California 07/10/15 abcnews.go.com: by Kaylee Heck – California residents are being warned to be more vigilant about coyotes after four attacks on children in the past month in the Irvine area. The most recent incident — this past Sunday — involved a 2-year-old child. “It was a child, about approximately 2 years old, was in the garage. They opened the garage up and the coyote came in and actually got the child on the neck area and part of the cheek,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife Lt. Kent Smirl told ABC’s Los Angeles station KABC.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife reported four incidents involving coyotes and young children in the past month in Irvine, where the children have either been bitten or scratched by a coyote. All four had minor injuries from the attacks. “These incidents highlight the importance of communities working together to eliminate sources of food that may attract wildlife to neighborhoods,” Capt. Rebecca Hartman said. “When coyotes are fed, either intentionally or unintentionally by food being left out, they can become a public safety threat.” Trappers have recently humanely euthanized five coyotes in the area and one was linked back to an attack through its DNA, KABC reported. Officials are concerned that coyotes are losing their natural fear of humans because they’re now associating humans with food. If a coyote approaches and looks aggressive, pick up small children and pets and throw rocks to deter the animal, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said. The only reported coyote-caused fatality in the state, according to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, occurred in 1981 when a 3-year-old girl was killed. – For video and links to related reports see http://abcnews.go.com/US/california-town-high-alert-coyotes-attack-children/story?id=32355667
Massachusetts 07/11/15 southcoasttoday.com: by Sandy Quadros Bpwles – Elizabeth Moniz immediately knew something was wrong. The 43-year-old North Dartmouth resident ate dinner as usual one evening in August 2013. But when she sat down after the meal, she felt “flu-ish’’ and spiked a fever. “I didn’t think it was something I ate,’’ she said. “I knew something was wrong to spike a fever that quickly. I went from cool as a cucumber to a temperature of 102.’’ A bite seemed a logical deduction, she said, especially because she spends much of her time outdoors as education/outreach director for Lloyd Center for the Environment in Dartmouth. She ruled out bees, hornets and wasps, because of her medical history: She would have suffered an immediate and extreme allergic reaction. And she didn’t think it was a tick, because she faithfully checks for ticks and pulls them off before they have time to do damage. Ticks have to remain attached for at least 24 hours before they transmit disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Still, when she visited a walk-in clinic, her blood work was tested for suspected tick-borne diseases. Doctors assumed she had anaplasmosis, a tick-borne disease. But the results revealed that “something was off,’’ the doctor told her.
The doctor referred her to Dr. Hanumara Ram Chowdri, an infectious disease specialist with a practice in New Bedford. Chowdri performed a blood test and, after looking for certain antibodies in her system, diagnosed her with an infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia miyamotoi, called miyamotoi. The disease is spread by deer ticks, which were the culprit, despite her aggressive efforts to search for and shower them off. Deer ticks can also spread Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and babesiosis. Dog ticks may spread tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. This was no ordinary diagnosis presented to Moniz. At the time, she was one of only five people in Massachusetts and 17 across the country to be diagnosed with the infection, which was originally identified in Russia, she was told.
A recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine described miyamotoi as something that “may be an emerging tickborne infection in the northeastern United States.’’ Patients diagnosed with the disease had a range of symptoms, including headache, fever and chills. The symptoms can become severe, with more than 50 percent of patients in the study diagnosed with sepsis, a potentially deadly inflammation caused by an infection. The study suggests that “10 percent of tick-exposed New England residents may have been exposed to miyamotoi’’ but not realized it because the condition may have symptoms similar to other tick-borne conditions. For every 4,000 Lyme disease cases, at least 200 cases were likely miyomoti, said Dr. Sam R. Telford III, a professor in the Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Grafton, who co-authored the study that identified miyomoti. Chowdri has since treated six to eight cases, with varying severity of symptoms, which range from a severe headache to others who are “quite sick-looking.’’ In the Northeast, 25 percent of the 51 patients diagnosed with the infection required hospitalization, he said. – For complete article see http://www.southcoasttoday.com/article/20150711/NEWS/150719854/101077
Texas 0710/15 amarillo.com: by Vanessa Garcia – Texas health officials confirmed Monday that, for the first time this year, a Texas Panhandle resident has contracted hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a virus that some rats and mice carry. “It’s rare, but half of the reported cases for hantavirus (in Texas) … since 1993 were residents from the Texas Panhandle and South Plains area,” said Christine Mann, spokeswoman for Texas Department of State Health Services. Hantavirus is carried by certain species of rats and mice that shed the virus in their urine, droppings and saliva. HPS can cause death if not treated. The resident who had contracted the disease was not from Potter or Randall counties, said Hope LaFreniere, city of Amarillo community relations assistant. The person with the HPS case recovered, health officials said. – For complete article see http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/2015-07-10/texas-panhandle-residents-contracts-hantavirus
Global cdc.gov: There are three types of plague caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis: Bubonic, which is the most common; Pneumonic; and Septicemic. The bacterium is usually transmitted through the bite of infected rodent fleas. Less common exposures include handling infected animal tissues (hunters, wildlife personnel), inhalation of infectious droplets from cats or dogs with plague, and, rarely, contact with a pneumonic plague patient. Those who reside in or travel to Africa, central Asia and the Indian subcontinent, northeastern South America and parts of the southwestern United States should especially be familiar with how they are transmitted and their symptoms. – See http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2016/infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/plague-bubonic-pneumonic-septicemic