Tag Archives: Ground Squirrel

MAINE hiker attacked by POLAR BEAR in LABRADOR ~ CALIFORNIA campground closed after SQUIRREL is found with PLAGUE ~ Third HORSE dies of EEE in NORTH CAROLINA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA, GA, ID, IL, MA, MN, UT, WV, & WIx2 ~ Officials fear a “large number” of people in TIVERTON, RHODE ISLAND, may have been exposed to RABIES ~ Other RABIES reports from AL, FL, NJx2, & NC.

Polar bear. Courtesy U.S. Geological Survey.

Polar bear. Courtesy U.S. Geological Survey.


Newfoundland & Labrador Province 07/26/13 Torngat Mountains National Park: A hiker who was injured by a polar bear in a remote national park in northern Labrador has been flown to a Quebec trauma centre for treatment, Parks Canada says. Matt Dyer, a prominent legal aid lawyer from Portland, Maine, was with seven other hikers with the Sierra Club on Wednesday in Torngat Mountains National Park when he was attacked by the bear. Peter Deering, with Parks Canada, said they got the call from the RCMP that someone in the park had been attacked. According to Deering, Dyer was alone in his tent, and the group woke up to the attack at around 1:30 a.m. AT.

nl-map-torngat-mountains-620“At that time, we had a helicopter stationed at the Torngat Mountains base camp … so we dispatched the helicopter from there with a medic and a Parks Canada staff person. They travelled to the scene, and at that point found the party,” Deering said. “As it happened, the party included a doctor, so the doctor had already, to a degree, treated the injured gentleman. We then transported the gentleman back to the Torngat Mountains base camp.” Deering said Dyer was then transferred to a medical facility in Quebec, and then to Montreal General Hospital, where he is recovering in an intensive care unit. According to Deering, when Parks Canada dispatched the helicopter to respond to the call, they also sent a boat to pick up the rest of the party. Deering said that none of the other members of the group were injured and they are now making their way to Montreal. – For complete article see http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/newfoundland-labrador/story/2013/07/26/nl-polar-bear-hiker-labrador-726.html


California ground squirrels. Photo by Howcheng. Wikimedia Commons.

California ground squirrels. Photo by Howcheng. Wikimedia Commons.

California 07/24/13 scvnews.com: Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and U.S. Forestry Service officials have closed the Broken Blade, Twisted Arrow, and Pima Loops of the Table Mountain Campgrounds in the Angeles National Forest after tests confirmed that one ground squirrel trapped on July 16, 2013 during routine surveillance activities tested positive on July 23, 2013 for plague. The sites were officially closed at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, and will be closed for at least 7 days. Campers at the site have been notified of the closure by Forest Service officials. The campgrounds and recreational areas are located near Wrightwood. In coordination with the Los Angeles County Department of Agriculture/Weights and Measures, the squirrel burrows in the area will be dusted for fleas. Further testing of squirrels will be done before the area is re-opened to the public. – For complete article see http://scvnews.com/2013/07/24/squirrel-found-with-plague-campgrounds-near-wrightwood-closed/

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

photo-credit-american-assoc-of-equine-practitionersNorth Carolina 07/25/13 Pender County: The state’s third case of EEE this year has been reported in connection with the death of a stallion in the county on July 19th. The first two cases were reported in Cumberland and Brunswick counties. – See http://www.wect.com/story/22935306/states-third-case-of-eee-this-year-confirmed-in-pender-county-horse

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Santa Clara Cty CACalifornia 07/25/13 Santa Clara County: For the first time this year, mosquitoes trapped in the Berryessa area of San Jose have tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_23728940/west-nile-virus-found-east-san-jose-spraying

DeKalb cty GAGeorgia 07/25/13 DeKalb County: Health officials have confirmed the first report of mosquitoes testing positive for WNV in metro Atlanta this year. – See http://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/22932149/west-nile-virus-found-in-dekalb-county

Twin-Falls-County.IDIdaho 07/24/13 Twin Falls County: Health officials have confirmed that mosquitoes trapped on the Snake River near the Jerome/Twin Falls County line have tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.kmvt.com/news/local/West-Nile-Virus-Alert-Issued-For-Twin-Falls-County-216794041.html

Cook cty ILIllinois 07/23/13 Cook County: Health officials have confirmed that the first mosquito carrying WNV was found last week in Lincolnwood. – See http://lincolnwood.suntimes.com/news/westnile-LWR-07252013:article

MA_220px-MADPH_LogoMassachusetts 07/25/13 Suffolk and Barnstable counties: Health officials have confirmed that mosquitoes trapped in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood of Boston, and on Woods Hole Road in Falmouth have tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/2013/07/25/west-nile-virus-detected-mosquitoes-mass/XFn5QdQIscGFROGZiqE6PK/story.html

Murray-County.MNMinnesota 07/25/13 Murray County: Health officials have confirmed the first human case of WNV in the state has been diagnosed in a male resident of the county who is recovering. – See http://www.echopress.com/event/article/id/106447/group/homepage/

Washington_County.UTUtah 07/23/13 Washington County: The Southwest Utah Public Health Department continues to receive positive test results for WNV in mosquitoes located in the county. – See http://www.kcsg.com/view/full_story/23198543/article-West-Nile-Virus-Active-in-Local-Mosquitoes?instance=more_local_news1

Cabell_County.WVWest Virginia 07/24/13 Cabell County: Mosquitoes trapped in the vicinity of a lake in Barboursville have tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.wvnstv.com/story/22920400/west-nile-virus-found-in-cabell-county

Langlade_County.WIWisconsin 07/25/13 Langlade County: Health officials have confirmed that a dead crow found in the county has tested positive for WNV. This is the fifth county in the state to confirm the presence of the virus so far this year. – See http://www.waow.com/story/22935674/2013/07/25/more-west-nile-virus-in-wisconsin

Winnebago_County.WIWisconsin 07/24/13 Winnebago County: Health officials have confirmed that two dead crows found in Neenah have tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.postcrescent.com/article/20130724/APC0101/307240358/West-Nile-Virus-found-Neenah?nclick_check=1


rabies.warningRhode Island 07/26/13 providencejournal.com: by Thomas J. Morgan – State officials warned Thursday that “a large number of people” may have been exposed to rabies via a calf in a pasture adjacent to Gray’s Ice Cream, 16 East Rd., Tiverton. The calf bit a visitor on July 15, the departments of health and environmental management said in a news release. The Tiverton animal control officer, following standard procedure, ordered the animal quarantined for ten days to determine whether it would develop rabies, and would thus require that the victim be vaccinated. But the three-month-old calf died on July 21, its owner reported to Tiverton authorities. The state departments, however did not learn of the death for three days, they said, and the carcass had decomposed to the point where it was not possible to determine whether the animal had the disease.

Calf with rabies. This is not the calf referred to in the this report.

Calf with rabies. This is not the calf referred to in the this report.

“Out of an abundance of caution, public health officials are considering that this animal may have died from rabies and are viewing anyone that had contact with the animal’s saliva from July 5 through July 21 as potentially at risk for being exposed to rabies, and are recommending that they be evaluated for post-exposure vaccination by public health authorities,” the state officials said. “Members of the public should note that the calf was removed from direct public contact on July 16, and that only the animal’s handlers may have been exposed during the period from July 16 through July 21.” The officials said that cattle and cats are the animals most likely susceptible to rabies.

Livestock can be vaccinated for rabies.

Livestock can be vaccinated for rabies.

The disease is incurable and has a fatality rate approaching 100 percent. “People usually contract rabies through a bite from an infected animal, but there are other ways that they can be exposed, such as through saliva from an infected animal getting into an open wound or into a person’s eye or mouth,” the officials said. Rhode Island residents who had contact with this calf between July 5 and July 21 should contact the Rhode Island Department of Health at (401) 222-2577 for an evaluation. Massachusetts residents that had contact with the animal are asked to call the Massachusetts Department of Public Health at 617-983-6800. When administered properly, post-exposure treatment for rabies will prevent any person who was exposed to the virus from developing the disease and prevent death. – See original article at http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20130725-rabies-exposure-feared-for-large-number-of-ice-cream-customers-in-ri.ece

Other RABIES reports:

Alabama 07/25/13 Houston County: Health officials have confirmed that a raccoon found on Womack Road has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.dothaneagle.com/news/article_501db476-f574-11e2-raccoon_2MainSpring_1ba25-001a4bcf6878.html

Florida 07/25/13 Marion County: State health officials issued a Rabies Alert on Thursday after a raccoon found in the southwest part of the county tested positive for the virus. – For alert parameters and complete article see http://www.ocala.com/article/20130725/ARTICLES/130729830

New Jersey 07/25/13 Atlantic County: A dead bat found inside a laundry basket at a home on the 300 block of Ridgewood Avenue in Galloway Township has tested positive for rabies. This is the fourth case of animal rabies in the county so far this year. – See http://www.pressofatlanticcity.combatsj4483/communities/galloway/galloway-township-rabies-case-fourth-in-atlantic-county-this-year/article_71e6b678-f571-11e2-a6d1-001a4bcf887a.html

New Jersey 07/24/13 Middlesex County: A bat found on Cardinal Court off Route 27 just north of Sandhill Road in South Brunswick has tested positive for rabies. It is the second bat to test positive for the virus in South Brunswick this month. – See http://www.nj.com/middlesex/index.ssf/2013/07/another_case_of_rabies_in_south_brunswick_as_second_bat_tests_positive.html

imagesCA9NNIJONorth Carolina 07/23/13 Robeson County: A dead raccoon found Monday in a dog pen on Old Whiteville Road in Lumberton has tested positive for rabies. In a separate incident, a fox found last Friday on King’s Road between Lumberton and St. Pauls also tested positive for the virus. There have been ten cases of animal rabies in the county in the past eight months, including these two. – See http://www.stpaulsreview.com/view/full_story/23213582/article-10th-case-of-rabies-confirmed

Remains of ALASKA forester killed by BROWN BEARS found on Chichagof Island ~ CHIPMUNK suffering from BUBONIC PLAGUE found in northern CALIFORNIA ~ Officials kill MOUNTAIN LION in SOUTH DAKOTA city ~ NATIONAL report on WEST NILE VIRUS.

Brown bear eating salmon. Courtesy National Park Service.

Alaska 10/16/12 go.com: by Dan Joling – Human remains found ravaged by one or more brown bears on a southeast Alaska island are likely from a Sitka man overdue on a boating trip, Sitka police said Monday. Police confirmed the death Sunday and said remains found on Chichagof Island were likely that of Tomas Puerta, 54, who left Sitka in a skiff Thursday on his way to a forestry job site near Peril Strait. The death was first reported by KCAW-FM. Sitka is a community of about 9,000 on Baranof Island. Admiralty, Baranof, and Chichagof islands together are known as the “ABC Islands.” They’re sparsely populated with humans but heavily populated with bears that Alaska researchers have found are genetically more closely related to polar bears than to other brown bears. “They have lots of bears, especially up on Chichagof,” said Sitka police Lt. Barry Allen. “We have enough here on Baranof Island, but Chichagof has a scad of them.”

Chichagof Island, Alaska.

Puerta was a tree-thinner, Allen said. He was employed in an area that had been logged to cut young trees so others would have less competition and would grow faster. Puerta had made a grocery run, Allen said, and was returning to the job site with a load of food. The 40- to 50-mile trip on flat, protected water should have taken about two hours Thursday afternoon, Allen said, but Puerta never made it. “It looks like he had engine problems and he wound up on the beach,” Allen said. – For complete article see http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/bear-mauling-victim-found-alaskan-island-17486684#.UH36HlEt7WB

Bubonic Plague:

Uintah chipmunk. Photo by Utah Department of Natural Resources.

California 10/16/12 nbcbayarea.com: by Lori Preuitt – Rodents carrying the plague are the latest worry for campers and hikers in California – now spotted in both the north and south of the state. A chipmunk died from the disease South Lake Tahoe, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The discovery follows a ground squirrel that was diagnosed with the bubonic in Riverside County just last week.  The positive test for the squirrel was the first reported case of the bubonic plague in Southern California in nearly a decade. It reportedly showed no signs of illness. The chipmunk, on the other hand, was found rolled up in a ball, shaking and struggling to breathe when it was discovered near the entrance to the Taylor Creek Visitor Center, according to the U.S. Forest Service. – For complete article see http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/health/Plague-Worries-Move-to-Lake-Tahoe-174434151.html

Mountain Lion Sightings:

South Dakota 10/16/12 Pennington County: State wildlife professionals killed a mountain lion that was spotted in a tree in a residential area of Rapid City on Monday. – See http://www.mitchellrepublic.com/event/article/id/71311/group/homepage/

West Nile Virus (WNV):

CDC map.

National 10/09/12 cdc.gov: Update – As of October 9, 2012, 48 states have reported West Nile virus infections in people, birds, or mosquitoes. A total of 4,249 cases of West Nile virus disease in people, including 168 deaths, have been reported to CDC. Of these, 2,123 (50%) were classified as neuroinvasive disease (such as meningitis or encephalitis) and 2,126 (50%) were classified as non-neuroinvasive disease. The 4,249 cases reported thus far in 2012 is the highest number of West Nile virus disease cases reported to CDC through the second week in October since 2003. Almost 70 percent of the cases have been reported from eight states (Texas, California, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Dakota, Michigan, Oklahoma, and Illinois) and over a third of all cases have been reported from Texas. – For further details see http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvbid/westnile/index.htm

EHD virus in ILLINOIS may have killed more than 2,000 DEER ~ CALIFORNIA confirms GROUND SQUIRREL positive for BUBONIC PLAGUE ~ Scientists say LYME DISEASE will continue to spread ~ MOUNTAIN LION report from IDAHO ~ COYOTE reports from CA, FL, & ILx2 ~ EEE/WNV report from CAx2, CO, FL, LA, & VT ~ RABIES reports from TN, TX, & VA ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending September 29, 2012.

Whitetail Buck. Courtesy of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Illinois 10/05/12 dnr.illinois.gov: News Release – State officials today announced updated results of monitoring of deer mortality in the state attributed to Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD).  Since an earlier update on September 6, many Illinois citizens have taken the time to make reports of sick, dead, and/or dying animals throughout the state. The IDNR Division of Wildlife Resources thanks those individuals who have taken time to provide information on EHD-probable deer mortality in the state. As of September 30, there were 2,043 deer reported as probable EHD deaths, with reports from 76 counties.  The highest numbers were reported from Cook (326); Calhoun (181); Coles (138); Macon and Shelby (121). Hunters taking to the field in Illinois for archery deer hunting and the Oct. 6-7 Illinois Youth Firearm Deer Hunt need not be concerned about eating venison from animals that may have contracted EHD and survived.  EHD has no impact on humans, pets, or livestock. – For complete news release and county maps see http://www.dnr.illinois.gov/news/Pages/EpizooticHemorrhagicDisease%28EHD%29IllinoisUpdate.aspx

Bubonic Plague:

Ground squirrel. Courtesy National Park Service.

California 10/05/12 inlandnewstoday.com: For the first time in nearly a decade, bubonic plague has been confirmed in Riverside County.  State health officials said Thursday that a ground squirrel tested positive. It was found during routine testing at the Fern Basin campground in the San Jacinto Mountains north of Idyllwild. It’s an area where similar findings were an annual occurrence in the 1990’s. Bubonic plague is a bacterial disease that can be transmitted from wild rodents to humans through bites from infected fleas. Campers are being warned to stay away from squirrels and other wild animals.

Lyme Disease:

National 10/05/12 petsandparasites.org: by Dr. Chris Carpenter – The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) 2012 Fall Lyme Disease Forecast calls for increased risk in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region, the upper Midwest, the Southeastern United States and all along the West Coast. The disease incidence is steadily spreading southward, even into some areas traditionally free or with low incidence of Lyme disease such as the Midwest and parts of the Southeast. The Northeast continues as the most Lyme endemic region of the country. – For complete article see http://www.petsandparasites.org/about-capc/

Mountain Lion Sightings:

Idaho 10/05/12 Ada County: A Boise police bicycle officer saw a mountain lion at about 9:30 a.m. Friday, according to a release from the police department. The cat was spotted beyond 31st and Pleasanton streets in a remote gravel area. The animal fled the area, and officers were unable to locate it. Police are consulting with Idaho Fish & Game officials. The Friday morning sighting was the fifth since Wednesday. – See http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2012/10/05/2718042/cougar-sighting-friday-morning.html

Coyote Attacks:

California 10/05/12 Orange County: A Tustin family says their small dog was fatally injured by a coyote in their Laurelwood neighborhood front yard last month. So far this year, local police have reported 13 coyote sightings near Bryan Avenue and Jamboree Road, about 2 miles from Laurelwood. – See http://www.ocregister.com/news/coyote-373645-coyotes-residents.html

Florida 10/05/12 Orange County: Residents in Dr. Phillips are petitioning to have coyotes removed after several family pets were killed. They say sightings occur on a daily basis and their afraid to allow pets, or even small children, out of their sight. – See http://www.cfnews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2012/10/5/neighbors_start_peti.html

Illinois 10/05/12 DuPage County: Local police report two small dogs survived a coyote attack on September 27th in the 2000 block of Stonebridge Court in Wheaton. One dog was treated for four bites on the neck and face. – See http://wheaton.patch.com/articles/dogs-survive-coyote-attack-in-wheaton

Illinois 10/05/12 DuPage County: A Winfield family says their dog, a Yorkshire terrier, was fatally injured by a coyote in their yard adjacent to the Illinois Prairie Path on Wednesday. – See http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=8837288

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) & West Nile Virus (WNV):

California 10/06/12 Shasta County: Health officials have confirmed the county’s first human case of WNV this year. This person is the 217th human case of WNV in the state this year. – See http://anewscafe.com/2012/10/06/first-human-west-nile-virus-infection-of-2012-identified-in-shasta-county/

California 10/05/12 Merced County: Health officials confirm that a 26-year-old woman from Gustine has presented the first human case of WNV in the city this year. – See http://www.westsideconnect.com/2012/10/05/human-case-of-west-nile-in-gustine-2/

Colorado 10/05/12 Pueblo County: Health officials have confirmed one human case of WNV in the city of Pueblo, and suspects another. – See http://www.chieftain.com/news/local/puebloan-contracts-west-nile-virus/article_5bb26fc6-0f46-11e2-b001-001a4bcf887a.html

Florida 10/05/12 Jackson County: Health officials have reported a human case of WNV in the county, and a horse stabled on Sellers Road between Malone and Campbellton has tested positive for EEE. – See http://www2.jcfloridan.com/news/2012/oct/05/west-nile-eee-reported-jackson-county-ar-4693739/

Louisiana 10/05/12 dhh.louisiana.gov: Update – State health officials have confirmed 25 new human cases of WNV, but not new deaths occurred this week. So far this year, 305 human cases of WNV have been reported, including 11 WNV-related deaths. – See http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/newsroom/detail/2651

Vermont 10/06/12 Essex County: Health officials have confirmed that a second person in the state has been infected with WNV and is recovering. – See http://www.reformer.com/latestnews/ci_21711420/second-case-west-nile-identified-vermont


Tennessee 10/05/12 tnpublichealth: State health officials are currently distributing oral rabies vaccine packets in eight northeast counties to prevent the spread of rabies in raccoons. The air drops began Tuesday and will continue through Oct. 12th.

Texas 10/05/12 Wichita County: Two skunks found near Wichita Falls, one southwest of the city and the other southeast, have tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.timesrecordnews.com/news/2012/oct/05/skunks-near-city-positive-rabies/

Virginia 10/04/12 Virginia Beach: A fox that attacked four people on Border Way off Salem Road has tested positive for rabies. – See video report at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjTzOY28pqg

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending September 29, 2012:

Published October 5, 2012/ 61(39); ND-536-ND-549

Anaplasmosis . . . 1 . . . New York,

Babesiosis . . . 4 . . . California, New York (3),

Brucellosis . . . 2 . . . California (2),    

Ehrlichiosis . . . 8 . . . North Carolina (7), Tennessee,

Giardiasis . . . 167 . . . Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas (5), California (20), Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho (2), Iowa (3), Maine, Maryland (5), Massachusetts (7), Michigan (4), Missouri (7), Nebraska (5), New York (55), Ohio (21), Oregon (4), Pennsylvania (6), Vermont, Virginia, Washington (15), Wisconsin,

Lyme Disease . . .  161. . .  California, Delaware (4), Maine (3), Maryland (25), New Hampshire, New York (72), North Carolina (11), Pennsylvania (32), Vermont (5), Virginia (7),

Q Fever (Acute) . . . 2 . . . North Carolina (2), 

Rabies (Animal) . . . 46. . . Idaho (5), Kansas (2), Missouri, New Hampshire, New York (8), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (6), Rhode Island, Vermont (2), Virginia (17),

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Confirmed) . . . 2. . . Maryland, Missouri

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 43 . . . Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana (2), Kentucky (3), Missouri (2), North Carolina (21), Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee (8), Virginia (3),

Tularemia . . . 1 . . . Missouri.