Tag Archives: Plague

Wildlife officials want to use drones and peanut butter to help vaccinate PRAIRIE DOGS for PLAGUE ~ GRIZZLY attacks woman near CANADIAN campground west of CALGARY ~ Child in NORTH DAKOTA infected with HANTAVIRUS ~ COLORADO​ confirms WILD RABBIT had TULAREMIA ~ RABID CAT reports from NY & TX.

Black-footed_Ferret_Learning_to_Hunt

Black-footed ferret pursuing prairie dog. Image courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Montana 07/20/16 fastcoexist.com: by Adele Peters – For the endangered black-footed ferret—an adorable if vicious predator that lives in prairies—one of the biggest threats to survival is the bubonic plague, which is wiping out their prey: prairie dogs. To help, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service hopes to start using drones to spray candy-sized snacks, filled with plague vaccine, across prairie dog colonies. Without the prairie dogs, the ferrets can’t survive; the dogs are both a food source and a source of a burrow .  .  .  The location, the UL Bend National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Montana, is an ideal test site. It’s remote and far from air traffic, so drones wouldn’t interfere with planes. If it works, the technique might eventually be used in some of the other 27 sites where ferrets have been reintroduced. – For complete article and photos see http://www.fastcoexist.com/3061955/wildlife-officials-want-to-use-drones-to-shoot-peanut-butter-snacks-at-prairie-dogs

Bear Attack:

CANADA:

Brown_Bear_-_Ursus_Arctos_600Alberta 07/19/16 http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/: by Colleen Schmidt  – RCMP and emergency crews were called out to a bear attack near the Trapper’s Hill Campground west of Calgary on Tuesday afternoon. Police received a call about a bear complaint at about 12:00 p.m. Tuesday and dispatched members to the scene to investigate. A woman and her boyfriend were having a picnic down by Ghost River and witnesses say they came face-to-face with a grizzly and her cubs. Coleman Blair’s father owns a campground in the area and he was driving when he saw the couple being chased by the bear through the river. Blair rushed in to help and says by that time the bear had the woman’s arm in its mouth but he was able to pry its teeth open.

He says the bear could have done more damage to her if it wanted to and that he believes it was warning her. “If the bear wanted to do some damage, I mean they’d both be dead. It was, in bear talk, more of a warning, a gentle warning, a bite like that, it wasn’t serious in that kind of regard but yeah they got a warning and it happens quick, that’s what people need to understand, it’s not, you don’t have time to get your bear spray out or take your time, it happens right now, they’re already on top of you, they’re fast,” he said. The woman was taken to hospital and is in stable condition. The investigation has been turned over to Fish and Wildlife and they have closed Township Road 270 and are moving campers out of the affected area. – For video see http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/woman-injured-in-bear-attack-west-of-calgary-1.2993337

Hantavirus:

imagesCAULAVUQNorth Dakota 07/20/16 http://bismarcktribune.com/news: by Blair Emerson – A school-age child in northeast North Dakota has been infected by hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a rare, but potentially fatal disease, spread by infected rodent droppings, urine and saliva, the state Health Department reported Wednesday. The child, who was hospitalized, was in contact with rodent-infested buildings, according to a news release.  “This case serves as a reminder for people to be mindful of the presence or evidence of rodents when cleaning a house, barn or other building, especially in rural areas,” said Jill Baber, epidemiologist with the Health Department’s division of Disease Control. “It is important to avoid actions that raise dust, such as sweeping or vacuuming, if signs of rodents are present.” There have only been 15 cases of hantavirus in the state since 1993, seven of which were fatal. Nationally, as of Jan. 6, about 690 cases have been reported and 36 percent of these cases resulted in death. – See http://bismarcktribune.com/news/local/health/school-age-child-infected-with-hantavirus/article_ebc39e4a-3939-5ad7-a54a-35f55da2b677.html

Tularemia aka Rabbit Fever:

tularemia.332oe998Colorado 07/18/16/ krdo.com/news/: by Chris Loveless – Rabbit fever has again been confirmed in Pueblo County. A rabbit that was collected from the Hatchet Ranch area in the southwestern part of the county has tested positive for Tularemia. “Pueblo residents are advised that tularemia-causing bacteria may be present in some of the mammals – especially rabbits, rodents and hares, and on the ground where these animals may be active,” said Vicki Carlton, program manager in the Environmental Health and Emergency Preparedness division at the Pueblo City-County Health Department. “Although there are no human cases of tularemia identified in Pueblo so far this year, Colorado has experienced human tularemia cases in people who have been exposed to contaminated soil, drinking contaminated water or inhaling bacteria,” she said. – For complete article see http://www.krdo.com/news/Pueblo-County-rabbit-tests-positive-for-Tularemia/40732732

Rabies:

rabidcat.niagractyhealthdeptNew York 07/20/16 niagara-gazette.com/news: A cat that attacked a woman and her dog on July 13 on Demler Drive in Wheatfield has tested positive for rabies, according to the Niagara County Health Department. The woman, who sustained multiple bites and scratches, is undergoing treatment to prevent rabies infection. That treatment includes post-exposure treatment of immune globulin injection at the site of the bite along with a series of four rabies vaccine injections in the arm muscle (deltoid) over a 14-day period. The cat was humanely euthanized. Anyone who may have had contact with the white, grey and black cat on or before July 13 is being asked to call the Niagara County Department of Health Environmental Division at 439-7444. – See http://www.niagara-gazette.com/news/local_news/cat-that-attacked-woman-in-wheatfield-had-rabies/article_e20f1eb4-4e0f-11e6-8c31-5bba39688a84.html

Texas 07/15/16 .ksla.com: The Animal Control Officer in DeKalb has issued an alert advising residents to have pets vaccinated for rabies after a woman was bitten by a cat on her own property and the cat has since tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.ksla.com/story/32457796/etx-city-on-alert-for-rabies-after-woman-bitten-by-cat-gets-infected

CANADIAN toddler attacked by MOUNTAIN LION ~ Texan hunting moose in ALASKA mauled by BROWN BEAR ~ CANADIAN sheep hunter attacked by GRIZZLY ~ CA, MD, MI, MO and OK confirm WEST NILE VIRUS fatalities ~ COLORADO reports two more human cases of TULAREMIA ~ NEW MEXICO reports fourth human case of PLAGUE ~ More DEER escape from WISCONSIN farm where CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE was found ~ Second CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE-infected deer in TEXAS breeder herd confirmed ~ RABIES reports from PA, SC, VA & WV. ~ ANNOUNCEMENT – Natural Unseen Hazards Blog will not be published for several months

Mountain Lion. Courtesy U.S. Dept of Agriculture

Mountain Lion. Courtesy U.S. Dept of Agriculture

Canada:

British Columbia 09/21/15 vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca: A two-year-old girl sitting with her parents in deck chairs in their backyard on Vancouver Island last Monday was attacked by a mountain lion that pounced on her from behind. The cat released the child when her father punched it. The girl was treated for lacerations on her earlobe, chest and back. – For photos and article see http://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/b-c-dad-slugs-cougar-that-attacked-two-year-old-daughter-1.2574512

Bear Attack:

887897spNPSAlaska 09/23/15 abcnews.go.com: by Rachel D’Oro – A Texas man who was mauled by a brown bear while moose hunting in Alaska was expected to survive serious injuries, authorities said Wednesday. The bear with two cubs attacked 47-year-old Gregory Joseph Matthews of Plano, Texas, as he hunted Tuesday with his brother in Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, authorities said. Fishermen in the area alerted Alaska State Troopers shortly after 6 p.m. and Matthews was flown to Central Peninsula Hospital in nearby Soldotna. Matthews was listed in good condition Wednesday. He declined requests from The Associated Press for an interview. It was the third bear attack on the Kenai Peninsula in recent weeks. – For complete article see http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/brown-bear-cubs-mauls-texas-moose-hunter-alaska-33980023

Canada:

British Columbia 09/24/15 prpeak.com: by Chris Bolster – Conservation officers are searching for a bear responsible for sending a 51-year-old man to hospital in the early hours of Thursday, September 24. Powell River RCMP have confirmed that a man walking his dog on the 4700 block of Redonda Avenue, behind the Town Centre Mall, was attacked by a bear at approximately 5:30 am. The man sustained only minor injuries in the attack and did not require BC Ambulance Service paramedics to transport him to Powell River General Hospital, Constable Tim Kenning told the Peak at 9 am. Kenning said that the unnamed man told him “the bear came out of nowhere. “He stepped in trying to protect his animal, thinking the bear was going after his dog,” said Kenning. “Next thing he knew he was on the ground with a bear on top of him.” Kenning added that a neighbour came out to see what happening after hearing the man yell and saw the bear and two cubs running away. The attack likely occurred because the bear was protecting its two cubs, said Kenning. – See http://www.prpeak.com/articles/2015/09/24/news/doc560430aba9e53331700834.txt

grizzly5Alberta 09/22/15 edmontonsun.com: by Trevor Robb – An Alberta hunter was sent to hospital over the weekend after being attacked by a grizzly bear near Hinton. Alberta Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Michelle Davio said in a statement that a male hunter -who was reportedly legally hunting bighorn sheep in the area — had called the Report-A-Poacher telephone line and 911 at 8 p.m. on Saturday night after he was injured during a confrontation with a female grizzly . Davio says the man suffered undisclosed, non-life threatening injuries when the grizzly charged at him and knocked him over. “The hunter played dead and after the bear stood over the hunter for a moment, the bear moved on,” said Davio. Upon getting the call, Davio says a team consisting of Fish and Wildlife officers, two emergency medical technicians and two civilian guides were deployed to rescue the hunter. However, he was in a remote location near Cadomin, near the Teck mine site, which is approximately 55km south of Hinton, in rugged terrain, which made the hunter not accessible by vehicle. – For complete article see http://www.edmontonsun.com/2015/09/22/hunter-survives-bear-attack-near-hinton

WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV):

07cd7361057a7994e7e590e1fb0d3868ed6ff5ad-1California 09/20/15 loscerritosnews.net: A Norwalk resident is the second person to die of WNV-related causes in Los Angeles County this year. – See http://www.loscerritosnews.net/2015/09/19/norwalk-man-dies-of-west-nile/

Maryland  09/19/15 patch.com: An elderly woman from Laurel in Prince George’s County is the second WNV-related fatality in the state so far this year. There have been 29 human cases of WNV reported this year including two deaths. – See http://patch.com/maryland/bowie/west-nile-virus-cause-laurel-womans-death-icymi-0

Michigan 09/25/15 detroitnews.com: by James David Dickson – An Oakland County woman, 81, has become Michigan’s first West Nile Virus-related death this year, the Oakland County Department of Health announced Friday morning. Oakland County hadn’t suffered a West Nile-related virus death since 2003.  – See http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/oakland-county/2015/09/25/west-nile/72796238/

Missouri 09/19/15 stltoday.com: Officials have confirmed three WNV-related deaths: two in St. Louis County and one in Pettis County. – See http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/health/two-deaths-in-st-louis-area-from-west-nile-virus/article_95ff8dba-bf77-55e7-91f2-8c201e41ffd9.html

Oklahoma 09/24/15 newsok.com: The Oklahoma State Department of Health is reporting the fourth West Nile virus death of 2015 in the state. The department says the latest death was a Kingfisher County resident. Previous deaths were reported in Rogers, Stephens and Carter counties. There have now been 53 confirmed cases of West Nile virus in Oklahoma this year — up from 18 in 2014 when there were no deaths due to the virus. – See http://newsok.com/oklahoma-has-4th-death-of-year-due-to-west-nile-virus/article/5449060

TULAREMIA (RABBIT FEVER):

tularemia.332oe998Colorado 09/22/15 canyoncourier.com: Two more human cases of tularemia have been reported in Jefferson and Clear Creek counties. – See http://www.canyoncourier.com/content/tularemia-surfaces-jeffco-clear-creek

PLAGUE:

Santa_Fe_attacks_plagu48f91501New Mexico 09/23/15 kcbd.com: The New Mexico Department of Health announced today a laboratory confirmed case of plague in a 73-year-old woman from Santa Fe County. The case was confirmed at the Department of Health’s Scientific Laboratory Division.  This is the fourth human case of plague in New Mexico this year and the second in Santa Fe County.  The woman was hospitalized and is back home recovering. The other cases in the state occurred in a 52-year-old woman from Santa Fe County, who died from the illness, and in a 65-year-old man and a 59-year-old woman, both from Bernalillo County, who have recovered. – For complete article see http://www.kcbd.com/story/30100644/human-plague-case-confirmed-in-santa-fe-county

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE (CWD):

HEADERWisconsin 09/18/15 wqow.com: by Keith Edwards –  A concern about chronic wasting disease in Eau Claire County is growing, after more deer escaped from a deer farm near Fairchild where CWD was found.  Officials confirmed on Friday that 12 deer escaped early last week from the farm. The DNR said they reportedly got out through (an) open gate. Most were captured, but three remain missing in addition to the two deer that escaped in May. The DNR said the public and media were not immediately notified of the most recent escape because they give the owner a reasonable amount of time to try to find them on his own. The DNR is now asking residents around Fairchild and Augusta to report any sightings of the deer, which all have ear tags.  After the first escape, the DNR planned to kill all of the deer at the farm to prevent any possible spread of CWD, which hasn’t happened yet due to a shortage of funding. More federal money is expected to be available Oct. 1.  – See video at http://www.wqow.com/story/30065987/2015/09/18/more-deer-escape-from-farm-where-cwd-found

Texas 09/23/15 wilsoncountynews.com: The Texas Animal Health Commission and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced that a captive white-tailed deer in a Lavaca County deer breeding facility has been confirmed positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory in College Station detected the presence of CWD in samples submitted, and the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the findings Sept. 15. The newly quarantined Lavaca County facility is a result of testing trace out animals that originated from a Medina County index captive white-tailed deer herd where the disease was first detected June 30. CWD was first detected in Texas in 2012 in free-ranging mule deer in far West Texas in the Hueco Mountains. The Lavaca County herd is the second infected breeder herd detected in Texas. – See http://www.wilsoncountynews.com/article.php?id=68201&n=section-general-news-cwd-confirmed-lavaca-county

RABIES:

imagesCAMMOSTLPennsylvania 09/24/15 Allegheny County: Members of an entire family in Wilmerding that took in two stray kittens are now being treated for potential exposure to rabies after the kittens tested positive for the virus. – See http://www.wpxi.com/news/news/local/kittens-test-positive-rabies-wilmerding-family-pos/nnm8R/

South Carolina 09/18/15 Spartanburg County: Six people in the Woodruff area have been potentially exposed to rabies because the family cat’s rabies vaccination was not current. The cat had been wounded but was not immediately taken to a veterinarian until it had bitten five family members and one other individual. On September 15th the cat tested positive for the rabies virus. – See http://www.wyff4.com/news/cat-exposed-6-people-to-rabies-in-upstate/35351186

Virginia 09/23/15 Virginia Beach: Four people who were in contact with a black and white cat at the Virginia Beach Sports Complex on Landstown Road are being treated for potential exposure to rabies after the cat tested positive for the virus. – See http://wtkr.com/2015/09/23/rabid-cat-found-at-virginia-beach-sports-complex/

West Virginia 09/21/15 Ohio County: A kitten dropped off at Long Run Pet Hospital on GC&P Road in Wheeling has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wtov9.com/shared/news/features/top-stories/stories/wtov_cat-tests-positive-rabies-ohio-county-10275.shtml

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

~~~ ANNOUNCEMENT ~~~

With the possible exception of very unusual

reports, such as a rabid human attacking

a grizzly in downtown Manhattan, the

NATURAL UNSEEN HAZARDS

blog will not be published for several months

while its blogger completes a book project.

Rare outbreak of TULAREMIA baffles health officials ~ Two sheep hunters medevaced after GRIZZLY attack in BRITISH COLUMBIA ~ Angler attacked by GRIZZLY in BRITISH COLUMBIA ~ Moose hunter medevaced after GRIZZLY attack in NORTHWEST TERRITORIES ~ NEW MEXICAN jogger attacked by BLACK BEAR ~ Elk hunter attacked by BLACK BEAR in NEW MEXICO ~ CALIFORNIA, ILLINOIS & NORTH CAROLINA confirm WEST NILE VIRUS related fatalities ~ NEW YORK resident dies of EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS ~ UTAHN dies of PLAGUE ~ EBOLA VIRUS remains in semen longer than thought ~ RABID FERAL CAT reports from NC & PA.

Cat with rabbit. Photo by Eddy Van 3000. Wikimedia Commons.

Cat with rabbit. Photo by Eddy Van 3000. Wikimedia Commons.

TULAREMIA OUTBREAK:

National 09/10/15 businessinsider.com: by Laura Zuckerman – U.S. health officials said on Thursday they were puzzled by a surge in the number of people who have contracted a rare bacterial disease usually found in rabbits that has already killed a Wyoming man and sickened dozens of people in Colorado, South Dakota and Nebraska this year. The unusually high number of cases of tularemia, sometimes called rabbit fever, have been concentrated in northeastern Wyoming and in neighboring parts of South Dakota and Nebraska and farther south in the Colorado Front Range, where there have been reported die-offs of animals like rabbits and voles that can carry the infectious disease, Wyoming health officials said. While tularemia, whose symptoms can include fever, sore throat and muscle aches, is often present in the environment, it rarely sickens more than a few people a year in Wyoming, a handful in Colorado and just a few in South Dakota, health officials said. That compares to 41 confirmed human cases so far this year in Colorado, 14 in Wyoming – the highest number in the quarter century that reliable records have been compiled – and at least 19 in South Dakota, the most since 34 people acquired the ailment in 1984, state epidemiologists said. “This is quite unusual,” South Dakota epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger said.

zoonosis_tularemia (2)The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is studying cases in those states and Nebraska to identify common factors, Wyoming State epidemiologist Tracy Murphy said. The disease is treatable with antibiotics but can be deadly. It killed an elderly Wyoming man earlier this year after causing a severe infection of his central nervous system, Murphy said. Tularemia can be transmitted to people through handling of sick animals, including pets like cats and dogs that have come in contact with infected rabbits or rodents, as well as bites from ticks, deer flies or horse flies. Infections also are linked to activities such as lawn mowing, in which people inhale bacteria from contaminated dust, or handling animal carcasses, health officials said. – For complete article see http://www.businessinsider.com/rabbit-fever-outbreak-baffles-us-health-officials-2015-9

BEAR ATTACKS:

Canada:

20091222142651GrizzlyNPSBritish Columbia 09/07/15 globalnews.ca: by Paula Baker – Two men are recovering in hospital after being attacked by a grizzly bear sow south of Fort Nelson, B.C. on Sunday. According to B.C. Conservation, the two men were legally hunting sheep when they walked over a ridge and were attacked by a grizzly bear sow. The sow was with her two cubs in an area northeast of Buckinghorse River. The hunters, who are both in their 30s and from the Peace River area, were carrying a sheep cape and meat. The men had been part of a larger party but were in a remote area about 40 kilometres west of Alaska Highway, which is accessible only by foot, helicopter or horse, said Mark West with B.C. Conservation. West says the sow was reacting “defensively” and this was not a predatory attack. In an attempt to stop the grizzly, one hunter told conservation officers he may have gotten off two shots but was unsure if he hit the bear. – For complete article and video see http://globalnews.ca/news/2206899/two-men-injured-after-bear-attack-south-of-fort-nelson/

grizzly_alaska_frBritish Columbia 09/11/15 dailytownsman.com: by Arne Petryshen – A grizzly bear attacked an angler near Canal Flats (a village at the south end of Columbia Lake) on Wednesday night. The attack occurred just off Findlay Creek Road, about eight kilometres up. Conservation Officer Joe Caravetta said the man was walking along a path and  startled a young grizzly bear at a distance of about three meters. “The bear attacked the angler, biting him on his leg and hand. The bear fled shortly and the angler made his way back to the vehicle, returned to Canal Flats and contacted 911,” Caravetta said. The man was then taken to the Invermere hospital, with non-life threatening injuries. “Conservation Officer Services and the RCMP attended at the site where the attack occurred and closed the area off and advised others in there to the incident and to leave the area,” he said. Caravetta said they determined there was no immediate threat to the public at that site at that time. Four officers attended the site Thursday morning to further investigate. “They determined that there was a large, domestic cow carcass, buried where the attack occurred,” he said. “The carcass was fairly old and consisted of mostly bones and hide. The bear was also seen by the officers and confirmed to be about a three year old grizzly — so a fairly small grizzly bear and fairly young.” Caravetta said it was at that point that a decision was made not to pursue the bear. – See http://www.dailytownsman.com/breaking_news/326678781.html

GrizzlyUSFWSNorthwest Territories 09/11/15 cbc.ca: A hunter has been medevaced to Yellowknife with serious injuries after he was attacked by a grizzly bear in the Mackenzie Mountains near Norman Wells, N.W.T. The attack happened around 11 a.m. Thursday morning. According to the RCMP, the hunter and a guide were spotting moose when the bear attacked them. The hunter and the guide didn’t see the grizzly until it made its attack. RCMP say the bear pulled the hunter down an embankment and he received “multiple injuries during the attack.” The guide fired a shot which scared the bear off and stopped the attack. The injured hunter was rescued by a helicopter, treated in Norman Wells, and then medevaced to Yellowknife for more treatment. The bear is unaccounted for at this time. – See http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/grizzly-bear-attacks-hunter-near-norman-wells-n-w-t-1.3224822

Black-Bear-Cub-and-Mom-BingFreeUseLicenseNew Mexico 09/10/15 kob.com: by Elizabeth Reed – Game and Fish officers are searching for an adult black bear that attacked a runner on a hiking trail near Los Alamos Wednesday night. The attack occurred on the Cañon de Valle trail around 7 p.m. Officers said the man was running on the trail when he encountered a female bear and her cub.  The man tried to scare the bear away by making a noise, but it charged, knocking him into a stream. The department says the bear started biting and clawing at his head.  After the bear left, the man was able to walk 2.5 miles back to his car and flag down a passing motorist, who took him to Los Alamos Medical Center. He suffered deep flesh wounds and scratches to his head, according to Game and Fish. – See http://www.kob.com/article/stories/s3902741.shtml#.VfJAG_lVhBc

BlackBearNPSNew Mexico 09/12/15 santafenewmexican.com: by Staci Matlock – State Game and Fish Department officers are searching for a black bear that attacked a 60-year-old man from Missouri who was elk hunting west of Wagon Mound, the second bear attack on a person in two days in Northern New Mexico, officials said Friday. The hunter received bite injuries to his foot through his boot as he climbed a tree to try to escape the bear. He was taken to Alta Vista Hospital in Las Vegas, N.M., where he was treated and released. The attack, which occurred Thursday near the tiny village of Ocate, marked the seventh time a black bear has attacked a human in the state this year, the highest number in the past 16 years, according to Lance Cherry, a spokesman for the Game and Fish Department. It was the fourth attack this year resulting in an injury. None of the attacks was fatal. – For complete article see http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/in-second-attack-this-week-bear-scares-hunter-up-tree/article_57453d6d-4422-5a3c-ac26-ecb9efede549.html

WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV):

California 09/10/15 pe.com: by Brian Rokos – A 77-year-old Riverside County man who died last month tested positive for the West Nile virus, the county Department of Public Health announced Thursday, Sept. 10. The man was the first person in Riverside County with the mosquito-borne virus to die since 2008, according to a news release from the department. – See http://www.pe.com/articles/county-779876-virus-riverside.html

wnv1_clip_image002Illinois 09/08/15 stltoday.com: A St. Clair County resident has become the third WNV-related fatality in the state so far this year. – For article see http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/health-med-fit/health/first-death-from-west-nile-virus-reported-in-st-clair/article_ad99eb95-b23b-5450-9cc0-59b7547b95c7.html

North Carolina 09/08/15 wral.com: State authorities on Tuesday reported the first death of 2015 from a confirmed case of WNV. The state Department of Health and Human services did not release the name, age, gender, or location of the person who died, citing confidentiality laws. However, Charles Hogan identified the patient as his father, Roscoe Hogan. Hogan said that his father died at Duke Regional Hospital on Aug. 27. The previous day, doctors told him that his father’s lab results revealed West Nile virus. Roscoe Hogan was 76 at the time of his death and had been a resident of Durham. – For complete article see http://www.wral.com/state-reports-first-2015-death-from-west-nile-virus/14884377/

EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS (EEE):

eee-threat-249x187New York 09/08/15 syracuse,com: by James T. Mulder –  An elderly Salina man diagnosed with Eastern equine encephalitis has died, according to the Onondaga County Health Department. It is the sixth reported Eastern equine encephalitis death in Central New York since 1971. The Salina man was the first person in the state and the second in the nation diagnosed this year with the potentially deadly mosquito-borne virus, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. – For article see http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2015/09/salina_man_dies_of_eastern_equine_encephalitis.html

PLAGUE:

yersiniaUtah 09/10/15 moabtimes.com: by Molly Marcello – An elderly San Juan County man died after contracting plague last month, according to the Utah Department of Health. While officials do not know exactly how the man contracted the disease, they speculate he was infected by fleas carried by rodents or cats. “The individual lived on a rural property so we’re pretty certain that it likely came from a flea bite from rodents on the property such as prairie dogs, or potentially, cats,” said San Juan County Public Health Director Worthy Glover. “[The man] had a lot of cats in [his] barn to deal with the rodents — those cats could potentially have had fleas.” – For complete article see http://www.moabtimes.com/view/full_story/26850987/article-Elderly-man-in-San-Juan-County-dies-after-contracting-plague?instance=home_news_right

EBOLA VIRUS:

ebola.stopGlobal 09/09/15 reuters.com: by Tom Miles – Isolated flare-ups of Ebola may point to a higher risk of transmission via the semen of male survivors than previously thought, undermining hopes of ending West Africa’s deadly outbreak by the end of the year. The World Health Organization’s advice is that all male survivors should be tested three months after the onset of symptoms and then monthly until they know they have no risk of passing on the virus through their semen, Bruce Aylward, head of the WHO’s Ebola response, told a news conference. But a forthcoming study in the New England Journal of Medicine, based on around 200 survivors, found that around half still had traces of the virus in their semen after six months, a clinician familiar with the study told Reuters. “The old advice of three months is no longer good,” the clinician said. “The number of people with persistent virus in their semen is much greater than expected.” The clinician, who was not authorized to speak about the study, added that the risk might not only be from sex but also from masturbation. “It’s not the sex that is dangerous, it’s the semen that is dangerous,” said Aylward, who mentioned the study during a news conference but did not give details. “How people actually get exposed, in soiled linens or whatever, is not clear.”

WHO.33454Transmission through semen may explain why a few cases continue to occur even though the outbreak has been almost completely eradicated by an intense international effort, recently bolstered by the deployment of a trial vaccine in Guinea and Sierra Leone. “This virus and this outbreak in particular has a nasty sting in the tail,” Aylward said. “It’s not finished, by a long shot.” The latest flare-up, in a village on the northern border of Sierra Leone, followed the death of a 67-year-old woman late last month, 50 days after the previous confirmed case in the region. Transmission chains are considered to have been broken after 42 days with no new infections. However, Aylward said that sexual transmission was “obviously not a huge risk, because if it were we would have seen a lot more in the areas that were hardest hit at the beginning of this outbreak.” – See http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/09/us-health-ebola-semen-idUSKCN0R922G20150909?feedType=RSS&feedName=healthNews

FERAL CAT RABIES:

North Carolina 09/08/15 abc11.com: A brown tabby feral cat that attacked and bit a man’s leg in the 500 block of East Cabarrus Street in Raleigh last week has tested positive for rabies. – See http://abc11.com/pets/cat-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-raleigh/974862/

13620Pennsylvania 09/10/15 mytwintiers.com: A feral cat that jumped out from under a car and bit the owner on her leg and arm, and the woman’s daughter on the arm, has tested positive for rabies. The incident occurred on Dietz Road,. Wilmot Township, Bradford County. – See http://www.mytwintiers.com/news/local-news/feral-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-bradford-county

CDC reports 11 human cases of PLAGUE since April 2015 ~ WYOMING man dies of TULAREMIA ~ ARIZONA and COLORADO confirm human cases of TULAREMIA ~ CALIFORNIA, OHIO, OKLAHOMA and TEXAS confirm WEST NILE VIRUS fatalities ~ RABIES reports from CT, MS & VA.

plague-warning

National wpbf.com 08/26/15: by Debra Goldschmidt – Since April 1, there have been 11 cases of human plague in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. Three of those patients have died. This is according to a new report from the CDC putting doctors on alert that the number of cases this year seems to be higher than usual. The average number of cases between 2001 and 2012 was seven, with less than one death each year. “We don’t want people to panic but we do want people to be aware of the heightened risk,” said Dr. Natalie Kwit, a veterinarian with the division of vector borne diseases at the CDC. The cases, which are required to be reported to the CDC, have been reported in six states. There have been two cases in Arizona, one in California, four in Colorado, one in Georgia, two in New Mexico and one in Oregon. The cases in California and Georgia have been linked to areas in or near Yosemite National Park in the southern Sierra Nevada, the report says. The youngest of the patients is 14 and the oldest is 79. Nine of the patients were male. – See http://www.wpbf.com/health/cdc-reports-11-cases-of-human-plague-since-april/34912136

TULAREMIA:


tularemia.88855654334Wyoming
08/21/15 trib.com: Officials believe Michael Schwope, 74, may be the first person in the state to die of tularemia this year. Schwope, of Cowley in Big Horn County,  died on August 16th after a 39-day struggle with the bacterial disease that is spread to humans by rodents, especially rabbits, as well as ticks and deer flies. His wife said he was an avid hunter, and had been bailing hay on their farm. – For complete article see http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming-man-dies-after-battle-with-rabbit-fever/article_d81c669b-11cc-5a1b-b1e8-c9e319ac33dc.html

Arizona 08/18/15 idahostatesman.com: Two human cases of tularemia have been confirmed in Coconino County. Officials say both were likely exposed from insect bites. The disease can be transmitted to humans through deer fly and tick bites. – See http://www.idahostatesman.com/2015/08/18/3944075/2-cases-of-tularemia-reported.html

Colorado 08/21/15 denverpost.com: Another human case of tularemia has been confirmed in Mesa County. Officials say the latest case may have been contracted from a deer fly or tick bite while the woman was rafting in the Ruby-Horsethief section of the Colorado River. – See http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_28679143/another-human-case-tularemia-confirmed

WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV):

080722_west_nile_generic (2)California 08/17/15 ktla.com: by Kennedy Ryan – San Bernardino County Health officials on Monday confirmed the county’s first death from West Nile virus in 2015. A total of five West Nile cases were confirmed within the county so far this year. – See http://ktla.com/2015/08/17/health-officials-report-san-bernardino-countys-1st-death-from-west-nile-virus-for-2015/

Ohio 08/18/15 cbslocal.com: The first death caused by WNV in the state in 2015 was on Tuesday in Williams County, according to the Williams County Health Department. No name was released, though the deceased was over 60 years old. – See http://bryantimes.com/news/local/confirmed-west-nile-virus-death-in-williams-county/article_3417e426-bc63-520a-a6f2-b00d06c0833d.html

Oklahoma 08/29/15 koco.com: Health officials have confirmed two WNV-related fatalities in the state so far this year. The latest death occurred in Stephens County following the death of a Carter County resident earlier this month. A total of 21 cases of WNV have been reported in the state this year. – See http://www.koco.com/news/Oklahoma-records-2nd-West-Nile-Virus-death-of-the-year/34993862

Texas 08/29/15 click2houston.com: Dallas County Health and Human Services on Friday announced an elderly person died in Irving. Officials didn’t provide gender of the octogenarian or the date of death. Dallas city officials on Tuesday announced the West Nile-related death of a person who lived near White Rock Lock. The El Paso Department of Health on Thursday announced the death of an 89-year-old man from West Nile virus-related complications. Tarrant County reported a West Nile-related death on Aug. 8. Kleberg County reported a death earlier this month related to West Nile virus. – See http://www.click2houston.com/news/fifth-person-intexas-dies-of-west-nile-virus/34995782

RABIES:

IMG4336e-L-001Connecticut 08/26/15 New Haven County: A stray cat found in a wooded area east of the Whitney Avenue and Armory Street intersection in Hamden has tested positive for rabies. – See http://wtnh.com/2015/08/26/warning-goes-out-after-stray-cat-tests-positive-for-rabies/

Mississippi 08/19/15 Rankin County: A feral kitten found in Starkville near the MSU campus has tested positive for rabies. – See http://wjtv.com/2015/08/19/rabies-found-in-starkville-kitten/

Virginia 08/27/15 Newport News: A feral cat found in the 900 block of Jefferson Avenue has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.dailypress.com/news/newport-news/dp-cat-rabies-newport-news-jefferson-story.html

BLACK BEAR attacks CALIFORNIAN on his porch ~ Unleashed DOG likely cause of BEAR attack in NEW YORK ~ ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER leaves OKLAHOMAN woman a quad amputee ~ NEW MEXICO confirms 3 human cases of TULAREMIA and a DOG with PLAGUE ~ YOSEMITE closes campground due to PLAGUE ~ RABIES reports from DE, FL & NY.

Black Bear. Wiki.org

Black Bear. Wiki.org

California 08/13/15 latimes.com: by Veronica Rocha – A 67-year-old man fought off a bear that attacked him on his front porch as it scavenged for food on the outskirts of Yosemite National Park. The man survived the attack but suffered numerous cuts to his arms, legs and body, as well as defensive wounds to his hands, said Lt. Chris Stoots of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Wardens with the agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture were searching Wednesday for the California black bear, which will be euthanized when caught, he said. The severity of the man’s injuries and the extent of the attack left wildlife officials with no other option, he said. “Bear attacks on humans are very uncommon,” he said. The attack occurred about 4 a.m. when the man walked onto his porch and was ambushed by the bear in Midpines, a community on the edge of Yosemite National Park. The bear was feeding on a bag of trash left 20 feet from the man’s front door, Stoots said. The bear tackled the man and attacked him. But the man fought back, using his legs and arms, and eventually escaped back into his house. Injured and bloodied, the man drove to the hospital, where he was in stable condition Thursday, Stoots said. The bear disappeared before authorities arrived. Drought has wiped out food sources usually found in the wilderness, driving bears into foothill communities in search of their next meals. The drought, Stoots said, will push bears to go to “great lengths to find food and water.” Stoots said people should not leave food or water unattended near a home, and they should always keep trash away from their property.  – See http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-bear-attack-near-yosemite-20150813-story.html

Bear.dog.fightNew York 08/12/15 uticaod.com: by Carolyn Bostick – A man and his dog were injured during a bear attack by the Herkimer County border, according to the Fulton County Department of Environmental Conservation. Around 5 p.m. on Tuesday, a 55-year-old man from Troy was walking his small dog in the Stewart’s Landing in Stratford, when the unleashed dog encountered a bear. Stratford is located near the Town of Salisbury. The bear attacked the dog and the man was also attacked while trying to separate the animals. The man was able to strike the bear on the nose with a stick causing the bear to run away. Both the man and his dog suffered bites, scratches and puncture wounds. The injuries to the man are not considered life-threatening, DEC officers said. – For complete article see http://www.uticaod.com/article/20150812/NEWS/150819802

ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER:


T_rmsf1 (2)Oklahoma
08/11/15 koco.com: by Morgan Chesky – It’s a holiday trip turned nightmare for a Shawnee family. A mother of two is now in a hospital and may never walk again after a disease took over her body in days. “She’s a beautiful, energetic fun person,” cousin Lisa Morgan said. “I mean nobody deserves this.” Four days after visiting Grand Lake, Jo Rogers thought she had the flu. On day five, her family took her to a hospital. “She was shaking her hands because they hurt, her feet hurt,” Morgan said. “They tested her for West Nile Virus and for meningitis.” Those results came back negative. By day six, doctors said Jo’s organs were shutting down. “By Saturday morning, her arms and feet were turning dark blue and black,” Morgan said. “It was crawling up her limbs.” And it was then someone thought to check for what may have happened just one week earlier, a tick bite that went unnoticed. The one tiny bite, enough for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever to ravage Jo’s body, forcing doctor’s to amputate her arms and legs. “Below the knee of her left leg and below both elbows of her arms,” said Morgan. “(They had) to save her life to keep the infection from getting to her vital organs.” – For video and complete article see http://www.koco.com/news/shawnee-mothers-trip-to-grand-lake-ends-with-tragedy/34661720

aaCDC-LogoBlogger’s Note: Patients who had a particularly severe infection requiring prolonged hospitalization may have long-term health problems caused by this disease. Rickettsia rickettsii infects the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels. The damage that occurs in the blood vessels results in a disease process called a “vasculitis”, and bleeding or clotting in the brain or other vital organs may occur. Loss of fluid from damaged vessels can result in loss of circulation to the extremities and damaged fingers, toes or even limbs may ultimately need to be amputated. Patients who suffer this kind of severe vasculitis in the first two weeks of illness may also be left with permanent long-term health problems such as profound neurological deficits, or damage to internal organs. – See http://www.cdc.gov/rmsf/symptoms/index.html

TULAREMIA:

tularemia.rr7788rr3New Mexico 08/14 /15 outbreaknewstoday.com: by Robert Herriman – New Mexico health officials are reporting three human cases of the bacterial infection, tularemia, in Bernalillo County, The patients, a 71-year-old man, a 39-year-old man and a 42-year-old woman, who have all recovered, contracted the disease via deer fly bites. .. In addition, officials have confirmed plague in a Santa Fe area dog, which was likely exposed to plague by infected rodents and their fleas while walking with its owner along the Santa Fe River between Frenchy’s Field and Siler. – For complete article see http://outbreaknewstoday.com/new-mexico-3-tularemia-cases-reported-in-bernalillo-county-plague-confirmed-in-santa-fe-dog-95777/

PLAGUE:

Santa_Fe_attacks_plagu48f91501Yosemite National Park 08/14/15 nbvcnews.com: by Maggie Fox – California’s Yosemite National Park has reopened one campground but is closing another to spray for fleas after a Los Angeles girl caught plague there. The child is recov ering, officials said. The park’s Crane Flat Campground, closed for four nights while teams treated rodent burrows for fleas, was reopening Friday, the California health department said. Tuolumne Meadows Campground in Yosemite will be closed from Monday to Friday next week for similar treatment after two dead squirrels were found to be carrying plague, the department said. “Although this is a rare disease, and the current risk to humans is low, eliminating the fleas is the best way to protect the public from the disease,” said Dr. Karen Smith, California’s chief medical officer. “By eliminating the fleas, we reduce the risk of human exposure and break the cycle of plague in rodents at the sites. People can protect themselves from infection by avoiding any contact with wild rodents.” – For complete article see http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/yosemite-closes-two-campgrounds-after-plague-case-n41021

RABIES:

Delaware 08/14/15 New Castle County: Thirteen people are being treated for exposure to rabies after a kitten found near Middletown tested positive for the deadly virus. State health officials say the rabies case is the eighth to be confirmed in Delaware this year. The kitten was found in mid-July. A family took care of the animal before taking it to a veterinarian. The kitten was unusually weak and died on Sunday night. The veterinary staff who handled the kitten and the family that took care of it are being treated for exposure to the virus, which is fatal if untreated. – See http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/1a469725900544508372f78d4692adb3/DE–Rabid-Kitten

6183687956_0905f1bf96_oFlorida 08/14/15 Sarasota County: The Sheriff’s Office animal services section is searching for a reportedly feral feline who attacked a man collecting his newspaper last week. At about 6:30 a.m. Aug. 5, Sam Giordano, 67, was outside his home on Salerno Street (in Venice), retrieving his newspaper, when a stray cat charged him from under his car and attacked his left leg, according to a report from animal services. The stray had attacked Giordano’s pet cat earlier that day. Giordano suffered “at least 20 large lacerations and about four puncture wounds,” according to the report. Animal services officers are trying to humanely trap the stray cat so they can monitor its behavior for signs of exposure to the rabies virus. The cat has lived in the area for about a year, according to the report. It resembles a “brown tiger looking cat.” If the stray cat is not captured by Sunday, the Sarasota County Health Department will advise Giordano on whether he needs to be tested or treated for the rabies virus, according to SSO spokeswoman Kaitlyn Johnston. – See http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20150814/ARTICLE/150819812

New York 08/12/15 Westchester County: Ossining P.D. Public Health Alert: On Monday August 10th we had an incident on Edward Street and Lafayette Avenue where a gray cat became aggressive with police officers and a few residents. The cat was captured a short while later and delivered to the Westchester County Department of Health. Today we were notified that the cat tested positive for rabies. A robo-call from the Department of Health will be going out to residents in the immediate area. If you, or someone you know, had contact with a stray gray cat in that area, and especially if you were bitten, scratched, or exposed to the cat’s saliva please call the Department of Health immediately at (914)813-5000. – See http://patch.com/new-york/ossining/aggressive-cat-tests-positive-rabies-ossining

CONNECTICUT warns TICK disease called BABESIOSIS is spreading ~ CALIFORNIA confirms first WEST NILE VIRUS death this year ~ Second COLORADAN dies of PLAGUE ~ CALIFORNIA child recovering from PLAGUE ~ COLORADO pet CAT dies of PLAGUE ~ New data shows LYME DISEASE becoming more common in MINNESOTA ~ ALASKAN mauled by GRIZZLY while jogging ~ BEAR attacks man walking on Lewis-McChord military base in WASHINGTON ~ MICHIGAN confirms third DEER found with CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE ~ EBOLA VACCINE tests 100% effective in phase III trial ~ RABIES reports from CT, NJ & PA.

Courtesy US National Park Service.

Courtesy US National Park Service.

Connecticut 08/07/15 wtnh.com: by Kent Pierce – As you make plans to enjoy the great outdoors this weekend, keep this in mind: More and more ticks in Connecticut are testing positive for a disease called babesiosis. It spreads like Lyme disease, but acts more like malaria, and scientists say this past winter’s weather has brought out a bumper crop of ticks this summer. If deer are around, deer ticks are probably around, too. For years in Connecticut, we’ve known the danger of getting Lyme disease from deer ticks. Now there is a rising new threat. “Babesiosis was first documented in Connecticut in 1988,” according to State Entomologist Dr. Kirby Stafford III. “It has been slowly spreading across the state ever since.” Now that slow spread is picking up.

tick.44958749The Agricultural Experiment Station just started testing ticks for babesiosis, and it is finding about one in seven ticks has it. Babesiosis attacks our red blood cells. The elderly are especially susceptible. “You’re talking about high fever, you’re talking chills, headache and shakes,” explained Dr. Stafford. “You know, it’s kind of like having malaria.” If untreated, babesiosis can even be fatal. Connecticut had about 400 confirmed human cases in the past two years, but many more probably had it and didn’t know it. You can also get it from blood transfusions, because no one tests donated blood for babesiosis yet. If you get bit by a tick, it’s like Lyme disease in that it takes a day for tick to infect you. So the key is to find the tick as soon as possible. Or don’t get bitten at all. “Wear long pants, tuck them into pants,” advises Dr. Stafford. “I know it sounds geeky, but it works. Use a repellant, something Deet based or a clothing repellant.” Just as important as prevention is checking for ticks. If you’ve been hiking, camping, even gardening, check yourself, your kids, and your pets for ticks and remove them with tweezers right away. – See  http://wtnh.com/2015/08/07/new-tick-disease-found-in-connecticut/

WEST NILE VIRUS (WNV):

07cd7361057a7994e7e590e1fb0d3868ed6ff5ad-1California 07/31/15 turlockcitynews.com: A senior citizen from Nevada County has been confirmed as the first human death caused by WNV so far this year. – See https://turlockcitynews.com/news/item/5284-first-human-west-nile-virus-death-reported-in-california

PLAGUE:

Colorado 08/05/15 outbreaknewstoday.com: by Robert Herriman – For the third time in two months, Colorado has reported a human plague case in a resident. Health officials with  The Pueblo City-County Health Department  confirmed an adult died from plague. This is the first Pueblo County resident to contract plague since 2004. This is the second fatality due to plague this year in Colorado. On June 8, 16-year-old Poudre High School student in Larimer County, Taylor Gaes, died from septicemic plague. . . While the investigation is still ongoing, the individual may have contracted the disease from fleas on a dead rodent or other animal. – See http://outbreaknewstoday.com/plague-strikes-colorado-for-the-3rd-time-this-year-50236/

Plague ecology, epizootic cycles, enzootic cycles

Plague ecology, epizootic cycles, enzootic cycles

California 08/06/15 ocregister.com: by Jenna Chandler – A child from Los Angeles County has contracted human plague after visiting wilderness areas in Northern California last month, including Yosemite. The child, whose age was not disclosed, is recovering after being treated in a hospital. He or she became ill after visiting Stanislaus National Forest and camping at Crane Flat Campground in Yosemite National Park in mid-July, state public health officials said Thursday. Plague – which leads to a high fever, chills, nausea, weakness and swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit or groin – is caused by a bacteria and is infectious. But it does not usually spread person to person, and human cases of plague are rare, said Dr. Karen Smith, director of the California Department of Public Health. – See http://www.ocregister.com/articles/plague-676248-health-child.html

Colorado 08/06/15 San Miguel County: – by Mary Slosson – A domestic cat tested positive for the plague and died while in isolation at the San Miguel County Veterinary Clinic in Norwood last month, the San Miguel County Department of Health and Environment announced Wednesday. Nobody in the cat owner’s family has become ill following the death. The owners brought their cat to the vet after it started showing signs of illness. The cat was isolated and lab samples were sent to state health officials, who confirmed a diagnosis of the plague. The plague is spread by infected fleas, which can be carried and transmitted through animals like squirrels, chipmunks, prairie dogs and mice. Domestic animals can become infected if bitten by an infected flea or if they eat an infected rodent. – See http://www.telluridenews.com/news/article_4673f7d4-3c8d-11e5-9a87-1b3495c373a4.html

LYME DISEASE:

green-tick-logoMinnesota 08/06/15 kimt.com: by Katie Huinker – New data is available indicating Lyme disease is becoming more common in Minnesota. It is one of 14 states that has the majority of cases in the country. The number of Lyme disease cases varies from year to year, but overall the trend shows an increase since 2000. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Health, the highest number of cases was in 2013, with more than 1,400 cases reported. Each year numbers can be very different, it depends on public awareness, infection rates in ticks and tick distribution. – See http://kimt.com/2015/08/06/new-lyme-disease-data/

BEAR:

Alaska 08/06/15 nbcnews.com: by Kathryn Robinson – An Alaskan woman is recovering after being mauled by a grizzly bear while jogging with a co-worker late Tuesday night, authorities said. Gabbriele Markel, 20, and Kaitlin Haley, 26, were running on a trail along Skilak Lake, 50 miles south of Anchorage, when an adult grizzly bear came out of the thick brush next to the trail and attacked Markel, knocking her to the ground, police said. Police told NBC News the two women work at Alaska Wildland Adventures lodge and were about three-quarters of a mile from the lodge. Police spokeswoman Megan Peters said Haley ran back to the lodge for help while the bear was still on top of Markel.

grizzleysjfksaHaley and several other employees ran back from the lodge, armed with bear spray, and saw Markel walking towards them. The employees transported Markel across the lake via boat and met with emergency officials, Peters said. “She didn’t appear to have life-threatening injuries at the time but they can turn life threatening,” Peters said. “It’s always important to get them to the hospital as soon as possible.” Markel was airlifted to Providence Hospital and staff told NBC News she was upgraded to good condition Wednesday afternoon. – For complete article see http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/alaskan-woman-mauled-bear-while-running-co-worker-n404821

Washington 08/01/15 washingtontimes.com: A man walking in a restricted area on Lewis-McChord military base near Tacoma on Saturday was attacked by a bear but sustained only some scratches. Officials now want to know why the man was in that area. – See http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/aug/1/man-attacked-by-bear-at-joint-base-lewis-mcchord/

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE (CWD):

20110816__Identity_HuntHarvestHelpMichigan 08/06/15 hollandsentinel.com: The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced that a third free-ranging deer in Meridian Township in Ingham County tested positive for chronic wasting disease. The deer was a 5-year-old doe. All three CWD-positive deer detected thus far have been discovered within a mile of one another. Genetic analyses carried out by Michigan State University’s Molecular Ecology Laboratory indicate that all three positive animals were related as part of an extended family. Previous research has shown that CWD is often transmitted within family groups because of their close contact. Hunters are critical to helping the DNR understand the prevalence and geographic distribution of the disease. ”We need individuals who have always hunted in Ingham County and surrounding counties to keep hunting,” said Steve Schmitt, DNR wildlife veterinarian in a press release. “The DNR can’t fight this disease without their support. Hunters need to have their deer checked and tested so we can determine if this disease is established over a broad area or just persisting in a local pocket.” – For complete article see http://www.hollandsentinel.com/article/20150806/NEWS/150809512

EBOLA VACCINE:

ebola_Merck_SL.CDCGlobal 08/06/15 fiercevaccines.com: by Amirah Al Idrus – Merck’s Ebola vaccine, developed in tandem with NewLink Genetics and tested in a novel “ring study,” has protected 100% of patients from Ebola infection, according to interim results published in The Lancet on Friday. In the aptly named “Ebola ça suffit,” or “Ebola, that’s enough,” trial, all vaccinated individuals were protected against Ebola infection within 6 to 10 days of vaccination. The trial, conducted by a team that includes researchers from the WHO, the Health Ministry of Guinea, and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health among others, is ongoing, with more than 4,000 patients having already received the jab. – See http://www.fiercevaccines.com/

RABIES:

This is not the kitten in either of these reports.

This is not the kitten in either of these reports.

Connecticut 08/03/15 New Haven County: A stray kitten found in the vicinity of North High and Mill streets in East Haven has tested positive for rabies. The kitten was found on July 9. Anyone in this area who may have seen or taken in any stray kittens or cats is asked to contact the department at 203-481-4233 or animal control at 203-468-3249 immediately. – See http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20150803/stray-kitten-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-east-haven

New Jersey 08/06/15 Hunterdon County: by PC Robinson – County health officials urge (Union Township) residents in the Baptist Church Road area to seek medical advice if they came in contact with a stray male calico kitten that tested positive for rabies on Aug. 4. Rabies is an often fatal disease spread through contact with an infected animal’s saliva. For more information, call 908-788-1351.

Forest_Animals_Wallpaper_-_BeaverPennsylvania 08/06/15 Lycoming County: by Marcus Schneck – A beaver  found along Pine Creek, near Ramsay, has tested positive for rabies, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The department also called for anyone who may have been bitten or exposed to saliva, fluids or tissue from a beaver to call the Lycoming County State Health Center at 570-327-3400 from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays, or 1-877-724-3258 at any time.

RED WOLF population in decline once again ~ Woman in NEW MEXICO dies of PLAGUE ~ SQUIRREL in COLORADO tests positive for PLAGUE ~ CANADIAN woman victim of BEAR attack ~ MUSKRAT in COLORADO tests positive for TULAREMIA ~ TULAREMIA found in four NORTH DAKOTA counties.

Red Wolf and pups. Courtesy US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Red Wolf and pups. Courtesy US Fish & Wildlife Service.

Southeast US 07/25/15 wral.com: by Emery P. Dalesio – A revised population estimate puts the world’s only wild population of endangered red wolves at their lowest level since the late 1990s amid recent moves to protect the bigger, predatory relatives of dogs from hunters’ misdirected bullets. Once common in the Southeast, the red wolf had been considered extinct in the wild as of 1980 for reasons including hunting and lost habitat. In 1987, wildlife officials released captive-bred red wolves into the wilds of a federal tract in North Carolina. For years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated that about 100 wolves roamed the land in coastal Dare, Hyde, Washington, Tyrrell and Beaufort counties and also drifted onto neighboring private property. Now the federal agency has drastically cut its population estimate to between 50 and 75 wild red wolves. The revision was the result of fewer breeding adult wolves producing fewer babies to replace those animals that die, FWS supervisory wildlife biologist Rebecca Harrison said. “The decrease is a reflection of two years in a row of very low pup production in combination with the standing mortality,” Harrison said. While in the past wildlife officials have found 30 to 50 pups a year, last year 19 were found and this year only seven, Harrison said. The wolves breed a single litter of pups annually that are born in the spring.

wmi.88e8e290rAn outside study last year of the red wolf recovery program by the nonprofit Wildlife Management Institute said it couldn’t determine the specific reasons for the red wolf decline. Over the past decade, there was a tripling of wolf deaths from gunshots, the report said. Illegal killings of red wolves was the leading cause of deaths over the first 25 years of the program, the report said, with shootings and poisonings making up 30 percent of their deaths. Most of the red wolf shooting deaths of breeding-aged red wolves happened during the last three months of the year just before the animals breed, the report said. Deer season also increases hunters in the forests in the fall. The threats to red wolves from gunfire have increased as coyotes — which are often confused for their bigger, endangered cousins — multiplied across the state into the red wolf’s range. North Carolina’s Wildlife Resources Commission in 2013 decided to allow coyote hunting at night on private land and under certain circumstances on public land. Conservationists said that resulted in the shooting deaths of red wolves since even experts often couldn’t distinguish them from coyotes in a distant flashlight’s glare. –  Read more at http://www.wral.com/wild-red-wolf-count-falls-as-fewer-parents-making-fewer-pups/14794393/#LKVu6mCc32VcrhaU.99

PNEUMONIC PLAGUE:

plague.322998New Mexico 07/24/15 santafenewmexican.com: by Anne Constable – State Health Department officials said Friday that a 52-year-old Santa Fe County woman died after testing positive for plague, and workers were going door to door in her neighborhood to inform other residents of the risk. But the Health Department would not release the name of the hospital where the woman was treated or the section of the county where she lived. The state’s Scientific Laboratory Division is conducting a test to confirm the woman’s suspected case of pneumonic plague, the rarest of the three forms of the bacterial disease, which is usually contracted from flea bites or rodent droppings. If the lab test proves positive, this would be the first human case of plague in New Mexico this year. Last year, there were two human cases of plague in New Mexico, and both patients — a 43-year-old woman from Rio Arriba County and a 57-year-old man from Torrance County — recovered. Between 2010 and 2014, there were nine cases in the state, three of them in Santa Fe County. Santa Fe leads the counties in New Mexico for human plague, with 59 out of 271 cases across the state from 1949 to 2014. – For complete article see http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/health_and_science/health-officials-santa-fe-county-woman-s-death-could-be/article_1bc73a49-0570-577f-8710-0e1fd23e5944.html

plague.53400445Colorado 07/25/15 kdvr.com: by Chris Jose – Jefferson County Public Health received confirmation on Friday that a squirrel located at 15th and Jackson (in Golden) tested positive for bubonic plague. Postings are being placed around the area today with information reminding citizens to take simple precautions to avoid exposure. Plague is a highly infectious bacterial disease carried by various types of wild rodents and is transmitted primarily by flea bites. Squirrels, rodents, prairie dogs and other mammals, such as rabbits and cats are susceptible to plague because they carry fleas. – For video and complete article see http://kdvr.com/2015/07/25/squirrel-in-golden-tests-positive-for-bubonic-plague/

CANADA:

BEAR ATTACK:

bear_activity_470x245Ontario 07/26/15 timminstimes.com: Ontario Provincial Police say a 60-year old woman was treated and released from hospital for injuries after being attacked by an “aggressive bear” near Matheson on Friday afternoon. Police said two women were walking in the cottage area of Watabeag Lake when they encountered the bear. The OPP news release said one of the women was attacked by the bear and sustained injuries requiring medical treatment at the Matheson hospital. The nature of the woman’s injuries was not described by police. “OPP officers attended the area and located the bear,” said the police news release. “The bear displayed aggressive tendencies toward the officers and the bear was destroyed by the officers as a result.” The woman who was attacked is from the Guelph area. Watabeag Lake is located approximately 40 kilometers south west of Matheson. – See http://www.timminstimes.com/2015/07/26/friday-afternoon-bear-attack-near-matheson

TULAREMIA (RABBIT FEVER):

muskrat3Colorado 07/24/15 denverpost.com: by Anthony Cotton – A dead muskrat found recently at the Lily Lake area in Rocky Mountain National Park tested positive for tularemia, park officials said Friday. According to Colorado health officials, as of late May, there were 11 reported human cases of tularemia. A naturally occurring bacterial disease transmitted by infected insects and ticks to rabbits, hares, muskrats, beavers and other small rodents, tularemia can also spread to humans and can cause serious clinical symptoms. – For complete article see http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_28374467/colorado-health-officials-tularemia-cases-record-breaking-pace

zoonosis_tularemia (2)North Dakota 07/24/15 valleynewslive.com: The ND Department of Health and the ND  Department of Agriculture, Animal Health Division, have received reports of two confirmed human cases of tularemia in LaMoure and Burleigh counties; one unconfirmed but likely positive human case in Stark County; a case in a squirrel from the Roosevelt Zoo in Minot; and cases in two primates from the Dakota Zoo in Bismarck. The Roosevelt and Dakota Zoos are taking precautions to protect their animals, staff and visitors from the disease. Visiting a zoo does not pose an increased risk to the general public. However, people are advised to follow guidelines against touching animals that are posted by the zoos, and to avoid direct contact with wild animals, such as rabbits and rodents, which are known carriers of tularemia. Tularemia, also known as rabbit fever, is caused by bacteria that are commonly transmitted to humans and animals by ticks and deer flies. Pets can also become infected if they consume the remains of an infected animal. Other means of infection in humans include skin contact with blood or tissue  of infected animals, inhalation of contaminated dust or aerosols, and ingestion of contaminated food or water. – For complete article see http://www.valleynewslive.com/home/headlines/Tularemia-Identified-In-Four-North-Dakota-Counties-318509531.html

RABIES:

cat-and-bat.4778t5California 07/25/15 Monterey County: A domestic cat that was reported dead on July 2nd by its owner, a City of Monterey resident, has tested positive for a strain of the rabies virus that is carried by bats. – See http://www.mercurynews.com/health/ci_28537775/monterey-health-department-confirms-rabid-cat-died-from

ALABAMA woman attacked by rabid BOB CAT ~ CANADIAN engineer survives GRIZZLY attack ~ TEXAS teen attacked by COYOTE ~ NEW MEXICO and WYOMING officials warn residents of TULAREMIA threat ~ Two ARIZONANS succumb to WEST NILE VIRUS ~ COLORADAN contracts BUBONIC PLAGUE ~ PLAGUE kills colony of PRAIRIE DOGS in UTAH ~ CDC researchers find LYME DISEASE is spreading farther south and west ~ CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE found in captive TEXAS DEER ~ OTHER RABIES REPORTS from NJ & TX.

Bobcat. Photo by Don DeBold. Wikimidia Commons.

Bobcat. Photo by Don DeBold. Wikimidia Commons.

Alabama 07/14/15 greenvilleadvocate.com: A bob cat that attacked a Sardis resident in the front yard of her Sweetwater Road home earlier in the week biting her on the arm and hip has tested positive for rabies. – For a lengthy account of the attack and how the bob cat was finally killed see http://www.greenvilleadvocate.com/2015/07/14/woman-survives-attack-by-rabid-bobcat/

GRIZZLY ATTACK:

Canada:

grizzly5British Columbia 07/17/15 cbc.ca: by Lisa Johnson – An engineer with a Vancouver logging company thought he was going to die yesterday as a mother grizzly bear tore the flesh of his arm and back, and tried to throw him in the air. But George Knoll, 41, survived thanks to quick thinking, his work boots and luck. Knoll, who works with A&A Trading, had been walking through the bush, flagging trees for logging along a creek at Burke Channel near Bella Bella, on B.C.’s Central Coast. At about 8:30 a.m. PT, he looked up and saw a mother grizzly bear and her cub. Because of the sound of the rushing water, he hadn’t heard the bear and her cub approach through the bush — nor had the bear heard him — until they were just six metres apart. “I knew I was in trouble, because of the cub,” said Knoll from his hospital bed in Vancouver Friday. Knoll said he tried to run backward and sideways to get away from the bear, but she charged him from below. “She basically tackled me,” he said. He tried to play dead, curling in a ball with his arms protecting his neck, but her teeth were ripping into the flesh of his arm and back as she tried to toss him “like a rag doll.” “I thought in my head, ‘This is it, I’m going to die, this thing is going to eat me,'” he said. “I thought, ‘Oh man, what a shitty way to go … I’m not going to see my daughter and my wife again.”

mapThe bear’s face was so close to his, Knoll could smell and feel her breath. “I remember distinctly the bad breath on that bear, smelled like rotten fish. Dirty fur.” Playing dead wasn’t working, he realized. “At that point … I thought I better do something, so I kicked her in the face.” Knoll kicked the bear twice in the snout with his caulk boots, the heavy spiked work boots often worn by loggers. She stopped attacking him immediately, retreating to pace and huff. There was blood on her snout, but Knoll didn’t know if it was hers, or his own. Another lunge, another kick, and the mother bear was gone. Help came quickly. Knoll radioed his partner to tell him of the attack, and he used a pressure bandage as a tourniquet on his left arm to stop the bleeding. He remembers being “delirious” walking the 200 metres uphill to a helipad, where the work crew’s helicopter airlifted him to Bella Bella, before he was flown to Vancouver. Sometime on the flight, he was able to call his wife. “I told her I loved her,” he said. Knoll is doing well in Vancouver General Hospital, with puncture wounds but no serious internal injuries, said Sgt. Len Butler of the B.C. Conservation Officer Service. Conservation officers are still investigating, but since the mother bear had a cub with her, they consider the attack to be “defensive” — meaning she wasn’t trying to prey on the engineer, and won’t be killed. –  For video see http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/grizzly-bear-attack-near-bella-bella-b-c-ends-with-kick-to-the-face-1.3157849

COYOTE ATTACK:

thumbnailcoydogTexas 07/15/15 nbcvdfw.com: by Julie Fine – Coyote sightings in North Texas are not all that unusual, but attacks are rare. Zane Weddell, 15, said he was walking out of a movie at the Cinemark Tinsletown Sunday night in Grapevine when he was bitten by a coyote. “I was like shocked there was a coyote,” he said. Zane said he and his girlfriend walked around the back of the theater, and the coyote came around the bushes. “It came at me, came at us, so I grabbed my shoe and I threw it at it, hit it, and it came back, came at me, so I like kicked it with my foot. And it got hold of my foot and shook me around a little bit, and it like let go and took off,” he explained. His mother was waiting for him at the front of the theater, so he ran to her car, where she saw blood on his foot. They then went to the emergency room, where Zane had five shots. – For video and complete article see http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/Coyote-Bites-Teen-in-Grapevine-Movie-Theater-Parking-Lot-315116341.html

TULAREMIA (RABBIT FEVER):

New Mexico 07/13/15 kob.com: State officials today confirmed a case of tularemia in a 51-year-old Los Alamos County male resident who was hospitalized but has since recovered. Officials say there have also been 33 cases of the disease this year in pet dogs and cats from Bernalillo, Los Alamos, Santa Fe, Taos and Torrance counties. “Tularemia can cause serious illness in both people and pets.  I encourage people around the state to follow the same precautions they would to avoid contracting plague, which includes not handling sick or dead animals,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary, Retta Ward, MPH. “People can get tularemia if they handle infected animals such as rabbits or rodents or if they are bitten by infected ticks or deer flies.” Tularemia is a potentially serious illness in people that occurs in many parts of the United States. It is caused by a bacteria found in animals, especially rodents, rabbits and hares. Tularemia can also make dogs and cats sick and they can give the disease to people. Other possible, but much less likely, exposures are through contact with infected soil or water or by inhaling the bacteria. – For complete article see http://www.kob.com/article/stories/s3850814.shtml#.VaR0vflVhBc

tularemia33987ir6Wyoming 07/17/15 outbreaknewstoday.com: State officials issued a tularemia warning today after recent human and animal cases reported in northern Wyoming.  “Recently, we are hearing about rabbit die-offs and have seen tularemia cases confirmed in two Weston County residents, in dead voles near Devils Tower in Crook County and in a Washakie County cat,” said Dr. Tracy Murphy, state epidemiologist with WDH. “Tularemia is always a concern but is not common. To see this activity is concerning.” – For complete article see http://outbreaknewstoday.com/tularemia-reported-in-weston-county-wyoming-residents-98356/

WEST NILE VIRUS:

07cd7361057a7994e7e590e1fb0d3868ed6ff5ad-1Arizona 07/17/15 azcentral.com: by Anthony Marroquin – Two Valley residents have died after contracting the West Nile virus, according to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health. The first victim was a man in his early 60’s and the second was a woman in her 70’s, the department said. Both were from the East Valley and had previous underlying health conditions. These were the first two deaths from West Nile virus in the 2015 season, according to the department.  – For complete article see http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2015/07/17/maricopa-county-west-nile-virus-deaths/30306825/

BUBONIC PLAGUE:

Colorado 07/20/15 themountainmail.com: by Paul J. Goetz – Chaffee County Health Department reported Friday that bubonic plague has been confirmed in a Chaffee County resident recently. The unidentified individual was hospitalized and has survived following intravenous antibiotic treatment, Susan Ellis, county health director, wrote in a press release. Identification of the disease was made by the state public health laboratory July 10. Colorado Department of Public Health reports that 17 human plague cases have been confirmed in Colorado since 2005. This would make the 18th case. Investigation revealed that the family dog became ill with symptoms consistent with plague a few days prior to the onset of illness in the dog’s owner. The dog has recovered and test results from the dog are pending. – For complete article see http://www.themountainmail.com/free_content/article_9a5d5224-2e9a-11e5-8845-abc56056813b.htmldog-hunting-01-medium

Utah 07/14/15 ksl.com: by Amy Joi O’Donoghue – Bubonic plague wiped out a colony of Utah prairie dogs in a remote area of the Uintah Basin, and health officials are urging residents to refrain from handling any of the dead rodents they may find. The plague outbreak, which is not uncommon in prairie dogs, was discovered last week in an area called Coyote Basin, southeast of Vernal, said Dax Mangus, wildlife program manager in the northeastern region for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. The outbreak killed a colony of between 60 and 80 prairie dogs. Mangus said the outbreak occurred in an area under monitoring because it is a site for the reintroduction of the black footed ferret, which prey on the dogs. The black footed ferret, North America’s only native wild ferret species, has been listed as endangered since 1967 and 90 percent of its diet is prairie dogs. – For video and complete article see http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=35498521

LYME DISEASE:

green-tick-logoNational 07/15/15 nbcnews.com: by Maggie Fox – Lyme disease is gradually spreading from the Northeast and becoming more common farther south and west, government researchers reported Wednesday. A county-by-county look at the infections shows it’s found in four times as many counties now as it was in 1993, a team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. It’s not clear why – experts say climate change, forest regrowth and the spread of deer might all be factors. What is clear is that many more people than before need to watch out for the ticks that carry the infection, CDC says. “Over time, the number of counties identified as having high incidence of Lyme disease in the northeastern states increased more than 320 percent: from 43 (1993-1997) to 90 (1998-2002) to 130 (2003-2007) to 182 (2008-2012),” Kiersten Kugeler of the CDC’s center in Fort Collins, Colorado, and colleagues write in their report. The northern coast of New Jersey is no longer a hotbed of new Lyme infections, but now east-central Pennsylvania is, they said. Lyme disease is caused by bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, carried by blacklegged ticks. It was first recognized in the Lyme, Connecticut, area in 1975 and it’s spread from there to the northeast and to the mid-Atlantic and upper Northwest regions and elsewhere. The CDC found high-risk counties in 17 states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota. – For complete article see http://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/lyme-disease-spreads-government-report-finds-n392626

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE:join

Texas 07/01/15 TX Parks & Wildlife: Media Release – A two-year-old white-tailed deer in a Medina County deer breeding facility has been confirmed positive for Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). This is the first case of CWD detected in captive white-tailed deer in Texas. CWD was first detected in Texas in 2012 in free-ranging mule deer in the Hueco Mountains in far West Texas. The Medina County tissue samples submitted by the breeder facility in early June as part of routine deer mortality surveillance revealed the presence of CWD during testing at the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) in College Station. The National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the findings on Tuesday, June 30. – For complete release see http://tpwd.texas.gov/newsmedia/releases/?req=20150701a

OTHER RABIES REPORTS:

New Jersey 07/15/15 Middlesex County: A feral cat found in the vicinity of Deans Lane and Route 1 in South Brunswick has tested positive for rabies. – For complete article see http://www.mycentraljersey.com/story/news/local/middlesex-county/2015/07/15/cat-tests-positive-rabies-south-brunswick/30206899/

78483649Texas 07/15/15 Wichita County: A litter of nine puppies advertised on Craigslist in Henrietta were all potentially exposed to the rabies virus. An individual from Wichita Falls who adopted one of the puppies was bitten and the puppy later tested positive for rabies. Of the 9 puppies exposed to rabies, 8 have been accounted for. The Health Department is still looking for the ninth puppy. Three of the located puppies are in Wichita Falls. Please contact the Health District immediately at 940-761-7833 or 7824 if you took one of these puppies home or was exposed to the litter in Henrietta. Also, if you know of someone that handled the puppies or took one home, please have them contact the Health District immediately. – For photo and complete article see http://www.texomashomepage.com/story/d/story/wichita-falls-puppy-tests-positive-for-rabies/31938/pLqt6PB8UkSLISqk0NMb5w

CALIFORNIA children attacked by COYOTES in four separate incidents ~ MASSACHUSETTS woman is one of the first to be diagnosed with MIYAMOTOI ~ TEXAS confirms first human HANTAVIRUS case of 2015 ~ What you need to know about three types of the PLAGUE

Coyote. Photo by Christopher Bruno. Wikimedia Commons.

Coyote. Photo by Christopher Bruno. Wikimedia Commons.

California 07/10/15 abcnews.go.com: by Kaylee Heck – California residents are being warned to be more vigilant about coyotes after four attacks on children in the past month in the Irvine area. The most recent incident — this past Sunday — involved a 2-year-old child. “It was a child, about approximately 2 years old, was in the garage. They opened the garage up and the coyote came in and actually got the child on the neck area and part of the cheek,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife Lt. Kent Smirl told ABC’s Los Angeles station KABC.

thumbnailCAQSN1GHThe California Department of Fish and Wildlife reported four incidents involving coyotes and young children in the past month in Irvine, where the children have either been bitten or scratched by a coyote. All four had minor injuries from the attacks. “These incidents highlight the importance of communities working together to eliminate sources of food that may attract wildlife to neighborhoods,” Capt. Rebecca Hartman said. “When coyotes are fed, either intentionally or unintentionally by food being left out, they can become a public safety threat.” Trappers have recently humanely euthanized five coyotes in the area and one was linked back to an attack through its DNA, KABC reported. Officials are concerned that coyotes are losing their natural fear of humans because they’re now associating humans with food. If a coyote approaches and looks aggressive, pick up small children and pets and throw rocks to deter the animal, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife said. The only reported coyote-caused fatality in the state, according to the Department of Fish and Wildlife, occurred in 1981 when a 3-year-old girl was killed. – For video and links to related reports see http://abcnews.go.com/US/california-town-high-alert-coyotes-attack-children/story?id=32355667

MIYAMOTOI:

Deer Tick

Deer Tick

Massachusetts 07/11/15 southcoasttoday.com: by Sandy Quadros Bpwles – Elizabeth Moniz immediately knew something was wrong. The 43-year-old North Dartmouth resident ate dinner as usual one evening in August 2013. But when she sat down after the meal, she felt “flu-ish’’ and spiked a fever. “I didn’t think it was something I ate,’’ she said. “I knew something was wrong to spike a fever that quickly. I went from cool as a cucumber to a temperature of 102.’’ A bite seemed a logical deduction, she said, especially because she spends much of her time outdoors as education/outreach director for Lloyd Center for the Environment in Dartmouth. She ruled out bees, hornets and wasps, because of her medical history: She would have suffered an immediate and extreme allergic reaction. And she didn’t think it was a tick, because she faithfully checks for ticks and pulls them off before they have time to do damage. Ticks have to remain attached for at least 24 hours before they transmit disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Still, when she visited a walk-in clinic, her blood work was tested for suspected tick-borne diseases. Doctors assumed she had anaplasmosis, a tick-borne disease. But the results revealed that “something was off,’’ the doctor told her.

Dog Tick

Dog Tick

The doctor referred her to Dr. Hanumara Ram Chowdri, an infectious disease specialist with a practice in New Bedford. Chowdri performed a blood test and, after looking for certain antibodies in her system, diagnosed her with an infection caused by the bacterium Borrelia miyamotoi, called miyamotoi. The disease is spread by deer ticks, which were the culprit, despite her aggressive efforts to search for and shower them off. Deer ticks can also spread Lyme disease, anaplasmosis and babesiosis. Dog ticks may spread tularemia and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. This was no ordinary diagnosis presented to Moniz. At the time, she was one of only five people in Massachusetts and 17 across the country to be diagnosed with the infection, which was originally identified in Russia, she was told.

ticks.posted.imagesA recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine described miyamotoi as something that “may be an emerging tickborne infection in the northeastern United States.’’ Patients diagnosed with the disease had a range of symptoms, including headache, fever and chills. The symptoms can become severe, with more than 50 percent of patients in the study diagnosed with sepsis, a potentially deadly inflammation caused by an infection. The study suggests that “10 percent of tick-exposed New England residents may have been exposed to miyamotoi’’ but not realized it because the condition may have symptoms similar to other tick-borne conditions. For every 4,000 Lyme disease cases, at least 200 cases were likely miyomoti, said Dr. Sam R. Telford III, a professor in the Department of Infectious Disease and Global Health at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in Grafton, who co-authored the study that identified miyomoti. Chowdri has since treated six to eight cases, with varying severity of symptoms, which range from a severe headache to others who are “quite sick-looking.’’ In the Northeast, 25 percent of the 51 patients diagnosed with the infection required hospitalization, he said. – For complete article see http://www.southcoasttoday.com/article/20150711/NEWS/150719854/101077

HANTAVIRUS:

imagesCAULAVUQTexas 0710/15 amarillo.com: by Vanessa Garcia – Texas health officials confirmed Monday that, for the first time this year, a Texas Panhandle resident has contracted hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, a virus that some rats and mice carry. “It’s rare, but half of the reported cases for hantavirus (in Texas) … since 1993 were residents from the Texas Panhandle and South Plains area,” said Christine Mann, spokeswoman for Texas Department of State Health Services. Hantavirus is carried by certain species of rats and mice that shed the virus in their urine, droppings and saliva. HPS can cause death if not treated. The resident who had contracted the disease was not from Potter or Randall counties, said Hope LaFreniere, city of Amarillo community relations assistant. The person with the HPS case recovered, health officials said. – For complete article see http://amarillo.com/news/local-news/2015-07-10/texas-panhandle-residents-contracts-hantavirus

PLAGUE:

Santa_Fe_attacks_plagu48f91501Global cdc.gov: There are three types of plague caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis: Bubonic, which is the most common; Pneumonic; and Septicemic. The bacterium is usually transmitted  through the bite of infected rodent fleas. Less common exposures include handling infected animal tissues (hunters, wildlife personnel), inhalation of infectious droplets from cats or dogs with plague, and, rarely, contact with a pneumonic plague patient. Those who reside in or travel to Africa, central Asia and the Indian subcontinent, northeastern South America and parts of the southwestern United States should especially be familiar with how they are transmitted and their symptoms. – See http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2016/infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/plague-bubonic-pneumonic-septicemic

COYOTE attacks two CALIFORNIANS ~ PUERTO RICO confirms 4000+ cases of CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER ~ Study confirms 1000+ human cases of PLAGUE in U.S. since 1900 ~ Wildlife professional believes MOUNTAIN LIONS are returning to NORTHEASTERN U.S. ~ RABIES reports from FL, MO, RI, SC & TX.

Coyote. Courtesy National Park Service.

Coyote. Courtesy National Park Service.

California 12/31/14 mercurynews.com: by Natalie Neysa Alund – An apparently sick coyote that bit a man and a 5-year-old boy in the city of Fremont’s Mission San Jose neighborhood and was later fatally shot by police has tested negative for rabies, police announced Tuesday. The animal’s necropsy took place Monday and test results from a state lab were released early Tuesday, police spokesman Geneva Bosques said. Police shot and killed the coyote on Dec. 25 after it bit a 42-year-old man and the 5-year-old boy on separate streets about a mile apart that day. The coyote, who appeared injured, was initially spotted about 5:40 p.m. in the 3100 block of Starr Street, just several blocks from Highway 680, where he bit the man on his leg. An hour later, a man jogging on Montevideo Circle was chased by the coyote, although he was able to kick off the animal and escape uninjured. As officers were searching for the animal, dispatch received a call from a local hospital reporting that a 5-year-old boy had been bitten by a coyote while walking on Via Oporto. The animal was eventually found wandering on Nido Court and fatally shot in order to prevent further attacks. The coyote was taken to Tri-City Animal Shelter, where it was tested for rabies. None of the people bitten suffered life-threatening injuries. Bosques, who said the attack appears to be random, said the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife will continue to try and determine why it attacked. – See http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_27229429/coyote-who-bit-two-people-fremont-tests-negative

CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER:

chikungunya-symptoms66734Puerto Rico 12/31/14 foxnews.com: Puerto Rico has logged more than 4,000 confirmed cases of infection with the Chikungunya virus this year, the Health Department said Wednesday. Lab tests confirmed 118 new cases during the Nov. 12-Dec. 9 period, chief epidemiologist Brenda Rivera Garcia said, which brought the total to 4,185, pending data for the rest of December. “Most of the cases confirmed in this report are in the western area of the island,” she said in a statement. “It is important that residents in this region’s municipalities take steps to protect themselves and to eradicate mosquito breeding sites both around houses and work areas.” Chikungunya, like dengue fever, is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito . . . The Chikungunya virus is responsible for five deaths on the island this year, according to the Puerto Rico Health Department. – See http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/health/2014/12/31/puerto-rico-reports-more-than-4000-chikungunya-cases/

PLAGUE:

BubonicPlague4456675National 12/29/14 healio.com: According to researchers at the CDC, human cases of plague continue to occur consistently in the United States, particularly in the rural Southwest. During a 113-year study period, from 1900 to 2012, 1,006 cases of human plague were reported in the US. Of 913 cases for which information on the clinical form of the disease was available, 82% were bubonic, 8% pneumonic, 10% septicemic, 1% pharyngeal and less than 1% gastrointestinal. Of 305 cases for whom exposure information was available, 106 individuals had been bitten by a flea, 91 recently had handled an animal, 64 had butchered or skinned an animal, and 21 had sustained a bite or scratch or were exposed to the cough of an animal. According to the researchers, the most significant current risk factor for plague is direct or indirect human contact with rodents and their fleas. – See http://www.healio.com/infectious-disease/zoonotic-infections/news/online/%7Ba3f39c57-b943-4bb8-90d4-3137144f79ea%7D/plague-continues-to-pose-threat-in-us-particularly-in-southwest

MOUNTAIN LIONS:

MountainLionNortheastern U.S. 01/02/15 centralmaine.com: A Vermont animal tracker known nationally for her expertise in tracking cougars believes the big cats will eventually return to the Northeastern United States and neighboring parts of Canada, but she says the region won’t see large numbers of them anytime soon. The forests of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and upstate New York have ideal cougar habitat, meaning plentiful forest cover and large animals to sustain a cougar population, said Sue Morse of Jericho, the science director and founder of the organization Keeping Track. “Back in the ’80s, I just looked at that huge expanse of country between the Rockies, the western slope of the Rockies and here, and I thought to myself ‘how can this happen?’” said Morse. Since then, scientists have tracked the animals moving out of South Dakota into Midwestern states. Cougars also are moving north into Manitoba, the Canadian province to the west of Ontario, which Morse considers their most likely route back to the Northeast. “We need our apex carnivores in a big way,” Morse said. “We need them for the health of our forests. Our forests are being ravaged by too many deer in some places.” The animals are known by a variety of names: mountain lion, puma, panther, catamount. Vermont’s last known cougar was killed in 1881 in Barnard. – For complete article see http://www.centralmaine.com/2015/01/01/cougar-expert-cats-could-return-to-new-england/

RABIES:

2011RabiesAwarenessWeekFlorida 12/23/14 Jackson County: A horse stabled west of Marianna off U.S. 90 has tested positive for rabies. Another horse and three dogs on the property have been quarantined as a precaution. – See http://www.jcfloridan.com/news/article_a1e1cc72-8af4-11e4-824c-cfd866e432ca.html

Missouri 12/31/14 Texas County: A stray cat that was taken in by a county resident and later became ill has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.ozarksfirst.com/story/d/story/texas-county-under-alert-after-rabid-cat-found/25352/JrGmp7q9a0Sguo0L0HIdMg

Rhode Island 12/30/14 Providence County: A pony stabled in the vicinity of Sherman Avenue in Lincoln has tested positive for rabies. Anyone who may have come in contact with the animal should call the Rhode Island Department of Health at (401) 222-5960. – See http://wpri.com/2014/12/30/pony-put-down-after-testing-positive-for-rabies/

South Carolina 12/29/14 Lancaster County: Two people, who live near the town of Kershaw, have been advised to seek immediate medical advice after an outside pet cat tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/12/29/5412962/2-lancaster-co-residents-exposed.html#.VKdwgnvy0tU

Texas 12/23/14 Kerr County: Four people are being treated for potential exposure to rabies after a pet cat died from the virus in Kerrville. – See http://www.kens5.com/story/news/local/public-safety/2014/12/23/rabies—animals-cats-vaccine/20779433/