Tag Archives: Crows

MARYLAND WOMAN attacked in her yard by DEER with RABIES ~ CALIFORNIA reopens wilderness park after MOUNTAIN LION is captured ~ NEW MEXICO officers shoot MOUNTAIN LION that tried to attack a WOMAN ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS report from FL ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CT, DE, IL, MA, NJ, OK, & TX ~ RABIES reports from ME, & NY.

White tailed buck. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Maryland 07/16/12 times-news.com: by Michael A. Sawyers – The last thing Theresa Stevens expected to happen July 6 was to be kicked in the face by a deer, especially a deer that had rabies. The Georges Creek Boulevard woman is part way through a series of post-exposure rabies shots that will continue weekly into early August. Stevens, whose home is directly behind Jolly Roger Discount Liquors, said she had let her Yorkie out of the house at 6 a.m. when she looked up and found herself nose to nose with a deer. “It stood up on its back legs and hit me in the cheek with one hoof and on the shoulder with the other,” Stevens said. Stevens pushed the deer away, grabbed her dog, and awakened her husband, Larry, telling him she had been attacked by a deer. “He thought I was crazy,” she said. When the Stevenses went back outside, the doe was lying beneath their Toyota Corolla. “I got it a bucket of water and it stuck its head in it,” Stevens said. “Larry got some video of the deer under the car.”

Courtesy National Park Service.

Eventually, Jim Mullan of the Maryland Wildlife and Heritage Service was called to the scene. “The deer was emaciated and appeared to have been injured, probably by a vehicle strike,” Mullan said. “It could have been that weakened condition that allowed the deer to become contacted by a rabid animal.” The deer was euthanized and samples were taken to test for chronic wasting disease and rabies. Rabies was confirmed July 9 via a laboratory test at the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in Baltimore, Mullan said. The CWD results are awaited. CWD is a deer disease and is not known to affect humans. A determination was made that Stevens, whose hands had small cuts upon them, was exposed to the rabies virus by touching the water in which the deer had placed its head and deposited saliva. Stevens said she developed a bad headache and muscle pain seven days after the incident and began vaccinations that evening. “I won’t be hospitable to any more wildlife,” Stevens said. It is rare for a deer to contract rabies, according to George Timko, a biologist with the Maryland Wildlife & Heritage Service. “The last case we confirmed in the state was in Frederick County three or four years ago,” Timko said Monday. The most likely source of the rabies would be a raccoon, he added. The biologist said feeding deer, such as with corn, will attract raccoons as well, thus putting those two animals in proximity and increasing the chance that a rabid raccoon could infect a deer.

California 07/17/12 sacbee.com: Game wardens have captured a mountain lionin a Southern California wilderness park closed to visitors during the weekend because of a cougar prowling the area. State Fish and Game spokesman Andrew Hughan says the 100-pound male mountain lion was trapped early Tuesday in the Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park in the Santa Ana Mountains foothills of eastern Orange County.  A portion of the park is in Cleveland National Forest. The park was closed after a mountain lion was spotted in the park on Sunday. Hughan tells City News Service that the animal trapped

Courtesy National Park Service.

Tuesday is believed to be the same one. The park is now open. In 2004, mountain biker Mark Reynolds was killed by a cougar lion in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park.

New Mexico 07/17/12 lcsun-news.com: by Duane Barbati – Otero County Sheriff’s Office deputies had to kill a mountain lion in the yard of a Chaparral residence last Wednesday, an OCSO spokesman said. OCSO Sgt. Mark Tarantino said a female mountain lion was shot at a residence in the 200 block of Jung Sun Lane. “It was atypical ” Tarantino said. “It was going back and forth along the back fence of the property and under a trailer. It was transported by New Mexico Game and Fish to be tested. It was pretty thin. It was young and thin, no obvious problems. It was about four feet long. I am guessing it was driven out of the mountains by older mature animals. It had traveled down to the residential area of Chaparral. It is not common for them to reside in a residential area. It indicates to me there is an issue with that animal.” According to the sheriff’s office incident report, the owner of the residence reported that the mountain lion tried to attack her while she was getting into her vehicle. – For complete article go to http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-news/ci_21091757/deputies-shoot-mountain-lion-chaparral-yard

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

Alachua County

Florida 07/17/12 Alachua County: Officials say EEE has been detected in a sentinel chicken. County health director Anthony Dennis told a newspaper a human case of EEE was reported in Holmes County last week, but the person had also spent time in Washington County. – See http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/07/17/2898872/eastern-equine-encephalitis-detected.html

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Fairfield County

Connecticut 07/17/12 Greenwich, Fairfield County: Health officials announced Tuesday that mosquitoes caught last week as part of the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program in Old Greenwich have tested positive for the WNV. – See https://mail.google.com/mail/?hl=en&shva=1#inbox/138969965199e2d0

Delaware 07/16/12 Newark, New Castle County: A crow that was taken to the Delaware Public Health Lab by members of the Tri-State Bird Rescue in Newark tested positive for WNV a week ago.  The bird was collected in the Newark area prompting increased mosquito surveillance and monitoring. – See http://www.wgmd.com/?p=63496

Cook County

Illinois 07/17/12 Glencoe, Cook County: North Shore Mosquito Abatement District officials confirm a pool of mosquitoes collected on June 27 has tested positive for WNV. – See http://winnetka.patch.com/articles/mosquitoes-with-west-nile-virus-found-in-glencoe

Suffolk County

Massachusetts 07/16/12 West Roxbury, Suffolk County: The second case of WNV-infected mosquitoes in Boston was found in West Roxbury last week. A sample from one mosquito pool collected July 9, came back with positive results for the virus on July 12, said Boston Public Health Commission spokeswoman Katinka Podmaniczky on Monday. – See http://www.wickedlocal.com/west-roxbury/news/x1245786227/West-Nile-virus-positive-mosquitoes-found-in-West-Roxbury#axzz20woAWSoN

Warren County

New Jersey 07/17/12 Warren County: A group of 75 Culex mosquitoes collected in Harmony and a crow collected in Washington Borough both tested positive for WNV. The mosquitoes were collected on Tuesday, July 3, in a trap specifically designed to catch Culex mosquitoes, the type of mosquito responsible for transmitting the virus, especially from bird to bird. – See http://www.nj.com/warrenreporter/index.ssf/2012/07/west_nile_virus_reported_in_wa.html

Pittsburg County

Oklahoma 07/17/12 McAlester, Pittsburg County: A human case of WNV is one of only two cases found statewide so far this year. The other case is in Tulsa County. “ The individual with the confirmed case of WNV in Pittsburg County has been identified by the health department only as a man “in the age 65 or older category,” Coffman said. – See http://normantranscript.com/new/x333941068/West-Nile-Virus-detected-in-Pittsburg-County

Tarrant County

Texas 07/17/12 Tarrant County: Physicians and hospitals report 16 human cases of WNV so far in the county this year, according to officials with the public health department. Nine of the cases have been the more serious neuro-invasive strain of the virus, while seven cases have been diagnosed as West Nile fever, said Sandra Parker, Tarrant County public health medical director and health authority. No deaths attributable to the virus have been reported in Tarrant County. “This fits the definition of an epidemic,” Parker said. “The most important thing I think the numbers say is that we need to do what we can to prevent the illness.” – See http://www.star-telegram.com/2012/07/17/4105313/west-nile-case-levels-fit-definition.html

Rabies:

Maine 07/16/12 Thorndike, Waldo County: Michael Topich, 47, had eleven eight-week-old puppies in his backyard and recently found a skunk had broken into their fenced-in area. The skunk was dragging one of the puppies, so Topich grabbed it by the back of the neck to save the pup, coming in contact with the skunk’s saliva at the same time. As an afterthought, he decided to have the skunk tested for rabies and it came back positive. He has since received post-exposure rabies treatments, and all of the puppies had to be euthanized. – See http://www.wcsh6.com/news/article/207497/2/Thorndike-man-beats-rabid-skunk-with-bare-hands-in-attempt-to-save-puppies

New York 07/16/12 Whitestone, Oneida County: A gray fox that attacked a domestic cat in Whitestown last week has tested positive for rabies, according to a news release from the county health department. The fox was reported to be running around in a residential area near Judd Road July 11 before the attack on July 12, according to the release. – See http://www.uticaod.com/latestnews/x736424257/Rabid-fox-found-in-Whitestown

OREGONIAN hospitalized with illness believed to be PLAGUE ~ ILLINOIS & NEW YORK counties issue WEST NILE VIRUS alerts ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending June 2, 2012.

Image courtesy Federal Drug Administration.

Oregon 06/12/12 oregonlive.com: by Lynne Terry – A man hospitalized in Bend is likely suffering from the plague, marking the fifth case in Oregon since 1995. The unidentified man, who is in his 50s, fell ill several days after being bitten while trying to get a mouse away from a stray cat. The man is now being treated at St. Charles Medical Center-Bend, where he was listed in critical condition on Tuesday. “This can be a serious illness,” said Emilio DeBess, Oregon’s public health veterinarian. “But it is treatable with antibiotics, and it’s also preventable.” The Black Death raged through Europe during the Middle Ages, killing about a third of the population. Today, the disease is rare, but the bacteria have never disappeared. The man, who lives in rural Crook County, was bitten Saturday, June 2. He developed a fever a few days later. By Friday, June 8, he was so sick that he checked himself into St. Charles Medical Center-Redmond. He was later transferred to the larger facility in Bend. Karen Yeargain, communicable disease coordinator with Crook County Health Department, said lab tests are being done to confirm whether the man has the plague, but she said he is suffering from classic symptoms.

Image courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

There’s one bacterium that causes the disease — Yersinia pestis — but it can develop into three types of illnesses depending on how an individual’s body reacts. Initially, the man had swollen lymph nodes — a sign of bubonic plague — but now he’s showing signs of septicemic  plague, when the bacteria multiply in the bloodstream. Symptoms include abdominal pain, bleeding mouth, nose or rectum and dying tissue. The third type is pneumonic plague, which affects the lungs. DeBess said it’s not clear whether the man was bitten by the mouse or by the cat. The feline died, and its body has been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing. – For complete article see http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2012/06/man_likely_sickened_by_plague.html

Illinois 06/11/12 Wood River, Madison County: Two crows found on June 4th tested positive for West Nile Virus. – See http://www.ksdk.com/news/article/323506/3/Two-crows-test-positive-for-West-Nile-Virus-in-Madison-Illinois

New York 06/12/12 Cicero, Onondaga County: Health officials announced last week that a pool of mosquitoes collected at the Route 298 trap tested positive for West Nile Virus. – See http://www.9wsyr.com/news/local/story/West-Nile-virus-confirmed-in-CNY/gmH0ynbh2UWSE7Ssd3RC9A.cspx

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending June 2, 2012:

Published June 8, 2012/ 61(22); ND-297-ND-310

Anaplasmosis . . . 5 . . . New York (3), Rhode Island (2),

Brucellosis . . . 3 . . . California, Florida (2)

Ehrlichiosis . . . 13 . . . Florida, Maryland (2), Missouri (4), Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia (4),

Giardiasis . . . 99 . . . Arkansas, California (14), Florida (29), Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine (3), Maryland (2), Michigan, Missouri (3), Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York (18), Ohio (8), Oregon, Pennsylvania (6), Virginia (2), Washington (4), Wisconsin,

Lyme Disease . . .  109. . .  Delaware (7), Florida (2), Maryland (10), Michigan (2), New Jersey, New York (40), Pennsylvania (22), Vermont (7), Virginia (16), Washington, Wisconsin,

Rabies (Animal) . . . 51. . . Arkansas, Illinois, Maine, Maryland (16), Michigan (2), New Hampshire, Ohio, Texas (15), Vermont, Virginia (12),

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Confirmed) . . . 1. . . Missouri,

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 24 . . . Idaho, Kentucky, Missouri (4), Nebraska, North Carolina (4), Tennessee (7), Virginia (6),

Tularemia . . . 2 . . . Missouri.

Alaska duck hunter narrowly escapes death-by-GRIZZLY ~ Connecticut committee releases TICK-BORNE (incl LYME) DISEASE report ~ Idaho family’s CAT tested positive for TULAREMIA ~ RABIES reports from North Carolina, & Ohio (2) ~ and WEST NILE VIRUS reports from California, & New Jersey ~ Follow-Up Reports: Wisconsin BLACK BEAR attack victim arrested for poaching last year ~ Travel Warnings: Zambia reports RABIES outbreak.

National Park Service photo.

Alaska 10/18/11 alaskadispatch.com: For Craig Medred’s lengthy and fascinating account of a duck hunter’s narrow escape from death-by-GRIZZLY just ten days ago in Alaska’s Portage Valley, go to http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/girdwood-duck-hunter-recounts-unbelievable-grizzly-attack

Connecticut 10/18/11 Newtown, Fairfield County: TICK-BORNE DISEASE Action Committee, with focus on LYME DISEASE, releases report after exhaustive study lasting three years. A majority recommend culling DEER herd, but some disagree. See http://newtown.patch.com/articles/committee-releases-deer-report-after-nearly-3-years-of-work

Idaho 10/14/11 Island Park: Family pet CAT tested positive for TULAREMIA.

See http://www.westyellowstonenews.com/news/article_02fceec6-f695-11e0-b752-001cc4c002e0.html

North Carolina 10/16/11 Reed, Davidson County: FOX carcass tested positive for RABIES. Two DOGS destroyed.   See http://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20111016/NEWS/111019963

Ohio 10/16/11 Willoughby, Lake County: Three SKUNKS tested positive for RABIES. See http://www.stowsentry.com/news/article/5109793

Ohio 10/17/11 Twinsburg, Summit County: Family DOG dies of RABIES (RACCOON strain of virus) see http://www.twinsburgbulletin.com/news/article/5110887

California 10/13/11 Dixon, Solano County: American CROW tested positive for WEST NILE VIRUS. See http://www.thereporter.com/ci_19103043

New Jersey 10/18/11 Monmouth County: HORSE tested positive for WEST NILE VIRUS. See http://exa.gmnews.com/news/2011-10-20/Front_Page/Horse_contracts_West_Nile_Virus.html

Texas 10/18/11 Southeast Dallas and Denton: MOSQUITOES infected with WEST NILE VIRUS have been found in both areas. See http://www.pegasusnews.com/news/2011/oct/18/west-nile-virus-found-southeast-dallas/

Follow-Up Reports:

(See October 11, 2011: Wisconsin officers kill wounded BLACK BEAR that attacked deer hunter; and October 12, 2011: Wisconsin authorities question report of BLACK BEAR attack.)

Wisconsin 10/17/11 northlandsnewscenter.com: by Zach Vavricka – According to a Superior Police report from 2010, Charlie Lehman was stopped by DNR officials with an untagged doe in the bed of his work truck. This happened after an anonymous caller tipped off authorities that Lehman was poaching deer at Connors Point in Wisconsin with a bow and arrow. After police stopped and searched Lehman’s truck they found a bow and quiver with one arrow missing; Lehman denied all claims saying he was target practicing, even though the arrows had broad tips that are meant for hunting. DNR officials followed him after the stop and observed going back to Conner’s Point to pick up the deer. He was then arrested and charged with having on untagged deer in his vehicle. Superior police say that if the case of the bear mauling turns out to be poaching, he could be charged with more than a basic hunting infraction. “This is a statute in the state of Wisconsin for obstructing an officer. That includes lying to a police officer who is doing their official work. So questioning someone about an incident and the lying to an officer is obstructing an officer.” said Superior Police Officer Matt Markon. Now according to DNR officials, Lehman has admitted to previous poaching offenses. His hunting, fishing, and trapping privileges were revoked for three years after being caught poaching last year. DNR officials say the investigation should be wrapped up at the end of this week. DNR officials say Charlie Lehman and his girlfriend, Tiffany Mallow, who claims to have shot the bear, haven’t been cooperating with authorities which has slowed the investigation.

Travel Warnings:

Zambia 10/15/11 allafrica.com: RABIES has broken out in Mansa District which has recorded 14 cases and one death in the recent past. District livestock officer Beatwell Mbewe said yesterday in Mansa that the 14 cases were recorded in Chembe area while one person died in Mwang’uni after being bitten by an infected dog. Mr Mbewe said rabies vaccine centres had been opened in Senama, Kapesha, Namandwe and Suburbs areas.

Colorado toddler attacked by Coyote; Michigan woman attacked by Black Bear; Utah man survives brush with Mountain Lion; West Nile Virus reports from Colorado, Missouri, New York, and Pennsylvania (2); and Rabies reports from Connecticut, and North Carolina. Canada: West Nile Virus report from Ontario.

Coyote. Photo by Sally King. Courtesy National Park Service.

Colorado 07/19/11 broomfieldenterprise.com: The search is on for a coyote that bit a Broomfield toddler on Monday evening. Once found, the animal, which is now deemed a public safety risk, will be killed. The 21/2-year-old boy, who was not seriously hurt, was walking with his father and 9-month-old sister around 8 p.m. Monday in the Anthem neighborhood in northern Broomfield when the attack happened. The boy’s father, who asked not to be identified to protect his family, said a small coyote emerged from tall grass adjacent to the trail and bit the boy on his back and buttocks.  “As soon as I saw (the coyote) I started yelling and stuff,” he said. “He still had time to knock my son over and bite him in the lower back area. (The coyote) then ran about 20 or 25 yards up the trail before turning around and looking at me before running off.”  The father immediately took his children home and drove his son to The Children’s Hospital urgent care center on Colo. 7. He said his son received a rabies vaccination and is recovering well from the incident.  While the incident certainly shook him, he doesn’t think it will sour his family’s love of the outdoors.  “We love being outside and we love wildlife, but obviously it was a little bit traumatic for me to see,” he said. ” So, I think right now my attitude has changed a little bit, but I think over time it will subside and go back to where it was, which was not overly concerned (about wildlife). I’m just glad it wasn’t worse.”

Broomfield Animal Control and Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife officers were called to the area on Monday. Wildlife officers began a search for the coyote, which is still ongoing.  The attack is being classified as “dangerous coyote behavior” as listed in the city’s policy on coexistence for wildlife, which means once it is located the coyote will be killed by wildlife officers. Colorado Parks and Wildlife is the primary law enforcement agency responsible for responding to incidents involving wildlife and human contact. (For complete article go to http://www.broomfieldenterprise.com/ci_18507529 )

Michigan 07/19/11 thetimesherald.com: A 64-year-old woman survived an attack Monday by a captive, nearly 400-pound black bear while feeding two of the animals on private property in Michigan’s remote western Upper Peninsula, state law enforcement officials said. Authorities said the woman from Ewen was attacked by the 19-year-old bear named Daisy while feeding the bears in a large, fenced-in area in Ontonagon County’s McMillan Township. Police said the woman, who was alone and helping another woman who owned the bears, drove a short distance home and called 911. She was taken to an Ironwood hospital and airlifted to Aspirus Wausau Hospital in Wisconsin. Police said she had back, neck and arm injuries, including bites and cuts from claws but is expected to be released Wednesday. The bear escaped and was killed by a state trooper, authorities said. The woman’s name was not released. “It’s an unfortunate accident,” said Sgt. Steven Burton of the Department of Natural Resources’ law enforcement division, adding the DNR-licensed facility was “very clean and well-run.” Burton said the area contains three pens, and people can lock bears out while feeding the animals. The woman didn’t see Daisy and thought the pen she was entering was clear. “That’s when Daisy heard her, most likely felt threatened and attacked her,” Burton said. The bears, much larger than average wild bears in Michigan, came from a wildlife center in Colorado and lived in a fenced-in area built exclusively for them, he said. The animals were kept as pets and not on public display. Daisy’s head will be tested for rabies, but Burton said it’s not suspected. The second bear, a 17-year-old 350-pounder, was not part of the attack and remains at the property. Burton said black bears can be dangerous and aggressive but usually do not attack people. He said they are “more of a nuisance than anything.”

Utah 07/19/11 myfoxatlanta.com: A Utah man who found himself face-to-face with a mountain lion while working in his driveway kicked the cat in the face — and got a sore toe as its fang went through his shoe, the Salt Lake City Tribune reported Monday. Division of Wildlife Resources Conservation Officer Bruce Johnson said officials are still searching for the mountain lion near Wanship, about 37 miles from Salt Lake City, as some of its behaviors were characteristic of a high-risk animal. If authorities locate the cat it will be destroyed, he said, as he urged residents to be wary and call authorities if they see it in the area. The man kicked out at the animal, Johnson said, with one of its teeth puncturing the sole of his Crocs-style shoe and hurting his toe.

Colorado 07/19/11 timescall.com: Boulder County Public Health confirmed today that a Longmont woman developed the first human case of West Nile Virus in Colorado this season. The 47-year-old woman reported that she first became ill on July 4, according to Boulder County Public Health. She reportedly developed a severe head ache, body aches and extreme fatigue. She was not hospitalized, and her symptoms have since improved. News of the case and increasing mosquito numbers have prompted the city of Longmont to spray adulticide in five mosquito-heavy areas starting at 9 p.m. Wednesday.  Adulticide will be sprayed at: Fox Hill Golf Course, Jim Hamm Nature Area, Sandstone Ranch, Union Reservoir, and St. Vrain Greenway from Martin Street East to Sandstone Ranch.

Missouri 07/18/11 kmov.com: Collections of mosquitoes from the Hillsboro area have tested positive for West Nile Virus. This is the first collection of mosquitoes in Jefferson County where mosquitoes have tested positive for the virus this year. The Jefferson County Health Department conducted mosquito tests in the areas directly affected on July 17. The department will continue to monitor mosquito activity throughout the county to determine levels of West Nile activity.

New York 07/18/11 patch.com: West Nile Virus is back in Nassau County and has made its first appearance in West Hempstead, according to officials. The Nassau County Department of Health announced Monday that it has identified the county’s first isolation of West Nile virus (WNV) from a mosquito. The virus was identified in a sample of Culex pipiens-restuans mosquitoes, collected on July 8 in West Hempstead and test results were confirmed Monday by the New York State Department of Health. To date, no humans have tested positive for West Nile virus in Nassau County.

Pennsylvania 07/19/11 ydr.com: A mosquito collection in Springettsbury Township has tested positive for West Nile virus by the state Department of Environmental Protection, according to a news release. Six mosquito collections have tested positive for the virus in York County. Additional surveillance and mosquito trapping in Springettsbury Township is being performed by the Penn State Cooperative Extension and state DEP staff.

Pennsylvania 07/18/11 centredaily.com: Two crows found in College Township have tested positive for the West Nile virus, bringing to three the number of birds in Centre County that have tested positive for the virus. The tests have were done on one crow found in State College Borough, and two found in neighboring College Township, said Bert Lavan, of the county Planning and Community Development Office. More significant was a mosquito sample from State College Borough that the DEP last week confirmed as having tested positive for the virus. Because birds can travel some distance, a finding of the virus in mosquitos is a better indication that the virus is present locally. According to Penn State’s Office of Physical Plant, the mosquito sample that tested positive was found on campus. Statewide, there have been 67 cases of mosquitoes testing positive for the virus. Centre County is the only county, according to the DEP website, where birds have tested positive.

Connecticut 07/18/11 theday.com: by Julianne Hanckel – Animal Control Officers have investigated 10 cases over the past two weeks where animals were suspected of or tested positive for rabies. “We’ve had an unusual amount of cases in a short time in Mystic,” Police Captain Jerry Desmond said this afternoon. He is warning residents in the Mystic area to be on the lookout for animals displaying rabid behavior, as the majority of the rabid foxes, raccoons, skunks and a cat were found near Mystic. Some animals also were found in Stonington. Desmond said two animals did test positive for rabies while the others are “suspected to have rabies because of their mannerisms.” Anyone with questions or in need of assistance may contact Animal Control at (860) 599-7566.

North Carolina 07/18/11 shelbystar.com: On July 14, 2011 Cleveland County Animal Control received a complaint at 113 Holden Dr. Earl, North Carolina in reference to a fox on the property displaying abnormal behavior. The Cleveland County Health Department was notified on July 18, 2011 that the fox tested positive for rabies. This makes the third (3rd) rabies case in Cleveland County in 2011. Anyone that sees an animal demonstrating unusual behavior needs to call the Cleveland County Animal Control Department at 481-9884.

Canada:

Ontario 07/18/11 nationalpost.com: by Daniel Kaszor – In what has become a sombre annual tradition, City of Toronto scientists have uncovered the summer’s first West Nile-infected mosquito. “This is a reminder; West Nile virus has established itself in Southern Ontario,” says Dan Kartzalis, Manager of the West Nile Virus program for Toronto Public Health. An alert on the city of Toronto’s website reminds residents to use mosquito repellent, wear light-coloured clothing and eliminate standing water where the mosquitoes can lay their eggs. In 2002, a wave of West Nile mosquitoes killed 11 Torontonians and infected 163 others. There have been no West Nile deaths in Toronto since 2005, a fact that has made Torontonians “complacent,” says Mr. Kartzalis. “We don’t want to alarm people … but if you were to be bitten by a mosquito with West Nile virus, there is a chance that you could get seriously ill and even die,” he says. As the summer progresses, notes Mr. Kartzalis, the disease will become more potent. Ever since the 2002 outbreak, Toronto public health officials have maintained a city-wide network of 43 mosquito traps to keep tabs on the flying insects. Dry ice canisters on the traps are used to attract the insects, since the carbon dioxide they give off resembles human breath. When the mosquitoes get close, a battery powered fan then sucks them into a collection bag where they can be examined by scientists.

Arizona woman attacked by Black Bear; New Mexico warning people Bubonic Plague confirmed in Dog; California finds West Nile Virus in three dead Birds; 5 facts about Mosquitoes; and Rabies reports from California, Florida, Illinois, New York, North Carolina, and Wyoming.

Black bear. Courtesy National Park Service.

Arizona 06/29/11 azgfd.net: Press Release – A Gilbert woman was attacked by an adult male black bear while walking her dog in Pinetop late Tuesday evening. The attack occurred near Sports Village Loop approximately 60 yards from a dumpster where the bear had been scavenging. The bear returned to attack the victim more than once, and a passing motorist was finally able to scare the bear away.  The woman was flown to the Phoenix area for medical treatment and is in surgery at this time. Within a few hours, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services personnel arrived and used dogs to track the bear from the scene of the attack. The dogs quickly encountered a bear within a couple hundred yards of the site and treed it after a short pursuit. It was immediately dispatched.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is conducting a forensic necropsy to confirm that the bear is the one responsible for the attack. Disease testing, including rabies, will also be conducted by an outside laboratory, although officials do not believe the animal is disease-afflicted. “We want to express our deepest concerns for the woman and her family,” said Director Larry Voyles of the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “This was an especially aggressive, unprovoked attack that reminds us that wildlife can be unpredictable. This was a predatory attack and the animal was considered extremely dangerous. The department had to dispatch it for the public’s safety.” Although highly unlikely, if the forensic necropsy determines that the bear was not the one responsible, tracking efforts will begin immediately to find the right bear.

“Bears are particularly active at this time of year. We don’t believe this attack is related to wildfires in northeastern Arizona, but it could be related to continued drought conditions. Bears are easily drawn to human food sources, like dumpsters, trash cans and campsites especially during times of drought. Game and Fish strongly reminds residents living in bear country to be aware of bears in their area and to properly dispose of all food sources in secure containers,” said Voyles. Bear attacks on humans are rare with only six cases documented in Arizona since 1990, which is as far back as the department’s database tracks.

New Mexico 06/24/11 nmhealth.org: Press Release – The New Mexico Department of Health’s Scientific Laboratory Division confirmed plague this week in a dog that lives in the city of Rio Rancho. The dog was most likely infected when running in open fields on the north end of the city and encountering sick or dead rabbits and other rodents. “A plague case in a pet serves as a warning that there is plague activity in rabbits, rodents and their fleas in the area,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Catherine Torres. “I encourage everyone to follow simple prevention recommendations to keep themselves and their families and pets safe.” Plague, a bacterial disease of rodents, is generally transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas, but can also be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, rabbits, and pets. “Pets infected with plague are often hunters who have eaten an infected rodent or been bitten by a rodent’s fleas prior to getting ill,” said Dr. Paul Ettestad, public health veterinarian for the Department of Health. “Pets can transport the fleas back into the home where they can infect people.”

Symptoms of plague in humans include sudden onset of fever, chills, headache, and weakness. In most cases there is a painful swelling of the lymph node in the groin, armpit or neck areas. Plague symptoms in cats and dogs are fever, lethargy and loss of appetite. There may be a swelling in the lymph node under the jaw. With prompt diagnosis and appropriate antibiotic treatment, the fatality rate in people and pets can be greatly reduced.  In New Mexico, there have been two human cases so far in 2011, both from Santa Fe County, no human cases in 2010 and six human cases of plague in 2009: three from Santa Fe County, two from Bernalillo County and one from Sandoval County. One of the Santa Fe County cases was a fatal case in an 8-year-old boy.

California 06/24/11 sgvtribune.com: Three of four dead birds found recently in the San Gabriel Valley were confirmed to have West Nile Virus and one is suspected of being infected, vector control officials said. The birds were found in Baldwin Park, Covina and West Covina.  “When we start to see birds dying, that indicates that West Nile virus is active again,” said Kelly Middleton, Public Information Officer for San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control. “Our bigger concern is three of these popped up in one week’s time.”  West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes and is particularly deadly to crows, she said. Dead crow sightings raise concerns about West Nile levels in an area. Most of the dead crows found in L.A. County this year were found in the San Gabriel Valley, Middleton said. Neglected pools can be reported to vector control officials at (626) 814-9466 or http://www.sgvmosquito.org. Dead bird sightings can be reported to (877) WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473) or http://www.westnile.ca.gov.

Asian Tiger Mosquito

National 06/30/11 patch.com: by Tracy Montgomery – You are sitting in your backyard, watching the kids play and maybe enjoying an adult beverage with friends. When all of a sudden you feel something on your ankle and…Wham! It’s a nagging, itchy, uncomfortable bite that eventually drives you back inside. Patch brings you some facts about mosquitoes and their bites.

You feel like you always get bit, even when no one around you has been bitten. You are not crazy–it’s all in your genes. According to the American Mosquito Control Association, some of the compounds secreted by the body are more attractive to mosquitos than others. Some of the compounds actually repel mosquitoes so for those friends of yours who say they hardly get bit; they’ve won the genetic lottery.

Mosquitoes are among the deadliest animals on the planet. According to the AMCA, more than one million deaths worldwide can be attributed to mosquito bites. Malaria, West Nile, encephalitis and yellow fever are just a few of the diseases this insect can carry.

I swear–I am allergic to mosquito bites. Once again, you are not crazy. Some unlucky folks, mainly those who tend to be fair-skinned, are allergic to mosquito saliva according to the AMCA. This is what causes the average bite to occasionally swell to the size of a plum for some folks. But besides being super-uncomfortable, it is not a medical emergency.

My backyard is infested–how can I get rid of them? Experts say mosquitoes are actually poor fliers, so break out the fans and literally blow them away. DEET is the most effective repellent; there are very few if any natural repellents that work on the body. Install a bat house–although the population of bats has dwindled, putting a bat house on top of your own will bring them to your yard and they will naturally control the population. Be sure to get rid of any standing water where they love to breed.

Why are there so many mosquitoes out in the day? When we were kids, we never had to worry about getting bit in the day time; it seemed we only got bit at dusk. You can thank the Asian Tiger mosquito for changing all of that. It was imported to this country accidentally and loves to hang with humans and prefers to feed during the day.

California 06/30/11 nbcsandiego.com: by Michael Gehiken – A Palm Springs woman was bit and her small dog was viciously killed by a large golden retriever mix Wednesday afternoon on a Carlsbad boardwalk, the victim’s husband said. The dog’s handler, believed to be in his early 20s, idly watched the leashed dog bite Rene Hillman, 55, above the right wrist and kill her dog before outrunning witnesses from a park north of Carlsbad Village Drive after 12:30 p.m., Bill Hillman said. Hillman says he saw the attack while walking to purchase food. He ran to assist his wife and their white, six-pound Pomeranian, kicking the attacking dog twice in the head before it finally released, he said. “It took it, shook it, tore it open and ripped it apart,” Bill Hillman said. “The owner did nothing but hold his skateboard as his dog mauled my dog after mauling my wife. Then he ran away, and that’s what made me the most upset … It’s just really sad. I can’t believe a human being would do that. It’s just very, very sad.” Hillman believes the dog weighed 110 to 120 pounds and was a golden retriever-Labrador mix. Witnesses told him the dog’s barefooted owner was a local, he said.

Florida 06/29/11 myfoxtampabay.com: by Kristin Wright – A Gibsonton couple is receiving rabies post-exposure shots after both were bitten by a rabid fox in Hernando County. Their pickup truck broke down along U.S. Highway 491 in a rural area north of Brooksville on Sunday. “She steps out of the truck and she started screaming,” Jim Price told FOX 13. “I run around to see what it was and she had an animal hanging on her arm.”  “I threw him on the ground and kicked him a few times, and he got me inside the leg,” he said. “We have rabies endemic in the wild animal population in Hernando County,” said Albert Gray, environmental manager of the Hernando County Health Department. “In the past nine years, we’ve had 26 rabid wild animals.” Gray said there is a simple way to help prevent exposure in some cases. “The feral cat population is very susceptible to rabies,” he said. “One of the things people can do to protect themselves is to vaccinate their cats and dogs against rabies.” The health department also advises residents and visitors to avoid all free-roaming dogs, cats and wild animals. Also, do not feed wild animals and secure garbage so that it doesn’t attract wild animals. The fox that bit Anna Jo and Jim got hit by a car, and a neighbor later killed it. Lab results confirmed the animal had rabies. In addition to the rabies post-exposure treatments, Anna Jo had to get stitches in her arm and thumb. She says the attack was extremely painful.

Illinois 06/29/11 patch.com: by Brian Feldt – A second bat in Bolingbrook has tested positive for rabies, Will County officials say. According to a release from the Will County Health Department, a bat that fell from a tree near a Bolingbrook home has become Will County’s second confirmed case of wildlife rabies for 2011. The bat was discovered at a home on Sundance Drive on June 21. The bat subsequently tested for rabies the next day at the Illinois Department of Public Health. The man that discovered the bat touched the animal and then stepped on it, the release said. The Will County Health Department has recommended post-exposure rabies prophylaxis for the man who touched the bat. No other human exposures were identified, the release said. On May 24, the county’s first confirmed case of wildlife rabies for the year came from Bolingbrook, when a dead bat was found underneath a deck on Pinecrest Road. “We are entering the prime rabies season now,” said Will County Animal Control Administrator Lee Schild in the release. “More than 75 percent of Illinois’ rabies confirmations occurs from late June through September. Most Illinois rabies cases involve bats – people should avoid bats and notify the most appropriate animal control authority immediately when exposures do occur.” According to the release, at least 15 wildlife rabies cases have already been confirmed in Illinois during 2011, including 14 incidents involving bats. The state recorded a record high of 117 rabies confirmations during 2010; all involving bats. Will County Animal Control is available 24 hours daily at 815-462-5633.

New York 06/29/11 wktv.com: The Otsego County Department of Health has reported that a gray fox has tested positive for rabies on June 29, 2011. The fox was killed by a homeowner in Otego on Monday, June 27. Earlier in the day it was reported to the health department that two children were bitten by a fox on the same property. Health officials said they suspected that the fox that tested positive is the same fox that bit the children, but have been unable to confirm that. The children are currently receiving rabies post-exposure treatment.

North Carolina 06/29/11 thetimesnews.com: A baby fox has become Alamance County’s sixth rabies case of the year, according to the State Laboratory of Public Health on Wednesday. According to a press release from the county’s Health Department, Animal Control was called to a residence on Monroe Holt Road just south of Burlington on Tuesday in response to a report of an aggressive fox. Animal Control discovered that the baby fox had been captured and caged for the past two weeks. During this time period, two children and one adult have been confirmed to have handled the animal. Animal Control and the Environmental Health Division have contacted the people known to have been exposed to the disease. Any other individuals in the area who have questions or may have come into contact with the baby fox are asked to contact Environmental Health at 336-570-6367 immediately.

Wyoming 06/29/11 stamfordadvocate.com: Two more rabid skunks have been found in Laramie County, boosting this year’s total to seven and raising concerns about the disease spreading to pets in the area. The Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory told animal control officials that rabies tests were positive this week on two skunks in the Cheyenne area. The Cheyenne Animal Shelter says it’s important for animals to be vaccinated for rabies. Animal control officials are especially concerned because Cheyenne Frontier Days will start soon and many animals will be brought to town for the rodeo.

Excerpt from Carl Zimmer’s new book A Planet of Viruses; UI researchers find dramatic increase in U.S. hospitalizations due to Dengue Fever; Montana woman dies of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome; Connecticut man attacked by Coyotes; South Carolina woman suggests fashion world could decimate Coyote population; Rabies reports from Alabama, Oklahoma, & West Virginia; & a Coyote report from Indiana.

National 04/25/11 audubon.org: by Alisa Opar – In his fascinating new book, author Carl Zimmer explores the viruses living within and around us. With lively writing and fascinating details—if you put all the viruses of the oceans on a scale, they would equal the weight of 75 million blue whales—it’s a gripping and educational read. The book is available May 1, but you can enjoy a sneak peek below.

Becoming an American: West Nile Virus. Excerpted from A Planet of Viruses, by Carl Zimmer. The University of Chicago Presss, 109 pages.

In the summer of 1999, Tracey McNamara got worried. McNamara was the chief pathologist at the Bronx Zoo. When an animal at the zoo died, it was her job to figure out what killed it. She began to see dead crows on the ground near the zoo, and she wondered if they were being killed by some new virus spreading through the city. If the crows were dying, the zoo’s animals might start to die too. Over Labor Day weekend, her worst fears were realized: three flamingoes died suddenly. So did a pheasant, a bald eagle, and a cormorant. McNamara examined the dead birds and found they had all suffered bleeding in their brains. Their symptoms suggested that they had been killed by the same pathogen. But McNamara could not figure out what pathogen was responsible, so she sent tissue samples to government laboratories. The government scientists ran test after test for the various pathogens that might be responsible. For weeks, the tests kept coming up negative.

Carl Zimmer

Meanwhile, doctors in Queens were seeing a worrying number of cases of encephalitis—an inflammation of the brain. The entire city of New York normally only sees nine cases a year, but in August 1999, doctors in Queens found eight cases in one weekend. As the summer waned, more cases came to light. Some patients suffered fevers so dire that they became paralyzed, and by September nine had died. Initial tests pointed to a viral disease called Saint Louis encephalitis, but later tests failed to match the results. As doctors struggled to make sense of the human outbreak, McNamara was finally getting the answer to her own mystery. The National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa managed to grow viruses from the bird tissue samples she had sent them from the zoo. They bore a resemblance to the Saint Louis encephalitis virus. McNamara wondered now if both humans and birds were succumbing to the same pathogen. She convinced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to analyze the genetic material in the viruses. On September 22, the CDC researchers were stunned to find that the birds were not killed by Saint Louis encephalitis. Instead, the culprit was a pathogen called West Nile virus, which infects birds as well as people in parts of Asia, Europe, and Africa. No one had imagined that the Bronx Zoo birds were dying of West Nile virus, because it had never been seen in a bird in the Western Hemisphere before. Public health workers puzzling over the human cases of

Dr. Ian Lipkin

encephalitis decided it was time to broaden their search as well. Two teams—one at the CDC and another led by Ian Lipkin, who was then at the University of California, Irvine—isolated the genetic material from the human viruses. It was the same virus that was killing birds: West Nile. And once again, it took researchers by surprise. No human in North or South America had ever suffered from it before. (For complete review go to http://magblog.audubon.org/book-excerpt-planet-viruses-carl-zimmer )

Global May 2011 cdc.gov: The results of a recent study published in the May 2011 issue of CDC-EID found a dramatic increase in the number of hospitalizations for patients with dengue fever in the United States. This increase is not surprising considering that 1) the number of cases in disease-endemic regions has increased in recent years, and 2) a substantial number of travelers annually enter the United States from the tropics and subtropics. Although infrequent, severe consequences of dengue infection may occur in returning travelers. As individual travelers increasingly make multiple visits to dengue-endemic areas, the risk for severe dengue infections may similarly increase. A survey of 219 travelers who received treatment for dengue in Europe showed that 23 (11%) had severe clinical manifestations, including internal hemorrhage, plasma leakage, shock, and marked thrombocytopenia. We were unable to ascertain whether mosquito-borne hemorrhagic fever (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, code 065.4) also increased because the code appears quite infrequently, making statistical inferences unreliable. We also attempted to use deaths as a marker for disease severity, but we could not detect an increase in disease severity in our analysis because number of deaths was insufficient to accurately estimate a mortality rate. Dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever have been described as potential public health threats for residents of the US mainland. Despite the proximity of circulating dengue virus to the continental United States and the spread of the vector mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus) to at least 26 states, autochthonous cases in the continental United States have been relatively rare until the recent Floridaoutbreak. The increase in reported cases that we have documented highlights a potential risk for dengue spread within the United States. Although

Dr. Judy Streit

dengue fever was previously classified as reportable in some states, it did not become a reportable illness at the national level until 2010. Thus, some time is required before cases reported to public health departments can be used to establish reliable statistical estimates of national trends. Furthermore, the number of cases may not be linked to other relevant clinical data. The major limitation to our study is that we used administrative data, and thus we did not have access to laboratory data or patients’ travel histories. In addition, milder cases treated on an outpatient basis were not captured. Nevertheless, our results indicate that the decision to make dengue fever a reportable disease in the United States was warranted and that increased vigilance focused on these new surveillance data is needed. In addition, administrative data, as we describe here, can be used to estimate the effects and severity of illness attributable to dengue.

Dr Judy A. Streit is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Iowa where she an infectious disease specialist and the director of the travel medicine clinic. Her research interests include tropical medicine and related phenomena.

Montana04/25/11 kxnet.com: Park County health officials say a 46-year-old

Deer mouse feeding pups.

Livingston-area woman has died of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Coroner Al Jenkins tells the Livingston Enterprise that Hillary Johnson died on April 8 while she was being transported to a Billings hospital. Johnson had visited Park Clinic on April 7 with symptoms including a high fever, muscle fatigue and an extreme headache. She checked into the emergency room the next day also suffering from shortness of breath and extreme congestion. Hantavirus can be contracted through inhaling the droppings or urine of deer mice or touching the droppings or urine and then touching one’s eyes, nose or mouth.

Connecticut 04/25/11 courant.com: by Hillary Federico – Old Lyme – A man was attacked by a coyote while mowing his lawn Sunday, but was able to drive himself to a local clinic, according to a spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection. The victim, who lives on Tantummaheag Road, was not seriously injured. He received a few cuts and scratches, said Dennis Schain, DEP spokesman. “There is a certain chance [that the coyote may have been rabid]. This is really the first instance of a coyote attacking a person since I’ve been here,” Schain said. “It is highly unusual.” Schain said there has not been a coyote attack on a human within Connecticut since 2006, when a coyote attacked two men in Washington. One of the men was jogging when he was attacked but was not seriously injured. The second man was attacked by the same coyote later in the day while walking his dog. He, too, was not seriously injured. “It turns out that the coyote did have rabies and was [killed],” Schain said. Local police alerted neighbors of the attack and warned them to take precautions. The risk of a coyote attacking a person is extremely low, though Schain noted the risk can increase if coyotes are intentionally fed. If this is the case, the animal begins to associate people with food.

Alabama 04/25/11 gadsdentimes.com: Two dogs in the Coates Bend area have been quarantined after they fought with a raccoon that tested positive for rabies, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. Dr. Dee W. Jones, state public health veterinarian, in a press release said the raccoon was killed April 19, and that this is the first laboratory-confirmed case of animal rabies in Etowah County this year. He said the dogs were quarantined according to state regulations for rabies observation. For more information, contact the Alabama Department of Public Health, Bureau of Communicable Disease, Division of Epidemiology, at 1-800-677-0939, or the Etowah County Health Department at 256-547-6311.

Indiana 04/26/11 nwitimes.com: by Vanessa Renderman – A St. John family is mourning the loss of a pet that was snatched from its backyard by a pack of coyotes Sunday night. John Melendez, who lives in the Renaissance subdivision, said he wants residents to be aware of the threat the predators pose. “These things aren’t only a nuisance but are quite detrimental to the area,” he said. The attack happened about 11 p.m. Sunday, when the family let two of its miniature pinschers outside in the 9100 block of West 96th Place. One ran back into the garage, acting strangely. There was loud yelping and snarling. When John’s wife, Debbie Melendez, checked on the commotion, she saw what she described as a pack of wolves in possession of the dog, St. John Animal Control Officer Rick Conaway said. “There are no wolves in Northwest Indiana,” Conaway said. “They’re coyotes.” John Melendez said that when his wife approached the pack, they began growling at her. The animals were the size of German shepherds. The miniature pinscher’s disappearance and presumed death adds to the grief the family already was going through, after having to euthanize another pet dog Wednesday, John Melendez said. Conaway said the Sunday incident is the second of its type to happen in town since 2009, although the dog in the first incident later was found alive. He cautioned that pets less than 25 pounds should not be left unattended at any time of day. Coyotes hunt around the clock and feed on squirrels, raccoons, rabbits and other small animals. “A coyote will eat anything from a grasshopper to a groundhog,” he said. The subdivision where Sunday’s incident happened is near Clark Middle School — where the mascot is a coyote — and near a large undeveloped area.

Oklahoma 04/25/11 sequoyahcountytimes.com: by Dianna F. Dandridge – Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Department last week reported being called to a residence west of Sallisaw where a skunk had attacked a dog. Deputies destroyed the skunk and sent the remains to the Oklahoma Public Health Laboratory for analysis. The dog was placed in quarantine. Cox said that the incidence of rabies in Sequoyah County has traditionally been extremely low, but that Sebastian County, Ark., is already seeing a number of cases.

South Carolina04/25/11 thetandd.com: by Beth Richardson – Over the past decade and longer, coyotes have migrated into South Carolina from western states. Don’t worry; the coyotes did not jump over Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. The coyote is not native to the southeastern United States. Coyotes are meat eaters and will eat anything that is easy to catch. Research at the Savannah River Site clearly shows that one of the coyote’s favorite meals is the fawn. The coyote population and fawn depredation have reached a point where it has affected the number of deer allowed to be shot on the property. So far, research on other animals has not been completed, but one may be able to carry this research to other animals, thus, turkey, rabbits, and other small animal populations may be affected by the coyotes. There is an answer to the problem and the answer has worked in years past. The answer is … are you ready???? WOMEN! Yeah, I know, you did not see that coming, but keep reading.

Coyote fur outfit

Back in the 19th and early 20th century, women wore bird plumes in their hats. In fact, some plumes were in such demand that certain populations of bird species were driven close to extinction if not to extinction. It was the women’s fashion world that made it chic to wear beautiful plumes in their hats. This made the birds valuable; this meant that the hunters of these birds made enough money to warrant their catching/killing the birds to retrieve the plumes. Ergo, this fashion, because of women, created a supply and demand. The demand was so great that some of these birds did not make it, such as the Carolina parakeet. So, the plan is, if we can get the women fashion designers of New York and Paris to design the new accessories (the coyote tail cap, scarf, wrap and belt) and get it sold to the “in crowd” as an environmental statement of protecting native animals and fauna against non-native species, then there would be a value to the coyote. That value would be high enough whereby people could make a living off of trapping and shooting coyotes; thus, decimating the coyote population where it is not native. Beth Richardson is an agent with the Clemson Extension Service in Orangeburg County.

West Virginia 04/2/11 newstribune.info: by Liz Beavers – A recent rabies case has been confirmed in the Painter Hollow Road area near Fort Ashby, according to the Mineral County Health Department. The raccoon submitted tested positive for rabies. For further information, or to report any suspicious animals, call the health department at 304-788-1321.

Findings of the most comprehensive study of the Eastern Coyote ever conducted to be presented in Owego, New York, April 3, 2011; a West Nile Virus report from California; Coyote reports from Massachusetts, and Michigan; and Rabies reports from New Jersey, and North Carolina (3). Travel Warnings for New Caledonia.

Coyote. Photo by Sally King. Courtesy National Park Service.

  New York 03/09/11 pressconnects.com: by Dave Henderson  — The SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry College has been working with the Department of Environmental Conservation for the last a few years on the most comprehensive study of the eastern coyote ever conducted.  Everybody, and I mean everybody, is interested in the findings. In fact, people are going to pack the house on Sunday, April 3, when an update of coyote predation on whitetail deer in New York will be presented by one of the researchers at the Tioga County Sportsmen’s Association in Owego.  Sponsored by the Tioga County Trappers Association, the free presentation will start at 7 p.m. The club grounds are located on Carmichael Hill Road in Owego. For information contact Bob Vergason at 687-2196.

California 03/09/11 sacbee.com: by Bill Lindelof –  A dead crow found in the Elk Grove area is the first bird to test positive in the state this year for West Nile virus.  “Finding this bird is significant because it means that the virus is present in our area,” said David Brown, manager of the Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District.  The district received confirmation of the bird’s positive testing today from state health officials. Dead birds provide an early indication of where human cases may develop later in the season, Brown said.  Birds are hosts for West Nile virus and mosquitoes transmit the virus by biting an infected bird and then biting a person. To report dead birds call the California Department of Public Health hotline at (877) 968-2473.

Massachusetts 03/09/11: A pet Chihuahua was attacked and mauled by a pack of coyotes at 104 Highland Avenue in a Leominster Monday night.  Following surgery, the owner’s veterinarian said the 2-year-old dog will probably survive.  “It’s not difficult for the coyote population to infiltrate residential areas, said Marion Larson, a biologist with the MA Div of Fisheries and Wildlife.  Larsen said the coyotes are probably coming from the Monoosnoc Ridge and Leominster State Forest looking for food.    (To read article go to http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/ci_17572086 )

Michigan 03/08/11 myfoxdetroit.com: by Alexis Wiley – A pack of coyotes has been spotted roaming near a Rochester Hills elementary school. They’ve already killed some deer in the neighborhood. Now residents are worried that a child could be next.  Coyotes are the kind of neighbors most of us really don’t want. Maria Gialdi says a pack has moved into her Rochester Hills neighborhood and they’re definitely making their presence known.  “Several nights we are awoken at two in the morning … with this horrible howling and some animal screaming in pain,” she said.  Gialdi said she and her neighbors have even found dead deer carcasses near their homes.  “We (have) a picture of … two coyotes eating a dead deer. It was Sunday, 9:30 in the morning,” she said.  Gialdi’s home is just a short walk from an elementary school.  “If the coyote (attacks) and (kills) a deer, why not a five, six, seven-year-old,” she said. “National Geographic Channel had a special on this 19-year-old girl singer who got killed in Alberta, Canada by one coyote.”  We can all understand why Gialdi is worried. However, I did a little digging.  First of all, the case she’s referring to is the only fatal coyote attack on an adult in recorded history. They typically go after small animals and usually only attack deer if they are weak or sick.  While there have been a few cases of attacks on children in other states, coyotes have never attacked a child in Michigan.  But still, the fact that it has happened before is leaving Gialdi and some of her neighbors very uncomfortable to say the least.  This is mating season for coyotes, so you could see more of them, but remember they typically do not attack humans. You do need to keep a close eye on your small animals and make sure that you don’t leave any pet food or trash cans out in the evening.

New Jersey 03/09/11 nj.com: by Teresa Fasanello – Californ – Police captured a raccoon that may have been rabid after residents were alarmed by two raccoons wandering around the borough on Saturday. One raccoon remains loose.  “We noticed two raccoons wander into our back yard, and then they wandered away,” said Eleanor Horan, whose husband John made the phone call that notified police of the potential danger. She spotted the animals on her Center Street property around 10 a.m., and knew it was unusual for raccoons to be awake during the daylight. “One of them looked unwell, so we called the police,” she explained. “It was very sluggish — it would walk a few steps and then sit down.” Horan said she isn’t sure where the raccoons came from — her yard is not wooded and is “almost in the middle of town,” she said.  Patrol officers from Washington Township Police Department, which covers Califon under a contract arrangement, came and trapped the ill-looking raccoon in a yard on Academy Street. It was sick and had injuries to its face that “were not healing well,” said animal control officer Tim Norton. When officers arrived, the other raccoon was scurrying around the ill one and looked like he was “trying to assist” it, he said. Lt. Mark Niemynski said the raccoon was later killed because of its injuries and the possibility it was rabid, but no follow-up testing was done. Rabies testing is not considered necessary “unless there was some type of contact with an animal or human,” he said.  The other raccoon remains at large because “it only appeared that the one was ill,” Niemynski said.  Norton said the loose raccoon is likely healthy because it was afraid of humans. “As soon as he saw me, he ran under the shed he came from,” he said.  Though police do not consider it a threat, Niemynski recommends residents use caution if they see a raccoon during the day.

North Carolina 03/09/11 carrborocitizen.com: A raccoon found in Chapel Hill tested positive for rabies last week at the State Laboratory of Public Health.  The raccoon was submitted after a resident in the vicinity of Southbridge Drive and Culbreth Road saw her dog barking at it under her deck. The resident retrieved the dog and contacted Animal Control, who removed the raccoon for testing.   The dog’s rabies vaccination had lapsed, so it must be either quarantined for six months or destroyed, in accordance with North Carolina law. By contrast, animals exposed to rabies that are current on their vaccinations must receive booster shots within 120 hours of exposure.  This is the third positive rabies test that Orange County has received this year. If any possible exposure to a bat, raccoon or fox is suspected, call Animal Control at 245-2075 or call 911.

North Carolina 03/09/11 the-dispatch.com: A rabid horse was found March 2 in the Pilot community, becoming the third case of rabies for the year in Davidson County.  There was human exposure reported, and those people have been referred to a physician for follow-up, according to a press release from the Davidson County Health Department.  Do not handle an animal with bare hands after it has had contact with a wild animal. Saliva from the wild animal may still be present on the domestic animal’s fur, and by handling the animal, you may expose yourself to the rabies virus.  If there are stray dogs, cats or wildlife in your neighborhood, call Animal Control at 249-0131. Call the Rabies Hotline at 242-2348 if you or your pet comes in contact with another animal.

North Carolina 03/08/11 nbc17.com: Cumberland County Animal Services issued a rabies alert for areas in Hope Mills.  State Public Health Lab in Raleigh confirmed a case of rabies Tuesday morning in the 3500 block of Crusader Drive in Hope Mills. A raccoon was picked up by Animal Control after it was found dead, and sent to the State Lab for testing, where it tested positive.  Residents in the vicinity should remain alert for sick or abnormal acting wildlife. Officials will be in the vicinity to alert residents of the incident.

Travel Warnings:

New Caledonia 03/10/11 fijitimes.com: The World Health Organization (WHO) says the appearance of the mosquito-borne disease chikungunya in the Pacific is cause for concern.  According to Pacnews, two cases of chikungunya have been confirmed in New Caledonia, symptoms of which are similar to dengue.  Dr Jacob Kool, a WHO infectious disease expert in Fiji, has told Radio Australia’s Pacific Beat there are concerns this could lead to a serious outbreak in New Caledonia.  “That’s definitely a worry. Normally, chikungunya is a disease in Africa and Asia, so it’s spread to the Indian Ocean,” he said.  “And you can see what happens when the population has never had a disease before, then it spreads much faster because there’s nobody that has any immunity, no resistance to the disease.”  In 2005 a serious outbreak on the Indian Ocean island of La Reunion caused around 100 deaths.

Crows and West Nile Virus are the problem in La Jolla, California. In Franklin, Pennsylvania, it’s feral cats and rabies.

A murder of crows. Courtesy of Wikimedia.

 

California 11/18/10 cbs8.com: La Jolla – A News 8 viewer says her yard is turning into a scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”, and she’s not alone. Crows seem to be flocking to San Diego.  It’s not quite as terrifying as the scene from the 1963 Alfred Hitchcok movie “The Birds”, but Jan Davis says she’s still spooked that the front lawn of her home in Lemon Grove is often filled with crows.  “What do they want? It’s not like we just reseeded our lawn, they’re just out there, making their noise,” Davis said.  She says on some days, her yard is covered in crows.  “I was looking out the other day and it looked like a crow convention on my front yard, it was weird,” she said.

The crows are catching the attention of many San Diegans who have posted videos on YouTube, from a murder of crows up in Escondido to a flock down in Bonita.  “What we’ve seen is an explosion over the last 40 years, and crows are often considered the smartest birds. They adapt very well and have come to learn that people are very sloppy eaters. This is heaven for crows,” Philip Pryde of the Audubon Society of San Diego said.  Pryde says crows are not a direct threat to humans, but could affect other bird species.  “They will rob nests. They will eat anything, including the eggs of other birds. They can be a pest,” he said. 

American Crow. Courtesy National Park Service.

Jan Davis just wants them gone.  “What do you guys want? Is there something I should know? Or should I run in my house and close the door?” she said.  Crows also happen to be susceptible to the West Nile virus. If you find a dead crow, you should notify San Diego County Vector Control by calling (888) 551-INFO.


Pennsylvania  publicopiniononline.com: by Jim Tuttle – Roving bands of wild felines have become a concern for local officials and animal control authorities, in Chambersburg and throughout the region.  During a recent meeting, Borough Council President William McLaughlin said he and other members of council have gotten a number of complaints about feral cats lately. He asked staff to examine the issue and bring back potential solutions.  The problem is especially bad in Chambersburg’s north end, particularly in areas that border the ‘highline,’ McLaughlin said. People are complaining that the cats are hunting songbirds and making messes in “beds of mulch and sandboxes.” “A lot of it comes from people who kept cats as pets and in this economy, they can’t afford them anymore so they just let them go,” he said.

Madeline Rock is the spay/neuter manager for Bella Luna, a local nonprofit dedicated to caring for stray and feral cats in northern Franklin County. She knows of about eight cat colonies currently living in Chambersburg and being cared for to some extent by residents.  “But I’m sure there’s more than that,” she said.  Feral cats were born in the wild and have had no human contact, Rock said. Stray cats, on the other hand, were once house pets that people have abandoned.

Humane Police Officer Floyd “Buck” Hessler said the problem is certainly not limited to the borough. He said the outdoor cat population is out of control throughout Franklin County and Pennsylvania.  “Right now, there’s no (state) laws for us to enforce. A stray dog we can do something about, but with a stray cat there’s no way for us to enforce anything,” he said. “Cats multiply quickly. It’s a problem that needs to be addressed.”

McLaughlin asked staff to examine an ordinance employed by Waynesboro, which essentially assigns responsibilities of ownership to anyone who feeds outdoor cats.  “You assume ownership and you have the responsibility. That includes vaccinating them and making sure that they don’t become a nuisance,” he said. “You can’t allow them to prowl all over the neighborhood.”

Rock, who personally feeds and cares for a colony of more than 100 cats living along Lincoln Way East, said she and others like her do “the best they can” for their colonies, but strictly adhering to such an ordinance would be impossible.  “To make something like this mandatory, it’s just not feasible. The animals are the ones that will suffer, because people will shy away from helping them because of the expense,” she said.

It costs Rock about $25 a week to keep her colony fed. Bella Luna practices the “trap, neuter, release” strategy of cat population control. While many of the cats in her care have been de-sexed and vaccinated against rabies, it’s an ongoing effort to keep it up. She visits the colony every other day to refill a feeding station, and frequently finds new cats that have been dropped off.  “We think we did good, then some grown-up cats appear there and we start all over again,” she said. “It’s like a never-ending story.”

McLaughlin hopes a new ordinance would encourage people to take in more of the cats and keep them from running wild, or trap them and take them to the shelter so they are no longer on the streets.  “I think they should be taken to the shelter and the professionals there can make the judgment about their suitability for adoption,” he said.

Between 50 and 60 percent of cats currently coming in to the Cumberland Valley Animal Shelter are “absolutely feral,” according to shelter spokesperson Jennifer Vanderau. Adult feral cats are almost never suitable for adoption, she said. Very young cats can be socialized, but the longer a cat has gone without human contact, the less hope it has of making it out of the shelter alive.  “When they get the wild in them, it’s almost impossible to tame them,” Hessler said.

On average, one or two feral or stray cats are brought in every day. She said the volume of cats arriving at the shelter could be measured on a bell curve, with June and July as the busiest months.  When they are brought in, feral cats are usually in the humane traps used to capture them. Having always lived in the wild with limited human contact, they are typically very upset, “hissing, spitting and growling,” Vanderau said. Moving an animal like that into a cage can be tricky.  “It becomes a safety issue for our staff,” she said. “A feral cat in a room can be seriously, seriously dangerous. It’s almost like turning a squirrel loose in your house.”  A shelter employee was recently bitten by a feral cat and became severely ill, missing several months of work, Vanderau said. The woman contracted a bone infection and had to undergo numerous intravenous antibiotic treatments in and out of the hospital.  “Cat bites are one of the worst things,” she said. “Their mouths have a very high bacteria content. Also, there’s always the danger of rabies.”