Tag Archives: Midge flies

ALASKA TRAPPER on snow machine attacked by WOLF ~ SOUTH DAKOTA reports over 3,400 DEER die of EPIZOOTIC HEMORRHAGIC DISEASE ~ RABIES reports from AR, & GA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS report from CALIFORNIA.

Black wolf. Photo by Bruce McKay. Wikimedia Commons.

Black wolf. Photo by Bruce McKay. Wikimedia Commons.

Alaska 12/17/12 newsminer.com: by Tim Mowry – A wolf attacked a Tok trapper on his snowmachine last week about 30 miles off the Taylor Highway, biting through the man’s parka and three layers of clothing to put a 3-inch gash on his arm. Lance Grangaard, 30, said he was “putting along” on his Ski-Doo Tundra on Thursday afternoon, coming down a frozen creek, when he saw the wolf out of the corner of his eye. “I turned in time to stick my arm up,” said Grangaard, who was trapping with his father, Danny, in a remote area off the Taylor Highway known as Ketchumstuk. “A single black wolf grabbed my arm and started jerking on me.” Afraid the wolf was going to pull him off his machine and maul him, Grangaard went into attack mode himself. “I knew he was going to jerk me off my machine, so I made a big jump and managed to get on its back,” he said. “I just tried to get on top of him; I didn’t want to be on the bottom when we landed.” Man and the wolf were still tangled when they hit hard on overflow ice. “When we slammed down on the ice he let out a yelp and bucked me off,” Grangaard said. “He ran off 15 or 20 feet and he turned around. I screamed at him and raised my arms and he took off.” The attack lasted only a few seconds but it had a lasting impact on Graangard, who was worried the wolf would attack again. “I got back on my snowmachine and hauled ass back toward the old man,” Grangaard said of his father, who was checking another trapline about six miles away. “I think I spent as much time looking over my shoulder as I was looking forward. When I finally got to the old man I was so relieved. I was still pretty scared.” Said the elder Grangaard, “You could tell he was really distraught. He had tears in his eyes. He thought the wolf was still chasing him.”

AK_259373The wolf’s canines ripped through the younger Grangaard’s parka, as well as three layers of clothing under that, and left a 3-inch scratch on his right arm just above the elbow. He described the wound, which he and his father washed out with whiskey and baby wipes, as “pretty superficial.” Even so, Grangaard said, he will receive a series of four rabies shots as a precautionary measure in the event the wolf was infected with rabies. Since the wolf ran off and there is no way to test it, it’s better to be safe than sorry, said Louisa Catrodale, a state epidemiologist who spoke to Grangaard. – For complete article see http://newsminer.com/view/full_story/21161974/article-Wolf-attacks-trapper-on-snowmachine-near-Tok?instance=home_news_window_left_top_
Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease:

deer1h4South Dakota 12/13/12 rapidcityjournal.com: Epizootic hemorrhagic disease, a midge-borne virus that is every bit as nasty as its name suggests, had an unusually lethal impact on South Dakota’s deer herd this year. It was a record-setting year, in fact, although not one that hunters or the state Game, Fish & Parks Department are celebrating. GF&P officials estimate that at least 3,400 deer died of EHD in 2012. That’s more than twice the 1,300 reported in 2011, which was the previous high in reported EHD losses in South Dakota. And both numbers were likely conservative, since some deer killed by the disease, which is spread by small biting flies, likely weren’t found while others were probably noted but not reported. Whatever the total, the losses were high enough to cause several thousand deer tags to be returned or withdrawn prior to hunting seasons in areas where EHD hit especially hard and deer numbers were noticeably reduced.- For complete story see http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/deer-die-from-virus-at-record-levels-in-south-dakota/article_44ee53df-ab55-5498-a1cc-d4778d60fdd3.html

Rabies:

3243453-detail-of-girl-hugging-kitten-hand-and-paw-in-similar-positionArkansas 12/14/12 Faulkner County: Health officials report that a feral cat found in Conway  has tested positive for rabies. The 10-to-12-week-old kitten was on the grounds of the Human Development Center at 150 E. Siebenmorgan Road. – See http://www.todaysthv.com/news/article/238872/2/Cat-tested-positive-for-rabies-in-Conway

cat-bitingGeorgia 12/14/12 Cherokee County: A feral cat that bit a man outside his home near the intersection of Highway 140/Hickory Flat Highway and Creek Hollow Drive in the southeast portion of the county has tested positive for rabies. The gray and white cat was used to being fed by the victim, but suddenly became aggressive. – See http://hollysprings.patch.com/articles/cherokee-c-man-treated-for-rabies-exposure

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Orange Cty CACalifornia 12/17/12 Orange County: A 61-year-old woman from Tustin has become the first county resident to die of WNV since 2008. – See http://www.ocregister.com/articles/west-380906-nile-virus.html

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MICHIGAN confirms more than 8,000 DEER killed by EHD ~ MOUNTAIN LION reports from ID, MI, & MT ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from GA, & MI ~ RABIES reports from GA, & WI.

Whitetailed Deer. PD. Wikimedia Commons.

Michigan 10/21/12 miningjournal.net: A disease has killed more than 8,000 Michigan deer this year, causing some hunters to possibly skip the season and dealing a blow to shops that sell hunting gear. The number of dead whitetails has climbed significantly since summer when hundreds were reported in just a handful of counties. Deaths now have occurred in much of the southern Lower Peninsula, west of Interstate 75, the result of [epizootic hemorrhagic disease] a disease transmitted by a biting fly [midge], according to the state Department of Natural Resources. “Something has changed that has allowed this virus to persist in the environment,” Brent Rudolph, head of the DNR’s deer program, told The Detroit News. The disease is not a threat to humans. It is transmitted by a midge fly and causes internal bleeding, high fever, loss of appetite and weakness. Summer drought and high temperatures are contributing to the high number of deaths, which stood at 8,671 as of Oct. 8.

Deer with EHD.

Michigan has more than 1 million deer. Officials believe the number of deaths is certain to climb as farmers harvest corn and discover more carcasses. Brian Bouwkamp said nine were found on his family’s 60 acres of hunting ground near Muskegon. “You can smell more dead deer out there,” he said. “But you just can’t get in to investigate. For every one we’ve found, there are probably a lot more.” At Al and Pete’s Sport Shop in Hastings, employee Jeff Schantz said purchases of guns, arrows and crossbows are down. The traditional deer season starts Nov. 15. “Some people aren’t even going to hunt this year,” Schantz said. Steve Hall, who processes deer killed by hunters, said he has not seen many during the archery season. “Everyone I talk to has bad news – people not seeing any deer or people coming across dead ones on their property,” he said. “The upcoming season is basically my Christmas. Sometimes it starts slow but never this slow.” Bouwkamp said he may hold his fire next month. “We want to give whatever deer are left a chance to repopulate,” he said.

Mountain Lion Sightings:

Idaho 10/22/12 Ada County: State wildlife officials have confirmed that a mountain lion attacked a family dog last Thursday at a home in the Meadow Creek neighborhood of Garden City. – See http://www.ktvb.com/news/Mountain-lion-attacks-dog-in-Garden-City–175263881.html

Michigan 10/22/12 Oakland County: Two people have reported seeing a mountain lion recently near Kensington Metro Park in Milford. Experts say it’s improbable, but possible. Adam Bump, a state wildlife professional, said there has never been a confirmed mountain lion sighting in the Lower Peninsula. – See http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2012/10/22/news/local_news/doc5085970826704130711217.txt?viewmode=fullstory

Montana 10/22/12 Ravalli County: A Stevensville property owner said a mountain lion killed two llamas in the vicinity of Bass Creek Road on Saturday night. Arden Cowan said he found one of the animals dead and the other fatally wounded. – See http://www.kxlf.com/news/mountain-lion-attacks-llamas-near-stevensville/

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Georgia 10/22/12 Dougherty County: Health officials have confirmed three more human cases of WNV in the county this month. The county leads the state with 11 confirmed human cases, including two deaths. – See http://www.walb.com/story/19884921/3-more-confirmed-cases-of-west-nile-in-dougherty-co

Michigan 10/22/12 woodtv.com: The Department of Community Health says there have been 223 human cases of WNV through Friday, including 13 deaths. There have been 36 cases in the city of Detroit and another 55 cases outside Detroit in Wayne County. Washtenaw, Oakland and Macomb counties combined have 61 cases. Kent County, which includes Grand Rapids, has 44 cases of WNV. – See http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/michigan/michigan-west-nile-cases-updates-october-22-2012

Rabies:

Georgia 10/21/12 Madison County: Three skunks involved in separate incidents have tested positive for rabies. The incidents were reported at Sunset Avenue & Hill Street in Comer, on Highway 172 near the intersection of Duffell Martin Road, and in the 1100 block of Duffell Martin Road.  – See http://www.madisonjournaltoday.com/archives/5599-Three-rabies-cases-reported-in-Madison-County.html

Wisconsin 10/212/12 Dane County: The Department of Public Health is looking for information regarding a dog that bit a man on Thursday around 7 p.m. It happened at Madison‘s Bowman Field, that’s at 1801 Fish Hatchery Rd. If the animal is not located, the victim may be required to complete a series of painful and costly injections to prevent rabies. The man says the dog bit him as he was preparing to play Ultimate Frisbee. The dog is described as a medium-sized gray dog with a collar and leash. The owner of the dog is a white man in his 20’s with brown hair. Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call police at 255-2345 and ask fro the animal services officer.

MONTANA camper mauled by BLACK BEAR in wilderness area ~ EHD VIRUS killing DEER across NEBRASKA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from ME, & KY ~ RABIES reports from FL, NYx2, NCx2, & VA ~ TRAVEL WARNING: MALARIA outbreak in GREECE.

Black bear. Photo by Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Montana 09/14/12 missoulian.com: by Tristan Scott – Wildlife officials have killed the black bear that they believe mauled a man who was camping deep in the heart of the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area on Friday. Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Regional Supervisor Jim Satterfield said the unidentified man was injured at about 7:30 a.m. Friday in the Black Bear Creek area. The man was flown to Kalispell Regional Medical Center by ALERT helicopter and is expected to recover. Satterfield said a team of wildlife agents flew into the remote area by helicopter to track down the animal, which they spotted 30 yards from the injured man’s campsite. The bear had pepper spray on its fur and blood in its claws, he said. “We are very confident that we killed the offending bear,” he said. “We still have to analyze its stomach contents and wait on a DNA analysis to be 100 percent sure, but with the evidence we have we are very confident.” Although Satterfield did not immediately have a detailed narrative of the circumstances of the attack, he said the bear apparently entered the man’s campsite and attacked. – For complete article see http://missoulian.com/news/local/wildlife-agents-kill-black-bear-after-it-attacks-man-in/article_750aa8e8-feb7-11e1-89f8-001a4bcf887a.html

Lincoln 09/14/12 sfgate.com: The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission says a viral disease has spread to deer populations across much of Nebraska. Epizootic hemorrhagic disease spreads from deer to deer by the bite of a small insect known as a midge. Game and Parks says the virus is suspected in the reported deaths of more than 2,200 Nebraska deer this year. The disease causes hemorrhaging within the deer’s body. Deer suffering from the virus may develop a high fever and seek water, which is why many deer killed by the disease are found in or near water. The disease is not a threat to humans. The commission wants people to report to their nearest Game and Parks office any deer deaths that may be attributed to this disease.

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Maine 09/14/12 York & Cumberland counties: Health officials have confirmed that mosquitoes infected with WNV have been trapped in Biddeford and in Scarborough. Earlier, infected mosquitoes were also found in the Cumberland County towns of Gorham and Standish. – See http://www.pressherald.com/news/west-nile-virus-detected-in-biddeford-and-scarborough_2012-09-14.html

Kentucky 09/14/12 Barren County: Officials have confirmed that a horse that died in the county this week tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.bgdailynews.com/news/local/west-nile-virus-case-confirmed-in-animal/article_5768b804-fe8d-11e1-9f48-001a4bcf887a.html

Rabies:

Florida 09/13/12 Sneads, Jackson County: A raccoon that was killed by two dogs on Davis Street has tested positive for rabies. The dogs have been euthanized. – See http://www2.jcfloridan.com/news/2012/sep/13/rabid-raccoon-found-sneads-ar-4537190/

New York 09/14/12 Jay, Essex County: A raccoon found wandering in the hamlet of Upper Jay this week has tested positive for rabies. – See http://pressrepublican.com/0100_news/x550071689/Rabid-raccoon-discovered-in-Essex-County

New York 09/13/12 Orangetown, Rockland County: The Pearl River School District sent out a request Thursday morning for help in finding a dog that bit an 11-year-old boy Tuesday afternoon on Orangeburg Road. The incident happened between Noyes St. and Mapleshade Ave. at approximately 2:45 p.m. The description of the dog’s owner is a female with dark hair wearing a grey sweatshirt and khaki pants. The dog was described as brown as small-to-medium with brown and black fur. The child would have to go through a series of rabies shots as a precaution unless the owner can be found and the dog’s vaccination record can be checked. With any information, contact Orangetown Police Officer Fitzgibbons at (845) 359-3700 ext. 3180.

North Carolina 09/13/12 New Hanover County: Health officials confirmed that two raccoons tested positive for rabies within the past several days, bringing the number of rabies cases in the county to 17 so far this year. The 16th was a raccoon found Sept. 7th on Splitbrook Court in Wilmington, and the 17th was a raccoon that fought with a dog on Rockhill Road in Castle Hayne on Sept. 11th. – See http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20120913/ARTICLES/120719584

North Carolina 09/13/12 Bettie, Carteret County: Five people are being treated for exposure to rabies after a kitten tested positive for the virus. The stray kitten was found along the side of the road and was taken to a private home to be cared for, but it was acting sick and lethargic so it was taken a veterinarian who suspected rabies. Two individuals who found the cat, and three additional people, reported being scratched, bitten, and exposed to the kitten’s saliva. – See http://www.jdnews.com/articles/kitten-108287-carteret-positive.html

Virginia 09/13/12 Fairfax County: A beaver that was reported acting aggressively toward children at the Hidden Pond Nature Center in West Springfield on Sept. 8th has tested positive for rabies. In a separate incident, a raccoon seen acting aggressively in the vicinity of the 6300 block of Lakeview Drive in Lake Barcroft has also tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/news/2012/sep/13/rabid-beaver-chases-children-springfield/

Travel Warning:

Greece 09/14/12 cdc.gov: Outbreak Notice – As of August 5, 2012, 8 cases of malaria have been reported from the Attica and Laconia regions of Greece. Cases have occurred in the cities of Marathon, Markopoulo, and Evrotas. No cases have been reported in Athens. The Hellenic (Greek) CDC and the European CDC are improving surveillance for malaria cases. – For further details see http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/outbreak-notice/malaria-greece-sept-2012.htm

EHD killing hundreds of DEER in ILLINOIS ~ A cluster of another SWINE FLU variant (H1N2v) reported by MINNESOTA ~ Scientists in SOUTH AFRICA may have found cure for MALARIA ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS & WEST NILE VIRUS reports from IL, IN, MA, MI, TN, TX, & VT ~ RABIES report from CALIFORNIA.

Whitetailed buck. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Illinois 09/01/12 dailyherald.com: by Marie Denecke – A disease that was unknown to local experts until only a few weeks ago is killing hundreds of deer in the Chicago area — and until the first frost comes, those numbers could still go up. Humans can’t be infected, but so far, it has caused the deaths of roughly 200 deer in Cook County. Six suspect cases have also been reported in Kane County. None have been reported so far in DuPage and Lake counties. “I have been working here for 30 years, but I have never come across EHD,” said Chris Anchor, wildlife biologist for the Cook County Forest Preserve District. EHD is short for epizootic hemorrhagic disease, a virus that usually kills deer within a week after infection. It spreads from deer to deer through midges — small, biting flies. And until only a few weeks ago, it had been unknown in this part of Illinois.

Midge fly. Carrier of EDHV.

EHD has been around in the United States for roughly 60 years, the first outbreak occurring in Michigan and New Jersey in 1955. The disease, which usually appears in the Midwest and Northeast, apparently found its way to this area because of a combination of “a mild winter and a hot summer,” said Anchor. It is a disease that seems to spread rapidly. Anchor heard of the first cases of EHD in Cook County only two weeks ago. And the number of deer deaths attributed to it has doubled in the last week. Cases have been concentrated in Hanover, Schaumburg and Palatine townships. – For complete article see http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20120901/news/709019918/

Minnesota 08/31/12 state.mn.us: News Release – Three people are believed to have developed a strain of influenza known as variant H1N2 (H1N2v) after exhibiting pigs or spending time in the swine barn at the Minnesota State Fair. The illness has been confirmed in a teenage girl who was exhibiting pigs at the fair and became ill on Aug. 26. The other two cases occurred in an elementary-school-aged boy who became ill on Aug. 27 after spending all day in the swine barn on Aug. 24, and a woman in her late seventies who became ill on Aug. 26 after spending a prolonged period of time in the swine barn and at the swine show in the Exhibit Hall on Aug 24. Both the boy and the older woman had underlying health conditions, and were treated with antiviral drugs. The woman was hospitalized, but has now been released. All three patients have recovered or are recovering. The H1N2v strain is different from the H3N2v strain that has prompted stepped up surveillance and prevention efforts nationwide, after causing 289 reported cases of illness and one death since the beginning of the year. – For complete release see http://www.health.state.mn.us/news/pressrel/2012/h1n2083112.html

Global 09/01/12 nationalgeographic.com: by Steve Boyes – The University of Cape Town’s Science Department believes that it has found a single dose cure for Malaria. This was announced by researchers that have been working on this compound, from the aminopyridine class, for several years. Unlike conventional multidrug malaria treatments that the malaria parasite has become resistant to, Professor Kelly Chibale and his colleagues now believe that they have discovered a drug that over 18 months of trials ”killed these resistant parasites instantly”. Animal tests also showed that it was not only safe and effective, but there were no adverse reported side effects. Clinical tests are scheduled for the end of 2013.

Dr. Kelly Chibale

If this tablet is approved in coming years, this achievement will surely usher in a new age for science in Africa. It will save millions upon millions of lives on the continent, helping avoid at least 24 percent of child deaths in sub-Saharan Africa. Professor Chibale proudly explains: “This is the first ever clinical molecule that’s been discovered out of Africa, by Africans, from a modern pharmaceutical industry drug discovery programme. The potent drug has been tested on animals and has shown that a single oral dose has completely cured those infected with malaria parasites.” This “super pill” could potentially cure millions of people every year, and save the lives of over one million people from around the world each year. This “cure” will most likely save health care systems throughout the developing world billions of dollars and open new areas for development and settlement.

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

Illinois 08/31/12 Cook County: New human cases of WNV have been reported including an adult in Evergreen Park and a child in Oak Lawn, health officials said. As of August 31st, there have been 37 human cases of WNV reported in the county. – See http://palos.patch.com/articles/new-west-nile-virus-cases-crop-up-in-evergreen-park-oak-lawn-313c37c4#c

Indiana 09/01/12 Delaware County: Health officials have announced that the county’s first human case of WNV has been diagnosed in a woman over 60-years-of-age who has been hospitalized with serious complications. As of last Friday, there had been 26 human cases of WNV in the state including two deaths. – See http://www.thestarpress.com/article/20120902/NEWS01/309020032/Delaware-County-West-Nile-Virus?nclick_check=1

Massachusetts 09/02/12 Halifax, Plymouth County: Health officials warn that the town’s risk rate for EEE has now been boosted to “critical” by the state due to the recent death of an alpaca from the disease. – See http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2012/09/02/residents_warned_of_critical_risk_for_eee/

Michigan 09/03/12 Birmingham, Oakland County: So far this year, there have been 12 confirmed human cases of WNV in Oakland County, according to the Oakland County Health Division. Statewide, there have been 104 human cases and five deaths. In addition, Michigan Department of Public Heath public information officer Angela Minicuci said the virus has been appearing in clusters throughout Metro Detroit, notably Birmingham’s neighbors of Royal Oak and Berkley. – See http://birmingham.patch.com/articles/birmingham-takes-extra-precautions-against-west-nile-virus

Tennessee 09/03/12 tennessean.com: by Nancy DeVille – The Tennessee Department of Health has reported 10 human cases of West Nile this summer, but none in or around Nashville. There have been no deaths related to the virus this year, but last year, two of 18 cases resulted in deaths. – See http://www.tennessean.com/article/20120903/NEWS07/309030018/Nashville-avoids-West-Nile-cases?nclick_check=1

Texas 09/02/12 Permian Basin: As of Friday there were seven human cases of WNV reported in Ector County, and three confirmed deaths within the Permian Basin. One of the fatalities was from Ector County. The other two were residents from Andrews and Midland counties. Christine Mann, assistant press officer for the Texas Department of State Health Services, said there were 933 reported cases of WNV in all of Texas with 37 reported deaths. Dallas County had the most reported cases with 268 human WNV cases and 12 deaths. – See http://www.oaoa.com/news/nile-92662-west-officials.html

Vermont 09/02/12 Addison and Rutland counties: State health officials said Saturday that two people have been hospitalized with EEE.  Both cases involve adults from western Vermont. – See http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/viewart/20120902/NEWS07/120902001/First-2-human-EEE-cases-confirmed-Vermont-?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

Rabies:

California 08/31/12 Altadena, Los Angeles County: An injured bat found in the 1000 block of Alpine Villa Drive on August 18th has tested positive for rabies. According to the county Public Health web site, 42 rabid bats have been found in the county so far this year. That’s the highest number found within a single year since testing of bats began in 1961. – See http://www.sgvtribune.com/news/ci_21448687/rabid-bat-discovered-altadena

HEMORRHAGIC DISEASE killing DEER in central MICHIGAN ~ MOUNTAIN LION sighting in CALIFORNIA ~ LOUISIANA reports four more WEST NILE VIRUS fatalities ~ RABIES reports from NJ, NCx2, PA, & VA ~ CDC REPORTS: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending August 4, 2012.

Whitetailed deer. Photo by Department of Natural Resources. State of Indiana.

Michigan 08/11/12 jsonline.com: by Paul A. Smith – Officials in Michigan confirmed in early August that Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease, or EHD, killed deer in two counties in the south central part of the state. Deer deaths have also been reported in 11 counties in Indiana; officials there suspect the cause is EHD but are awaiting confirmation from laboratory tests. EHD is a viral disease transmitted by a midge, or biting fly. Found in wild ruminants such as deer and elk, the disease causes extensive internal bleeding. Infected deer are attracted to water to combat the fever and dehydration due to the hemorrhaging. The disease is characterized by sudden onset, according to wildlife health sources. Deer lose their appetite and fear of humans, grow progressively weaker, salivate excessively and finally become unconscious. Infected deer often are found sick or dead along or in bodies of water. There is no evidence that humans can contract the EHD virus.

Photo by Mwanner. Wikimedia Commons.

Michigan has observed EHD outbreaks each year since 2006. Before 2006, EHD was seen in Michigan in 1955 and ’74. The estimated mortality has varied from 50 to 1,000 deer per year in the affected areas, according to Michigan officials. “Due to the prolonged, dry, hot weather this year, we are not surprised to see EHD emerge again,” said Tom Cooley, DNR wildlife biologist and pathologist. “Mortality numbers will depend on how widespread the disease is. Die-offs usually occur within one watershed area. If multiple watersheds are involved, the total mortality is higher.” There is no known effective treatment for, or control of, EHD. – For complete article see http://www.jsonline.com/sports/outdoors/disease-found-in-midwest-kd6et3h-165867396.html

Mountain Lion Sighting:

California 08/11/12 San Mateo, San Mateo County: A mountain lion was seen Friday morning near the 1700 block of Lexington Avenue walking through San Francisco Watershed property. – See http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/local/peninsula&id=8770195

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Louisiana 08/10/12 sfgate.com: State officials confirmed Friday four more WNV deaths, bringing the state total to six. DHH officials said 68 (human) cases — 15 of them new — have been detected so far this year. More than half — 37 — are of neuro-invasive disease, the more serious form of the virus that infects the brain and spinal cord and can cause brain damage or death. DHH said that’s the highest total of neuro-invasive infections in the state since 2006. The new infections include eight cases of neuro-invasive disease reported in Bossier, Caddo, Concordia, Jefferson, Tangipahoa, Union, Washington and Webster parishes and five cases of the milder West Nile fever reported in Livingston, Orleans, Ouachita and St. Tammany parishes. Two new asymptomatic cases, where people had no symptoms and only discovered the infection when they had blood work done for an unrelated reason such as blood donation, were reported from East Baton Rouge and Rapides parishes. – For complete article see http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/DHH-confirms-4-more-West-Nile-Virus-deaths-3779815.php

Rabies:

New Jersey 08/12/12 Middletown, Monmouth County: A bat that was in contact with a vaccinated dog near Bryna Drive in the Lincroft section has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.ahherald.com/newsbrief-mainmenu-2/local-news/13577-middletown-issues-rabies-alert

North Carolina 08/12/12 Crumpler, Ashe County:  A stray, Shepherd-mix dog that, on July 27,  bit an elderly man who had been feeding him has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.jeffersonpost.com/view/full_story/19778525/article-Rabies-alert-in-Ashe-County?instance=popular

North Carolina 08/11/12 Wilmington, New Hanover County: According to the county sheriff’s office, a raccoon that fought with a vaccinated dog along Barnett Avenue on Thursday has tested positive for rabies. The dog was handled by its owner afterward, resulting in potential exposure to both. – See http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20120811/ARTICLES/120819943

Pennsylvania 08/11/12 Hempfield, Lancaster County: by Richard Gazarik – Two Hempfield children and an animal-control officer have undergone a series of rabies shots after a rabid cat bit a child and exposed two others to the disease, township supervisors said. About 100 residents of Woodhaven Drive received notices on Friday that a feral cat tested positive for rabies, and authorities are searching for two kittens that also may be rabid, said township Supervisor Doug Weimer. The attack occurred on July 30, and the township was notified of the test results on Wednesday, Weimer said, prompting supervisors to issue a public notice through letters, the township website and cable television. He said the cat was caught after the attack, euthanized and tested. In addition to a child, another child and the animal-control officer were administered a series of four rabies shots, he said. Weimer said residents should be wary of two orange-and-white tabby kittens that have not been found. – For complete article see http://triblive.com/news/2387171-74/cat-rabid-child-control-hempfield-rabies-township-animal-cats-kittens

Virginia 08/11/12 Bealeton, Fauquier County: An adult cat, who was a frequent visitor to the area of Marsh Road and Balls Mills Road in Bealeton, Fauquier County, has been confirmed to be rabid, according to a release from the Virginia Department of Health. The cat — described as an orange tabby, young adult, 12-to-14-weeks-old and weighing five pounds — bit at least six people within the last three weeks. Lab results received today confirmed the presence of rabies. The six people who were bitten are starting post-exposure treatment. Fauquier County Environmental Health asks anyone who knows of any suspected contact between this cat and any person or domestic animal within the last three weeks, to contact them immediately. Call Fauquier County Environmental Health at 540-347-6363, and press 0 when prompted. – For complete article see http://www2.starexponent.com/news/2012/aug/11/rabid-cat-confirmed-fauquier-county-ar-2122671/

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending August 4, 2012:

Published August 10, 2012/ 61(31); ND-424-ND-437

Anaplasmosis . . . 18 . . . Maine (4), Nebraska, New York (11), North Carolina, Virginia,

Babesiosis . . . 6 . . . New York (6),

Ehrlichiosis . . . 16 . . . Arkansas, Maryland (2), Missouri (6), New York (2), North Carolina (2), Tennessee, Virginia (2),

Giardiasis . . . 147 . . . Alabama (3), Arkansas (4), California (13), Florida (15), Idaho (2), Iowa (4), Louisiana, Maine (4), Maryland (6), Michigan (3), Missouri (7), Montana, Nebraska (8), Nevada (3), New York (30), Ohio (12), Oregon (7), Pennsylvania (3), Rhode Island, South Carolina (4), Vermont, Virginia (2), Washington (13),

Hansen Disease (Leprosy) . . . 1 . . . Florida, 

HME/HGE Undetermined . . . 2 . . . Indiana, Ohio,

Lyme Disease . . .  249. . .  California, Delaware (6), Florida (2), Maine (2), Maryland (14), Michigan (2), Nebraska, New York (90), North Carolina (6), Ohio (3), Pennsylvania (96), Vermont (6), Virginia (16), West Virginia (4),

Q Fever (Chronic) . . . 1 . . . Nebraska, 

Rabies (Animal) . . . 38. . . Connecticut (3), Illinois (2), Kentucky, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (17), Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas (7), Vermont (2), West Virginia,

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Confirmed) . . . 2. . . Alabama, Kentucky,   

Spotted Fever including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 30 . . . Alabama (2), Arkansas (2), Indiana, Kentucky (2), Missouri (6), Nebraska, North Carolina (5), Tennessee, Virginia (10).

PET owners being warned: It’s COYOTE mating season ~ CALIFORNIA’s UC Berkeley and Taft School District issue MOUNTAIN LION alerts ~ CALIFORNIA confirms five HORSES have contracted potentially fatal EHM virus ~ EUROPEAN scientists alarmed by NEW VIRUS detected in LIVESTOCK ~ NEW JERSEY WOMAN attacked by a FOX ~ RABIES report from VIRGINIA.

Coyote. Courtesy National Park Service.

National 01/13/12 Excerpt: Dr. Kristin Mansfield, a veterinarian with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, was quoted as saying that it is coyote mating season through March. She explained that coyotes will sometimes kill dogs in order to eliminate competition. She says she has found similar behavior in coyotes in California that would kill foxes by removing their heads and burying them elsewhere. Living in the country, we’re wary of wildlife anytime of the year and we don’t allow our small dogs to wander outside alone. Moran’s property, as reported in the press, is in a cul-de-sac and backs up to woods. What many suburbanites do not realize is that while wildlife are crowded out of their habitat, they have increasingly been returning to their once natural areas, which are now suburbs. This becomes dangerous for people, but especially for small dogs and cats. Statistics aren’t available to estimate how many domestic pets are killed by wild predators every year, but the increased frequency of reports in the news concerning coyote attacks on pets comes from every corner of the country, from the east to west coasts and every place in between. See http://www.petside.com/article/coyote-mating-season-owners-should-be-vigilant-pet-predators

Author’s Note: On Friday, January 13, 2011 news articles about coyotes attacking dogs were reported in Scottsdale, Arizona; Aliso Viejo, California; New Lenox, Illinois; and Kingston, Washington; Cambridge, Ontario, Canada; and Oakville, Ontario, Canada.

California 01/13/12 Berkeley, Alameda County: UC Berkeley police issued safety alerts this week following reports of a mountain lion seen at a campus housing complex Tuesday and of two mountain lions last month at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The alerts on Thursday and Wednesday, which can be found on the campus police Facebook page, reported an unverified sighting of a cougar just after 10 p.m. Tuesday on top of a dumpster at the Smyth-Fernwald apartment complex, which is located in the Berkeley hills near the top of Dwight Way northeast of the Clark Kerr campus. Last month, there was an unverified sighting of two mountain lions running along Lawrence Road toward Glaser Road at Berkeley lab, which lies in hilly terrain directly east of the main Cal campus, police said. See http://elcerrito.patch.com/articles/mountain-lion-sightings-prompt-police-alert

California 01/13/12 Taft, Kern County: The Midway School District near Taft is on alert after two mountain lion sightings within the past few weeks. “We’re taking it seriously. When kids are involved you have to take it seriously,” Midway Superintendent Greg Coker said. On Tuesday, about 6:30 a.m., a teacher went on campus to unlock all of the doors to the school. She said she saw the mountain lion walking on the sidewalk near the doors. That’s when she called the Department of Fish and Game. See http://www.bakersfieldnow.com/news/local/Mountain-lion-sighted-on-school-campus-near-Taft-137224953.html

California 01/14/12 Orange County: Nine months after a potentially fatal equine virus swept western states, the disease is back. Five new cases of Equine Herpes Myoencephalitis (EHM), also referred to as neurological Rhino, a mutated form of the Equine Herpes Virus 1 (EHV-1) were reported at a facility in California by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Last May, equestrian events throughout the western United States were cancelled due to an outbreak of the potentially lethal virus that began at an equestrian event at the Golden Spike Equestrian Center in Ogden, Utah, and spread rapidly to horses in California, Washington, Nebraska, Colorado, Texas, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah.

EHM attacks the horse’s neurological system and in some cases, the horse must be euthanized. The virus is easily spread and has a high morbidity and mortality rate. Signs of EHM in horses may include nasal discharge, in a coordination, hindquarter weakness, recumbency, lethargy, urine dribbling and diminished tail tone.  According to the CDFA all of the cases have been confined to one unidentified facility in Orange County and are under quarantine. The property where the horses are located was described as a large multi-discipline facility by the CDFA, with no movement of any horses on or off the premises. See http://agourahills.patch.com/articles/deadly-horse-virus-erupts-again-in-california

Northern Europe 01/13/12 wired.com: by Kai Kupferschmidt for ScienceNow – Scientists in northern Europe are scrambling to learn more about a new virus that causes fetal malformations and stillbirths in cattle, sheep, and goats. For now, they don’t have a clue about the virus’s origins or why it’s suddenly causing an outbreak; in order to speed up the process, they want to share the virus and protocols for detecting it with anyone interested in studying the disease or developing diagnostic tools and vaccines.

 The virus, provisionally named “Schmallenberg virus” after the German town from which the first positive samples came, was detected in November in dairy cows that had shown signs of infection with fever and a drastic reduction in milk production. Now it has also been detected in sheep and goats, and it has shown up at dozens of farms in neighboring Netherlands and in Belgium as well. According to the European Commission’s Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health, cases have been detected on 20 farms in Germany, 52 in the Netherlands, and 14 in Belgium. Many more suspected cases are being investigated. “A lot of lambs are stillborn or have serious malformations,” Wim van der Poel of the Dutch Central Veterinary Institute in Lelystad says. “This is a serious threat to animal health in Europe.”

“We are taking this very, very seriously,” adds Thomas Mettenleiter, head of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute (FLI), the German federal animal health lab located on the island of Riems. The virus appears to be transmitted by midges (Culicoides spp.), and infections likely occurred in summer and autumn of last year, but fetuses that were exposed to the virus in the womb are only now being born. The first cases of lambs with congenital malformations such as hydrancephaly — where parts of the brain are replaced by sacs filled with fluid — and scoliosis (a curved spine) appeared before Christmas. “Now, in some herds 20 percent to 50 percent of lambs show such malformations,” Mettenleiter says. “And most of these animals are born dead.”

Scientists are bracing for many more cases to appear, especially in cattle, because bovine fetuses infected in summer 2011 would be expected to be born in February and March. – For complete article see http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/01/new-animal-virus/

New Jersey 01/13/12 Bernards, Somerset County: A local woman is receiving post-exposure prophylactic rabies treatment after two separate incidents involving one or more foxes on December 29. A fox bit a pedestrian and ran off in the first incident, and in the second a fox attacked and bit the wheels of a baby stroller and was later killed by a police officer. See http://baskingridge.patch.com/articles/two-fox-attacks-spur-treatment-numerous-phone-cal

Virginia 01/13/12 Blacksburg, Montgomery County: Health officials say the rabid skunk was killed by two dogs at the Blacksburg Dog Park on Tom’s Creek Road, last weekend. It’s the first confirmed rabies case in the New River health district this year. One of the dog’s owners reported the diseased animal; but health officials are still looking for the owner of the second dog, believed to be a black lab. See http://www.wdbj7.com/news/wdbj7-rabid-skunk-found-in-local-dog-park-20120113,0,3376851.story

North Carolina ALERTING DEER HUNTERS that HEMORRHAGIC DISEASE should not be confused with CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ California MOUNTAIN LION visits Burbank neighborhood ~ and RABIES reports from Georgia, Nebraska, and North Carolina.

Whitetailed Deer. Courtesy U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

North Carolina 11/07/11 ncwildlife.org: News Release – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is alerting hunters that they may encounter sick or diseased deer afflicted with hemorrhagic disease. Two closely related viruses — epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) virus and bluetongue virus — cause hemorrhagic disease and both are spread by biting flies, called midges. The Commission is asking hunters to report any sightings of the disease, which has no human health implications but is one of the most significant infectious diseases of white-tailed deer in North Carolina.

Hemorrhagic disease should not be confused with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), which is a distinctly different disease that occurs in members of the deer family. Extensive monitoring since 1999 has yielded no evidence of CWD in North Carolina and strict regulations are in place to prevent the introduction of this disease.

Symptoms of hemorrhagic disease in deer vary widely. Some diseased animals will exhibit no symptoms. Some may appear bloated, very thin and weak, while others suffering from the disease for longer duration may drastically lose weight. They also may have foot, mouth and internal lesions. High fever associated with the disease can make deer thirsty, so dead and dying deer are often found near water. Hunters may observe cracked or sloughing hooves on harvested deer, which is another classic symptom of the disease.

Outbreaks of this deer disease are seen almost every year somewhere within the state and across the Southeast. The last major outbreak in North Carolina was in 2007, and other notable outbreaks occurred in 1939, 1955, 1961, 1971, 1976, 1988, 1994, 1999, 2000 and 2002. In years with severe hemorrhagic disease outbreaks, deer mortality in some localized areas can be as high as 30 percent. However, in most instances mortality is much lower. This year, extremely dry conditions during the summer followed by heavy rainfall from Hurricane Irene created ideal conditions for the proliferation of midges, possibly causing the spread of the disease.

Blue swollen tongue.

To report sightings of symptomatic deer, or dead and dying deer, contact the Division of Wildlife Management at (919) 707-0050 or wrccomments@ncwildlife.org. When people report sightings, it allows Commission biologists to determine what areas of the state are experiencing outbreaks and the extent of those outbreaks. It also gives biologists opportunities to obtain tissue and blood samples for virus isolation by veterinarians at the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS) in Athens, Ga. Reported occurrences are summarized annually and sent to SCWDS where the occurrence and outbreak extent is monitored collectively for all states.

Midge fly. EHD carrier.

Commission biologists have observed outbreaks of the disease this year in deer across North Carolina — the most prevalent in the northeastern part of the state in and around Halifax, Edgecombe, Northampton, Bertie and Gates counties. Evidence of the disease also was documented in the western part of the state in Cherokee and Yancey counties. Because the disease cannot spread to humans, hunters should not worry about dressing deer or eating venison. Deer that recover from an episode of hemorrhagic disease develop immunity to future outbreaks.

California 11/09/11 Burbank, Los Angeles County: A mountain lion visited the 1200 block of Verdugo Spring Lane on Tuesday before running off into the foothills. Local police confirmed the incident using a resident’s photos. See http://www.burbankleader.com/the818now/tn-818-1109-mountain-lion-strolls-up-driveway-through-backyard-in-burbank,0,5823867.story

Georgia 11/08/11 Union Church Road, Hall County: Officials confirm two rabies cases. The first was a rabid skunk that was in contact with two dogs on October 31st, and the second a rabid raccoon in the same vicinity that was in contact with a young man. The two cases bring the total number of rabies cases in the county this year to 12. See http://www.accessnorthga.com/detail.php?n=243414

Nebraska 11/08/11 Chadron, Dawes County: A skunk that tested positive for rabies last week is the area’s first confirmed case of the virus in about 25 years. See http://www.kcautv.com/story/15989735/rabies-case-confirmed-in-chadron-area

North Carolina 11/09/11 Beaver Dam, Cumberland County: A raccoon picked up just off N.C. 210 last week tested positive for rabies. It’s the 16th case of rabies in the county this year. See http://www.fayobserver.com/articles/2011/11/08/1135835?sac=Local