Tag Archives: Feral Hogs

UC-DAVIS scientists find H1N1 INFLUENZA VIRUS in ELEPHANT SEALS ~ WHO warns world not prepared for massive INFLUENZA outbreak ~ WHO says single YELLOW FEVER shot is enough ~ RABIES reports from MO, NH, & VA.

Northern Elephant Seals. Photo by Mike Baird. Wikimedia Commons.

Northern Elephant Seals. Photo by Mike Baird. Wikimedia Commons.

California 05/15/13 ucdavis.edu: News Release – Scientists at the University of California, Davis, detected the H1N1 (2009) virus in free-ranging northern elephant seals off the central California coast a year after the human pandemic began, according to a study published today, May 15, in the journal PLOS ONE. It is the first report of that flu strain in any marine mammal. “We thought we might find influenza viruses, which have been found before in marine mammals, but we did not expect to find pandemic H1N1,” said lead author Tracey Goldstein, an associate professor with the UC Davis One Health Institute and Wildlife Health Center. “This shows influenza viruses can move among species.” UC Davis researchers have been studying flu viruses in wild birds and mammals since 2007 as part of the Centers of Excellence in Influenza Research and Surveillance program funded by National Institutes of Health. The goal of this research is to understand how viruses emerge and move among animals and people.

Dr. Tracey Goldstein of UC-Davis.

Dr. Tracey Goldstein of UC-Davis.

Between 2009 and 2011, the team of scientists tested nasal swabs from more than 900 marine mammals from 10 different species off the Pacific Coast from Alaska to California. They detected H1N1 infection in two northern elephant seals and antibodies to the virus in an additional 28 elephant seals, indicating more widespread exposure. Neither infected seal appeared to be ill, indicating marine mammals may be infected without showing clinical signs of illness. The findings are particularly pertinent to people who handle marine mammals, such as veterinarians and animal rescue and rehabilitation workers, Goldstein said. They are also a reminder of the importance of wearing personal protective gear when working around marine mammals, both to prevent workers’ exposure to diseases, as well as to prevent the transmission of human diseases to animals.

Photo courtesy of National Park Service.

Photo courtesy of National Park Service.

H1N1 originated in pigs. It emerged in humans in 2009, spreading worldwide as a pandemic. The World Health Organization now considers the H1N1 strain from 2009 to be under control, taking on the behavior of a seasonal virus. “H1N1 was circulating in humans in 2009,” said Goldstein. “The seals on land in early 2010 tested negative before they went to sea, but when they returned from sea in spring 2010, they tested positive. So the question is where did it come from?”  When elephant seals are at sea, they spend most of their time foraging in the northeast Pacific Ocean off the continental shelf, which makes direct contact with humans unlikely, the report said. The seals had been satellite tagged and tracked, so the researchers knew exactly where they had been and when they arrived on the coast. The first seal traveled from California on Feb. 11 to southeast Alaska to forage off the continental shelf, returning to Point Piedras Blancas near San Simeon, Calif., on April 24. The second seal left Ano Nuevo State Reserve in San Mateo County, Calif., on Feb. 8, traveling to the northeast Pacific and returning on May 5.  Infections in both seals were detected within days of their return to land. The report said exposure likely occurred in the seals before they reached land, either while at sea or upon entering the near-shore environment. – For complete release see http://news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=10572

Influenza:

070203_bird_fluGlobal 05/21/13 Sixty-sixth World Health Assembly: by Jonathan Fowler (AFP) – The world is unprepared for a massive virus outbreak, the deputy chief of the World Health Organization warned Tuesday, amid fears that H7N9 bird flu striking China could morph into a form that spreads easily among people. Keiji Fukuda told delegates at a WHO meeting that despite efforts since an outbreak of another form of avian influenza, H1N1, in 2009-10, far more contingency planning was essential. “Even though work has been done since that time, the world is not ready for a large, severe outbreak,” Fukuda said. Rapid-reaction systems were crucial, given that health authorities’ efforts are already hampered by lack of knowledge about such diseases, he insisted. “When people get hit with an emerging disease, you can’t just go to a book and know what to do,” he said. According to the latest official data, H7N9 avian influenza has infected 130 people in China, and killed H7N935, since it was found in humans for the first time in March. It is one of a vast array of flu viruses carried by birds, the overwhelming majority of which pose little or no risk to humans. Experts are struggling to understand how it spread to people, amid fears that it could adapt into a form that can be transmitted easily from human to human.- For complete article see http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gA_WiUNz4DDakbWArFcltmTknupw?docId=CNG.945e0940b30f2076656a59b4ea8de2b5.231

Yellow Fever:

Yellow-feverGlobal 05/17/13 who.int: News Release – The yellow fever ‘booster’ vaccination given ten years after the initial vaccination is not necessary, according to WHO. An article published in WHO’s Weekly Epidemiological Record (WER) reveals that the Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on immunization (SAGE) has reviewed the latest evidence and concluded that a single dose of vaccination is sufficient to confer life-long immunity against yellow fever disease. Since yellow fever vaccination began in the 1930s, only 12 known cases of yellow fever post-vaccination have been identified, after 600 million doses have been dispensed. Evidence showed that among this small number of “vaccine failures”, all cases developed the disease within five years of vaccination. This demonstrates that immunity does not decrease with time. . . .

who-logoYellow fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes that is endemic to 44 countries in tropical areas of Africa and the Americas. Infection with the yellow fever virus causes varying degrees of disease, from mild symptoms to severe illness with bleeding and jaundice and fatal outcomes. There are an estimated 200 000 cases of yellow fever worldwide each year. About 15% of people infected with yellow fever progress to a severe form of the illness, and up to half of those will die, as there is no cure for yellow fever.  – For complete news release see http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2013/yellow_fever_20130517/en/index.html

Author’s Note: The yellow fever virus is an arbovirus of the flavivirus genus, and the mosquito is the primary vector. It carries the virus from one host to another, primarily between monkeys, from monkeys to humans, and from person to person. Several different species of the Aedes and Haemogogus mosquitoes transmit the virus. The mosquitoes either breed around houses (domestic), in the jungle (wild) or in both habitats (semi-domestic). – Source WHO Yellow Fever Fact Sheet  at http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs100/en/index.html

Rabies:

g12c00 - CopyMissouri 05/20/13 Ozark County: Health officials have confirmed that two skunks captured in the county within the last month have tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.ozarkcountytimes.com/news/article_6539ffdc-c18e-11e2-974e-001a4bcf6878.html

450px-Treed_RaccoonsNew Hampshire 05/20/13 Grafton County: Two raccoons that were reported to be acting strangely in Hanover last week have tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.boston.com/news/local/new-hampshire/2013/05/20/raccoons-with-rabies-found-town/3DuImvKRJXhRGOw2iXy4PL/story.html

HelpVirginia 05/20/13 James City County: The Peninsula Health District is looking for a large grey dog, possibly a Rottweiler mix, that bit a child on May 9, 2013, near the intersection of Cardinal Court and The Maine W in James City County. Officials say if this dog is not found, the victim may have to undergo post exposure treatment (shots) for the prevention of rabies. Once found, the animal will not be taken away from its owner – only placed on an in-home confinement period of 10 days, officials say. Anyone who has seen an animal that fits this description in that area is asked to contact the Peninsula Health District – Williamsburg Environmental Health Office at (757) 603-4277. – See http://wtkr.com/2013/05/20/officials-search-for-dog-that-may-have-rabies-in-james-city-co/

WISCONSIN MAN mauled by BLACK BEAR ~ MONTANA confirms 2 cases of HANTAVIRUS ~ CALIFORNIA university police issue MOUNTAIN LION warning ~ CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE moving toward SHENANDOAH and YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARKS ~ RABIES reports from AR, CA, CT, ID, MDx2, NCx2, OH, TX, VA, & WA ~ ANNOUNCEMENT: USDA APHIS meeting re FERAL SWINE damage management.

Black bear. Courtesy U.S. Forest Service.

Black bear. Courtesy U.S. Forest Service.

Wisconsin 05/16/13 greenbaypressgazette.com: by Nathan Phelps – A man was bitten, cut and scratched Wednesday when he was attacked by a black bear on Finch Lane in Silver Cliff in Marinette County. Gerre Ninnemann encountered the bear just before 1:30 p.m. after seeing it go after his dog, according to a Marinette County Sheriff’s Department report. Ninnemann called his dog back to the house and tried to run inside, but the bear ran him down from behind and took him to the ground. The animal started biting and clawing at his back, the report said. Ninnemann was able to get up and make it to the corner of the cabin, but was caught by the animal again.

Marinette County

Marinette County

His wife, Marie, grabbed a shotgun from the home and used it to hit the bear on the head. At that point, Gerre Ninneman again was able to get away from the bear. He used theshotgun to poke it in an effort to keep it away as they retreated into the cabin. The bear continued to circle the cabin and look in the windows, according to the report. A Marinette County deputy shot and killed the bear. A conservation warden took possession of the bear to check for possible rabies, according to the incident report. Gerre Ninneman was taken to Bay Area Medical Center in Marinette for treatment.

Hantavirus:

Gallatin County

Gallatin County

Montana 05/17/13 bozemandailychronicle.com: County and state officials today confirmed two new cases of hantavirus and the first 2013 death in the state from the illness. A Gallatin County woman in her 20s died from Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome, and a Carbon County man in his 40s was diagnosed with it, the Department of Health and Human Services reported.

Carbon County

Carbon County

The Gallatin County woman is the 10th person in Montana to die from hantavirus. Both people appear to have had recent exposure to rodents. There have been 37 reported cases of hantavirus in Montana since 1993. With one or two cases a year, Montana is second only to New Mexico in the number of cases. – For further details read May 18 report at www.dailychronicle.com

Mountain Lion Sightings:

cougar01dfg.CA.govCalifornia 05/14/13 sanluisobispo.com: by Julia Hickey – A mountain lion sighting at Cal Poly on Monday night has brought the number of sightings at or near the university to four this month. All of the sightings have taken place near Poly Canyon Village, said George Hughes, chief of police for the University Police Department. “This mountain lion has been seen on the hillside. That’s its natural habitat; it’s not unusual,” Hughes said. The first sighting took place May 2 on Stenner Creek Road; followed by two sightings Sunday near the Poly Canyon Village parking structure; and a fourth sighting at 9:30 p.m. on Monday night in the same area near the structure. Police are assuming that all sightings are of the same mountain lion, Hughes said.  Although mountain lions are secretive and attacks on humans are rare, police say there are considered threats. – For recommendations see http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2013/05/14/2508213/mountain-lion-poly-canyon-village.html

Chronic Wasting Disease:

128487904189069934whitetailVirginia 05/14/13 dailyprogress.com: by Aaron Richardson –  A deadly brain disorder affecting deer, moose and elk is on the region’s doorstep, and its spread could be impossible to stop. Chronic wasting disease, a progressive condition that can remain idle for years before killing the infected animal, has been found in deer 25 miles from the Shenandoah National Park’s northern border, said park biologist Rolf Gubler. The park stretches northeast from outside Waynesboro to Front Royal. Experts say there is no evidence that chronic wasting can be transmitted to humans. But its effect on deer, as well as moose and elk, is devastating — symptoms include dramatic weight loss, tremors and teeth-grinding — and the disease is incurable. Park officials held meetings on chronic wasting earlier this spring in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg and Washington, and they are working on a plan to contain the infection. That could include thinning the heaviest populations of whitetail deer in the park. – For complete article see http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/local/chronic-wasting-disease-in-deer-likely-to-move-farther-east/article_173a965a-bcea-11e2-ad43-0019bb30f31a.html

bull-elkNPSWyoming 05/14/13 thewildlifenews.com: Information gleaned from the Wyoming Game & Fish Department indicates that deadly Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is advancing towards western Wyoming’s winter elk feed grounds and Yellowstone National Park. A new map from the Greater Yellowstone Coalition shows the areas where the disease has been detected in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem are within 45 miles of winter elk feedgrounds and about 40 miles from Yellowstone Park’s northeast corner. The 2012 information reveals the farthest advance west of CWD in deer in Wyoming yet. Last year, three mule deer were found infected with CWD in Green River, Wyo.; an infected moose was found near Idaho in Star Valley, Wyo., in 2008. Veteran conservationist Lloyd Dorsey of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition said the disease is now essentially on the doorstep of the elk feed grounds, including the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole. Dorsey notes that deer from the endemic disease areas to the east and south migrate north and west to elk herd units in the upper Green River and Jackson Hole, where most of the winter feed grounds are located. For more information on the map depicting CWD areas and Greater Yellowstone Coalition’s efforts to phase out the artificial elk feeding areas and transition to healthier, free ranging wildlife, see http://www.greateryellowstone.org/elkrefuge – For complete article see http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2013/05/17/chronic-wasting-disease-closes-in-on-yellowstone/

West Nile Virus (WNV):

madison cty MSMississippi 05/15/13 Madison County: State health officials have confirmed the first human case of WNV reported in the state this year in early April. Last year, 247 cases of WNV were reported statewide, including 5 fatalities. – See http://www.dailyleader.com/news/article_e7036d56-bd8c-11e2-97b0-0019bb2963f4.html

Rabies:

striped-skunks-01_000Arkansas 05/16/13 Garland County: Officials confirm nine skunks have tested positive for rabies in the county in the last three months. Pope County has the highest in the state with 13 cases, and statewide Arkansas had more confirmed cases by May of this year than in the entire year of 2011. With 90 confirmed cases and the summer months still ahead, the Natural State is on track to surpass the 131 cases recorded in 2012. – See http://arkansasmatters.com/fulltext?nxd_id=663792

grounded%20batCalifornia 05/14/13 Santa Clara County: A bat found April 12th on the Los Gatos Creek Trail between Lark Avenue and Charter Oaks Drive has tested positive for rabies. – See http://campbell.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/bat-found-on-los-gatos-creek-trail-tests-positive-fore594fe7b41

size0Raccoon_USArmyConnecticut 05/14/13 New Haven County: A raccoon found May 12th in the vicinity of Pope and Hawley roads in Oxford has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.voicesnews.com/articles/2013/05/14/arts_and_living/pets_and_wildlife/doc519274565e1f2493782011.txt

ff5Idaho 05/14/13 Kootenai County: A bat found on an interior staircase of a home in the county has tested positive for rabies. Everyone living in the home is now being treated for potential exposure to the virus. – See http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2013/may/14/rabid-bat-flies-north-idaho-home/

27632221_RabidgoatMaryland 05/16/13 Garrett County: Seven people are being treated for exposure to rabies after a goat in the southern area of the county tested positive for the virus. – See http://times-news.com/local/x730880365/Second-rabies-case-in-Garrett-involves-goat

can_you_helpMaryland 05/14/13 carrollcountytimes.com: by Kelcie Pegher – The Carroll County Health Department is seeking a medium-sized dog with a black coat that bit a person at Memorial Park in Taneytown May 5, according to a release from Carroll County Government. Joe Mancuso, the rabies coordinator for Carroll County said from the description that was given to him, it does not appear as though the dog had rabies.  If you have any information to help locate the dog or its owner, contact the Carroll County Health Department at 410-876-1884, or the Carroll County Humane Society at 410-848-4810.

North Carolina 05/15/13 Henderson County: A gray fox that attacked and bit a woman who was working in the garden at her home on Penny Drive in Hendersonville has tested positive for rabies. The fox bit her several times on the left hand and right leg. Later that night, the fox bit a man in the vicinity 5704860-portrait-of-gray-fox-barkingof Sweetwater Hills Drive and fortunately the man managed to kill the animal with his flashlight. Both bite victims are being treated for exposure to the virus. – See http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/20130515/NEWS/130519867?p=2&tc=pg

North Carolina 05/15/13 Guilford County: A fox that bit two children on Sunday who were sitting on the deck at their apartment on Guyer Street in High Point has tested positive for rabies. One was bitten on the hand, the other on the leg. – See http://www.news-record.com/news/1225066-91/rabid-fox-bites-two-children

imagesCAQVTCKPOhio 05/16/13 Mahoning County: A raccoon found in the vicinity of Cherry Hill Place in Boardman has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.vindy.com/news/2013/may/16/second-rabid-raccoon-found-in-mahoning-c/?nw

3821fefe9b4884850185047e22654718Texas 05/16/13 Taylor and Jones counties: A skunk found in the 3400 block of Buffalo Gap Road in Abilene has tested positive for rabies. Three unvaccinated dogs had been in contact with the skunk. Last month, two rabid skunks were captured within the city’s limits. – See http://www.reporternews.com/news/2013/may/16/third-skunk-in-abilene-this-year-with-rabies/

Raccoon-SiedePreis-smVirginia 05/14/13 Pittsylvania County: A raccoon found in the vicinity of Laniers Mill Road has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.newsadvance.com/news/local/article_ccdf3da2-bcd7-11e2-843e-001a4bcf6878.html

big_brown_batNPSWashington 05/14/13 Franklin County: A bat that bit an 11-month-old child twice in Pasco has tested positive for rabies. The child and her grandmother, who removed the bat from the child’s back, are being treated for exposure to the virus. The bat few from the deck umbrella as it was being opened. – See http://www.thenewstribune.com/2013/05/14/2597353/rabid-bat-bites-pasco-baby.html

Announcement:

thumbnailtexasferalhogsOn Thursday, May 23rd, APHIS’ Wildlife Services and Veterinary Services programs will host a scoping meeting to provide more information about a national approach to feral swine damage management and take comments from participating stakeholders.  Anyone who is unable to attend in person can join the meeting via a live Webcast.  Additional meeting information is available on the Wildlife Services’ Web site at: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/wildlife_damage/feral_swine/index.shtml.  A Notice announcing APHIS’ intent to prepare an environmental impact statement to examine the potential impacts of alternatives for feral swine damage management was published in today’s Federal Register. The public comment period closes June 12.  http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=APHIS_FRDOC_0001-1436.

Event Logistics:

Date:  Thursday, May 23, 2013 ~ Time: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT

Location: 4700 River Road, Riverdale, MD 20737

FERAL HOGS a growing concern in OKLAHOMA ~ NEW YORK scientist says new LYME DISEASE VACCINE shows promise in clinical trials ~ CDC releases final 2012 WEST NILE VIRUS report ~ WEST NILE VIRUS report from TENNESSEE ~ RABIES reports from CA, NY, NCx3, & TX.

Feral hog. Photo by University of Missouri Ext.

Feral hog. Photo by University of Missouri Ext.

Oklahoma 05/14/13 odwc.state.ok.us: News ReleaseFeral hogs destroy wildlife habitat at alarming rates and cause a number of important concerns to hunters, farmers and other landowners in Oklahoma  Feral hogs can cause extensive damage to farm fields, crops, stored livestock feed, woodlots, suburban landscaping, golf courses and wildlife habitat relied upon by native species such as deer, turkey, squirrels and quail. Their voracious appetites, destructive habits and prolific breeding patterns wreak havoc on the landscape, often resulting in overwhelming competition to native species. They may also carry diseases that can be transmitted to other species, including humans. “The bottom line is they don’t belong here,” said Kevin Grant, Oklahoma state director of Wildlife Services for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which oversees feral swine management issues in Oklahoma as part of a memorandum of understanding with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation. The memorandum is rooted in the fact that feral swine are not true wildlife, but rather descendants of domestic stock living at large in a feral state.

FeralHogsUnivMOExtGrant said millions of dollars and significant resources have been spent in an effort to make sure domestic swine stock is safe from disease, so the presence of feral populations raises concerns for the safety of domestic swine and the swine industry. “If they’re here, they need to be on the plate or in a pen because they’re not native to the Americas, and the way that they’re really taking off out there is pretty phenomenal,” Grant said. Grant’s comments were part of a presentation to the Oklahoma Wildlife Conservation Commission on the statewide status of feral swine, or “wild hogs” as they are often called in feralhogby4028mdk09wc1Oklahoma. According to Grant and officials with the Wildlife Department, feral hogs are a well-established and still growing problem in Oklahoma. “They are probably the most prolific large mammal around,” Grant said, adding that feral swine can reach sexual maturity by 6 months of age, have relatively short gestational periods and can give birth to large litters multiple times a year. In the 1990s, the Agriculture Department worked with the Wildlife Department and the Noble Foundation to study the spread of feral hog populations in Oklahoma. Feral hogs seemed to originate in southeastern Oklahoma, and they since have spread to all 77 counties. – For complete release see https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?shva=1#inbox/13ea4fb0754627c5

Lyme Disease:

lyme_disease_hidden_epidemic_poster-p228833588305763989t5wm_400Global 05/13/13 healthcanal.com: News Release – The results of a phase 1/2 clinical trial in Europe of an investigational Lyme disease vaccine co-developed by researchers at Stony Brook University, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and at healthcare company Baxter International S.A., revealed it to be promising and well tolerated, according to a research paper published online in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. The vaccine was shown to produce substantial antibodies against all targeted species of Borrelia, the causative agent of Lyme disease in Europe and the United States. Baxter conducted the clinical trial of the vaccine.

Benjamin Luft, M.D., Stony Brook University School of Medicine.

Benjamin Luft, M.D., Stony Brook University School of Medicine.

Since the early 1990s, Benjamin Luft, MD, the Edmund D. Pellegrino Professor of Medicine at Stony Brook University School of Medicine, and the late John Dunn, Ph.D., a biologist at Brookhaven National Laboratory, spearheaded the initial development of the original vaccine antigen concept, and together with researchers at Baxter helped bioengineer the formulation used in the clinical trial. . . “The results of the clinical trial conducted by Baxter are promising because the vaccine generated a potent human immune reaction, covered the complete range of Borrelia active in the entire Northern hemisphere, and produced no major side effects,” said Dr. Luft, a co-author on the paper. “We hope that a larger-scale, Phase 3 trial will demonstrate not only a strong immune response but true efficacy in a large population that illustrates protection against Lyme disease.” – For complete release see http://www.healthcanal.com/infections/38557-lyme-disease-vaccine-shows-promise-in-clinical-trials.html

West Nile Virus (WNV):

cdc_logoNational 05/14/13 cdc.gov: Media Advisory – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today released the final 2012 national surveillance data for West Nile virus activity. To access the information, please visit www.cdc.gov/westnile . A total of 5,674 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 286 deaths, were reported to CDC from 48 states (excluding Alaska and Hawaii). Of all West Nile virus disease cases reported, 2,873 (51 percent) were classified as neuroinvasive disease (e.g., meningitis, encephalitis, or acute flaccid paralysis). The dates of illness onset (when the patients’ illness began) ranged from March through December 2012. The numbers of neuroinvasive, non-neuroinvasive, and total West Nile virus disease cases reported in 2012 are the highest since 2003. The number of deaths is the highest since cases of WNV disease were first detected in the United States in 1999.

DavidsonTNTennessee 05/13/13 Davidson County: A batch of mosquitoes collected in Bordeaux near the intersection of Clarksville Pike and West Hamilton have tested positive for WNV.  – See http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130513/NEWS07/305130038

Rabies:

California 05/14/13 Orange County: A bat found on the garage floor of a home in the 2300 block of Vanguard Way in Costa Mesa on May 5 has tested Little brown batpositive for rabies. A 15-year-old boy contained the live bat in a box without touching it, he said, but the family was urged to pursue a course of action because of possible exposure. – See http://www.dailypilot.com/news/tn-dpt-me-0515-rabid-bat-20130513,0,5554328.story

New York 05/12/13 Staten Island: A Rabies Alert has been issued after ten raccoons and one bat tested positive for the virus on the island so far this year. The raccoons were found in Eltingville, Grasmere, Great Kills, New Dorp, Park Hill, and Westerleigh. – See http://statenisland.ny1.com/content/top_stories/181948/doh-says-high-number-of-si-raccoons-tested-positive-for-rabies

imagesCAWPY6F8North Carolina 05/13/13 Wake County: A fox that fought with an unvaccinated dog last Wednesday in the vicinity of the 300 block of Jones Franklin Road in Raleigh has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.hollyspringssun.com/view/full_story/22524264/article-Wake-issues-rabies-notice?instance=popular

elkgrovecity.govNorth Carolina 05/13/13 Guilford County: A raccoon found on Foxcreek Court in High Point has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.news-record.com/home/1213043-63/raccoon-tests-positive-for-rabies

We_need_your_help62435North Carolina 05/12/13 New Hanover County: A Wilmington woman says she is scared she will have to have unnecessary rabies shots, after the owner of a dog that bit her disappeared. Susan Matthews said she was at the Fort Fisher Park on Saturday, visiting with one family and their puppy, when a second dog came up and bit her in the face. She says she started bleeding and raced down to the water to wash off her face, when she looked back, she says the dog owner had disappeared. “It happened so fast and then they were gone, it made me just want to cry,” said Matthews. “I was in shock the rest of the day, both about the bite and the fact that they left.” She says the cut continued to bleed, and wants to know if the dog had its rabies shots. If she can’t find the owners, she says she will have to go forward with rabies shot. “It’s very painful and very expensive and we don’t have insurance,” said Susan. She says, she is hoping to find the owner before time runs out, so she can save herself the pain and extra money if the shot is unnecessary. Susan says the dog has white hair. (Anyone with information about this incident should contact New Hanover County Public Health at 910-798-6500.)

800px-Striped_SkunkByTomfriedelWCTexas 05/13/13 Wichita County: A Rabies Alert has been issued in Wichita Falls after two skunks tested positive for the virus. – See http://texomashomepage.com/fulltext?nxd_id=274872

MICHIGAN to ban FERAL SWINE sporting operations if Legislature fails to pass regulations ~ CDC says new INFLUENZA VIRUS discovered in GUATEMALAN FRUIT BATS probably not a threat to HUMANS ~ RABIES reports from GEORGIA (2), KANSAS, NEW MEXICO, NORTH CAROLINA (2), PENNSYLVANIA, SOUTH CAROLINA, TEXAS, & VIRGINIA (2).

Wild Boar. Photo by Richard Bartz. Wikimedia Commons.

Michigan 02/29/12 minbcnews.com: The statewide ban on feral swine is scheduled to take effect on April 1, but Department of Natural Resources officials say the industry could still be saved if the legislature passes a law regulating the industry before then. Officials estimate there are about 35 sporting swine operations in the state–some are breeders, some are game ranches. The DNR says 10 of those operations are located in the U.P. (Upper Peninsula), but there could be more because until now, the industry has been unregulated without any reporting requirements.

So what exactly are feral swine? Some are wild boar and some are simply domestic pigs that escaped into the wild and interbred with the wild boar. Most are between 100 and 200 pounds, but some have weighed in at over 500 pounds. They’re considered an intelligent animal, good swimmers, and quick runners. The wild boar originated in Europe and Asia, and came to the United States, as best we can tell, in the late 19th century. They were brought here for sporting purposes. As many as four million feral swine (both the original boar and the pigs that have interbred with them) may now populate the U.S., but most are in the South, Texas in particular. The so-called razorback of Arkansas is a feral swine.

Michigan has an estimated 1500-3000 feral swine, most of them downstate. The DNR believes they may have been introduced into the state as recently as 15 years ago. They look different from the domestic pig. They have thick, bristly coats, longer legs, a narrow head and snout, and a distinctive, prominent ridge of hair on their spine (hence, the name razorback). Their meat is said to be tasty and they’re considered a good sporting breed. So what’s the problem? Why are they being banned in Michigan? “They can transmit disease to humans,” explains Debbie Munson Badini, a spokesperson for the Department of Natural Resources. “And that includes toxoplasmosis and trichinosis. They also damage our livestock, specifically pigs, with brucellosis, peudo-rabies and tuberculosis.” She points out that a local meat processor recently came down with bacterial meningitis after processing wild boar meat. And the damage, she says, goes beyond that. Feral swine tear up crops and trees. They can driver farmers crazy. So why not just ban the swine in the wild, but leave the gaming operations alone?

That could happen, Badini says, if the state legislature decides to act. The DNR, she emphasizes, isn’t out to destroy the businesses of breeders and ranchers. “It is a concern,” she says. “We’re not happy about that but we have to look at the bigger picture in our state. The damage is huge.” There’s the concern also that the swine at gaming ranches can escape. They’re known to be resourceful animals. Whether the legislature and the DNR can be just as resourceful in preserving an industry while ridding the state of a pest, remains to be seen.

Little yellowshouldered bat. Photo by Tobusaru. Wikimedia Commons.

Global 02/27/12 cdc.gov: News Release – A new influenza A virus discovered in fruit bats in Guatemala does not appear to present a current threat to humans, but should be studied as a potential source for human influenza, according to scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who worked with University of the Valley of Guatemala. The study was published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “This is the first time an influenza virus has been identified in bats, but in its current form the virus is not a human health issue,” said Dr. Suxiang Tong, team lead of the Pathogen Discovery Program in CDC’s Division of Viral Diseases and lead author of the study.  “The study is important because the research has identified a new animal species that may act as a source of flu viruses.”

For the bat influenza virus to infect humans, it would need to obtain some genetic properties of human influenza viruses. This can occur in nature through a process called reassortment. Reassortment occurs when two or more influenza viruses infect a single host cell, which allows the viruses to swap genetic information. Reassortment is a complicated chain of events that can sometimes lead to the emergence of new influenza viruses in humans. Preliminary CDC research on the new virus suggests that its genes are compatible with human influenza viruses.  “Fortunately, initial laboratory testing suggests the new virus would need to undergo significant changes to become capable of infecting and spreading easily among humans,” said Dr. Ruben Donis, chief of the Molecular Virology and Vaccines Branch in CDC’s Influenza Division and a study co–author.  “A different animal – such as a pig, horse or dog –would need to be capable of being infected with both this new bat influenza virus and human influenza viruses for reassortment to occur.”

Dr. Ruben Donis

Bat influenza viruses are known only to infect little yellow–shouldered bats, which are common in Central and South America and are not native to the United States.  CDC works with global disease experts to monitor influenza viruses that circulate in animals, which could affect humans.  Previous pandemics of the 20th century, as well as the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, were caused by influenza viruses in animals that gained the ability to infect and spread easily in humans. For more information about CDC’s global disease detection and emergency response activities, please see www.cdc.gov/globalhealth/gdder/gdd/. Influenza related information, including influenza in animals, is available at www.cdc.gov/flu. To view the study, please visit www.cdc.gov/eid.

Georgia 02/28/12 Hall County: A skunk that was in contact with a dog on Campbell Road has tested positive for rabies. See http://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/17036183/positive-rabies-alert-in-east-hall

Georgia 02/27/12 Milton, Fulton County: A dead raccoon found in the Freemanville Road area last week has tested positive for rabies. See http://alpharetta.patch.com/articles/dead-racoon-s-rabies-reminder-to-take-precautions

Kansas 02/29/12 Saline County: A horse has tested positive for rabies. It is the seventh case of the virus confirmed in animals statewide this year. See http://www.saljournal.com/news/story/rabies2-29-12

New Mexico 02/29/12 Carlsbad, Eddy County: The New Mexico Department of Health says 32 pet dogs from the Carlsbad area have been euthanized since December because they were exposed to known rabid animals and weren’t vaccinated against rabies. With the exception of puppies that were too young to be fully vaccinated, all of these deaths could have been prevented. Rabies vaccination of dogs and cats is mandated by state law. State health officials say that in addition to dogs, a number of livestock and at least one cat also have been euthanized due to rabies exposures. Eddy County is currently experiencing an animal rabies outbreak. Officials say 22 skunks, one dog, and one fox have tested positive for rabies in the Carlsbad area since December.

North Carolina 02/29/12 Iredell County: Officials say a second case of rabies has been confirmed in the county involving a raccoon that came in contact with an unvaccinated dog on Triplett Road east of Statesville. See http://www2.mooresvilletribune.com/news/2012/feb/29/county-confirms-second-case-rabies-ar-1983103/

North Carolina 02/27/12 New Hanover County: Health officials have confirmed the county’s fourth case of rabies this year in a raccoon captured after fighting with two dogs along Horne Place Drive. See http://myrtlegrove.wect.com/news/families/53847-fourth-rabies-case-confirmed-new-hanover-co

Pennsylvania 02/29/12 Horsham, Montgomery County: A bat killed by a pet dog has tested positive for rabies. See http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/montco_memo/140932133.html

South Carolina 02/27/12 Walhalla, Oconee County: A man is receiving PEP rabies treatments after being exposed to a raccoon that tested positive for rabies. See http://www.greenvilleonline.com/article/20120227/NEWS/302270052/Oconee-man-treated-in-rabies-case?odyssey=tab|mostpopular|text|NEWS

Texas 02/28/12 Lindale, Smith County: A skunk found near the 13000 block of CR 4200 has tested positive for rabies. See http://www.cbs19.tv/story/17039911/skunk-tested-positive-for-rabies-in-lindale

Virginia 02/27/12 Pittsylvania County: A raccoon that scratched an individual and several pets in the Museville Road area has tested positive for rabies. See http://www2.godanriver.com/news/2012/feb/27/rabies-alert-issued-area-pittsylvania-county-ar-1720226/

Virginia 02/28/12 Amherst County: A 2-year-old pet dog that had not been vaccinated for rabies and was acting strangely had to be euthanized and it tested positive for the virus. Family members are receiving PEP rabies treatments. See http://www.wset.com/story/17038588/rabies-case-confirmed-after-death-of-dog

Florida officials say FERAL HOGS now inhabit all 67 of the state’s counties and may exceed one million in number ~ FERAL CATS with RABIES reported in California, & Georgia ~ Canada: Ontario town official warns PET owners of COYOTES on the prowl.

Feral hog. Photo credit: University of Florida.

Florida 11/01/11 floridatoday.com: by Jim Waymer – Wild hogs have been rooting for grubs, mole crickets and other creepy crawlies in the Suntree area, horrifying homeowners who cherish well-manicured yards. “They rip up the lawns. They’re going down about a foot or two feet,” said Edward Mangold, secretary of Waterford Pointe subdivision’s homeowners association. The 70-home subdivision in Suntree had to pay about $1,000 so far to have hogs trapped, he said. The slovenly pigs leave deep puddles and angry homeowners behind. “The just excavate the whole thing out,” Mangold said. The total number of trapped hogs rose to 19 this morning, when Melbourne trapper James Dean caught two more near the Waterford Pointe golf course. Other wild hogs have been trapped this month on Suntree Country Club’s Challenge golf course. Mangold suspects more are still on the loose.

Trappers say this is the wild hogs’ most active, hungriest time of the year. Heavy rains are driving them to higher ground, where they rip up yards and drive landscapers nuts. “We’re starting to get into the winter, so the pigs are fattening up right now,” said Dean. In June, hogs invaded Suntree and Grant-Valkaria. That time, a lagging wet season caused forest wetlands to recede, leaving lawn sprinklers as the pigs’ long-lost moisture source that lured them to their staple diet — insects they gobble up from damp soil. This time, recent rains flooded low-lying forests and drove hogs out to higher ground on greens, fairways and backyards. “I’ve actually had my traps underwater,” Dean said. He also uses pit bulls and other dogs to capture hogs. A dog rigged with a GPS device chases the pigs down, barking when it finds them. Then Dean releases a catch-dog fitted with a Kevlar vest for protection to hold the pig to the ground until Dean can arrive to hog tie the beast.

Most of Florida’s hogs live west of Lake Okeechobee, trappers say, but their range is expanding. Wild hogs may have been introduced by Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto as early as 1539. They now inhabit all 67 Florida counties and may exceed 1 million individual animals, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. – For complete article see http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20111101/NEWS01/311010011/Wild-hogs-nuisance-Suntree-residents?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Home

California 11/01/11 Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County: Feral cat found on Las Palmas Drive tested positive for rabies. See http://www.keyt.com/news/local/PHD-Confirms-Cat-Has-Rabies-Virus-133014038.html

Georgia 10/31/11 Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County: Rabies alert issued after feral cat tested positive for the virus. See http://www.gwinnettcounty.com/portal/gwinnett/Departments/Police/AnimalWelfareandEnforcementNew

Canada:

Ontario 11/01/11 Benmiller, Huron County: Animal Control officer cautions area pet owners that a coyote attacked and nearly killed a dog last week. See http://www.goderichsignalstar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=3353775

Officials at Glacier National Park in Montana euthanize BLACK BEAR on raiding rampage ~ Wisconsin officers kill wounded BLACK BEAR that attacked deer hunter ~ New Jersey officers kill BLACK BEAR attacking WOMAN and her LLAMA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from Illinois, & Massachusetts ~ an EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS report from Massachusetts ~ and RABIES reports from Massachusetts, & Rhode Island ~ FOLLOW-UP REPORTS: FERAL HOG that gored Arizonan not RABID ~ AUTHOR’S NOTE.

Photo by J Mundell. Mass Wildlife

Montana 10/06/11 nps.gov: News Release – Glacier National Park Rangers and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologists captured and euthanized a black bear in the Polebridge area on Wednesday, October 5, after numerous incidents in which the bear broke into vehicles, raided trash storage areas and caused damage trying to access a residence. The bear broke vehicle windows and pulled off car door handles to gain access into at least four cars and trucks, including a vehicle in the park. The bear obtained a food reward in most of these incidents. The female bear was six years old and weighed 241 pounds, and had been previously captured in downtown Kalispell in June of 2008, after it was seen in the Woodland Park area. The bear was tagged and released in McGinnis Creek in the North Fork of the Flathead, and has not been involved in any other management situations since. After the recent incidents in the Polebridge area, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologists and park rangers set traps and captured the suspect animal. After consultation between Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks biologists and Glacier National Park personnel and verification that the correct animal had been captured, the bear was euthanized. This action is consistent with state and federal bear management plans. This bear was determined to be a conditioned bear and a potential threat to human safety. Conditioned bears are those that have sought and obtained non-natural foods, destroyed property or displayed aggressive non-defensive behavior towards humans, and are removed from the wild. Conditioned bears are not relocated.

Wisconsin 10/09/11 dl-onlne.com: A man was hospitalized Saturday, after tangling with a bear on the southern edge of Superior. At 8 p.m., Superior Police were called to a property on East Old No. 105 Road, after receiving a report of a mauling. The identity of the injured party has not yet been released. The man was with a female hunting partner who had set up over some bait, in pursuit of deer. A bear apparently wandered onto the scene, and the man attempted to chase it off, according to Sgt. Adam Poskozim. The bear turned on the man and began to maul him. The man wounded the bear with a knife, and his hunting partner shot the animal with an arrow. But the wounded animal was still alive when police arrived on the scene. The man was treated by emergency medical technicians on the scene for wounds to his right thigh and wrist, according to a report from the Superior Fire Department. He was stabilized then transported by Gold Cross ambulance to Essentia St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth. The man sustained puncture wounds that Poskozim said appeared consistent with bite injuries. Responding officers were concerned that the wounded animal posed a danger to others and spent nearly an hour searching down the bear, which was then dispatched with a gun. Poskozim estimated the bear, which was a sow, weighed somewhere between 150 and 200 pounds. The case has been referred the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources for further investigation, according to Poskozim.

Llama

New Jersey 10/09/11 njherald.com: Police investigated a bear attack on a llama early Sunday morning, according to a press release. At 12:44 a.m., state police at Hope barracks were dispatched to 60 Gaisler Road in Blairstown. Upon arrival, troopers observed the homeowner standing in a pasture in front of her home, holding a haltered llama. The homeowner and llama were covered in blood, which was coming from a large wound on the head of the animal, police said. Troopers then observed a large bear advancing toward the homeowner and llama. Troopers Nugnes and Decarolis put themselves between the bear and the wounded llama and homeowner, and dispatched the aggressive bear, the release said. Police did not name the homeowner.

Will County

Illinois 10/10/11 chicagotribune.com: An elderly Frankfort-area man is Will County’s first reported case of the human West Nile virus this year, the Will County Health Department reported. The man, who is in his 80s, was hospitalized Sept. 7 and discharged three weeks later. He reported having a fever, disorientation, headache and other symptoms. At least 23 human West Nile virus cases have been reported in Illinois this summer, including 14 in Cook County. Nationally, West Nile virus has accounted for some 375 human cases and at least 18 fatalities, including two from Illinois.

Massachusetts 10/07/11 mass.gov: News Release – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced two newly-confirmed cases of mosquito-borne illness in the state. In the first case, an elderly woman from out-of-state who spent time visiting Bristol County has been confirmed to have eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). This individual was previously reported as a suspect case being investigated, and EEE virus infection was subsequently confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. The patient spent several weeks in Bristol County prior to becoming ill on August 25th. She spent two weeks in a hospital and was discharged to a rehabilitation facility where she continues to improve.  In the second case, a woman between the ages of 49 and 64 from Essex County was diagnosed with West Nile Virus. She became ill on October 3 and was hospitalized. Her condition has improved and she is expected to be discharged to a rehabilitation facility soon.

Massachusetts 10/05/11 wboc.com: by Kye Parsons – The Worcester County Health Department has confirmed a cat found near the intersection of Greenbackville Road and George Island Landing Road in Stockton tested positive for rabies. The large black cat was described as having a red collar that had green and yellow flowers and a bell on it. Deputy Health Officer Dr. Andrea Mathias warns that any person, pet or other animal that may have had contact with this cat could be at risk for rabies exposure. To report any contact with or exposure with the cat, call the Worcester County Health Department immediately at (410) 641-9559.

Rhode Island 10/07/11 projo.com: by Thomas J. Morgan – Authorities said Friday that there is a slight chance that a recently euthanized horse had rabies, and they are asking that anyone who had contact with the animal communicate with the state Department of Health. He said officials of the Department of Health will be available to take telephone calls from anyone who had contact with the horse after Sept. 19. People should call (401) 222-2577 during business hours, or on Saturday through Monday (401) 265-3011 from noon to 3. The horse, Wiseguy, was an amiable old animal that lived in a corral at the Russo Farm on Morgan Avenue (in Johnston), according to Deputy Police Chief David M. DeCesare. “The horse had been there so long people took their kids, fed it, petted it,” DeCesare said. But Wiseguy began exhibiting signs of a neurological disorder in late September, said Dr. Scott Marshall, the state veterinarian. Marshall said that Wiseguy was 28 years old, a considerable age for a horse. He said the attending veterinarian tested for several diseases, but not for rabies. A test for a disease caused by a protozoan proved positive, he said, making that the most likely cause of the animal’s problem. Due to the positive result for that disease, he said, the attending vet did not test for rabies. He said the horse was euthanized on Oct. 3 and was buried on the farm.”Because rabies is fatal for people, we don’t take it lightly,” Marshall said. “Even though the likelihood was very low for rabies, we wanted a diagnostic sample.” Officials of the state Department of Environmental Management exhumed the carcass for testing, but decomposition was too advanced to allow a test for rabies, Marshall reported. Peter Hanney, spokesman for the state Department of Health, said, “Rabies is out there.” He said that “out of an abundance of caution,” state officials have asked for flyers to be distributed in Johnston to alert those who may have had contact with Wiseguy. DeCesare said people should be particularly concerned if they received a bite or scratch or if horse saliva was deposited in an open wound. “If they were just petting or feeding, it really isn’t a big issue,” he said, “However, anyone with contact should give the state Health Department a call.”

Follow-Up Reports:

(See September 29, 2011: Arizonan gored by WILD HOG)

Arizona 10/07/11 washingtonpost.com: Officials say a wild pig that attacked a man in western Arizona last month has tested negative for rabies. Arizona Game and Fish Department wildlife manager Suzanne Ehret says the state health agency released its findings Thursday. The man was gored Sept. 25 in the Lake Havasu City area. The pig was eventually captured and euthanized. Wildlife officials told the Today’s News-Herald (http://bit.ly/oxMv4Z) the investigation determined the animal was provoked. The pig was reported looking sickly alongside a fence in Crystal Beach when the man touched its hindquarters. The animal reared and gored the man with its lower tusks. Specifics on the man’s condition weren’t immediately available, but he was said to be recovering after the attack. David Bergman, Arizona director for the USDA’s Wildlife Services division, called the attack a “rare occasion.”

AUTHOR’S NOTE

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for several  more weeks

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Arizonan gored by WILD HOG ~ Colorado teen bitten by COYOTE is sixth such incident in state this year ~ Chicago wildlife pros trapping hundreds of SKUNKS ~ Kansas officials warn of possible TULAREMIA outbreak ~ Texas health officials confirm FERAL KITTEN had RABIES ~ AUTHOR’S NOTE ~ Travel Warnings for Kenya.

Feral Hog Tusks. Photo by 4028mdk09. Wikimedia Commons.

Arizona 09/26/11 lvrj.com: by Dave Hawkins – A wild pig that injured a man in northwest Arizona on Saturday was “put down” so that state health officials could perform tests to see whether it was infected with rabies. Desert Hills Fire Chief Matt Espinoza encountered the hog about 7 p.m. after responding to a report of a downed wild burro. He said the 75-pound animal was grossly underweight and behaved as if it were sick or injured when it was found lying along a fence line on Riverside Road in the Crystal Beach residential area north of Lake Havasu City. Espinoza said the hogs that live in the area are not javelinas, which are indigenous to Arizona. They are more like large pot-bellied pigs that roam the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, which borders the subdivision. Espinoza said a young adult male resident of the subdivision was wounded as it approached the pig. “It reared up, and the lower tooth, which protruded outside of his upper lip, punctured his inner leg,” he said. He said firefighters treated the man at the scene. The man, who was not identified, then chose to take himself to a hospital for a checkup. Espinoza said firefighters tried to contain the pig for capture while they waited for Arizona Game and Fish Department personnel, but the animal loped away, leading firefighters on a 100-yard chase through desert brush before it was corralled. Game and Fish spokesman Chris Bedinger said the pig’s body was taken Monday from the Western Arizona Humane Society to Phoenix for testing by the state Department of Health Services.

Colorado 09/26/11 denverpost.com: A 16-year-old girl is receiving rabies shots after she was bitten by a coyote in the Vista Heights neighborhood of The Meadows subdivision Friday night. Heather McDonald said she was in her boyfriend’s back yard, which opens up to a green space, after they returned from her high school homecoming game and were approached by the coyote. “He came up and sniffed me once and bit me,” she said. “He wasn’t like growling at me or anything like that, and he just hovered at our feet, and we didn’t know what to do.” The Douglas County Sheriff’s Department reported on its website that deputies have received multiple calls in the last few weeks on coyote sightings and encounters in the higher populated areas of the county. McDonald is the sixth person in Colorado to be bitten by a coyote this year. There has been only 20 reported coyote bites in the past 11 years, according to the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife. There have been 11 reported human-coyote encounters this year. Broomfield has seen the worst of it, including three bites in the Anthem neighborhood since Aug. 18. A 3-year-old girl was bitten last week while playing with her family in their backyard. A 6-year-old boy and a 2 1/2-year-old boy also have been bitten in the neighborhood. A coyote approached a 4-year-old girl playing near the Anthem recreation center before the child’s mother chased it away.

Illinois 09/26/11 huffintonpost.com: Notice a different scent in the air lately? No, we’re not talking about that crispy, autumn air — rather, skunk sightings are reportedly on the rise in Chicago, following the mammal’s recent statewide population surge. Chicago Wildlife News reports that the state’s skunk population increased 46 percent in 2010 — the eighth annual increase during the last ten years. In the Chicago area, ABC Humane Wildlife Control & Prevention has been busy with requests to remove skunks from various properties. They’ve reportedly captured 687 skunks so far this year, up from 426 skunks at the same point last year, an increase of just over 60 percent. According to a wildlife biologist with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the skunks’ population increase over the last decade is due to their continued recovery from a rabies outbreak that struck in the early ’80s, according to Chicago Wildlife News. A number of Chicago suburbs have taken particular note of the often smelly critters. In Oak Forest, one resident said his dog has been sprayed by a skunk five times. Another resident noted that a family of skunks had begun living under his shed. In Joliet, residents came to a City Council meeting in September, complaining that the number of skunks in the area had reached “epidemic proportions,” according to the Peoria Journal Star. In Northbrook, too, this year’s so-called “skunk season” — September through early November — was also expected to be pretty busy.

Kansas 09/28/11 cjonline.com: Lyon County health officials are cautioning the public against a possible outbreak of Tularemia after a squirrel tested positive for the disease. To date, no humans have been known to have contracted the disease in recent weeks in Emporia. Authorities reported a man in Emporia found eight dead rabbits in his yard over a period of time and contacted the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. The man then collected the ninth animal, a squirrel, and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks sent it to the Southeast Cooperative for Wildlife Disease Study in Athens, Ga.  The squirrel tested positive for Tularemia, a disease of animals and humans caused by the bacteria Franciscella Tularensis. Kansas is currently ranked sixth in the nation for confirmed cases of Tularemia in people. At this point, there are no known cases of human disease in Kansas.  The last a human death due to Tularemia in Kansas occurred in 2008. Rabbits, hares and rodents are especially susceptible and often die in large numbers during outbreaks. Cats can also become ill and carry the disease to their owners.  – For complete article including routes of infection and recommendation go to http://cjonline.com/news/2011-09-28/lyon-county-officials-warn-disease

Texas 09/27/11 kgnb.am: For the 4th time this year, Comal County Public Health Department officials have confirmed a positive case of rabies, with the most recent case involving a domestic animal, namely a kitten. The gray short-haired kitten was found wandering in the parking lot of a New Braunfels apartment complex last Thursday, and was picked up by a student, who kept the feline in her apartment until she took it to the Comal Animal Clinic. There, a rabies test was performed and came back positive. Officials believe the kitten may have come in contact with a rabid animal such as a skunk or bat. Health officials are concerned that this incident could involve an entire litter of kittens, which means there could be more infected animals in the area. New Braunfels Animal Control has asked the apartment manager to send out a letter warning residents about that potential hazard, and an animal control officer is now on the lookout for other stray animals in that area. As with any positive rabies case, Comal County Public Health officials urge residents to avoid touching any injured or dead wild animal including bats, skunks, raccoons, or foxes. And they ask that you use caution if you find a stray domesticated animal. Rabies is a potentially life-threatening illness that requires a number of painful shots for those that are potentially infected. If you see an injured or dead animal, call either the New Braunfels or Comal County Animal Control office immediately.

AUTHOR’S NOTE

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through October 15

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Travel Warnings:

Kenya 09/28/11 allheadlinenews.com: An outbreak of dengue fever in the northeastern Kenyan town of Mandera, close to the Somalia and Ethiopia borders, has affected more than 1,000 people, with four unconfirmed deaths, according to the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation and the World Health Organization (WHO). A permanent river, Dawa, passes through Mandera. Health officials said residents had been complaining of mosquito bites during the day with the bites swelling. “Using bed nets was impractical as the vector was biting during the day,” the ministry said. “The Public Health office has also noted the resistance developed by the vector to insecticides of different varieties (Icon and Deltamethrin mainly).” Health authorities have alerted all neighbouring districts and public awareness campaigns are ongoing, advising residents to seek early medical attention.

Weekend posting to get a day ahead of Hurricane Irene: USDA and Michigan wildlife experts find PSEUDORABIES in Midland County WILD BOAR; California city’s parking garage patrons concerned about SKUNKS and FERAL CATS; Kansas jogger attacked by HAWK; Alabamans and Virginians bitten in three separate FOX attacks; Indiana woman is first in state to succumb to WEST NILE VIRUS; and RABIES reports from CA, IN, NE, NV, NY, NC, OK, PA, & WY. Canada: a RABIES report from Ontario. Follow-Up Reports: Massachusetts police believe COYOTE that attacked 2-year-old is dead; media learns source of New York soldier’s RABIES infection; and results of BAT colony investigation at Wisconsin airport.)

Feral Hog. Photo by Frank Vincentz. Wikimedia Commons.

Michigan 08/25/11 ourmidland.com: by Steve Griffin – Efforts to reduce or eliminate wild swine in the Midland area will likely be ratcheted up following discovery this month of the disease pseudo-rabies in a wild boar in Midland County. The disease, which despite its similar-sounding name is not related to rabies, was detected in a female Eurasian or Russian boar trapped, killed and tested earlier this summer, said Dr. James Averill, director of the Animal Industry Division of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Urban Development. That was the sixth documented case of the disease in Michigan, Averill said Wednesday. Averill declined to say where in the county the boar was trapped. He said that crews from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program, along with the conservation group the Michigan Wildlife Conservancy, are trapping and euthanizing wild swine throughout the state. That effort will likely become more emphatic now in Midland County. “The Michigan Wildlife Conservancy and USDA Wildlife Services will try to mobilize more traps here,” he said.

Feral hogs include animals that have escaped or been released from hunting preserves, domestic swine escaped from farms and living in the wild, or a mix. They are known to destroy wildlife habitat, wreak havoc on gardens, yards and crops and spread disease to wild and domestic animals. “We test (euthanized) wild swine for several different diseases,” said Averill. “This one proved positive for pseudo-rabies,” which he classified as a livestock disease not known to affect humans. He said infection is possible, but not common, in cattle, horses, dogs, cats, sheep and goats. Averill said pseudo-rabies is among the herpes viruses. Animals under stress can shed the virus, exposing other animals to it. Michigan is currently classified as a pseudo-rabies-free state, said the veterinarian, a label very important to the pork industry. Otherwise, expensive vaccination is required, and shipment of domestic swine out of state restricted. “We want to do all we can to make sure it doesn’t get (back) into the pork industry,” said Averill.

Officials are trying to keep tabs on the swine, whose Michigan populations are estimated at 1,000 to 5,000 animals, Averill said. As for the local population, “Trying to say how many are in Midland County just is not possible.” Some of the local feral swine may be the progeny of escapees from a sport swine facility here seven or eight years ago. Citizens can help battle feral swine in a couple of ways, he said. Prompt reports of wild swine sightings (to the DNR at 517-336-5030) can put trapping crews on the trail of the far-ranging animals. Hunters and others can help by killing the swine themselves. Anyone with a hunting license or a concealed weapon permit can shoot them at any time in daylight on publicly-owned lands. On private land, anyone with landowner permission can shoot them without a license or permit.

Last year, then-DNR-director Becky Humphries issued an order designating feral hogs as an invasive species, unlawful to possess; the order was to take effect in June unless the state Legislature enacted legislation regulating the hunting preserve industry. DNR Director Rodney Stokes, at Gov. Rick Snyder’s request, pushed that deadline back to October, according to the Michigan United Conservation Clubs, and announced enforcement will begin next April unless regulations are enacted. Bills regulating the sporting swine industry have been introduced but not enacted. MUCC said this week it opposes the bills in their current forms. The Michigan Wildlife Conservancy, meanwhile, has said it “is opposed to any attempts by the Legislature to merely regulate rather than ban the destructive animals.”

California 08/26/11 kcra.com: After an erratic skunk was caught inside the Downtown Plaza parking structure, Sacramento County health officials alerted mall patrons that more skunk, which could be infected with rabies, might lurk the area, Sacramento city officials said. Earlier this month, police got a call that a person at the mall was being chased by a skunk. That skunk later tested positive for rabies. The animal was caught by city animal control services. The man who caught the skunk was sprayed. Upon the request from the Sacramento County Health and Human Services, 30 signs were posted in the parking garage, warning customers and passers-by of skunk. A two-mile stretch between Miller Park and the Plaza is cause for concern because city and county officials said it is a high-density area of skunk. On Friday, two skunks were caught at Miller Park. City animal control also set up traps in the Downtown Plaza parking lot. One skunk was caught but it tested negative for the disease. The city and county is also concerned about a massive, 900-feral-cat colony near the parking garage in Sacramento.

Kansas 08/26/11 wibw.com: A suburban Kansas City man says he suffered scratches on his head after he was attacked by an aggressive hawk while running. Brian Foster says he was jogging early Thursday morning in Overland Park, Kan., when something smacked him in the back of the head. KMBC-TV reports that Foster initially thought he was being attacked by someone, but turned around to see a bird with a big wingspan flying away. Foster says he immediately headed back home because he was bleeding and reported the bird attack to police. Johnson County residents have been warned recently about aggressive hawks going after small animals. Foster, who works for the TV station, says he wasn’t badly hurt, but he did end up with a headache.

Alabama 08/26/11 andalusiastarnews.com: by Stephanie Nelson – Three people – including two Straughn High School students – are undergoing rabies treatment after being bitten by a rabid fox last Thursday night. Two sisters, along with one’s father, were attacked in separate incidents at their Rose Hill home, said Joanna Straughn, aunt and sister of the victims. Bobby Jo Harper, an environmentalist at the Covington County Health Department, said the state has confirmed the fox was rabid. Harper said this is the first fox to test positive for the disease this year. (For complete article go to http://www.andalusiastarnews.com/2011/08/26/rabid-fox-attacks-3/ )

Alabama 08/25/11 dothaneagle.com: by Matt Elofson – The Houston County Health Department recently confirmed the county’s fourth case of animal rabies for 2011. According to a statement from the health department, a fox found Saturday off Holmes Road tested positive for rabies. The health department investigation revealed the fox attacked a (woman) in her yard. The (woman) asked the health department to test the fox for rabies. The health department recommended that she seek advice from a doctor. According to the statement, there were five rabid animals found in Houston County during 2010, all of which were raccoons.

Virginia 08/25/11 dailypress.com: A fox that bit a woman in the foot tested positive for rabies, the Suffolk Health Department said. This happened in the Kenyon Road area of Suffolk. The woman is receiving post-exposure vaccine. Residents should seek prompt medical attention for any animal bite. Residents whose pets were in contact with an animal that might be rabid should call animal control at 514-7855 or the Health Department at 514-4751.

Elkhart County

Indiana 08/25/11 wndu.com: by Barbara Harrington – Elkhart County health officials say a 60-year-old Goshen woman died this week from West Nile. The health department isn’t releasing the woman’s name. They say the woman had no history of underlying disease and no major health problems, but her age put her at a high risk for complications. “Younger people often seem to deal better with the infection,” he said. “But older individuals may be at risk for the brain inflammation which can be life-threatening.” The case is the first clinical infection in the county this year. Although this isn’t the county’s worst mosquito summer, Dr. Daniel Nafziger says residents still need to take precautions, like wearing insect repellent containing DEET and minimizing standing water.  If they don’t, Nafziger says residents could contract West Nile from local mosquitoes. Even then, the symptoms of the virus are hard to recognize.  “When people get inflammation in their brain they may just get confused so it may actually be more helpful for family members if they notice that there’s something different about the way their loved one’s behaving, to have them seek medical attention,” he said. While it wasn’t the case this week, Nafziger says in most incidents, treatment works. This is the first West Nile death reported this year in Indiana. Last year just one person died in the state while 20 were sickened. On Wednesday, health officials in Jefferson County reported the state’s first human case of the illness this year.

California 08/25/11 the-signal.com: by Cory Minderhout – A seventh rabid bat has been found in the Santa Clarita Valley in a backyard, a Health Department official said Thursday. The latest rabid bat was found Aug. 16 in Santa Clarita outside a home on a patio, said Dr. Karen Ehnert, acting director for the veterinary public health and rabies control program for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. So far, 20 rabid bats have been found in Los Angeles County this year, according to the Health Department’s website. Normally, eight to 10 rabid bats are found in L.A. County each year, Ehnert said. “When one bat brings rabies into the colony, they tend to interact closely with the other bats and infect them as well,” Ehnert said. “The bats in Santa Clarita live in large colonies that are close together.” Individuals who see a live or dead bat should not touch it, Ehnert said. Instead, they should cover it and call their local animal control agency, which will pick the bat up and give it to the Health Department for rabies testing, Ehnert said.

Indiana 08/26/11 fox59.com: Marion County Public Health Department officials want to talk to anyone living in the Windsor Court Apartment complex, 7302 Queen Ann Court, who may have come in contact with a bat flying around the complex in the last several weeks. The bat has tested positive for rabies and poses a potential health threat to anyone who may have touched it or come in contact with its saliva.  Health officials are especially concerned because several residents have reported seeing the bat flying in close proximity to a young man fishing in the lake. The man’s identity remains unknown. Reports of an aggressive bat acting erratically around the apartment complex pond were received August 17. A dead bat was subsequently found at the complex two days later on August 19. Indiana State Department of Health testing confirmed the bat had rabies. “Rabies is a serious disease that can be fatal. It is critical we locate anyone who had contact with this bat so we can provide critical information and any appropriate follow-up care,” said Melissa McMasters, nurse epidemiologist, Marion County Public Health Department. Health officials believe only one bat is involved and that it is the one that has been tested. Anyone living in or visiting the Windsor Court Apartment Complex who may have come in contact with a bat is encouraged to immediately call the Marion County Public Health Department at (317) 221-2106.

Nebraska 08/26/11 wowt.com: by John Chapman – Rabid bats have been found in Omaha and the Nebraska Humane Society is warning people to protect themselves against rabies. Once the weather cools, bats try to move into homes and during the past week the Humane Society has already fielded more than 100 calls dealing with bats. Bats often find their way into homes in older neighborhoods. Kay York has lived in the Dundee neighborhood for more than 40 years. She had a garage sale on Friday and five or six times a year she pulls out her bat-catching gear and captures bats that fly into her home. “We’ve had bats come in on the east side of the house and they come down through the walls and the basement. You never know what room they’re gonna go into.” Kay uses gloves and a coffee can to catch the bats if they land. She has a net to grab them out of the air if they fly around the house, though the Humane Society doesn’t approve. It would rather catch the bats for you. “If you see a bat in your home, don’t try to capture it yourself,” says the Humane Society’s Mark Langan. “Try to isolate it in a room, put towels under the door so it stays in the room, call the Humane Society. We’ll come out and get it for you.” The Humane Society will test the bats for rabies and it should, because it’s hard to tell once you’ve been bitten. “You could be bitten while you’re asleep, its not like a bite from a large animal, you may not even notice it,” says Phil Rooney with the Douglas County Health Department. Isn’t Kay afraid of bats? “Used to be, but then nobody else would catch them but me, so I’m not afraid of them anymore.” Lately, Kay hasn’t had a problem with bats as they seem to have flown away after a friend gave her a new welcome mat with a bat on it. “I put it by the back door and I haven’t had any for three to four months. I don’t know if that’s a sign or not.” Is it scaring them away? “I don’t know, hope so.” The best thing you can do is try to keep the bats out by bat-proofing your home by closing any openings larger than a quarter-inch by a half-inch, making sure your windows and doors are shut tight.

Nevada 08/25/11 foxreno.com: The Nevada Department of Agriculture is confirming a fourth bat in Washoe County has tested positive for rabies this summer. The announcement comes as officials say the state agency usually confirms rabies in 6 to 17 bats each year, typically between the months of May and October.

New York 08/26/11 myabc50.com: by Holly Boname – A public health advisory has been issued for Lewis County after a case of rabies was discovered by the New York State Department of Health. On August 25th, the Lewis County Public Health Office was notified that a raccoon that was killed tested positive for rabies. This is the fourth animal this year to be discovered with rabies in Lewis County. So far two raccoons, a cow and cat have contracted the disease that the public health office is aware of. For more information about rabies or to contact the Lewis County Public Health Agency call 315-376-5453.

North Carolina 08/25/11 the-dispatch.com: A fox found Tuesday in the Sapona community has become the 12th case of rabies in Davidson County this year, according to the county health department. The fox possibly exposed a goat, which was destroyed. There was no human exposure reported.

Oklahoma 08/26/11 newson6.com: The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is seeking the public’s help to find a woman who was giving away a litter of chow mix puppies in the parking lot of a Guthrie Walgreens last week. According to health officials, one puppy adopted from the litter developed neurologic disease. Rabies testing at the OSDH Public Health Laboratory was inconclusive. According to the OSDH, the puppies were being offered for adoption at the Walgreens parking lot at 1621 S. Division Street, in front of the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Guthrie, on August 17. Officials say the puppies were being distributed by a woman, from an older white minivan or station wagon with rust. The woman was accompanied by a man. The puppies were between six and nine weeks of age and tan-brown in color. Public health officials are asking this woman, or anyone who may know her to contact the OSDH Acute Disease Service’s Epidemiologist-on-Call at (405) 271-4060 or (800) 234-5963 (24/7/365 availability). Officials say they need to speak with this woman to gather additional information regarding the puppies and whether they might have bitten anyone.

Pennsylvania 08/25/11 patch.com: by Danielle Vickery – A raccoon found in Lower Merion Township has tested positive for rabies in the first case of animal rabies in Montgomery County this year. The raccoon tested positive after a resident of the 200 block of Llanfair Road in Ardmore submitted it to the Department of Agriculture in Harrisburg, according to a release issued by Lower Merion Township Thursday afternoon. If you, a family member or a pet have had any contact with a raccoon or any other stray or wild animal, call the Montgomery County Health Department, Division of Communicable Disease Control at 610-278-5117 immediately, the release states.

Wyoming 08/26/11 kgwn.tv: by Kyle Markley – Since the beginning of 2011 there have been over a dozen cases of rabies in the Cheyenne area. At the Cheyenne Animal Shelter there have been 13 cases of rabies to be exact, many of them coming this summer. And while no pets or livestock have yet been afflicted they say it could be just a matter of time. All 13 of those cases have been skunks and just recently there’s been a case of a rabid bat in the area. “So far, knock on wood, there’s been no known cases in this area where the skunks or the bat has actually caused rabies in a dog, cat or even the livestock. We’re waiting to see that happen,” Rick Collord said. Collord says within the last year there have been cases of livestock contracting rabies in northern Wyoming and he wants people to get their livestock vaccinated here.

Canada:

Ontario 08/26/11 thesudburystar.com: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has notified the Sudbury and District Health Unit Health that two dead bats found in homes in Chelmsford and Espanola have tested positive for rabies. For more information on bats and rabies, phone 522-9200, ext. 398, or visit www.sdhu.com.

Follow-Up Report:

Massachusetts 08/25/11 patriotledger.com: (See August 26, 2011 post: Massachusetts 2-year-old attacked by COYOTE.) Police believe a coyote that attacked a toddler on Wednesday has most likely died after being shot by an officer later that night. Lt. Richard Fuller said there have been no sightings of the animal since police were called to a Main Street home at about 8:20 p.m. Wednesday, where an officer fired two shots at the coyote, which then ran into the woods. Police continued searching the woods in South Weymouth on Thursday. They didn’t find the coyote, but did find blood they believe came from the animal, Fuller said. “They haven’t found it yet and their belief is that it’s probably expired,” he said. “We’re hopeful it’s deceased deep in the woods.” Local police and state Environmental Police began searching for the coyote after it approached a 2-year-old girl on Clarendon Street at about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, bit her on the head and then ran into the woods. She was treated at South Shore Hospital and began receiving shots to prevent rabies.  The search was called off after several hours, but police were called back in the evening when the coyote reappeared. The girl, who was walking with her grandmother when she was attacked, suffered non-life threatening injuries, including a laceration on her head. Coyotes are common throughout Massachusetts, but they rarely attack people unless they feel that their offspring are threatened or they are sick or rabid. Police said that the animal’s description and behavior led them to believe that it was the same one that attacked the child. (For complete article go to http://www.patriotledger.com/news/cops_and_courts/x865769885/Coyote-attacks-toddler-in-Weymouth )

New York 08/25/11 watertowndailytimes.com: by Daniel Woolfolk — (See August 26, 2011 post: New York soldier returning from deployment diagnosed with RABIES) – A soldier was diagnosed Friday with rabies, although he likely contracted the disease during a recent overseas deployment. Military officials will not release the soldier’s name, condition or the country in which the infection was contracted, but a source in the north country community said the soldier had been bitten by a dog in Afghanistan. Thomas W. Skinner, a spokesman for the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the public should not be alarmed. “Rabies is not something that is likely transmitted from person to person,” he said. “You have to have direct contact with an infected individual’s saliva to really acquire this infection.” The CDC, the Department of Defense and the state Health Department are monitoring the soldier’s care. They also are checking on other potential cases, Mr. Skinner said. “There are efforts under way … to track down anybody who they believe may have had direct close contact with this person in order to assess whether or not that individual should receive post-rabies vaccinations,” he said.

Dogs are the source of 99 percent of rabies cases in humans, according to the World Health Organization, which recommends on its website that wounds be washed immediately and the patient receive a post-exposure vaccination if rabies is suspected. It’s unclear how far along the soldier’s infection is, but no diagnosis process can detect the infection before symptoms emerge, according to the organization. It recommends treatment begin days after being exposed to prevent death. WHO publications state that more than 55,000 people die from the infection each year worldwide. However, more than 15 million people are treated with a rabies post-exposure regimen, which saves an estimated 327,000 lives. The Fort Drum soldier has the first confirmed rabies case in Jefferson County that Stephen A. Jennings, public information officer for Jefferson County Public Health, can remember. Times staff writer David C. Shampine contributed to this report.

Wisconsin 08/25/11 usatoday.com: by Dinesh Ramde – (See August 15, 2011 post: CDC seeks contact with passengers that shared Delta flight 5121 with a Bat, and Follow-Up Report of August 18, 2011.) Federal and state investigators found no evidence to substantiate reports of a bat infestation at the Madison airport and have closed their investigation, officials said Thursday.

Regional Airport. Madison, Wisconsin.

The inquiry followed an Aug. 5 incident in which a bat made its way onto a Delta flight from Madison to Atlanta. Authorities interviewed baggage handlers in Madison afterward who reported seeing live bats in the area as well as dead bats on the ground. Their comments raised concerns that a colony had taken up residence at the airport. However, investigators found nothing to support either report. “There was no evidence of a bat infestation,” Danielle Buttke, a spokeswoman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told The Associated Press. “At this point it appears this was an isolated incident.” (For complete article go to http://travel.usatoday.com/flights/story/2011-08-25/Officials-No-bat-infestation-at-Madison-airport/50139038/1 )

Oregon agents kill Cougar believed to be killing sheep; Feral hog captured in Michigan tests positive for Pseudo-Rabies; West Nile Virus reports from CT, MD, NJ, NY, and OH; and Rabies reports from CT, FL, and GA (2). Canada: a Rabies report from BC, and a West Nile Virus report from ONT. Travel Warnings for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Announcement: New website to focus on Chronic Wasting Disease.

Cougar. Photo by Trish Carney. Wikimedia Commons.

Oregon 08/17/11 therepublic.com: Wildlife agents have tracked and killed a cougar believed responsible for killing six sheep belonging to a family in Sweet Home, Ore., northeast of Eugene.

Blackbelly Barbados

U.S. Agriculture Department wildlife specialists used hounds Wednesday to track and tree a 2-year-old, 110-pound cougar. USDA wildlife biologist Kevin Christensen tells KEZI it was necessary to kill the big cat because predators that start attacking livestock will continue. Shelley Garrett and her family found three of their Blackbelly Barbados sheep dead in a field Tuesday and three more missing. One of the missing sheep was found buried nearby and the other two are believed to be dead. The family had a flock of 10 sheep. Wildlife officials say even though they believe just one cougar was responsible for the attack it’s a good idea to lock up livestock at night.

Michigan 08/17/11 mlive.com: by Gus Burns – A Feral hog infected with pseudo-rabies has been captured and shot in Midland County, says Keith Creagh, director of the state Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The disease and the growing number of wild pigs helped earn them a “nuisance species” designation by the Department of Natural Resources, which relaxes hunting restrictions on the animals; and this latest finding of a diseased pig helps support a proposed sporting pig ban that Department of Natural Resources employees could enforce beginning April 1, should restrictions not be enacted. “The DNR is blowing a lot of smoke out there,” said Doug Miller, a construction worker who owns Thunder Hills Ranch in Jackson County, which raises swine for controlled hunts. “The fact that that pig has pseudo-rabies has nothing to do with (sporting pig owners). Our animals are 100 percent tested.” Creagh said the USDA Wildlife Services commenced the Midland County trap-kill-and-test program for hogs in June. Since that time, six feral hogs were captured and tested for pseudo-rabies and other diseases.  “One of the samples, it was a young, female sub-adult, came back positive for pseudo-rabies,” Creagh said. “And that’s why we’re killing feral swine.”

A sporting pig ban was to take effect July 8, but the DNR delayed the action until Oct. 8 to give legislators time to create restrictions if they choose. The order would prohibit owning or breeding non-livestock swine. A Saginaw County gaming facility, which offered hog hunts to the public, “depopulated” its Eurasian hog population in 2008 after an “endemic” pseudo-rabies outbreak that affected five tested pigs, Creagh said. Officials responded by banning the importation of hogs by game ranches. Creagh said he can’t “definitively” say, but believes the captured samples were of the “exotic and invasive” Eurasian bloodline originally imported as game. Because of the H1N1 flu scare in 2009, bio-security among livestock farmers was “really tightened,” Creagh said.  He said livestock hogs are raised “mainly” indoors; consequently, the chances of an escaped or wild hog interacting with a domestic livestock pig and spreading disease is “slim-to-none.” If infected, pseudo-rabies restricts weight gain, resulting in less-robust livestock, the main concern of pig farmers, Creagh said; but Miller said “you don’t see any real physical signs of them having it until quite late in the disease.”

New Haven County

Connecticut 08/18/11ct.gov: News Release – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that mosquitoes trapped in two new towns on August 8 and 9, 2011 have tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These results represent the first positive mosquitoes identified in Branford and New Haven by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year.

Maryland 08/18/11 washingtonpost.com: by Lena H. Sun – The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced Thursday that a Baltimore area adult is the state’s first confirmed case of West Nile virus infection in 2011. West Nile virus is endemic in Maryland, and health officials typically see cases every year. On July 26, the D.C. Department of Health announced it had positively identified West Nile in several mosquito samples in the Woodley Park, Adams Morgan and North Cleveland Park neighborhoods of the District. The virus has also been reported in Fairfax County, and Maryland health officials said three pools of mosquitoes collected in Montgomery County by the U.S. Department of Defense tested positive for West Nile virus infection. The disease, an infection of birds which is picked up by mosquitoes and can spread to humans, has plagued the area since 1999, when it was identified near Baltimore. At its peak in 2002, 10 people in the District, Maryland and Virginia died from the infection.

Cape May County

New Jersey 08/18/11 shorenewstoday.com: by Alex Davis – West Nile virus has been spotted for the first time this year in Cape May County. A mosquito collection from the Belleplain State Forest in Dennis Township tested positive for the virus in late July. The county announced the news this week. http://www.shorenewstoday.com/snt/news/index.php/2010-04-07-20-18-16/2010-04-07-20-18-16/15365-west-nile-virus-reported-in-cape-may-county.html

New York 08/18/11 pressconnects.com: by Jennifer Fusco – A crow has tested positive for the West Nile virus in Broome County, officials said. “It is not cause for alarm because we have not had reports of human cases since 2002 … but we do urge people to take a common sense approach and protect themselves when they go outdoors,” said Claudia Edwards, public health director for the county Health Department.

Ohio 08/18/11 akron.com: by Stephanie Kist – West Nile Virus has been identified in the city’s mosquito population. Six mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus (WNV) were identified Aug. 10 in the city of Akron on the following streets: one each on Easton Drive, Auten Drive, Glendale Avenue and Weathervane Lane, and two on the corner of Onondago Avenue and Morningview Avenue. The following day, 13 more pools of mosquitoes carrying WNV were identified on the following streets: two on Abington Road, two on Meade Avenue, two on Derby Downs Road, four at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. on East Market Street and three on Hobart Avenue. This makes a total of 22 positive pools for the year in Akron so far, according to city officials. Recent rain has resulted in many mosquitoes hatching recently in the area of the floods.

Connecticut 08/17/11 theday.com: A skunk found in the Westridge Road area tested positive for rabies this week, according to a news release Wednesday from the Ledge Light Health District.

Florida 08/17/11 theledger.com: Dogs on Shimmering Drive in Lakeland came in contact with a bat that had rabies, officials said Wednesday. The pets attacked the bat in the yard of a home Aug. 11. The bat later died, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said. The dogs are quarantined for 45 days, deputies said. On Wednesday, Polk County Animal Control confirmed the bat was infected with rabies. This is the second case of rabies in the county this year.

Georgia 08/18/11 cbsatlanta.com: by Jennifer Banks – Hall County officials reported its 9th documented rabies case for 2001, after a dog made contact with a rabid raccoon earlier this week. The incident happened on Poplar Springs and Cedar Hill Roads according to the city. The raccoon was shipped to the Georgia Public Health Lab – Virology Section in Decatur. Hall County Animal Services was advised that the raccoon was positive for rabies.

Georgia 08/17/11 patch.com: by Rodney Thrash – Another raccoon in Cherokee County has tested positive for rabies, North Georgia Health District spokeswoman Jennifer King said today. “This makes a total of seven confirmed cases of rabies for the county this year, including four other raccoons, a dog and a fox,” she said. The latest case involves two dogs who attacked and killed a raccoon on Sardis Circle in Canton on Aug. 10. Cherokee County Environmental Health specialist Glendon Gordy said the head of the raccoon was sent to the Georgia State Laboratory for testing. County health officials learned of the positive results on Aug. 12. There was no human exposure, and both dogs were current on their rabies vaccinations. Still, they will be given a rabies booster shot and placed under 45-day quarantine.

Canada:

British Columbia 08/17/11 bclocalnews.com: by Jessica Peters – An Agassiz vet is asking the public to be extra vigilant around wildlife, following the discovery of a rabid bat in Harrison Hot Springs. Dr. Laura Madsen said officials now “absolutely know for sure” that a bat found by a young boy had rabies. The boy was able to catch the bat, which was flying around in the middle of the day. Madsen said that any wild animal acting out of the ordinary, and allowing itself to be caught, is the first sign that it may have the contagious disease.

Ontario 08/18/11 leamingtonpostandshopper.com: Essex County has discovered its first mosquito pool to test positive for the West Nile virus. In fact, mosquito pools in both LaSalle and Windsor have come back with positive results, which is the first sign of the virus in the area this year. According to the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit no human cases have been identified in Windsor-Essex County so far this season.

Travel Warnings:

Trinidad and Tobago 08/17/11 trinidadexpress.com: by Joel Julien – This country is in the middle of a dengue outbreak, Dr Rai Ragbir, the chairman of a special purpose State-board involved in the Government’s fight against dengue, has said. Ragbir, chairman of the Community Improvement Services Limited, made the statement yesterday before meeting with Local Government Minister Chandresh Sharma to discuss plans to combat dengue across the country. “The number of people infected with the dengue virus is enough to constitute an outbreak,” he said. “An endemic means we have it always, and an outbreak by definition means we have more cases. So if you want to use the terminology outbreak then yes we do have an outbreak,” Ragbir said. “And it (dengue) will affect each one of our lives and especially for our children. So we have to clean up our environment first,” he said. Close to 2,000 people have been diagnosed with dengue in the country for the year, Sharma said. Sharma however shied away from describing the situation as an outbreak.

ANNOUNCEMENT

NEW WISCONSIN WEBSITE

“HUNT. HARVEST. HELP.”

TO FOCUS ON CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE (CWD)

Wisconsin 08/16/11 wi.gov: News Release – Hunters and landowners can learn more about what they can do to maintain a healthy deer herd and Wisconsin’s strong hunting traditions through a new website dedicated to sharing information on Chronic Wasting Disease. The website, www.knowcwd.com, carries the theme of “Hunt. Harvest. Help” and features racing champion Matt Kenseth, a deer hunter and Cambridge, Wis., native, in a public service announcement talking about the importance of teamwork in tackling CWD.  “As a deer hunter, I’m concerned about CWD,” Kenseth says in a video public service announcement on the website. “But it’s going to take more than one person to slow the spread of CWD…It’s a team effort Wisconsin. So get out there and hunt, harvest and help.” Department of Natural Resources wildlife officials say the website was developed to share information on how CWD is spread, where the disease exists in the Wisconsin deer population and what other states with CWD are doing about it. There also is information about human health risks. Several additional tabs on the website direct visitors to information on how individuals can help, frequently asked questions and videos.

Matt Kenseth

The website also links to important CWD management information including Wisconsin’s CWD Response Plan and current and past CWD research and statistics. “CWD has the potential for significant, negative impacts on the future of deer and deer hunting anywhere it exists,” said Davin Lopez, DNR’s CWD coordinator. “Minimizing the area of Wisconsin where the disease occurs is the responsible thing to do. Wisconsin’s current CWD policy is containment, rather than elimination of the disease. Hunter and landowner participation is key to this effort. Beginning the week of Aug. 15 TV viewers in the CWD management zone will see CWD public service announcements featuring Kenseth. Also the “Hunt. Harvest. Help.” theme will appear on billboards, in print ads and in other online sources.  The website and materials were developed with the aid of a U.S. Department of Agriculture/Veterinary Services grant and a private sector communications firm.

Minnesota budget deal paves way for Gray Wolf hunting; New Mexico game commission supports recommendation to end Wolf trapping ban; Drought conditions in Arkansas driving Feral Hogs into residential neighborhoods; ten rabid Bats collected in California’s Moorpark College area; Israeli firm signs passive Rabies vaccine partnership deal in U.S.; Washington DOH confirms Yakima man’s death caused by Hantavirus; Georgia investigates possible human case of West Nile Virus; Rabies reports from Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia; West Nile Virus reports from Pennsylvania, and Virginia; and Follow-up reports from California (3 boys who found a rabid Bat have been located), Colorado (Coyote they believe bit 2-year-old toddler has been killed), and North Carolina (Fox that attacked two women was rabid).

Photo by Reron. Wikimedia Commons.

Minnesota 07/19/11 startribune.com: by Josephine Marcotty – The gray wolf in Minnesota could go from endangered to hunted in just a year or two under an environmental bill that is part of the deal struck between Gov. Mark Dayton and top Republican legislators. The bill states that once the Great Lakes wolf is taken off the federal endangered species list, which is expected later this year, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) can establish a hunting season. It’s a marked change from the state’s previous wolf management plan, which called for a five-year moratorium on hunting after delisting. Hunting advocates say it will help reduce conflicts around the increasing number of wolf attacks on livestock and dogs. At the same time, experts say the swift transition from protected species to human prey will not harm the wolf’s survival if a hunting season is well-managed. “The [wolves] have surpassed every benchmark of recovery,” said Mark Johnson, executive director of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Association. “It’s way past time.” Still, an official with the national environmental group that has opposed the delisting said it’s a bad sign that the Legislature is interfering even before the wolf is delisted. (For complete article go to http://www.startribune.com/sports/outdoors/125862968.html )

New Mexico 07/21/11 therepublic.com: by Susan Montoya Bryan – State game commissioners on Thursday approved a recommendation from wildlife managers to end a trapping ban in southwestern New Mexico, where federal officials have been working to reintroduce the Mexican gray wolf. The commission voted unanimously in favor of the state Game and Fish Department’s proposal during a meeting in Clayton. The vote disappointed conservationists, who had sent thousands of emails and letters to the commissioners in recent weeks to support keeping the ban in place. Regulated furbearer trapping on the Gila and Apache national forests was banned last summer by former Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson, a supporter of the wolf reintroduction effort. The commission extended the ban last fall, giving researchers more time to study the risks of trapping and snaring to wolves. The researchers are done with their work but a report summarizing their findings has yet to be made public, and conservation groups have accused the Game and Fish Department of colluding with trapping and livestock groups to influence the commission’s decision-making process. Despite a public records request, the conservationists claim the agency has refused to provide information related to meetings the department allegedly held with industry groups on the trapping issue. (For complete article go to http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/8aece8609a4e4ab8bca7bd0e5f317e31/NM–Trapping-Ban/ )

Arkansas 07/20/11 reuters.com: by Suzi Parker – Rural Arkansans are seeing Razorback red as feral hogs are destroying yards, wreaking havoc on gardens and leaving behind their waste. A far cry from the storied team of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, these destructive wild hogs have become a scourge for even the most forgiving Razorbacks fans. Extreme drought conditions in Arkansas, especially in the state’s southern region, are prompting razorbacks to venture closer to houses and humans as they forage for food and water, state agriculture analysts said. “It’s a terrible problem that brings with it destruction and disease,” said David Goad, chief of the Bureau of Wildlife for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. Descended from escaped domesticated pigs, the hogs can weigh up to 300 pounds – a formidable enemy for a homeowner just trying to protect their sunflowers.

Three weeks ago, June Moody, who lives near the Arkansas-Texas state line, woke up to discover a large part of her yard ruined. “These hogs were digging 20 feet away right under my bedroom window and I didn’t even hear them,” Moody said. “When I went out to get in my car the next morning, it looked like a bulldozer had been down my yard.” Moody said her neighbor estimated there may have been more than 30 hogs – also known as Russian or European wild boars – in her yard that night. That doesn’t surprise Goad. “Animals are very mobile, and they aren’t going to stay someplace and starve,” Goad said. “They are going to hit the road and find something to eat.”

Goad said the hogs are now in two-thirds of Arkansas counties. People are also trapping hogs from other states and releasing them in Arkansas to hunt them, Goad said. Feral hogs carry many diseases but two critical ones are swine brucellosis and pseudorabies, a swine virus not linked to rabies. If the wild hogs infiltrate domestic pigs, the diseases can spread and even affect humans, he said. The commission is attempting to eradicate hogs by shooting the ones on their wildlife management lands. Goad encourages private land owners also to trap and kill them. Arkansas allows the hunting of wild hogs day or night on private land. “If you see one, kill it,” he said.

The hogs can ruin crops, kill turkey and deer and root out bird eggs. Goad said hogs have eaten entire rows of corn, which results in costly replanting for farmers. They will also devour acorns, a main staple of a deer’s diet, and are often caught pillaging deer feeders. “A hog will eat any stinking thing it can get its teeth into,” Goad said. Feral hogs can be eaten themselves but 7 to 9 percent of them carry disease. Goad said that people should always wear protective gloves and eyewear when handling and dressing hogs. The meat must be cooked thoroughly before eating. According to Jaret Rushing, an extension agent for the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, feral hogs can produce two litters of piglets every 12 to 15 months and are mature at eight months. Such quick reproduction creates an inexhaustible problem for Arkansas and many other southeastern states. “We have declared war on them, trapping and killing them as fast as we can, but we are losing the battle,” Rushing said.

California 07/20/11 vcstar.com: by Michele Willer-Allred – Ten bats recently found in Moorpark have tested positive for rabies, Ventura County health officials confirmed Wednesday. The bats were collected from several homes in a neighborhood next to Moorpark College. John Brand, the city’s senior management analyst, said about a dozen bats were collected over a period of two months in four homes. Bats also have been seen around a fifth property, which has a pool. “More bats are being found, so the numbers are in flux,” Brand said. Ten of the bats collected have tested positive for rabies in the past 68 days, said Dr. Robert Levin, county public health officer. Levin said Ventura County does get some rabid bats, but only eight to 12 test positive per year. Finding 10 testing positive in a two-month period in a small area of the county is troublesome, he said. “It’s a higher number than usual. I am concerned about it,” Levin said. Brand said city officials have canvassed the neighborhood and notified homeowners about bats.

At issue is whether removing bats from homes is a homeowner responsibility or something the city must handle because it’s a public health issue. City officials are currently discussing the situation. Ventura County is not the only county in California dealing with rabid bats. Last month, Orange County health officials issued a warning after multiple dead bats were found in Laguna Niguel Regional Park and one tested positive for rabies. Orange County health officials only announce their discoveries if bats are found in a public area. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported 21 bats with rabies were found there last year, more than double the average number of 10. So far in 2011 in Los Angeles, 11 rabid animals, all bats, have been detected.

Levin said he doesn’t know why so many bats are testing positive for rabies, but he speculated there are just more bats this year because of heavy winter rains. More rain might have increased the number of bugs, which bats like to eat, he said. Levin said it is important that residents understand the potential dangers bats pose to themselves and pets. Anyone who sees a bat should not touch or handle it, he said, because rabies can be transmitted through bat saliva. One person exposed to a bat in Moorpark is being treated with a series of vaccinations to prevent rabies. Anyone bitten by a bat should immediately seek medical attention, he said. Rabies can kill within days. Levin said pets should have up-to-date rabies vaccinations and should not have contact with bats. “Unfortunately, (vaccinating animals against rabies) is not done as much as it should be,” Levin said. According to the California Department of Fish and Game website, bats are common in California, with 24 species found in the state. They are considered important to the ecosystem. Bats found in homes are usually roosting, and property owners may legally remove them from property when they are damaging it. Poisons or fumigants are illegal under both state and federal law. Betsy Bolster, a state Fish and Game Department environmental scientist, said rabid bats take a paralytic form and will rest on the ground. If a bat is found on the ground, it is important not to pick it up. Instead, with gloved hands, isolate the bat with a box or coffee can and call the county health department or animal control office immediately, she said.

National 07/20/11 globes.co.il: by Hillel Koren – Kamada Ltd. (TASE: KMDA) yesterday signed an exclusive strategic cooperation agreement to develop and market its passive rabies vaccine KamRAB in the US. The company did not disclose the identity of its partner, saying only that it is a multinational company that develops drugs based on human plasma with sales in 40 countries, including the US and in Europe.  Kamada’s partner will bear the full cost of the Phase III clinical trial of KamRAB on the basis of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved protocols. The partner will also bear the full marketing and sales cost of the vaccine in the US, assuming it is approved by the FDA. The partner’s subsidiary will supply the hyper-immune plasma needed to produce the vaccine.  Kamada granted its partner six years marketing exclusivity to KamRAB from the date it is approved by the FDA, assuming this happens, and has an option to extend the exclusivity by two years. The partner undertakes to buy a minimum quantity of KamRAB during the contract period.  Kamada and its partner plan to conduct the Phase III trial as soon as possible, for which Kamada will allocate the necessary quantities of KamRAB.  Kamada has been marketing KamRAB in Israel and other countries since 2003, and is seeking to license it in additional countries. It notes that 15 million people are exposed to rabies worldwide every year, and tens of thousands of people die of it.

Kamada CEO David Tzur

Kamada CEO David Tzur said that the new strategic agreement would enable Kamada to sell KamRAB in the important US market, where it will benefit from high profit margins. He added that this widens the company’s products offering in the US market, where its flagship product, Glassia (its intravenous AAT treatment for congenital emphysema), has had tens of millions of dollars in sales.  Kamada’s share price rose 2.6% by midday today to NIS 226.74, giving a market cap of NIS 718 million.

Washington 07/21/11 yakimahealthdistrict.org: Press Release – The Yakima Health District (YHD) has received confirmation from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that the death earlier this month of a Yakima County man in his 50s was caused by hantavirus. This is the first hantavirus death in Washington State since 2009 and the first case reported in the state for 2011. Because hantavirus is fatal in about one of every three cases, YHD is encouraging residents to take simple precautions to prevent exposure to this rare but life-threatening infection. YHD Health Officer, Dr. Christopher Spitters offers, “We extend our condolences to the family of this man. This rare and unfortunate event that led to his demise is a reminder of the importance of taking steps to maintain sanitation in general, to avoid rodent infestation in particular, and to exercise caution when encountering or cleaning up rodent infested areas.”

Georgia 07/21/11 wtoc.com: A possible case of West Nile Virus in a human in Chatham County is currently being investigated by the Chatham County Health Department. Preliminary tests have come in, but CCHD is waiting for the results of follow up testing which is required to confirm the diagnosis. West Nile Virus is going around among the mosquito population in the state and in Chatham County. If results are positive in this case, it would be Chatham County’s first West Nile case in a human since 2006. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control says West Nile cases have fallen dramatically nationwide in the past decade. There were 14 infections reported in Georgia last year.

Illinois 07/20/11 go.com: Officials in Will County say tests on a bat found there have confirmed the animal had rabies. In a news release, the Will County Animal Control office says the bat was found outside the kitchen window of a residence in Homer Glen last week. The animal was sent to the Illinois Department of Public Health, which conducted tests that confirmed it had rabies. Will County officials say there is no indication that the bat had contact with any people or with a pet.

Maryland 07/20/11 carrollcountytimes.com: by Alisha George – The Carroll County Health Department is looking for a dog that bit a person at Deer Park in Smallwood July 17. The dog is described as being white and small-sized, according to a Health Department press release. If the dog is not found and verified to be in good health by July 26, it is likely that the victim of the attack will be treated with a series of post-exposure rabies shots. Those with information that may help locate the dog or its owner are asked to contact the Health Department at 410-876-1884 or the Humane Society of Carroll County at 410-848-4810.

New Jersey 07/20/11 centraljersey.com: by Lea Kahn – A raccoon that was found wandering in the area of Melvina Drive and Edith Drive Friday night, in the Lawrenceville Greene neighborhood, has been determined to have rabies, according to the Lawrence Township Health Department. Township officials are asking residents who may have come into contact with the raccoon within the past 14 days to contact the Health Department. The advisory also extends to residents’ pets that may have come into contact with the raccoon. Police were called around 8:30 p.m. to investigate what appeared to be a sick animal, township officials said. The police officer knew something was wrong with the raccoon and destroyed it. The raccoon was tested for rabies, and the result was positive.  For more information, contact the Lawrence Township Health Department at 609-844-7089. The office is open weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

Pennsylvania 07/21/11 fultoncountynews.com: by Chanin Rotz-Mountz – For the second time this month, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has confirmed a case of rabies here in Fulton County. Wildlife Conservation Officer Kevin Mountz with the Pennsylvania Game Commission received notice Friday from the Department of Agriculture that a fox involved in a fight with a dog just outside McConnellsburg Borough was infected with the rabies virus.

South Carolina 07/20/11 wjbf.com: The South Carolina Department of Health and Environtal Control (DHEC) tells WJBF News Channel 6 an Aiken County woman is under the care of a physician after being bitten by a bat that tested positive for rabies. “The lady thought she was picking up a leaf out of a College Acres swimming pool,” said Sue Ferguson, of DHEC’s Bureau of Environmental Health. “It turns out it was a bat that then bit the lady on the finger.” “In cases like this, people know when they have been bitten by a bat,” Ferguson said. “However, bats have small teeth that may leave marks not easily seen, and some situations require that you seek medical advice even in the absence of an obvious bite wound. For example, if you awaken and find a bat in your room or if you see a bat in the room of an unattended child, or near a mentally impaired or intoxicated person, seek medical advice and have the bat tested.” According to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most of the recent human rabies cases in the U.S. have been caused by rabies virus from bats. This is the sixth confirmed rabid animal in Aiken County in 2011. Last year, there were no rabid animals confirmed in the county. In 2010, there were 106 confirmed cases of rabies in animals in South Carolina. So far this year, there have been 55 confirmed cases in animals in the state. For more information about rabies, see DHEC’s webpage, or contact DHEC’s Aiken County Environmental Health Office (803) 642-1637. The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s webpage about rabies can be found here.

Texas 07/19/11 theeagle: College Station police are trying to find the owner of a small white fluffy dog with a pinkish-colored ear after it bit a woman in the area of Brentwood Street and Pine Ridge Drive. Authorities said the incident happened at about noon Tuesday when the dog — the breed wasn’t known — jumped up and bit the woman on her left calf. The victim didn’t get any information from the dog’s owner because she was unaware of the rabies guideline set forth by the State of Texas. The owner is described as a Hispanic female wearing a camouflage tank-top and blue jeans. Animal Control is asking for help from the public to locate the dog so rabies exposure to the victim can be ruled out. Once found, the dog will need to be observed for 10 days from the time of the bite for signs of rabies infection. Anyone with information is asked to call 979-764-3600.

Virginia 07/20/11 wpcva.com: Raccoons that tested positive for rabies have been found in the Crestview Lane and Yorkshire Drive neighborhoods of Pittsylvania County. For more information, contact Pittsylvania County Health Department at (434) 432-7232 ext. 260.

Pennsylvania 07/21/11 yourmonroeville.com: by Kyle Lawson – A mosquito sample collected last week near Saunders Station Road tested positive for the West Nile virus. The wetlands near Saunders Station Road provide an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes, and it’s possible that traces of the virus could spread to other parts of Monroeville, said Bob Todaro, entomologist for the Allegheny County Health Department, which released the report last week.  Saunders Station was treated in April for nuisance mosquitoes, but not culex mosquitoes, which most commonly carry the virus, Todaro said.

Virginia 07/2011 pwc.gov.org: Press Release – Mosquitoes collected on July 8, 2011 by the Prince William Mosquito Control Program have tested positive for the West Nile Virus (WNV), marking the first reported activity of the virus in the County for the 2011 season. Positive mosquitoes have been collected from test areas in northern Woodbridge, Lake Ridge area. Mosquito testing is used to determine periods of greater risk of contracting West Nile Virus. The Prince William Mosquito Control Program performed an intensive treatment in the vicinity of the positive mosquito pools so as to kill adult mosquitoes and breeding larvae in residential areas. The Prince William Mosquito Control Program will continue to monitor the area and possibly conduct an adulticide spray based on future trap numbers.

Follow-up Reports:

California 07/20/11 nctimes.com: by Edward Sifuentes – Three boys who earlier this month found a bat in Vista that later tested positive for rabies were not exposed to the disease, according to county health officials. The three boys, ranging in age from 12 to 15 years old, brought the live bat to a Vista Petco store on July 10. The bat later died and tested positive for the disease, health officials said. Authorities were looking for the boys to make sure they did not come into contact with rabies. They were identified on Monday by another youth who had seen them with the bat prior to bringing it to the store. The witness called county health officials after hearing about the case in the media. “We have interviewed the boys extensively and confirmed that they did not touch the bat,” said Dr. Eric McDonald, deputy county Public Health Officer. The boys’ own doctors will make a final recommendation about whether the boys will receive any preventative treatments, McDonald said. (See California post for July 18, 2011)

Colorado 07/21/11 9news.com: by Blair Shiff – The coyote who bit a 2-year-old Colorado boy earlier this week was put down by wildlife officers this morning.  The boy was walking with his dad when the attack occurred on a trail near Highway 7 and Sheridan Boulevard in Broomfield. The boy was treated for puncture wounds and released.  The coyote was found in the same area where the boy was bitten but authorities said that they are not certain that the animal they killed was the same that bit the boy.  The coyote will be tested for illness, and officials are looking for signs to explain the attack.

North Carolina 07/21/11 fayobserver.com: A red fox that attacked two women outside their home on Tuesday morning has tested positive for rabies, according to Al Carter, director of Moore County Animal Control. The results came back from a laboratory Wednesday afternoon showing the fox was rabid when it attacked Virginia Lee Clayton, 48, and her 80-year-old mother, Martha Swaringen, on Chancery Lane. The fox lunged at Clayton’s leg about 6:40 a.m. Tuesday after she saw the fox in her yard and turned to go back inside her home. Swaringen, hearing her screams, came to her daughter’s aide with a shovel, which she used to beat back the fox. The fox was trapped in a garbage can until animal control officers arrived and shot it. Both women were treated at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital and began a series of rabies shots. Now, they’ll have to go back for a few more sets of shots. Carter said the shots are very effective, and the women should be fine. The fox is the fourth confirmed case of rabies in Moore County this year, he said. (See North Carolina post for 07/20/11)