Tag Archives: Novel coronavirus

Scientists scramble to solve NOVEL CORONAVIRUS mystery ~ NEBRASKA and NEW MEXICO issue TULAREMIA ALERTS ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS reports from AL, FL, GA, & SC ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CAx2, IL, IN, MA, NEx2, TXx3, & WI ~ RABIES reports from AL, KS, MT, RI, & TX.

This is not Earth revolving around the sun. It's a transmission electron micrograph of a novel coronavirus associated with MERS. Courtesy of NIAID, National Institutes of Health.

This is not a bright yellow sun shining on a red planet.. It’s a transmission electron micrograph of a novel coronavirus associated with MERS. Courtesy of NIAID, National Institutes of Health.

Global 07/01/13 nytimes.com: by Denise Grady – As the scientists peered into the darkness, their headlamps revealed an eerie sight. Hundreds of eyes glinted back at them from the walls and ceiling. They had discovered, in a crumbling, long-abandoned village half-buried in sand near a remote town in southwestern Saudi Arabia, a roosting spot for bats. It was an ideal place to set up traps. The search for bats is part of an investigation into a deadly new viral disease that has drawn scientists from around the world to Saudi Arabia. The virus, first detected there last year, is known to have infected at least 77 people, killing 40 of them, in eight countries. The illness, called MERS, for Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome, is caused by a coronavirus, a relative of the virus that caused SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome), which originated in China and caused an international outbreak in 2003 that infected at least 8,000 people and killed nearly 800.

Bats_NPSAs the case count climbs, critical questions about MERS remain unanswered. Scientists do not know where it came from, where the virus exists in nature, why it has appeared now, how people are being exposed to it, or whether it is becoming more contagious and could erupt into a much larger outbreak, as SARS did. The disease almost certainly originated with one or more people contracting the virus from animals — probably bats — but scientists do not know how many times that kind of spillover to humans has occurred, or how likely it is to keep happening. There is urgency to the hunt for answers. Half the known cases have been fatal, though the real death rate is probably lower, because there almost certainly have been mild cases that have gone undetected. But the virus still worries health experts, because it can cause such severe disease and has shown an alarming ability to spread among patients in a hospital. It causes flulike symptoms that can progress to severe pneumonia. The disease is a chilling example of what health experts call emerging infections, caused by viruses or other organisms that suddenly find their way into humans. Many of those diseases are “zoonotic,” meaning they are normally harbored by animals but somehow manage to jump species. “As the population continues to grow, we’re bumping up against wildlife, and they happen to carry some nasty viruses we’ve never seen before,” said Peter Daszak, a disease ecologist and the president of EcoHealth Alliance, a scientific group that studies links between human health, the health of wild and domestic animals, and the environment.

MERS_CoV_mapSaudi Arabia has had the most patients so far (62), but cases have also originated in Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Travelers from the Arabian peninsula have taken the disease to Britain, France, Italy and Tunisia, and have infected a few people in those countries. Health experts are also worried about the Hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage that will draw millions of visitors to Saudi Arabia in October. MERS has not reached the United States, but health officials have told doctors to be on the lookout for patients who get sick soon after visiting the Middle East. So far, more than 40 people in 20 states have been tested, all with negative results, according to Dr. Anne Schuchat, the director of the National Center for Immunizations and Respiratory Diseases at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

cdc_logoThe illness can be spread by coughs and sneezes, or contaminated surfaces, and people with chronic diseases seem especially vulnerable. More men than women have fallen ill, possibly because women have been protected by their veils. A cluster of cases that began in a Saudi hospital in April ultimately involved 23 people, including several family members and health workers. One man infected seven people, each of whom spread the disease to at least one other person. Regardless of where they emerge, new illnesses are just “a plane ride away,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, the director of the C.D.C. And while MERS is not highly contagious like the flu, he said, “the likelihood of spread is not small.” – For complete article with extensive information about vulnerability and transmission see http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/02/health/experts-scramble-to-trace-the-emergence-of-mers.html?pagewanted=2&tntemail0=y&_r=0&emc=tnt

Tularemia:

Nebraska 06/28/13 Lincoln County: Two more cases of tularemia have been identified in the Lincoln County area. One of these is a 9-year-old boy. – See http://www.knopnews2.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&zoonosis_Tularemiaid=8164:two-cases-of-tularemia-in-area&Itemid=105

New Mexico 06/27/13 health.state.nm.us: News Release – The Department of Health announced today that tularemia cases are on the increase in several locations around the state. Since the middle of April there have been 4 cases in people and 6 cases in dogs and cats. The human cases include a 45-year-old man from Santa Fe County, an 88-year-old woman from McKinley County, a 62-year-old woman from Santa Fe County and a 75-year-old woman from San Juan County. Three of the human cases were hospitalized and all have recovered and gone home. Onset of illness in the most recent case was June 15. The pet cases include 2 cats and one dog from Santa Fe County, a dog from Sandoval County, a dog from Los Alamos County, and a cat from Torrance County. They have all recovered. – For complete release see http://www.health.state.nm.us/CommunicationsOffice/2013%20News%20Releases/NMDOH-PressRelease-20130627-Tularemia-EN.pdf

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

Mobile Cty ALAlabama 06/28/13 Mobile County: Health officials have confirmed that a sentinel chicken placed in the county has tested positive for EEE. No further information about location was provided. – See http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/ce1a7c27e23b4190b11b245d044828f1/AL–Mosquitoes-Disease

Hernando cty FLFlorida 06/28/13 Hernando County: A sentinel chicken that is part of a flock located near State Road 50 and Ridge Manor Boulevard, near the landfill, in Spring Hill has tested positive for EEE. – See http://www.baynews9.com/content/news/baynews9/news/article.html/content/news/articles/bn9/2013/6/28/chicken_tests_positi.html

Brooks_County.GAGeorgia 06/28/13 Brooks County: The state Department of Agriculture has confirmed that another horse stabled in the county has tested positive for EEE. This is the second EEE-infected horse found in the county and the fourth case of EEE in an animal in the South Health District so far this year. – See http://www.wctv.tv/news/headlines/Horse-Tests-Positive-For-EEE-In-Brooks-County-213521901.html

Sumter_County.SCSouth Carolina 06/29/13 Sumter County: A foal stabled in the county that recently died has tested positive for EEE. Two adult horses that died at the same farm around the same time are suspected of also having EEE. – See http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/8b2f85cdbf234c5eaaedf72f81a563ef/NC–EEE-Horse-Death

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Placer-County_CACalifornia 06/29/13 Placer County: Health officials have confirmed that mosquito samples taken from traps in Roseville and Sheridan have tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.rocklintoday.com/news/templates/community_news.asp?articleid=11795&zoneid=4

Los Angeles Cty CACalifornia 06/28/13 Los Angeles County: Two dead American crows found at El Dorado Park in Long Beach have tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.lbpost.com/news/2000002516-west-nile-virus-found-in-el-dorado-park-birds#.Uc5NOZymVFt

 

Cook cty ILIllinois 06/28/13 Cook County: Public health officials have found WNV in a batch of mosquitoes trapped in Chicago for the first time this year. – See http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=9156241

Adams_County.LNIndiana 06/27/13 Adams County: The first signs of WNV in the county were found Friday in mosquitoes trapped in the county that tested positive for the virus. – See http://vaccinenewsdaily.com/medical_countermeasures/325773-indiana-detects-first-west-nile-virus-activity-of-2013/

plymouth cty MAMassachusetts 06/28/13 Plymouth County: Public health officials announced today that a mosquito collected on June 25th in Whitman has tested positive for WNV. – See http://www1.whdh.com/news/articles/local/boston/10011015074128/mosquito-tests-positive-for-west-nile-virus/

NebraskaPanhandleNebraska 07/01/13 Panhandle: Mosquito samples from the state’s Panhandle region have tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.chadrad.com/newsstory.cfm?story=30038

Lincoln-County_NENebraska 06/29/13 Lincoln County: One human case of WNV has been confirmed in the county, and the virus has also been detected in mosquitoes trapped in the county this year. – See http://www.omaha.com/article/20130629/LIVEWELL01/706299910/1161

Erath_County_TXTexas 07/01/13 Erath County: Health officials have confirmed a human case of WNV in Dublin. – See http://www.yourstephenvilletx.com/news/local/article_5f9ba464-e27b-11e2-94de-001a4bcf887a.html

harris cty TXTexas 06/28/13 Harris County: A new sample of mosquitoes trapped in the 77520 zip code area of Baytown has tested positive for WNV. – See http://news92fm.com/363102/west-nile-virus-found-in-mosquitoes-in-baytown/

tarrant cty TXTexas 06/28/13 Tarrant County: The city of Grapevine has finished spraying in the vicinity of the Police Department at 300 W. Dallas Road where a mosquito was trapped on Thursday that later tested positive for WNV. – See http://impactnews.com/grapevine-to-retest-after-spraying/

Washington_County.WIWisconsin 06/28/13 Washington County: A dead crow found in the county is the first bird in the state to test positive for WNV this year. – See http://www.haywardwi.com/news/article_14cc6ac0-de77-11e2-8f10-0019bb2963f4.html?mode=story

Rabies:

raccoon_lgAlabama 07/01/13 Chilton County: A raccoon found last week near U.S. Highway 31 and County Road 29 has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.clantonadvertiser.com/2013/07/01/second-rabies-case-found-in-chilton-county/

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAKansas 07/01/13 McPherson County: On Monday, a cow kept in the county tested positive for rabies. This is the second case of rabies in the county and the 37th case statewide so far this year including 27 skunks, four bovines, two dogs, two cats, one fox and one bat. – See http://www.mcphersonsentinel.com/article/20130701/NEWS/130709977/1001/NEWS#axzz2XrJqSRm0

dog_skunk_338171703Montana 07/01/13 Yellowstone County: The Billings Police Department has announced the county is under a 60-Day Rabies Quarantine after a domestic dog at the Windsor Trailer Court in the Heights showed non-aggressive symptoms of rabies. Chief Rich St. John said the dog came in contact with a skunk. Further investigation revealed as many has 13 people were exposed to the virus, as well as other people and loose pets.- See http://www.kulr8.com/story/22737723/yellowstone-co-under-rabies-quarantine

help-mdRhode Island 07/01/13 Providence County: A 12-year-old boy was attacked by a dog during baseball practice Monday at the Gano Street ball fields in the City of Providence. The dog, described as a “brown, possible pit bull mix” bit his leg and arm. The dog’s owner, who left the scene before being identified, was described as “a white man in his 20s or 30s with collar length hair”. If authorities cannot determine whether the dog has been vaccinated for the virus, the boy is likely to need rabies prevention shots, which can be quite painful. – See http://www.turnto10.com/story/22734686/boy-attacked-by-dog-at-baseball-practice

IMG_1947Texas 07/01/13 Hays County: Health officials issued a Rabies Alert after a bat that tested positive for the virus was found in the filtration system at Coves of Cimmaron Community Pool, just ouside of Buda.  – See http://www.woai.com/content/news/newslinks/story/Rabies-alert-issued-in-Hays-County/Lao9Mb65kUSTEoOAfrJNDg.cspx

Advertisements

TRAVEL WARNINGS: CDC warns of deadly Novel (New) CORONAVIRUS in the ARABIAN PENINSULA and UNITED KINGDOM ~ RABIES VACCINE still in short supply ~ RABIES reports from GA, MO, OH, TXx2, & WV.

Bat colony. Courtesy National Park Service.

Bat colony. Courtesy National Park Service.

Travel Warnings:

Middle East

Middle East

Global 03/08/13 cdc.gov: News Release – From April 2012 to February 2013, a total of 14 people in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and the United Kingdom (UK) were confirmed to have respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus; 13 cases were severe and one case was mild. Eight of these 14 people died. In the UK, an infected man likely spread the virus to two family members. He had recently traveled to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and got sick before returning to the UK. This cluster of cases provides the first evidence of person-to-person transmission. The UK’s Health Protection Agency is continuing to investigate this. Also, clusters of cases in Saudi Arabia and Jordan are being investigated.

cdc_logoCDC does not recommend that anyone change their travel plans because of these cases of the novel coronavirus. CDC recommends that US travelers to countries in or near the Arabian Peninsula monitor their health and see a doctor right away if they develop fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness, such as cough or shortness of breath. They should tell the doctor about their recent travel. Coronaviruses are a cause of the common cold. A coronavirus also was the cause of the severe respiratory illness called SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). SARS caused a global epidemic in 2003, but there have not been any known cases of SARS since 2004. This novel coronavirus is not the same coronavirus that caused SARS. – For further information see   http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/in-the-news/coronavirus-arabian-peninsula-uk.htm

CDC Coronavirus Investigation:

Author’s Note: According to CDC, the reservoir and route of transmission of 95673687hnvwVS_phthe novel coronavirus are still being investigated. Genetic sequencing to date has determined the virus is most closely related to coronaviruses detected in bats. CDC is continuing to collaborate with WHO and affected countries to better characterize the epidemiology of novel coronavirus infection in humans. – For further information see http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/ncv/case-def.html

Mountain Lion Sightings:

s_mountain-lion-0002California 03/08/13 Los Angeles County: Two separate incidents involving a mountain lion, perhaps the same one, were reported in Sierra Madre. Two pets, a cat and a dog, were killed. On Tuesday of this week the lion was spotted in the vicinity of Santa Anita and Oakwood avenues, then Foothill Avenue and Camillo Road, and finally in the 500 block of Los Rocas Drive where a resident saw a house cat in its mouth. On Thursday evening a lion killed a small dog in the backyard of a home on Vista Circle Drive. Residents have been urged to keep a close eye on small children and pets. – See http://sierramadre.patch.com/articles/mountain-lion-kills-small-dog-reportedly-attacks-other-animals

Rabies:

IMOVAXNational 03/07/13 cdc.gov: Rabies vaccine supplies remain restricted in the United States. Rabies vaccine produced by Sanofi Pasteur (IMOVAX), is currently available for post-exposure prophylaxis only. Vaccine produced by Novartis (RabAvert), imagesCAPUQ0PZcontinues to be available for pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis. CDC continues to work with partners to monitor the status of the rabies vaccine supply. This status is not expected to change moving into spring, however, additional updates will be released as available.

Author’s Note: On February 20, 2013, the CDC reported that Sanofi Pasteur’s rabies vaccine shortage is due to “increased demand and manufacturing delay.”

5704860-portrait-of-gray-fox-barkingGeorgia 03/08/13 Richmond County: Health officials have confirmed a fox that attacked a man on February 27th in the vicinity of Mike Padgett Highway and Goshen Industrial Boulevard in Augusta has tested positive for rabies. When it later tried to attack a second person, it was put down. – See http://www2.wjbf.com/news/2013/mar/08/rabid-fox-attacks-man-south-augusta-ar-5759477/

Horse%20MouthMissouri 03/05/13 Wayne County: A horse stabled in the vicinity of Williamsville that began to deteriorate and became aggressive before dying has tested positive for rabies. This is the fourth confirmed case of animal rabies in the state this year (including three skunks in Douglas, Howell, and Ste. Genevieve counties) prompting officials to issue a Rabies Alert. – See http://www.semissourian.com/story/1946780.html

bat-in-sink-2Ohio 03/08/13 Medina County: A bat found alive Wednesday in the kitchen sink of an East Liberty Street home in the City of Medina has tested positive for rabies. – See http://medinagazette.northcoastnow.com/2013/03/08/health-department-bat-found-in-medina-home-tests-positive-for-rabies/

Texas 03/08/13 Somervell County: For the second time in two weeks a skunk found in the Rainbow area has tested positive for rabies. – See surfeit of skunkshttp://www.yourglenrosetx.com/news/community/article_1974c465-672f-5885-a24d-b71cf51b1e52.html

Texas 03/07/13 Coryell County: Two skunks shot in separate incidents in Gatesville have tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.kwtx.com/ourtown/home/headlines/Gatesville-Two-Skunks-Test-Positive-For-Rabies–195689141.html

RaccoonDEC_NY.govWest Virginia 03/08/13 Mercer County: A raccoon picked up on Princeton Avenue in Bluefield has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wvnstv.com/story/21557507/first-rabies-case-of-2013-confirmed-in-mercer-county

CALIFORNIA game warden kills MOUNTAIN LION stalking him ~ MOUNTAIN LION attacks on PETS increasing in central COLORADO ~ Scientists say new virus called NOVEL CORONAVIRUS known to have infected 12 people killing 5 ~ RABIES reports from MA, NC, & TX.

Stalking mountain lion. Photo by County of Santa Barbara, California.

Stalking mountain lion. Photo by County of Santa Barbara, California.

California 02/19/13 sacbee.com: by Ed Fletcher – A popular Placer County hiking trail has reopened after authorities say a state Fish and Wildlife warden was forced to shoot and kill a mountain lion Sunday. Authorities were first alerted to an aggressive mountain lion early Saturday evening, when a hiker on the Stevens Trail near Colfax, fearing for his safety, called 911. “He noticed he was being followed by a mountain lion,” said Mark Michilizzi, a spokesman Puma_CountyOfSantaBarbara_Californiafor the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “The behavior was consistent with a mountain lion that is stalking prey.” Fish and Wildlife wardens, Placer County Sheriff’s deputies and a California Highway Patrol helicopter responded to the call and apparently scared off the mountain lion, Michilizzi said.

Sunday morning, a warden returned to the area to post signs and warn hikers of the threat of an aggressive mountain lion when he noticed a mountain lion, apparently the same one, preparing to pounce on him, Michilizzi said. While it is illegal to hunt mountain lions in California, at this point the animal wasn’t just a risk to public safety — it was a risk to the warden, who shot and killed the cat. “The officer acted appropriately,” Michilizzi said. “The mountain lion wasn’t cornered. The mountain lion was actively approaching him.” Michilizzi said a 0208cattalesmNYDEnConser.govnecropsy will be preformed to help officials learn more about the health of the animal and what might have triggered the behavior. “Deer are the primary prey for mountain lion,” Michilizzi. “When they start looking to humans, we want to know why.” He said hikers should not call 911 upon spotting of a mountain lion but this instance was different. “Mountain lion attacks are rare. This type of behavior is rare,” Michilizzi said. He advised anyone who spots a mountain lion not to run. He said to turn and face the lion while making oneself as big as possible and to throw rocks, stick or leaves.

pouncing-cougarColorado 02/17/13 Jefferson County: The number of mountain lion attacks on pets in the Brook Forest area is increasing according to a resident who, armed with only a flashlight, rescued her dog from an attack in her yard on Feb. 7. – See http://www.canyoncourier.com/content/mountain-lion-attacks-pets-increasing-area

Novel Coronavirus:

who-logoGlobal 02/19/13 dawn.com: A new virus that emerged in the Middle East last year and has killed five people is well adapted to infecting humans but could potentially be treated with drugs that boost the immune system, scientists said on Tuesday. The virus, called novel coronavirus or NCoV, is from the same family as the common cold and as SARS, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. There have been 12 confirmed cases worldwide – including in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Britain – and five patients have died. In one of the first published studies about NCoV, which was unknown in humans until it was identified in September 2012, researchers said it could penetrate the lining of passageways in the lungs and evade the immune system as easily as a cold virus can. This shows it “grows very efficiently” in human cells and suggests it is well-equipped for infecting humans, said Volker Thiel of the Institute of Immunobiology at Kantonal Hospital in Switzerland, who led the study.

Dr. Volker Thiel

Dr. Volker Thiel

NCoV was identified when the World Health Organisation issued an international alert in September saying a completely new virus had infected a Qatari man in Britain who had recently been in Saudi Arabia. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that includes those that cause the common cold as well as the one that caused SARS – which emerged in China in 2002 and killed about a 10th of the 8,000 people it infected worldwide. Symptoms of both NCoV and SARS include severe respiratory illness, fever, coughing and breathing difficulties. Of the 12 cases confirmed so far, four were in Britain, one was a Qatari patient in Germany, two were in Jordan and five in Saudi Arabia. – For complete article see http://dawn.com/2013/02/19/deadly-new-virus-is-well-adapted-to-infect-humans-study-finds/

Rabies:

little_brown_batMassachusetts 02/18/13 Barnstable County: A Wellfleet official has confirmed that a bat recently found in the town has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wcvb.com/news/local/boston-south/Cape-bat-tests-positive-for-rabies/-/9848842/18590226/-/format/rsss_2.0/-/102877az/-/index.html

by_Svdmolen_WC-001North Carolina 02/18/13 Guilford County: A raccoon captured on Hertford Street in Greensboro on Monday has tested positive for rabies. A dog was exposed to the virus. – See http://www.digtriad.com/news/local/article/269916/57/2nd-Case-Of-Rabies-Confirmed-In-Guilford-County

800px-Striped_Skunkby_www.birdphotos.comWC-2Texas 02/18/13 Johnson and Tarrant counties: Two skunks found inside Burleson city limits in the last two weeks have tested positive for rabies. The first, on Jan. 29th, was on Lynwood Avenue where it had been killed by dogs. The second was captured on Wilshire Boulevard/Texas 174 last week. – See http://blogs.star-telegram.com/crime_time/2013/02/two-skunks-test-positive-for-rabies-in-burleson.html

Brookfield Zoo in ILLINOIS prepares MEXICAN WOLF for release in NEW MEXICO ~ HIKER attacked by MOUNTAIN LION in TEXAS at Big Bend ~ WHO issues WORLDWIDE ALERT concerning new CORONAVIRUS ~ FERAL CAT exposes three in NEW YORK to RABIES ~ CANADA: Town in ONTARIO reports first WEST NILE VIRUS fatality this year.

Ernesta. Mexican Gray Wolf.
Photo by Jim Schultz. Chicago Zoological Society.

New Mexico 11/23/12 chicagotribue.com: by Joseph Ruzich – She may have not been born free, but Ernesta, a 4-year-old Mexican gray wolf from Brookfield Zoo [Illinois], might be able to live out the rest of her life roaming the wilds of New Mexico. Ernesta was transferred from the west suburban zoo to the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility near Socorro, N.M., on Oct. 27 and is now attending “wolf boot camp” with two other male wolves that arrived when she did. The goal is to prepare them for release into the wild as part of an effort to increase the wolf population in the area. “She is doing well (in her enclosure) and is adapting with the other wolves,” said Maggie Dwire, a biologist for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “She doesn’t like to be around people, but that is a good quality for a wolf in the recovery program.”

Photo by Jim Schultz. Chicago Zoological Soc.

There are only 58 Mexican gray wolves living in the wild in New Mexico and Arizona, but there are 283 living at 52 zoos and other institutions across the United States. Most of the wolves in the wild are second- and third-generation animals that are descendants of wolves that were released from the Sevilleta facility, according to Tom Buckley, public affairs specialist for the Fish and Wildlife Service. The Mexican gray wolf population in the Southwest had been dwindling throughout the 20th century as human settlement and hunting intensified across in the area. The Fish and Wildlife Service first listed the species as endangered in 1976. The Mexican gray wolf is the southernmost-living, rarest and most genetically distinct subspecies of gray wolf in North America.Dwire said Ernesta and the two male wolves are being kept in a large fenced-in area that mimics the high desert landscape that surrounds it. There are about a dozen wolves at Sevilleta. “The goal for her is to accept one of the males as her mate,” Dwire said. “If she gets pregnant, she may be released with her mate in spring, but we might also decide to wait until late summer. There are a lot of factors that must be taken into account.” – For complete article see http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-brookfield-wolf-20121123,0,3875921.story

Mountain Lion:

Texas 11/24/12 nps.gov: Alert – A female hiker was injured by a mountain lion while hiking in a remote area of Big Bend National Park on Friday, November 23. Andrea Pinero Cebrian and her companions were exploring the Mesa de Anguila near Lajitas when she was attacked. Cebrian was treated by Terlingua Medics and her injuries are not considered to be life threatening. The Mesa de Anguila has been closed to all visitors while rangers and park biologists investigate and patrol in search of the mountain lion. Park Superintendent Cindy Ott-Jones noted “Visitor safety is our main concern here in Big Bend and we will monitor and close the Mesa until we deem it safe for visitors.” For updates or additional information please call the park at 432-477-2802.

World Health Organization (WHO) ALERT:

Global 9/23/12 who.int: Alert – On 22 September 2012, the United Kingdom (UK) informed WHO of a case of acute respiratory syndrome with renal failure with travel history to Saudi Arabia and Qatar. . . The Health Protection Agency of the UK (HPA) conducted laboratory testing and has confirmed the presence of a novel coronavirus . . . The HPA compared information from the clinical sample collected from the 49 year-old Qatari national with that of a virus sequenced previously by the Erasmus University Medical Centre, Netherlands. This latter isolate was obtained from lung tissue of a fatal case earlier this year in a 60 year-old Saudi national. This comparison indicated 99.5% identity, with one nucleotide mismatch over the regions compared.

11/23/12: WHO has been notified of four additional cases, including one death, due to infection with the novel coronavirus. The additional cases have been identified as part of the enhanced surveillance in Saudi Arabia (3 cases, including 1 death) and Qatar (1 case). This brings the total of laboratory confirmed cases to 6. Investigations are ongoing in areas of epidemiology, clinical management, and virology, to look into the likely source of infection, the route of exposure, and the possibility of human-to-human transmission of the virus. Close contacts of the recently confirmed cases are being identified and followed-up. – See http://www.who.int/csr/don/archive/disease/coronavirus_infections/en/index.html

Rabies:

New York 11/23/12 Livingston County: An apparently sick, feral cat found by an individual in the Town of York and taken to a vet for treatment has tested positive for rabies. Three people are receiving post-exposure rabies treatments. – See http://thelcn.com/2012/11/23/rabid-cat-found-in-livingston-county/

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Canada:

Ontario 11/23/12 Hamilton: Health officials confirm the first local WNV-related fatality in the city. A family member confirmed the victim was Antonio Occhiuto, 82, who died Thursday at Hamilton General Hospital. – See http://www.cbc.ca/hamilton/news/story/2012/11/23/hamilton-west-nile.html