Tag Archives: Horses

Will the CHIKUNGUNYA VIRUS become a threat in the U.S.? Scientist says “it’s only a matter of time”. ~ TULAREMIA killing RABBITS in COLORADO ~ FLORIDA reports five HORSES down with EEE ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) reports from CO, SD & TX ~ RABIES reports from CO & NY.

Aedes aegypti biting human. Courtesy U.S. Dept of Agriculture.

Aedes aegypti biting human. Courtesy U.S. Dept of Agriculture.

Global 07/01/14 nationalgeographic.com: by Karen Weintraub – Chikungunya (pronounced chick-un-GOON-ya) has plagued other parts of the world—particularly Asia and Africa—for decades, becoming more prevalent in recent years. But it arrived in the Caribbean only in December and has already infected as many as 250,000 people there. The virus is generally not lethal and can’t pass from person to person. But the pain it brings can be horrible—some who have weathered its wrath have said they wished the virus had killed them. In rare cases, the agony can last for months or even years. Public health officials in the Caribbean are struggling to contain the outbreak, in part because of the difficulty of limiting mosquito breeding grounds and because the disease is so new to the area. Paola Lichtenberger, director of the Tropical Medicine Program at the University of Miami, says she is sure the epidemic is more widespread than official numbers suggest simply because making the diagnosis is so difficult. Public health officials in the U.S. and around the world, meanwhile, are tracking cases carefully and encouraging people in affected areas to take precautions to avoid infections and to clean up areas of standing water. Airports in ten major American East Coast cities with Caribbean-bound flights have posted warnings to passengers about chikungunya.

81343_990x742-cb1404168438So far, 73 American travelers have brought the disease home from abroad and another 15 have been infected by mosquitoes in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, though it hasn’t yet reached mosquitoes in the continental United States. But it’s only a matter of time before that happens, according to Lichtenberger, who has helped treat three chikungunya patients since the outbreak began. – For complete article see http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/07/140701-chikungunya-caribbean-mosquitoes-world-health/?rptregcta=reg_free_np&rptregcampaign=20140623_t1_rw_membership_r1p_us_dr_w

Tularemia:

colojackColorado 07/04/14 Larimer County: Officials confirmed on July 3rd that a rabbit found in Fort Collins has tested positive for tularemia, aka Rabbit Fever, a bacterial infection that is potentially life-threatening to humans. A die-off of rabbits has been reported in the area over the past few weeks. – For complete article including risks, symptoms and precautions see http://www.coloradoan.com/story/news/2014/07/03/tularemia-found-southeast-fort-collins-area-rabbit/12205939/

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

eee-threat-249x187Florida 07/03/14 wcjb.com: A fifth horse has tested positive for EEE in North Central Florida. Three of the infected horses were reported stabled in Marion County, and two in Alachua County. – See http://www.wcjb.com/local-news/2014/07/fifth-case-eastern-equine-encephalitis-north-central-florida

West Nile Virus (WNV):

1184134480-mosquito2Colorado 07/03/14 CO Dept of Public Health & Environment: Officials have confirmed the state’s first two human cases of WNV so far this year reported in Saguache and Pueblo counties. – See https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/news-release-human-cases-west-nile-virus-identified-colorado

South Dakota 07/03/14 SD Dept of Health: Officials have confirmed two new human cases of WNV in Codington and Lincoln counties. – See http://doh.sd.gov/diseases/infectious/wnv/documents/WestNileupdates2014.pdf

Texas 07/03/14 TX Dept of State Health: Officials have confirmed the state’s first human case of WNV this year was reported in Travis County. – See https://www.dshs.state.tx.us/news/releases/20140703.aspx

Rabies:

rabiesAlert521d4-1Colorado 07/02/14 Yuma County: Officials have confirmed that a feral cat found near the Morgan Community College campus in Wray has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.yumapioneer.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6060&Itemid=39

New York 07/02/14 Tompkins County: A bat captured earlier this week in Montgomery Park in the town of Dryden has tested positive for rabies. It is known, and was reported, that three children using sticks poked at the bat on Monday, but no one knows who the children are. Officials need to determine as soon as possible if any or all of these children were exposed to the virus. The health department urges anyone who had contact or knows of anyone who had contact with a bat in Montgomery Park in Dryden to immediately contact them at 607-274-6688. – See http://ithacavoice.com/2014/07/officials-scramble-find-kids-poked-rabid-bat-dryden-park/

 

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ALASKA veterinarian says non-native DOG TICKS becoming major concern ~ HANTAVIRUS case confirmed in COLORADO ~ FLORIDA confirms HORSE positive for EEE ~ RABIES reports from COLORADO & IOWA.

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Alaska 04/20/14 newsminer.com: by Tim Mowry – When Linda Roberts told friends she was bitten by a tick while sleeping two years ago, they thought she was crazy. Everybody knows there aren’t any ticks in Alaska, they told her. When Roberts discovered a tick on her dog this week while giving it a bath, she felt vindicated. Disgusted, but vindicated. Roberts plucked the parasite off her dog, a little, white, fluffy American Eskimo named Angel, and put it in a Ziploc bag. The next day, she took it to Mt. McKinley Animal Hospital, where veterinarian Dr. Ben Kuhn confirmed that it was indeed a tick. “He was very surprised,” Roberts said of Kuhn’s reaction. “He’s been here for two years and hasn’t seen any sign of ticks.” Next, Roberts brought the tick in a baggie to the News-Miner. “This is news,” Roberts said, holding up a small Ziploc baggie with the tick, still alive, inside. “… I want to warn people what can happen to their pets.” Finally, Roberts took the tick to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game office on College Road and showed it to veterinarian Dr. Kimberlee Beckmen.

Rabbit or Hare Tick

Rabbit or Hare Tick

The discovery wasn’t news to Beckmen, though. The sole veterinarian for ADFG, Beckmen is well aware there are ticks in Alaska and there always have been. Ticks on small mammals like snowshoe hares, squirrels, lemmings, voles and birds are endemic to Alaska, she said. “I’ve been working for the department for 12 years, and from day one, I’ve had ticks coming in,” Beckmen said. “We’ve always had ticks on wildlife.” As it turned out, Beckmen identified the tick Roberts plucked from her dog as haemahysalis leporispalustris, otherwise known as the common rabbit tick, or as it’s called in Alaska where there are no rabbits, the hare tick. It is one of only two ticks, the other being the squirrel tick, that is native to Alaska. Hare ticks are commonly found on snowshoe hares in the spring and can carry a flu-like disease called tularemia, which can be spread to dogs, cats and even humans via a scratch or saliva. Pretty much every spring, a handful of dogs and cats around Fairbanks

Squirrel Tick

Squirrel Tick

are infected with tularemia as a result of picking up or sniffing a snowshoe hare that’s infected, Beckmen said. “It’s kind of an annual thing,” Beckmen said. While hare ticks prefer snowshoe hares as hosts, it’s not uncommon to find them on dogs or cats. Squirrel ticks are even more common on pets in Alaska, Beckmen said. “If a hungry tick can’t find a hare or a squirrel to get on and a dog or cat comes by, it’s going to suck on whatever mammal it can get a hold of,” she said.

I

American Dog Tick

American Dog Tick

n the past three years, Beckmen has found at least two other types of ticks that have taken up residence in the Last Frontier and appear to be here to stay: the American dog tick and brown dog tick. Both ticks have been found on dogs or cats that have never left the state, a sign the parasitic arachnids can — and are — surviving in Alaska. “They’re established, they’re breeding and they’re staying here,” Beckmen said. That’s bad news for pet owners. Ticks can and do carry and transmit diseases from animals to humans. The most common are tularemia, Lyme disease, Q fever and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Currently, only tularemia and Q Fever are present in Alaska. Wildlife disease specialists also say the establishment of new ticks in Alaska poses a risk to all sorts of wildlife, from caribou to coyote to fox to moose to Sitka black-tailed deer to wolves. “It is a big concern because the populations of animals up here haven’t been exposed to these tick-borne diseases,” said Dr. Robert Gerlach, the state’s head veterinarian. “If we get a tick that comes up and now can survive in this environment, we can get disease spread in a wildlife or the human population we’re not used to, which could have drastic results. “Once you get a tick population started in a wildlife species, they continually spread disease through that wildlife population,” he said.

Brown Dog Tick

Brown Dog Tick

The two dog tick species found in Alaska were discovered as a result of a recent enhanced tick surveillance program by ADFG to look for moose winter tick, a serious threat to moose that has been found in the Yukon Territory. Using public service announcements and interdepartmental communication, Beckmen put word out to the public and to wildlife biologists around the state three years ago that she was looking for ticks. As a result, between June 2011 and October 2013 Beckmen collected 89 ticks representing 48 separate infestations.

Rocky Mountain Wood Tick

Rocky Mountain Wood Tick

The ticks came mostly from dogs, but also humans, cats, hares and marten. While no moose ticks were found, there were 10 cases of American dog ticks and 13 cases of brown dog ticks discovered on dogs or humans around the state, including Anchorage, Denali Park, Fairbanks, Juneau, Sitka, Valdez and Willow. One of the infestations involved a boarding kennel in Fairbanks — Beckmen declined to name it — that was, and still is, infested with brown dog ticks, which are the only tick in North America that lives indoors and are especially hard to eradicate, Beckmen said. Other cases involved houses that were infested with brown ticks. “We had one dog a person brought in that had 70 or 80 ticks,” she said. “The house is infested. There are ticks all over the pets and kids.”

Lone Star Tick

Lone Star Tick

In addition, specialists in a Georgia lab that Beckmen sent the tick specimens to identified two other non-native species of ticks found in Alaska — the Rocky Mountain wood tick was found on dogs in Anchorage and Sitka, while the lone star tick was found on dogs in Eagle River and Fairbanks. It’s just a matter of time and climate change before those ticks, and possibly others, gain a leg-hold in Alaska, Beckmen said. – For complete article see http://www.newsminer.com/news/local_news/fairbanks-incident-serves-as-reminder-that-ticks-live-in-alaska/article_245d85cc-c860-11e3-9fbd-0017a43b2370.html

Hantavirus:

Hantavirus2Colorado 04/22/14 krextv.com: by Travis Khachatoorian – A Garfield County resident is officially the first confirmed case of hantavirus in the area since 2012. There are very few details released on the confirmed case at this point. Officials haven’t released information on the status of the patient, or even what city the patient caught the virus in. “Usually what happens is you’re cleaning something, and the virus gets put into the air, and you breath it in, and you don’t really think much of it,” said immunization coordinator for Garfield County Danielle Yost. “Then usually anywhere from a couple days to a few weeks later you start getting flu like symptoms that rapidly deteriorate into the inability to breathe.” Symptoms include muscle aches, fatigue, high fever, dizziness, headaches, chills, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain which can eventually lead to death. Garfield County officials are concerned enough to call for citizen precautions, especially since it’s the spring cleaning season. The county Public Health Department is warning all residents to know how to protect themselves from this potentially deadly disease. The virus is usually carried in the Western Slope by the deer mouse. Officials urge any resident’s cleaning out garages, or other areas with rodent droppings or urine, to not sweep the mess but rather pour a bleach and water mix over the affected area. Always wear protective gloves and scoop up the mess with a paper towel. The first case of the mysterious disease started back in 1993 in the four corners region of Colorado, and the hantavirus has now spread across the western hemisphere. The CDC reports a 36 percent mortality rate for those with the disease. “There is no vaccine, no medication for it, your body basically has to fight it off on its own,” said Yost.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

encephcycFlorida 04/23/14 Marion County: A horse stabled in the vicinity of Sparr has tested positive for infection with EEE. Area residents have been provided with tips and advice to protect them from the mosquitoes that spread the disease. – See http://www.ocala.com/article/20140423/ARTICLES/140429861

Rabies:

Colorado 04/23/14 Pueblo County: A Pueblo woman says a dog bit her at a local coffee shop and the dog’s owner vanished. The woman is now worried she might get sick with rabies. It happened on Sunday at the Starbucks off 4th Street, near Abriendo Avenue. Jane Garnett was enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend. She says when she came out of the Starbucks’ bathroom, she noticed two long haired dachshunds inside the store. She says they were both on leashes with a dark-haired woman and a young boy. Suddenly, one dog lashed at her. “They were just standing there in line, or around the line to get coffee and the dog bit at my pants and then bit at me in the café,” said Garnett. Garnett says when she tried confronting the woman, she vanished. Garnett says the bite made her bleed. “I feel like she should have stayed around to see how I was or whether I needed her information. I feel like she should have taken more responsibility for it,” said Garnett. Garnett says she’s now worried she could get rabies. “I hope the woman comes forward and tells me or not if the dog has been vaccinated.” The Pueblo County Health Department and Animal Services are working together to find out who the dog owner is. Garnett just wants to know if the dog is current on its vaccinations. If you know who the dog owner is, you’re encouraged to contact either agency. The Health Department says rabies symptoms most often develop between one to three months after the person is infected. We also spoke to road_sign_need_helpStarbucks. They say they only allow service dogs inside the store. – For photos see http://www.kktv.com/news/headlines/Dog-Bites-Woman-at-Coffee-Shop-Owner-Flees-256287611.html

Iowa 04/24/14 Scott County: Ten-year-old Annalee Bargmann may have to get rabies shots now after she was bit by a dog. The young girl was playing with a tennis ball Tuesday evening, April 22, 2014, near Garfield Elementary School in Davenport, Iowa, when she dropped the ball.  When she reached down to pick up the ball, a dog ran to the end of its retractable leash and bit Annalee on the leg. No one noticed she was bit until after she left the fields, because she hid the bite mark under a blanket. She said she loves animals and didn’t want to get the dog in trouble. She later told her grandmother about the incident, and her grandma called Annalee’s parents. “We immediately started looking around the park for a person matching the description,” said Annalee’s mother, Christina Bargmann. “We took her to the doctor the next day and she had a tetanus shot, but they told us she would have to get the rabies vaccination to be safe.” The dog that bit Anna was described as a rust-colored Dachshund.  The dog’s owner was described as heavy-set man in his 30s or 40s, with dark brown hair. He also may have had a small, white fluffy dog with him as well. If the family doesn’t hear from the dog owner by Friday, they will have to take Annalee to get rabies vaccinations. They ask anyone who has information on the dog and it’s owner to please contact Davenport Animal Control at 563-388-6655. – For video see http://wqad.com/2014/04/24/girl-hides-dog-bite-now-needs-rabies-shots/

NEW YORK scientists link CAMELS to spread of deadly MERS virus in MIDDLE EAST ~ RABIES reports from CO, MD, & VA.

Camel, dromedary. PD. Wikimedia Commons.

Camel, dromedary. PD. Wikimedia Commons.

Global 02/25/14 nytimes.com: by Denise Grady – A new study suggests that camels are the major source of the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, a viral disease that has sickened 182 people and killed 79 of them since it was first detected in Saudi Arabia in 2012. The animals are most likely to infect people through respiratory secretions — from coughing, sneezing, snorting or spitting — that travel through the air or cling to surfaces. People with chronic illnesses like diabetes, lung disease or kidney failure, or other conditions that weaken their immunity, seem to be most susceptible, and should avoid close contact with camels, researchers say.

487px-07._Camel_Profile,_near_Silverton,_NSW,_07.07.2007Saudi Arabia has had the most cases, other Middle Eastern countries have had a few and a handful of travelers from that region have taken the disease to Europe. There have been no cases in the United States. Although people have infected one another, the disease is not highly transmissible among humans, so researchers say that unless the virus changes to become more contagious in people, the risk of global spread does not seem high.

The new study provides the first evidence that the virus is widespread in dromedary camels (the kind with one hump) in Saudi Arabia, and has been for at least 20 years. Younger animals are more likely than older ones to be infected and contagious. The virus invades the camels’ nose and respiratory tract, but does not kill them. It is not known whether it even makes them sick. “It would be very difficult to know if they were ill, since these are creatures that slobber a great deal,” said Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, the senior author of the study and a virus cropped-img_0475expert at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York. The results, by researchers from Saudi Arabia and the United States, were published last Tuesday in mBio, an online journal. – For complete article see http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/25/health/camels-linked-to-spread-of-deadly-virus-in-people.html?emc=edit_tnt_20140225&tntemail0=y&_r=0

Rabies:

3821fefe9b4884850185047e22654718Colorado 02/24/14 Boulder County: A skunk that bit a horse stabled near Terry Lake north of Longmont on February 14th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.timescall.com/longmont-local-news/ci_25216262/skunk-found-near-longmont-tests-positive-rabies

Clip-art-HelpMaryland 02/24/14 Frederick County: Authorities are looking for a female, white boxer type dog with dark spots on its skin that bit a woman on February 19th at the Ballenger Creek Dog Park in the City of Frederick. If the dog’s vaccination status is not made available in time the woman will have to receive a series of post-exposure rabies shots. Anyone with information should contact  health officials at 301-600-1717, or Animal Control at 301-600-1544. – See http://www.wfmd.com/pages/localnews2.html?feed=119935&article=12096558

havahart-skunk_120Virginia 02/21/14 Henrico County: A skunk that attacked several dogs in the 11000 block of Greenwood Road in Glen Allen on Wednesday has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.nbc12.com/story/24788744/rabies-case-confirmed-in-glen-allen

 

 

 

 

 

 

New study suggests LYME DISEASE may be sexually transmitted ~ RABIES reports from AZ, GA, MD, NY NCx2, OK, TXx4, VA, & WY ~ TRAVEL WARNING: CHIKUNGUNYA reaching epidemic proportions in eastern CARIBBEAN.

imagesCA7XMARS

North America 01/20/14 afmr.org: A new study suggests that Lyme disease may be sexually transmitted. The study was presented at the annual Western Regional Meeting of the American Federation for Medical Research, and an abstract of the research was published in the January issue of the Journal of Investigative Medicine. “Our findings will change the way Lyme disease is viewed by doctors and patients,” said Marianne Middelveen, lead author of the study presented in Carmel. “It explains why the disease is more common than one would think if only ticks were involved in transmission.”

AFMR-Logo-TopIn the study, researchers tested semen samples and vaginal secretions from three groups of patients: control subjects without evidence of Lyme disease, random subjects who tested positive for Lyme disease, and married heterosexual couples engaging in unprotected sex who tested positive for the disease. As expected, all of the control subjects tested negative for Borrelia burgdorferi in semen samples or vaginal secretions. In contrast, all women with Lyme disease tested positive for Borrelia burgdorferi in vaginal secretions, while about half of the men with Lyme disease tested positive for the Lyme spirochete in semen samples. Furthermore, one of the heterosexual couples with Lyme disease showed identical strains of the Lyme spirochete in their genital secretions. “The presence of the Lyme spirochete in genital secretions and identical strains in married couples strongly suggests that sexual transmission of the disease occurs,” said Dr. Mayne. “We don’t yet understand why women with Lyme disease have consistently positive vaginal secretions, whilst semen samples are more variable. Obviously there is more work to be done here.” – See press release at http://www.onlineprnews.com/news/454866-1390261507-lyme-disease-may-be-sexually-transmitted-study-suggests.html

Rabies:

3821fefe9b4884850185047e22654718Arizona 01/23/14 Pima County: A skunk found in the middle of a busy trail at Catalina State Park on January 21st has tested positive for rabies. A ranger found the animal surrounded by 30 or more people, some with pets, and it’s unknown if there was any contact, which could require post-exposure treatment. – See http://tucsoncitizen.com/pima-county-news/2014/01/23/skunk-with-rabies-found-among-hikers-at-catalina-state-park/

ebf690e90681d99a574659bc81d78f29Georgia 01/16/14 Harris County: Officials have issued a Rabies Alert after a fox attacked two pets in Catuala on Preston Road Jan 14th. The fox has since tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.wtvm.com/story/24471421/breaking

Maryland 01/23/14 Carroll County: A stray cat found in the York Road area of Manchester has tested positive for rabies. The cat was a domestic short hair with a gray and white coat. Anyone who might have been exposed should seed immediate medical advice. – See http://westminster.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/manchester-area-stray-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies

Horse%20TeethNew York 01/26/14 Herkimer County: A horse stabled in the town of Newport has tested positive for rabies. See http://www.littlefallstimes.com/article/20140126/NEWS/140129449

North Carolina 01/21/14 Wake County: A Rabies Alert was issued today for Wendell after a raccoon that came in contact with a dog tested positive for the virus. The incident occurred in the vicinity of Wood Green Drive and Deer Lake Trail. – See http://www.easternwakenews.com/2014/01/21/3552717/wake-county-issues-rabies-notice.html

Raccoon-SiedePreis-smNorth Carolina 01/18/14 Wake County: A raccoon that was in contact with a family and its pets in the vicinity of Winding Way and Friendship Road in Apex on January 17th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/01/18/3544888/rabid-raccoon-found-in-apex.html

Oklahoma 01/19/14 Pottawatomie County:  An unvaccinated dog that fought with a skunk in the backyard of its owner’s home in south Shawnee has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.news-star.com/article/20140117/NEWS/140119668/-1/sports

Texas 01/20/14 Hill County: A cat that bit a woman on the toe January 14th has tested positive for rabies. The incident occurred at the woman’s residence on First Street in Mount Calm. The woman and her daughter, 9, are being treated for potential exposure to the virus, and seven other cats at the residence were impounded and will be euthanized. – See http://hillsbororeporter.com/rabies-case-reported-in-mount-calm-p17289-54.htm

090828-free-tailed-bats-love-songs_bigTexas 01/20/14 Lackland Air Force Base: The U.S. Air Force is vaccinating more than 200 recruits against rabies after bats were found in their dorms on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. The Air Force stressed that it did not consider the situation an emergency, but was “exercising an abundance of caution”.  Bats were seen in only four of the 20 dorms in the complex and one that was captured is being tested for the virus. – See http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/military/article/Lackland-recruits-get-rabies-shots-after-bats-5157522.php

imagesj88d7dTexas 01/20/14 West Texas: The Texas Department of State Health Services is preparing to launch its 20th annual airdrop of rabies vaccine in portions of the state. The effort has successfully eliminated the canine strain of rabies and virtually eliminated the fox strain of rabies in Texas by vaccinating coyotes and gray foxes in a wide swath of southern and western Texas over the last 20 years. Now, the Oral Rabies Vaccination Program is testing an expanded effort to vaccinate skunks. The 2014 ORVP will begin with planes taking off from an airport in Del Rio on January 15 and from Zapata and Alpine on or about January 21. Those aircraft will drop vaccine baits over rural areas along the Rio Grande to maintain protection against rabies as animals migrate in and out of the state. “Skunks and bats are now the animals in Texas most likely to have and spread rabies,” said Dr. Laura Robinson, ORVP director. “Early tests involving skunks have been promising, and we’re hopeful that expanding our study area will help show us the best way to eliminate skunk rabies in Texas.” A small bait drop will occur on or about January 25 in an area centered on the Concho/McCulloch county line where a single cow tested positive for the Texas fox strain of rabies in 2013. Finally, starting on or about January 26 DSHS will begin the expanded effort to vaccinate skunks. Baits will be dropped over rural areas and wildlife habitats in the expanded skunk study zone, covering an area from Madison and Walker counties running southwest to Bastrop County then southeast to Waller County. – See http://bigbendnow.com/2014/01/aerial-vaccine-drops-to-combat-rabies-begins-next-week-in-far-west-texas/

Texas 01/15/14 Collin County: A skunk that came in contact with a pet in the vicinity of West Parker and Midway roads in Plano has tested positive for a - Copyrabies. – See http://planoblog.dallasnews.com/2014/01/skunk-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-west-plano.html/

Virginia 01/22/14 Henrico County: A skunk found dead near a dog pen in a homeowner’s backyard last week has tested positive for rabies. Police say two dogs were exposed and will be quarantined. – See http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/skunk-in-henrico-tests-positive-for-rabies/2014/01/22/4fea0e62-833d-11e3-a273-6ffd9cf9f4ba_story.html

Wyoming 01/21/14 Goshen County: A Rabies Alert has been issued county-wide after three skunks and a house cat tested positive for the virus. The cat bit its owner, who has been treated for potential exposure to rabies. – See http://www.kgoskerm.com/news/regional-news/stories/871-rabies-virus-in-goshen-county

Travel Warning:

chikungunyaCaribbean Basin 01/23/14 fodors.com: by Catie L’Heureux – Several Caribbean islands are facing a mosquito-borne virus outbreak, with more than 480 cases reported in the region as of January 20th. Fortunately, there’s no need to cancel your winter getaway yet—but be sure to keep track of the latest news on the virus and take any necessary precautions before traveling there.  Caribbean’s Mosquito-Borne Virus Prompts Travel Precautions First, the facts: The chikungunya virus is spread by bites from an infected female Aedes aegypti mosquito, and this is the first time the virus has appeared in the Caribbean. Since the disease was first recorded in 1952, it has affected millions of people in Africa and Asia. In December 2013, there were only 10 confirmed cases in St. Martin. Now, according to a January 20th report from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), “confirmed/probable” chikungunya virus cases are present in the following islands: St. Martin with the highest number of 294 cases and the death of an elderly man who contracted the virus but was already severely ill; Martinique, 127; St. Barthelemy , 31; Guadeloupe , 27; Saint Maarten, three; British Virgin Islands, three; Dominica, one; and French Guiana, one.

joint_painThe most common symptoms, which can take up to seven days to appear, include high fever and joint pain in the wrists and ankles. Although symptoms often last three to 10 days, joint pain can last longer and be more debilitating, but severe hospitalization cases are rare. Because there is no vaccine to prevent or cure the virus, treatment focuses on allieviating the symptoms. “The fact that it is a new virus to the region, that is why this is such a concern,” a medical entomologist who works for CARPHA said. She noted that there are high populations of the Aedes aegypti mosquito in all of the Caribbean islands. People also frequently travel between the islands, which helps spread the virus. CARPHA, the World Health Organization, and other key organizations are working to reduce the outbreak by eliminating the mosquitoes’ potential breeding sites. The good news? “There is no need to cancel plans,” the CARPHA medical entomologist said. “We’re not at that point. None of our borders have been closed.”

WEST NILE VIRUS kills 27 BALD EAGLES in UTAH ~ COLORADO town warns residents of MOUNTAIN LIONS ~ CHIKUNGUNYA in the CARIBBEAN poses threat to U.S. ~ Vets say research needed on LYME DISEASE in HORSES ~ RABIES reports from FLx2, & VA.

Bald Eagle. Bing free use license.

Bald Eagle. Bing free use license.

Utah 12/31/13 ctvnews.ca: by Michelle L. Price – The mystery illness that has killed 27 bald eagles in Utah this month appears to be West Nile Virus, state officials said Tuesday. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said in a statement that laboratory tests done on some of the first birds found indicate they died from West Nile Virus. Since Dec. 1, officials have found the birds in northern and central Utah. All were either dead or were ill and later died during treatment. The eagles displayed similar symptoms, including head tremors, signs of seizures, weakness in legs and feet and a paralysis of the bird’s wings. Beyond the 27 that have died, officials said five eagles were being treated at a wildlife rehabilitation centre Tuesday. They appeared to be responding well to treatment, officials said. Utah wildlife officials aren’t sure how the eagles caught the virus, but they suspect the birds contracted it by eating Eared Grebes that were infected with the virus and died recently.

Eared Grebe.

Eared Grebe.

West Nile Virus, which is spread by mosquitoes, usually infects eagles and other birds during warmer months. Mark Hadley, a Utah Division of Wildlife Resources spokesman, said the grebes, a duck-like aquatic bird, start arriving in Utah in October, when mosquitoes are still active. “It’s possible that those grebes got bit by mosquitoes after they got here when they arrived in the fall, and it just took a while for them to die.” The bald eagles began arriving in November and appeared to have died relatively quickly once they contracted the virus, Hadley said. About 750 to 1,200 bald eagles begin migrating to Utah each November and stay until March, officials said. During those winter months, the eagles get most of their food by eating dead animals, such as grebes.

Flock of Bald eaglesLeslie McFarlane, a wildlife disease coordinator with DWR, said in a statement that there’s still a chance a few more eagles could die, but because the migration period for grebes is almost over, it’s likely that the risk to eagles will soon drop. The birds do not pose a risk to human health but people should not handle eagles if they find them, wildlife officials said. Hadley said that in the 17 years he’s been with DWR, he has never seen this many eagles die off, particularly in such a short period of time. – See http://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/west-nile-virus-caused-27-bald-eagle-deaths-in-december-utah-wildlife-officials-1.1613441

Mountain Lions:

s_mountain-lion-0002Colorado 12/27/13 Douglas County: The town of Parker may be 20 miles from the foothills, but officials sent an e-mail to residents on Thursday warning that mountain lions have been sighted inside the town limits. It cautioned residents not to walk or hike alone, and to make sure children are within sight at all times. – For additional advice see http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/parker-issues-warning-after-mountain-lions-spotted

Chikungunya:

Follow-Up Report:

(See CHIKUNGUNYA virus spreads in the AMERICAS posted 12/15/13)

pic_chikungunyaCaribbean Islands 12/30/13 cidrap.umn.edu: by Lisa Schnirring – Health officials are reporting a sharp rise in the number of patients sickened in a chikungunya fever outbreak centered on the Caribbean island of St. Martin, which may signal an increasing risk to the US mainland. On the French part of the island, where most of the infections have been reported, the number of confirmed cases has risen from 26 to 66, according to a Dec 28 update from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). In addition, health officials from the Netherlands have confirmed the first case on the Dutch side of St. Martin (Sint Maarten), and illnesses have been detected on two other nearby islands: three on Martinique and one on Guadeloupe, according to the ECDC report. Both of those islands are south and slightly east of St. Martin. The case in Guadeloupe represents the island’s first documented local chikungunya case, which was detected because of enhanced surveillance for the disease in all French Caribbean territories, the ECDC said. The patient is co-infected with dengue serotype 4 and had not recently traveled to another area where chikungunya exists. Meanwhile, health officials in the area are investigating a slew of suspected and probable cases. They include 167 suspected cases and 14 probable cases on the French side of St. Martin, and two patients have been hospitalized. Martinique has 27 suspected cases, and on the island of St. Barthelemy, 21 suspected cases are under investigation. The outbreak represents the first known indigenous transmission of chikungunya fever in the Americas. – For complete article and precautions see http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2013/12/caribbean-chikungunya-outbreak-grows-poses-threat-us

Lyme Disease:

aaep_logoNational 12/30/13 thehorse.com: by Amy Johnson, DVM – It is hard to get a roomful of people to agree on anything, but just about every veterinarian attending the Lyme disease table topic session at the 2013 American Association of Equine Practitioners convention, held Dec. 7-11 in Nashville, Tenn., agreed that more research is needed on this disease in horses. We do know that Lyme disease is an increasingly recognized problem in people living in areas where the causative organism, Borrelia burgdorferi, is endemic. These areas include the northeast and north-central United States. We also know that Borrelia is capable of infecting horses. Despite only a handful of published case reports describing clinical signs in infected horses, many practitioners in endemic areas are convinced that they see cases of Lyme disease in horses. The most common signs in these cases are behavior changes, lethargy or poor attitude, and change in gait/lameness. Uveitis (inflammation within the eye) and neuroborreliosis (neurologic disease due to Lyme disease) are occasionally seen as well. So if a horse is showing possible signs of Lyme disease, how can it be diagnosed? vetSeveral blood tests are available that will identify antibodies against Borrelia. The presence of antibodies (in an unvaccinated horse) indicates that the horse has been infected with Borrelia at some point in its life. The pattern of antibody production might help to ascertain whether infection is acute or chronic. However, more research is needed regarding patterns of antibody production in infected horses. – For complete article see http://www.thehorse.com/articles/33123/aaep-researchers-discuss-lyme-disease-in-horses

Rabies:

thumbnailCA6WGA0CFlorida 12/31/13 Hamilton County: A bobcat that attacked a dog in Jennings has tested positive for rabies. A Rabies Alert has been issued within the boundaries of CR 141 North, CR 143 North, and CR 146. – See http://www.suwanneedemocrat.com/jasper/x1956145775/Health-officials-in-Hamilton-County-issue-rabies-alert

10975940 - CopyFlorida 12/30/13 Palm Beach County: Two raccoons that attacked dogs in West Palm Beach and Jupiter Farms last week have tested positive for rabies. And a third raccoon that attacked a dog near A1A in Tequesta over the weekend is presumed rabid. – See http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/two-raccoons-that-attacked-dogs-in-west-palm-beach/ncYDM/

337278_koshka_kot_rebenok_ditya_devochka_kosichka_ulybka_2990x2170_(www.GdeFon.ru)Virginia 12/30/13 Prince William County: A domestic cat that appeared to be injured was picked up near Powells Landing Circle in Woodbridge on December 20th and has since tested positive for rabies. – See http://manassas.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/cat-with-rabies-found-in-prince-william-county

 

TickEncounter Resource Center a website everyone should bookmark ~ CDC investigates three sudden cardiac deaths associated with LYME DISEASE ~ WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV) and EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS (EEE) cases in HORSES taper off ~ RABIES reports from AZ, AR, & PA.

PreventionPartner_Default_Stamp_Cropped

images488605kNorth America 12/18/13: We’ve all had questions about tick bites, tick identification, tick removal, tickborne diseases, tick habitat, seasonal information about ticks, tick-bite prevention, and the relationship between ticks, deer and rodents. These are some of the topics addressed in the FAQ section of the University of Rhode Island’s TickEncounter Resource Center‘s web site. Dr. Thomas N Mather (a.k.a. the TickGuy) serves as director of URI’s Center for Vector-Borne Disease and its TickEncounter Resource Center. There’s nothing else I need to add here, but if you ever expect to have a tick-related question, you need to bookmark this site now. It is the most valuable resource focusing on ticks that I have ever seen.

Dr. Thomas Mather

Dr. Thomas Mather

I am so impressed with the TickEncounter Resource Center, that I have signed Natural Unseen Hazards on as a TickEncounter Prevention Partner. Please visit the center at http://www.tickencounter.org and before you leave the site, bookmark it. If you work or play in the great American outdoors, have outdoor pets, or just step outside once or twice a month to weed your garden or mow your lawn, you’ll be glad you did. Like TickEncounter on Facebook. Follow it on Twitter. Get TickSmart™ Stay TickSafe!

Lyme Disease:

tickhabitatNational 12/12/13 cdc.gov: Lyme carditis is a known but rare cause of sudden cardiac death. Lyme carditis can cause heart palpitations, chest pain, light-headedness, fainting, and shortness of breath in addition to the commonly recognized Lyme disease symptoms of fever, rash, and body aches. If you live in an area where Lyme disease is common and have these symptoms, see a healthcare provider immediately. Between November 2012 and July 2013, three young adults who lived in high-incidence Lyme disease regions suffered from sudden cardiac death associated with undiagnosed Lyme carditis.  Lyme carditis is a known, but rare cause of death in persons who have Lyme disease. – See http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6249a1.htm?s_cid=mm6249a1_w

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

TH-LEGACY-IMAGE-ID-355-vaccinationNational 12/16/13 thehorse.com: by Erica Lason – A recent update from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) indicates that the nationwide case totals of (horses with) equine West Nile virus (WNV) and Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) are beginning to steady. According to a Dec. 12 update, 338 cases of WNV and 181 EEE cases have been reported across the country since the start of the year. In early November, the agency reported 296 WNV cases and 177 EEE in the United States since Jan. 1. Horses in at least 40 states have been confirmed positive for WNV so far this year. The APHIS report indicates that Texas (57), Oklahoma (41), and Montana (27) have reported the most equine WNV cases thus far . . . (H)orses in at least 22 states have tested positive for EEE thus far in 2013, the APHIS data indicates. South Carolina (49), Florida (34), and Mississippi (12) have reported the most cases so far this year. – See more at: http://www.thehorse.com/articles/33052/nationwide-wnv-eee-totals-steady-as-winter-approaches#sthash.F2egk8rc.dpuf

Rabies:

striped_skunkArizona 12/17/13 Santa Cruz County: State officials have issued a Rabies Alert after two skunks found in Tubac on December 2nd tested positive for the virus. A skunk found in Patagonia on November 11th, and another found in Rio Rico on August 23rd were also rabid. – See http://www.nogalesinternational.com/news/game-and-fish-reports-four-rapid-skunks-in-scc/article_c402e6e0-6752-11e3-8994-001a4bcf887a.html

straydogArkansas 12/16/13 Faulkner County: A stray dog that bit a person in Conway has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.thv11.com/news/article/291240/2/Rabid-dog-confirmed-in-Conway

raccoon880er0rPennsylvania 12/16/13 Warren County: Officials are seeking the identity of a woman who brought an oddly behaving raccoon to the Warren Animal Hospital in Lopatcong Township on November 29th. The woman left no contact information and the raccoon has since tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.nj.com/warrenreporter/index.ssf/2013/12/health_department_still_seekin.html

What to do if you meet up with a MOUNTAIN LION ~ NEW YORK reports first ever locally acquired case of DENGUE FEVER ~ HARVEST MOUSE trapped in CALIFORNIA tests positive for HANTAVIRUS ~ EEE & WNV reports from CAx2, & FL ~ RABIES reports from CT, FL, ME, NM, NC, & VAx2.

Bing free use license.

Bing free use license.

North America 11/17/13 scvnews.com: If you hunt, fish, hike, camp, stroll along country lanes, birdwatch, photograph wildlife, play or work in any capacity in North America’s great outdoors, you could meet up with a mountain lion anywhere, anytime without notice. What should you do?

dianne.erskine.hellrigel8788Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel’s short but jam-packed commentary on Encountering Cougars is well worth reading. She tells us which member of our group is most likely to be singled out for an attack, and she suggests what she considers the most effective methods of keeping everyone safe from harm. She separates some of the fact from some of the fiction; tells us what prey mountain lions prefer to hunt; where and when big cats like to hunt; how far they will travel for a good meal; and she tells us what we can do if a mountain lion does decide to attack, though such incidents are few and far between. Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel is executive director of the Community Hiking Club and president of the Santa Clara River Watershed Conservancy in California. – See http://scvnews.com/2013/11/17/encountering-cougars-commentary-by-dianne-erskine-hellrigel/

Dengue Fever:

Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

Aedes Aegypti mosquito.

New York 11/20/13 myfoxny.com: by Arun Kristian Das – A Long Island man came down with dengue virus back in September, according to health officials in Suffolk County. The 50-year-old man has since recovered. Dengue is a leading cause of illness and death in tropical and subtropical countries, according to the CDC. This was the first known case that someone in New York State has contracted dengue locally, health officials said. You get dengue virus from a (Aedes Aegypti) mosquito bite. That means he got the virus from a local mosquito that probably had previously bitten an infected traveler. “The exact route of transmission in this case is unknown,” Dr. James Tomarken, Suffolk County Commissioner of Health Services, said in a statement released to news outlets. “However, we have determined that this individual acquired dengue virus locally, as he had not traveled outside of the local metropolitan area during the incubation period.” Indeed, other recent dengue infections (from 2011 and 2012) are thought to have happened while those patients were travelling overseas.

dengue8900sdad;9Every year, as many as 100 million people are infected around the world, according to the CDC, which notes that symptoms include high fever, severe headache, severe pain behind the eyes, joint pain, muscle and bone pain, rash, and mild bleeding. No vaccine exists for dengue virus. Health officials say the best way to prevent mosquito-borne illness is to use insect repellent containing DEET on your skin and clothes when spending time outside during peak insect times and to keep your property clear of standing water, which allows mosquitoes to breed. – For original article, video and photos see http://www.myfoxny.com/story/24025119/officials-li-man-likely-contracted-dengue-virus-from-local-mosquito

Hantavirus:

Harvest mice.

Harvest mice.

California 11/20/13 San Diego County: A harvest mouse recently trapped in the southern part of Escondido has tested positive for hantavirus prompting officials to remind people of the dangers that rodents living in the wild can bring into their homes. According to the Department of Environmental Health, common house mice don’t carry the virus. – See http://scoopsandiego.com/news/local/harvest-mouse-tests-positive-for-hantavirus/article_042cb3e2-5234-11e3-8ac8-001a4bcf6878.html

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

Kern_County_CACalifornia 11/19/13 Kern County: Officials confirmed on Tuesday that a 76-year-old male has become the first WNV-related fatality in the county this year. – See http://www.bakersfieldnow.com/news/health/Kern-County-health-officials-announce-West-Nile-virus-death-232537371.html

07cd7361057a7994e7e590e1fb0d3868ed6ff5ad-1California 11/18/13 Los Angeles County: Officials have confirmed that a male resident of Long Beach in his 70s has died due to complications associated with WNV. Long Beach has reported six human cases of the virus this year, but this is the first WNV-related fatality reported for 2013. There have been 8 WNV-related fatalities in the county this year. Statewide, there have been 349 human cases reported, including 13 fatalities, as of November 12, 2013. – See http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2013/11/18/west-nile-claims-life-of-elderly-long-beach-man/

Bay_County_FLFlorida 11/18/13 Bay County: State officials have confirmed that another horse stabled in the county has tested positive for EEE. This is the second horse infected with the virus in the county this year. – See http://www.wmbb.com/story/24002745/health-department-confirms-case-of-eee-in-horse-in-bay-county

Rabies:

skunk20noseConnecticut 11/18/13 Fairfield County: An aggressive skunk that attacked two calves and a yak at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center in Stamford last week has tested positive for rabies. – See http://stamford.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/rabid-skunk-attacks-stamford-museum–nature-center-animals

by_Svdmolen_WCFlorida 11/20/13 Palm Beach County: A sick raccoon caught in the Jupiter Farms area this week is the 13th animal testing positive for rabies in the county this year. – See http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/local/raccoon-caught-in-jupiter-farms-tests-positive-for/nby5G/

11583105-largeMaine 11/20/13 Penobscot County: School officials in Lincoln warned parents on Nov 20th that a small group of children might have been exposed to rabies after a Mattanawcook Academy student was bitten by a bat near Ella P. Burr Elementary School last week. The bat has tested positive for rabies and a 17-year-old girl has been advised to seek immediate medical advice. The 17-year-old was warning a group of younger children to stay away from an injured bat and might have picked it up when it bit her. – See http://bangordailynews.com/2013/11/20/news/penobscot/lincoln-schools-warn-parents-after-student-bitten-by-rabid-bat/?ref=latest

Dog_1New Mexico 11/18/13 Valencia County: A 6-month-old pet dog that was reported for harassing livestock and killing chickens has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/6a5e72e5d22240d9a4f41ff734c5506c/NM–Rabies-New-Mexico

GE DIGITAL CAMERANorth Carolina 11/20/13 Durham County: A bat reported in a residence in the 4500 block of Ryan Street in the City of Durham is the 12th confirmed case of rabies in the county this year. – See http://www.wncn.com/story/24021581/12th-confirmed-cases-of-rabies-reported-in-durham

88e779r0eVirginia 11/20/13 Gloucester County: A raccoon that was in contact with an unvaccinated dog in the Roanes area on Nov 15th has tested positive for rabies. And on Oct 29th a skunk that was behaving abnormally in the Adner/Lee’s Neck Farm area was shot and tested positive for rabies. Two dogs exposed to the skunk were current on vaccinations. – See http://www.dailypress.com/news/gloucester-county/dp-nws-gloucester-rabies-cases-11-21-20131120,0,365185.story

520bc0501588c.preview-300Virginia 11/19/13 York County: A Rabies Alert has been issued for residents in the vicinity of Middle Road and Bradley Drive in the county’s Dandy area after a raccoon found in that area tested positive for the virus. – See http://wydaily.com/2013/11/19/rabid-raccoon-found-in-dandy-area-of-york-county/