Tag Archives: Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome

BLACK BEAR attacks marathon runner in NEW MEXICO ~ COLORADO mother rescues toddler from MOUNTAIN LION ~ NEW MEXICAN dies of HANTAVIRUS ~ First case of CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE confirmed in WYOMING’s STAR VALLEY.

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New Mexico 06/20/16 koat.com: New Mexico Department of Game and Fish conservation officers tracked and killed the bear that attacked a woman running in a marathon Saturday afternoon in the Valles Calderas National Preserve near Los Alamos. The victim apparently surprised a mother bear, whose cub ran up a nearby tree, New Mexico Department of Game and Fish officials said. The woman’s upper body, head and neck were bitten and scratched several times, but her injuries were not considered life-threatening. Her condition was not released. Nearby runners helped the victim until an emergency crew arrived. The victim was airlifted to an Albuquerque area hospital. The bear is to be transported to the state Veterinary Diagnostic Services center for necropsy. State law requires any wild animal that attacks or bites a human be euthanized and tested for rabies which is spread when an infected animal scratches or bites another animal or human.  “It is regrettable when a wildlife encounter results in human injuries and requires we euthanize the animal,” Department Director Alexandra Sandoval said in a statement. “We are thankful that the injuries sustained by the victim were not worse and are hopeful that she is able to recover quickly.” The bear was located not far from where the attack occurred and matches the information given by the victim. The bear was part of a study involving wild bears and was collared with a GPS tracking device which helped Officers confirm the bear’s location at the time of the incident. Officers are confident they caught the right bear. – See http://www.koat.com/news/marathon-runner-injured-in-bear-attack/40126104

Mountain Lion:

Powerful defensive mountain lion guards its kill in the winter snow.

Cougar. Bing Free Use License.

Colorado 06/18/16 cnn.com: by Andreas Preuss – A 5-year-old boy is recovering in a Denver hospital after being attacked by a mountain lion, officials said. The attack happened Friday night about 10 miles northwest of Aspen, Colorado, according to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office. A man called 911 dispatchers to report that his son had been attacked by a mountain lion and he was driving to the Aspen Valley Hospital, police said in a statement. The boy’s mother told police that the boy was playing outside with his older brother when she heard screams. The mother ran out and “physically removed her son from the mountain lion,” according to the statement. After initial treatment in Aspen, the boy was transferred to Children’s Hospital in Denver. He’s in fair condition with injuries to his face, head and neck. His mother was treated and released for minor injuries to her hand and legs. The family has not been identified. After the attack, deputies and an officer with the U.S. Forest Service located a mountain lion in the area and the animal was put down, police said. Investigators are also looking into reports of a second mountain lion in the area earlier in the day. Though mountain lions are not uncommon in Colorado, sightings are rare. – For video and complete article see http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/18/us/colorado-mountain-lion-attack/index.html

Hantavirus:

Hantavirus-OutbreakNew Mexico 06/14/16 lcsun-news.com: State health officials say a 25-year-old man from McKinley County in western New Mexico has died of hantavirus. The Health Department said Tuesday it marks the state’s fifth case of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome this year. An environmental investigation will be done at the patient’s home to help reduce the risk to others. The patient’s name wasn’t released. Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. People can contract the disease when they breathe in aerosolized virus. Health officials say the deer mouse is the main carrier for the strain found in New Mexico. Public health veterinarian Paul Etttestad says due to more precipitation, people are seeing a larger than usual number of mice and that’s leading to increased chances of being exposed. – See http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/local/new-mexico/2016/06/14/new-mexico-man-25-dies-hantavirus/85872692/

Chronic Wasting Disease:

cwd01deerWyoming 06/15/16 wyomingpublicmedia.org: by Liam Niemeyer – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department has confirmed the first ever case of Chronic Wasting Disease in Star Valley. Chronic Wasting Disease, or CWD, is a fatal brain disease that affects deer, elk and moose. The disease has mostly been reported in southeastern Wyoming, particularly in Albany and Laramie counties, and cases of CWD are relatively rare west of the continental divide. Two other infected deer were also found near Cody this past April. Scott Edberg of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department said the department isn’t sure how the disease reached Star Valley, but the department plans to monitor the deer population there as a precaution. “It’s a very tough disease to control. So our initial plan is to get an idea, keep our eyes on them, and closely monitor the deer in the area where this one was found and see if there are any other deer that are showing the same symptoms,” Edberg said. Animals with the disease often show symptoms like salivating excessively, not running away from humans, having a rough coat and appearing malnourished. There were 98 confirmed cases of CWD in Wyoming last year. – For complete article see http://wyomingpublicmedia.org/post/first-case-chronic-wasting-disease-confirmed-star-valley

Aggressive MOUNTAIN LION prompts shut-down of CALIFORNIA park ~ ZIKA VIRUS spreading rapidly across PUERTO RICO ~ NANTUCKET residents consider genetically engineered MICE to halt spread of LYME DISEASE ~ HANTAVIRUS claims life of UTAH man ~ NEVADA confirms PLAGUE found at public campground ~ COLORADO confirms FERAL CAT found with BUBONIC PLAGUE.

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California 06/07/16 mercurynews.com: by Marisa Kendall – Santa Clara County deputies found themselves in an unusual standoff Saturday — instead of waiting for a criminal to emerge from a hideout, they were waiting for a mountain lion to come down from a tree. The Sheriff’s Office evacuated McClellan Ranch Preserve as a precaution after a mountain lion growled at children in the park and then ran up a tree, said Captain Rick Sung. Experts from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife who also responded decided against tranquilizing and relocating the animal. Instead, they waited for the cougar to come down and leave of its own accord — which it did, without incident, after night fell. Sung said he was “very concerned” about the mountain lion’s presence, based on a report from a park visitor that it had behaved aggressively toward local children. The animal was camped out in the branches of a tree near McClellan Road and Club House Lane, across the street from a residential neighborhood. “We had a lot of deputies pretty much surrounding the park area just to make sure our residents are safe,” he said. Sung said there were several hundred children in the park with their families when it was evacuated. While the Sheriff’s Office occasionally receives calls about mountain lion sightings, Sung said it’s rare to hear of an animal displaying aggression. “Usually what it is, is people will see it and the mountain lion will just walk away,” he said. There have been 14 reported mountain lion attacks in California since 1986, including three fatal attacks, according to the Department of Fish and Wildlife. A 6-year-old boy was attacked near the Picchetti Winery in Cupertino in 2014 and survived. – For video and complete article see http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_29981034/mountain-lion-prompts-park-evacuation-near-cupertino

Zika Virus –

dt_160309_puerto_rico_map_zika_mosquito_800x600Puerto Rico 06/08/16 wsj.com: by Betsy McKay – The Zika virus is creeping north toward the continental U.S., and Alberto de la Vega has started to detect its signs. In ultrasounds he gives pregnant women who are infected with the virus in this American territory, he has seen a 22-week-old fetus with serious brain damage and two others with stunted growth. He is bracing for more. “If you ask me in a month,” says Dr. de la Vega, an obstetrician-gynecologist and chief of a high-risk-pregnancy unit at the capital’s University Hospital, “we may have 10 times the detection rate.” Zika has blanketed three-quarters of this lush island over the past six months, say health authorities, who expect it to keep spreading now that it is prime mosquito season. More than 1,350 people have tested positive for Zika since the beginning of the epidemic here, including 168 pregnant women. One patient died. Thousands more are likely infected without symptoms, health authorities say. Puerto Rico’s battle with Zika is giving local and U.S. health authorities a rare chance to better understand the disease as it makes its relentless march across the Americas. The island has advantages over Latin American and Caribbean nations that lack its modern medical system. It has strong public-health surveillance and anticipated Zika’s arrival, unlike Brazil, where the virus spread unnoticed for months. – For complete article see http://www.wsj.com/articles/zika-swamps-embattled-puerto-rico-1465395531

Lyme Disease –

Tick-Infested-Area-500Massachusetts 06/07/16 statnews.com: by Ike Swetlitz – Nantucket – This exclusive summer playground could become the site of an unprecedented experiment to combat Lyme disease by releasing genetically modified mice on the island. Nantucket boasts some of the highest Lyme infection rates in the country, and the idea unveiled Monday would involve modifying the genes of tens of thousands of mice to keep them from spreading the Lyme bacterium to ticks, which in turn infect people. Any release is years away, but an MIT professor presented the idea to the Nantucket board of health and an audience of about 20 residents and scientists, who were broadly favorable. If the project is realized, it might be the first release into the wild of animals modified with the cutting-edge gene-editing technique CRISPR. Other types of gene-editing have been used, for instance, to make farmed salmon grow faster and to make disease-carrying mosquitoes unable to reproduce. “This is something new,” said Kevin Esvelt, assistant professor at the MIT Media Lab and the project’s organizer. “We are considering deliberate alteration of the local environment.” Lyme disease is a significant problem for residents of Nantucket: The island had the highest rate of Lyme of any county in the US from 1992 to 2001, and finished in third place from 2002 to 2006, according to government data. – For complete article see https://www.statnews.com/2016/06/07/nantucket-lyme-genetic-engineering/

Hantavirus –

892008Utah 06/02/16 sltrib.com: by Bob Mims – State health officials say that a Utah man died after exposure to hantavirus last month. Medical privacy policies prohibited release of the man’s identity, but Utah Department of Health spokesman Tom Hudachko did confirm Thursday that the victim was between the ages of 45 and 64, and that he died in late May. “I can’t provide anything more specific than that,” he said. “We’ve worked with the family to provide information on how to safely clean rodent droppings from properties they frequent.” Rats, mice, and other burrowing and nesting rodents are known to carry the deadly disease, which can be spread to humans through contact with the animals’ urine, saliva, or feces. Hudachko said his agency now has recorded six hantavirus-related fatalities in Utah since 2009. – See http://www.sltrib.com/news/3959672-155/state-health-officials-confirm-may-hantavirus

Bubonic Plague –

Nevada 06/08/16 http://myfox8.com/: A flea from a yellow chipmunk in the Lake Tahoe area tested positive for plagueUSA Today reports. On Tuesday, the Lake Tahoe Basin Unit of the Forest Service, El Dorado County, Calif., officials and the California Department of Public Health reported they confirmed the presence of plague in the flea taken from Fallen Leaf Campground. The campground is about a quarter mile north of Fallen Leaf Lake in South Lake Tahoe. – For complete article see http://myfox8.com/2016/06/08/bubonic-plague-detected-at-lake-tahoe-area-campground/

2006-06jun-tigger-plus-mouse2Colorado 06/02/16 nbc11news.com:  The Delta County Health Department is warning residents of plague after a feral cat tested positive for the disease over the Memorial Day weekend. Health officials said the cat was found on Hanson Road near Cedaredge, then taken to Surface Creek Veterinary Center where it tested positive for plague before being euthanized. Officials said this is the first plague activity detected this season. “Plague is commonly transmitted by fleas, so taking steps to avoid fleas will help prevent spread of the disease,” said Ken Nordstrom, Delta County Health Department Environmental Health Director. – See http://www.nbc11news.com/content/news/Plague-found-in-Delta-County-health-officials-say-381664391.html

MOSQUITOES carrying ZIKA expected in U.S. next month ~ NEW MEXICAN and COLORADAN die of HANTAVIRUS ~ TICKS with LYME DISEASE increasing in NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND ~ WISCONSINS fear CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE spinning out of control.

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National 05/22/16 kticradio.com: With “well over 500” cases of the Zika virus currently in the U.S., Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on “This Week” Sunday that “forceful preparation” will be critical to preventing further spread in the U.S. this summer. “We already have Zika in the United States. But it is travel related,” Dr. Fauci said on ABC’s “This Week.” “The concern is that we will have local transmission; in other words, people who get infected in the United States, get bitten by a mosquito, but who have never left the continental United States. We fully expect that that will happen as we get to the more robust mosquito season in the next month or so.” “We need to make sure that those local outbreaks don’t become sustained and don’t become disseminated,” Fauci added. “That’s the reason why we need to have a very, very forceful preparation right now before that happens.” The Centers for Disease Control released new figures on Friday showing that 157 pregnant women in the continental U.S. show evidence of possible Zika virus infection, all related to travel outside the U.S. President Obama has requested Congress to allocate $1.9 billion in emergency funding to combat the spread of the virus. “This is something that is solvable. It is not something that we have to panic about. But it is something that we have to take seriously,” President Obama said Friday after meeting with Fauci and other top advisers tackling Zika. “This is not something where we can build a wall to prevent – mosquitoes don’t go through customs. To the extent that we’re not handling this thing on the front end, we’re going to have bigger problems on the back end.” A vaccine to combat Zika would be the main focus of government funding, according to Fauci, saying “We’re right now very aggressively developing the vaccine.” – For complete article see http://kticradio.com/abc_health/dr-fauci-forceful-preparation-key-to-combating-zika-spread-in-us-abcid35694201/

Hantavirus:

New Mexico 05/18/16 krqe.com: State health officials say a 30-year-old man from San Juan County has died of hantavirus. New Mexico Department of Health officials also announced Tuesday that an 84-year-old man from Santa Fe County currently is hospitalized with hantavirus. It’s the third and fourth cases of hantavirus in New Mexico this year. An environmental investigation will be conducted at each patient’s home to help reduce the risk to others. Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. Authorities say the deer mouse is the main carrier for the hantavirus strain found in New Mexico. – For complete article see  http://krqe.com/2016/05/18/state-health-dept-san-juan-county-man-dies-of-hantavirus/

Peromyscus maniculatus

This undated photo provided by the National Park Service, a deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus). The deer mouse helps spread hantavirus to humans. Its head and body are 2-3 inches long, and the tail adds another 2-3 inches. Its coat varies from gray to reddish brown, depending on the animal’s age. Found almost everywhere in North America, the deer mouse likes woodlands but also turns up in desert areas. An investigation of the hantavirus outbreak blamed for three deaths at Yosemite National Park recommends that design changes to tent cabins and other lodging run by private concessionaires first be reviewed by National Park Service officials. (AP Photo/National Park Service, John Good)

Colorado 05/19/16 denver.cbslocal.com: by Matt Kroschel – Public health officials confirmed that a man from Rio Grande County who had been exposed to hantavirus has died. Co-workers told CBS4 on Wednesday that Mark Jones, a local Architect and Philanthropist who friends say is responsible for the recent downtown revitalization in Del Norte, died after being diagnosed with hantavirus. “Speaking of Mark Jones he definitely has left a huge footprint on the town,” said Jones’ friend Kevin Haas. “I think the repercussions will be vast and I think we’ll feel it for a very long time.” The rare respiratory disease case is the second in the San Luis Valley this year. A Saguache County resident died from hantavirus exposure last month. Their deaths have prompted warnings from local health officials about the virus. Another person exposed to the virus is recovering in Montrose County. –  For complete article see http://denver.cbslocal.com/2016/05/19/man-dies-after-hantavirus-exposure-2nd-in-san-luis-valley-this-year/

 

Lyme Disease:

green-tick-logoNorthern New England 05/18/16 washingtontimes.com: by Lisa Ratke – Ticks that carry Lyme disease have reached into northern Maine and are increasing in Vermont, where the state’s entomologist expects cases of the disease to continue to rise and the insects to inhabit new areas. Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire are among 17 states with high-risk counties for Lyme disease. The reasons for the increase in populations are varied: climatic factors, land development patterns and hosts like deer and rodents. “Lyme disease is a real concern,” said Vermont state entomologist Alan Graham, who hopes to do a statewide survey of ticks this year. New Hampshire had one of the one of the highest incidence rates of Lyme disease in the country, with an estimated 1,373 cases identified last year, according to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. – For complete article see http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/18/vermont-expects-lyme-disease-cases-to-rise/

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD):

Response_img_070111Wisconsin 05/18/16 hostmadison.com: by Steven Elbow – Matt Limmex has been hunting deer on his family’s land near Spring Green his entire life. But in recent years the satisfaction of bagging a buck has been tainted by concerns about chronic wasting disease. “An older buck, you’re almost certain it’ll be positive,” said the 52-year-old Iowa County dairy farmer. “Or you’ll be surprised when it isn’t.” For Limmex the annual bounty of the deer hunt has become an exercise in carcass disposal. In recent years he’s been spotting “the droolers and the shakers” with increasing frequency. At the request of the DNR, he has shot down deer that were too sick to run away, and more often than not, they test positive for the disease, which destroys the nervous systems of cervids — elk, deer and moose — reducing them to bony shadows of their former selves. He hasn’t kept track of the numbers, but he estimates that he and his family have killed more than three dozen CWD-positive deer, at least a dozen of them in the last two years. And that, he said, has taken its toll on the once-sublime experience of shooting a deer for the family table. “It’s not much fun to be shooting sick deer,” he said.

20110816__Identity_HuntHarvestHelpLimmex lives smack in the middle of a 144-square-mile cauldron of deer and disease centered in Iowa County’s Wyoming Valley and stretching into western Dane County, one of the most CWD-infected areas in the nation. According the most recent monitoring data, if he shoots a doe, there’s roughly a one-in-four chance that it’s going to have CWD. If he shoots a buck, it’s essentially a flip of the coin. In the Wyoming Valley, the prevalence of the disease among adult male deer — those 2 ½ or older — has seen an annual growth rate of 23 percent since it was discovered in 2002. By 2006, 6 percent of bucks tested had the disease. By 2010, it was 20 percent. In 2015, more than 40 percent. Prevalence among does, for reasons still under study, is lower: just over 25 percent, but growing at a faster clip. The zone is so polluted with the disease that it’s in the soil, likely taken up in plants that deer feed on. And CWD’s geographic reach is expanding, stretching for the first time last fall to the Northwoods at a hunting preserve in Oneida County and popping up at an Eau Claire County deer farm in west central Wisconsin last summer. It’s been found to exist in 18 Wisconsin counties, but because of close proximities to the sick deer, 41 of the state’s 72 counties are banned from baiting and feeding deer in an effort to reduce deer-to-deer infection. Its global reach is expanding as well. It’s been detected in 24 states — up from 18 in 2010 — two Canadian provinces, South Korea, and most recently last year in Norway. – For complete article see http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/environment/some-fear-that-chronic-wasting-disease-is-spinning-out-of/article_fdd10051-8542-577c-84ed-81d83335cced.html

Invasive TICK species moving into MICHIGAN ~ NEW MEXICAN dies of HANTAVIRUS ~ PENNSYLVANIA reports number of DEER with CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE doubled in 2015 ~ APPALACHIAN TRAIL shelter in NORTH CAROLINA closed after BEAR bites camper ~ Five VIRGINIANS exposed to RABIES by STRAY DOG.

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Image compliments of CDC.

Michigan 05/17/16 wwmt.com: A new tick species is spreading throughout Michigan. Entomologists say the Lone Star tick is relatively new and can spread diseases like the Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia and can cause tick paralysis. Experts are also warning of increase tick activity during the warmer months. This is because of the resurgence in the white-tailed deer and wild turkey populations which can serve as hosts for the ticks. – See http://wwmt.com/news/local/new-tick-spreading-in-michigan

Hantavirus:

hantavirus.339988iidNew Mexico 05/17/16 kcbd.com: State health officials say a 30-year-old man from San Juan County has died of hantavirus. New Mexico Department of Health officials also announced Tuesday that an 84-year-old man from Santa Fe County currently is hospitalized with hantavirus. It’s the third and fourth cases of hantavirus in New Mexico this year. An environmental investigation will be conducted at each patient’s home to help reduce the risk to others. Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. Authorities say the deer mouse is the main carrier for the hantavirus strain found in New Mexico. – For complete article see http://www.kcbd.com/story/31998276/state-health-dept-san-juan-county-man-dies-of-hantavirus

 

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD):

HEADERPennsylvania 5/12/16 pennlive.com: by Marcus Schneck – In announcing that a record 12 white-tailed deer were found to be infected with chronic wasting disease in 2015, the Pennsylvania Game Commission said targeted removal of deer may be on the table as it considers options to fight the spread of the disease. The commission outlined possible “active control measures” that could involve targeted removal of deer in locations where CWD-positive animals have been found. The 12 free-ranging deer with CWD were found in Disease Management Area 2, which last year covered all or parts of Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon and Somerset counties, but has now been expanded by 437 square miles. Special rules regarding the hunting, transport and feeding of wild deer apply within all DMAs. CWD is an always fatal neurological disease of white-tailed tree and other members of the deer family. – For complete article see http://www.pennlive.com/pa-sportsman/2016/05/with_deer_disease_doubling_in.html

Bear:

black-bear-backcountry-movie_hNorth Carolina 5/12/16 wlos.com: by Krystyna Biassou & Rex Hodge – A backcountry camping area in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is closed after a bear attack on a hiker. Rangers say 49-year-old Bradley Veeder of Las Vegas was bitten on his leg late Tuesday night while sleeping in his tent near the Spence Field shelter. That’s along the Appalachian Trail. Fellow hikers rendered aid. “He had 2 puncture wounds on his leg and we just did some First Aid, wrapped it up, called the park rangers, let them know it wasn’t life-threatening. They came in on horses in the morning and picked him up and brought a horse for him to ride down,” says Derek Roecklein. Veeder, an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, was transported out of the backcountry by horseback and taken to Blount Memorial Hospital by Rural Metro Ambulances Service on Wednesday. The bear initially ran off, but returned and tore up two tents. – For video and complete article see http://wlos.com/news/local/shelter-closed-after-bear-bites-sleeping-hiker

Rabies:

Dog_1Virginia 5/13/16 scnow.com: Five people have been referred to their health care providers for consultation after potentially being exposed to rabies in the Lynchburg area of Lee County by a stray dog that tested positive for the disease, the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reported Friday. The stray dog began showing neurological symptoms and was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on May 9. Rabies was confirmed in the dog on May 11. During care and handling of the dog, a total of five people were potentially exposed. It is unknown how the dog contracted the rabies virus, however, bite wounds were discovered on the animal. In addition, five pet dogs were potentially exposed to the rabies virus by the stray dog. None of these pets was current on its rabies vaccination and is required to undergo a 180-day quarantine period or be euthanized per the Rabies Control Act. – For complete article see http://www.scnow.com/news/local/article_ed05db96-1944-11e6-9e7c-4f06dc166821.html

 

PUERTO RICO reports sharp rise in ZIKA VIRUS cases ~ OREGON county reports first-ever case of HANTAVIRUS

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Puerto Rico 02/12/16 washingtonpost.com: by Brady Dennis – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday detailed a sharp rise in Zika virus infections in Puerto Rico, from a single case involving an 80-year-old late last year to nearly 30 confirmed patients by the end of January. One case involved a woman in the first trimester of pregnancy, and another occurred in a patient hospitalized for Guillain-Barré syndrome, a potentially paralyzing condition that has followed Zika infections in some patients. The CDC said the commonwealth has not reported any Zika-associated cases of microcephaly — the congenital defect, characterized by abnormally small head size and brain damage, that is suspected in hundreds of newborns at the outbreak’s epicenter in Brazil. Public health officials expect the prevalence of the virus to only increase in Puerto Rico in coming weeks and months. One big reason: The mosquito that most commonly transmits it, Aedes aegypti, is present throughout the island. “The risk to Puerto Rico is significant,” CDC Director Tom Frieden said recently. The U.S. territory has experienced previous widespread outbreaks of dengue fever, another virus spread by the same type of mosquito. Most of the people infected with Zika so far live on the the eastern side of the island or around the populous capital of San Juan, according to the CDC. Four patients have been hospitalized, but most have reported only minor symptoms, such as rash, joint pain or eye pain. – For complete article see https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/02/12/cdc-puerto-rico-seeing-mounting-cases-of-zika-virus-infection/

HANTAVIRUS:

hantavirus.339988iidOregon 02/12/16 eastoregonian.com: Hantavirus is here. The sometimes fatal rodent-borne virus has been diagnosed in a Umatilla County resident for the first time ever. The county health department wouldn’t give details about the victim to protect the person’s privacy, but the case prompted Umatilla County’s Public Health Officer Dr. Jon Hitzman to issue a warning. “Hantavirus is a rare but serious disease spread by rodents,” Hitzman said. “This disease can frequently become fatal, but there are steps you can take to reduce your exposure.” The virus lurks in enclosed areas such as barns, outbuildings and sheds where mice nest. Since hantavirus was first identified in 1993, 588 cases showed up nationally, 21 of them in Oregon. About two thirds of cases in Oregon were contracted through direct contact with rodents or rodent droppings. Other cases came through indirect exposure while camping or farming. – For complete article see http://www.eastoregonian.com/eo/local-news/20160212/first-ever-umatilla-county-hantavirus-case-diagnosed

WHO expects ZIKA VIRUS to reach most countries of the AMERICAS ~ CDC expands ZIKA VIRUS TRAVEL WARNING ~ CDC officials says big ZIKA VIRUS outbreak unlikely in US ~ ARIZONA officials confirm HANTAVIRUS fatality ~ ARIZONA scientist says DEER are developing genetic resistance to CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE.

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South, Central and North America 01/25/16 wcvb.com: by Emily Smith – The World Health Organization anticipates that the Zika virus will spread to all but two countries in South, Central and North America. The mosquito-borne disease has raged in South America and other regions for several months. Twenty-one countries and territories of the Americas have reported cases of the virus since Brazil reported the first cases of local transmission in May 2015, WHO’s regional office for the Americas said in a statement. “Aedes mosquitoes — the main vector for Zika transmission — are present in all the region’s countries except Canada and continental Chile,” the statement said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged pregnant women to postpone travel to Bolivia, Brazil, Cape Verde, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Martin, Suriname, Samoa, Venezuela and Puerto Rico. The CDC also recommended that women who have recently traveled to these places during their pregnancy be screened and monitored for the virus. – For complete article see http://www.wcvb.com/health/who-expects-zika-virus-to-spread/37620996

Caribbean 01/26/16 cdc.gov: Media Release – Today, CDC added the following destinations to the Zika virus travel alertsUnited States Virgin Islands and Dominican Republic.  Previously, CDC issued a travel alert (Level 2-Practice Enhanced Precautions) for people traveling to regions and certain countries where Zika virus transmission is ongoing: the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory; Barbados; Bolivia; Brazil; Cape Verde; Colombia; Ecuador; El Salvador; French Guiana; Guadeloupe; Guatemala; Guyana; Haiti; Honduras; Martinique; Mexico; Panama; Paraguay; Saint Martin; Samoa; Suriname; and Venezuela.  Specific areas where Zika virus transmission is ongoing are often difficult to determine and are likely to continue to change over time. As more information becomes available, CDC travel alerts will be updated. – For complete release see http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/s0126-zika-travel-guidance.html

National 01/27/16 npr.org: by Rob Stein – The outbreak of Zika virus in Brazil and other countries has raised concern that the pathogen could start spreading widely in the United States, as well. But federal health officials and other infectious disease specialists say so far that seems unlikely. “Based on what we know right now, we don’t think that widespread transmission in the United States is likely,” says Dr. Beth Bell, director of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There are several reasons for Bell’s cautious optimism that isolated cases that show up in the U.S. could be contained. The first is that the two species of mosquitoes that could be capable of transmitting the virus, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, live mostly in the southern, more tropical parts of the U.S. That makes it likely that transmission would be limited primarily to these areas. And for various reasons, the chain of events and conditions the virus needs in order to spread is more easily disrupted in the U.S. than elsewhere. For example, many people in the U.S. have air conditioning in the summer, so aren’t as likely to leave windows open at the times of day when mosquitoes are especially active. Open windows also tend to have screens. And many counties and other municipalities spray to kill mosquitoes and are vigilant in trying to eliminate pools of standing water where the insects can breed. “These are all conditions that make it less likely for ongoing, large-scale spread to occur,” Bell says. – For complete article see http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/01/26/464459350/big-zika-virus-outbreak-unlikely-in-the-u-s-officials-say

Hantavirus:
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Arizona 01/25/16 lakepowelllife.com: by John Christian Hopkins – A 17-year-old Cameron girl is the first victim of the Hantavirus on the Navajo Nation in 2016. The death was confirmed by the Navajo Department of Health and the Navajo Epidemiology Center on January 19. . . . The girl was active in her community and had a 4.0 GPA. She had Hantavirus symptoms when she visited the Tuba City Hospital, and died en route to the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque. – For complete article see http://www.lakepowelllife.com/navajo-girl-dies-from-hantavirus/

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD):

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National 01/22/16 greatfallstribune.com: by Nicholas Haley, DVM, PhD – Perhaps no issue is as controversial in the hunting community right now as Chronic Wasting Disease. There’s constant finger-pointing and a lot of theories about how it will change hunting forever for the worse. But fortunately, emerging scientific research suggests that CWD doesn’t have to be the scourge that many fear. Last year, a herd at an Iowa ranch was depopulated after one of the animals tested positive for CWD, as is standard U.S. Department of Agriculture protocol. However, the situation took years to resolve as the ranch owner fought for a more equitable solution. As such, CWD naturally spread among the animals. This provided a unique opportunity for testing of the animals, since depopulation normally occurs relatively quickly. After testing and euthanizing the entire herd, sadly a large percentage were identified as CWD positive. The silver lining was that 20 percent were negative, and we are currently looking at a genetic link to resistance in these animals. If we can further characterize this resistance in deer, that’s very promising. As CWD spreads — and it will, since you can’t stop free-ranging deer from moving around — then the deer that are more genetically susceptible to the disease will die off at higher rates than those that are less genetically susceptible. The net result will be a hardier population of deer that is more resistant to CWD. With farmed deer, there’s the potential to select for this resistance faster than nature herself could. – For complete article see http://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/opinion/guest-opinions/2016/01/22/chronic-wasting-disease-prognosis/79199086/

CDC issues ZIKA TRAVEL ALERT ~ HAWAIIAN baby’s brain damage tied to ZIKA VIRUS ~ ZIKA VIRUS confirmed in TEXAS traveler – DENGUE FEVER outrbreak prompts HAWAII officials to close recreational area ~ ARIZONA officials confirm HANTAVIRUS death

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National 01/15/16 medscape.com: by Robert Lowes – Pregnant women in any trimester should consider postponing travel to 14 countries and territories in South and Central America and the Caribbean where mosquitos are spreading the Zika virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced tonight. Viral infection in pregnant women has been associated with microcephaly in infants. In what it calls a level 2 travel alert, the CDC also advises women who are thinking about becoming pregnant to consult with their physician before traveling to these areas, and if they do, follow strict precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Safeguards include wearing long-sleeve shirts and long pants and using insect repellent. The 14 countries and territories covered by the travel alert are Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. – For complete article see http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/857389?nlid=97363_3901&src=wnl_newsalrt_160115_MSCPEDIT&uac=218349HV&impID=957011&faf=1

Author’s Note: For “Short Answers to Hard Questions About Zika Virus” see http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/01/16/health/what-is-zika-virus.html?emc=edit_tnt_20160117&nlid=57949252&tntemail0=y

Hawaii 01/18/16 cbsnews.com: Health officials say a baby born in a Hawaii hospital is the zikavirus.symptom77884first in the United States born with Zika virus.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Sunday it’s also the first infant born in the country with microcephaly associated with Zika virus, a birth defect where a baby’s head is smaller than expected. Babies with the condition often have smaller brains that might not have developed properly, often resulting in mental retardation. The virus, which is transmitted through mosquito bites, has affected between 440,000 and 1.3 million people in Brazil since last May, officials estimate. Researchers say they’ve found strong evidence that a recent surge in microcephaly in the country — 3,530 babies have been born with the condition since October, up from fewer than 150 in 2014 — is linked to Zika virus. – For complete article see http://www.cbsnews.com/news/hawaii-baby-born-with-brain-damage-linked-to-zika-virus/

National 01/11/16 medscape.com: by Janis C. Kelly – Zika virus, a mosquito-borne infection believed to cause microcephaly in infants born to infected mothers, has crossed from Latin America into Texas, experts reported today. The case of Zika in a traveler recently returned from El Salvador was confirmed through investigations by Harris County, Texas, health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The case is expected to result in major new surveillance and vector-control initiatives. Peter Hotez, MD, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, and Texas Children’s Hospital Endowed Chair of Tropical Pediatrics, Houston, told  Medscape Medical News, “There is a perfect storm brewing for Zika virus in the US. I was never worried that Ebola would take off here, but I am worried about Zika. We have 2 species of Aedes mosquitoes that can transmit Zika in our area. We also have high levels of poverty, resulting in people living without window screens and near discarded tires and other water-catching containers where the mosquitoes can breed.” Dr Hotez said that Zika infection usually produces nonspecific, influenza-like symptoms Zika-Virus-2.rashin pregnant women, with the associated birth defects becoming apparent only 9 months later. “By that time, it is too late,” Dr Hotez said. “This first case of Zika infection in Harris County is a wake-up call, a warning that we should immediately start implementing programs of active surveillance. As we move into the spring and summer months, if we start seeing cases among people who have never traveled outside of the country, we need to implement aggressive mosquito control measures as well as health advisories for people to implement personal protection measures.” – For complete article see http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/857072?nlid=96603_3901&src=wnl_newsalrt_160112_MSCPEDIT&uac=218349HV&impID=953397&faf=1

Author’s Note: According to numerous reports, the infected traveler is a resident of the City of Houston, Texas.

Dengue Fever:

Hawaii 01/15/16 abcnews.go.com: by Marina Riker – Hawaii officials closed a Big Island a_48road, campground and hiking trail in an effort to stop the spread of a  dengue fever outbreak that has sickened 223 residents and visitors as of Friday. Five of those cases could be potentially infectious, according to the Hawaii Department of Health. The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources closed the Muliwai hiking trail on the far cliff side of Waipio Valley and its Waimanu Valley campground on Friday. Hawaii County’s Civil Defense Agency blocked all traffic to Waipio Valley Access Road on Thursday and limited access to residents. The road closure comes three weeks after health officials closed access to state lands near Milolii and Honomalino Bay, which were “hotspots” for the mosquito-borne virus. – For complete article see http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/dengue-fever-prompts-hawaii-campground-trail-road-closures-36327566

Hantavirus:

Arizona 01/13/16 azdailysun.com: A resident of the Navajo Nation who lived in the east central part of Coconino County has died of complications of Hantavirus Pulmonary imagesCAULAVUQSyndrome. The rare but potentially fatal disease, which has no vaccine or cure, is spread by infected rodent droppings. It is the fourth confirmed case of hantavirus reported in Coconino County since 2006. Two of those cases resulted in death. It is not known at this time where the recently deceased individual contracted hantavirus. Studies show that wild mice throughout Arizona have been infected with hantavirus. It is transmitted to humans when they breathe air contaminated with the virus. If fresh rodent droppings, urine or nesting materials from infected animals are stirred up, tiny droplets containing the virus get into the air. Exposure to mouse droppings in enclosed areas such as cabins, sheds and outbuildings poses the greatest potential risk for contracting hantavirus. – For complete article including symptoms and recommendations see http://azdailysun.com/news/local/officials-confirm-hantavirus-death/article_9542f93e-6fb6-57c5-a401-6a19dfe9b1c1.html