Tag Archives: Feral Cats


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

LOUISIANA townspeople post “COYOTE ATTACK AREA” signs to alert neighbors ~ RABIES reports from FLORIDA, MARYLAND, NORTH DAKOTA, PENNSYLVANIA, & VIRGINIA ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending April 14, 2012 ~ TRAVEL REPORTS: CDC warns of LASSA FEVER in NIGERIA.

Coyote. Photo by Santa Clara County, California.

Louisiana 04/24/12 Harahan, Jefferson Parish: Local police have resumed nighttime coyote hunts after pet owners reported cats and dogs were either missing or had been mutilated. John Leslie, a wildlife biologist with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, blamed the increasing number of sightings on the animals’ good parenting. – See http://www.nola.com/pets/index.ssf/2012/04/coyotes_again_mauling_cats_in.html

Florida 04/24/12 Suwannee County: A rabies alert has been issued after a raccoon found in the vicinity of U.S. 90W and West Tower Road tested positive for rabies. – See http://suwanneedemocrat.com/local/x1521922374/Rabies-alert-issued-in-western-Suwannee-County

Maryland 04/24/12 Port Deposit, Cecil County: A feral cat that scratched at least five people on Main Street last Friday has tested positive for rabies. The cat is described as a small-to-medium sized yellow tabby cat that looked sickly and had abscesses on its body. – See http://www.abc2news.com/dpp/news/region/cecil_county/rabid-cat-scratches-5-people-in-cecil-county

North Dakota 04/24/12 jamestownsun.com: A mild winter and spring have led to a spike in rabies cases in North Dakota. State officials are urging pet and livestock owners to make sure their animals are vaccinated against the deadly virus. There have been 40 confirmed rabies cases so far this year –  double the 20 cases in all of 2011, Deputy State Veterinarian Beth Carlson said. The disease has been found in cattle, horses, sheep, cats, bats and skunks this year. Skunks are the main carrier, however, spreading the disease by biting other animals. – For complete article see http://www.jamestownsun.com/event/apArticle/id/D9UBCEOO3/

Pennsylvania o4/24/12 Upper Darby, Delaware County: A teenage girl is receiving post-exposure rabies treatments after waking in the night to find a raccoon biting her leg. The incident occurred in the 100-block of Summit Avenue, unfortunately the raccoon escaped and has not been found. – See http://www.myfoxphilly.com/dpp/news/local_news/teenager-attacked-by-raccoon-in-her-bedroom

Virginia 04/23/12 Williamsburg: Health officials have issued a rabies alert after a fox attacked a Heritage Humane Society dog while it was being walked by a technician earlier this week. The dog received minor injuries and the fox, which is presumed to be rabid, returned to the woods and has not been found. – See http://www.vagazette.com/articles/2012/04/23/news/doc4f9592a25f841086277449.txt

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending April 14, 2012:

Published April 20, 2012/ 61(15); ND-198-ND-212

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

Babesiosis . . . 1 . . . New York,

Brucellosis . . . 2 . . . Florida (2), 

Ehrlichiosis . . . 3 . . . Florida, Missouri, Texas,

Giardiasis . . . 78 . . . Alabama, Florida (19), Iowa, Maryland (2), Michigan (7), New York (22), Ohio (9), Oregon (3), Pennsylvania (5), Washington (7), Wisconsin (2),

Lyme Disease . . .  93. . .  Florida (3), Maine, Maryland (2), Michigan (2), New Jersey (37), New York (28), Pennsylvania (17), Virginia (3),

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

Rabies (Animal) . . . 16. . . Alabama, Arkansas (6), Maine, Maryland (4), New York (2), Texas, West Virginia,

Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 11 . . . Alabama, Colorado, Missouri (7), New York, Tennessee,

Tularemia . . . 1 . . . Maryland.

Travel Warnings:

Nigeria 04/25/12 cdc.com: Travelers’ Health News Release – The Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health has reported an increased number of cases of Lassa fever. Nineteen of the country’s 36 states have reported cases since the beginning of 2012. As of April 13, 2012, there were reports of 818 suspected cases, including 84 deaths. At this time, 131 cases have been confirmed by laboratory testing. Seven deaths have also been reported among health care workers.  Cases have occurred in the states of Edo, Bauchi, Plateau and Taraba. The number of reported cases of Lassa fever in Nigeria is greater this year than in previous years. However, cases in previous years could have been underestimated due to the lack of laboratory and disease investigation systems. Lassa fever is a viral illness that is spread by rats. People get the disease through direct contact with rat droppings or urine and through touching objects or eating food contaminated with rat droppings or urine. Lassa fever may also spread though person-to-person contact. For advice on how travelers can protect themselves see http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/in-the-news/lassa-fever-in-nigeria.htm

OREGON Fish and Wildlife begins hazing CORMORANTS to improve SALMON SMOLTS survival rate ~ CANADA: ONTARIO’s provincial capital of Toronto reports MAN diagnosed with RABIES ~ Other RABIES reports from NEW YORK, NORTH CAROLINA, TENNESSEE, & VIRGINIA (2).

Double crested cormorant. Photo by Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife.

Oregon 04/17/12 or.us: News Release – With hundreds of thousands of young salmon now making their way toward the ocean, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is ramping up efforts to make sure they get there and aren’t picked off by hungry birds along the way. For the next month and a half, volunteers assisting ODFW staff will haze cormorants to keep them from feasting on salmon smolts as the young fish run the gauntlet through five coastal estuaries on their way to the Pacific Ocean. Cormorants are large seabirds that inhabit Oregon’s estuaries during the spring and summer. They are voracious eaters and can consume up to two pounds of fish per day … roughly the equivalent of about 12 salmon smolts when the fish are released as juveniles from ODFW’s hatcheries at Tillamook, Nehalem, Hebo, Alsea and Coquille.

Salmon smolt

Cormorants have been identified by sportsmen’s groups and others as a potential threat the outbound migration of salmon and steelhead. Members of those organizations are assisting in the hazing program by providing manpower and equipment needed for daily hazing chores while ODFW provides fuel and oversight. Hazing generally consists of a person in a small boat interrupting the birds’ feeding patterns by driving toward them while they are in the water foraging for fish. At times, pyrotechnics are used to scare the birds away. “Cormorants will eat what’s most abundant,” said Lindsay Adrean, ODFW’s avian predation coordinator. “The idea is to move the cormorants towards the lower estuary and ocean where they will have many other kinds of fish to choose from.

Salmon smolts. Photo by Cacophony. Wikimedia Commons.

This also provides the salmon with extra time to disperse, making them less vulnerable to predation.” Volunteers will be working in Tillamook and Alsea bays and mouths of the Nehalem, Nestucca and Coquille rivers through the end of May. Manpower is being provided by the Port of Nehalem, Port of Bandon, North Coast Salmon and Steelhead Enhancement Fund, and Alsea Sportsmen’s Association.

Cormorants. Photo by Danielle Langlois. Wikimedia Commons.

In addition to improving salmon out-migration the hazing project will help ODFW gather baseline information about cormorant population trends and the effectiveness of hazing. It’s a tricky proposition, according to Adrean, because cormorants are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, so extra care must be used to ensure the birds are not injured or killed. At the same time, cormorant populations have been increasing on East Sand Island near the mouth of the Columbia River. Population surveys indicate there are about 2,300 cormorant breeding pairs in the estuaries between Tillamook Bay and the Rogue River, and 12,000 breeding pairs on East Sand Island. Researchers want to know how future changes in the distribution of cormorants might impact coastal salmon populations. “We hear a lot from people who think cormorants are having an impact, so that’s what we’re working on,” said Adrean. “We’re trying to find the right balance. That’s the key.”


ONTARIO 04/16/12 cbc.com: – A Toronto man is being treated for the first case of rabies in a human in the city in more than 80 years, CBC News has learned. The 41-year-old man had been working as a bartender in the Dominican Republic for four months. He had already reported symptoms at the end of last month in the Dominican Republic where he was seen three times at a resort clinic. His condition worsened to the point that he was having trouble swallowing and was afraid of food, water and even the air. He returned to Toronto a week ago by airplane. He was taken to hospital by police after behaving erratically at the airport. His symptoms worsened by April 11, and on April 12, samples were sent for testing. It was then determined he had rabies, a virus that attacks the brain and nervous system. Dr. Donald Low, the medical director of the public health laboratories at the arms-length government agency Public Health Ontario, said rabies in humans is rare.

The last case of rabies in a human in Ontario was an Ottawa valley girl in 1967. The last case in Toronto occurred in 1931 when a three-year-old girl contracted the virus. There have only been three cases of human rabies in Canada in the last 12 years. All of those people were bitten by infected bats. “There’s a good chance if you grow the virus, which is in the process of being done, you can fingerprint the virus,” said Low. “It can give you a clue as to where it might have come from — whether it came from a bat, whether it came from a skunk or a dog and also … there might be some evidence there to be able to say in hindsight that it came from an area similar to the Dominican Republic.”

The infected Toronto man is being treated in the neurological intensive care unit at Toronto Western Hospital. Human-to-human transmission of rabies is extremely rare, Low said, but the man’s family members are being treated with vaccines. Most people who show symptoms of rabies don’t survive. Those who do usually suffer severe neurological damage. Humans can be vaccinated against rabies before exposure to the virus. They are also vaccinated after contact, although immunization is recommended as soon as possible after exposure.

New York 04/16/12 northcountrynow.com: Potsdam, St. Lawrence County – Clarkson University Campus Safety and Security wants to find the owner of a dog that bit a woman Sunday at about 12:20 p.m. near the playing field on Clarkson Avenue so that they can confirm the dog’s vaccinations. The dog was white with black markings and a square nose (possibly a pit bull or pit bull mix), on a chain leash, walked by a man in his 20s. If the dog’s vaccinations cannot be confirmed, the person bitten will need to undergo a series a rabies shots. Call 268-6666 if you can assist in finding the dog or its owner.

North Carolina 04/16/12 Newton, Catawba County: Health officials have confirmed the county’s fourth case of rabies this year after two dogs fought with a raccoon that has tested positive for the virus. Two people were exposed to the dogs, which are now under quarantine. – See http://www.wbtv.com/story/17463542/dogs-fight-with-raccoon-later-diagnosed-with-rabies-in-catawba-co

Tennessee 04/16/12 Harrison Ferry Mountain, Warren County: A colony of about 50 feral cats has taken over a recycling center creating a potential health hazard and particular concern about aggressive cats and rabies. – See http://www.newschannel5.com/story/17465501/colony-of-feral-cats-takes-over-recycling-center

Virginia 04/16/12 Newport News & James City County: The Peninsula Health District says raccoons found near Mt. Pleasant Drive in James City County and Dean Ray Court in Newport News have tested positive for rabies. Those with information regarding exposure are urged to contact the agency at 253-4813. – See http://wydaily.com/local-news/8829-rabid-raccoon-found-near-mt-pleasant-drive.html

Virginia 04/16/12 Greensprings, James City County: The Peninsula Health District is looking for a short-haired, black and gray tabby cat that bit a person on April 13 near Braemar Creek at Greensprings in James City County. If the cat is not found, the victim may have to receive rabies prevention shots. Once found, the cat will not be taken away from its owner, according to the Williamsburg Area Environmental Health Office. It will be placed on an in-home confinement period of 10 days, however. Anyone who has seen an animal fitting the description in that area is asked to contact the Williamsburg Area Environmental Health Office at 253-4813. After hours, call James City County Animal Control at 565-0730. The Health District recommends residents report all exposures, enjoy wildlife from a distance and make sure family pets are vaccinated and protected against the rabies virus. State law requires that dogs and cats be vaccinated between three and four months of age.