Tag Archives: Lone Star tick

Six new cases of HEARTLAND VIRUS confirmed in MISSOURI and TENNESSEE ~ COYOTE/WOLF hybrid spotted in SOUTH CAROLINA ~ RABIES reports from AZ, FL, MA, NJ, NY, NC, OK, SC & TX.

Lone Star Tick. Courtesy CDC.

Lone Star Tick. Courtesy CDC.

Missouri and Tennessee 03/27/14 cdc.gov: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in collaboration with health officials in Missouri and Tennessee have identified six new cases of people sick with Heartland virus: five in Missouri and one in Tennessee. The new cases, discovered in 2012 and 2013, are in addition to two discovered in 2009 and are described today in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Heartland virus was first reported in two northwestern Missouri farmers who were hospitalized in 2009 with what was thought to be ehrlichiosis, a tick-borne disease. However, the patients failed to improve with treatment and testing failed to confirm ehlrlichiosis. Working with state and local partners, CDC eventually identified the cause of the men’s illness: a previously unknown virus in the phlebovirus family now dubbed Heartland virus.
CDC-LogoOngoing investigations have yielded six more cases of Heartland virus disease, bringing to eight the total number of known cases. All of the case-patients were white men over the age of 50. Their symptoms started in May to September and included fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, headache, nausea, or muscle pain. Four of the six new cases were hospitalized. One patient, who suffered from other health conditions, died. It is not known if Heartland virus was the cause of death or how much it contributed to his death. Five of the six new cases reported tick bites in the days or weeks before they fell ill. Nearly all of the newly reported cases were discovered through a study conducted by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and CDC are actively searching for human cases at six Missouri hospitals.


Range of Lone Star Tick. CDC map.

Range of Lone Star Tick. CDC map.

CDC has been working closely with the Missouri and Tennessee state health departments and other federal agencies to advance understanding of Heartland virus disease by learning more about the patients who were infected, their illness and their exposure to ticks. CDC seeks to determine the symptoms and severity of the disease, where it is found, how people are being infected, and how to prevent infections. CDC studies to date have shown Heartland virus is carried by Lone Star ticks, which are primarily found in the southeastern and eastern United States. Additional studies seek to confirm whether ticks can spread the virus to people and to learn what other insects or animals may be involved in the transmission cycle. CDC is also looking for Heartland virus in other parts of the country to understand how widely it may be distributed. – For complete article including precautions see http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2014/p0327-heartland.html
Coyote/Wolf Hybrid:

coywolf-hybridSouth Carolina 03/27/14 greenvilleonline.com: by Charles Sowell – The coyote/wolf hybrid that scares deer hunters throughout South Carolina has been found at the Savannah River Site by U.S. Forestry Service personnel doing a fawn mortality rate study, officials said last week. According to Charles Ruth, with the state Department of Natural Resources, fawn mortality at the SRS was found to be 70 percent, much higher than previously thought, and of that higher rate, 80 percent was found to be caused by coyotes. That number, while higher than expected, was not nearly the surprise that a forest service study of coyote DNA that found one coyote/wolf hybrid — a coyote with Canadian grey wolf DNA, said John Kilgo, a research biologist with the forest service. “It was noticeably bigger than even the largest coyote,” he said. “So we took its DNA and a picture. We were stunned when the results came back with Canadian grey wolf in the animal’s background.”
9661542-wolf.coyote.hybrid“We don’t know how it got here,” Kilgo said. “It may have wandered down from the north, but that is not likely. More likely is that it was imported by fox hunters, or someone else who wants to use the animal for sport and then it escaped.” The hybrid animal comes from female coyotes who bred with male grey wolves in Canada and then crossed the border into the United States, said Ruth. The coyotes are also known to breed with domestic dogs. “We don’t think these animals pose any risk to humans,” said Kilgo. “And we only found one with wolf DNA out of the 500 or so animals tested, so we are treating it as an isolated incident.” – For complete article and photo see http://www.greenvilleonline.com/article/20140327/ENT/303270050/Coyote-wolf-hybrid-spotted-Savannah-River


800px-Striped_Skunkby_www.birdphotos.comWC-2Arizona 03/28/14 Santa Cruz County: Officials plan to request a quarantine situation next week after the number of animal rabies cases in the county rose to 22 this year. Another seven cases were reported in November and December of 2013. Nearly all have been infected skunks, but one case in Tubac involved a bat. Tubac has had 13 cases since November of last year, four cases were reported in Nogales, four in Sonoita, three each in Rio Rico and Patagonia, and two in Patagonia Lake Estates. – See http://www.nogalesinternational.com/news/officials-sound-alarm-over-rabies-outbreak/article_fb4eadb6-b688-11e3-b1e3-001a4bcf887a.html
Racoon15642Florida 03/27/14 Hernando County: A raccoon that fought with a vaccinated dog in the Sun Hill Lane vicinity of Brooksville has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wtsp.com/story/news/local/2014/03/27/brooksville-raccoon-positive-rabies/6969033/
bobcat_ME_IFWMassachusetts 03/26/15 Worcester County: A bobcat that attacked a 35-year-old blind horse in its barn on Grove Street in Upton on March 15th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://uptondaily.com/2014/03/26/rabid-bobcat-attacks-upton-horse/
WashDFWNew Jersey 03/26/14 Morris County: A raccoon that fought with two dogs in the Belrose Court area of Long Valley on March 7th has tested positive for rabies. – See http://newjerseyhills.com/rabid-raccoon-report-in-long-valley-a-warning-to-pet/article_34f6e254-b503-11e3-8790-0019bb2963f4.html
EasternRedFox_VA_WilliamH-Majoros2New York 03/28/14 Herkimer County: A fox that attacked a man at his residence in the Newport area in the past week has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.littlefallstimes.com/article/20140328/NEWS/140329223
RaccoonDEC_NY.govNorth Carolina 03/27/14 Iredell County: A raccoon captured in the vicinity of the 400 block of East Monbo Road in Troutman has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.statesville.com/news/article_ccca6f3e-b624-11e3-a142-001a4bcf6878.html
World+News+10-1Oklahoma 03/27/14 Dewey County: A skunk that tested positive for rabies has prompted officials to issue a Rabies Alert in the county. This is the seventh case of animal rabies reported this year. – See http://www.woodwardnews.net/local/x542465783/Rabid-skunk-identified-in-Dewey-County
raccoon454 - CopySouth Carolina 03/27/14 Horry County: A person is being treated for exposure to rabies after a raccoon tested positive for the virus in the Bakers Chapel community. – See http://www.wbtw.com/story/25091210/rabies-case-investigated-in-horry-county-4th-case-this-year
thumbnailCA0KC8HVTexas 03/28/14 Wichita County: A skunk found in the southeastern part of Wichita Falls has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.timesrecordnews.com/news/2014/mar/28/rabies/



BLACK BEAR mauls WISCONSIN man ~ LONE STAR TICK invading northern states ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS report from FLORIDA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA, MS, OR, & TX ~ RABIES reports from GA, NY, NC, & OR.

Black bear. Photo by Mark Dumont. Wikimedia Commons.

Black bear. Photo by Mark Dumont. Wikimedia Commons.

Wisconsin 06/18/13 therepublic.com: A man who was attacked by a black bear outside a cabin in northwestern Wisconsin is recovering at a hospital. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says the man was attacked in his yard near Shell Lake on Monday night. DNR carnivore specialist David ShellLake_WIMacFarland says the man’s dog apparently initiated contact with the bear. MacFarland says the man’s brother came out of the cabin and shot and injured the bear, which ran away. The Burnett County Sheriff’s Department says the man was taken to a hospital in Shell Lake. He was then airlifted to a hospital in the Twin Cities. MacFarland says he’s in stable condition. DNR wildlife supervisor Mike Zeckmeister says officials have set up traps for the bear in case it returns.

Lone Star Tick:

Lone Star tick. CDC.

Lone Star tick. CDC.

New England 06/18/13 telegram.com: by Mark Blazis – Deer ticks are bad news. But we may soon be faced with an expanding population of one of their even more dangerous cousins. A Tufts Vet School Lyme disease authority, Dr. Sam Telford, shared that Lone Star ticks (Amblyomma americanum) — the major infectious villains from New Jersey south to Florida, west to Texas and Kansas, and up to Illinois — are now in Massachusetts and have been recorded as far north as Maine. With global warming, should we be surprised about hosting yet another southern invader? Maybe not — but we should be very concerned. In Dr. Telford’s words, “Lone Star ticks are very bad news.”

4ec92835b5a88b8e7531e7291b83c271LST’s transmit STARI, southern tick associated rash illness, a disease that mimics Lyme disease, as well as monocytic ehrlichiosis, Ehrlichia ewingii ehrlichiosis, rickettsiosis and tularemia. They are also suspected vectors of a recently recognized phlebovirus that caused two hemorrhagic fever cases in Missouri. There’s even speculation that LST’s can cause alpha gal, an allergy to red meat. Lone Star ticks are unusually aggressive, regularly moving considerable distances in pursuit of a blood host. Because their nymphs and larvae feed mainly on deer, Dr. Telford advises that we should encourage and support deer hunting to adequately manage our herds wherever they pose a problem.

Dr. Sam Telford

Dr. Sam Telford

Lone Star ticks tend to live in very specific habitats, notably where kudzu and bittersweet, two alien invasives, proliferate. Fortunately, at least for now, Telford notes, infestations of them fizzle out. Locally, the only stable populations are on Prudence Island in Rhode Island, Cuttyhunk, and Nashawena. Telford finds it odd that they’ve been there since the 1960’s and have not spread far into the surrounding mainland, though Long Island is now loaded with them. – For complete article see http://www.telegram.com/article/20130618/COLUMN10/106189831

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

Florida 06/19/13 Bradford County: Health officials have confirmed that two horses stabled in the county have tested positive for EEE. – See http://www.news4jax.com/news/horses-test-positive-for-eee-in-bradford-county/-/475880/20636580/-/lfebuk/-/index.html

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Merced_County_CACalifornia 06/17/13 Merced County: A crow picked up May 29th on Wallis Avenue in Gustine has tested positive for WNV. http://www.westsideconnect.com/2013/06/17/gustine-bird-tests-positive-for-west-nile-virus/

forrest cty MSMississippi 06/19/13 Forrest County: Health officials confirm a human case of WNV has been reported in the county. This is the second human case of the virus reported in the state so far this year. The first was in Madison County in April. – See http://www.wjtv.com/story/22633957/one-new-human-case-of-west-nile-virus

malheur cty OROregon 06/19/13 Malheur County: Health officials have confirmed that mosquitoes trapped in the Harper/Little Valley area have tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.oregonlive.com/health/index.ssf/2013/06/west_nile_turns_up_in_mosquito.html

denton cty TXTexas 06/18/13 Denton County: A mosquito trapped in Flower Mound is the second in the county to test positive for WNV this year. This one was trapped in the 6600 block of Orchard Drive on the town’s south side. – See http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/health/Flower-Mound-Deals-with-2nd-Positive-West-Nile-Virus-Test-212053281.html


LittleBrownBat_USDAGeorgia 06/17/13 Hall County: Health officials have issued a Rabies Alert after a bat found inside a house in Gainesville tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/2ed14ad1ae3b4c729ef6249983c5988d/GA–Gainesville-Rabid-Bat/

Red_fox_USFWSNew York 06/17/13 Saratoga County: A fox that bit a 9-year-old boy’s hands and legs June 9th on Staffords Bridge Road in the town of Saratoga has tested positive for rabies.-See http://www.saratogian.com/articles/2013/06/17/news/doc51bfbf81a5745488485047.txt

Racoon15642North Carolina 06/18/13 New Hanover County: A raccoon that fought with a vaccinated dog on Greenville Avenue in Wilmington Friday has tested positive for rabies. The dog’s owner was potentially exposed to the virus after the altercation and was advised to seek medical advice. This is the fifth 5th case of animal rabies in the county so far this year. – See http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20130618/ARTICLES/130619622

Bat 1on sidewalkOregon 06/18/13 Grant County: A bat found crawling on a sidewalk during daylight hours last week in Canyon City has tested positive for rabies. This is the second rabid bat reported in the county in the past month. – See http://www.bluemountaineagle.com/free/second-rabid-bat-found-in-grant-county/article_8afffb26-d873-11e2-9ad5-001a4bcf887a.html

Two MISSOURI farmers lead scientists to new, possibly TICK-borne, disease called HEARTLAND VIRUS ~ WEST NILE VIRUS deaths in U.S. now at 66 ~ COLORADO MAN likely contracted BUBONIC PLAGUE at San Juan National Forest campground ~ DOG euthanized in MICHIGAN after contracting EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS ~ MOUNTAIN LION reports from CO, NE, & WY ~ COYOTE report from MASSACHUSETTS ~ LA CROSSE ENCEPHALITIS report from NORTH CAROLINA ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS & WEST NILE VIRUS reports from IN, MAx2, NH, NM, SD, & WA ~ RABIES reports from GA, IA, LA, NY, NC, & VAx2.

This photograph depicts a dorsal view of a female “lone star tick”, Amblyomma americanum. Note the characteristic “lone star” marking located centrally on its dorsal surface, at the distal tip of its scutum. Courtesy CDC.

National 08/30/12 discovery.com: Two men in Missouri who became severely ill after sustaining tick bites were found to be infected with a new type of virus, according to a study from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Both men were admitted to hospitals after experiencing high fevers, fatigue, diarrhea and loss of appetite. They were originally thought to be suffering from a bacterial infection, but doubts arose when they didn’t improve after being treated with antibiotics. Further tests revealed their blood contained a new virus, which the researchers dubbed the Heartland virus. It belongs to a group called phleboviruses, which are carried by flies, mosquitoes or ticks, and can cause disease in humans. While the genetic material of Heartland virus appears similar to that of other phleboviruses, the particular proteins it produces are different enough to call it a new species, said study researcher Laura McMullan, a senior scientist at the CDC. Because the Heartland virus causes such general symptoms, it could be “a more common cause of human illness than is currently recognized,” the researchers wrote in the Aug. 30 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. More studies are needed to identify the natural hosts of the virus, learn how many people are infected with it and find risk factors for infection, McMullan said. Because both men experienced tick bites shortly before they became ill — one man, a farmer, reported receiving an average of 20 tick bites a day — the researchers said it’s likely that the Heartland virus is spread by ticks, although more research is needed to confirm this. The new virus’s closest relative is another tick-borne phlebovirus, called SFTS virus, which was identified last year in China, and causes death in 12 percent of cases.

The Missouri men, who were both infected in 2009, recovered after 10 to 12 days in the hospital, although one of the men has reported recurrent headaches and fatigue in the two years since his hospitalization. The researchers suspect a species of tick commonly found in Missouri, called Amblyomma americanum, is one of the hosts of the Heartland virus. For now, taking precautions to prevent tick bites is the best way to avoid the virus, McMullan said. To prevent tick bites, the CDC recommends using repellents that contain 20 percent or more DEET, as well as avoiding wooded areas or areas with high grass.

Culex sp. mosquito. Known carrier of West Nile Virus.

National 08/29/12 reuters.com: by Sharon Begley – A total of 1,590 (human) cases of West Nile Virus, including 66 deaths, were reported through late August this year in the United States, the highest human toll by that point in the calendar since the mosquito-borne disease was first detected in the country in 1999, health officials said on Wednesday. The toll is increasing quickly. “We think the numbers will continue to rise,” said Dr. Lyle Petersen, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases. Through last week, 1,118 cases and 41 deaths had been reported. The updated figures represent a 40 percent increase in the number of cases and a 61 percent spike in the number of deaths, but are short of the all-time record for a full year: 9,862 cases and 264 deaths in 2003. – See http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/29/us-usa-health-westnile-idUSBRE87S0WC20120829

Colorado 08/29/12 durangoherald.com: by Dale Rodebaugh – In the first confirmed (human) case of bubonic plague in the state since 2006, an Archuleta County resident has tested positive for the disease. The last human case in Archuleta County was in 1998. Although the investigation is ongoing, it is believed that the person contracted the plague during a family outing in the Cimarrona Campground northwest of Pagosa Springs, a news release from the San Juan Basin Health Department said. The department declined to give the gender or age of the victim.

Warning signs are being posted in the campground and environs in cooperation with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the U.S. Forest Service. The plague often spreads through rodent populations. – For complete article see http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20120829/NEWS01/708299897/Plague-case-reported-in-Archuleta-County

Michigan 08/29/12 Paw Paw, Van Buren County: Health officials confirmed on Wednesday that an 8-week-old puppy has contracted Eastern Equine Encephalitis. It may be the first known incident of a dog contracting the mosquito-borne virus in the state. The puppy was euthanized. – See http://www.freep.com/article/20120829/NEWS06/120829065/Authorities-Paw-Paw-puppy-gets-equine-encephalitis

Mountain Lion Sightings:

Colorado 08/29/12 Boulder, Boulder County: Two mountain lions were spotted in city neighborhoods Monday night. The first, seen in a backyard near Folsom and Walnut streets, responded to hazing and ran away. The second, seen near Maapleton Avenue and 26th Street, killed a house cat and allowed rangers to get within a distance of 10 feet. It’s lack of fear of humans prompted the rangers to shoot it. The two lions are thought to be siblings about 2-years-old. – See http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/31393945/detail.html

Nebraska 08/29/12 Scotts Bluff County: A 110 pound mountain lion found dead in the Wildcat Hills is believed to have been struck by a truck or other large vehicle on State Highway 71. This is the second lion reported in the area recently. – See http://www.omaha.com/article/20120829/NEWS/120829671/1707

Wyoming 08/30/12 Pavillion, Fremont County: Wildlife officials have confirmed that a mountain lion jumped from a homeowners pine tree and fled when the man came from the house to turn off a lawn sprinkler. Because the lion fled, officials don’t believe there is any reason for concern. – See http://county10.com/2012/08/30/mountain-lion-reappears-in-pavillion-wednesday-night-g-bears-now-active-in-lower-elevations/

Coyote Attacks:

Massachusetts 08/28/12 Newton, Middlesex County: A small, off-leash dog was attacked and carried off by a coyote on August 10th in the vicinity of William Street in West Newton. Neighbors reported that at least two area cats were also attacked by coyotes recently. A coyote sighting was more recently reported on Vista Avenue. – See http://www.wickedlocal.com/newton/news/x821894346/Coyote-attacks-reoccur-in-West-Newton#axzz24yRn4tKI

La Crosse Encephalitis (LAC):

North Carolina 08/30/12 Macon County: Health officials have confirmed that two children have been diagnosed with LAC. One child is from the Highlands and the other is from Franklin. Both children were hospitalized but have been released and are recovering. – See http://www.maconnews.com/features/health-a-wellness/3510-la-crosse-encephalitis-in-macon-county

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

Indiana 08/29/12 Jeffersonville, Clark County: Health officials confirmed that mosquitoes found in a routine sampling tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.wdrb.com/story/19409290/west-nile-virus-discovered-in-mosquitoes-in-southern-indiana

Massachusetts 08/28/12 Fall River, Bristol County: Health officials confirm that mosquitoes collected from the Oak Grove Cemetery have tested positive for EEE. – See http://www.wpri.com/dpp/news/local_news/se_mass/eee-found-in-mosquitoes-in-fall-river

Massachusetts 08/30/12 Newton, Middlesex County: Health officials confirm that a woman in her 50s is the first reported human case of WNV in the city so far this year. – See http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/newton/2012/08/newton_has_its_first_human_cas.html

New Hampshire 08/3012 Sandown, Rockingham County: State health officials have announced that a batch of mosquitoes trapped in Sandown has tested positive for EEE.  – See https://mail.google.com/mail/?hl=en&shva=1#inbox/139780871d4dc70b

New Mexico 08/29/12 Doña Ana County: A second county resident has been diagnosed with WNV, bringing the total in the state to eight human cases this year. – See http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-news/ci_21429006/west-nile-strikes-2nd-do-241-ana-county

South Dakota 08/28/12 doh.sd.gov: Update – Health officials confirm 98 human cases of WNV, and one related death, have been reported in the state so far this year. In addition, 8 horses, 1 bird, and 62 positive mosquito pools have been identified. – See https://mail.google.com/mail/?hl=en&shva=1#inbox/139735a4e93e7650

Washington 08/30/12 Grandview, Yakima County: The state Agriculture Department has confirmed that a horse with WNV has been euthanized. – See http://www.sacbee.com/2012/08/30/4771496/grandview-horse-with-west-nile.html


Georgia 08/29/12 Murrayville, Hall County: A rabies alert has been issued after a skunk that came in contact with two dogs in the Tony Peck Road area tested positive for rabies. This is the 17th confirmed rabies case in the county this year. – See http://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/19406657/rabies-alerts-in-hall-dekalb-counties

Iowa 08/29/12 Keokuk, Lee County: A case of rabies in a pet cat has prompted area veterinary clinics to host vaccination clinics. – See http://www.wgem.com/story/19407070/hancock-county

Louisiana 08/28/12 South Mansfield, DeSoto Parish: A skunk picked up in the vicinity of Saunders Street has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.ksla.com/story/19399038/skunk-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-desoto-parish

New York 08/29/12 St. Lawrence County: Two raccoons, one found in Potsdam and the other in Gouverneur, have tested positive for rabies. – See http://northcountrynow.com/news/raccoons-potsdam-and-gouverneur-test-positive-rabies-health-officials-warn-public-again-065156

North Carolina 08/29/12 Guilford and Davidson counties: A raccoon found on Church Street in Greensboro, and a fox found in Reeds, have both tested positive for rabies. Three dogs, a cat, and a person were all potentially exposed to the virus. – See http://www.digtriad.com/news/local/article/242881/57/Triad-Counties-Report-More-Rabies-Cases

Virginia 08/28/12 Ware Neck, Gloucester County: A skunk killed by two dogs last week has tested positive for rabies. This is the fourth confirmed case of the virus in the county this year. – See http://www.dailypress.com/news/gloucester-county/dp-nws-gloucester-rabid-skunk-0829-20120828,0,950529.story

Virginia 08/29/12 Virginia Beach: A fox that bit a man several times while he was working in his yard Tuesday, and two hours later attacked another man working in his yard, has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Fox-tested-for-rabies-after-attacking-2-men-in-Va-3824547.php

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.