Tag Archives: Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome

COLORADAN succumbs to HANTAVIRUS ~ CANADA confirms new case of MAD COW DISEASE ~ A Smithsonian Science Q & A about TICKS ~ CANADA reports H5N1 AVIAN FLU outbreak ~ STUDY shows LYME DISEASE costs may top $1 billion annually ~ RABIES report from FLORIDA ~ ANNOUNCEMENT: Call for papers in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

Deer mouse. Courtesy Center for Disease Control.

Deer mouse. Courtesy Center for Disease Control.

Colorado 02/13/15 chaffeecountytimes.com: by Maisie Ramsay – Hantavirus caused the death of 53-year-old Buena Vista resident Chris Banning, Chaffee County health officials confirmed Friday. “Chris Banning’s official cause of death was hantavirus pulmonary syndrome,” Chaffee County Coroner Randy Amettis said. Banning died Jan. 11 at Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center in Salida. “It was a very sad situation because he was an extremely healthy person,” Chaffee County Public Health director Susan Ellis said. “Your heart just breaks for these types of things. They happen so quickly.” Hantavirus is contracted from exposure to feces, urine or saliva from infected rodents such as deer mice. The disease is rare, but has a high mortality rate, killing about 40 percent of those who contract the virus.

CO-CDPHE_logoFifty cases of hantavirus were reported in Colorado between 2003 and 2013, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. During that 10-year period, CDPHE reported only one case in Chaffee County. Chaffee County Public Health evaluated sites where Banning may have contracted hantavirus, but none were identified as the specific source of contamination. None of the sites were public locations, Ellis said. The coroner alerted Banning’s family and others to their risk of exposure. They were advised to watch their symptoms for six weeks following potential exposure. It takes 1-5 weeks before those exposed to hantavirus show symptoms, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The disease is not transmittable between humans, cats or dogs. – For complete article with symptoms and precautions see http://www.chaffeecountytimes.com/free_content/article_31f01628-b3d8-11e4-9a2a-8b2a52d556a8.html

MAD COW DISEASE:

CANADA:

madcowAlberta 02/13/15 bnn.ca: Canada confirmed its first case of mad cow disease since 2011 on Friday but said the discovery, which helped drive cattle prices higher, should not hit a beef export sector worth C$2 billion ($1.6 billion) a year. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said no part of the animal, a beef cow from Alberta, had reached the human food or animal feed systems. Mad cow is formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), a progressive, fatal neurological disease. “The CFIA is seeking to confirm the age of the animal, its history and how it became infected. The investigation will focus in on the feed supplied to this animal during the first year of its life,” the agency said. Canadian exports were badly hit in 2003 after the first case of BSE was detected. Canada subsequently tightened its controls and many nations have since resumed the beef trade with Canada, despite the discovery of more cases since then. Asked whether he was concerned about exports being harmed, Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz told reporters in Calgary: “Not at this time, no.” He added though that markets in South Korea and Japan were generally very concerned about the potential risk from BSE. A fresh discovery of BSE may not close borders to beef, given the tougher measures, but it could delay Canada’s efforts to upgrade its international risk status from the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). Ritz said Canada’s current OIE risk status meant it could report up to 12 outbreaks in a calendar year. – For complete article and video see http://www.bnn.ca/News/2015/2/13/Mad-cow-disease-confirmed-in-Alberta-cow.aspx

TICKS:

Ticks_KnownDiseases_HorizGlobal 02/11/15 smithsonianscience.org: – Have you ever wondered how many species of ticks have been identified? Or given any thought at all to whether ticks are insects or arachnids? For a Smithsonian Science Q & A about ticks with Lorenza Beati, curator of the U.S. National Tick Collection, see http://smithsonianscience.org/2015/02/tickstick/

H5N1 AVIAN FLU:

Canada:

H5N1_46225British Columbia 02/0-9/15 reuters.com: by Sybille de la Hamaide – Canada reported an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu virus in the province of British Columbia, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Monday. The outbreak was detected on Feb. 2 in a backyard poultry flock in the province, where bird flu cases of the separate H5N2 strain had been reported in December, OIE said, citing the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). The agency stressed that H5N1 avian influenza had not been reported in a commercial poultry flock in Canada and that the virus found in British Columbia was different from a strain circulating in Asia. No human infections have been reported with the H5N1 virus detected in Canada, unlike the genetically different Asian strain, an OIE spokeswoman said. H5N1 bird flu, which first infected humans in 1997 in Hong Kong, has since spread from Asia to Europe and Africa and has become entrenched in poultry in some countries, causing millions of poultry infections and several hundred human deaths. “Based on the limited partial sequence of the H5 and N1 gene segments obtained this far, it appears very likely that this is the same or a very similar virus to the … H5N1 virus in Washington state, but more sequencing will be needed to make a final conclusion,” the CFIA said in its report. – See http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/09/us-canada-birdflu-idUSKBN0LD1QL20150209

LYME DISEASE:

dollar-signlyme-disease-awareness-ribbon-mdNational 02/06/15 healio.com: Researchers from Johns Hopkins University reported that the long-term consequences of Lyme disease infection is having a significant impact on the United States health care system — costing upwards of $1.3 billion annually, or almost $3,000 a patient on average. “Routine follow up of patients after initial treatment of Lyme disease may be important to identify those who go on to develop post-treatment Lyme symptoms,” John Aucott, MD, assistant professor of rheumatology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told Infectious Disease News. “Symptoms of unusual fatigue, new musculoskeletal symptoms, or other unexplained symptoms in a patient recently treated for Lyme disease should raise the question of possible Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome.” Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome, or PTLDS, continues to be a controversial topic. Some physicians and patient advocacy groups claim that PTLDS is a chronic condition lasting weeks, months or even years after initial antibiotic treatment has been dispensed, calling it “chronic Lyme disease.” Others argue that there is insufficient evidence of the persistence of viable Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria in PTLDS, and that long-term symptoms like fatigue, musculoskeletal pain and neurological manifestations are unrelated to the infection.

jhu-logoaaCDC-LogoAccording to the CDC, 10% to 20% of patients treated for Lyme disease with the recommended 2- to 4-week course of antibiotics have PTLDS. After initial antibiotic therapy, there are limited treatment options for patients reporting persistent symptoms of Lyme disease. “Our study looks at the actual costs of treating patients in the year following their Lyme diagnosis,” Emily R. Adrion, MSc, a PhD candidate in the department of health policy and management at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said in a press release. “Regardless of what you call it, our data show that many people who have been diagnosed with Lyme disease are in fact going back to the doctor complaining of persistent symptoms, getting multiple tests and being retreated. They cost the health care system about $1 billion a year and it is clear that we need effective, cost-effective and compassionate management of these patients to improve their outcomes even if we don’t know what to call the disease.” – For complete article see http://www.healio.com/infectious-disease/zoonotic-infections/news/online/%7Beb7cb6ca-f815-4412-a75f-0ea8ac60b01d%7D/ptlds-costs-estimated-at-1-billion-annually-in-us

RABIES:

520bc0501588c.preview-300Florida 02/06/15 Alachua County: A Rabies Alert has been issued after an unvaccinated dog belonging to a local business owner tested positive for the virus. At least 10 people were treated for potential exposure after it was learned they had been in contact with the 30-pound, black-and-white bull terrier near Gateway Farms at 22413 NW 227th Drive in High Springs. Others who may have been in contact with the dog are being urged to seek immediate medical advice. – See http://www.gainesville.com/article/20150206/ARTICLES/150209708

~ ANNOUNCEMENT ~

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Dynamics in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (DMID)

DMID is an open access journal that publishes articles in all the fields of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. All manuscripts are reviewed by the editorial board members or qualified reviewers. Our peer review process is very fast, highly rigorous and it takes just a few days to weeks, and authors are carried along adequately in all the publication processes. The Journal welcomes the submission of manuscript(s) that meet the general scope and criteria of DMID. Our objective is to inform authors of the decision on their manuscript(s) within a few weeks of submission. Authors should submit their original manuscripts, reviews, commentaries and perspectives via email attachment to dmid@journaldynamics.org or our on-line platform a http://www.journaldynamics.org/submitmanuscript/dmid/. – See http://www.journaldynamics.org/callforpapers/dmid/

Are urban COYOTES more aggressive now? ~ Study shows CHIKUNGUNYA often misdiagnosed ~ HANTAVIRUS found in CALIFORNIA HARVEST MICE ~ RABIES report from SOUTH CAROLINA.

Coyote. Photo by Dawn Beattie of Morrow Bay, CA. Wikimedia Commons.

Coyote. Photo by Dawn Beattie of Morrow Bay, CA. Wikimedia Commons.

North America 02/01/15 utsandiego.com: by Deborah Sullivan Brennan – (Excerpts)

Coyotes have attacked at least 122 people between 1977 and 2008, including a three-year-old Glendale girl who died from the bites in 1981, according to two California professors who have chronicled the animals’ run-ins with humans in urban areas. Coyotes typically flee people, but frequent contact with humans can embolden them, with dangerous results.”

CalPolyLogo” Rex Baker, a professor emeritus of agricultural biology at Cal Poly Pomona, has spent years documenting the animals’ urban exploits, and believes the problem of coyote aggression is increasing. He and colleague Robert Timm, a researcher for the University of California’s agricultural extension, monitored reports of coyote attacks in the U.S. since 1977. California saw far more incidents of coyote aggression than any other state, with the 122 documented reports between 1977 and 2008. Arizona had 37 attacks during that time, Colorado had 12 and all remaining states had fewer than 10.”

anr445” In 1981, a three-year-old Glendale girl, Kelly Keen, was fatally attacked by coyotes while playing in her front yard. Two coyotes killed a19-year-old Canadian woman, Taylor Mitchell, as she hiked alone in Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia in 2009. There have been other close calls. During one week in 2008, three young children were threatened or bitten by coyotes in San Bernardino County. In one of those incidents, a coyote grabbed a two-year-old girl by the head and tried to drag her from her yard in Lake Arrowhead, releasing her when the toddler’s mother approached. A week later, a nanny wrestled a two-year-old girl from the jaws of a coyote at a Chino Hills park.” – For complete article see http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2015/feb/01/san-diego-urban-coyote-bite/2/?#article-copy

CHIKUNGUNYA:

THR_Nov_2014_pp68_01Global 02/02/15 immortal.org: by Christine Layton – A new study has found that Chikungunya virus and rheumatoid arthritis present similar symptoms and even test results, emphasizing the importance of accurate diagnosis. Chikungunya is transmitted by mosquitoes and it’s typically diagnosed in Central and South America, India, the Caribbean and Africa. Symptoms include fever and a rash, as well as severe joint pain that can last for weeks or up to one year. While mosquito-borne diseases are common in humid, equatorial areas, Chikungunya has made its way through Florida in recent years. In fact, the FDA may approve an experiment to release millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida to combat dengue and Chikungunya in the United States. Researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that patients with rheumatoid arthritis often have the same symptoms, which may result in an inaccurate diagnosis and treatment, according to the Voice Chronicle. The researchers recommend doctors consider the travel and medical history of patients to avoid a misdiagnosis, as patients who have Chikungunya may be treated with medication for rheumatoid arthritis, which can worsen the condition, according to Daily Science Journal. With this new information about Chikungunya virus, health officials are concerned that the disease could become a diagnostic challenge over the new few years as the virus continues to gain ground in the United States. As blood samples are similar for rheumatoid arthritis and Chikungunya virus, doctors hope immune-suppression drugs that treat arthritis may help, according to Diabetes Insider. – See http://www.immortal.org/5037/chikungunya-virus-shows-similar-symptoms-rheumatoid-arthritis-may-cause-misdiagnosis/

HANTAVIRUS:

Harvest mouse.

Harvest mouse.

California 02/01/15 outbreaknewstoday.com: Two western harvest mice tested positive for the potentially deadly hantavirus in the Fairbanks Ranch area of San Diego County, according to environmental health officials. This prompted officials to remind people to be careful whenever they find signs of rodents living in homes, sheds and garages. Officials said hantavirus is common in San Diego County, but people have very little chance of being exposed to it as long as wild rodents remain out of people’s living spaces. Infected rodents shed hantavirus through their saliva, urine and feces. Officials said people should never try to sweep or vacuum up rodent nests or droppings in homes and work places because it could stir hantavirus into the air where it can be breathed in if rodents are infected. “The best way to protect yourself is to avoid being exposed to rodents, by keeping them out of the areas you live in and work in,” said County Director of the Department of Environmental Health, Elizabeth Pozzebon. “But if you have to clean an area, be sure to use ‘wet-cleaning’ methods — ventilate areas, spray them with bleach solutions or disinfectants and use sponges and mops.” People who inhale the hantavirus can develop hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, which starts with flu-like symptoms but can grow into severe breathing difficulties that can kill. There is no vaccine or cure for hantavirus. The National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that hantavirus kills nearly 40 percent of the people who get it. See http://outbreaknewstoday.com/hantavirus-detected-in-two-fairbanks-ranch-mice-38381/

RABIES:

0coonvsdog422 - CopySouth Carolina 01/30/15 Buncombe County: An unvaccinated family dog that was allowed to roam has tested positive for rabies. The virus was likely contracted due to exposure to an infected wild animal, possibly a raccoon. Health officials warn this dog may have exposed other animals or perhaps people to the virus. Anyone in the Black Mountain area who has had contact with an animal that was acting abnormally should contact the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office at 828-250-6670. – See http://www.blackmountainnews.com/article/20150201/BLACKMOUNTAINNEWS/302010004/Rabies-case-reported-Black-Mountain?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|Frontpage

BLACK BEAR attacks FLORIDA teenager ~ TEXAS reports fifth HANTAVIRUS case this year ~ NEW YORK scientists develop VACCINE to fight CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ LYME DISEASE cases in NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND remain high.

Black bear. Photo by Cephas. Wikimedia Commons.

Black bear. Photo by Cephas. Wikimedia Commons.

Florida 12/21/14 mypanhandle.com provided by FL Fish & Wildlife: A 15-year-old is currently undergoing surgery after being attacked by a bear in Eastpoint, Florida. According to her mother the teenager sustained significant injuries to her legs, back, neck and face and was transported to Bay Medical Sacred Heart in Panama City. “Even as I sit here now I can’t believe what happened,” said Sherry Mann, the girl’s mother. “The bears are all over the place and I know how hard I would fight to protect my kids, but a momma bear can do so much more damage than me with just one swipe.” Mann says her daughter was walking her dog by the Big Top Supermarket off Highway 98 when she says she saw a dark shadow and then black. She says her daughter was dragged into a nearby ditch by the bear and tried screaming for help. Sherry Mann said her daughter Leah Reeder remembered to “play dead” and as she did her dog came to her rescue lunging at the animal. The bear retreated to the nearby woods and Reeder was able to walk home to her father’s house, which was a block away. “The worst injuries are to her face,” said Mann. “She has a huge laceration on top of her head and one across her forehead and deep, deep puncture wounds to the side of her head.” As of midnight Monday morning Reeder had been in surgery nearly two hours. – See http://www.mypanhandle.com/story/d/story/15-year-old-reportedly-attacked-by-bear-in-east-po/13441/COd76GVsPkK409SP2VqWJw

HANTAVIRUS:

rodents.44k498Texas 12/22/14 outbreaknewstoday.com: The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)is reporting a case of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) in a resident of the Golden Crescent region along the central Texas coast. This is the fifth case of hantavirus this year in the state. Hantavirus is carried by certain species of rats and mice that shed the virus in their urine, droppings and saliva. The virus can be transmitted to people by stirring up nesting materials or contaminated dust, allowing the virus to be breathed in by humans. Cases have been linked to cleaning out buildings where rodents live and working in dusty environments like ranches and oilfields . . . A total of 43 HPS cases have been confirmed in Texas since 1993, the first year the disease was detected. Of those, 14 were fatal. – For complete article see http://outbreaknewstoday.com/texas-reports-5th-hantavirus-case-of-2014/

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE:

white_tail_doeGlobal 12/21/14 medicalxpress.com: Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center and elsewhere say that a vaccination they have developed to fight a brain-based, wasting syndrome among deer and other animals may hold promise on two additional fronts: Protecting U.S. livestock from contracting the disease, and preventing similar brain infections in humans. The study, to be published in Vaccine online Dec. 21, documents a scientific milestone: The first successful vaccination of deer against chronic wasting disease (CWD), a fatal brain disorder caused by unusual infectious proteins known as prions. Prions propagate by converting otherwise healthy proteins into a disease state.

jjg8877gEqually important, the researchers say, this study may hold promise against human diseases suspected to be caused by prion infections, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, kuru, familial insomnia, and variably protease-sensitive prionopathy. Some studies also have associated prion-like infections with Alzheimer’s disease. “Now that we have found that preventing prion infection is possible in animals, it’s likely feasible in humans as well,” says senior study investigator and neurologist Thomas Wisniewski, MD, a professor at NYU Langone. CWD afflicts as much as 100 percent of North America’s captive deer population, as well as large numbers of other cervids that populate the plains and forests of the Northern Hemisphere, including wild deer, elk, caribou and moose. There is growing concern among scientists that CWD could possibly spread to livestock in the same regions, especially cattle, a major life stream for the U.S. economy, in much the same manner that bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or Mad Cow Disease, another prion-based infection, spread through the United Kingdom almost two decades ago. – See http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-12-successful-vaccination-mad-cow-like-disease.html

LYME DISEASE:

green-tick-logoNew England 12/21/14 bostonglobe.com: by Patrick Whittle – Environmental factors and improved reporting methods led to another year of high totals for Lyme disease in northern New England. Reported cases are expected to be on par with, or exceed, records set recently in Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Maine is likely to exceed last year’s record of 1,384 cases of the tick-borne illness, said Sheila Pinette, director of the state’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Vermont officials said their state is on track for its second- or third-highest total on record, following the 2013 high of 671. In New Hampshire, officials said numbers are falling in line with recent years, which included a record in 2013. – For complete article see http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2014/12/21/numerous-reports-lyme-disease-new-england/IxOdrlSz0P8MQjQu2U8t7J/story.html

HANTAVIRUS kills one NEW MEXICAN and hospitalizes another ~ CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER in the AMERICAS tops 1 million cases its first year ~ RABIES reports from PAx2 & VAx2.

Deer mouse. Courtesy of CDC.

Deer mouse. Courtesy of CDC.

New Mexico 12/12/14 ruidosonews.com: by Dianne Stallings – A 28-year-old man from McKinley County died this week from Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome and a 49-year-old man from Otero County still is hospitalized with the viral infection, but improving. . . . New Mexico this year has seen a total of six HPS cases, three resulting in death. 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. The deer mouse is the main carrier for Sin Nombre virus, the Hantavirus strain found in New Mexico. – For complete article see http://www.ruidosonews.com/ruidoso-news/ci_27124697/otero-county-man-hospitalized-hantavirus

CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER:

Chikungunya.33883.cdcWestern Hemisphere 12/13/14 outbreaknewstoday.com: by Robert Herriman – Exactly one year after the mosquito borne virus, chikungunya, made its first appearance in the Western Hemisphere as a locally acquired infection in the French Quarter section of the Caribbean island of St. Martin, the epidemic that has spread throughout the Americas has topped the 1 million case mark, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Friday. The most recent tally from the international health organization put the number of suspected and confirmed autochthonous, or locally acquired cases at 1,011,548, up nearly 36,000 cases from last week’s report. The eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic, after not reporting new cases for weeks, saw 25,381 additional cases reported to the UN agency. The Dominican Republic accounts for slightly more than half (51.8 percent)of all local transmission cases seen in the Western hemisphere with 524,297 total to date. In South America, Colombia saw an additional 6,350 cases, bringing their total to 45,513, the most cases reported on the South American continent. Brazil also reported a little spike recording 1,130 confirmed and 792 suspected chikungunya cases as of epidemiological week 46. Chikungunya virus is transmitted  by the same mosquitoes involved in the dengue fever  transmission (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus). - See http://outbreaknewstoday.com/chikungunya-in-the-americas-tops-1-million-cases-one-year-after-being-introduced-83961/ 

RABIES:

Pennsylvania 12/16/14 Montgomery County: A brown tabby cat named Jinx and missing its tail and hind legs that was being fostered at the Green Lane Veterinary Hospital in Green Lane has tested positive for rabies. Anyone who might have had contact with Jinx at the hospital between Nov. 29 and Dec. 11 should seek immediate medical advice. – See http://www.pottsmerc.comCAS_Kitten_Child_02/general-news/20141216/montco-confirms-rabies-in-crippled-cat-named-jinx

Pennsylvania 12/11/14 Washington County: An orange and white cat that has been held at the Washington Area Humane Society Shelter since May has tested positive for rabies. The incubation period can be as long as several years in rare cases. Currently, three people are being treated for potential exposure to the virus. Anyone who has been at the shelter and might have been exposed should seek immediate medical advice. – See http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/7361289-74/health-cat-officials#axzz3Lvw7N3ux

help984-05834Virginia 12/12/14 James City County: Health officials are looking for a dog that bit a person in James City County Wednesday afternoon. The attack happened around 4:30 p.m. in the neighborhood around Bridgewater Drive, according to the Peninsula Health District. A small white dog with tan spots — possibly a Fox Terrier or Jack Russell — was being walked by its owner when it bit the victim. Health officials say the victim will have to get a series of shots to prevent rabies, if the dog is not found and they can’t figure out if the animal has rabies. Once found, the dog won’t be taken away its owner, but will just have to stay inside for ten days. Anyone who has seen a dog with this description is asked to call the Peninsula Health District at 757-603-4277. – See http://wavy.com/2014/12/12/health-officials-looking-for-pet-dog-that-resident/

555f5f5Virginia 12/10/14 Halifax County: A stray Husky mix dog with a litter of six puppies that was found in the Boxwood Trail vicinity in the northern section of the county has tested positive for rabies. Two days after being picked up the mother began to show symptoms of being sick and was taken to a vet where the decision was made to put her to sleep. Because the pups were still nursing, they were also euthanized. Seven people exposed to the dogs were treated for possible exposure to the rabies virus. – See http://www.yourgv.com/news/local_news/article_69ac91c0-806d-11e4-a833-9b15f1940be0.html

BEAVERS in COLORADO spreading TULAREMIA ~ FLORIDIAN attacked by BLACK BEAR while walking DOG ~ Third NEW MEXICAN this year to die of HANTAVIRUS ~ CANADA: BIRD FLU in BRITISH COLUMBIA “highly pathogenic” ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) cases exceed 2,000 again this year ~ RABIES report from NORTH CAROLINA.

Beaver. Courtesy National Park Service.

Beaver. Courtesy National Park Service.

Colorado 12/03/14 summitdaily.com: Fifteen human cases of tularemia have reported so far this year, which is three times the annual average for the state. Tularemia-related small-mammal die-offs have been reported in at least 27 Colorado counties. Beavers found south of Breckenridge have tested positive for the bacteria, which can cause a potentially life-threatening disease. Of the 15 human cases reported this year, 11 patients have been hospitalized. – See http://www.summitdaily.com/news/14085888-113/tularemia-summit-bacteria-county

BEAR ATTACK:

blackbearjpgFlorida 12/04/14 wtsp.com: A Lake Mary resident who was walking her dog on Wednesday night was attacked by a black bear and bitten on the upper arm. Fortunately, the bear then abruptly left the area. According to officials, the dog spotted the bear and tried to chase it tugging at its leash and causing the woman to fall to the ground. The bear then attacked and ran off. Lake Mary, a suburb of Orlando, is in Seminole County. Last April another Lake Mary resident was mauled by a bear. Three people in the area were later charged for feeding bears. – See http://www.wtsp.com/story/news/local/florida/2014/12/04/fl-woman-bitten-by-bear-while-walking-dog/19914509/

Follow-Up Report: 12/06/14 therepublic.com: Officials have captured and killed the bear suspected to be the one that bit a woman walking her dog in Lake Mary last week. – See http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/460e5dfb2dd145ab99db2c11ab5d51f2/FL–Bear-Attack

HANTAVIRUS:

Deer mouse. NPS.

Deer mouse. NPS.

New Mexico 12/05/14 krqe.com: Health officials say a 28-year-old McKinley County man is the third person in the state to die from Hantavirus this year. The Department of Health says there have been a total of six Hantavirus cases in the state this year. Those include a 49-year-old Otero County man who remains hospitalized but whose condition is improving. Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. The deer mouse is the main carrier of the strain found in New Mexico, and the department says it’s important to seal homes and other structures during cold weather because mice may try to enter buildings for food or shelter. The other fatal New Mexico cases involved a 67-year-old San Juan County woman and a 59-year-old McKinley County man. – See http://krqe.com/2014/12/05/nm-records-3rd-hantavirus-death-in-2014/

Canada:

BIRD FLU VIRUS:

Turkeys-18British Columbia 12/05/14 foxnews.com: The bird flu virus that has killed thousands of birds on two Canadian farms in British Columbia is the “highly pathogenic” H5N2 strain, Canada’s chief veterinary officer Harpreet Kochhar said on Thursday. The strain was last detected in Canada in the province of Manitoba in 2010, but that virus was considered less contagious and deadly, he said. Canada said on Tuesday that tests had found avian influenza on two British Columbia farms that raise turkeys and broiler chickens. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed on Thursday that two additional farms located between the original two had tested positive for bird flu. Kochhar said he was not aware of other farms with unusual levels of bird deaths, but said it was too early to say the disease was now contained.

Florida_chicken_houseAvian influenza is an infectious viral disease of birds. Most bird flu viruses do not infect humans or pose a food safety risk when poultry products are properly handled and cooked. The fact that the British Columbia strain is highly pathogenic does not necessarily mean it poses more risk to humans than previous viruses found in Canada, said John Spika of the Public Health Agency of Canada. South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan have all imposed varying bans on Canadian poultry products. – See http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/12/05/canada-bird-flu-virus-identified-as-highly-pathogenic-strain/

WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV):

aaCDC-LogoNational 12/04/14 outbreaknewstoday.com: by Robert Herriman – The number of human West Nile virus (WNV) infections have exceeded 2,000 in 2014, according to newly published data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This makes it the third year in a row that the United States has seen 2,000 cases or more. As of December 2, overall, 2,002 cases of West Nile virus disease in people have been reported to CDC. Of these, 1,196 (60%) were classified as neuro-invasive disease (such as meningitis or encephalitis) and 806 (40%) were classified as non-neuro-invasive disease. Of this total there has been 76 fatalities, or almost 4 percent. California continues to top all states with 750 cases according to the CDC (California DPH reports 769) accounting for approximately 38 percent of all cases nationally. In 2013, 2,469 cases were reported with 119 deaths, while in 2012, 5,674 cases were reported with 286 deaths. – For complete article with history of WNV see http://outbreaknewstoday.com/west-nile-virus-cases-top-2000-in-the-us-for-3rd-year-in-a-row-73686/

RABIES:

Rabies.syringeNorth Carolina 12/02/14 Catawba County: A dog that bit a veterinarian when it was brought in for treatment at an Emergency Vet Clinic in Hickory on Nov. 26th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wsoctv.com/news/news/local/dog-tests-positive-rabies-after-biting-vet-tech-hi/njKP8/

DEER HUNTERS in PENNSYLVANIA face new reality: CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ NORTH DAKOTA researchers confirm local TICKS carrying LYME DISEASE ~ US Army enlists COWS with human genes to fight HANTAVIRUS.

Whitetail buck. Courtesy National Park Service.

Whitetail buck. Courtesy National Park Service.

Pennsylvania 11/30/14 citizensvoice.com: by Kent Jackson – Hunters entering the woods in Pennsylvania on Monday for the start of the rifle deer season face a new realty. Some of the deer that they pursue carry an incurable, fatal disease. Chronic wasting disease appeared in a deer in Pennsylvania in 2012 after advancing through 21 other states and two provinces of Canada. “From other states regardless of what you do, you can’t eliminate it. It is there to stay once it’s on the landscape,” Matthew Hough, the executive director of the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said during a conference call with reporters on Nov. 19. The commission set special rules for three areas of the state where deer tested positive for the disease. Hunters cannot transport parts of the deer such as the brain, spinal cord, lymph nodes, spleen and eyeballs out of those areas. Nor can they feed deer or use urine-based lures, which bring deer close together where the risk of spreading the disease heightens.

Whitetail buck with CWD.

Whitetail buck with CWD.

In the rest of the state, hunters should take precautions such as wearing gloves, boning out meat, and minimizing contact with high-risk parts when they field dress deer. The rifle season starts Monday and concludes Dec. 13. In most of the state, hunters can take bucks through Friday, but they can hunt a buck or a doe from Saturday to the end of the season. The buck-only territory for the first five days includes Hazleton and parts of Schuylkill, Carbon and Columbia counties in Wildlife Management Unit 4C and 13 other WMUs. Nine WMUs have buck and doe hunting throughout the two-week season. While there is no evidence that chronic wasting disease affects humans, research isn’t conclusive, and hunters are advised not to eat meat from infected animals. – For complete article including PA contacts for CWD testing see http://citizensvoice.com/sports/it-is-here-to-stay-here-to-stay-1.1795223

LYME DISEASE:

lyme_disease_hidden_epidemic_poster-p228833588305763989t5wm_400North Dakota 11/25/14 prairiebizmag.com: by Anna Burleson – Lyme disease has been found in ticks in the Red River Valley by several researchers at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. The disease is transmitted through the bites of a certain breed of infected tick and if left untreated can spread throughout a person’s nervous system, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

und-logo-20116UND Biology Department professor Jefferson Vaughan led a team with assistant professor Catherine Brissette from the School of Medicine and Health Sciences to look into the prevalence of the disease after he discovered local veterinarians had seen “different-looking” ticks on pets they were treating. “People are beginning to really realize particularly that dogs and sometimes cats are sentinels for types of diseases that are normally wildlife diseases, but can also cause diseases in humans,” Vaughan said.

American Dog Tick

American Dog Tick

The breed of tick most frequently found in the Red River Valley is commonly called an American Dog Tick and is known for its large brown appearance.Vaughan and graduate student Nate Russart began investigating the appearance of the much smaller Deer Tick, as it’s commonly known, in 2010 and discovered the ticks were carrying Lyme disease.

Deer Tick

Deer Tick

But Vaughan said the discovery simply means people should be more diligent about searching themselves for the presence of ticks after being in fields or forests. “It used to be an annoyance, just like mosquitoes were ten years ago, but now they’re more than an annoyance,” he said. “It’s a public health issue.” – For complete article see http://www.prairiebizmag.com/event/article/id/21810/#sthash.zBpHdMsR.dpuf

HANTAVIRUS:

09 Antibody StructureGlobal 11/26/14 sciencemag.org: by David Shultz – Humans have been using antibody therapies to treat infectious disease for more than 100 years. Blood plasma from influenza survivors administered to sick patients in 1912 may have contributed to their dramatic turnaround. In the years since, immune proteins from survivors have been administered to infected individuals in an attempt to combat diseases like Lassa fever, SARS, and even Ebola.

300px-USAMRIID_LogoIt’s hard, however, to find survivors who can donate plasma containing these lifesaving immune proteins. Now, a team led by researchers at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) in Frederick, Maryland, has used genetically engineered cows to produce large amounts of human antibodies against hantavirus, an often deadly disease mainly transmitted from rodents to people. In animal models, at least, these antibodies provided robust protection against the virus, opening the door to therapies to treat and prevent hantavirus, for which there is no cure. The bioproduction technique also holds promise for generating antibodies against other infectious agents. – For complete article see http://news.sciencemag.org/biology/2014/11/cows-human-chromosomes-enlisted-fight-hantavirus

Study finds TICKS like to hang out at GOLF COURSES ~ COLORADAN succumb s to HANTAVIRUS ~ TICK-BORNE ANAPLASMOSIS cases nearly double in MAINE ~ FOLLOW-UP REPORT: Test confirms first GRAY WOLF near GRAND CANYON in 75 years ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) report from CALIFORNIA ~ RABIES reports from NJ, PA & VA.

Courtesy of TickEncounter Research Center, University of Rhode Island.

Courtesy of TickEncounter Research Center, University of Rhode Island.

Global 11/22/14 business-standard.com: Golf courses are prime habitats for ticks, the tiny bloodsucking creatures, says a new study. Ticks like to feed at the boundaries between the woods and open spaces – the kind of settings found in golf courses. “Golf courses are the perfect habitat for ticks. This is because people on golf courses scare away the animals that usually prey on small rodents, so these tick-harboring rodents flourish,” said Gregory Owens of the School of Health Sciences and Practice at the New York Medical College in the US.

1319561v3v1In the study, Owens and his colleagues surveyed 29 golfers at a course in New York, where Lyme disease, an infection carried by certain ticks, is native. Nearly three-quarters of the golfers said they had found a tick on themselves after golfing, and 24 percent said they had been diagnosed with Lyme disease in the past. About one third of the golfers said they did not check themselves for ticks after golfing, and 72 percent did not use insect repellent while golfing, found the study.

Deer aka Black-legged Tick stages.

Deer aka Black-legged Tick stages.

Because the study was small, more research is needed to see how common tick-prevention behavior is among golfers, Owens said. Ticks are most active between April and September, but it is important to take preventive measures year-round. The study was presented at the American Public Health Association meeting in New Orleans.- See http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/golf-courses-are-hotspots-for-ticks-114112200181_1.html

HANTAVIRUS:

Deer mouse.

Deer mouse.

Colorado 11/21/14 denverpost.com: by Electa Draper – A southeastern Adams County man died of hantavirus Nov. 15, the Tri-County Health Department reported Friday. The adult male, whose name was not released, likely was infected with hantavirus while doing home plumbing repairs in a small space with rodent droppings or in a rodent-infested garage, health officials said in a news release. Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome is a rare condition, with an average of four cases a year in Colorado, caused by a virus carried by rodents, especially deer mice. People are exposed to hantavirus by inhaling dust that contains the feces, urine or saliva of deer mice. It is fatal to humans in almost half the cases. – For complete article see http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_26988497/adam-county-mans-death-caused-by-hantavirus-health

ANAPLASMOSIS:

ana_incid.cdcMaine 11/22/14 outbreaknewstoday.com: by Robert Herriman – The number of cases of the tick borne bacterial disease, anaplasmosis, continue to climb in Maine as the state Centers for Disease Control reports 164 cases statewide as of Nov. 18. This number is up 70 from the entire 2013 when 94 cases were reported. Anaplasmosis was first recognized as a disease of humans in the United States in the mid-1990’s, but did not become a reportable disease until 1999. It is caused by the bacterium Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Anaplasmosis is most frequently reported from the upper midwestern and northeastern United States. The areas from which cases are reported correspond with the known geographic distribution of Lyme disease. The tick responsible for transmission of A. phagocytophilum in the upper Midwest and northeastern U.S. is the black-legged tick (Ixodes scapularis), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Along the West Coast, the western black-legged tick (I. pacificus) may transmit the organism. These tick species also transmit the agents of Lyme disease (Borrelia burgdorferi) and babesiosis (Babesia species), and human co-infections with these organisms have occasionally been reported. – See http://outbreaknewstoday.com/maine-anaplasmosis-cases-nearly-double-last-years-count-65434/

FOLLOW-UP REPORT:

GRAY WOLF:

(See “Are GRAY WOLVES returning to GRAND CANYON?” posted 11/18/14)

12A Canid, a wolf or wolf hybrid seen near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Photo taken Oct. 27, 2014. Courtesy Arizona Game and Fish Dept.Arizona 11/21/14 tucson.com: by Felicia Fonseca – A female gray wolf from the Northern Rockies traveled hundreds of miles into Northern Arizona, marking the species’ first appearance in the region in more than 70 years and the farthest journey south, wildlife officials confirmed Friday. A wolf-like animal had been spotted roaming the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and the adjacent national forest since last month. Biologists collected its scat and sent it to a University of Idaho laboratory for testing, verifying what environmentalists had suspected based on its appearance and a radio collar around its neck. “The corroboration is really good to get,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity. Biologists don’t know the wolf’s age or from where it traveled. The radio collar wasn’t transmitting a signal, and cold weather forced biologists to suspend efforts to capture the animal and replace the collar.

A Northern Rockies gray wolf hadn’t been seen in the Grand Canyon area since the 1940s.The Idaho lab might be able to glean more details about the wolf from its DNA, but U.S. Fish and Wildlife spokesman Jeff Humphrey said that could take several weeks or months. “We’ll let this wolf be a wolf where it’s at, and if it decides it’s going to move back north, it can do that,” he said. “Or if somebody joins her, then that’s nature taking its course.” Wolves often roam vast distances in search of food and mates. But the farther they go, the less likely they are to find a mate, said Ed Bangs, who led recovery efforts for wolves in the Northern Rockies over two decades before retiring from the Fish and Wildlife Service in 2011. “It’s looking for love,” he said. “It leaves the core population and doesn’t know the love of its life is going to be right over the next hill, so it just keeps traveling.” For complete article see http://tucson.com/ap/national/dna-confirms-wolf-traveled-hundreds-of-miles-to-grand-canyon/article_66537d48-72f8-56cd-af01-3d00b4456c85.html

WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV):

logo_CDPH_v.1_colorCalifornia 11/19/14 CA Dept of Health: There were 19 new WNV human cases reported in California this week from the following counties: Fresno (1), Kern (1), Los Angeles (11), Orange (3), San Bernardino (1), Stanislaus (1), and Sutter (1). 27 WNV-related fatalities have been reported to CDPH from twelve local health jurisdictions: Glenn (1), Kern (1), Long Beach City (2), Los Angeles (5), Orange (7), Placer (1), Sacramento (2), San Diego (1), Shasta (1), Stanislaus (2), Sutter (3), and Tehama (1). 752 human cases from 31 counties have tested positive for WNV in 2014. – See http://www.westnile.ca.gov/

RABIES:

New Jersey 11/19/14 Somerset County: Officials have issued a Rabies Alert after a black, brown and white tabby kitten that scratched a resident in the vicinity of Emerald Place in Franklin Township tested positive for the virus. Anyone in contact with this kitten in the Emerald Place area or surrounding neighborhoods is asked to call county health officials at (908) 231-7155 as soon as possible. – See http://patch.com/new-jersey/bridgewater/rabies-exposure-reported-franklin-township-0

IMG4336e-L-001Pennsylvania 11/20/14 Dauphin County: A feral cat brought to the Steelton Community Cat program presenting neurological symptoms has tested positive for rabies. A Rabies Alert has been issued warning residents in the Steelton and Swatara Township areas of the possible presence of the virus in the local wildlife and especially the feral cat population. – See http://www.abc27.com/story/27442070/steelton-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies

Virginia 11/19/14 Chesapeake: A black and white female cat with yellow eyes that attacked three people on November 13th in the Warrington Hall community has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.bdtonline.com/news/cat-that-attacked-in-va-had-rabies/article_613eea08-6ff9-11e4-952e-4fbbcfe01033.html