Tag Archives: Feral Cats

NORTH CAROLINA resident attacked by RABID FOX ~ FLORIDA photographer caught in classic moral dilemma ~ TEXAS confirms HUMAN case of WEST NILE VIRUS ~ other RABIES reports from CO, KS, NM, NC, VA, WY, & ONTARIO, CANADA ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending May 19, 2012.

Gray fox. Courtesy Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife.

North Carolina 05/30/12 Wilmington, New Hanover County: A fox that attacked and bit a person on Myrtle Grove Road  while working in the yard on May 27th was killed by a neighbor and has tested positive for rabies. This is the 10th case of animal rabies in the county so far this year. – See http://myrtlegrove.wect.com/news/environment/56344-rabid-fox-bites-person-wrist-myrtle-grove-area

Florida 05/31/12 Tampa, Hillsborough County: For some fascinating camera shots of an alligator creeping up on a distracted bobcat, and a very interesting article about the photographer’s moral dilemma, see http://www.cfnews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/bn9/2012/5/30/this_is_florida_gato.html

Texas 05/31/12 Denton County: Health officials have confirmed the first human case of West Nile Virus infection this year in the southern portion of the county. – See http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Denton-County-Confirms-First-West-Nile-Case-of-2012-155994365.html

Colorado 05/31/12 Westminster, Adams and Jefferson counties: An injured bat picked up last week in the 10200 block of Dover Street has tested positive for rabies. A pet cat that later bit and scratched a family member may have been exposed to the virus. – See http://www.broomfieldenterprise.com/broomfield-news/ci_20753622/rabid-bat-found-westminster

Kansas 05/29/12 Saline County: A bat found in the county has tested positive for rabies. This is the second confirmed case of rabies in the county this year, and the 27th case statewide. – See http://www.salina.com/news/story/bat5-29-12

New Mexico 05/31/12 Las Cruces, Doña Ana County: Animal Control officers are looking for the owner of three Newfoundland dogs that attacked and bit a man Tuesday morning near a Las Cruces elementary school, according to Las Cruces Police officials. At around 6 a.m. on Tuesday, May 29, a 33-year-old contractor was working on the campus of University Hills Elementary School, at 2005 Locust St., when three adult Newfoundland dogs approached and bit him, according to police. The man was bitten several times but the injuries were minor. According to Animal Control officers, a woman was walking the dogs, unleashed, inside the school grounds at the time of the attack. The victim told Animal Control officers that the woman had another dog, possibly a dog of mixed-breed, with her at the time but that pet did not bite him. Animal Control officers are trying to find out if the three Newfoundland dogs are current on vaccinations, otherwise the victim may have to undergo treatment for rabies. Anyone with information on the owner of the three Newfoundland dogs, an owner who possibly lives in or near the University Hills neighborhood off of Locust Street, is asked to call the Las Cruces Police Department’s Animal Control office at (575) 528-4100.

North Carolina 05/30/12 Cumberland County: A stray cat that bit two people in the vicinity of the 600 block of Carver Falls Road on May 27th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://abclocal.go.com/wtvd/story?section=news/local&id=8682014

Virginia 06/01/12 Rocky Gap, Bland County: A raccoon captured in the Laurel Ford Road vicinity has tested positive for rabies. Two vaccinated dogs may have been exposed to the virus. – See http://www2.swvatoday.com/news/2012/may/31/rabid-raccoon-collected-rocky-gap-ar-1955474/

Wyoming 05/31/12 Dayton, Sheridan County: A skunk that bit a dog in the vicinity of West 2nd Avenue earlier this week has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.sheridanmedia.com/news/rabid-skunk-found-dayton36801


Ontario 05/31/12 Perth District Health Unit, Perth County: A stray cat that was behaving abnormally and acting aggressively has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.stratfordbeaconherald.com/2012/05/31/rabies-confirmed-in-perth-county-cat

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending May 19, 2012:

Published May 25, 2012/ 61(20); ND-269-ND-282

Anaplasmosis . . . 9 . . . Maine (2), New York (6), Rhode Island,

Babesiosis . . . 2 . . . New York (2),

Brucellosis . . . 1 . . . California, 

Ehrlichiosis . . . 7 . . . Arkansas (2), Florida (2), Maryland, Missouri (2),

Giardiasis . . . 128 . . . Alaska, Arizona, California (21), Connecticut, Florida (27), Idaho, Iowa (3), Maine, Maryland (4), Michigan (2), Missouri (5), Nebraska, Nevada, New York (12), Ohio (13), Oregon (6), Pennsylvania (11), Rhode Island (2), South Carolina (4), Washington (10), Wisconsin,

Hansen Disease (Leprosy) . . . 1 . . . Florida, 

HME/HGE Undetermined . . . 3 . . . Indiana, Missouri (2)

Lyme Disease . . .  95. . .  Connecticut, Delaware (2), Florida, Georgia, Maryland (23), Nebraska, New York (29), Ohio, Pennsylvania (23), Rhode Island (3), Vermont (4), Virginia (6),

Q Fever (Acute) . . . 2 . . . California, Michigan,

Rabies (Animal) . . . 59. . . Alabama (2), Arkansas, Illinois (4), Kentucky, Maine (2), Missouri (2), New York (11), Ohio, Oklahoma , Texas (10), Vermont, Virginia (17), West Virginia (6),

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Confirmed) . . . 4. . . California, Georgia (2), Missouri,

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 15 . . . Arkansas (2), Colorado, Kentucky, Missouri (5), Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia (4),

Tularemia . . . 1 . . . Missouri.

MONTANA Fish & Wildlife’s collared WOLVES being killed by MOUNTAIN LIONS ~ VIRGINIA scientists developing test to detect active cases of LYME DISEASE ~ CALIFORNIA resident believed to have contracted TYPHUS from a FERAL CAT ~ CALIFORNIA’s Fresno County finds MOSQUITOES with WEST NILE VIRUS ~ RABIES reports from AR, CO (2), DE, IL, NY (3), NC, PA (3) ~ WASHINGTON SALMON farm to destroy entire stock due to IHN VIRUS.

Collared gray wolf. Photo by state of Minnesota.

Montana 05/27/12 missoulian.com: by Perry Backus – Mountain lions are taking a toll on Liz Bradley’s collared wolves in the Bitterroot this year. Since January, two wolves radio-collared by the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks wolf biologist have been killed by mountain lions. Last week, she found the latest dead wolf in the Warm Springs area, west of Sula. Like all the others she’s investigated since 2009, the wolf’s skull showed a severe puncture wound – a trademark of a lion kill. In the Sula case, the lion ate a good portion of the wolf and then covered the carcass with debris. “It’s hard to say what happened,” Bradley said. “There was no elk or deer carcass nearby that they may have been competing over.” There was, however, a deer carcass near the dead wolf she found in the Carlton Creek area west of Lolo in January. In that case, the wolf wasn’t consumed, but it did have the same canine tooth puncture through the skull. “That one was probably a conflict,” she said.

Last year, Bradley found two dead wolves that were probably killed by mountain lions. One was in Davis Creek, east of Lolo, and the other was south of Conner. In both cases, the carcasses were too far decomposed for positive identification on the cause of death. Both had clear puncture wounds through the top of their skulls. In 2009, the first apparent lion-killed wolf was discovered in the West Fork area. The number of wolf and lion encounters is unusual. “I haven’t heard of it happening anywhere else,” Bradley said. “It’s pretty interesting that the Bitterroot has had so many.”

Large predators sometimes do kill each other. There have been documented cases of that happening in many places around the West. “They compete for the same resource,” she said. “When there is overlap in areas where you have lots of prey, conflicts occur.” Four of the five wolves that Bradley knows were probably killed by mountain lions were fitted with a radio collar. “It’s too bad because we don’t have those now,” she said. At the end of last year, Bradley had collars in seven packs in the Bitterroot. She’s now down to four. – For complete article see http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/mountain-lions-kill-collared-wolves-in-bitterroot/article_68c0c60c-d792-59e3-b736-5b10c17eb10a.html

National 04/23/12 gmu.edu: News Release – Alessandra Luchini, research assistant professor, and other researchers at Virginia’s George Mason University are evaluating a new type of diagnostic test they developed for humans and their canine pals to pinpoint tiny signs of the bacteria that lead to Lyme disease. A study of the new type of test is underway. (Call 800-615-0418 ext. 202 for more information about participating.) The test soon could be available commercially through privately held Ceres Nanosciences Inc., which partnered with Mason to develop the test and plans to market it to doctor’s offices and veterinarian clinics. The Lyme disease test is just in time for what promises to be a bumper crop of ticks this spring and summer.

California 05/25/12 ocregister.com: by Ron Gonzales – The Orange County Vector Control District has begun to set traps to catch feral cats in Santa Ana and distribute safety information after a Santa Ana resident contracted flea-borne typhus. Santa Ana officials said in an e-mail message they were notified by O.C. Vector Control that the agency had learned of a resident with a confirmed case of typhus. The resident lives in the area of Broadway and Washington Street. – For complete article see http://www.ocregister.com/news/santa-356066-control-typhus.html

California 05/25/12 Fresno County: West Nile Virus has been detected in mosquitoes in the county for the first time this year. – See http://www.kmph.com/story/18628835/mosquitoes-with-west-nile-virus-found-in-fresno-county

Arkansas 05/26/12 Hot Springs, Garland County: A skunk found in an undisclosed location in the city has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.necn.com/05/26/12/Skunk-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-weste/landing_health.html?&apID=8fd3c7ebd7f443a5a554463b2e46cd1d

Colorado 05/24/12 Pueblo, Pueblo County: A wild bat found at the Pueblo Zoo on Wednesday, May 23rd, in front of Vulture Stork Pen has tested positive for rabies. Public health officials are concerned about people who may have come in contact with the bat. – See http://www.krdo.com/news/31110467/detail.html

Colorado 05/24/12 Fort Collins, Larimer County: Two skunks, one found near Taft Hill and Vine Drive, and the other near Horsetooth and Taft Hill roads, have tested positive for rabies. This brings to five the number of skunks* found near Fort Collins that have tested positive for the virus this year. – See http://www.noco5.com/story/18619189/5th-skunk-near-fort-collins-confirmed-positive-for-rabies

(Author’s Note: * Since this posting three more skunks captured near Fort Collins have tested positive for rabies.)

Delaware 05/25/12 Newark, New Castle County: One person has been sent for post-exposure rabies treatment after being exposed to a raccoon that has tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.wgmd.com/?p=58249

Illinois 05/24/12 Thompsonville, Williamson County: A dead bat found in a rural area of Thompsonville earlier this week has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.bentoneveningnews.com/newsnow/x624603496/Bat-in-rural-Tville-tests-positive-for-rabies

New York 05/25/12 Denmark, Lewis County: A dead skunk discovered on the property of a local resident has tested positive for rabies. An unvaccinated dog that had contact with the carcass was euthanized. – See http://www.wktv.com/news/local/Dog-euthanized-after-contact-with-dead-rabid-skunk-in-Lewis-County-154164315.html

New York 05/24/12 Skaneateles, Onondaga County: A bat found inside a home has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.cnycentral.com/neighborhood/health/story.aspx?list=~\news\lists\health&id=758147#.T78Nv8WF7WA

New York 05/23/12 Knoxboro, Oneida County: A fox that attacked three people May 20th on Knoxboro Road has tested positive for rabies. – See http://oneidadispatch.com/articles/2012/05/23/news/doc4fbd5fe0d9703164386573.txt

North Carolina 05/23/12 Gibsonville, Guilford County: A raccoon that had contact with a person and two dogs on Jesse Road has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.thetimesnews.com/articles/health-55625-rabid-raccoon.html

Pennsylvania 05/26/12 South Huntingdon, Westmoreland County: A sick raccoon reported by a homeowner on Barren Run Road has tested positive for rabies. – See http://triblive.com/news/1866876-74/rabies-raccoon-positive-department-dog-huntingdon-south-tested-according-administered

Pennsylvania 05/25/12 Philadelphia, Philadelphia County: City officials are posting rabies alerts after a raccoon found in Wissahickon Park tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.myfoxphilly.com/dpp/news/local_news/Rabid_Raccoon_052512

Pennsylvania 05/23/12 Richland, Allegheny County: Three people potentially exposed to a bat that was trapped inside their home and tested positive for rabies are receiving post-exposure treatments. – See http://triblive.com/news/1849172-74/rabies-bat-bats-department-health-pennsylvania-tested-according-agriculture-allegheny

Washington 05/26/12 nwsource.com: A deadly fish virus has been detected in Washington state waters for the first time, forcing a fish farm to kill its entire stock of Atlantic salmon. Tests this month confirmed the presence of an influenza-like virus called infectious hematopoietic necrosis at a salmon farm off Bainbridge Island across from Seattle on Puget Sound, the Kitsap Sun reported ( http://is.gd/iyu6qf). The virus, or IHN virus, does not affect humans. It occurs naturally in wild sockeye salmon and can be carried by other fish, such as herring, which sometimes pass through fish net pens. John Kerwin, fish health supervisor for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said the virus is a big concern. “Any first time it occurs, you don’t fully understand the impact to wild fish,” Kerwin told the newspaper. “We know it can impact (farm) fish. If we move fast, we can try to minimize the amplification.” Seattle-based American Gold Seafoods plans to remove more than a million pounds of Atlantic salmon from infected net pens in Rich Passage off the southern tip of Bainbridge Island. In April, the company noticed that fish were dying off at a fast rate. Test results this month confirmed the virus. – For complete article see http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2018293493_apwafishviruswashington1stldwritethru.html


American Crow. Photo by Jack Wolf. Wikimedia Commons.

Illinois 05/23/12 state.il.us: News Release – State health officials have confirmed the first West Nile Virus positive bird and mosquito batches reported in the state this year. A crow, collected by Chicago public health officials on May 16th, tested positive for the virus, and positive mosquito samples were collected on May 17th from Lemont and Norridge in Cook County, and Clarendon Hills, Hinsdale, Lisle, Westmont, and Woodridge in DuPage County. “Although it is a little earlier in the season than we normally find West Nile virus positive mosquito pools and birds, it is not unheard of,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck. “This is a good reminder as we head into the Memorial Day weekend and more people spend time outdoors, that it is important to protect yourself and wear insect repellent.”

Colorado 05/23/12 CDPHE.communications: News Release – A wild bat found at the Denver Zoo on May 20th in front of the Bird World exhibit has tested positive for rabies. A zoo employee was bitten by the bat and is receiving post-exposure rabies vaccinations. Dr. Elisabeth Lawaczeck, state veterinarian, said, “Parents who had children in the zoo on Sunday, May 20, should ask their children if they had any contact with a bat. Anyone who may have handled or touched the bat, or learns their child had contact with the bat, should immediately contact the state health department at 303-692-2700 or their local health department to determine whether they should receive preventive therapy for rabies.  “People can be exposed to rabies when they assist, feed or handle wild animals. While some people visiting the zoo were in the vicinity of the bat, it is not known whether anyone other than the zoo employee had contact with the bat,” Lawaczeck said. – For complete news release see http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/release/2012/052312.pdf

California 05/22/12 Nevada County: In the past two weeks, two bats captured in western Nevada County have tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.sierrasun.com/article/20120522/COMMUNITY/120529979/1066&ParentProfile=1051

New Jersey 05/22/12 Cranbury and Burlington, Middlesex and Burlington counties: A stray cat that came out of the woods near a home in Burlington has tested positive for rabies. The cat was brought to another home in Cranbury and then to the Sayreville Pet Adoption Center. At least seven people may need to receive post-exposure rabies vaccinations. – See http://njtoday.net/2012/05/22/stray-cat-in-cranbury-tests-positive-for-rabies/

North Carolina 05/22/12 Shelby, Cleveland County: A bat captured on the 1200 block of Rocky Creek Road south of Shelby has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.gastongazette.com/news/bat-71398-captured-shelby.html

Pennsylvania 05/22/12 Hallam, York County: A teenager was bitten in the face by a dog at Emig Park in Hallam over the weekend, Hellam Township Police Chief Mark Sowers said. Kristi Landis, 17, of Lower Windsor Township has started undergoing a series of rabies shots. Police are looking for a man and a woman who were walking two pit bulls named “Macy” and “Gracie” at the park, Sowers said. The two were not present when police arrived at the park, and officers have not been able to locate them. Anyone with information may call police at 434-1308.

South Carolina 05/22/12 Chapin, Lexington County: Health officials have recommended that three people receive post-exposure rabies vaccinations after a fox tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.thestate.com/2012/05/22/2286322/3-lexco-residents-recommended.html

Virginia 05/22/12 Calthrop Neck, York County: A raccoon captured in the area has tested positive for rabies. – See http://wydaily.com/local-news/9132-rabid-raccoon-found-in-calthrop-neck.html

NEW JERSEY city warns public of possibly RABID STRAY KITTEN ~ CALIFORNIA city two dead BIRDS positive for WEST NILE VIRUS ~ RABIES reports from FL, MA, PA (2), & VA.

Possibly rabid stray kitten has markings similar to its sibling pictured above.

New Jersey 05/18/12 Burlington Township, Burlington County: by Amy Rossi – An important public service announcement has been released from the Burlington County Health Department, which is urging everyone to keep their distance from stray or wild animals. This warning comes in response to one of two kittens recently found near Arrowhead Drive in Burlington Township. The kitten was caught and taken by a resident to an animal shelter. The shelter then sent it to Burlington County Health Department where it tested positive for rabiesThe other kitten is still on the loose. If a stray or wild animal is discovered, for your safety, residents are asked not to feed, approach, or attempt to capture it, but to call their local municipality who will contact animal control. Animal Control Officers are professionals equipped to handle these situations. Please contact the Health Department at (609) 265-5575 and ask to speak with Mr. Louis Marino, Sr. Investigator, if you have been in contact with any strays or wild animals in that area.

Yellow Headed Blackbird. Photo by naturespicsonline.com by Alan D. Wilson. Wikimedia Commons.

California 05/18/12 mantecabulletin.com: Two Manteca birds are the first confirmed Northern San Joaquin Valley cases in 2012 for the deadly West Nile virus.The San Joaquin County Mosquito and Vector Control District Thursday received confirmation that a common raven and a yellow-headed black bird have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). Both dead birds were collected in Manteca. The birds are the first sign of West Nile virus activity in the area for the 2012 season. “Finding the first positive birds is significant because it means that the virus is present in our area” said John Stroh, District Manager. “With the very mild winter and the warm temperatures we’ve had so far, it’s not unusual to find positive birds at this time of year.” Dead birds provide an early indication of where positive mosquito samples may also be found and where human cases may develop later in the season. The public is encouraged to report dead birds by calling the California Department of Public Health hotline at 877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473). Some species of birds such as crows, jays and magpies are very susceptible to the virus and are more likely to die from the infection. – For complete article see http://www.mantecabulletin.com/section/1/article/43031/

Florida 05/17/12 Suwannee County: A rabies alert has been issued for an area northwest of the intersection of CR 349 and CR 252 after a skunk tested positive for the virus. – See http://suwanneedemocrat.com/local/x234161220/Rabies-alert-issued-in-Suwannee-County

Massachusetts 05/18/12 Haverhill, Essex County: A raccoon that was acting oddly in the back yard of a home on White Oak Circle close to the Atkinson line has tested positive for rabies. This is the first case of animal rabies in the city in five years. – See http://www.eagletribune.com/haverhill/x915982281/Residents-warned-after-raccoon-with-rabies-found-in-Haverhill

Pennsylvania 05/18/12 Bethlehem, Lehigh and Northampton counties: Two men bitten by a fox in separate incidents on May 16th are receiving post-exposure rabies treatment. In one incident, the fox was captured and tested positive for rabies. The first attack was on Stanford Road between Easton Avenue and Shelbourne Drive, and the second man was bitten not far from that location. Authorities believe it’s possible the same fox was involved in both cases. – See http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-bethlehem-rabies-fox-bites-20120518,0,1267132.story

Pennsylvania 05/17/12 Hayfield Township, Crawford County: Seven people are being treated for exposure to rabies after a baby raccoon brought home by a hunter tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.goerie.com/article/20120517/NEWS02/305179886/7-Crawford-County-residents-exposed-to-rabid-raccoon

Virginia 05/17/12 Wythe County: A stray cat found in the vicinity of 5194 W. Lee Highway has tested positive for rabies. The cat was an adult, long-haired yellow and white male. – See http://www2.swvatoday.com/news/2012/may/17/rabid-cat-confirmed-wythe-county-ar-1921729/

OREGON DFW investigation confirms lone WOLF killed five SHEEP in Umatilla County ~ WASHINGTON Fish & Wildlife officer shoots MOUNTAIN LION in residential area ~ MASSACHUSETTS policeman says DOG was attacked by BEAR in Northampton ~ CALIFORNIA officials find CROW with WEST NILE VIRUS in Sacramento ~ Brandeis study finds PUERTO RICO spends about $38 million a year dealing with DENGUE FEVER ~ RABIES reports from CT, FL, NC, SC, TX, & VA.

Gray Wolf. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Oregon 05/03/12 oregon.gov: News Release – A May 2 investigation by ODFW confirmed that four penned sheep (two ewes, two lambs) were killed by a wolf on private land east of Weston, Ore. in northern Umatilla County. One additional lamb is missing and believed to have been killed by the wolf. The incident occurred in an area not known to be frequented by one of Oregon’s known wolf packs (Imnaha, Wenaha, Walla Walla, Snake River) but by two wolves discovered last August in the northern Mt Emily wildlife management unit. Based on evidence at the scene, wildlife biologists believe a single wolf was involved in the depredation. ODFW immediately helped the landowner install electrified fladry, a type of fencing that can deter wolves, around the sheep pens. ODFW is also working to capture and radio-collar the wolf.

This marks the first time ODFW has confirmed a wolf kill of livestock in Umatilla County. The county has an active Wolf Depredation Advisory Committee under the state’s new Oregon Wolf Depredation Compensation and Financial Assistance County Block Grant Program and the landowner is eligible to seek compensation for the loss. The five dead sheep bring the total number of livestock animals killed by wolves in Oregon to 57 since 2009. The last confirmed wolf kill of livestock occurred March 8, 2012.

Washington 05/03/12 bellinghamherald.com: by Kristi Pihl – The constant barking of his neighbor’s dogs early Wednesday alerted James Ford that something wasn’t right. What he saw in the Kennewick backyard on the 3200 block of West Third Place was a nearly 120-pound cougar high in a tree. About an hour later, a state Department of Fish and Wildlife officer shot and killed the young mountain lion after officials determined there was no other safe way to remove the wild animal from the dense residential area. The Kennewick Police Department received its first call about the big cat at 1 a.m. Wednesday. There were two other sightings within a half-mile of where it eventually was cornered about 9 a.m., said Sgt. Mike Jewell with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife. Ford said he already had gotten a heads up from his neighbor David Carlson, who spotted the cougar at 4:20 a.m. as he left for work at ConAgra Foods. At first, he thought it was a large dog. Carlson called the police, then notified Ford and other neighbors to be on the lookout. But it wasn’t until closer to 9 a.m. that Ford heard the dogs and saw the cougar about 25 feet up in a tree.

Massachusetts 05/03/12 gazettenet.com: by Rebecca Everett – A golden retriever that was attacked by a bear on Lawn Avenue Wednesday night was treated for puncture wounds but is expected to recover, police said. The 9-year-old dog was outside the home about 8:30 p.m. when a mother bear and two cubs came in the yard, said Lt. Michael Patenaude. The dog was apparently barking at one of the cubs when the bear attacked it, he said. The dog was taken to the vet and received stitches for three puncture wounds on its face and neck, he said. “We called the Environmental Police to investigate, but the bears had apparently left the scene before they got there,” Patenaude said. He said bear attacks on domestic animals are unusual. “But anytime you get a mother bear protecting her cubs, that can be dangerous,” he said.

California 05/03/12 kcra.com: A crow found in the Tahoe Park area of Sacramento tested positive for the West Nile virus, Sacramento County officials said Wednesday. The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District said it is the second bird of the 2012 season to test positive for the disease. “With the very warm temperatures we’ve seen recently, West Nile virus is starting to amplify in our region,” said David Brown, district manager. Brown added that the West Nile discovery is a reminder people need to protect themselves against mosquitoes and the diseases that are transmitted. In 2011, there were nine deaths and 158 human West Nile virus cases reported in California.

Puerto Rico 05/02/12 usnews.com: The costs of treating and coping with dengue fever in Puerto Rico total nearly $38 million a year, a new study finds. It also said that every $1 spent on surveillance and prevention of the mosquito-borne disease could save $5 in illness-related costs. Households pay nearly half the costs of the disease, followed by government (24 percent), insurance companies (22 percent) and employers (7 percent), according to researchers from Brandeis University’s Schneider Institutes for Health Policy in Waltham, Mass. The study appears in the May issue of the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. Given that the U.S. government covers 62 percent of Puerto Rico’s public health expenses, “sound investments related to dengue would benefit not only residents of Puerto Rico but all taxpayers throughout the United States,” the researchers said in a journal news release.

They focused on Puerto Rico because it’s an area within the United States with substantial numbers of dengue fever. In 2010, more than 22,000 cases of dengue fever were reported, which works out to an incidence rate of 57 cases per 10,000 people. Because treatment is readily available, deaths from dengue fever in Puerto Rico average about 16 per year. “People generally think of dengue as a disease of poor countries; the fact that we found it to be a major burden in a U.S. territory — and because it recently has cropped up on the U.S. mainland — is a reminder that mosquito-borne illnesses can present an equal opportunity threat,” study co-author Donald Shepard said in the news release. Dengue fever, which broke out in the Florida Keys in 2010, currently threatens nearly 3 billion people worldwide. Public health experts warn that the spread of dengue fever could prove more costly and cause more illness than malaria. Symptoms in dengue include high fever plus at least two of the following: severe headache, eye pain, joint pain, muscle or bone pain, rash, mild bleeding and low white blood cell count, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Worldwide, dengue fever infects 100 million to 200 million people each year and causes 20,000 deaths, according to the release. The study received funding from vaccine maker Sanofi Pasteur, which is developing a dengue vaccine, the release disclosed.

Connecticut 05/02/12 Simsbury, Hartford County: A skunk recovered near Notch Road after it was seen fighting with two dogs has tested positive for rabies. No description of the dogs was provided. – See http://simsbury.patch.com/articles/rabid-skunk-found-near-nod-road

Florida 05/02/12 Lakeland, Polk County: A raccoon killed by a dog in the 4800 block of Elam Road has tested positive for rabies. This is the fourth animal rabies case reported in the county so far this year. – See http://www2.tbo.com/news/breaking-news/2012/may/02/fourth-case-of-rabies-this-year-detected-in-polk-c-ar-399157/

North Carolina 05/02/12 Carolina Beach, New Hanover County: A raccoon that fought with a vaccinated dog last Sunday has tested positive for rabies. This is the sixth case of animal rabies in the county so far this year. – See http://yellowtape.blogs.starnewsonline.com/18646/fighting-raccoon-tested-positive-for-rabies/

South Carolina 05/02/12 Chesnee, Spartanburg County: A feral cat picked up in Chesnee has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www2.wspa.com/news/2012/may/02/6/rabies-confirmed-stray-cat-spartanburg-co-ar-3717853/

Texas 05/02/12 Tyler, Smith County: A bat found near the 15000 block of County Road 26 has tested positive for rabies. This is the second case of animal rabies in the county so far this year. – See http://www.ketknbc.com/news/rabid-bat-found-in-smith-county

Virginia 05/02/12 Powhatan County: A skunk found in the southeastern part of the county has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.10tv.com/content/stories/apexchange/2012/05/02/va–powhatan-rabies.html

RACCOON on VIRGINIA’s Chincoteague Island has exposed at least one at-large FERAL CAT to RABIES ~ Other RABIES reports from CA, CO, DE, FL, GA(2), KS, MD, MT, TX(2), & VA ~ Scientist in ENGLAND says MALARIA PARASITE has developed resistance to the best drugs ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending April 21, 2012.

Raccoon. Courtesy of U.S. Army.

Virginia 04/26/12 Chincoteague Island, Accomack County: A raccoon seen fighting with a feral cat in the Deep Hole Road area has tested positive for rabies. The cat escaped. – See http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20120426/CB01/204260301

California 04/26/12 Laguna Niguel, Orange County: A California Brown bat found on La Paz Road in Laguna Niguel Regional Park  on Sunday has tested positive for rabies. “The bat was found dead by a park ranger on a park pathway and reported to O.C. Animal Care. No one was observed near the bat, but we are asking anyone who had any contact with the bat to contact HCA Epidemiology to assess for risk of exposure,” said Deanne Thompson, spokesperson for the Orange County Health Care Agency. In California most cases of rabies occur in skunks and bats. Last year in Orange County 11 bats tested positive for rabies. This is the second bat to test positive for rabies this year in the county, she said. Anyone who had recent contact with a bat in the vicinity of Laguna Niguel Regional Park is asked to call the Orange County Health Care Agency Epidemiology at (714) 834-8180 so that a nurse can evaluate the risk for rabies. – See http://lagunaniguel.patch.com/articles/bat-found-at-l-n-regional-park-tests-positive-for-rabies#photo-6799187

Colorado 04/27/12 Pueblo, Pueblo County: Public health officials announced that rabies has spread to a third animal species in Pueblo. A rabid fox was found near 29th Lane and Preston Road on the Mesa April 26th, and another rabid skunk was found near W. 20th Street and Tuxedo Boulevard in the Hyde Park vicinity the same day. Raccoons are also known carriers in the county. – See http://www.krdo.com/news/30969409/detail.html

Delaware 04/27/12 Sussex County: Two raccoons that were in contact with residents’ dogs in separate incidents, one in Frankford and another in Frederica, have both tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20120427/DW01/120427014/SUSSEX-Rabies-recently-confirmed-raccoons-Frederica-Frankford?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Delaware%20Wave

Florida 04/27/12 Ocala, Marion County: Health officials have issued a rabies alert for an area centered at County Road 316 and Northwest 100th Avenue Road after a bat tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.ocala.com/article/20120427/ARTICLES/120429748/1001/NEWS01?Title=Rabid-bat-found-in-northwest-area-of-county

Georgia 04/27/12 Gainesville, Hall County: A raccoon that came into contact with a dog at Lula and Skitts Mountain roads has tested positive for rabies. This is the 12th case of animal rabies in the county this year. – See http://www.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=248032

Georgia 04/27/12 Dalton, Whitfield County: A dead raccoon that was retrieved from the garage of a LaVista Road residence has tested positive for rabies. This is the first case of animal rabies reported in the county this year. – See http://www.wrcbtv.com/story/17858296/whitfield-county-raccoon-tests-positive-for-rabies

Kansas 04/28/12 El Dorado, Butler County: A horse that has tested positive for rabies is the first case of the virus presented in the county this year. – See http://www.eldoradotimes.com/topstories/x272271971/Butler-County-horse-tests-positive-for-rabies

Maryland 04/27/12 Huntingtown, Calvert County: A calico feral cat captured near Mill Branch and Smoky roads on April 12 has tested positive for rabies. The cat was part of a group of feral cats that roam freely in that area and have been known to inhabit barns. An area resident said he heard animals fighting in his barn and when he investigated the cat “charged him” so he shot the animal. It is very likely that other wild animals in the area, including feral cats, have been exposed to the virus. – See http://www.somdnews.com/article/20120427/NEWS/704279903/1057/rabid-cat-found-in-huntingtown&template=southernMaryland

Montana 04/26/12 Carter County: In accordance with state law, the Montana Department of Livestock has placed the county under a rabies quarantine after a puppy tested positive for the virus. – See http://liv.mt.gov/news/2012/20120426_cartercountyrabiesq.mcpx

Texas 04/27/12 Round Rock, Travis & Williamson counties: A dead bat found on the sidewalk on Main Street about 1 p.m. on April 26th has tested positive for rabies. Seek medical advice if you or your pet may have had contact with the bat. – See http://www.statesman.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/austin/williamson/entries/2012/04/27/rabid_bat_discovered_in_round.html

Texas 04/28/12 Brenham, Washington County: A dead skunk found in the 2000 block of Geney Street inside the city limits on April 25th has tested positive for rabies. This is the 7th confirmed case of the virus in the county this year. – See http://www.brenhambanner.com/news/seventh-case-of-rabies-is-confirmed/article_4030dcf6-913d-11e1-a8aa-0019bb2963f4.html

Virginia 04/27/12 Hampton: A raccoon that attacked a family dog in the Northampton area earlier this week has tested positive for rabies. This is the second case of animal rabies in the city this year. – See http://www.dailypress.com/news/breaking/dp-nws-raccoon-rabies,0,5805428.story

Global 04/27/12 planetsave.com: by Nathan – New mutations in the deadliest malaria parasite have given it resistance to the most powerful antimalarial drugs available. The researchers that did the study say that this should serve as a warning, that the best weapons against malaria may become ineffective. The parasite has developed resistance to artemether, one of the two most effective of the artemisinin group of drugs. They are the most effective and widely used drugs to combat malaria. The study was done by a team at the University of London. They discovered artemether resistance in 11 out of 28 parasite samples, taken from patients who got it traveling abroad, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. 90 percent of the one million deaths that are caused by malaria every year, are in sub-Saharan Africa. “Artemether and ACTs are still very effective, but this study confirms our fears of how the parasite is mutating to develop resistance. Drug resistance could eventually become a devastating problem in Africa, and not just in southeast Asia where most of the world is watching for resistance. Effective alternative treatments are currently unaffordable for most suffering from malaria. Finding new drugs is, therefore, crucial,” lead researcher Sanjeev Krishna is quoted as saying. All 11 resistant parasites contained the same mutation, but the resistance was strongest in the parasites that also contained another separate mutation.

Female Anopheles gambiae mosquito feeding. Malaria vector. Courtesy CDC.

Professor Krishna says: “At the moment, we do not know if the other artemisinins will follow suit, but given the shared chemistry they have with artemether it is tempting to think that they would.” He also said that the resistance could be caused by the increased use of the drug — 300 million doses were used worldwide in 2011. Greater use gives more opportunity for advantageous mutation. This will lead to a repeat of the resistance that malaria developed to chloroquine. “New drug development is paramount, but it is vital that we also learn more about how artemisinins work so we can tailor ACT treatments to be effective for as long as possible,” Profesor Krishna says. Malaria is predicted to spread far outside of its current range as climate change progresses, enabled by the increasing heat and precipitation. Without effective treatment it will affect far more people than it currently does.

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending April 21, 2012:

Published April 27, 2012/ 61(16); ND-213-ND-226

Anaplasmosis . . . 6 . . . Maine (2), New York (3), Rhode Island,

Ehrlichiosis . . . 2 . . . Maryland, New York,

Giardiasis . . . 73 . . . Alabama, Alaska (2), Arizona, Arkansas (2), Connecticut, Idaho (3), Iowa (2), Maryland (3), Massachusetts (3), Michigan, Missouri (2), Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York (21), Ohio (9), Oregon (3), Pennsylvania (5), South Carolina, Vermont, Washington (6), Wisconsin (3),

Hantavirus . . . 1 . . . Montana,

Lyme Disease . . .  172. . .  Delaware (5), Maryland (44), New Jersey (60), New York (25), Ohio, Pennsylvania (30), Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia (5),

Q Fever (Acute) . . . 1 . . . New York,

Rabies (Animal) . . . 41. . . Alabama, Illinois, Maine, Maryland (7), Michigan, Missouri, New York (11), Texas (15), Vermont, West Virginia (2),

Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 13 . . . Alabama, Maryland, Missouri (3), Tennessee (4), Virginia (4).

CALIFORNIA preparing for TIGER MOSQUITO that carries DENGUE and other VIRUSES ~ EUROPEAN climate change favors MOSQUITO that carries DENGUE and other VIRUSES ~ TENNESSEE TICK season is early and ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER cases are up over 500% ~ FDA says CALIFORNIA case of MAD COW DISEASE under control ~ RABIES reports from FLORIDA(2), MASSACHUSETTS, NEW JERSEY, OKLAHOMA, & VIRGINIA.

Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopicts, beginning its blood-meal. Courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia.

California 04/25/12 peninsulapress.com: by Jessica Parks – Santa Clara County is urging residents to be on the lookout for an exotic, bloodthirsty tiger with a potentially lethal bite.  It was last seen in Los Angeles County on Dec. 28. Asian tiger mosquitoes are a much smaller threat than jungle cats and haven’t been linked to any human illnesses in California.  But officials aren’t taking any chances.  Once the species becomes established, it is very difficult to eradicate and can spread diseases such as chikungunya, dengue fever and encephalitis. The county is launching a public education campaign, asking residents to “be our eyes and ears,” said vector control chief Russ Parman, who will oversee the effort. The tiger mosquito is easily distinguished from common local species, due to its distinctive black body with white stripes and aggressive biting during daylight hours.  Parman’s office is also laying simple water traps across the county and using helicopters to locate stagnant pools of water where mosquitoes might be breeding.

The best way to eradicate invasive pests is to catch them early, before they can reproduce and branch out.  In early September, officials in Southern California began getting calls about strange-looking, day-biting mosquitoes east of downtown Los Angeles.  They went door-to-door and sprayed to suppress the insects, but “there were quite a few of them out there” and it’s impossible to know whether any larvae survived, said Kelly Middleton, a spokeswoman for the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District. With warm weather following recent rains, spring is a prime time for the invasive pest to reappear. – For complete article see http://peninsulapress.com/2012/04/25/invasive-mosquito-bites-like-a-tiger-looks-like-a-zebra/

Europe 04/25/12 iol.co.za: by SAPA – The climate in north-west Europe and the Balkans is becoming suitable for the Asian tiger mosquito, a disease-spreading invasive species, scientists said on Wednesday. The warning comes from scientists at the University of Liverpool, north-west England, who say the two regions have been having progressively milder winters and warmer summers. These temperate conditions favour the mosquito, which gained a foothold in Albania in 1979 and is now present in more than 15 countries on Europe’s southern rim. “Over the last two decades, climate conditions have become more suitable over central northwestern Europe – Benelux, western Germany – and the Balkans,” they said. At the same time, drier conditions in southern Spain have made that region less welcoming for the insect, they said.

Hemorrhagic Dengue Fever Victim.

The Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), a native of tropical and subtropical areas of Southeast Asia, can transmit viruses that cause West Nile fever, yellow fever, dengue, St. Louis and Japanese encephalitis and other diseases. In 2005-6, it caused an epidemic of chikungunya, a disease that attacks the joints, on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion. A year later, it unleashed an outbreak of chikungunya in the Italian province of Ravenna. In 2010, it was fingered as a transmitter of dengue virus in France and Croatia. As of last December, the mosquito was present in more than 15 countries, from southern Spain to parts of Greece and Turkey, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

Reporting in Britain’s Journal of the Royal Society Interface, the Liverpool team looked at European weather records for 1950-2009 and ran a widely-used computer model to simulate weather trends for 2030-2050. “Similar trends are likely in the future with an increased risk simulated over northern Europe and slightly decreased risk over southern Europe,” says the study. “These distribution shifts are related to wetter and warmer conditions favouring the overwintering of A. albopictus in the north, and drier and warmer summers that might limit its southward expansion.” The paper points out that weather alone does not mean the species will automatically spread there. It also notes that the study did not consider vegetation or soil types which also determine whether the mosquito would be able to breed there. In addition, cold snaps or hot, dry spells also help limit mosquito survival, and these too were not included in the investigation. In the mid-1960s, the Asian tiger mosquito was limited to some parts of Asia, India and a handful of Pacific islands. It has since spread to North and South America, the Caribbean, Africa and the Middle East, as well as Europe, mainly by hitchhiking a ride in exported materials.

Tennessee 04/26/12 tn.gov: News Release – The Tennessee Department of Health is seeing significant increases in tick-borne illnesses this year following an unusually mild winter and spring. Cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever are up 533 percent compared to this time last year, according to Abelardo Moncayo, Ph.D., with the TDH Division of Communicable and Environmental Diseases and Emergency Preparedness. “We’ve documented 38 cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever, compared with only six by the same time last year,” Moncayo said. “We are also seeing increased numbers of other tick-borne infections compared to last year. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is the most serious tick-borne disease in the United States. Symptoms usually appear two to 14 days after a bite from an infected tick.

Petechial rash.

The disease often begins with sudden onset of fever and headache. Early symptoms may resemble other diseases and include nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, lack of appetite and severe headache. Later symptoms may include rash, abdominal pain, joint pain and diarrhea. Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a serious illness that can be fatal if not treated correctly, even in previously healthy people. It and other tick-borne illnesses can have devastating effects, but are effectively treated with antibiotics. Persons with symptoms should see their medical provider for early diagnosis and treatment. – For tips on preventing tick bites see http://news.tn.gov/node/8734

California 04/26/12 fda.gov: News Release – This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) confirmed that a dairy cow in California tested positive for atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or “mad cow” disease). The USDA also confirmed the cow did not enter the animal feed or human food supply. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working with federal and state authorities to further investigate this case. The FDA is confident in the effectiveness of the existing animal feed safeguards designed to prevent the spread of BSE through feed. Although current science suggests that atypical cases of BSE, such as this one, are unlikely to be transmitted through animal feed, the FDA will work with the USDA to complete a thorough epidemiological investigation. Importantly, scientific research indicates that BSE cannot be transmitted in cow’s milk. – For more information see USDA’s Chief Veterinary Officer on the Recent BSE Case (aka Mad Cow)

Florida 04/25/12 North Fort Myers, Lee County: A horse that died from rabies last week presented the first confirmed case of the virus in the county in two years. – See http://www.nbc-2.com/story/17771201/rabies-case-discovered-in-lee-county

Florida 04/25/12 Merritt Island, Brevard County: A pet cat located at Banana River Drive that bit it’s owner has tested positive for rabies. It is most likely the cat contracted the disease from wild animal infected with the virus. – See http://cmacdonald.brevardtimes.com/2012/04/rabies-positive-cat-reported-on-merritt.html

Massachusetts 04/25/12 Wayland, Middlesex County: A raccoon found off Concord and Lincoln roads in North Wayland has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/newsnow/x1783291258/Raccoon-found-in-North-Wayland-tests-positive-for-rabies

New Jersey 04/25/12 New Milford, Bergen County: A raccoon that attacked a man near his Pine Street home last Friday has tested positive for rabies. The man was bitten on an arm and a leg. – See http://newmilford-nj.patch.com/articles/raccoon-that-attacked-man-on-pine-street-confirmed-rabid

Oklahoma 04/25/12 Shawnee, Pottawatomie County: In little more than a week Unity Health Center staff have seen 10 patients with possible rabies exposure, Kari Gilliam, a pharmacist at Unity, said. From January to March 31 there have been 21 cases of rabies statewide; there were 60 total in 2011. Seventy percent of the rabies cases are found in skunks, and then cattle, dogs, cats, horses and bats. – For complete article see http://www.news-star.com/news/x1783289868/Unity-has-seen-10-patients-with-possible-rabies-exposure

Virginia 04/25/12 Virginia Beach: A raccoon that bit a mechanic on the arm and shoulder while he was working under a truck was captured by Animal Control and has tested positive for rabies. The mechanic tried to escape but the raccoon jumped on his back and bit him several times. Officers believe someone is feeding feral cats in the area and the food has attracted raccoons. It’s possible that the feral cats have also been exposed to the virus. The incident occurred near Butternut Lane. – See http://www.wavy.com/dpp/news/local_news/va_beach/vb-man-bitten-by-rabid-raccoon