across the street from my mother and I stopped and it just kind of stared at me like I was a piece of meat.” People who live there are worried because there’s been a number of coyote sightings in the area.  – For video and complete article see http://www.wptv.com/news/region-s-palm-beach-county/boca-raton/a-man-is-attacked-by-a-coyote-in-a-west-boca-subdivision-possibly-same-animal-spotted-3-weeks-ago

TULAREMIA:

zoonosis_tularemia (2)New Mexico 05/15/15 abqjournal.com: Residents in Santa Fe County are being warned to keep their distance from dead animal carcasses after two dead rabbits found Monday on private property in the Eldorado area tested positive for Tularemia, a serious infectious disease also known as “rabbit fever.” According to an news release from the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office, animal control officers collected the remains and they were tested at a New Mexico Department of Agriculture office in Albuquerque. The state Health Department has confirmed eight cases of Tularemia in cats and dogs this year with three of those in Santa Fe County. Tularemia can be spread from animals to humans but not human to human. Symptoms are high fever, head ache and nausea, similar to plague-like symptoms. Anyone who handles dead animal carcasses is urged to wear gloves and use a shovel to place the animal in a double-bagged plastic bag before disposing of it. – See http://www.abqjournal.com/585419/abqnewsseeker/tularemia-found-in-santa-fe-rabbits.html

NEW RABIES STRAIN:

Gray%20FoxNew Mexico 05/19/15 NM Department of Health: Media Release – Officials announced today that a rabid fox from Lincoln County that bit a woman on April 20 had a strain of rabies that has never before been identified. The genetic sequencing of the virus was done in the Rabies Laboratory at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. The woman received a series of rabies vaccinations that has prevented her from developing rabies, which is usually fatal. – For complete release see http://nmhealth.org/news/disease/2015/5/?view=264

RABIES:

darlingcat-mattapoisett-Ma.govFlorida 05/20/15 Palm Beach County: One of two cats thrown from a car in a neighborhood west of Lake Worth has tested positive for rabies. Six people who were either bitten and/or scratched by the cat are being treated for exposure to the virus. The second cat is still at large in the neighborhood near Lake Worth Road east of Florida’s Turnpike and officials are warning people in the area to avoid all stray animals. The two cats were thrown from a vehicle Friday evening near the 3000 block of Woods Walk Boulevard, just north of Lake Worth Road near the Publix shopping plaza. Anyone who may have come across the cat or any other sick animals is asked to call Animal Care and Control at 561-233-1200. – For video and complete article see http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/local/six-people-treated-for-rabies-after-being-bitten-s/nmLF4/

cat-child-300x225Georgia 05/19/15 Douglas County: A domestic cat found in the area of Fairburn and Lee roads in Douglasville has tested positive for rabies. The cat had a bite injury to its leg. – See http://www.neighbornewspapers.com/view/full_story/26642425/article-Rabid-cat-in-Douglas-concerns-county-animal-services?instance=all

North Carolina 05/16/15 Randolph County: A stray cat found in the Brookhollow Lane area of Archdale, off Balfour Drive, in the Stoneybrooke subdivision on May 8th has tested positive for rabies. Since then, a kitten that was in contact with that cat has shown signs of abnormal behavior and has been picked up by the health department. People who think they or their pet has been exposed to this stray cat or the kitten should call the health department immediately at (336) 318-6200 or call 911 if it is after hours or on the weekend. – See http://www.news-record.com/news/local_news/rabid-cat-confirmed-in-archdale/article_2c1b6e00-fbf4-11e4-9c88-bb524c0d1a7c.html

CAS_Kitten_Child_02North Carolina 05/12/15 Alamance County: A stray cat that attacked and bit a person on the leg near Mebane Oaks and Old Hillsborough roads in Mebane on May 8th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.thetimesnews.com/news/top-news/stray-cat-in-mebane-confirmed-as-rabid-1.477178

rabidcat.princewilliamhealthdistrictVirginia 05/16/15 Prince William Health District: A stray cat with gray fur and a tan or white spot over its left eye found on May 13th near the intersection of Sudley Road and Shelter Lane in Haymarket has tested positive for rabies. Anyone who may have come in contact with a cat acting abnormal in or around this area should call the health district at 703-792-5363 or the Prince William Animal Control Division at 703-792-6500. – See http://wtop.com/virginia/2015/05/cat-with-rabies-found-in-haymarket/

Another NEW JERSEY resident attacked by a COYOTE ~ LYME DISEASE a risk in all PENNSYLVANIA counties ~ Death in COLORADO confirmed as HANTAVIRUS ~ POWASSAN VIRUS alerts in MASSACHUSETTS and PENNSYLVANIA

Coyote. Courtesy US National Park Service.

Coyote. Courtesy US National Park Service.

New Jersey 04/20/15 nj.com: by Myles Ma – For the second time this month, a man walking his dog has been attacked by a coyote in Bergen County. On Sunday night, a coyote attacked a Norwood resident as he walked his dog on McClellan Street and D’Ercole Court, Norwood Police said in a Nixle alert just before midnight. Police did not immediately respond to a call seeking more information. Earlier in April, a rabid coyote attacked a 77-year-old man in Saddle River. Authorities tracked down and euthanized the animal. – See http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2015/04/coyote_attacks_norwood_man_police_say.html

LYME DISEASE:

green-tick-logoPennsylvania 04/21/15 pa.gov: MEDIA RELEASE – For the first time, blacklegged (deer) ticks have now been observed in all 67 counties of Pennsylvania, according to researchers at The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The range expansion took place in just decades, as similar studies conducted in the mid-1960s found no specimens. DEP’s Vector Management Program, in collaboration with the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, published the findings on the risk of tick-borne disease in Pennsylvania in the Journal of Medical Entomology on April 14. The study was authored by the DEP Vector Management team of Mike Hutchinson, Maria Strohecker, Andy Kyle, and Matt Helwig and Indiana University of Pennsylvania Professor of Biology Dr. Tom Simmons. The research found Ixodes scapularis, the blacklegged tick, and Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, present in all 67 counties of Pennsylvania. The research also found that in recent years the blacklegged tick has become imbedded in western Pennsylvania, though the prevalence rate of Lyme disease still remains relatively lower than the rest of the state. The blacklegged tick is the primary carrier of Lyme disease, an infectious disease caused by the bite of an infected tick that can cause fever, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, and joint pain. – For complete release see http://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=196

HANTAVIRUS:

Hantavirus-OutbreakColorado 04/21/15 journal-advocvate.com: by Deanna Herbert – Health officials from the Northeast Colorado Health Department have just learned that a former resident of Phillips County, who passed away in January, died from hantavirus. The death, which was originally attributed to influenza, was confirmed as hantavirus late last Friday, April 17, through testing performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While hantavirus is not new to Colorado — the state health department has documented over 90 cases across the state since they began tracking the disease in 1993 — it is the first time hantavirus has been identified in a northeast Colorado resident. This case marks the third case of hantavirus in Colorado this year; all have been fatalities. “In this instance the attending physician did not suspect hantavirus at the time of death as the individual had tested positive for Influenza A via rapid testing in the hospital,” said Dr. Tony Cappello, NCHD’s public health director. – For complete article see http://www.journal-advocate.com/sterling-local_news/ci_27954487/phillips-county-death-attributed-hantavirus-northeastern-colorado-health-department

POWASSAN VIRUS:

Deer tick.

Deer tick.

Massachusetts 04/18/15 telegram.com: by Elaine Thompson – A rare but potentially fatal tick-borne disease has been reported in Massachusetts the past two years. Five cases of Powassan virus, which is transmitted by the black-legged or deer tick, which also causes Lyme disease, have been reported in the state between 2013 and 2014, Dr. Catherine M. Brown, the state public health veterinarian said. “A couple of cases” were reported in previous years. None so far this year. “The way we generally learn about diseases is when they’re listed as being reportable. When doctors are required to call and tell us. Powassan was not reportable and there was not a really good access to testing until quite recently,” she said. The virus was first diagnosed in 1958 in Powassan, Ontario, in a 5-year-old boy who died from encephalitis. The first case in the U.S. was reported in 1972, in a New Jersey woman. To date, there have been more than 60 cases of Powassan in the U.S., mostly in the Great Lakes region and the Northeast, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms can include headache, fever, vomiting, weakness, confusion, memory loss, seizures and long-term neurologic problems. Powassan is more dangerous than Lyme, a bacterial disease that can be successfully treated with antibiotics, if caught early. There is no treatment for Powassan virus. People with severe conditions are usually hospitalized to receive intravenous fluids, respiratory support or medications to reduce brain swelling. There are two forms of PV: non-neuroinvasive, that has a higher recovery rate; and neuroinvasive, the most dangerous, which can lead to encephalitis, meningitis and death. The cases reported in Massachusetts are neuroinvasive. The fatality rate of the more serious form is between 5 and 25 percent, according to some experts. – For complete article see http://www.telegram.com/article/20150418/NEWS/304189712/101116

dont_feed_the_ticksPennsylvania 04/18/15 poconorecord.com: by Stacy M. Brown – While New Jersey authorities appeared stunned by the death of a 51-year-old Warren County woman who contracted the deadly Powassan virus, Pennsylvania officials and experts said the tick-borne virus isn’t on its way to the Keystone State. It has already been here. “Pennsylvania had one confirmed case of the Powassan virus in 2011,” said Wes Culp, the deputy press secretary for the state Department of Health. “We have not had any confirmed cases in the state since then.” While Tadgh Rainey, the Hunterdon County Public Health Division director, told NJ.com that the Powassan virus “has no business being here in New Jersey,” Culp said Pennsylvania health experts have continued to monitor the virus. The state Department of Health works with local health partners and communicates with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to identify potential health risks to the public, Culp said. “We are aware of the Powassan cases in the northeast United States and will continue to keep abreast of the disease and review the CDC guidance on the matter,” he said. State health officials said that because Powassan is a rarely identified arboviral infection that’s familiar to most clinicians, they’ve distributed information on the virus and also encouraged health care providers to consider the diagnosis when seeing patients with meningoencephalitis. – For complete article see http://www.poconorecord.com/article/20150418/NEWS/150419362

Three FLORIDIANS hospitalized after BEE attack ~ NEW JERSEY resident attacked by COYOTE ~ FERAL CATS pose risk of TYPHUS to general public ~ FLEA infested PRAIRIE DOG den in ARIZONA tests positive for BUBONIC PLAGUE ~ New book updating LYME DISEASE ~ RABIES reports from GA, NY & NC.

Honey bee. Photo by Vera Buhl. Wikimedia Commons.

Honey bee. Photo by Vera Buhl. Wikimedia Commons.

Florida 04/06/15 wfla.com: Pasco Fire Rescue crews responded to a report of a bee attack in New Port Richey Sunday afternoon in which three people were hospitalized. The wild bee hive was in a tree in the 7800 block of Calabash Lane. Experts believe there are between 20,000 and 30,000 bees in the hive. The neighbor Alisson Osteen saw the bees from her home. “I saw my neighbor’s brother on the ground rolling, just covered in bees all over his face, his neck, his arms. So I called 911,” she said. “He was screaming for help.” Pasco County Fire Rescue firefighters used a hose to spray the bees to get them to disperse and help the two men. They had as many as about 50 stings each. A woman who walked out of her home also received about a dozen stings but was not as seriously injured. Osteen said she didn’t see how it happened, but there was a ladder by the tree. “I don’t know if that was the bee keeper’s ladder or if that was the ladder they were using to touch the nest if they were trying to remove it themselves trying to get honey. I don’t know what they were trying to do,” she said. Firefighters cleared the scene at about 2 p.m. Sunday. Nobody on the crew was injured or stung. Crews are expected to return to the hive on Monday, however the bee expert is waiting for the bees to calm down before doing anything with the hive. – http://www.wfla.com/story/28724800/bees-sting-4-in-pasco-2-in-hospital

COYOTE:

Coyote%20stalking%20prey%20-%20note%20radio%20collar%20and%20ear%20tags%20for%20research%20projectNew Jersey 04/06/15 northjersey.com: by Jim Norman – A man working in his garden in the Twin Brooks area of (Saddle River) was attacked Monday by a coyote that was then hunted down and euthanized, authorities said. The man, whose identity was not released, was taken to a hospital for treatment and then released for recovery at home, according to a report on the Saddle River Police Department’s Facebook page. The man was attacked from behind by the animal and managed to escape, the police report said. Officers who investigated the incident learned that the same coyote had attacked a neighbor’s dog last week, requiring the dog’s owner to have it treated at a veterinarian’s office, police said. In addition, the police report said, workers in the area reported having seen the coyote several times on Monday, acting aggressively toward other dogs. Officers who responded to the attack saw the coyote running through a neighbor’s yard during daylight and called a local pest control company, which arrived, along with officers from the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife. The coyote was found in a wooded area and put down, police said. The animal’s body was removed by the Fish and Wildlife officers for testing and analysis. Police asked any resident who has had an encounter with the coyote to call 201-327-5300, to document the event. Police also are reminding local residents to report aggressive wildlife behavior immediately, to head off the chance of another attack. – See http://www.northjersey.com/news/coyote-euthanized-after-it-attacks-saddle-river-man-1.1303757

TYPHUS:

typhus-transmission-cycleCalifornia 04/06/15 Orange County: by Matthew Cunningham – Flea-borne (endemic) typhus is carried by the common cat flea, which is found primarily on feral cats, raccoon and opossums. Common cat fleas bite people and their infected feces enters the bloodstream, causing severe illness. In 2006, there was a single reported case of flea-borne typhus infection in Orange County – the first since 2013. Between 2006 and 2014, there have been more than 100 reported cases of flea-borne typhus in OC. – See http://www.publicceo.com/2015/04/misplaced-outrage-over-anaheims-ban-on-feeding-feral-cats/

BUBONIC PLAGUE:

prairiedogUSParksArizona 04/06/15 upi.com/Health_News: by Brooks Hays – Arizona health officials and wildlife managers are monitoring flea infestations more closely after several specimens in Picture Canyon, near Flagstaff, tested positive for Yersinia pestis, the bacteria that causes the disease known as the bubonic plague. Officials grew concerned when they were alerted to a prairie dog den that appeared to features an unusually large number of dead or dying prairie dogs. Several surrounding burrows were tested, revealing the culprit to be the plague . . . Nearby burrows are now being cleared and disinfected, in an effort to stem any possible outbreak of the disease. Late last week, following the positive test, officials returned to test a much broader area for the dangerous bacteria. Those results are due back later this week. – See http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2015/04/06/Officials-concerned-by-plague-carrying-fleas-in-Arizona/7041428341911/

LYME DISEASE:

LymeDiseaseBookBook Review 04/06/15 washingtonpost.com: by Nancy Szokan – In in the 1970s, public health professionals began noticing a kind of rheumatoid arthritis affecting children around Lyme, Conn. Soon they began associating it with a skin rash, possibly caused by a deer tick. In 1981, researchers Willy Burgdorfer and Alan G. Barbour identified the cause of what had come to be known as Lyme disease. Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are 300,000 new cases a year. So there’s probably a large audience for a new book by Barbour, who’s now a professor of medicine and microbiology at the medical school at the University of California at Irvine: “Lyme Disease: Why It’s Spreading, How It Makes You Sick, and What to Do About It.” Drawing on his decades of research and involvement with patients, he gives a thorough and comprehensive overview of the disease, including the biology of the microbe that causes it and the tick that transmits it; how diagnosis is made and test results are interpreted; the use of antibiotics; disease prevention at the individual and community level; and the controversial condition called Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome, in which symptoms persist for years after antibiotic therapy ends. He ends with a somewhat pessimistic view of how we as a society are handling a disease that seems to be more prevalent every year. It’s not a particularly easy read; Barbour writes like the highly educated scientist he is, and he doesn’t mince technical terms. But his indisputable credentials and his clearly sympathetic concern make this a worthwhile book. – See http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/from-a-doctor-who-helped-discover-lyme-disease-a-broad-update/2015/04/06/1fd66e9e-d893-11e4-b3f2-607bd612aeac_story.html

RABIES:

Georgia 04/02/15 Worth County: A dog that was adopted by a southwest Georgia resident using an online service has tested positive for rabies. Existing pets in the household didn’t have up-to-date vaccinations and “(a)s a result, this well-intentioned individual ended up losing beloved pets that had been exposed and could not be saved,” a county health specialist said. – See http://worthit2u.net/worth/2015/04/02/public-health-confirms-rabies-case-in-worth/

sidebar_RabiesAlertNew York 04/05/15 Franklin County: A second person is undergoing treatment for exposure to the rabies virus, and two more are being evaluated after caring for dogs that had attacked raccoons later found to be rabid. “I cannot stress enough the importance of getting your dog vaccinated,” Public Health Director Kathleen F. Strack said. Cats should also be vaccinated, she said. – See http://www.watertowndailytimes.com/news05/second-person-in-franklin-county-undergoing-rabies-treatment-20150405

North Carolina 04/01/15 Robeson County: A dog that was shot after attacking its owners in Pembroke has tested positive for rabies. Two victims, a father and daughter, have been advised to begin post-exposure rabies treatments. – See http://robesonian.com/news/health/152667014/Rabid-dog-attacks-its-owners

MURINE TYPHUS reported in CALIFORNIA communities ~ Hungry COYOTES attacking large DOGS in CONNECTICUT ~ CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE within 12 miles of SHENANDOAH NATIONAL PARK ~ HIV VIRUS traced to GORILLAS in CAMEROON ~ RABIES reports from FL, TX & VA.

By Cody Pope (WikipediaUserCody.pope) CC BY-SA 2.5 (glicensesby-sa2.5), via Wikimedia Commons

By Cody Pope (WikipediaUserCody.pope) CC BY-SA 2.5 (glicensesby-sa2.5), via Wikimedia Commons

California 03/05/15 nbclosangeles.com: by Keith Esparros – A form of typhus with flu-like symptoms that can lead to hospitalization if left untreated is popping up in parts of Southern California, and possums are the likely culprits. Cases of Murine Typhus, an infection spread by either flea bites or contact with flea feces, are being reported in the communities of Altadena, Los Feliz and Pasadena and South Pasadena, which have large possum populations, said Dr. Rachel Civen of the LA County Health Department, who calls it “a niche disease.” Symptoms include high fever, nausea, fatigue and muscle weakness. Forty — six cases were reported in LA County in 2014, three in Altadena, where crews posted notices and launched a possum search. The opossums found in Southern California are also referred to as possums. “Possums have massive proportions of fleas on them,” Civen said. “Thousands of them.” That makes them ideal carriers for the disease. Fleas carry the disease from rats, opossums or feral cats, and can infect the family pet. “It’s a pretty benign disease for dogs and cats,” Civen said, but the pet can infect other fleas, which then can bite and infect humans. Murine typhus symptoms are similar to flu, and can be difficult to pinpoint and diagnose. – For complete article see http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/Possums-Likely-Culprit-as-Niche-Disease-Appears-in-SoCal-Communities-295251451.html

COYOTES:

lacy%20faces%20coyoteConnecticut 03/06/15 cbslocal.com: Coyotes were attacking in Connecticut this week, with three reports of the animals hunting down dogs. Luckily, all the dogs survived. But as CBS2’s Jessica Schneider reported, animal control officials said there is a big reason some big dogs are becoming prey. At least one coyote has been making the rounds in suburban Stamford – looming dangerously close to homes and setting its sights on several family dogs. “There was something following (my dog); chasing her,” said Stamford resident Karen Hart. Hart snapped a photo of her 2-year-old shepherd mix, named Kylie, running for her life “She got into the house and I slammed the door just as the coyote was approaching the front door,” Hart said. There were four attacks in a period of one week. All the dogs got away with minor cuts and scratches. But several owners have decided to keep their pets inside, alarmed at the coyotes’ brazen tactics. “This is very odd, because three of the dogs — a shepherd mix, a golden retriever and a German short-haired pointer – all obviously much larger than this coyote,” said Stamford police Capt. Richard Conklin. Police said coyote attacks are so prevalent this winter because of the extremely harsh weather conditions – so much so that coyotes have even started living under people’s decks. – For video see http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/03/06/coyotes-seen-going-after-large-dogs-in-stamford-connecticut/

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE:

whitetaildeernpsVirginia 03/06/15 crozetgazette.com: Chronic Wasting Disease, an always-fatal neurological disease affecting white-tail deer, mule deer, elk and moose, has been discovered at Front Royal, within twelve miles of the Shenandoah National Park’s northern boundary, Park Superintendent Jim Northup told an audience at Crozet Library February 5. In 2009 it was discovered about 23 miles away from the park. A park report describes the advance as “rapid.” “It’s significant now in West Virginia,” he said. Northup said that the character of the 105-mile Skyline Drive and the edge-habitat nature of deer likely means that once the disease invades the park, it will advance southward along the scenic road and reach southern counties bordering the park. “The only way to slow it is to thin the deer herd,” he said. – For complete article see http://www.crozetgazette.com/2015/03/chronic-wasting-disease-nears-shenandoah-park/

HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS:

Cameroon gorillas

Cameroon gorillas

Global 03/06/15 newseveryday.com: by Revathi Siva Kumar – Four strains of the AIDS virus can be sourced to gorillas in southwest Cameroon, said an international team of scientists whose report was recently published. Hence, scientists understand the origin of the HIV virus, according to france24. HIV (HIV-1) has at least four strains. Known as Groups M, N, O and P, and every virus had its own origin from ape to man, on four occasions. While two groups, ie M and N have been traced to chimpanzees in Cameroon, the origin of the O and P strains have not been traced. The team, led by Martine Peeters, a virologist at France’s Research and Development Institute (IRD) and the University of Montpellier, has released a report that appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. HIV-1’s Group M is the most widespread and show more than 40 million people that are infected around the world. So far, just two humans have been found to be infected with Group P. Group O has been identified in central and western Africa, and has infected 100,000. The identification was possible through genetic samples from chimpanzees and gorillas from Cameroon, Gabon, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Fecal samples from western lowland gorillas, eastern lowland gorillas, and mountain gorillas in Cameroon, Gabon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Uganda were screened to detect SIVgor infection. Four field sites were found in southern Cameroon with western lowland gorillas harbouring SIVgor, according to pennews.

Cameroon chimpanzees

Cameroon chimpanzees

“From this study and others that our team has conducted in the past it has become clear that both chimpanzees and gorillas harbor viruses that are capable of crossing the species barrier to humans and have the potential to cause major disease outbreaks,” Peeters said. “Understanding emerging disease origins is critical to gauge future human infection risks.” Ever since 1981, HIV has infected 78 million, which destroys immune cells and makes the body vulnerable to tuberculosis, pneumonia and other such illnesses. About 39 million have died, according to UN estimates. The team of scientists is from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Montpellier, the University of Edinburgh, and other institutions. Beatrice Hahn, a professor of Medicine and Microbiology, and others from Penn were part of the team, whose findings appear online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. According to UN estimates, the illness has claimed 39 million lives so far, reports biznews. – See http://www.newseveryday.com/articles/10425/20150306/hiv-virus-traced-gorillas-cameroon.htm

RABIES:

dog468y9i0Florida 03/09/15 Palm Beach County: A bat found in the mouth of a vaccinated pet dog in Palm Beach Gardens has tested positive for rabies and family members who handled the bat and/or were in contact with the dog are being advised to seek immediate medical advice and treatment. – See http://www.cbs12.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_24063.shtml

Texas 03/08/15 McLennan County: A stray dog offered for adoption on Facebook attacked a mother and 4-year-old daughter who arrived in a Brookshire Bros. grocery store parking lot in Lorena on Saturday offering to take it. The child was bitten in the face and the mother in the face and hands by the dog described as a possible pit bull-mastiff mix. – See http://www.wacotrib.com/news/police/lorena-police-woman-child-injured-in-dog-attack/article_c12e1272-ba6b-555f-96b1-fc2902d91131.html

help984-05834Virginia 03/09/15 James City County: by Becca Mitchell – The Peninsula Health District is looking for a grey-striped male tabby cat that bit a person on Saturday, March 7th in the vicinity of Forge Road and Highway 60 in Toano. If the cat isn’t found, the victims may have to undergo post exposure treatment for the prevention of rabies. If found, the cat will not be taken from its owner, only placed on an in-home confinement period of 10 days. Anyone who has seen an animal fitting this description should call the Peninsula Health District – Williamsburg Area Environmental Health Office at 757-603-4277. – See http://wtkr.com/2015/03/09/tabby-cat-sought-for-rabies-testing-in-toano-after-biting-a-person/

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE moves closer to YELLOWSTONE ~ Upscale NEW YORK suburb fears COYOTE incursion ~ 20 COLORADANS fear exposure to RABIES ~ FERAL CAT in MARYLAND had RABIES

Bugling bull elk. Courtesy U.S. National Park Service.

Bugling bull elk. Courtesy U.S. National Park Service.

Yellowstone National Park 03/04/15 bosemandailychronicle.com: by Laura Lundquist – Southwestern Montana is no stranger to wildlife diseases, but so far, it hasn’t had to confront chronic wasting disease, a scourge that continues to make headlines elsewhere. That might change in a few years. On Monday, Wyoming Wildlife Advocates released a map of Wyoming showing the rapid spread of chronic wasting disease over the past decade. It also illustrates that fewer than 40 miles separate Yellowstone National Park and Wyoming’s elk feed grounds from known infected areas. To slow or halt the march of CWD, conservationists are lobbying to close Wyoming’s elk feedlots, including one at the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole that feeds almost 8,400 elk during the winter. “If we want to minimize the effect of CWD on the greater Yellowstone herds, the time to act is now. Failure to do so risks very real damage not only to wildlife but also to the tourism- and wildlife-dependent economies of the area,” said WWA executive director Kent Nelson. The group based the map on 14 years of data gathered by the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and other research projects.

Elk feeding ground.

Elk feeding ground.

Chronic wasting disease is caused by a protein that attacks the nervous systems of deer, elk and moose. Similar to mad cow disease, it results in a slow deterioration of the brain and other nerve tissue so it is eventually fatal. It doesn’t affect livestock or people as long as they don’t consume the brain or certain other organs of infected wildlife. But it has caused havoc with wildlife populations in states in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. – For complete article and map showing spread of disease see http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/news/yellowstone_national_park/fatal-deer-and-elk-disease-moves-toward-yellowstone-park/article_6983a108-b344-5d05-97bb-77884cf19120.html

COYOTES:

Coyote_closeup.wikimediaNew York 03/01/15 abcnews.go.com: by Jim Fitzgerald – This well-heeled hamlet north of New York City is embroiled in an increasingly nasty debate that seems oddly out of place amid the stately homes and tony boutiques: What should be done about coyotes? Self-styled coyote spotters in and around Chappaqua have counted 160 incursions into backyards and streets over the last two years and at least 10 recent attacks on pets. That’s been enough to stir animal passions among residents over the question of when and if a coyote deserves to be killed. Email and social media have swirled with such teeth-baring terms as “coyote jihad” and “death map.” And members of a local task force that advocates trapping and killing some of the animals announced they were staying away from a recent public hearing on the issue “in the interest of our personal safety.” “I envisioned going down there and having blood thrown on me,” said task force member Joyce Stansell-Wong, who has since resigned.

LupeCaonTranscoyotesChappaqua, about 35 miles north of the city, is better known as the home of former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton than as a playground for coyotes. But wildlife officials say the demise of such predators as wolves and cougars over the last few decades has led to a spread of coyotes into more populated areas across the East Coast, including suburbs. Instagram and Facebook are replete with pictures of the canines scampering across sidewalks and among backyard playsets. Coyotes have even been spotted in New York City’s Central Park and the Bronx. Robert Greenstein, supervisor of the Town of New Castle, which has about 18,000 residents in Chappaqua, Millwood and unincorporated areas, said that in general, the debate is between two camps: “One group is concerned with protecting the coyotes and the other group is more concerned with protecting our pets.” The pet-protection camp, represented by the New Castle Coyote Management Task Force, argues for quicker use of “lethal solutions.” Even though there have been no attacks on humans, they fear the skulking canines may start to attack small children. – For complete article see http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/upscale-ny-suburb-embroiled-wily-debate-coyotes-29309326

RABIES:

13744331Colorado 03/02/15 El Paso County: A stray 6-month-old kitten taken in by a Colorado Springs family residing near Woodmen and Union boulevards has tested positive for rabies. So far, officials have identified 20 people who were potentially exposed to the virus and are receiving post-exposure treatment. – For article and video see http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_27625916/colorado-springs-kitten-tests-positive-rabies-20-people

56f8f5b7-d73f-4e37-9493-aab16238fcecMaryland 03/04/15 St. Mary’s County: A feral cat found in a subdivision of Breton Bay has tested positive for rabies. Residents are asked to also discuss this with their children and report any animal exposures involving people to the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office at 301-475-8008. Suspected animal bites to pets or livestock should be reported to St. Mary’s County Animal Control at 301-475-8018. – See http://www.thebaynet.com/articles/0315/feral-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies-.html

Packs of WOLVES, COYOTES and FOXES are roaming NEW JERSEY city’s streets ~ COYOTES moving into GEORGIA city neighborhoods ~ TEXAS reports first case of MURINE TYPHUS in 80 years ~ NEW YORK scientist reports TICKS carrying LYME DISEASE emerging earlier ~ RABIES report from TEXAS.

Wolf pack. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife.

Wolf pack. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife.

New Jersey 02/20/15 nj.com: by Jenna Pizzi – Packs of wild animals including wolves, coyotes and foxes are running around on city streets after dark and residents are raising concerns about their safety, according to a Trenton councilman. Councilman George Muschal said he received reports from residents about the animals and saw a gray fox cross in front of his truck last Tuesday at the corner of Hudson and Broad Streets. “If a child is out there or a dog in the yard it might be a problem,” said Muschal, speaking during a council meeting Thursday night Muschal said residents have also emailed and called his office reportedly seeing wolves in the city. Wolves haven’t been spotted in the wild in New Jersey in more than 100 years. According to information on the state Department of Environmental Protection’s website, wolves have become larger and in varying colors in the Eastern United States due to past inbreeding between coyotes and wolves. Muschal said he is not sure if it was a coyote or a wolf that was spotted by residents, but said he only took the individuals that called into this office at their word. “They just know that it doesn’t belong there,” Muschal said. “I’m not gonna say that there’s not a wolf.” Councilman Zachary Chester said he has received concerns from residents about coyotes and foxes — but not wolves. – See http://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2015/02/wolves_coyotes_and_foxes_roaming_trenton_streets_c.html

1179coyoteGeorgia 02/24/15 myfoxatlanta.com: by Jaclyn Schultz – A number of coyotes have recently been spotted around busy neighborhoods in metro Atlanta. One woman, however, said a coyote attacked her pets. “The coyote came here close to the house. There were feathers all over the yard,” said Jennifer Ellis, who lives in Grant Park with her pet chickens, dog and rabbit. “There’s never been an attack like this one.” One Grant Park neighbor said off camera, his dogs scared another coyote away. Other neighbors said word has gotten around about other sightings. “They start to associate food with humans and remove their natural wariness,” said Professor Chris Mowry of Berry College, who started the Atlanta Coyote Project. The project has surveyed thousands of metro Atlanta residents who have reported seeing a coyote, and is trying to study if more are moving into busy urban areas. Mowry said reports of coyotes, though, have increased. He says too many people living around in-town Atlanta make their homes appealing to wildlife, such as leaving out pet food and exposing trash. “They walk by and see an easy meal and will try to take it,” he said. Though trapping a coyote is always an option for a resident, Mowry said another coyote will move in afterwards. He said the most effective prevention is eliminating what coyotes could eat on your property, installing motion sensor lights, and hanging wind chimes to create noise. He also said fencing should be higher than six feet tall and should even extend below ground to prevent digging. Pets should also be supervised while outside. – For video see http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/28182721/coyotes-spotted-in-atlanta-neighborhoods

MURINE TYPHUS:

453723837Texas 02/16/15 healio.com: Scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch say murine typhus has been identified in Galveston signaling the re-emergence of the disease. Of 18 adult patients evaluated, seven cases of the disease were confirmed. Fleas that infest rats, opossums and cats are likely to be spreading the disease. Blanton LS, et al. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015;doi:10.3201/eid2103.140716. – See http://www.healio.com/infectious-disease/zoonotic-infections/news/online/%7B47c536b9-6693-4cac-abc0-1fa1a88a933e%7D/first-cases-of-murine-typhus-in-8-decades-reported-in-texas

LYME DISEASE:

logo66874New York 02/18/15 newsday.com: A Hudson Valley researcher says ticks that carry Lyme disease are emerging earlier in spring and spreading into new geographic regions, a trend corresponding with data on climate warming trends. The conclusions were based on 19 years of data collected at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook in Dutchess County, a hotbed of tick-borne disease. Biologist Richard Ostfeld at the Cary Institute says nearly two decades of data revealed climate warming trends correlated with earlier spring feeding by nymphal ticks, sometimes by as much as three weeks. – See http://www.newsday.com/news/health/ticks-carrying-lyme-disease-are-emerging-earlier-researcher-says-1.9949893

RABIES:       

635603854191973597-rabiesdogTexas 02/24/15 kvue.com: A dog that visited Austin’s Zilker Park Dog Park off leash between 3 and 6 p.m. on February 8th has been diagnosed with rabies. The black-and-white Border Collie mix was seen about 50 yards from the park’s sand volleyball courts and reportedly had contact with other dogs at the park. Anyone who came in contact with this dog, or whose pet did, should seek immediate medical advice. – See http://www.kvue.com/story/news/health/2015/02/24/officials-warn-of-possible-rabies-exposure-at-zilker/23946897/