Tag Archives: Groundhogs

Three COYOTES attack COLORADAN walking to work ~ At risk WOLF-DOGS in NEW HAMPSHIRE rescued by local Humane Society and CALIFORNIA non-profit ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA, FL, & IL ~ RABIES reports from NJ, TX, & VA.

Coyote. Photo by Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Coyote. Photo by Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Colorado 10/16/13 cbslocal.com: A man is recovering after being attacked by three coyotes in Boulder County on Monday morning. The man was walking to work in the Niwot area northeast of Boulder at 5 a.m. when he heard the animals coming up behind him. One of the coyotes was large and the other two were smaller. “They lunged at him and were scratching and biting,” Colorado Parks and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill said. The man told officials the attack took place over about a 70 yard stretch of road before he could finally get away from them. He was taken to Longmont United Hospital and treated for his injuries. “He had injuries to his face, his arms and his legs,” Churchill said. Wildlife officials say the aggressive behavior is not typical for the animals, which generally only get defensive of their young or if someone or something is near their food supply. Churchill said officials found and killed the larger coyote and one of the small coyotes, but she said the other animal involved in the attack so far has not been located. “We will continue to look because we do consider this a predatory kind of attack,” Churchill said. – For photo and CBS4 video report see http://denver.cbslocal.com/2013/10/16/3-coyotes-attack-man-during-walk-to-work/

 

WOLF-DOGS RESCUED:

Wolfdog0025-220New Hampshire 10/13/13 vnews.com: by Maggie Cassidy and Ernie Kohlsaat – Almost 30 wolf-hybrids, the controversial animals also known as wolf-dogs, were rescued from a remote mountaintop property here in a 16-day operation led by the Upper Valley Humane Society with support from at least five local law enforcement agencies and national and regional animal welfare groups. The owner of the animals had been evicted from the property, said Deborah Turcott, executive director of the Upper Valley Humane Society. The humane society responded after receiving requests for assistance from the landowner’s attorney, the former owner of the animals and the Alexandria Police Department, Turcott said. When rescue TX40Logoteam members arrived they found 40 wolf-hybrids in about 20 different pens on the property. One was found dead immediately and a second was found dead a few days later. Nine others were humanely euthanized at the site after they were found to be either too ill to be transported or so aggressive they were considered a safety risk. The 29 remaining animals received medical and behavior evaluations before being transported down the mountain as part of the operation that concluded last week. Four are now housed at the humane society’s shelter in Enfield, where they are undergoing behavior modification training and are expected to become adoptable.

mq140850-3The rest were taken in by the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center, a California-based nonprofit that recently acquired the former Loki Clan Wolf Refuge in Chatham, N.H. Those 25 animals were determined to be the ones who “truly need a sanctuary lifestyle,” Turcott said. The 29 animals were estimated to range in age from 4 to 14 years old. “It actually has been a little surreal,” Turcott, who spent nearly the entire 16 days on the mountain, said Saturday afternoon. “We handle quite a few hoarding or rescue situations that number over 50 (animals),” she said, but the nature of wolf-hybrid and the location — a remote property atop Oregon Mountain, northeast of Cardigan Mountain, at the end of a 21/2-mile washed-out logging road accessible only by four-wheeler or a military-issue Humvee — made this rescue “logistically the most complex.” The humane society was alerted that a rescue might be necessary about a year ago, but eviction was averted at that time. When the eviction was completed on Sept. 20, the operation began immediately, Turcott said.  “It was an opportunity of a lifetime … for myself,” she said, “and also an incredible chance for the Upper Valley Humane Society to show the community what we do — for the community and for the animals that we serve.” The Upper Valley Humane Society contracts with more than 30 towns to respond to animal welfare situations. – For complete article and photos see http://www.vnews.com/home/8890466-95/29-wolf-hybrids-rescued-upper-valley-humane-society-leads-16-day-operation-on-alexandria-nh-mounta

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Shasta Cty CACalifornia 10/15/13 Shasta County: Health officials have confirmed that a local resident has been identified as the first human case of WNV in the county this year. – See http://www.redding.com/news/2013/oct/15/shasta-county-confirms-first-human-case-west-nile/

alachua_county_floridaFlorida 10/16/13 Alachua County: Officials have confirmed that an adult male resident of the vicinity of Gainesville is the first human case of WNV virus in the area this year. – See http://www.cbs12.com/template/inews_wire/wires.regional.fl/26f9aa39-www.cbs12.com.shtml

Hancock-County.ILIllinois 10/15/13 Hancock County: Officials have confirmed that a horse stabled near Sutter has tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.wgem.com/story/23696386/2013/10/15/hancock-county-horse-gets-west-nile-risk-for-humans-up

 

Rabies:

groundhog344New Jersey 10/16/13 Somerset County: A groundhog seen in a Hillsborough neighborhood near the municipal complex about two weeks ago and reported to be “running in a circle” has tested positive for rabies. – See http://hillsborough.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/rabid-groundhog-concerning-health-officials

cat-child-300x225Texas 10/15/13 McLennan County: A kitten found at the intersection of North 19th Street and Park Lake Drive in Waco on October 9th has tested positive for rabies. An unspecified number of people were exposed to the virus and are receiving post-exposure treatment. Officials are urging others who may have been in contact with the kitten from September 29th through October 9th to seek immediate medical advice. – http://www.kwtx.com/home/headlines/Local-Residents-Exposed-To-Rabid-Kitten-Undergo-Treatment-227865401.html?ref=401

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAVirginia 10/15/13 Pittsylvania County: A raccoon found on Owl Road, south of Danville Regional Airport, in Ringgold has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.godanriver.com/news/pittsylvania_county/article_e7b27962-35dd-11e3-a2a8-0019bb30f31a.html

About 20 WILD TURKEYS found in MAINE with LPD VIRUS ~ RABIES reports from DC, GA, NJx2, NC, OK, PA, & TXx3.

Eastern Wild Turkey. Photo courtesy U.S. Army.

Eastern Wild Turkey. Photo courtesy U.S. Army.

Maine 04/24/13 maine.gov/ifw: News Release – LPDV or lymphoproliferative disease virus causes minor to extreme lesions on a turkey’s head and legs. It is thought to spread between turkeys by direct skin contact or through mosquito bites. Some turkeys can fend off minor infections and survive while others can develop extreme lesions that inhibit their sight and ability to eat, which ultimately leads to death. The disease poses no risk to human health. However, like all infections, caution is advised while handling a bird with LPDV. There is a potential for secondary bacterial infections if birds are handled improperly. Thoroughly cooking the meat to an internal temperature of a minimum of 165°F is also advised. Although wild turkeys cannot pass on this virus to humans, if you shoot a bird that looks like the above picture and you do not want to eat it, do NOT register it and please contact a Wildlife Biologist or call the Department of Public Safety in Augusta at (800) 452-4664 to be connected with a Game Warden. After examining the bird, the Department staff member will determine your eligibility to harvest another turkey. Little is known about the origin of LPDV in the United States.

Turkey infected with LPDV. Photo courtesy Maine IFW Dept.

Turkey infected with LPDV. Photo courtesy Maine IFW Dept.

LPDV was first detected in domestic turkeys in Europe. The first confirmed case in the United Sates was in wild turkeys in Georgia in 2009. MDIFW confirmed Maine’s first case of LPDV in April 2012. Since that time, we have confirmed several cases throughout the state. Currently, known cases occur virtually wherever wild turkeys are present. We speculate that a combination of a very good turkey production year in 2011 and the mild winter of 2011-2012 may have contributed to the apparent increase in occurrence recently. – See http://www.maine.gov/ifw/news_events/pressreleases/index.htm

Rabies:

groundhogDistrict of Columbia 04/26/13 USN/USAF Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling: The Air Force 579th Medical Group has issued a Rabies Alert after an unusually aggressive groundhog captured on the base April 21st tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.dvidshub.net/news/105945/air-force-medical-group-issues-rabies-alert-dc-joint-base#.UXtTt8okQtV

Georgia 04/25/13 Columbia County: Health officials have confirmed that a raccoon found in the vicinity of Old Blythe Road in Harlem has tested positive size0Raccoon_USArmyfor rabies. – See http://www.wjbf.com/story/22076428/positive-rabies-test-confirmed-in-columbia-county

New Jersey 04/24/13 Salem County: A raccoon discovered in a barn by a Pittsgrove Township homeowner has tested positive for rabies. Health officials also found a cat in Lower Alloways Creek that tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.nj.com/salem/index.ssf/2013/04/rabid_raccoon_discovered_in_pi.html

skunkCDCNew Jersey 04/24/13 Middlesex County: A skunk found in the vicinity of Route 18 South and West Prospect Street in East Brunswick has tested positive for rabies. A day earlier, a raccoon found in South Plainfield tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20130424/NJNEWS/304240055/Rabid-skunk-found-East-Brunswick?nclick_check=1

bottle-feeding-goat-kid2North Carolina 04/25/13 Orange County: A 2-month-old goat that died Monday on a small family farm in the northern part of the county has tested positive for rabies. Several family members and a neighbor who had been bottle-feeding the goat for several weeks are being treated for exposure to the virus. Six other goats on the farm have been quarantined. – See http://www.wral.com/goat-in-orange-county-tests-positive-for-rabies/12380917/

knzjts-080709inknoseskunk - CopyOklahoma 04/25/13 Cleveland County: A skunk that attacked two 6-week-old puppies on the back porch of their owners home in Norman has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKDx_Hq2aRo

0coonvsdog422 - CopyPennsylvania 04/25/13 Allegheny County: Two raccoons that fought with dogs in separate incidents have tested positive for rabies. One raccoon fought with a dog on Park Lane in Glen Osborne, and another fought with two dogs on Redgate Road in Aleppo. All the dogs were vaccinated but are being quarantined as a precaution. – See http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/neighborhoods-north/health-department-confirms-rabies-in-2-raccoons-in-sewickley-area-685018/

grounded%20batTexas 04/24/13 Travis and Williamson counties: A bat found on the campus of the Henry Middle School in Cedar Park, and touched by several students, has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.statesman.com/news/news/local-education/dead-bat-found-at-middle-school-tested-positive-fo/nXXGR/

Texas 04/25/13 Denton County: A skunk that fought with three dogs in the Saddlebrooke Addition in the southeast portion of Krum has tested positive imagesCA9UNA4Vfor rabies. – See http://www.dentonrc.com/local-news/local-news-headlines/20130425-krum-plans-vaccination-clinic-after-report-of-rabid-skunk.ece

Texas 04/26/13 Taylor and Jones counties: A skunk captured in the Beltway South area in the far south of the City of Abilene has tested positive for rabies. This is the second skunk testing positive for the virus this month. – See http://www.reporternews.com/news/2013/apr/26/rabid-skunk-second-this-month-confirmed-in/

MEXICAN GRAY WOLF killing LIVESTOCK in NEW MEXICO will be shot ~ Lone WOLF known as OR-7 prompts CALIFORNIA wildlife officials to consider protection ~ CDC confirms 145 new cases of SWINE FLU in July & August 2012 ~ Second RABBIT with TULAREMIA found in COLORADO ~ MOUNTAIN LION sighting reported in ILLINOIS ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS reports from MAx2 ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from IN, MD, NE, SD, & TXx3 ~ RABIES reports from CA, CO, GA, MAx2, NH, NY, NC, & OH.

Mexican gray wold. Photo by C. Morrison. Wikimedia Commons.

New Mexico 08/10/12 krqe.com: by Susan Montoya Bryan – The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service signed an order Thursday calling for the shooting of a female Mexican gray wolf that was accused of killing too many cows in southwestern New Mexico. This marks the first time since 2007 that the agency was taking the step to kill an endangered wolf due to livestock problems. The order calls for shooting the Fox Mountain Pack’s alpha female. Wolf Recovery Coordinator Sherry Barrett said it was a difficult decision given that the population of endangered wolves in New Mexico and Arizona has been struggling since reintroduction began 14 years ago. “Our goal is to recover the population and to grow this particular population, but we also recognize the need to address these depredations so that we have a successful reintroduction program,” she said. The rancher who lost cattle to the Fox Mountain Pack was compensated for his losses, but Barrett did not know how much he was paid through the government’s reimbursement program. Barrett also declined to release the name of the rancher. . . .

. . . . .. .A subspecies of the gray wolf, the Mexican wolf once roamed parts of New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and Mexico. Hunting and government-sponsored extermination campaigns all but wiped out the predator. It was added to the federal endangered species list in 1976, and a captive-breeding program was started. The first batch of wolves was released in May 1998, and at least 58 wolves remain in the wild along the New Mexico-Arizona border. Biologists estimate there are 14 packs among the two states. – For complete article see http://www.krqe.com/dpp/news/central/feds-order-lethal-removal-of-wolf

California 08/09/12 oregonlive.com: State scientists say the lone wolf roaming far Northern California should be considered a candidate for listing under the state endangered species act. A report from the Department of Fish and Game called the presence of the gray wolf that crossed the border from Oregon last December an “historic and a scientific certainty.” The report says that other wolves could migrate to form breeding populations.  “Whether one is for or against listing wolves as threatened or endangered … one must acknowledge the fact that the arrival of wolf OR7 in our state was an historic event,” said Jordan Traverso, deputy director of communications for the department. The report was presented Wednesday to members of the California Fish and Game Commission, which will decide in October whether to accept the recommendation. – For complete article see http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2012/08/or-7_arrival_in_california_pro.html

National 08/09/12 cdc.gov: CDC Health Advisory – (Excerpt) “(T)here are 145 confirmed cases of influenza infection with H3N2v virus, since the current outbreaks began in July of this year.  This includes one case in Hawaii, one case in Illinois, 113 cases being reported from Indiana, and 30 cases being reported from Ohio.  This is clearly a significant increase since last week’s total, so we thought it would be good to try to put this into context.  Like we reported last week, confirmed cases have had exposure to swine, and most of these infections have occurred in people exhibiting swine, family members of exhibitors, people visiting swine barns at fairs, or people attending fairs where swine are present.  The severity of human illness associated with this virus continues to resemble that of seasonal flu.  Most cases are mild and self-limited and resolve on their own.  Most cases have occurred in children.  CDC has not received any report of deaths associated with H3N2v infection, and there have been two confirmed hospitalizations with H3N2v infection so far.  Both patients have recovered and have been discharged.” Joseph Bresee, M.D., Influenza Division, CDC – For complete transcript see http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2012/t0809_H3N2v.html

Colorado 08/09/12 koaa.com: Public health officials in Pueblo say a second rabbit tested positive for tularemia in Pueblo West. The rabbit was collected from Pueblo West, north of Highway 50 West, on the 400 Block of East Chadwick Drive. – For complete article and symptoms see http://www.koaa.com/news/second-rabbit-with-disease-found-in-pueblo-west/

Mountain Lion Sightings:

Illinois 08/10/12 chicagoist.com: by Chuck Sudo – Police in Glencoe have asked residents to be on alert for a cougar or cougars in the North Shore suburb after a July 26 sighting. It was the latest in a series of reported mountain lion sightings in the north suburbs in recent months. Although there hasn’t been any photographic evidence of the felines, Glencoe Public Safety Director Michael Volling is taking a “where there’s smoke, there’s fire” approach. The latest sighting occurred July 26 near the intersection of Dell Place and Lakeside Terrace. – See http://chicagoist.com/2012/08/10/north_shore_cougar_sighting_deemed.php

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

Massachusetts 08/08/12 Middlesex County: Public health officials have confirmed that a man in his 60s from the Metrowest region has been diagnosed with EEE. He became ill after returning from a trip to the Mid-Atlantic region. – See http://www.necn.com/08/08/12/Mass-man-diagnosed-with-Eastern-Equine-E/landing.html?blockID=753683&feedID=4753

Massachusetts 08/10/12 Reading, Middlesex County: Human-biting mosquitoes infected with EEE have been detected in Reading — the first time this season that EEE-carrying insects that can spread the often-fatal disease to people have been found outside of Cape Cod and Southeastern Massachusetts, which is traditionally a hotbed for the virus. – See http://www.boston.com/whitecoatnotes/2012/08/10/human-biting-eee-infected-mosquitoes-found-reading-are-first-outside-southeastern-mass-and-cape-cod/K4MbLVtfku0etu1bHQhtmK/story.html

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Indiana 08/10/12 wane.com: Health officials say four human cases of WNV have now been confirmed in Hamilton, Marion, and Jackson counties. – See http://www.wane.com/dpp/news/indiana/four-human-west-nile-cases-statewide

Maryland 08/10/12 dhmh.maryland.gov: News Release – Public health officials today announced that an adult in Central Maryland is the state’s first confirmed human case of symptomatic WNV infection in 2012. WNV was also detected in a pool of mosquitoes collected in Montgomery County by the U.S. Department of Defense. – See http://dhmh.maryland.gov/publicrelations/pr/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=275

Nebraska 08/08/12 dhhs.ne.gov: Health Alert – There are six (6) lab-confirmed human cases of WNV, one each in Boone, Butler, Hamilton and Madison counties and 2 in Scottsbluff County. Multiple counties show positive mosquito pools or infected birds (see maps, http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Pages/wnvData2012.aspx). –

See complete Health Alert at http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/Documents/Update080812.pdf

South Dakota 08/10/12 doh.sd.gov: Update – WNV has been detected in 24 counties.  31 human cases of the disease reported. 16 WNV viremic blood donors. 2 WNV positive horses. – See https://mail.google.com/mail/?hl=en&shva=1#inbox/13912805e2c6514c

Texas 08/09/12 Dallas County: Public health officials have declared a public health emergency, saying the spread of the WNV has become epidemic . . . county health officials have reported 162 WNV human cases including nine deaths so far this year. – See http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/09/4711989/west-nile-emergency-declared-in.html

Texas 08/09/12 Andrews, Andrews County: Health officials have confirmed the first human case of WNV in the Permian Basin. – See http://www.newswest9.com/story/19241793/first-case-of-west-nile-virus-pushes-officials-to-take-action

Texas 08/10/12 Denton, Denton County: Public health officials have confirmed that a 90-year-old resident with underlying health conditions is the county’s first death associated with WNV this year. There have been 66 total human cases of the virus, and 65 positive mosquito pools, in the county so far this year. – See http://www.scntx.com/articles/2012/08/10/lewisville_leader/news/9016.txt

Rabies:

California 08/10/12 Acton, Los Angeles County: Public health officials have confirmed that a bat that fell from a tree and bit a local resident on the shoulder a week ago has tested positive for rabies. Two other bats found last weekend between Stevenson Ranch and Acton also tested positive for the virus. Nine rabid bats have been found in the Santa Clarita Valley so far this year. – See http://hometownstation.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=30718:rabid-bats-acton-clarita-2012-08-10-16-29&catid=26:local-news&Itemid=97

Colorado 08/09/12 El Paso County: A dead bat found near the entrance of the Starsmore Discovery Center at 2120 S. Cheyenne Cañon Road has tested positive for rabies. Anyone who might have had contact with the bat should seek immediate medical advice. – See http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_21278126/rabies-confirmed-bat-found-el-paso-county

Georgia 08/09/12 Bryan County: A raccoon that came in contact with a local family dog has tested positive for rabies. The dog was not up-to-date on vaccinations and had to be euthanized. This is the third rabid raccoon found in the county this year. – See http://savannahnow.com/bryan-county-now/2012-08-09/third-rabid-raccoon-found-bryan-county#.UCXiDaMt7WB

Massachusetts 08/09/12 Dartmouth, Bristol County: A woodchuck (aka groundhog) that came in contact with a vaccinated dog and was later found on Hancock Street, west of Cross Road and south of Route 6, has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.boston.com/metrodesk/2012/08/09/rabid-woodchuck-attacks-dog-dartmouth/a6RJqICdynq5f2rob4RsMJ/story.html

Massachusetts 08/10/12 Bolton, Worcester County: A bat captured by an animal control officer inside a local home has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wickedlocal.com/harvard/news/x1791379167/Rabid-bat-found-in-Bolton-no-cause-for-alarm#axzz23DNs6ict

New Hampshire 08/10/12 Freedom, Carroll County: Local police shot and killed a fox that attacked people walking their dog and then attacked the police. Officials are waiting for results of a rabies test, but less than two weeks ago another fox tested positive for the virus in the nearby town of Bartlett. – See http://www.conwaydailysun.com/index.php/newsx/local-news/91882-suspected-rabid-fox-attacks-police-in-freedom

New York 08/10/12 Middletown, Orange County: A rabies alert has been issued after a bat that was in contact with a vaccinated dog in the Lincroft section tested positive for the virus. This is the fifth case of rabies in the town this year. – See http://www.myfoxny.com/story/19246572/rabies-alert-issued-for-middletown

North Carolina 08/09/12 Cary, Wake & Chatham counties: A dead bat found inside a home in the 300 block of Tweed Circle on Tuesday has tested positive for rabies. The homeowner was potentially exposed to the virus. – See http://www.newsobserver.com/2012/08/09/2257613/man-exposed-to-rabid-bat-inside.html

Ohio 08/09/12 Danville, Knox County: A bat that came in contact with an unvaccinated dog has tested positive for rabies. The dog will be euthanized. – See http://www2.nbc4i.com/news/2012/aug/09/bat-tests-positive-rabies-knox-co-dog-be-euthanize-ar-1132088/

Texas Mountain Lion fatally wounds two Horses; Mayo Clinic in Wisconsin discovers new strain of bacteria carried by Deer Ticks; Washington Oysters source of recent vibriosis cases; Ohio reports first case of LaCrosse Encephalitis this year; Texas has four human cases of West Nile Virus this year including one that was fatal; New York confirms first case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in a horse this year; Texas has three horses among 49 confirmed cases of Rabies this year; Rabies reports from CT, GA, ME, NJ, NY, NC, SC, VA, and WI; and West Nile Virus reports from IL, NH, NY, and PA. Canada: Rabies reports from Ontario (2). Follow-Up Report about Oregon’s Wolf Compensation Bill.

Mountain Lion. Courtesy U.S. Geological Survey.

Texas 07/29/11 texascryptidhunter.blogspot.com: posted by Mike – According to an article in the Temple Daily Telegram, two horses had to be euthanized after being attacked by a mountain lion this past Wednesday in a rural area of north Temple.  The property, owned by Chris Johnsen, 56, is located off Berger Road just north of the H.K. Dodgen Loop. Johnson said she knew something was wrong when the eight horses she keeps on the property failed to show up at feeding time on Tuesday night. Worried, Johnsen asked her friends, Ted and Nancy Fisher, to look for the horses early Wednesday morning. The Fishers were interested parties, as they own two of the horses being kept on the property. The Fishers found the horses; unfortunately, two mares, including one they owned, were badly mutilated. The mares were alive but suffering from multiple serious wounds. “They had large claw marks on them,” Johnsen said.

Dr. Katie Frosch of the Belton Veterinarian Clinic was called to the scene and decided the horses were mortally wounded and should be put out of their misery.  “We had to put them down just to be humane,” she said. “The horses were unable to walk due to severe lacerations on their legs.” Dr. Frosch has worked in the area for two years and said this was the first such attack she’s seen. She did agree that a mountain lion was the culprit due to the specific types of injuries the horses suffered. Game Warden Billy Champlin said that cougars are indigenous to the state but typically target animals smaller than the mares. He speculated that the cat in question here likely started out targeting the mares’ foals. He is quoted as saying that in his eleven years on the job he has never seen a mountain lion alive in the wild but that three to four sightings a year from the area are typical. Chris Johnsen, on the other hand, has seen cougars on her property before but not recently. She said that the remaining horses would be penned up for awhile in the hopes that the big cat would move out of the area.

Texas is currently suffering through the most severe drought in the last seventy-five years. Central Texas has been particularly hard hit. It could be that this cougar is having a hard time finding its typical prey due to the tough conditions or that it came onto the property seeking water and could not resist the temptation the young foals represented. Several other unusual livestock kills have been reported in Bell County over the last few months. I currently have a couple of game cameras out in western Bell County now in the hopes of identifying the mystery predator in that area. It seems northern Bell County now has a large predator of its own.

Wisconsin 08/04/11 chippewa.com: by Mark Gunderman – The chart looked unusual to Mayo Health Systems lab technician Carol Werner, who had just run a routine test for bacterium at the Eau Claire laboratory. “There was an unexpected ‘peak,’” she said. “The peak was in an unusual spot – and it piqued my curiosity.” Werner’s observation back in 2009 led to further testing, and discovery that the strange finding was showing up in other tests, too. Now with publication of a paper this week in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, the suspicion has been confirmed: A new strain of bacterium has emerged, so far found only in Wisconsin and Minnesota. And it is a cause for public health concern. The as yet unnamed strain of the Ehrlichia bacterium is carried by deer ticks – the same ticks that carry the bacterium responsible for Lyme Disease. It has been making people sick, having been identified in 25 people, all from Minnesota and Wisconsin. The New England Journal of Medicine paper focuses on four cases, three of which are from Wisconsin. The four patients were treated for ehrlichiosis, a serious condition caused by the Ehrlichia bacterium.

Deer Tick

“Before this report, human ehrlichiosis was thought to be very rare or absent in Minnesota and Wisconsin,” says Bobbi Pritt, M.D., a Mayo Clinic microbiologist and director of the Clinical Parasitology and Virology Laboratories who helped coordinate the investigation by the multi-agency team. “Therefore, physicians might not know to look for Ehrlichia infections at all.” Ehrlichia infect and kill white blood cells and may cause fever, body aches, headache and fatigue. More severe disease may involve multiple organs such as the lungs, kidneys and brain and require hospitalization. Ehrlichiosis rarely results in death. All four patients described in the New England Journal of Medicine article suffered fever and fatigue. One patient, who had already received a bilateral lung transplant, was hospitalized briefly for his illness. All four patients recovered following antibiotic treatment with doxycycline, the drug of choice for treating ehrlichiosis. Although more than 25 cases have been identified, many more have likely been missed or unreported, Pritt said.

The paper is published in the Aug. 4 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. It has multiple authors, including a number from Mayo Health Systems in Eau Claire and in Rochester, as well as people from the Eau Claire County Health Department and state departments of health in Minnesota and Wisconsin. (For complete article go to http://chippewa.com/news/local/article_ce90714a-bea8-11e0-b62f-001cc4c002e0.html

Washington 08/04/11 wa.gov: News Release – Several people got sick after eating raw oysters containing Vibrio parahaemolyticus bacteria. So far, 18 vibriosis illnesses have been linked to commercial operations and four illnesses to recreational harvesting in Puget Sound and on the Washington coast. Cooking shellfish thoroughly will prevent vibriosis illness and is always a good idea. This is especially important during the summer months of July and August when warm temperatures and low tides along ocean beaches and in Puget Sound allow the bacteria to thrive. (For complete news release go to http://www.doh.wa.gov/Publicat/2011_news/11-118.htm )

Muskingum County

Ohio 08/03/11 whiznews.com: by Kelly Choate – There’s a confirmed case of LaCrosse Encephalitis in Muskingum County. This disease is caused by a virus spread by infected mosquitoes. Muskingum County Health Department Sanitarian Matt Hemmer said symptoms of Lacrosse Encephalitis are fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and tiredness. He said the health department is trying to stop the spread of the disease. “The action we’re taking is to actually go out to the areas where exposure was possible to occur and inform the people of those neighborhoods how to protect themselves and their families from future spread of the virus,” said Hemmer. Hemmer said LaCrosse Encephalitis can cause inflammation of the brain if left untreated, but the mortality rate is less than 1%. “The state of Ohio averages about 10 to 15 cases of this virus per year,” said Hemmer. “This is, by no means, anything out of the ordinary, but we do take precaution when this virus does surface.”

Montgomery County

Texas 08/04/11 click2houston.com: A human case of West Nile virus has been reported in Montgomery County. The Montgomery County Environmental Health Services confirmed the case on Wednesday. Officials have not said what part of the county the victim was infected. The patient was taken to a hospital and released. “August and September are historically most active months for human infection,” said Pat Buzbee, director of MCEHS. Four human cases have been reported in Texas this year. According to the Texas Department of Health, one person has died. Six people died in Texas from West Nile virus in 2010.

Oneida County

New York 08/03/11 nysdam (readmedia.com): News Release — The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (NYSDAM) confirms 2011’s first case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis, also known as EEE, in an Oneida County, NY horse. The 9 year old mare had lived at its current home for several years and had no recent travel history. The horse was unvaccinated. There is one other horse on the same premise that is not showing any signs of EEE, and which has since been vaccinated. Typical symptoms of encephalitis in equines include staggering, circling, depression, loss of appetite and sometimes fever and blindness. There is no cure for this disease, which has high mortality rates in horses. Humans cannot become infected by handling an infected horse, nor can a horse acquire the virus from another infected horse; however, the presence of an infected horse in the area indicates that mosquitoes carrying EEE are present and pose a threat to both humans and horses.

Texas 08/04/11 amarillo.com: by Joe Gamm – State health officials on Thursday confirmed the 49th case of rabies in the Texas Panhandle this year. The Texas Department of State Health Services found that a horse in an undisclosed part of Hansford County tested positive for the rabies virus, officials said. This is the third case of a rabid horse in the Panhandle this year.  James Alexander, a Canyon-based zoonosis veterinarian for Health Services, said it is rare for that many horses to contract the virus in any given year. Zoonosis is any infectious disease that can be transferred from an animal to a human. Officials found one rabid horse in Wheeler County and one in Randall County earlier this year. This is the first case of rabies in Hansford County since 2009, Alexander said.

Connecticut 08/03/11 theday.com: by Judy Benson – New London – Three bats found at two properties, one on Channing Street and the other on Pequot Avenue, have tested positive for rabies, the Ledge Light Health District announced today. The owner of the two properties captured the bats and brought them directly to the state Department of Public Health’s laboratory in Hartford for testing, Stephen Mansfield, deputy director of health at Ledge Light, said. The state lab does not normally accept other animals for testing directly from homeowners, he said, but will do so in the case of bats that are found inside a home. Ledge Light was informed of the test results Tuesday evening, Mansfield said. It is not clear whether the bats had any contact with humans or pets. For information, contact Ledge Light at (860) 448-4882 or the New London animal control officer at (860) 447-5231.

Georgia 08/03/11 ajc.com: by David Ibata – A raccoon that turned up in a horse’s stall in Canton has tested positive for rabies, prompting public health officials to quarantine the unvaccinated horse and issue an alert for the fourth rabid raccoon found since May in Cherokee County. The raccoon was discovered July 23 in the stall at a residence on North Lake Drive, according to a news release from the Dalton-based North Georgia Health District, which includes Cherokee. The raccoon was alive but not moving, and the resident’s son shot it, the release said. The Georgia State Laboratory tested the animal’s head and returned a positive finding of rabies on July 27. The horse was not current on its rabies vaccination, said Jennifer King, spokeswoman for the Health District. But there was no apparent rabies exposure to the horse, so officials had it vaccinated and put it in a six-month quarantine; it cannot come into contact with other animals or people during that time. Besides the raccoon cases, a dog and a fox in Cherokee also have been found to have rabies. The six instances of disease are “pretty much par” for the number of cases expected by this point in a year, King said.

Maine 08/04/11 maine.gov: Public Health Update – 2011 2nd Quarter statewide Rabies report: 8 raccoons including one each in Lewiston, Gorham, N. Yarmouth, Raymond, Standish, Steep Falls, Hampden, and Smithfield; 5 skunks, Cumberland, Buckfield, Canaan, Norridgewock, and Waldo; 2 red fox, Greene, and New Sharon; 2 grey fox, Cape Elizabeth, and Windham; and 1 bobcat, W. Gardiner.

New Jersey 08/03/11 courierpostonline.com: Two raccoons found in Moorestown and in Medford have tested positive for rabies, officials said Tuesday. One animal was found near East Main Street in Moorestown, and the other was found near Falls Court in Medford, said Burlington County Health Officer Robert Gogats. He did not say when the animals were found.

New York 08/04/11 lohud.com: by Randi Weiner – The Westchester County Health Department has confirmed that a raccoon captured in Yonkers’ Tibbetts Brook Park on Monday was rabid. “Anyone who believes that they or a pet may have had contact with this raccoon should contact the Westchester County Department of Health immediately at 914-813-5000 to assess the need for rabies treatment,” said Dr. Cheryl Archibald, the county’s acting health commissioner. “Anyone bitten by a rabid animal, or having contact with its saliva, may need to receive post-exposure rabies vaccination.” Rabid animals also have been confirmed in Bedford and Briarcliff Manor this past week. A woodchuck found around Glenridge Road in Bedford and a skunk found around Scarborough Road in Briarcliff Manor were confirmed as rabid on July 25. In fact, Westchester had the highest number of confirmed rabies cases in the state — 17 — between January and May. More information on the disease and its prevention is available on the Health Department’s website, http://health.westchestergov.com. Residents also can call the rabies hotline at 914-813-5010 to listen to a taped message.

North Carolina 08/03/11 fayobserver.com: A raccoon that was picked up in a neighborhood off Cumberland Road has tested positive for rabies, county authorities said this morning. It marks the 11th case of rabies reported in Cumberland County since Jan. 1, according to Dr. John Lauby, director of Animal Control. The raccoon was found on Stonehaven Drive, Lauby said. Anyone who sees an animal exhibiting any of those symptoms should call Animal Control at 321-6852 Monday through Friday. Call the Sheriff’s Office at 323-1500 after 5 p.m., and on weekends and holidays.

South Carolina 08/03/11 wspa.com: by Sandra Renrick – A woman in Oconee County is undergoing treatment for rabies after being bitten by a skunk. According to the Department of Health and Environmental Control the skunk tested positive for rabies. State health officials say the skunk was in the garage of the woman’s home on Long Creek when it attacked. According to DHEC, this is the first confirmed rabid animal in Oconee County in 2011. Last year, there were four 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 61 confirmed cases in animals in the state.

Virginia 08/02/11 wavy.com: A 57-year-old woman was attacked by a fox on July 26 while standing in a driveway in the 9400 block of Rivershore Drive in Suffolk. The fox came out of a marsh and latched onto her right foot, according to Debbie George with Suffolk Police. Steve Gaskin, the victim’s husband, said, “I went in the house. Next thing I knew she was screaming. My wife had gone outside and the fox attacked her as she was coming back into the house.” Gaskin was able to kick the fox away and pin it under a ladder until Animal Control responded. The fox was sent to the health department, where it tested positive for rabies. The woman is being treated for her bite.

Wisconsin 08/03/11 wsau.com: A dog bit a teenager at the Dells of Eau Claire Park. Marathon County health officials say the teen will need to get rabies shots unless they can find the dog and confirm that it isn’t rabid. The 17-year-old was hiking on a trail about 2:30 in the afternoon on Monday when he was bit. The dog was on a leash and was being walked by a woman when the incident took place. It was a medial white dog with short fur. Health Department officials are hoping the woman will come forward and let them know if the dog has had its shots. Anyone with information should call 715-261-1908.

Cook County

Illinois 08/04/11 triblocal.com: Authorities identified the West Nile virus in a pool of mosquitoes from Northbrook last Friday. Found in the Somme Woods area, this is the third batch of mosquitoes that has tested positive for the virus in Northbrook this summer, according to the North Shore Mosquito Abatement District and the Northwest Mosquito Abatement District. While there are no recorded cases of West Nile infections in people in Illinois this year, the virus had sickened state residents over the past several years, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Hillsborough County

New Hampshire 08/04/11 dhhs.state.nh.us: News Release – The  New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS)  is  announcing  the  first positive test result for West Nile Virus (WNV)  this  season  is  from  a mosquito pool from Nashua, in Hillsborough County.  WNV is transmitted from the bite of an infected mosquito.  WNV was first identified in NH in August of 2000. Since that time, four people in NH have become ill following WNV infection. As of July 30, the State Public Health Lab tested 455 mosquito batches, 4 animals, and 19 humans across the State for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and WNV.  Anyone with questions about WNV/EEE can call 1-866-273-6453 between 8 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. Also, Nashua residents can call the Nashua Environmental Health Department at 603-589-4530. Other information about EEE and West Nile virus are available on the DHHS website at http://www.dhhs.nh.gov and at the City of Nashua’s Division of Public Health and Community Services website at www.NashuaNH.gov.

District 24 including Jamaica Estates

New York 08/04/11 yournabe.com: by Connor Adams Sheets – Residents say the mosquito problem in Jamaica Estates and the Pomonok Houses in Fresh Meadows has gotten so bad that they can no longer use their yards or even step outside without getting eaten alive by the pesky pests. The situation is so out of hand that area politicians rallied Friday to call on the city to spray the areas to kill the insects and bring some relief to welt-covered residents. The issue is one of more than just annoyance; it is one of safety, as the city Department of Health has detected the West Nile virus in mosquito pools in the area, although no cases have struck humans so far this year, according to the DOH. Complicating the situation is the fact that these neighborhoods are under assault not by garden-variety skeeters, but by the yellow-and-black Asian Tiger mosquito, a resilient, non-native, invasive breed that bites 24 hours a day and is adept at carrying and transmitting West Nile.

York County

Pennsylvania 08/04/11 wgal.com: York city workers began spraying for mosquitoes Wednesday after cases of West Nile virus were reported. The spraying took place near York’s Fireside neighborhood, where mosquitoes carrying the virus have been detected, city officials said. One particular target for sprayers was homes abandoned due to foreclosures, which have become breeding grounds for mosquitoes. York County currently leads the state for mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile.

Canada:

Ontario 08/03/11 thesudburystar.com: A bat that seen behaving abnormally at a home in Azilda on July 26 has tested positive for rabies, the Sudbury said District Health Unit announced Monday.

Ontario 08/03/11 simcoe.com: The Grey Bruce Health Unit is seeking assistance from the public in finding the owner of a dog involved in a biting incident.  On Saturday, July 30, sometime between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m., a woman was bitten by a large collie or collie-like dog (described as “looked like Lassie”) in front of Errinrung Residence Retirement Home on Bruce Street South in Thornbury. The dog was being walked at the time of the incident. Staff of the Grey Bruce Health Unit need to confirm that the dog is not infectious with rabies. By verifying the health of the dog, the victim can avoid receiving the post-exposure rabies treatment. If you have any information related to this incident, please contact the Grey Bruce Health Unit at 519-376-9420, ext 1263.

Follow-Up Reports:

Oregon 08/03/11 dailyastorian.com: Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber signed the state’s Wolf Compensation Bill Tuesday. It creates a $100,000 fund to pay ranchers who lose livestock to the legally protected predators.  The Livestock Compensation and Wolf Co-Existence bill goes into effect immediately with Kitzhaber’s signature. The funds will be handed out to eligible ranchers that lose livestock confirmed killed by wolves.

UGA’s College of Veterinary Medicine to receive $1.4 million to study interventional vaccine for Rabies Virus; North Carolina reports first human case of La Crosse Viral Encephalitis this year; California and Wyoming report first human cases of West Nile Virus this year; West Nile Virus reports from California (3), Connecticut, Illinois, and Pennsylvania; and Rabies reports from Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nebraska, New York (3), Rhode Island, and Texas. Travel Warnings for India, and Sri Lanka.

Global 07/22/11uga.edu: Press Release – Dr. Zhen Fang Fu, a rabies researcher in the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine, will collaborate with Thomas Jefferson University Jefferson Medical College and several other institutions to test a curative vaccine for Rabies Virus, or RV, that could be administered late in the disease process. Fu’s work will be funded by a $1.4 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a division of the National Institutes of Health. “More than 10 million people are bitten by a rabid or suspected rabid animal each year and require post-exposure treatment,” said Fu. “People who have been bitten must seek post-exposure treatment immediately, because there is no cure nor any interventional therapies for rabies once clinical symptoms of the disease are present.”

Dr. Zhen Fang Fu

Worldwide, more than 55,000 people die from rabies each year. According to the World Health Organization, the disease is prevalent in more than 150 countries and territories. The total NIH award is $4,850,126 over five years. It will be shared with the University of Georgia, Medical College of Wisconsin, the Institute for Hepatitis and Virus Research, and Thomas Jefferson University.

North Carolina 07/22/11 askguilfordhealth.com: by Dr. Ward Robinson – State public health officials today announced the season’s first case of the mosquito-borne illness La Crosse viral encephalitis (LAC). The patient, a child from Macon County, is recovering. This case is an important reminder that we all need to take precautions to prevent mosquito bites, State Epidemiologist Megan Davies said. La Crosse viral infection symptoms occur from a few days to a couple of weeks after being bitten. Symptoms include fever, headache, nausea and vomiting. In more severe cases, convulsions, tremors and coma can occur. Children under 16 years of age and the elderly are the most susceptible to the disease. While other mosquito-borne diseases like West Nile virus infection are found across the state, LaCrosse encephalitis is largely confined to western North Carolina and is the state˙s most common mosquito-borne disease. Most cases in North Carolina are recorded in late summer and early fall. State officials recorded 21 LAC cases in 2010. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention records about 70 cases each year. The disease is rarely fatal, but a Swain County child died as a result of infection in 2009. There is no vaccine against La Crosse encephalitis virus (LACV), so reducing exposure to mosquito bites is the best defense against getting infected with LACV or other mosquito-borne viruses. For additional information regarding mosquitoes and ticks, visit the N.C. Public Health website. For more information on insect repellent use in children, see the Healthy Children website. For specific information on the use of DEET on children see the American Academy of Pediatrics.

California 07/22/11 ca.gov: Press Release – The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) today reported a man in Santa Barbara County is the first confirmed human case of West Nile virus infection in California this year. The man was hospitalized, but is now recovering at home. “With the first confirmed human illness from West Nile virus this year, we are intensifying our surveillance for the virus with the help of all counties,” said CDPH Chief Deputy Director Kathleen Billingsley. “To protect against West Nile virus, the most important step people can take is avoiding mosquito bites.” To date in 2011, West Nile virus has been detected in 14 other California counties.

Wyoming 07/19/11 wyo.gov: Press Release – An adult male from Goshen County is the state’s first reported human West Nile virus (WNV) case for 2011, according to the Wyoming Department of Health.  “We can’t consistently predict what may happen with West Nile virus from year to year,” said Dr. Tracy Murphy, state epidemiologist and acting state health officer with the Wyoming Department of Health. “Many factors affect the transmission of the disease.”  Murphy noted Wyoming has had human WNV cases reported as early as May and as late as October with late summer and early fall as the typical peak times. “The season is not over, and in fact is relatively early for West Nile virus. It remains important for people to protect themselves,” he said.

Gravid trap

California 07/23/11 chinohills.com: The District received confirmation on Wednesday that another mosquito sample has tested positive for West Nile virus. These mosquitoes were collected using a gravid trap (used for collecting mosquitoes looking for a place to lay eggs) in Ontario near Mountain Ave and Fifth Street. This is the second positive sample in for the District this year. Dr. Min-Lee Cheng, District Manager said, “Since the Fourth of July weekend we have seen higher temperatures and increasing mosquito populations. When it comes to mosquitoes, where there’s heat, there’s trouble.” The District phone number is 909-635-0307. The office is located at 1295 East Locust St. Ontario CA, 91761 and is open Monday-Friday 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM.

California 07/22/11 turlockjournal.com: by Andrea Goodwin – Turlock Mosquito Abatement District has confirmed that West Nile Virus is again active in Stanislaus County. Three mosquito samples taken in Turlock on July 8 and one dead bird from the area tested positive for West Nile Virus. This announcement came just days before the California Department of Public Health confirmed the first human case of West Nile Virus in the state this year. The Santa Barbara County man who was infected with West Nile Virus was hospitalized but is now recovering at home. Two human cases of West Nile Virus were reported in Turlock last year. Other Californians may be suffering from less severe cases of West Nile Virus that go unreported because they do not seek medical care.

Connecticut 07/22/11 acorn-online.com: by Bettina Thiel – The state Mosquito Management Program announced last week that mosquitoes trapped in Orange have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV). These results represent the first positive mosquitoes identified in Orange by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station this year. “The identification of mosquitoes infected with West Nile Virus in Orange, after previously being found in Bridgeport, suggests that the virus is increasing in Southern Connecticut,” said Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen. “We encourage residents and visitors throughout Connecticut to take steps to prevent mosquito bites. So far no Connecticut residents have been identified with illnesses caused by the virus this year.

Illinois 07/23/11 triblocal.com: by Jonathan Bullington – Mosquitoes trapped in Skokie have tested positive for West Nile virus, village health officials announced. The results are the first this year of mosquitoes in Skokie testing positive for the virus, officials said. Any resident who finds a dead bird should call the Skokie Health Department at 847-933-8484 for testing.

Pennsylvania 07/22/11 post-gazette.com: by David Templeton – Two more mosquito samples, this time from the city’s western neighborhoods, have tested positive for the West Nile virus. The Allegheny County Health Department reported positive readings from sites along Middletown Road and Ramo Street. Health department spokesman Dave Zazac said the county has had six positive readings this month, with previous positives in early July that were collected in Homewood and Point Breeze. The six positive samples came from 322 mosquito total samples collected and 244 that were tested, Mr. Zazac said. There have been no confirmed human cases of the virus in the county this season.

Florida 07/22/11 tcpalm.com: by Jonathan Mattise – The St. Lucie County Health Department issued a countywide rabies advisory Friday after a rabid feral cat attacked two people near 3100 S. U.S. 1 last weekend. A less-than-a-year-old cat that was panting and foaming at the mouth lunged at two bystanders last Saturday and bit and scratched them. The two people bit currently are receiving rabies treatment, said David Koerner, director of the department’s Division of Environmental Health. The cat’s positive rabies test results came back Wednesday, and it died shortly after. The rabies case is the third this year in St. Lucie County. On Monday, animal control spotted a raccoon further south on U.S. 1 near Prima Vista Boulevard. That animal also tested positive, but it did not come in contact with any people, Koerner said. Earlier this year, animal control also found another rabies-positive raccoon, Koerner said.

Georgia 07/22/11 patch.com: by Rodney Thrash – For the fourth time since May, a Cherokee County animal has tested positive for rabies. According to Cherokee County Environmental Health specialist Glendon Gordy, a rabid fox attacked a dog, then chased a jogger at a Woodstock residence on Hickory Fairway Drive on July 14. “The jogger kicked the fox away and it ran under the deck of a nearby home where it remained until local law enforcement arrived and shot it,” North Georgia Health District spokeswoman Jennifer King said in an email to Canton-Sixes Patch. The head of the fox was sent to the Georgia State Laboratory on Monday. Officials learned the results on Wednesday. “The jogger has begun post rabies exposure treatment, which consists of one shot of rabies immune globulin and four shots of rabies vaccine over a two-week period,” King said. “The dog is current on its rabies vaccinations. Therefore, the only treatment required is a 45-day quarantine.” Just 14 days ago, health officials learned a raccoon that fought two Canton dogs tested positive for rabies. The dogs were vaccinated. Those results came a week to the day that health officials said 11 Georgians were exposed to an unvaccinated rabid dog from Cherokee. Seven came from Cherokee County, three from Pickens County and one from Houston County. And on May 3, a rabid raccoon attacked a dog at Ball Ground residence on Hightower Trail. That dog was current on its vaccinations, too.

Michigan 07/22/11 mlive.com: by Rosemary Parker – So far this summer, 26 rabies cases in animals have been confirmed in Michigan, so officials from the Michigan Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD), Community Health (MDCH) and Natural Resources (DNR) are urging residents to protect themselves and their animals against the disease. The disease has shown up for the first time in a woodchuck, in Oakland County, and has also been reported this year in bats in Kent and Barry townships in west Michigan. In a news release from the department, Dr. Dean Sienko, MDCH Interim Chief Medical Executive, cautioned against handling any wild animals and urged people to teach children to never touch wild animals or unfamiliar domestic animals.

Nebraska 07/21/11 yorknewstimes.com: by Melanie Wilkinson – There has been a confirmed case of rabies involving a bat in York, according to Christi Payne, animal control officer for the York Police Department, and the Four Corners Health Department. Officials say two domestic cats were exposed to the bat, which was brought in for testing. Dr. Ryan Koch, a veterinarian at Gloystein’s Vet Clinic, said the rabies test on the bat came back positive. The cat “most exposed” had to be euthanized. The owners were given the options of euthanizing the second cat or putting it in quarantine for six months. They opted for the quarantine, which has to take place at a veterinary clinic and will be somewhat expensive as the required time frame is so long. Payne said if the cats had been vaccinated, neither the euthanization or the quarantine would have been necessary.

New York 07/23/11 lohud.com: by Greg Clary – Westchester’s status as the state’s top county for rabies cases was bolstered this week with the discovery of an infected skunk in the village. But health and wildlife officials are reminding residents that there has not been a case of a human contracting rabies in nearly two decades. “The last human rabies case acquired in New York was in 1993,” said Jeffrey Hammond, a spokesman for the state Department of Health. “However, as a precautionary measure, post-exposure treatment has been provided to individuals if they have had contact with a rabid animal.” The Westchester Department of Health issued a rabies alert Friday to Briarcliff Manor residents who may have had contact with the rabid skunk, which was found dead in a Holbrook Lane backyard on July 19. The skunk was sent for testing and was confirmed positive for rabies Thursday. A dog that was up to date on its rabies shots but may have had contact with the skunk was given a rabies booster shot as a precaution, officials said. “Anyone who believes that they or a pet may have had contact with this skunk should contact the Westchester County Department of Health immediately at (914) 813-5000 to assess the need for rabies treatment,” said county Acting Commissioner of Health Dr. Cheryl Archbald. “Anyone bitten by a rabid animal, or having contact with its saliva, may need to receive immediate rabies vaccination.” The county was ranked first in the state through the first five months of 2011 in positive rabies cases before the skunk was found, with 17 cases. Schuyler County, southwest of Syracuse, had the second-most cases with nine and Rockland and Putnam counties had no cases

New York 07/21/11 niagara-gazette.com: County health officials are warning residents to be on guard after a rabid raccoon was caught on 20th Street Wednesday. The Niagara County Health Department was notified Thursday that the raccoon did indeed test positive for rabies. The raccoon “had contact with a dog” on 20th Street Wednesday and was subsequently captured by a wildlife rehabilitator and euthanized, according to a release from health officials. It’s the first confirmed rabies case of a “ground animal” in the county this year. Three bats have been confirmed as rabid this year. Any animal bite needs to be reported to the county health department at 439-7444 for investigation.

New York 07/21/11 9wsyr.com: An Oneida County youth and several family pets are being treated for rabies after being bitten by wild animals in two separate incidents earlier in the week. In each incident, the pets’ rabies vaccinations were up to date. They also received booster shots. In the first incident a Floyd resident found her pet cat cornered by a raccoon with porcupine quills sticking out of its face and body. The raccoon bit the pet before the woman was able to shoot it. After she killed it, the raccoon tested positive for rabies. The following day, a Clinton boy and two pet dogs were chased and bitten by a grey fox. The animal was killed by the boy’s father, but the youth had to receive treatment.

Rhode Island 07/22/11 The executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corp. may need rabies shots after being bitten by a dog over the weekend. Keith Stokes tells the Newport Daily News that he and his daughter were walking their 8-month-old puppy, Knuckles, near Newport Harbor on Sunday when a pit bull came out of the water and charged the puppy. Stokes says he grabbed the pit bull and held it until its owner came and put it on a leash. He tells the newspaper that he later discovered he had been bitten on the finger. Authorities are looking for the pit bull’s owner to determine if it has had its shots. If they can’t find the dog, Stokes says he may have to undergo treatment for rabies as a precaution.

Texas 07/22/11 star-telegram.com: Elizabeth Campbell – Veterinarians and state health officials say they are seeing more rabies cases this year than in previous years, especially in north central Texas. During the first six months of this year, the state reported that there are 591 cases of reported rabies, and during the same time period last year there were 387 cases. The number of cases in the north central Texas counties of Dallas, Denton, Johnson, Parker, Tarrant and Wise counties has almost doubled, with 53 being reported this year compared to 27 last year. A clinic in Alvarado had a veterinarian exposed to rabies after she was bitten by a cat that tested positive for rabies while another of their clients is taking the shots after being bitten by a dog. Officials suspect several reasons for the outbreak — the drought, which is forcing rabid animals like skunks into urban areas looking for water and increased public awareness about the disease. Also, the vets wonder if the hard economic times have people putting off getting their animals vaccinated. “We are seeing an increase in cases statewide as compared to last year’s figures,” said Christine Mann, a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Travel Warnings:

India 07/22/11 in.com: A total of 115 people have died due to encephalitis in Assam since January this year even as the government sounded an alert and advised all health centres in the state to be on vigil. While 86 died due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES), 29 others died due to Japanese Encephalitis (JE), joint director of health Abani Kumar Goswami said here today. Twenty districts have been affected by the disease and the total number of people affected by AES was 408, while 157 have tested positive for JE so far, he said. The worst hit was Sibsagar district where 34 people had died due to AES and eight of JE while the total of affected persons are 130. The other affected districts are Sonitpur, Golaghat, Jorhat, Lakhimpur, Dibrugarh, Kamrup (rural), Barpeta, Morigaon, Kamrup (metro), Darrang, Nalbari, Nagaon, Baksa, Udalguri, Dhemaji, Bongaigaon, Dhubri, Karbi Anglong and North Cachar hills, Goswami said.

Sri Lanka 07/23/11 nation.lk: by Carol Aloysius – The cumulative number of dengue cases has now zoomed to 13,000 leaving 100 dead from the most virulent form of the disease, Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF). “There’s no doubt we’re in the midst of one of the worst dengue epidemics, under 2nd Wave of Influenza. Like every new wave of this influenza, this new wave is more virulent than previous ones. However we are doing our best to control its spread and have the necessary technical know- how and medicines at present to meet this new challenge”, Epidemiology sources told The Nation. Colombo district due to its large population continues to lead the rest of the island’s districts in the number of dengue cases and deaths, with nearly 5.000 cases and 44 deaths so far. The congested Colombo Municipal area with its teeming shanty population living in polluted environments that attract the dengue vector had 1805 cumulative number of dengue cases with 18 deaths, the majority being children under five years. “Eighty percent of the cases and deaths are from North Colombo in areas such as Maligawatte, Borella, Wanathamulla, Baseline road , Narahenpitiya, which are the most polluted areas in the city, due to poor solid waste removal, and construction work.

National Science Foundation awards grants to help digitize biological collections; Montana and Idaho wildlife officials propose Wolf hunt plans; West Nile Virus reports from California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and South Dakota; and Rabies reports from Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania (2), Texas, and Virginia. Travel Warnings: Dengue Fever outbreak in Ecuador.

Global 07/08/11 nsf.gov: Press Release – Centuries of discovery document the diversity of life on Earth. Records of that biodiversity are, for the most part, in varied and distinct natural history collections, making assessing the information a difficult task. Now, the National Science Foundation (NSF), through its Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections program, is responding to the need for greater accessibility of biological collections data by awarding four major grants that seek to create a national resource of digital data documenting existing biological collections.

Infectious disease transmission links disease vectors, disease hosts and human habitations. Credit: Nicolle Rager Fuller, National Science Foundation.

Biological diversity is critical to the future of our planet, say researchers. Incomplete information on species, their distributions and environmental and biological changes over time make it difficult, however, to assess the status of and changes in biodiversity.

Much of the relevant information exists in the nation’s research collections, but the majority isn’t integrated and isn’t readily available online. It’s “dark data”–inaccessible to most biologists, policy-makers and the general public.

Dr. Lawrence Page

Dr. Christopher Dietrich

“Biological research collections are valuable national resources that document hundreds of years of environmental change as reflected in changes in biodiversity, and provide baseline data for studies of the effects of climate and land use change, and invasive species, on organisms,” says Joann Roskoski, acting director of NSF’s Directorate for Biological Sciences. “This program will markedly increase the accessibility of valuable information residing as ‘dark data’ in collections to researchers, educators and the public, and will stimulate new research across many fields of science and engineering.”

University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Limnology

One award will establish a central National Resource for Digitization of Biological Collections, and three large collaborative awards will allow for the development of Thematic Collections Networks (TCNs) to digitize data from biological research collections, and make the data available to scientists and the public. The program is expected to result in more efficient and innovative ways to provide access to information in biological research collections, and to speed up the process of integrating diverse information on the genetic, ecological, organismal and molecular biology of specimens in collections.

Dr. Randall T. Schuh

Dr. Corinna Gries

Standardized digital photos of specimens will be linked with DNA sequences, pathogens found on the specimens, environmental variables at the collecting localities, and electron micrographs, for example. Training for future researchers on collections techniques, informatics technology and data integration is part of the efforts. The awards provide graduate and undergraduate training opportunities, and outreach to K-12 educators, students and non-scientists. Each of the three TCNs focuses on “grand challenge” (major scientific) questions in biodiversity, and offers multiple research opportunities as data become widely available. The TCN awards include 92 institutions in 45 states. The principal investigators are Dr. Lawrence Page of the Florida Museum of Natural History, Dr. Christopher Dietrich of Illinois Natural History Survey, Dr. Randall T. Schuh of the American Museum of Natural History, and Dr. Corinna Gries of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Center for Limnology.  (For complete press release go to http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=121015&WT.mc_id=USNSF_51&WT.mc_ev=click )

Montana 07/09/11 missoulian.com: by Rob Chaney – Idaho’s proposed 2011 wolf hunt will run without quotas in most parts of the state, wildlife officials said Friday. “We really don’t have a number we’re trying to get to,” Idaho Fish and Game director Virgil Moore said at a news conference in Boise. “What we’re trying to do is be sure we can relieve both social and biological conflicts, where we have more wolves than needed. It’s no different than any other big-game animal. We haven’t established a number, but we will monitor the harvest to make sure we never get close to the delisting threshold that was established by the 2002 legislative plan and the plan established by the (U.S.) Fish and Wildlife Service.” Idaho currently has about 1,000 wolves. Gray wolves could be reconsidered for federal endangered species protection if their numbers fall below 150 individuals or 15 breeding pairs in Idaho, Montana or Wyoming. The Idaho Fish and Game Commission will decide on its wolf rules at its July 27-28 meeting in Salmon.

Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission meets July 14 to consider its own 2011 wolf hunt plan. Unlike Idaho, Montana wildlife managers proposed a quota of 220 wolves, distributed across 14 wolf management units. That’s up from the 75 wolves allowed in the state’s first modern-day wolf hunt in 2009. Barely one-third of 1 percent of Montana’s 19,000 wolf tag buyers killed a wolf that year.

In Idaho, the success rate for its wolf hunt was just 1 percent. Moore said about 20,000 of the state’s 30,000 tag buyers actually tried to hunt wolves that year. “Seeing wolf tracks or wolf scat, even hearing wolves howl, is not the same thing as seeing a wolf and having an opportunity to take a wolf,” Idaho Fish and Game big-game manager Jon Rachael said. Nevertheless, Idaho ranchers reported a significant drop in livestock depredations after the 2009 hunt. When a lawsuit canceled the 2010 hunt, those depredation counts went back up to average, he said. Idaho is adding trapping to its allowable wolf-killing methods this year. The state has about 1,000 licensed trappers, but Moore said it was unknown how many would be skilled enough or willing to invest the time and equipment necessary to successfully trap wolves.

Montana’s wolf season will not allow trapping, according to FWP spokesman Ron Aasheim. “We’re going to learn what we can about hunting before we add that,” Aasheim said on Friday. “We want to be more surgical in our management.” Montana wolf hunters would have to report their kills within 12 hours, while Idaho hunters have 72 hours to contact game wardens about a kill. Five areas will receive careful attention in the Idaho hunt, including the Lolo Zone along the Montana-Idaho border. Idaho authorized a population reduction there last year because those wolves were suspected of over-hunting elk herds. Montana officials considered a similar action on their Bitterroot Valley side of the border, but dropped plans after the wolf was delisted. Wolves also move across the border, so both states must be careful to preserve the genetic connectivity of the area, Moore said. But having the hunt in place should relieve some of the public concern about loss of elk there. “That pent-up frustration is taken care of just by having the hunting season,” Moore said. “The frustration we saw at check stations in 2008 went away in 2009 (the year of the first wolf hunt). Hunters knew we needed to manage wolves, and hunting is part of that management toolbox. Once they had that tag in their pocket, the frustration level dropped dramatically.”

California 07/08/11 patch.com: by MarieSam Sanchez – Officials from the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) announced today that three more dead birds infected with the West Nile virus have been found in Cerritos, upping the total to six discoveries in the city this year alone. Five of the six birds have been identified as American Crows and one bird was listed as an “unknown” species, Truc Dever, Director of Community Affairs for the GLACVCD, told Patch. “They were all collected in June between June 8th and 22nd,” Dever stated. “The location in Cerritos is the area north of Cerritos Towne Center.” More specifically, the cluster was found between Norwalk Boulevard and Shoemaker Avenue and the Golden State (5) and Artesia (91) freeways, she added. It was exactly two weeks ago when district officials announced the discovery of two WNV infected American Crows in the city. The dead crows were found on Beach Street near Frontier Park, and in a residential neighborhood on Glen Creek Road. The agency had been alerted to the birds by people living in the area. Experts say Los Angeles County is quickly seeing an amplification in West Nile virus activity as summer temperatures continue to soar, prompting district staff to amp up mosquito control, surveillance, and public education activities in areas where increased virus activity has been confirmed. There have been nine total positive mosquito samples confirmed within District boundaries this year to date, according to Dever.

Illinois 07/09/11 patch.com: by Mary Ann Lopez – Mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile virus in DuPage County, the county Health Department reported Friday. The mosquitoes were found in traps in Lemont on Wednesday and Thursday. The mosquitoes are the first to test positive for the virus in the county and were found in a trap in an area of Lemont that is in southern DuPage, the Health Department said in a news release Friday. So far, no human cases have been reported in the county this summer, according to the news release. The DuPage County Health Department is collecting dead birds for testing. County residents who find freshly dead birds, like crows or jays, are asked to contact the department. The birds must not show any signs of decay or trauma and the Health Department must be able to pick them up in time to be shipped to the state laboratory by the close of business on Thursdays. To report a dead bird, call 630-682-7400.

Massachusetts 07/08/11 boston.com: by Deborah Kotz – For the first time this year, West Nile virus has been detected in mosquitoes in Massachusetts, the Department of Public Health reported today. The infected mosquitoes were found in Boston Wednesday.  So far, there have been no human cases of the infection, which is transmitted through a mosquito bite.  Last year, seven state residents came down with the virus, which can cause high fevers and headaches but usually isn’t life threatening, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All of the infected individuals recovered. The Boston Public Health Commission also reported today that two positive mosquito pools were found in West Roxbury. The city has begun putting larvicide in catch basins in Boston neighborhoods, to help reduce the number of mosquitoes.

South Dakota 07/08/11 sd.gov: Press Release – South Dakota’s first West Nile virus (WNV) case of the 2011 season is a Brown County resident in the 50-59 age group, the Department of Health reported today. Peak transmission in South Dakota is from July through early September but WNV cases can also occur earlier.  Last year, in 2010, the state reported its first case July 2.  Since its first human WNV case in 2002, the state has reported 1,757 cases and 26 deaths. “We do expect more mosquitoes this summer with so many areas affected by flooding and we expect other people to be bitten and infected with the WNV,” said Dr. Lon Kightlinger, State Epidemiologist for the South Dakota Department of Health. “West Nile has already been detected in mosquitoes in neighboring states (Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming) and in mammals in North Dakota) and the peak transmission period for the virus is approaching so now is the time to get in the habit of using insect repellent.”

Georgia 07/08/11 gainesvilletimes.com: A rabies alert has been issued for the Trudy Circle area of West Hall County after a rabid raccoon was confirmed in the area. The raccoon came in contact with two dogs July 2. The raccoon was shipped to the Georgia Public Health Lab, Virology Section in Decatur and confirmed positive for rabies on Friday. This is the sixth confirmed case of 2011. Alert signs will be posted in the area where the rabid raccoon was found. If you live in this area or you see an animal acting abnormally, contact Hall County Animal Services at 770-531-6830 or during nonworking hours call Hall County Dispatch at 770-536-8812.

Maine 07/08/11 maine.gov: A fox killed Thursday at Two Lights State Park in Cape Elizabeth was found to be rabid after testing on Friday by the Maine State Health and Environmental Testing Laboratory. It is the second animal tested and found rabid this year in Cape Elizabeth, according to Corey Hamilton, South Portland animal control officer. That first rabid animal also was a fox, he said. It is the ninth animal tested and found rabid in Cumberland County this year, according to the state lab website. A total of 26 animals so far have been tested and found rabid in Maine. The fox attacked and bit a 3-year-old boy and his mother at the park’s playground on Thursday afternoon. The child had tried to pet the fox, thinking it was a cat. The animal also attacked a park ranger, who wasn’t bitten by the animal. Under emergency protocol, the state park was closed and evacuated by park staff until the fox was found and killed.  Hamilton described the animal as male gray fox, about 1 year old and weighing 15 to 16 pounds. The fox carcass was taken to the state lab Friday morning, with testing completed that afternoon. The results were reported to the Maine Department of Conservation, which oversees the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL).

State Epidemiologist Dr. Stephen Sears, of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, reminds Maine residents to avoid contact with wild animals and to make sure their pets are up to date on rabies vaccination. “By avoiding contact with wild animals and maintaining pet vaccinations, we can prevent the spread of rabies,” Sears said. “Maine law requires that all dogs and cats be vaccinated because they often have contact with animals at high risk for rabies.” “It was very unfortunate that the child and mother were bitten and we wish them a speedy recovery,” Will Harris, BPL director, said Friday afternoon. “We hope our visitors will continue to enjoy our state parks, and we will continue to do everything we can to make sure they have a positive experience. Our visitors also should protect themselves by staying back and observing, rather than approaching wildlife.”

Massachusetts 07/08/11 capenews.net: by Diana T. Barth – A rabid fox attacked a Bournedale resident in his driveway across from Great Herring Pond near the Plymouth/Bourne line just before 8 o’clock on Sunday evening. Bourne Heath Agent Cynthia A. Coffin said the man suffered from a scratch that made it necessary for him to undergo post-exposure rabies vaccinations. “Everybody did the right thing,” said Timothy W. Mullen, director of the Bourne Department of Natural Resources. Mr. Mullen said the resident was able to kick the fox away, creating some distance, although not before the fox left a scratch on his leg with either its teeth or nails. When the fox ran toward the woods, rather than let the animal escape to attack someone else, the man chased after it and killed it with a paddle. The resident called the police to report the incident, and officers responded shortly thereafter. The police, in turn, called the DNR. A natural resources officer asked that the fox carcass be kept on ice until the officer could get to the scene. Mr. Mullen said the man was then persuaded to go to the hospital, while his wife brought the fox carcass to Cape Cod Veterinary Specialists in Buzzards Bay to be prepared for testing. On Monday morning at 8, a DNR officer brought the fox’s head to the state laboratory in Jamaica Plain, where it tested positive for rabies.

New Jersey 07/08/11 therepublic.com: Testing shows a kitten and another cat that attacked humans in northwestern New Jersey last week were rabid. Animal control officials tell the New Jersey Herald of Newton that other animals in the Wantage Township area may be infected, so residents are being warned to avoid wild or strangely acting animals. In one incident, a woman was attacked twice by the same feral cat as she got out of her car. The other involved three family members who were scratched by a kitten they took in because they thought it had a broken leg. They’re undergoing shots for rabies exposure. Officials have “strong suspicions” that a skunk, woodchuck and opossum found around the family’s home also may have rabies. Test results on those animals won’t be available until Monday.

New York 07/08/11 by Sarah Studley – A woodchuck captured in Ossining has been confirmed rabid, the Westchester County Department of Health said today. According to a statement, “The woodchuck appeared unhealthy and was captured and submitted for rabies testing on July 1. Test results received late yesterday confirmed that it was rabid.” The woodchuck was found in the area of Morningside Drive, between Nord Circle and Ridgeview Drive on July 1. “Anyone who believes that they or a pet may have had contact with this woodchuck, should contact the Westchester County Department of Health immediately at (914) 813-5000 to assess the need for rabies treatment,” said Westchester County Acting Commissioner of Health, Dr. Cheryl Archbald. “Anyone bitten by a rabid animal, or having contact with its saliva, may need to receive immediate rabies vaccination.”

Pennsylvania 07/10/11 timesleader.com: Edwardsville – Police are searching for a dog that viscously attacked a young girl Saturday morning. Police said the dog attacked the 6-year-old girl in her yard at 25 Church Street, biting the girl in her cheek, eye and nose area. The girl’s parents heard her cries and came to the backyard, at which point the dog ran away, police said. The girl was undergoing treatment at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital for non-life threatening injuries Saturday, police said, and may need to undergo a series of rabies shots if the dog that bit her cannot be located. The animal is described as a black and white dog, possibly a pit bull or Labrador retriever, last seen in the area of Church Street. Anyone with information about the dog’s owners or whereabouts is asked to contact Officer Lehman of the Edwardsville Police at 288-8463.

Pennsylvania 07/08/11 goerie.com: by David Bruce – A skunk found on a Union Township farm has tested positive for rabies. Six Yorkshire terriers who fought with the animal are quarantined for observation, said Karen Martin, veterinarian for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s northwest region. The skunk is the third animal to test positive for rabies in Erie County in 2011. Nine animals tested positive for the virus in 2010.

Texas 07/09/11 mysanantonio.com: by Zeke MacCormack – The death last week of a rabid raccoon at an animal rehabilitation center in Kendalia has prompted renewed warnings by authorities in Kendall County, where three rabies cases were previously reported this year. The ailing raccoon was found in a Bergheim resident’s yard June 3 and taken to the rehabilitation center, where it died Tuesday and was sent for testing at the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, according to Kendall County Chief Deputy Matt King. Anyone who has concerns about a possibly-rabid animal should call the Kendall County Animal Shelter at 830-537-3430.

Virginia 07/08/11 tricities.com: by Allie Robinson – A raccoon picked up on New Hampshire Avenue last week tested positive for rabies, according to preliminary results sent Wednesday to the Bristol Virginia Police Department from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services, according to a written statement from the Police Department. The raccoon was found near an area of King Mill Pike, where another rabid raccoon was found in June.

Travel Warnings:

Ecuador 07/09/11 typepad.com: A 13-year-old died a month ago from hemorrhagic dengue in Esmeraldas and four more cases of this disease have recently been confirmed, one in the same province and three in Manabí. They have set off epidemiological alarms in both coastal jurisdictions, where hundreds of cases of classic dengue are also reported. In Esmeraldas the Provincial Health Directorate considered the southern neighbourhoods the focus of the outbreak. The Directorate extended the alert to the neighbourhoods of Las Tolitas and San Rafael, saying they are “highly” likely to develop the disease, which is caused by the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The agency reported that in the Codesa sector alone, 265 classic dengue cases have been reported so far this year. César Díaz Cortez, provincial health director, said that the cause of the increase in cases is the lack of potable water: People conserve it in containers inside and outside their homes, converting them into mosquito nurseries.

Monkey Multiple Sclerosis discovered in Oregon suggests virus may cause human disease; Colorado investigating possible Bubonic Plague outbreak in Prairie Dog colony; West Nile Virus reports from Georgia, and Pennsylvania; and Rabies reports from New Jersey, and Virginia. Announcement: Natural Unseen Hazards receives Blog Award.

Japanese Macaque Monkey. Photo by Alfonsopazphoto. Wikimedia Commons.

 Oregon 06/28/11 ohsu.edu: Press Release – Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have discovered a naturally occurring disease in monkeys that is very much like multiple sclerosis in humans — a discovery that could have a major impact on efforts to understand the cause of multiple sclerosis. The disease that the researchers discovered in monkeys at OHSU’s Oregon National Primate Research Center is associated with a herpes virus that could give significant clues into how multiple sclerosis develops in humans. MS researchers have long believed that a type of herpes virus may trigger multiple sclerosis in people who are genetically susceptible to the disease. The OHSU researchers’ findings were published online today in the Annals of Neurology.

OHSU Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute

“These findings could have a huge impact on our understanding of MS and could be a landmark in someday developing more effective treatments for the disease, or even methods to prevent the onset of MS,” said Scott Wong, Ph.D., senior author of the study and a scientist at the Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute and the Oregon National Primate Research Center. Both elements of the OHSU discovery are important for MS researchers. Before the OHSU findings, researchers had been able to study MS-like diseases in nonhuman primates only after the disease had been artificially induced. A naturally occurring disease, such as the one discovered at OHSU, can give researchers many more clues into the causes and development of the disease. “Now, we may be able to tease apart what’s triggering the onset of the disease,” Wong said. (For complete article go to http://www.ohsu.edu/xd/about/news_events/news/2011/06-28-ohsu-researchers-discove.cfm )

Colorado 07/06/11 dailycamera.com: by Erica Meltzer – Boulder County health officials are investigating a possible outbreak of bubonic plague at a prairie dog colony off the South Boulder Creek Trail between Marshall Road and South Boulder Road. Carol McInnes, an environmental health specialist with the Boulder County Health Department, said she received a report Friday of a possible die-off at the colony via city open space rangers. Some trail users saw dead prairie dogs on the trail last week. The fleas McInnes collected Friday went by courier to a state lab for testing for signs of bubonic plague Wednesday morning. The results should be available later this week or early next week, she said. Plague occurs naturally in Colorado and is an infectious disease spread by fleas to wild rodents and other small mammals, such as squirrels, rats, prairie dogs and rabbits. Symptoms of plague infection include high fever, extreme fatigue and painful swollen lymph nodes. Anyone who notices these symptoms on themselves or on their pet should call their doctor or veterinarian immediately. Plague can be treated with antibiotics, but this treatment is most successful when the disease can be diagnosed quickly. People are advised to stay on the trail and keep their dogs and cats out of the colony. Household pets can spread infected fleas to humans, and cats can get sick themselves with plague. Pets that go outside should also have flea collars. People should never touch sick or dead animals with their bare hands, health department officials said.

Georgia 07/06/11 scaddistrict.com: Chatham County Mosquito Control said that a group of mosquitoes from midtown Savannah tested positive for the West Nile Virus (WNV).

Pennsylvania 07/06/11 examiner.com: by Yvonne P. Mazzulo – July 5th, the West Nile Virus Control Program (WNVCP) reported 4 more test positives in Cumberland, Lancaster, York, and Bucks County, which bring the total number of counties for test positives to 15. In comparison, only 5 counties had test positives by this time in 2010. 2011 Timeline and area detections:

  • June 6 – Morgan Twp, Green Co. – Mosquito Positives
  • June 14 – Penn Twp, Cumberland Co. – Mosquito Positives
  • June 20 – North Londonderry Twp, Lebanon Co.; Abington Twp, Montgomery Co.; Manchester Twp, York Co. – Mosquito Positives
  • June 23 – Susquehanna Twp, Dauphin Co.; Du Bois City, Clearfield Co. – Mosquito Positives
  • June 24 – Carlisle Bor, Cumberland Co.; Hamilton Twp, Franklin Co. – Mosquito Positives
  • June 28 – Carlisle Bor, Cumberland Co. – Mosquito Positives
  • June 29 – Brookhaven Bor, Delaware Co.; Tamaqua Bor, Schuylkill, Co.; Lower Paxton Twp, Dauphin Co. – Mosquito Positives
  • July 1 – Allegheny Twp, Blair Co.; Derry Twp, Dauphin Co. – Mosquito Positives
  • July 1 – State College Bor, Centre Co. – Avian (Bird) Positives
  • July 5 – Middletown Twp, Bucks Co.; Camp Hill Bor., Cumberland Co.; Brecknock Twp, Lancaster Co.; York City, York Co. – Mosquito Positives

As of July 5th, 2011 no human cases have been reported in Pennsylvania, but human cases have been reported, in the state, every year since 2001.

New Jersey 07/06/11 nbs.gmnews.com: A cat tested positive for rabies on Sturgis Road in Kendall Park on June 28, according to the South Brunswick Township website. The Middlesex County Public Health Department recommends that residents report wild animals showing signs of unusual behavior to their local animal control officer: moving slowly, acting tame, appearing sick, having trouble swallowing, showing an increase of saliva or drooling, acting aggressive, moving with difficulty, exhibiting signs of paralysis, or biting at everything.

Virginia 07/05/11 roanoke.com: Virginia Department of Health officials said a raccoon found in Green Hills Park in Salem late last month is confirmed to have rabies. The raccoon was reported to Roanoke Animal Contril as “unusual acting” by a dog-walker. Anyone who knows of any suspected contact — either by people or pets — with this raccoon is asked to call the VDH (204-9775) or Roanoke County Animal Control (562-3265.) According to the VDH news release on Friday, this is the seventh confirmed rabid animal — four foxes, one groundhog and two raccoon — in Roanoke County so far this year. There have also been five confirmed cases (a cat, three raccoons and a skunk) in Roanoke city and one confirmed rabid fox in Salem.

Announcement:

We wish to announce that the Natural Unseen Hazards blog is a very proud recipient of the 5 Stinger Award, which has been presented by ProBest Pest Management of Phoenix, Arizona, for Excellence in Pests/Insect/Pest Management Blogging.