Tag Archives: La Crosse Encephalitis

Residents of Peoria, Illinois, create stink over SKUNK invasion; Texas BAT colonies so great radar sees weather patterns; Florida child bitten by RABID RACCON; Texas child bitten by FOX thought to be RABID; WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA, CT, MO, & WI; and RABIES reports from CT, NE, NY, & NC. Canada: RABIES report from Ontario. Follow-Up Reports: Brother of North Carolina girl who died last week had LACROSSE ENCEPHALITIS.

Photo courtesy CDC.

Illinois 09/06/11 pjstar.com: by John Sharp – There are certain foul stenches easily more identifiable than others – oil refineries, corn processing plants, semi exhaust and skunks. The latter is a stink that Peorians, like everyone else in Illinois, are having to pinch their noses to avoid more often now than in previous years. The skunk population is on the rise. “Skunks have been moving around,” Jeff Stepping, manager of Critter Control in Peoria, said. “This year has been a little above average.” State statistics prove this. According to an annual skunk road kill index – an actual measure of the deceased skunk population by biologists throughout the state – the population was up 46 percent from February 2009 to January 2010. That represents the highest leap in skunk road kill in Illinois since February 1982 to January 1983, according to Bob Bluett, a wildlife biologist with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The statistics are further supported by some real world problems.

In Joliet, residents showed up to a recent City Council meeting saying the number of skunks had reached “epidemic proportions,” according to newspaper accounts. Council members agreed, with one councilman saying his dog had been sprayed. Locally, wildlife trappers have been active with clearing roads of all sorts of road kill this year, primarily due to critters running around looking for food sources after a wetter-than-normal spring. “I have had an increase in skunks,” said Gary Isbell, with Nuisance Wildlife Removal of Trivoli. “It’s nothing epic.”  No skunk complaints have been publicly aired during a Peoria City Council meeting, but Lauren Malmberg with the Peoria County Animal Control Protection Services said the local populations are on the rise. “We are seeing a lot more skunks in the past three years than we have in the 27 years I’ve been here before that,” Malmberg, director of PCAPS, said. Part of the reason for the statewide skunk rise is because the last rabies outbreak controlling their population hit more than 20 years ago, Bluett said. “They stayed at a low (population) level since that last rabies epidemic,” he said. “Typically, you’ll see populations recover in 10 years or so. It’s been closer to 20 years.” Bluett said the Illinois Department of Public Health is moniorting skunks for rabies. He said a skunk rabie outbreak is typically not a concern for humans, but could be an issue for dogs, cats and livestock, which encounter skunks more often. “With the increase in population, there is a bigger chance you would see an increase in rabies,” he said. (For additional skunk facts and tips go to http://www.pjstar.com/features/x227167271/State-statistics-indicate-a-rise-in-the-skunk-population )

Texas 09/07/11 haysfreepress.com: by Wes Ferguson – The bats in Central Texas fly in (colonies) so great, they appear as weather patterns on Doppler radar. The other evening, Rob White, an avocational meteorologist and local insurance agent, decided to use radar to track the famed bats of Austin. He watched his screen as the bats left their haunt beneath the Congress Avenue Bridge, but then he began to see other cloudlike patterns a little farther south. To White’s surprise, these bats were in Kyle. They were flying out from under a bridge a mere half mile from his house. “There’s got to be some insect population they’re feeding off of,” White later speculated. “Bats are having a hard time. Because of the drought, the insect population is lower, so I guess they’re doing whatever they have to to find food.”

A few days after White saw the bats on radar, Kyle resident Lynette Hill had a much closer encounter with them. She was driving south on the Interstate 35 frontage road when she saw thousands upon thousands of the tiny mammals fluttering into the evening sky. Though the bridge is easy to miss when driving over it, a dry creek bed called Bunton Branch runs beneath the frontage roads and Interstate 35 about a third of a mile north of the intersection with FM 1626. The heavy stench of urine below the bridges tells the story of the bats who have colonized it. There, the creek bed and concrete abutments are practically marshy with guano. (Bats carry rabies, so give them a wide berth and don’t touch them.) At 7:40 p.m. last Thursday, masses of the bats began to file out from under the interstate. As cars and trucks whirred by, the bats seemed to swarm all around and above the vehicles, trailing off to the east. They practically filled the sky. A few minutes later, though, the bats were all gone.

To see the spectacle of the Kyle bats for yourself, try a vantage point near the Lowe’s store in Kyle. Last Thursday the bats seemed to be flying directly over the big box parking lot. They left at 7:40 p.m. that night. But more recent reports suggest they’re flying closer to dark and heading in the opposite direction – west past H-E-B – so you might be able to see them if you wait near the historic Bunton Branch Bridge on Kyle Crossing, just west of I-35.

Florida 09/07/11 palmbeachpost.com: by Julius Whigham II – The Palm Beach County Health Department has issued a rabies warning after a raccoon that bit an 8-year-old Boca Raton boy Sunday tested positive for the deadly disease. The child and his mother were in their yard near Sandalfoot Boulevard and U.S. 441 on Sunday when a raccoon approached the family dog, Health Department spokesman Tim O’Connor said. The child intervened and the raccoon turned on the boy and bit him. The boy’s mother and a neighbor killed the raccoon and rushed the boy to a hospital to begin treatment for rabies. He was given a shot of rabies vaccine as a precaution. The Florida State Laboratory in Jacksonville confirmed today that the raccoon was rabid. As a result, the boy will receive three additional rabies vaccine shots over the next 14 days. Animals showing signs either of sickness or aggressive behavior should be reported to Animal Care and Control at (561) 233-1200.

Texas 09/07/11 reporternews.com: by Lisa Tipton – An 8-year-old boy received rabies vaccinations after he was attacked by a fox Sunday afternoon while playing in his grandparents’ front yard near Lake Brownwood. According to the Brown County Sheriff’s office, the grandfather, Andrew Horton, heard the child yell after a small fox bit the boy’s sock. Horton told a deputy he “grabbed the boy and slung him around to throw the fox off of him.” Horton shot at the fox several times, eventually killing it with a shot to the head. The fox never tried to run, the report said, but continued to charge Horton and his grandson. The boy didn’t suffer a full bite, but he had scratches that were checked out in a hospital emergency room. The fox’s body was sent to Austin to be tested for rabies; results are expected back this week. The animal’s aggressive nature indicated rabies, Brown County Game Warden Matthew Marek said. The boy has received rabies vaccinations and will need several more doses if the test results are positive.

California 09/08/11 the riverbanknews.com: by Andrea Goodwin – West Side Mosquito abatement district is warning northern Stanislaus County residents to be aware of the risks of West Nile Virus. There have been five reported cases of West Nile Virus in humans in Stanislaus County this summer and four of those cases required hospitalization. There have been no reported human cases of West Nile in the Riverbank or Oakdale areas, but officials are still warning residents that the virus is considered active in those areas. “There is West Nile Virus in Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties. Everybody has the same chance of catching it. Just because nobody has reported it in Riverbank or Oakdale doesn’t mean people are safer,” said Lloyd Douglass, director of East Side Mosquito Abatement district. For more information about West Nile Virus, Stanislaus County residents can visit http://www.schsa.org.

Connecticut 09/08/11 ct.gov: New Release – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that two more people have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV) infection; one from Bridgeport, and another from New Haven. The residents, between 80-89 years of age, had onset of illness during the 4th week of August before the arrival of the tropical storm. Both residents were hospitalized with encephalitis. Illness in both cases was characterized by high fever, confusion, weakness, and vomiting. WNV positive mosquitoes have been trapped repeatedly at numerous sites in Fairfield and New Haven counties this season. Last week, it was announced that a resident of Stamford had tested positive for WNV infection. So far this season, WNV-positive mosquitoes have been trapped in 30 municipalities: Branford, Bridgeport, Cromwell, Danbury, Darien, East Haven, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Groton, Hamden, Hartford, Litchfield, Meriden, Milford, New Britain, New Canaan, New Haven, North Haven, Norwalk, Orange, South Windsor, Stamford, Stratford, Tolland, Trumbull, West Haven, Westbrook, Westport, and Woodbridge. For information on West Nile virus and what you can do to prevent getting bitten by mosquitoes, visit the Connecticut Mosquito Management Program web site at www.ct.gov/mosquito.

Missouri 09/08/11 cbslocal.com: A 12-year-old Wellston boy is the first confirmed human case of West Nile Virus in St. Louis County this year. The county health department says the boy was hospitalized briefly but has recovered. The county reported one case of the mosquito-borne illness in 2010.

Wisconsin 09/08/11 wausaudailyherald.com: by Jeff Engel Gannett – Wisconsin health officials are again calling for horse owners to vaccinate their animals after the Clark County Health Department this week discovered the state’s first case of West Nile virus in a horse this year. The report comes after a recent string of cases of another mosquito-borne virus, eastern equine encephalitis, in horses in nearby counties. Two birds also have tested positive for West Nile in the state in 2011. There have been no confirmed human cases this year, after two statewide last year. The 10-year-old Clark County horse showed signs of neurological disease, and a sample was submitted for testing Aug. 30. The horse had not been vaccinated for West Nile virus, health officials said. (For complete article go to http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/article/20110908/WDH0101/110908046/Clark-County-reports-West-Nile-horse )

Connecticut 09/07/11 countytimes.com: by Kathryn Boughton – Rabies is present again in Western Connecticut, as the raccoon population, decimated by the disease a decade ago, increases. Two instances of rabid raccoons occurred last week in Kent. (For complete article go to http://www.countytimes.com/articles/2011/09/07/news/doc4e67c55715b08085328619.txt?viewmode=default )

Nebraska 09/07/11 columbustelegram.com: Columbus Animal Control has confirmed a case of rabies in a bat captured last week. According to a release from Lead Animal Control Officer Donna Winig, a Columbus citizen encountered the bat Thursday afternoon while working outside in the 3100 block of 39th Street. The bat was captured by Columbus Animal Control and sent to Kansas State University, where testing was positive for the rabies virus. For more information contact Columbus Animal Control at 402-564-8839.

New York 09/07/11 theloopny.com: by Diana Marszalek – A second rabid raccoon — the third rabid animal of the summer — has been found in Larchmont, according to county health officials. Residents on Wednesday received a call confirming that a raccoon trapped on Stuyvesant Avenue Sept. 2 tested positive for rabies. Individuals who may have been in contact with the animal should call the health department at 813-5000 to determine whether they should get treatment for the disease. The raccoon is the third rabid animal of the summer found in Larchmont. A rabid skunk was trapped on Sherwood Oval in August. In June, a rabid raccoon was found near Sherwood Drive and Boston Post Road. The local cases are part of a rash of rabies throughout Westchester County this summer. Health officials issued a rabies alert in July after the 25th case was discovered.

North Carolina 09/07/11 vancnews.com: by Luci Weldon – A raccoon found south of Warrenton on Aug. 29 has tested positive for rabies, making it the seventh rabid raccoon found in the county this year. Elma Rae Greene, director of Warren County Animal Control, said that the raccoon was found in the area near the intersection of Baltimore Road and Baltimore Church Road. She said that a dog owned by a local resident had killed the raccoon. Animal Control believes that the raccoon came to the property shortly after Hurricane Irene. When they arrived to pick up the animal, there were visible signs that it had been quite sick, Greene said. She said that the dog that killed the raccoon was not current on its rabies vaccinations and was isolated at the Warren County Animal Ark. In such situations, unvaccinated dogs and cats that are exposed to rabid animals may be confined for six months at the owner’s expense or humanely euthanized. Greene said that the dog in this case was humanely euthanized.


Ontario 09/07/11 theenterprisebulletin.com: The Ministry of Natural Resources will be releasing approximately 266,000 baits containing a rabies vaccine in southwestern Ontario next week.  Collingwood is on the eastern edge of the region to will be baited, and includes areas south of town. According to a news release from MNR, the bait drop program is one of the most successful rabies eradication programs in North America. The vaccine will control the spread of rabies in skunks and foxes and help continue to keep Ontario’s raccoons free of rabies.  The flavoured baits immunize most skunks, foxes and raccoons that eat them. Baits are small and khaki green, with a toll-free rabies hotline number stamped on them. If you see baits, please leave them undisturbed. The MNR notes that Ontario raccoons have been free of rabies since September 2005, and 2010 marked the lowest number of rabies-positive animals with the ‘Ontario fox’ strain in the province since the disease became established in Ontario in 1958. Last year there were only 39 cases of rabies diagnosed in Ontario. Of these cases, only 10 were found in wildlife, and Ontario has reduced rabies cases in the province by more than 99 per cent since rabies control programs began 20 years ago. Exposure to a bait is not harmful to people or pets. However, if a person or a pet comes in contact with the vaccine in the bait, the MNR says that contacting a doctor or veterinarian as a precaution is recommended.

Follow-Up Reports:

Henderson County

North Carolina 09/07/11 citizen-times.com: (See September 6, 2011: North Carolina child’s death likely caused by LACROSSE ENCEPHALITIS) Health officials confirmed the brother of the Henderson County 8-year-old girl who died last week had La Crosse viral encephalitis, a mosquito-borne illness. The state public health laboratory confirmed La Crosse infection in the boy, but they were inconclusive in the girl, who succumbed to the disease, officials announced Wednesday. Samples have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control for further testing and it is unknown when results of the latest tests will be available.


Wildlife officers in Colorado believe they have killed a Black Bear responsible for mauling two campers; USDA issues alert for Horses from four Mexican states; Virginia’s ticks and the diseases they carry; California health lab confirms Hantavirus in Deer Mouse and Vole; Ohio confirms two human cases of La Crosse Encephalitis; Rabies reports from AR, CO, ME, NM, OR, TX, VT, & WV; and West Nile Virus reports from AZ, CA, IL, MA (2), and WA. Canada: Horse in Ontario tests positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis.

Black bear at campground picnic table. Courtesy National Park Service.

Colorado 08/21/11 realaspen.com: by Colorado Division of Wildlife – A bear suspected of injuring two campers at separate campsites this past Friday and Saturday morning was successfully tracked and killed at approximately 7 a.m. Sunday morning by Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers, with the assistance of a specialist with the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program and employees of the U. S. Forest Service. Based on the location, behavior and description of the black bear given by campers involved in the incidents, wildlife officers are confident that they tracked down the bear responsible for attacking two campers while they slept in their tents at the Maroon Bells-Snowmass wilderness area. The bear bit both victims, causing minor injuries to the leg of one camper at Crater Lake and substantial injuries to the leg of another camper in the nearby Minnehaha Gulch area. “We were very careful to make sure we got the right bear,” said Colorado Parks and Wildlife Area Wildlife Manager Perry Will. Because the two incidents were in the same area and had similar characteristics, Will believes only one bear was involved in these attacks. “With the removal of this bear, camping in this area is safer today, but there are other bears out there and people need to take precautions when they camp anywhere in Colorado,” cautioned Will. “Bears are intelligent and once they find food at one camp, they’ll look for food at other camps. These incidents should serve to remind people how serious irresponsible camping practices can be.”

In Saturday morning’s incident, the injured camper reported having an empty bag of freeze-dried food inside a backpack in his tent. However, the campers involved in Friday morning’s incident indicated that they had followed all recommended food storage practices, but still became a target of the aggressive bear. Wildlife managers suspect that due to poor practices by previous campers in the area, the bear had learned that tents were an easy source of food. “Overall, camping in Colorado remains safe and fun, and incidents like this remain very rare,” Will added. “If you follow a few simple rules, you will likely have an enjoyable camping experience.” The bear will be tested for rabies and necropsied as part of the investigation.

Head pressing by horse.

National 08/19/11 news-journal.com: Due to recent cases of Venezuelan equine encephalitis in Southern Mexico, horse owners and veterinarians are encouraged to be alert to any clinical signs of illness that could indicate VEE, a non-contagious viral infection of horses and other equids that can cause a severe and often fatal encephalitis/encephalomyelitis, which is defined as an inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. VEE is typically found in Central and South America, but due to the recent case of a horse that died of VEE in Southern Mexico, the United States Department of Agriculture issued an import alert for four states in Mexico. Effective immediately, and until further notice, horses and other equids from the states of Tamaulipas, Veracruz, Tabasco, and Chiapas or that have transited through these states are required to undergo a seven-day quarantine and observation for VEE in a vector-proof (double-screened) quarantine facility, rather than the standard 3-day quarantine prior to entry into the U.S. Clinical signs of VEE include moderate to high fever, depression, lack of appetite, cranial nerve deficits (facial paralysis, tongue weakness, difficulty swallowing), behavioral changes (aggression, self-mutilation, or drowsiness), gait abnormalities, or severe central nervous system signs, such as head-pressing, circling, blindness and seizures. VEE is usually transmitted by mosquitoes. People may also be infected by mosquitos, but horse-to-horse and horse-to-human transmission is uncommon. VEE is highly pathogenic in horses. It can also cause illness in humans. Vaccination may interfere with testing for the disease, so veterinarians need to weigh the potential risks and benefits of vaccinating an individual horse that might be tested for export. “There have been no reported cases of VEE in recent years in Texas. However, our close proximity to Mexico means that we will be keeping a close eye on any cases across the border and determining whether any further regulatory action will be needed,” said Dr. Andy Schwartz, TAHC state epidemiologist. “

Lone Star tick

Virginia 08/20/11 insidenova.com: by Keith Walker – So far this year in Prince William County, there have been four confirmed cases of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, said David Gaines, the state public health entomologist. So far this year, 11 cases of the fever have been reported in Fairfax County. Other diseases carried by ticks that cause symptoms similar to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever include ehrlichiosis, which is caused by a bacteria called ehrlicia, and anaplasmosis, which is cause by bacteria anaplasma, Gaines said.

Blacklegged tick

The symptoms of all the diseases include fever, headache, abdominal pain, vomiting and muscle pain. “All three diseases are carried by different ticks,” Gaines said. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is carried by the American dog tick, ehrlichiosis is carried by the Lone Star tick, anaplasmosis carried by black-legged tick, Gaines said. “The black-legged tick carries Lyme disease,” he said.

Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is caused by a bacteria called rickettsia and is less common than the others. “Ehrlichiosis is probably as common or more common than Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Virginia,” Gaines said.  The most common tick in Virginia is the Lone Star tick, Gaines said.

Deer mouse

California 08/18/11 10news.com: A deer mouse and a vole trapped during routine monitoring in Chula Vista tested positive for hantavirus, which can result in a potentially fatal respiratory disease, the San Diego County Department of Environmental Health reported Thursday. So far this year, 45 rodents infected with hantavirus have been found, according to the DEH. That compares with 21 infected rodents found all of last year. Officials think the increase is due to a larger rodent population caused by last winter’s rains.

Ohio 08/19/11 zanesvilletimesrecorder.com: by Brian Gadd – The Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department is taking steps to stamp out the spread of a severe central nervous system infection stemming from water-borne mosquitoes. Deputy Health Commissioner/Director of Environmental Health Mike Kirsch said he had been informed of a possible case of La Crosse Encephalitisand received confirmation on Aug. 1. Health Department NurseBetty Fisher said a second case was reported on Wednesday.  (Forcomplete article go to http://www.zanesvilletimesrecorder.com/article

Aedes aegypti Treehole mosquito

/20110819/NEWS01/110819011 )

Ohio 08/19/11 wtam.com: by Ken Robinson – The Medina County Health Department has received confirmation of a case of La Crosse Encephalitis (LCE) in the City of Wadsworth. LCE is a virus that is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes. In the U.S., LCE is not common as only about 80-100 cases are reported each year. Likewise, Ohio typically has few cases, and in 2011 to date, 5 human cases have been reported, all in the northeast Ohio area. The Wadsworth case is the first report of LCE in Medina County since 2005.

Arkansas 08/19/11 helena-arkansas.com: The Arkansas Department of Health is announcing that two bats have tested positive for rabies in Monroe County within the last two weeks. There have been no prior reports of rabies in bats from Monroe County since 1991. According to Health Department officials, one of the bats had contact with a person and the other with family pets. In 2010, Arkansas had 34 rabies positive animals, including 32 skunks, one bat and one dog. So far in 2011, the state has had 42 skunks and five bats test positive for rabies. However, these two bats are the first from Monroe County in more than 21 years.

Colorado 08/17/11 denverpost.com: For the fifth time this year, a bat found in Jefferson County has tested positive for rabies, and this one turned up in an alarming location. A teacher trapped the bat in an otherwise empty classroom at Drake Middle School in Arvada Monday morning, after she made the startling discovery as she prepared for the first day of school next week. The bat is the 24th to test positive for the virus in Colorado this year.

Maine 08/20/11 sunjournal.com: by Tony Reaves – (A) fox that attacked Michael Grover in his yard Wednesday night has tested positive for rabies, he said Friday. Grover called the result “no big surprise.” After Grover ran over the fox with his truck and reported the attack, Game Warden Kris Barboza collected the animal’s corpse and sent it to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Augusta for testing. On Friday, Grover said he received a call confirming the fox was rabid. After the fox attack on Wednesday, Grover drove to Bridgton Hospital for treatment. The results mean Grover will have to go back to the hospital three more times for shots. Grover said the fox came out from under his porch at around 9 p.m. Wednesday and attacked his leg. He managed to fend it off and stopped its two attempts to get inside his house on Five Kezars Road in North Waterford, but the fox bit through his jeans and bloodied his leg. He and his wife, Karen, went to his truck to go to the hospital when the fox attacked again. He had to kick it away and finally ran over the fox while it was attacking his front tire, he said. Warden Barboza said it was the first rabid animal attack in the area he was aware of this year.

New Mexico 08/18/11 currentargus.com: The New Mexico Department of Health is warning pet and livestock owners in Eddy County and the surrounding area to make sure their dogs, cats, horses and other valuable livestock are vaccinated against rabies after an unvaccinated horse near Artesia tested positive for the disease. The horse began showing signs of rabies two days before it was euthanized at a veterinary hospital. Family members and veterinary staff were exposed to the rabid horse’s infectious saliva. Three people in New Mexico and several veterinary staff in Texas have been identified who will need to receive rabies vaccines to prevent them from developing rabies. “Individuals exposed to the horse will need to receive treatment to prevent them from developing the disease. Vaccination of animals, including dogs, cats, horses and valuable livestock, is one of the most effective public health tools we have to prevent humans from being exposed to rabies,” said Department of Health cabinet secretary, Dr. Catherine Torres. Dr. Megin Nichols, one of the Department of Health’s public health veterinarians, noted that four skunks from Eddy County have been diagnosed with rabies this year. It is essential for pet owners to vaccinate their pets and to seek veterinary care if any of their pets become ill with the signs or symptoms consistent with rabies.

Oregon 08/19/11 kpic.com: A bat found here (Eagle Point) tested positive for rabies Wednesday, prompting warnings for people and pets to steer clear of bats, whether they are dead, dying or alive. The Veterinary Diagnostics Laboratory at Oregon State University confirmed a positive for rabies in the bat. About 10 percent of the bats tested for rabies are positive. Health officials record an average of about 9 positive rabies tests in Oregon every year.

Texas 08/17/11 amarillo.com: by Joe Gamm – Officials on Wednesday confirmed the seventh case of rabies found in Hale County this year. All rabies cases in Hale have been found in skunks, the Texas Department of State Health Services said. The latest case marks the 52nd case of rabies in the Texas Panhandle this year. James Alexander, a Canyon-based zoonosis veterinarian for Health Services, said officials verified 79 cases of rabies in 2005, a record for the Panhandle. Zoonosis is any infectious disease that can be transferred from an animal to a human. “This year we have been averaging 1.5 cases reported per week,” Alexander said in a news release. “If that rate of reporting holds up through the end of December we can expect about 79 to 80 cases for the year.” Alexander added that there have been 18 cases of rabid horses in Texas this year, a 50 percent increase over the record of 12, reached in 1998, 2004 and 2006.

Vermont 08/18/11 wcax.com: Vermont’s annual rabies bait drop starts next week. It’s in its 15th year. The state drops bait laced with rabies vaccine from the sky. The baits are also placed directly on the ground to try to stop the spread of rabies in the state. The Vermont Health Department says the baits can’t cause rabies and are not harmful to children or pets, but they should not be handled or disturbed. Baits found on a lawn or driveway should be picked up with a glove and thrown out. Last year there were 54 confirmed cases of rabies in Vermont. So far this year, there have been 16 confirmed cases. If you see an animal acting strangely, leave it alone and call the state’s Rabies Hotline at 1-800-4-RABIES.

West Virginia 08/18/11 newsandsentinel.com: West Virginia’s raccoon population will receive its annual dose of rabies vaccine in September. As in previous years, the vaccine will be dropped in a target area that covers a wide corridor through the central part of the state, extending from the northern panhandle to the southern coalfields. Aerial baiting is scheduled to begin Sept. 11 and conclude Sept. 18. Hand baiting with the block-type baits will begin in early September and continue until completed. Distribution of baits is weather-dependent and inclement weather may result in extended bait distributions.  (For complete article go to http://www.newsandsentinel.com/page/content.detail/id/551053/Raccoon-rabies-vaccination-set.html?nav=5061 )

Yuma County

Arizona 08/19/11 washington examiner.com:

The Arizona Department of Health Services has confirmed the discovery of a positive West Nile virus mosquito pool in Yuma County.

Health officials say the pool testing positive was retrieved in the Betty’s Kitchen area of Mittry Lake.

California 08/19/11 contracostatimes.com: by Rick Hurd – A mosquito carrying the West Nile virus was discovered in eastern Contra Costa County, marking the first time this year vector control officials have found such a sample in the county, a spokeswoman said Friday.

Contra Costa County

Workers collected the sample this week in the area of West Cypress Road and O’Hara Avenue, said Deborah Bass with the county Mosquito and Vector Control District. According to the district, 23 people in Contra Costa County have been diagnosed with West Nile virus since 2006, including two who died from the disease that year. In California overall there have been six deaths from the disease.

Illinois 08/19/11 suntimes.com: An elderly Palatine man has been diagnosed as one of the first human cases of West Nile virus in the state in 2011, according to state health officials. The Cook County Department of Public Health reported a man in his 80s from Palatine became ill earlier this month, according to spokeswoman Amy Poore. The man remains hospitalized but is recovering, she said. The first human case was reported by the Franklin-Williamson Bi-County Health Department in downstate Marion, where a man in his 30s became ill in July. So far this year, 13 counties have reported mosquito batches, birds or a person testing positive for West Nile virus, including Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will counties. The first West Nile virus positive results this year were collected on June 8 from two birds from LaSalle County. Last year, 30 of the state’s 102 counties were found to have a bird, mosquito, horse or human case, the release said. A total of 61 human cases were reported in Illinois last year, the first on Aug. 31.

Massachusetts 08/20/11 eagletribune.com: by Brian Messenger – Mosquito control workers are expected to spray pesticide next week in Methuen, Haverhill and North Andover after mosquitoes in all three communities tested positive for West Nile virus. The test results were released by the state yesterday just two days after workers sprayed the pesticide Anvil in Andover to control the town’s mosquito population. Similar measures were taken in North Andover Aug. 9. (For complete article go to http://www.eagletribune.com/local/x531748197/Mosquitoes-test-positive-for-West-Nile-in-Methuen-Haverhill-North-Andover )

Massachusetts 08/20/11 boston.com: by Jeff Fish – The West Nile virus was found in mosquitoes in Shrewsbury and Auburn this week, according to Public Health officials from both towns. The virus was detected in samples collected in both towns on Aug. 11. (For complete article go to http://www.boston.com/Boston/metrodesk/2011/08/west-nile-virus-found-auburn-shrewsbury/ddD35gPkk9fqnjpmmsNxPP/index.html )

Yakima County

Washington 08/19/11 wa.gov: News Release – A mosquito sample collected in Yakima County on Tuesday tested positive for West Nile virus providing the first sign that the virus is present in Washington this year. Monitoring and testing dead birds and mosquitoes has been ongoing around the state since June. In 2009, 38 people in Washington became sick from West Nile virus infections. Last year we had two human cases in the state.


Ontario 08/19/11 cornwallseawaynews.com: One horse in Stormont County has tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis. Because the virus is spread by the bite of an infected mosquito, the Health Unit is issuing a reminder to everyone to take precautions against mosquito bites this summer.

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

Mountain Lion. Courtesy U.S. Geological Survey.

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

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

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

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

Deer Tick

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

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

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

Muskingum County

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

Montgomery County

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

Oneida County

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

South Carolina 08/03/11 wspa.com: by Sandra Renrick – A woman in Oconee County is undergoing treatment for rabies after being bitten by a skunk. According to the Department of Health and Environmental Control the skunk tested positive for rabies. State health officials say the skunk was in the garage of the woman’s home on Long Creek when it attacked. According to DHEC, this is the first confirmed rabid animal in Oconee County in 2011. Last year, there were four rabid animals confirmed in the county. In 2010, there were 106 confirmed cases of rabies in animals in South Carolina. So far this year, there have been 61 confirmed cases in animals in the state.

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

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

Cook County

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

Hillsborough County

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

District 24 including Jamaica Estates

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

York County

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


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

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

Follow-Up Reports:

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

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

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

Dr. Zhen Fang Fu

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

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

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

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

Gravid trap

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Travel Warnings:

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

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

Lyme disease report from Massachusetts; Eastern Equine Encephalitis reports from Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia; and West Nile Virus reports from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Virginia.


Whitetail deer herd.

Massachusetts 08/26/10 examiner.com: by Robert Herriman –  Areas outside Cape Cod are seeing big increases in Lyme disease, places where the bacterial infection was once considered rare like Charlton and Northborough.  Historically people in the state that contracted Lyme disease had previously visited the Cape Cod area. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health says cases have increased 4-fold in Middlesex, Norfolk, and Worcester counties since 2000.  Some experts believe the increase in Lyme disease is attributed to an increase in the deer population throughout the state and the closer proximity to humans.

Massachusetts 08/27/10 gazettenet.com: Officials say the virus that causes Eastern equine encephalitis as well as the West Nile virus have been found in mosquitoes collected in Bolton. James Garreffi, director of the Nashoba Associated Boards of Health, says the state Department of Public Health confirmed the discovery of EEE on Wednesday.  A horse in nearby Lancaster died from EEE earlier this month.  Tim Deschamps of the Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project tells WTAG-FM that West Nile virus was confirmed Thursday.

Michigan 08/27/10 hastingsbanner.com: The Michigan Department of Community Health has confirmed three human cases of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in Southwest Michigan. In Barry County, a 52-year-old woman contracted the illness and is now recovering in a rehabilitation center. Her condition is unknown at this time.  In Kalamazoo County, two cases have been confirmed; a 61-year-old man is home recovering from the illness, while a 41-year-old man is in intensive care in a Kalamazoo County hospital. All human cases have a history of local exposure to mosquitoes. These are the first human cases reported in Michigan since 2002. No further details about the cases are being released.  The MDCH and the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) are continuing to receive reports of cases of EEE in horses in Southwest Michigan, including Barry, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, and St. Joseph counties.  Eastern equine encephalitis is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S., killing one-third of those hospitalized with the infection, and often leaving survivors with lasting brain damage. In the face of this ongoing outbreak, Michigan residents are urged to take precautions against mosquito bites.  In addition to the human cases, 18 horses have tested positive for the virus, and the MDA has received more than 50 additional reports of horse deaths.

New Hampshire 08/25/10 theunionleader.com: by Beth Lamontagne Hall – Mosquitoes infected with the West Nile virus have been

Mosquito breeding ground.

found in the city and a hotline has been set up to answer residents’ questions.  The insects were collected in Manchester on Aug. 17 and subsequent tests showed they were carrying the virus.  “Although the finding of (West Nile virus) in the community is not unexpected, there is still a significant amount of time before the first frost,” said public health director Tim Soucy. “As such, everyone must be vigilant in eliminating mosquito breeding areas and taking personal precautions to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes.”

New Jersey 08/24/10 njherald.com: by Bruce A. Scruton – Three samples of mosquitoes taken from the same location in Hardyston have tested positive for West Nile virus, according to Sussex County Health Department officials.  The samples were collected Aug. 9 and tested at the state laboratory last week, said Herb Yardley, administrator of the Sussex County Department of Environmental and Public Health Services, which oversees the Office of Mosquito Control.  He said the mosquito trap is near the county’s sewage treatment plant off Route 94 and accounted for the three “pools” that tested positive. A “pool” is a specified number of mosquitoes taken from a trap and counted as a separate sample. While August is the peak of the West Nile season, Yardley said, “the county has been lucky this year — we haven’t seen a lot of West Nile activity nor a lot of mosquito problems.”  The latest state Health Department report, using lab tests through Friday, shows West Nile virus has shown up 399 times in 19 of the state’s 21 counties with Bergen, at 66, having the most positive results. Other active counties include Gloucester with 60 positives, followed by Hudson with 54 and Middlesex with 43.  Of the neighboring counties, Warren has two positive results, Passaic has 5 and Morris has recorded 12.  However, the state notes there have been no confirmed cases of the virus in humans. Three other forms of mosquito-borne viruses, Eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis and La Crosse encephalitis, can also cause sickness in humans and horses and are regularly tested for by the state.  While no human cases have been confirmed with those three diseases, the state has confirmed 12 positive tests of Eastern equine in mosquito samples. Neither La Crosse nor St. Louis strains have been found.

New York 08/26/10 syracuse.com: by James T. Mulder – Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a potentially deadly virus, has been discovered in mosquitoes in Cicero.  The Onondaga County Health Department said today mosquitoes collected Aug. 19 in a trap at Oneida Shores tested positive for EEE. The department said it received test results from the state Wednesday.  The finding of EEE in mosquitoes is not unusual. A pool of mosquitoes on the north shore of Oneida Lake near Toad Harbor Swamp tested positive last month. The Oswego County Health Department sprayed that area earlier this month.  In rare cases, people can be infected with the EEE virus, which causes inflammation, swelling of the brain and can be fatal. An Oswego County resident died of EEE last September, the third recorded EEE death in New York state.  The Onondaga Health Department said the mosquitoes that tested positive in Cicero are primarily bird biters.

Virginia 08/26/10 dailypress.com: by Cara R. Anthony – Suffolk has received positive confirmation of the West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis in mosquitoes and sample chicken flocks.  No human cases of WNV or EEE have been reported, but the city wants

Mosquito breeding ground.

local residents to take precautions.  Mosquito collections and sampled chicken flocks in the areas of Market Street, Pine Street, Freeney Avenue, Lloyd Street, Lake Kennedy area, Suburban Woods, Wonderland Forest, Burbage Grant, and the Great Dismal Swamp have tested positive for the West Nile Virus (WNV).  Mosquito collections and sampled flocks in the Lake Kennedy area, Suburban Woods area and the Great Dismal Swamp have tested positive for the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). Mosquito testing is used to determine periods of increased risk of contracting West Nile Virus.  Mosquito Control operations are intensifying their efforts in these areas as a result of the WNV and EEE positive test confirmations. Increased mosquito surveillance, treatment of standing water, and evening spray applications for adult mosquitoes are being administered.

Ohio reports human death due to LaCrosse Encephalitis. Also West Nile Virus reports from California, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York (6), Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

A few of the 326 bird species that have been reported to CDC's West Nile Virus avian mortality database from 1999-present. The Cinnamon Teal above. Others are identified individually below.

California 07/18/10 wcsh6.com: Los Angeles – Two Stanislaus County women infected with the West Nile virus are the first confirmed human cases in California this year.  The California Department of Public Health said Friday that the women were identified after donating blood and a routine screening discovered the illness. Both developed symptoms, but are recovering without hospitalization.

Indiana 07/19/10 journalgazette.net: A sample of mosquitoes collected in

Bullock's Oriole

the 1800 block of Laverne Avenue has tested positive for the West Nile virus, city-county health officials said today.  Vector control crews plan to spray beginning about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, weather permitting, in a half-mile radius around where the sample was collected, the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health said in a statement.

Louisiana 07/19/10 nola.com: by Benjamin Alexander-Bloch – Typical for mid July, the first signs this year of West Nile virus in St. Tammany

American White Pelican

Parish were found Friday.  The St. Tammany Mosquito Abatement District is scheduled to begin aerial spraying tonight and Tuesday evening in the east Pearl River and Lacombe area. Both positive locations already were treated Friday night by truck spraying.  Three out of 111 mosquito samples Friday tested positive, with two involving southern house mosquitoes in the Lacombe area and the other involving marsh breeding mosquitoes from the east Pear River area. The three samples are the first to test positive out of 952 samples tested this year in St. Tammany Parish.  A sample contains up to 50 mosquitoes, which are grouped and tested as a single unit.  Last week, state officials announced the first Louisiana person infected this year by the West Nile virus, with tests confirming that an East Baton Rouge Parish resident has the least serious form of the potentially deadly condition, despite displaying no symptoms.  In July 2009, two Covington area residents contracted the illness. During the final week of July 2009, nearly one-third of the 61 mosquito samples in the parish had the virus.  About 90 percent of the people who contract West Nile will never experience any symptoms and likely will never know they have the disease. Nearly all the rest will suffer from West Nile fever, which has symptoms similar to the flu and is not typically diagnosed as West Nile.  Only about 1 percent of patients who contract West Nile will develop the neuroinvasive form of the disease that can result in brain or spinal swelling leading to permanent damage or death. People who are at least 65 years old are the most likely to suffer complications.

Massachusetts 07/17/10 patch.com: by Sasha Brown-Worsham – The West Nile Virus has been found in a sampling of Arlington mosquitoes. 

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

The Massachusetts Dept. of Public Health confirmed this week that the mosquito-spread illness, which can lead to a host of potential complications, was found in a collection taken from the Arlington Heights section of town.  “This is typically found every year,” said Christine Connolly, the director of health and human services in Arlington, adding that though West Nile has been found every summer for the past 10 years, this is “a bit earlier than we expected.  The Massachusetts Department of Health gathered the samples on July 14, tested them and informed the town of the findings on July 16.

Mississippi 07/19/10 msbusiness.com: The first positive test for West Nile virus in Mississippi during the current season has been found in a mosquito sample in Madison County.  The state health department says it will be conducting regular testing across the state during the mosquito season months of July through September.  Only one positive human case has been reported so far this in Mississippi. That was discovered in February in Coahoma County.

New York 07/19/10 upi.com: No human cases of West Nile virus have been detected in New York City, but city officials say the number of

American Coot

mosquitoes carrying the virus is unusually high.  The city health department has issued an alert to medical providers throughout the city to be on the lookout for possible cases of West Nile virus.

New York 07/19/10 lohud.com: by Jane Lerner – Ramapo – The Rockland Department of Health has collected its first mosquito infected with the West Nile virus, health officials said this morning.  The mosquito was found in a sample collected by the Rockland Department of Health somewhere in Ramapo during the week of June 28, according to Brian Hunderfund, director of mosquito control for the county.  “This is the earliest isolation that we have ever identified since we have been collecting samples,” he said. “Others have suggested that this will be a very active year due to the hot and dry conditions.”  So far this year, all of the other 110 mosquito samples collected and sent to the state for testing have been negative, he said.

New York 07/18/10 empirestatenews.net: Hauppauge – Suffolk County

Hooded Merganser

Department of Health Services (SCDHS) Commissioner Dr. James Tomarken, announced that the New York State Department of Health confirmed today that seven mosquito samples have tested positive for West Nile virus. Six samples of Culex pipiens-restuans collected on July 7 tested positive for West Nile virus. The locations are as follows: one sample from Heckscher State Park in East Islip, two samples from Belmont Lake State Park in North Babylon, and one each from locations in West Babylon, North Lindenhurst and Holtsville. An additional sample of Culex pipiens-restuans collected on July 8 in Deer Park also tested positive for West Nile virus. A total of eight mosquito samples collected in Suffolk County this season have tested positive for the virus.

New York 07/17/10 silive.com: The city Health Department, citing an unusually high number of mosquitoes testing positive for the West Nile virus, will spray the pesticide Anvil from trucks in affected Staten Island communities next week.   Some of the first mosquitoes to test positive this year turned up in Grasmere and Dongan Hills. No cases in humans have been reported.

New York 07/16/10 cnycentral.com: Syracuse  — Onondaga County Health Commissioner Cynthia Morrow announced Friday that the New

Baltimore Oriole

York State Health Department laboratory has reported finding evidence of West Nile virus in Onondaga County.  The finding was in a mosquito pool collected at Onondaga Lake Park on July 8, 2010 and sent to the New York State laboratory for testing.  This is the first finding of West Nile virus in Onondaga County this year.  There have been no human cases of West Nile virus reported in Onondaga County.

Ohio 07/19/10 ohio.com: by Cheryl Powell – A northern Summit County resident died this month from an extremely rare viral disease transmitted by mosquitos.  According to the Summit County Health District, the unidentified person contracted LaCrosse encephalitis. The inflammation of the brain can result in seizures, coma, paralysis and, in extreme cases, death.  The last time a Summit County resident was diagnosed with the mosquito-borne illness was in 1998.  Each year, about 80 to 100 cases of LaCrosse encephalitis are reported nationwide, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  ”Any death is tragic,” said Dr. Marguerite Erme, the Summit County Health District’s medical director. ”But the fact that this was rare gives people a reminder that they still need to do that mosquito prevention.”  West Nile virus, another disease transmitted by mosquitos, hasn’t been reported in humans in Summit County since 2002. As a result, Erme said, some people might be more lax about their efforts to prevent mosquito bites.

Pennsylvania 07/20/10 whptv.com: West Nile virus is back in the Keystone state and so far the bulk of it is right here in Central and

Blue Eared Pheasant

Southeastern PA. Local counties are doing their best to keep mosquitoes under control, but most are doing it with scaled back budgets.  Traps are set up throughout the state to catch mosquitoes and test them for diseases. Lebanon County just had it’s first positive west nile case from a Campbelltown location. It’s one of the areas the Lebanon County West Nile Virus Program is focusing on but with a 15 percent cut in state funding, they’re forced to do more with less. Educator Philip Hall says, “When people call in with a complaint, we can’t always get to it right away. Usually we have to say we’re going to be in that area next week or in 2 weeks.”

Virginia 07/17/10 examiner.com: by Barbara Maxwell – The Alexandria Health Department reports that mosquito collections in 4200 block of Eisenhower Ave, the Cameron Knoll Community, and Angel Park have tested positive for the West Nile Virus. This is the first reported activity of the virus in Alexandria this season.

Florida issues tick-borne disease advisory, and NIH funds LaCrosse Virus study


Florida  11/03/09  mysuncoast.com:  The Sarasota County Health Department is issuing a tick-borne disease advisory in response to the identification of an individual who acquired Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever locally. Health officials say that tick-borne illnesses, such as Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) and Lyme Disease, are present year round throughout Florida.

National  09/28/09  medicalnewstoday.com:  Camille Harris of Ridgeland, Mississippi, a graduate student in biological sciences at Virginia Tech, has been awarded a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Graduate Research Fellowship for her study of forest disturbance and its ecological impacts on LaCrosse Virus, a mosquito-borne disease that can cause seizures, coma, paralysis, and permanent brain damage in severe cases. 
Harris, a wildlife veterinarian, is pursuing her doctoral degree. The award from the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, is a two-year, $30,000 fellowship for Harris to study habitat disturbance, disease ecology, and the role of invasive species in transmission of the virus.

During an average year, about 75 cases of LaCrosse encephalitis (LAC) are reported to the Centers for Disease Control. Most cases occur in children under the age of 16. LAC virus is a pathogen cycled between the daytime-biting treehole mosquito and vertebrate hosts such as chipmunks and tree squirrels in deciduous forest habitats.

“As a clinical wildlife veterinarian, I recognize the need for a one-medicine approach to zoonotic and emerging infectious disease,” Harris said. “This approach is at the nexus of the fields of human health, animal health, and ecosystem health.” Zoonotics is the study of diseases that can be transmitted from other vertebrate animals to humans.

Her research is titled “Ecological Impacts of Forest Disturbance on Lacrosse Virus Dynamics.”

thumbnailCAETF1Q9Harris is advised by biological sciences assistant professor Dana Hawley. “Camille’s research is unusually compelling because she is using experimentally logged forest plots to examine the effects of habitat on disease vector distributions,” Hawley said.

Past studies have made broad links between habitat change and disease dynamics, but the underlying mechanisms are usually unknown. Camille is studying how logging alone influences mosquito vector distributions and resulting disease dynamics.”

Harris earned a master’s of science and a doctorate of veterinary medicine at Mississippi State University. Once she completes her Ph.D., Harris plans to pursue postdoctoral training in disease ecology.