Tag Archives: Feral Cats

Swimmer killed by ALLIGATOR in TEXAS bayou ~ RABIES report from RHODE ISLAND

Alligator eating a crab. Photo by Gareth Rasberry. WikimediaCommons.

Alligator eating a crab. Photo by Gareth Rasberry. WikimediaCommons.

Texas 07/09/15 TX Parks & Wildlife: Media Release – Texas game wardens have completed their investigation into an alligator attack that resulted in the death of Tommie Woodard, 28, of St. Louis, Missouri. Investigators concluded that the unprecedented circumstances of the case, believed to be the first fatal alligator attack in Texas on record, warrant no further action. The alligator suspected of attacking Woodard was killed by an individual who told investigators he acted out of concern for the safety of his family and others.
tpwd-logo-largeGame wardens issued a warning citation to the individual for the illegal take of the alligator; his identity is being withheld since no criminal charges were filed. Shortly before 3 a.m. on Friday, July 3, Texas game wardens were notified about a possible alligator attack and missing person on Adams Bayou, an oxbow creek off the Sabine River in Orange County, 30 miles east of Beaumont, Texas. Game wardens recovered Woodard’s body from the creek about two hours later. A game warden crew searched the area nightly throughout the weekend for a large, aggressive alligator with no success. Mid-afternoon Monday, July 6, game wardens received a call that a large alligator carcass had been dropped at the marina boat ramp near where the attack had occurred days earlier. A subsequent examination confirmed it to be the alligator responsible for the attack on Woodard. – For complete release see http://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/?req=20150709a&nrtype=all&nrspan=2015&nrsearch=


cat-child445778Rhode Island 07/09/15 Newport County: A feral cat that was killed by a dog in the East Bay Village area of West Main Road in Middletown has tested positive for rabies. A child scratched by the cat is being treated for potential exposure to the virus. The cat was a black, short-haired female with kittens. Anyone exposed should seek immediate medical advice. – See http://wpri.com/2015/07/09/feral-cat-in-middletown-tests-positive-for-rabies/

CDC issues emergency advisory warning doctors of H5N2 BIRD FLU now in 20+ states ~ NEW MEXICO hunter attacked by BLACK BEAR ~ COLORADO camper attacked by BEAR ~ OKLAHOMA reports two human cases of WEST NILE VIRUS ~ RABIES reports from CO, CT, FL, GA & RI.

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National 06/03/15 emergency.cdc.gov: Health Advisory


aaCDC-LogoHighly-pathogenic avian influenza A H5 viruses have been identified in birds in the United States since December 2014. The purpose of this HAN Advisory is to notify public health workers and clinicians of the potential for human infection with these viruses and to describe CDC recommendations for patient investigation and testing, infection control including the use personal protective equipment, and antiviral treatment and prophylaxis.


USDA-LogoBetween December 15, 2014, and May 29, 2015, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed more than 200 findings of birds infected with highly-pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) A (H5N2), (H5N8), and (H5N1)viruses. The majority of these infections have occurred in poultry, including backyard and commercial flocks. USDA surveillance indicates that more than 40 million birds have been affected (either infected or exposed) in 20 states. These are the first reported infections with these viruses in US wild or domestic birds. – For complete advisory see http://emergency.cdc.gov/han/han00378.asp


bear.in.tent.334Colorado 06/03/15 durangoherald.com: by John Peel & Shaun Stanley – A bear that bit two people camping near the Durango Tech Center, sending one man to the hospital early Monday morning, was shot and killed hours later by Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers. Joshua E. Barber, 21, was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center after the incident. He was in good condition Monday afternoon, hospital spokesman David Bruzzese said. Several others who were camped illegally in the area northwest of the Tech Center, just a couple of miles west of downtown Durango, said they helped fight off the bear, which had tackled Barber and was biting him in the back of the neck and head when they arrived to help. The latest bear attack, which occurred Sunday night, was in the same area where a bear bit two people May 26. Wildlife officers tracked down the bear after a second man was bitten Monday morning. The bear was shot and killed.

black_bear_picnic_table_285NPSJoe Lewandowski, a spokesman for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, said the condition of the camp played a big role in attracting the ursine. “I was just up there. It was disgusting. There were piles of garbage and cans of food,” he said. The bear may have gotten too comfortable and became more brazen after finding easy meals around the camp, Lewandowski said. – For complete article and video see http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20150601/NEWS01/150609987/-1/news&source=RSS

Black Bear photo by Lynn Chamberlain, Utah Division of Wildlife ResourcesNew Mexico 06/02/15 krqe.com:  Authorities are searching for an adult black bear involved in the attack of a 55-year-old hunter in New Mexico’s Lincoln National Forest. State Department of Game and Fish officials say the man suffered deep flesh wounds from scratches on his chest and a bite to his leg Monday. He was treated and released from Lincoln County Medical Center in Ruidoso. Conservation officers are searching for the bear so it can be tested for rabies. The attack occurred in the forest near Baca Campground. The man had been hunting for antler sheds in thick brush when he apparently surprised the bear, which attacked the hunter before fleeing into the woods. The injured man notified his hunting companion by two-way radio. The two hiked to their vehicle and drove to the hospital. – See http://krqe.com/2015/06/02/new-mexico-hunter-sent-to-hospital-after-bear-attack/


fig2_lgOklahoma 06/04/15 OK State Dept of Health: Media Release – The first cases of West Nile virus (WNV) in Oklahoma have been confirmed in Okfuskee and McIntosh counties. The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) encourages residents to take precautions to reduce the risk of contracting WNV, a mosquito-borne illness. WNV is spread through the bite of the Culex mosquito, which feeds on infected birds and transmits the virus when biting humans, horses, and some other mammals. This type of mosquito increases in numbers during mid to late summer when the temperatures climb and the weather pattern is drier. Floodwater mosquito populations created  by recent rain in Oklahoma do not increase the risk of WNV.  The type of mosquitoes that hatch after severe flooding are primarily the species of mosquitoes classified as “nuisance mosquitoes”. They bite aggressively and cause lots of itchy bites, but they are not typically involved with transmission of diseases. Floodwater mosquito populations tend to die out three weeks after the rains stop and the sun dries out affected low lying areas.  – For complete release see http://www.ok.gov/triton/modules/newsroom/newsroom_article.php?id=150&article_id=15922


feral.cat.j4463Colorado 06/02/15 Elbert County: by Blair Shiff – A stray cat in Elbert county was infected with rabies, according to the Tri-County Health Department. The cat was located in the vicinity of Cimarron and Stage Run neighborhoods, near Elizabeth. The normally tame long-haired gray-and-white cat named “Bob” was often fed by local residents but was recently acting aggressively and had to be euthanized. There was at least one known human exposure to the cat, and that person is receiving a rabies vaccine. Local residents have been notified, but anyone who may have come in contact with the cat between May 15 and 25 is urged to call the Tri-County Health Department at 303-220- 9200. – See http://www.9news.com/story/news/local/2015/06/02/cat-rabies-elbert-county/28342287/

feral.cats.4435Connecticut 06/05/15 nhregister.com: Animal control officers found a  medium-haired black kitten in Shelton May 12 shortly after 5 p.m. near Howe Avenue and Wooster Street. The kitten died Monday and a positive test for rabies came back Thursday, Detective Chris Nugent said in a press release. Nugent said two other stray kittens were reported near Howe Avenue and Maple Street. He said people who have handled or were exposed to a stray cat or kitten in that area should contact their health care provider. – See http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20150605/kitten-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-shelton

06/03/15 St. Lucie County: by Laurie K. Blandford –  “A rabies alert has been issued for the central part of St. Lucie County after a feral cat tested positive Tuesday for the disease. ” “The center of the alert is at Boston Avenue and South 30th Street, with the following boundaries: south of Orange Avenue, north of Delaware Avenue, east of South 33rd Street and west of South 25th Street. The area on alert includes Dreamland Park and is near Elks Park and John Carroll Catholic High and St. Anastasia Catholic schools. Fort Pierce animal control officers picked up the cat Saturday after it bit a pet dog in the 200 block of South 30th Street in Fort Pierce, said city Animal Control Officer Peggy Arraiz.” – See http://www.tcpalm.com/news/local-news/st-lucie-county/rabies-alert-issued-for-central-st-lucie-county_49929599

feral.cat.988Georgia 06/05/15 madisonjournaltoday.com: A woman was recently bitten on the leg by a rabid feral cat in Madison County. “We have had a positive rabies case in the 900 block of Hwy 106 North involving a human and a feral cat,” reported county animal control officials. “The cat was underneath her car and came out and bit her on the leg.” The cat also fought with three other stray cats at the location, a black with some white on the chest, and two greys with white paws. These cats were exposed to the rabies virus. There were also some kittens, unknown colors, in the area as well. “The cats exposed to rabies on Hwy 106 have been captured,” officials later reported. “It is still important to stress the rabies shots and not approaching any animal that you are not familiar with.” – See http://www.madisonjournaltoday.com/archives/7695-Woman-bitten-by-rabid-feral-cat.html

feral.cat.1348781293_3312_035Rhode Island 06/05/15 valleybreeze.com: The Department of Environmental Management and the Department of Health are advising people who live in the Rathbun Street area of Woonsocket that a feral cat in the area tested positive for rabies. The cat was a thin, male, brown tabby, and lived in a feral colony. The cat was caught approximately three-quarters of a mile from the intersection of Rathbun Street and Social Street, between 268 and 290 Rathbun Street. It was caught by a volunteer so the cat could be neutered and get medical care. While the cat was at the veterinarian, it exhibited symptoms consistent with rabies. The cat was euthanized and has since tested positive for rabies. Anyone who may have had any physical contact with this cat or any feral cats in the Rathbun Street area of Woonsocket should call HEALTH immediately at 401-222-2577, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; or 401-272-5952 after hours. Anyone who has a pet that may have had contact with this cat or any feral cat in this area should contact Woonsocket Animal Control at 401-766-6571 during normal business hours or the Woonsocket Police Department at 401-766-1212 after hours. – See http://www.valleybreeze.com/2015-06-05/woonsocket-north-smithfield/feral-cat-woonsocket-tests-positive-rabies#.VXPGmM9VhBc

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.


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


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


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


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


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/

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%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-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/


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/


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


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

OPOSSUMS eat TICKS and FOXES eat RODENTS so both help control LYME DISEASE ~ 55 cases of CHIKUNGUNYA imported to U.S. so far this year ~ Is CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE a threat to HUMANS? ~ U.S. healthcare worker with EBOLA in Sierra Leone to be treated at NIH Bethesda, MARYLAND ~ RABIES reports from SC & Canada-ON.

Red fox chasing mouse. Courtesy State of Connecticut.

Red fox chasing mouse. Courtesy State of Connecticut.

Global 03/14/15 poughkeepsiejournal.com: by John Ferro – They come out at night. They have scary teeth. They have a weird name with an extra vowel most people don’t pronounce. And they are where Lyme disease goes to die. Say hello to the opossum, the American marsupial with a pointy nose and prehensile tail that dines on ticks like a vacuum dines on dust. (Most people drop the first vowel when speaking of ‘possums, but possums actually belong to a different species native to Australia.) . . . (T)iny adolescent ticks that carry Lyme disease bacteria are most active during the late spring months, typically May and even as early as April during warmer years. But whereas these ticks can be found in large numbers on mice, shrews and chipmunks, they are eaten in large numbers by opossum. Research led by scientists based at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook placed different species into cages, covered them with ticks and waited for the biting arachnids to jump off. The scientists then counted how many survived. Opossums can eat or remove as much as 96 percent of the ticks that land on them.

Virginia opossum

Virginia opossum

Cary scientists are continuing to examine the correlation between the frequency of different types of mammals, and the infection rates of ticks found in the same area. The initial thought? Where foxes thrive, Lyme doesn’t. That’s because foxes are good hunters of the small mammals that serve as the most effective reservoirs of the Lyme pathogen. – For complete article see http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/tech/science/environment/2015/03/14/lyme-disease-opossum-ticks/70221442/ and for relative video about foxes see http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/videos/news/health/lyme-disease/2014/10/27/18000483/


States reporting imported ChikV.

States reporting imported ChikV.

National 03/12/15 outbreaknestoday.com: by Robert Herriman – In an update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week, there has been a total of 55 chikungunya virus disease cases that have been reported to ArboNET from 14 U.S. states, as of Mar. 10. Of the 55 travel associated cases seen this year, 60 percent of cases are from three statesFlorida, New York and Maryland. No locally-transmitted cases have been reported from U.S. states. Chikungunya became a nationally notifiable disease in the United States in 2015. Last year, there were 2,481 travel associated cases reported from all states except, North Dakota, Wyoming and Alaska. Eleven locally-transmitted cases were reported from Florida. – See http://outbreaknewstoday.com/us-reports-55-imported-chikungunya-in-2015-to-date-89590/


thumbnailCA84UOUZGlobal 03/11/15 virology.ws: Dr. Vincent Racaniello, Professor of Microbiology & Immunology in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columba University, and author of the Virology Blog, has posted a blog about Chronic Wasting Disease, a prion disease of deer, elk and moose. Hunters and others who have an interest in the topic will want to read it. – See http://www.virology.ws/


ebola-virus32Maryland 03/12/15 medscape.com: by Robert Lowes – An American healthcare worker who has tested positive for the Ebola virus is expected to arrive tomorrow from Sierra Leone at an infectious-disease containment unit of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, the federal agency announced today. The American had been volunteering in an Ebola treatment facility in Sierra Leone, one of three nations bearing the brunt of the disease’s outbreak in West Africa since it began in December 2013. A chartered aircraft will transport the individual while in isolation to the Special Clinical Studies Unit (SCSU) at the NIH Clinical Center. The NIH did not release any further details about the identity of the American. The SCSU is one of a handful of high-level containment units in the country designed to treat patients with a virulent infectious disease such as Ebola and prevent further disease transmission. The healthcare worker, due to arrive tomorrow at the SCSU, will be the second patient with Ebola treated there. – See http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/841408?src=wnl_edit_newsal&uac=218349HV


rabiesAlert521d4-1South Carolina 03/11/15 Abbeville County: A stray cat found in the City of Abbeville that came in contact with at least four people has tested positive for rabies. – For further information see http://www.wyff4.com/news/dhec-cat-exposes-south-carolinians-to-rabies/31743790


help7689Ontario 03/12/15 Grey Bruce Health Services: Officials are looking for the owner of a cat that bit a man in Owen Sound on Saturday. Staff at the health unit need to confirm that the cat, found in the 1500 block of 3rd Ave. E. at approximately 12:30 p.m., has had a current rabies vaccination. The grey cat was hiding under a vehicle and when the man reached under the vehicle to remove it, he was bitten. The cat is believed to be an indoor cat. If it is determined the cat has been vaccinated, the man can avoid post-exposure rabies treatment. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the health unit at 519-376-9420. – See http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/2015/03/12/health-unit-seeking-cats-owner

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


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


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

Doctors say KANSAN died of new TICK-BORNE BOURBON VIRUS ~ Travel associated CHIKUNGUNYA in US tops 2,000 cases – MOUNTAIN LION shot in KENTUCKY ~ RABID STRAY CAT report from NORTH CAROLINA.


Kansas 12/18/14 kshb.com: by Shannon Halligan – A new, never before seen virus has been discovered in Kansas. The CDC is now investigating after the tick-borne illness, dubbed “Bourbon Virus,” was linked to the death of a Kansas man. Up until recently, the man’s death remained a mystery. Now, doctors at the University of Kansas Hospital think this discovery may help others . . . This summer a patient came into the University of Kansas hospital with symptoms similar to most tick-borne illnesses, but after testing the man, doctors were stumped. “It was very frustrating. That’s one of the biggest problems with my job, which I love, when we can’t answer those questions, when we can’t help the patients or their families,” Dr. Dana Hawkinson, an Infectious Disease Physician at the hospital said,  People with diseases spread by ticks see symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, muscle aches, and nausea. Dr. Hawkinson explained the Kansas man didn’t respond to typical treatments. He eventually experienced multi-organ failure. Now, six months after his death, the CDC determined the man had “Bourbon Virus.” It’s named after Bourbon County, Kan., where the man lived. – For complete article and video see http://www.kshb.com/news/health/new-tick-borne-virus-discovered-after-the-death-of-kansas-man


CHIK_State_Report-093014National 12/17/14 outbreaknewstoday.com: by Robert Herriman – After seeing an average of 28 imported chikungunya cases a year in the United States during the past eight years, primarily from travel to Asia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) puts the number of such cases to over 2,000 as of Dec. 16. Beginning in 2014, cases were identified in travelers returning from the Caribbean. As of December 16, a total of 2,021 chikungunya virus disease cases have been reported to ArboNET from U.S. states. Eleven locally-transmitted cases have been reported from Florida. New York has seen the most travel associated chikungunya with 533 case, or 27 percent of the national total. This is followed by Florida with 384, New Jersey with 160 and Massachusetts with 124 cases. Only Alaska, Wyoming , North Dakota and Montana have not reported a single case. Last week, we saw the number of local transmission cases in the Western Hemisphere eclipse the 1 million case mark, one year after the first cases were reported in the Caribbean. – See http://outbreaknewstoday.com/travel-associated-chikungunya-in-the-us-tops-2000-cases-2000/


MtnLionUSDA.govKentucky 12/18/14 therepublic.com: An examination of a mountain lion killed by a Kentucky Fish and Wildlife official has found that it was a 125-pound male that appeared to be young and healthy. But Fish and Wildlife officials still don’t know whether it was a wild animal or one that escaped from captivity. “It seemed to be in very healthy condition, and they determined pretty quickly that it didn’t look like it had traveled long distances on foot,” agency spokesman Mark Marraccini said. An agency officer shot and killed the mountain lion after a concerned caller spotted it in northern Bourbon County. Marraccini says the lion was killed because it was roaming free near a populated area, making it a public safety issue. He said if the mountain lion was a wild animal, it apparently would be the first one confirmed in Kentucky since before the Civil War. “But that is a pretty big ‘if,'” he said. “They took some measurements today, but that’s certainly not enough to go on without looking at everything in total.” The animal’s DNA will be sent to an out-of-state wildlife lab to determine whether its genetic material matches any wild populations. “They can determine the origin,” Marraccini said, though it won’t be fast. He said it could take weeks to get an answer. Mountain lions, which also are known as cougars and panthers, are the largest cats found in North America. – See http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/c392ae52a7bc4a238b5ac4bb4ec6366e/KY–Mountain-Lion-Killed


5071346685_9be11dee0c_zNorth Carolina 12/17/14 Cumberland County: A sick, stray cat that found its way to Hayfield Drive, off of Wade-Stedman Road in Wade on December 13th and was taken in by a local family has tested positive for rabies. – See http://abc11.com/news/cumberland-county-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies/440558/