Tag Archives: Powassan virus

MASSACHUSETTS warns residents of rare but serious TICK-BORNE POWASSAN VIRUS ~ RABID WOODCHUCK report from CT.


Massachusetts 07/20/16 capecodextension.org: Media Release – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has received reports of nine cases of Powassan virus in Massachusetts residents since the beginning of 2013 . These occurred in Barnstable, Middlesex, Essex and Norfolk Counties. Powassan virus is a rare but serious disease that is transmitted by the bite of a black legged tick, also known as the deer tick; the specific type of Powassan virus that occurs in Massachusetts is known as Deer Tick Virus. A research project was initiated this spring by Cape Cod Cooperative Extension and the Laboratory of Medical Zoology at UMass-Amherst to conduct surveillance for Powassan virus in the deer tick population on Cape Cod at six locations. Powassan infected ticks were detected in Falmouth, Brewster, Orleans and Truro. Infection rates ranged from 2.5 – 10.5%.

pow-by-state-2004-2013Although most people who are exposed to Powassan virus likely never feel ill, others may become severely ill with meningitis (inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord) or encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). Signs and symptoms include fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, loss of coordination, speech difficulties and seizures. Approximately 10% of people with this severe form of the disease will die and survivors may have long-term health problems. There is no specific treatment once infection with Powassan virus has occurred. Treatment consists of supportive care, rest and fluids to prevent dehydration. – For complete release see http://www.capecodextension.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Press-Release-_Powassan.pdf


400px-RK_0808_278_Marmota_monax_groundhog_ReinhardKraaschWCConnecticut 07/21/16 myrecordjournal.com: by Molly Callahan –   The Meriden Health and Human Services Department is warning residents to take safety precautions around wild animals after a woodchuck recently tested positive for rabies. Health Director Lea Crown said Meriden Animal Control responded to an incident recently during which a woodchuck in the Baldwin Pond area came in contact with a person. Animal control officers sent the animal to the Department of Public Health laboratory in Rocky Hill where it tested positively for rabies. – See http://www.myrecordjournal.com/news/meriden/meridennews/9124928-154/meriden-health-department-cautions-residents-after-rabid-woodchuck-discovered.html


Another NEW JERSEY resident attacked by a COYOTE ~ LYME DISEASE a risk in all PENNSYLVANIA counties ~ Death in COLORADO confirmed as HANTAVIRUS ~ POWASSAN VIRUS alerts in MASSACHUSETTS and PENNSYLVANIA

Coyote. Courtesy US National Park Service.

Coyote. Courtesy US National Park Service.

New Jersey 04/20/15 nj.com: by Myles Ma – For the second time this month, a man walking his dog has been attacked by a coyote in Bergen County. On Sunday night, a coyote attacked a Norwood resident as he walked his dog on McClellan Street and D’Ercole Court, Norwood Police said in a Nixle alert just before midnight. Police did not immediately respond to a call seeking more information. Earlier in April, a rabid coyote attacked a 77-year-old man in Saddle River. Authorities tracked down and euthanized the animal. – See http://www.nj.com/bergen/index.ssf/2015/04/coyote_attacks_norwood_man_police_say.html


green-tick-logoPennsylvania 04/21/15 pa.gov: MEDIA RELEASE – For the first time, blacklegged (deer) ticks have now been observed in all 67 counties of Pennsylvania, according to researchers at The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The range expansion took place in just decades, as similar studies conducted in the mid-1960s found no specimens. DEP’s Vector Management Program, in collaboration with the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, published the findings on the risk of tick-borne disease in Pennsylvania in the Journal of Medical Entomology on April 14. The study was authored by the DEP Vector Management team of Mike Hutchinson, Maria Strohecker, Andy Kyle, and Matt Helwig and Indiana University of Pennsylvania Professor of Biology Dr. Tom Simmons. The research found Ixodes scapularis, the blacklegged tick, and Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease, present in all 67 counties of Pennsylvania. The research also found that in recent years the blacklegged tick has become imbedded in western Pennsylvania, though the prevalence rate of Lyme disease still remains relatively lower than the rest of the state. The blacklegged tick is the primary carrier of Lyme disease, an infectious disease caused by the bite of an infected tick that can cause fever, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, and joint pain. – For complete release see http://www.media.pa.gov/Pages/Health-Details.aspx?newsid=196


Hantavirus-OutbreakColorado 04/21/15 journal-advocvate.com: by Deanna Herbert – Health officials from the Northeast Colorado Health Department have just learned that a former resident of Phillips County, who passed away in January, died from hantavirus. The death, which was originally attributed to influenza, was confirmed as hantavirus late last Friday, April 17, through testing performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While hantavirus is not new to Colorado — the state health department has documented over 90 cases across the state since they began tracking the disease in 1993 — it is the first time hantavirus has been identified in a northeast Colorado resident. This case marks the third case of hantavirus in Colorado this year; all have been fatalities. “In this instance the attending physician did not suspect hantavirus at the time of death as the individual had tested positive for Influenza A via rapid testing in the hospital,” said Dr. Tony Cappello, NCHD’s public health director. – For complete article see http://www.journal-advocate.com/sterling-local_news/ci_27954487/phillips-county-death-attributed-hantavirus-northeastern-colorado-health-department


Deer tick.

Deer tick.

Massachusetts 04/18/15 telegram.com: by Elaine Thompson – A rare but potentially fatal tick-borne disease has been reported in Massachusetts the past two years. Five cases of Powassan virus, which is transmitted by the black-legged or deer tick, which also causes Lyme disease, have been reported in the state between 2013 and 2014, Dr. Catherine M. Brown, the state public health veterinarian said. “A couple of cases” were reported in previous years. None so far this year. “The way we generally learn about diseases is when they’re listed as being reportable. When doctors are required to call and tell us. Powassan was not reportable and there was not a really good access to testing until quite recently,” she said. The virus was first diagnosed in 1958 in Powassan, Ontario, in a 5-year-old boy who died from encephalitis. The first case in the U.S. was reported in 1972, in a New Jersey woman. To date, there have been more than 60 cases of Powassan in the U.S., mostly in the Great Lakes region and the Northeast, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms can include headache, fever, vomiting, weakness, confusion, memory loss, seizures and long-term neurologic problems. Powassan is more dangerous than Lyme, a bacterial disease that can be successfully treated with antibiotics, if caught early. There is no treatment for Powassan virus. People with severe conditions are usually hospitalized to receive intravenous fluids, respiratory support or medications to reduce brain swelling. There are two forms of PV: non-neuroinvasive, that has a higher recovery rate; and neuroinvasive, the most dangerous, which can lead to encephalitis, meningitis and death. The cases reported in Massachusetts are neuroinvasive. The fatality rate of the more serious form is between 5 and 25 percent, according to some experts. – For complete article see http://www.telegram.com/article/20150418/NEWS/304189712/101116

dont_feed_the_ticksPennsylvania 04/18/15 poconorecord.com: by Stacy M. Brown – While New Jersey authorities appeared stunned by the death of a 51-year-old Warren County woman who contracted the deadly Powassan virus, Pennsylvania officials and experts said the tick-borne virus isn’t on its way to the Keystone State. It has already been here. “Pennsylvania had one confirmed case of the Powassan virus in 2011,” said Wes Culp, the deputy press secretary for the state Department of Health. “We have not had any confirmed cases in the state since then.” While Tadgh Rainey, the Hunterdon County Public Health Division director, told NJ.com that the Powassan virus “has no business being here in New Jersey,” Culp said Pennsylvania health experts have continued to monitor the virus. The state Department of Health works with local health partners and communicates with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to identify potential health risks to the public, Culp said. “We are aware of the Powassan cases in the northeast United States and will continue to keep abreast of the disease and review the CDC guidance on the matter,” he said. State health officials said that because Powassan is a rarely identified arboviral infection that’s familiar to most clinicians, they’ve distributed information on the virus and also encouraged health care providers to consider the diagnosis when seeing patients with meningoencephalitis. – For complete article see http://www.poconorecord.com/article/20150418/NEWS/150419362

Military base employee attacked by BEAR in WASHINGTON ~ Researchers say 2012 death of TENNESSEE boy due to La Crosse virus ~ Second HANTAVIRUS fatality in COLORADO this year ~ POWASSAN VIRUS found in CONNECTICUT ~ CALIFORNIA reported record number of WEST NILE VIRUS deaths in 2014 ~ Two New EBOLA VACCINES pass early tests ~ FOLLOW-UP REPORT: COYOTE that attacked NEW JERSEY man was RABID ~ Other RABIES reports from PENNSYLVANIA (2).

Black bear. Courtesy Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

Black bear. Courtesy Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

Washington 04/16/15 Q13RFox.com: A civilian employee working in a training area at Joint Base Lewis-McChord was attacked by a bear. He was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. Base officials closed Engineer Bluff on the Lewis Main training area Thursday afternoon. – See http://q13fox.com/2015/04/16/joint-base-lewis-mcchord-employee-injured-in-bear-attack-on-base/


lacrosse6647Tennessee 04/17/15 healthday.com: by Steven Reinberg – The death from encephalitis of a 6-year-old Tennessee boy has led researchers to a better understanding of the mosquito-borne virus that killed the child. La Crosse virus, transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito, often causes no symptoms. But severe cases may involve encephalitis, a type of brain inflammation usually triggered by infection. “When [the La Crosse virus] does cause disease, it can cause fatal illness or make children very sick,” said Amy Lambert, a research microbiologist with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The disease is almost exclusively among children,” added Lambert, lead researcher of the new paper published in the May issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. In this case, the 6-year-old Union County boy was hospitalized in July 2012 after suffering two seizures and other symptoms associated with viral encephalitis. His condition deteriorated rapidly, and he was dead within five days. Illness from La Crosse virus, which was identified in 1963 in La Crosse, Wis., is uncommon. Cases each year in the United States number just 80 to 100, Lambert said. Still, these infections have increased in parts of the southeastern United States, including eastern Tennessee, where the boy was living, the CDC pointed out. “Historically, the known center of La Crosse virus activity was in the Midwest and Atlantic states,” the researcher said. Possible reasons for the increase in infections in the Southeast include more of the virus-carrying mosquitoes — known as Aedes triseriatus — or a new more potent strain of La Crosse virus in this area, Lambert said. – For complete article see http://consumer.healthday.com/general-health-information-16/bites-and-stings-news-65/tennessee-boy-s-death-highlights-mosquito-borne-virus-698496.html




Colorado 04/11/15 durangoherald.com: by Chase Olivarius-Mcallister – The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment confirmed Friday that a La Plata County resident has died after becoming infected with hantavirus – a rare but often deadly disease carried by deer mice. Spokesman Mark Salley said it is the second confirmed case of hantavirus in the state this year. In both 2015 cases, the disease was fatal. San Juan Basin Health Department sent samples to CDPHE’s laboratory in Denver for testing earlier this week. Since 1993, the state health department has documented more than 90 cases of hantavirus in Colorado, and more than 40 percent of people died from the infection. – For complete article see http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20150410/NEWS01/150409612/La-Plata-County-resident-dies-from-hantavirus-


tickhabitat33Connecticut 044/09/15 foxnews.com: An untreatable, and sometimes fatal tick-borne disease is turning up in parts of southern Connecticut, according to one expert. Dr. Theodore Andreadis, head of The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, told WCBS 880 that the Powassan virus has symptoms similar to those of Lyme disease, including headache, nausea and fever. Once contracted, there is no treatment for the virus, and the disease can often be fatal, Andreadis said. While there have been no reported human cases in the areas, Andreadis said that people who venture into wooded areas may encounter deer carrying ticks. “These ticks will transmit this virus when they feed within a matter of hours, whereas with Lyme disease, for example, ticks generally have to feed up to two days before they’re capable of transmitting it,” Andreadis told WCBS 880. The virus can often be symptomless before often infecting the nervous system and causing encephalitis and meningitis. Survivors can develop neurological symptoms such as muscle wasting and memory problems, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. – See http://www.foxnews.com/health/2015/04/09/untreatable-tick-borne-virus-found-in-conn/


080722_west_nile_genericCalifornia 04/09/15 mercurynews.com: by Christopher Weber – California saw a record number of deaths from West Nile virus last year, and the state’s drought may have contributed to the spike in infections, according to health officials. Thirty-one infected people died in 2014, the most since California began recording West Nile cases in 2003, the state Department of Public Health said Wednesday. There were 801 Californians who tested positive for the virus — coming close to the record of 880 cases a decade ago. Orange County recorded the highest number of cases, with 263. It’s possible the drought had a role in the increased West Nile activity because birds and mosquitoes, which spread the virus, were drawn to the same few water sources, said Dr. Karen Smith, director of the health department. “As birds and mosquitoes sought water, they came into closer contact and amplified the virus, particularly in urban areas. The lack of water could have caused some sources of water to stagnate, making the water sources more attractive for mosquitoes to lay eggs,” Smith said. – For complete article see http://www.mercurynews.com/health/ci_27881160/california-saw-record-number-west-nile-deaths-2014


ebola88394Global 04/08/15 nytimes.com: by Denise Grady – Two new Ebola vaccines have passed an important test, protecting monkeys against the strain of the virus responsible for the current deadly outbreak, researchers reported on Wednesday. Only one dose was needed, and there were no apparent side effects. The vaccines have not yet been tested in people, but safety trials in healthy volunteers will probably begin early this summer, said Thomas W. Geisbert, an Ebola expert at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and the senior author of a report published on Wednesday in the journal Nature. Tests in nonhuman primates are an important step, because those animals are far more closely related to humans than are other lab animals.

The study of the new vaccines involved 10 macaques. Eight were vaccinated, and two, as controls, were not. The vaccinated animals showed no signs of side effects from the vaccine, Dr. Geisbert said. On the 28th day after the vaccines were given, all the monkeys were injected with Ebola virus from the current outbreak. No vaccinated monkeys became ill, but the unvaccinated ones both died within a week. Thomas W. Geisbert, an Ebola expert at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, in his office. Credit Michael Stravato for The New York Times The two new vaccines are improved versions of an older one that was licensed to Merck and is now being tested for efficacy in people in Liberia. The older vaccine can cause unpleasant side effects like fever and pain in joints and muscles. (Another vaccine, licensed to GlaxoSmithKline, is also being tested in West Africa, and has not had serious side effects.) – For complete article see http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/09/health/2-new-ebola-vaccines-pass-important-early-test-researchers-say.html?emc=edit_tnt_20150408&nlid=57949252&tntemail0=y



(See “NEW JERSEY resident attacked by COYOTE” posted April 8, 2015)

New Jersey 04/08/15 northjersey.com: by Marina Villeneuve – SADDLE RIVER — A local man bitten by a coyote on Monday said he was feeling “fine” Wednesday while undergoing preventive treatment for rabies, as authorities confirmed that the coyote had indeed been rabid. Police and state wildlife staff had tracked down and euthanized the coyote soon after it bit John Zeug, 77, as he worked in his garden. They also had discovered its nearby den and found dead coyote pups there. But Saddle River officials and police continued to urge residents not to leave small children or pets unattended outdoors as they continue to check the area for any other sick wildlife. – For complete article see http://www.northjersey.com/news/coyote-that-attacked-saddle-river-man-tests-positive-for-rabies-1.1304810


Pennsylvania 04/13/15 Erie County: A barn cat in Washington Township that began to show signs of paralysis in its legs has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.erietvnews.com/story/28787152/erie-county-5731289-very-cute-child-with-a-cat-in-armscat-tests-positive-for-rabies

Pennsylvania 04/14/15 Bucks County: A feral cat found in West Rockhill Township has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.njherald.com/story/28803111/feral-cat-in-suburban-philadelphia-diagnosed-with-rabies

Rare TICK-borne POWASSAN VIRUS claims life of MAINE artist ~ RABIES reports from FLx3, NJx2, NCx2, OH, & VA.

tickhabitatMaine 12/24/13 Knox County: by Jackie Farwell – Marilyn Ruth Snow visited her local hospital on Nov. 9 with a tiny, stubborn tick embedded in her shoulder blade. Two days later, the active and healthy 73-year-old, a Rockland area watercolor artist better known as Lyn, would speak her last coherent words with her family. “After that she became delirious and she was in and out of consciousness,” said her daughter Susie Whittington. “Then she was gone.” Snow, of South Thomaston, died last Wednesday at Maine Medical Center in Portland. The next day, test results confirmed the rare Powassan virus in her body, making Snow Maine’s first documented case of the often deadly tick-borne disease in nearly a decade. Nationally, just 50 cases of the Powassan virus have been reported over the past 10 years. Snow’s family wants others to be aware of the disease, a viral infection first recognized in the town of Powassan, Ontario, in 1958. The virus can cause fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion and seizures and may also lead to brain swelling, a devastating complication that kills 10 percent of those who develop it, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Snow was among the 10 percent. About half of those who survive the infection suffer permanent neurological symptoms such as memory problems, facial tics and blurred vision. There is no vaccine or treatment other than keeping patients comfortable and hydrated during hospitalization. – For complete article and photo see http://www.sunjournal.com/news/maine/2013/12/24/rare-powassan-virus-spread-ticks-claims-life-rockl/1470237

(L to R) Woodchuck tick (ixodes cookei) and Deer tick (ixodes scapularis). Courtesy CDC

(L to R) Woodchuck tick (ixodes cookei) and Deer tick (ixodes scapularis). Courtesy CDC

Author’s Note: According to an article by Kay Lazar published in the 12/26/13 issue of The Boston Globe: “Powassan typically is spread by the woodchuck tick, but disease investigators are concerned that the more common deer tick may be the culprit in the Maine and Massachusetts cases, raising concerns because deer ticks are prevalent throughout the Northeast, already inflicting widespread misery as the major carrier of Lyme disease.” – See http://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2013/12/26/severe-tick-disease-investigated-massachusetts-and-maine-patients/0PibkI9uYSuuYSiSs5wogN/story.html


Florida 12/21/13 Bay County: A raccoon killed in a neighborhood between the west ends of Venetian Way and Kristanna Drive in Panama City has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wjhg.com/news/headlines/Rabid-Raccoon-Killed-North-of-Venetian-Way-in-the-City-of-Panama-City-236876061.html

942697_645012738846086_1436755408_nFlorida 12/20/13 Palm Beach County: A Boca Raton woman who fought off two raccoons while walking her dogs on December 19th received 19 puncture wounds in the struggle, but her dogs remained unscathed. The incident occurred on 105th Avenue South. The raccoons were chased off by a nearby resident, but the woman is getting post-rabies exposure treatment as a precaution. – See http://www.cbs12.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_12010.shtml

Florida 12/19/13 Martin County: A raccoon that bit an adult male on December 15th at a private ranch off Kanner Highway between Stuart and Indiantown has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.theglobaldispatch.com/florida-raccoon-that-bit-man-in-martin-county-tests-positive-for-rabies-47834/

5731289-very-cute-child-with-a-cat-in-armsNew Jersey 12/23/13 Gloucester County: A cat found in Williamstown has tested positive for rabies and four individuals at a Collingswood residence are being treated for potential exposure to the virus. – See http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2013/12/23/cat-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-camden-county/

New Jersey 12/20/13 Gloucester County: A raccoon that bit a dog near Centre City School in Mantua on December 11th, and a fox captured in Monroe Township on December 19th, have both tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.nj.com/gloucester-county/index.ssf/2013/12/two_gloucester_county_animals_test_positive_for_rabies.html

Photo_TobiasMercer_WCNorth Carolina 12/20/13 Guilford County: A raccoon found on New Hanover Drive in Greensboro has tested positive for rabies. This is the 19th case of rabies confirmed in the county this year. – See http://www.news-record.com/news/article_252e8216-69cf-11e3-9a31-001a4bcf6878.html

dog_and_skunk312North Carolina 12/18/13 Davidson County: A skunk that repeatedly attacked a dog tied outside in its yard in Lexington on December 15th has tested positive for rabies. This is the eighth case of rabies reported in the county this year. – See http://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20131218/NEWS/312189975/1074/NEWS?Title=Davidson-County-reports-8th-case-of-rabies

Cat-and-BatOhio 12/20/13 Columbiana County: A 12-month-old child and his siblings are receiving post-rabies exposure treatment following an incident that occurred in Salem on November 12th. Two cats in a home caught a bat and tore it apart, leaving pieces on the kitchen floor which were found by the boy. One of the pieces ended up in the child’s mouth. The bat could not be tested for rabies, but the children are being treated as a precaution. Because of the family’s socio-economic status, the medication is being provided by the manufacturer at no charge. – See http://www.salemnews.net/page/content.detail/id/569671/Children-treated-for-rabies-exposure.html?nav=5007

0714Raccoon_Procyon_lotor_4Virginia 12/20/13 York County: The Peninsula Health District has issued a Rabies Alert for residents in the vicinity of Calthrop Neck Road and Quarter Track in the Tabb section after a raccoon tesed positive for the virus. – See http://www.wavy.com/news/local/raccoon-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-yc


Two BEARS attack three people and a third raids a hiker’s camp in separate reports from three CANADIAN provinces ~ NEW YORK officials confirm two cases of POWASSAN VIRUS ~ WEST NILE VIRUS report from TEXAS ~ RABIES reports from FLx2, GA, NJ, SC, & TX.

Polar, Black, & Grizzly bears. Wikispaces. Bing free use license.

Polar, Black, & Grizzly bears. Wikispaces. Bing free use license.


angry-polar-bear2Manitoba 11/01/13: A polar bear attacked two people in the town of Churchill just after 5:00 CDT this morning. The first person, Bill Ayott, 69, left the safety of his home when he heard a commotion as the bear confronted two other people, but he attracted the bear and it attacked him instead then left as a vehicle approached. Later that morning, a woman, age 30, was also attacked and injured by a polar bear. Ayotte and the woman were both hospitalized. Conservation officers tracked and shot the bear, killing it and another bear as well. – For article and video see http://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/two-polar-bears-shot-after-attack-injures-two-people-in-churchill-1.1523639

This is the second polar bear-on-human attack in the town of Churchill in the past two months. In September, Garett Kolsun, 40, was attacked while walking home early on Saturday morning, the 7th. He, like Ayott, managed to walk away, but not before he was badly  bitten, clawed, and in need of medical attention (See this blog – CANADIAN’s cellphone helps him survive POLAR BEAR attack – posted 09/11/13).

bear-attack.grizzlyAlberta 10/31/13: A hunter with a license to bag black bear went into a remote area near the Chain Lakes southwest of Calgary last Sunday and took a shot at what turned out to be a grizzly. After about 20 minutes, he decided to track it, and it found him. Though bitten several times and struggling to survive with a crushed wrist, he managed to free his knife and thrust a mortal stab into the grizzly’s throat. Then he returned to his vehicle and drove several hours through a storm to the town of Nanton where a service station attendant administered first aid and called an ambulance. From there, he was taken to a hospital in Calgary. Officials have not ruled out the possibility that the hunter could face charges if the grizzly’s death proves to be something other than self-defense, in which case he could be fined $100.000.00 and jailed for up to two years.  – See http://www.torontosun.com/2013/10/31/alberta-hunter-stabs-grizzly-bear-survives-vicious-attack

blackbear_1721930c-133Quebec 10/31/13: Within the past two weeks, rescuers found Marco Lavoie, 44, barely clinging to life in the Canadian wilderness. About three months ago, Lavoie left home on what he anticipated would be an eight week hike across the Lake Matagami region of northwestern Quebec.  But sometime in August a bear entered his camp, ate his food, and destroyed his survival equipment. He was experienced so his family wasn’t worried  until ten days ago when, on October 21st, they called provincial police. Rescuers said he might have lasted another 24 to 48 hours, but not much longer. It’s been snowing up there for two or three weeks now. – See http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/the-canadian-press/131031/man-found-after-three-months-the-woods-stranded-bear-attack

Powassan Virus:

Deer tick.

Deer tick.

New York 10/31/13 Putnam County Dept of Health: Officials have confirmed two human cases of Powassan Virus, a tick-borne disease. Like Lyme disease, POW is transmitted through the bite of an infected deer tick, but POW can be transmitted in as little as 15 minutes. Most Lyme disease infections require the tick to be attached for more than 24 hours. Also, POW is a viral rather than a bacterial infection like Lyme disease, so antibiotics are useless in treating it. Since 2001, New York has reported 16 human cases of POW, five of them in Putnam County. – See http://www.putnamcountyny.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/10-31-13-Powassan-.pdf

West Nile Virus (WNV):

West_Nile_TexasTexas 11/01/13 Dallas County: Officials have confirmed the 15th human case of WNV this year in a resident of ZIP code area 75204. – See http://www.dallasweekly.com/news/metro/article_7f2d58b0-4318-11e3-aa75-0019bb30f31a.html


Florida 10/31/13 Hernando County: A raccoon killed in Brooksville by two vaccinated dogs has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.wtsp.com/news/article/342875/8/Raccoon-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-Brooksville

Raccoon-SiedePreis-smFlorida 10/31/13 Palm Beach County: A raccoon picked up last Sunday by animal control officers in the 3000 block of Churchill Drive in Boynton Beach after a resident reported that it looked sick has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/rabid-raccoon-in-boynton-beach-prompts-rabies-warn/nbdTc/

Georgia 11/01/13 Hall County: A raccoon that was in contact with two dogs in the Goble Drive area of the county has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.cbsatlanta.com/story/23854079/rabies-alert-in-hall-county

skunk245mn2New Jersey 11/01/13 Middlesex County: A skunk killed by a vaccinated dog in the vicinity of Mershon Lane and Krebs Road in Plainsboro has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.mycentraljersey.com/article/20131101/NJNEWS14/311010037/Skunk-killed-by-dog-Plainsboro-tests-positive-rabies?nclick_check=1

imagesCAQVTCKPSouth Carolina 11/01/13 Aiken County: A raccoon captured October 27th in the Cherry Hill Drive vicinity of the City of Aiken has tested positive for rabies. This is the second rabid raccoon found in the city in the past two weeks. – See http://www.wrdw.com/home/headlines/Second-raccoon-test-positive-for-rabies-230246321.html?ref=321

Looking-for-Kittens-001Texas 10/31/13 McLennan County: A stray kitten that was hit by a car in Waco last week and then bit a Good Samaritan who rescued it has tested positive for rabies. The Good Samaritan is being treated for exposure to the virus. – See http://www.freestonecountytimesonline.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7704:rabies-found-in-kitten-in-waco&catid=52:community


CDC study finds FERAL CATS are main domestic animal linked to HUMAN RABIES EXPOSURE ~ ALASKAN HUNTING GUIDE mauled by BROWN BEAR ~ NEW YORK teenager dies of POWASSAN VIRUS ~ CDC finds only 1 in 10 cases of LYME DISEASE reported ~ EEE & WNV reports from DE, NH, & NJ.


National 08/18/13 usatoday.com: by Elizabeth Weise – Efforts to care for abandoned cats could mean more humans will be exposed to rabies, researchers at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say. For 30 years, the main domestic animal linked to human exposure to rabies in the United States has been the cat. In the past 10 years, the number of feral cat colonies has exploded as animal-rights groups fight to end the capturing and killing of strays. Those two trends could be on a collision course, says Charles Rupprecht, director of research for the Global Alliance for Rabies Control, who was senior author of the CDC study. Dogs were the primary domestic carrier of rabies until the 1970s, when roundups of strays and vaccination programs eradicated canine rabies. That hasn’t happened with cats. “We didn’t think it was OK to have (stray) dogs, but we think it’s OK to create artificial cat colonies where they’re exposed to wildlife that can transmit rabies,” Rupprecht says.

cdc_logoApproximately 300 rabid cats are reported each year in the United States, says Jesse Blanton, a CDC epidemiologist. The CDC estimates that 16% of people in the United States who undergo rabies treatment are exposed to the deadly virus from cats. They must be treated with a series of shots. Human deaths from rabies are rare in the United States — two or three a year — and there have been no deaths linked to cats in decades. The issue is part of a debate over how to deal with unwanted cats and their offspring. There are 74 million owned cats in the United States, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Estimates on the number of feral cats vary from 60 million to 150 million. – For complete article, including comments on TNVR debate, see http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/08/17/feral-cats-colonies-rabies-risk/2665359/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+usatoday-NewsTopStories+%28News+-+Top+Stories%29

Bear Attack:

Brown bear.

Brown bear.

Alaska 08/17/13 adn.com: by Nathaniel Herz – The National Guard helicopter flew slowly through mountains north of Fairbanks in a layer of clear air between two blankets of clouds. Its destination: a circle of slowly falling flares, glowing green in the flight crew’s night-vision goggles, marking the campsite of the victim of a bear mauling. The flares, attached to parachutes, had been dropped by an airplane flying ahead of the helicopter in the Brooks Range north of Anaktuvuk Pass. It was part of a mission that led to the dramatic rescue of hunting guide James Tuttle early Friday morning, two days after he was attacked by a brown bear. After returning to Eielson Air Force base outside Fairbanks, Tuttle was taken by ambulance to a local hospital, where the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported he was in stable condition Saturday.

AnaktuvukPass_AKAn Air National Guard pilot and medic recounted the mission in interviews Saturday, describing their hair-raising flight to the campsite, their landing in a dense patch of brush and their pickup of Tuttle — who parajumper Chris Bowerfind described as being in good spirits and cracking jokes despite looking like “he’d gone a couple rounds with a UFC fighter.” Details of the hunting trip, and the mauling, were still sketchy, however. Tuttle is listed as a “head guide” on the website of Arctic North Guides, which is owned by Phil Byrd. Byrd, whose business is based in King Salmon, could not be reached for comment Saturday. Bowerfind, who was one of two medics helping pick up Tuttle, said the guide told him he had been attacked by a female brown bear while he was walking alone between his campsite and the carcass of a caribou killed by the hunting party a half-mile away. Tuttle was mauled Wednesday but poor weather kept away rescuers from the North Slope Borough and the Alaska State Troopers, said Maj. Keenan Zerkel, who coordinated the mission for the National Guard. . . Bowerfind said Tuttle told him that the bear that attacked him was familiar and even had been nicknamed by the hunters. “This was a known bear — he said he sees it every camping trip,” Bowerfind said. Tuttle told Bowerfind he was walking to the caribou carcass when the bear attacked him. – For complete article see http://www.adn.com/2013/08/17/3030046/national-guard-pilot-medic-recount.html

Powassan Virus:

arbovirus-bannerNew York 08/17/13 dailyfreeman.com: Health officials have confirmed a 17-year-old who collapsed and died in Poughkeepsie had contracted the tick-borne Powassan virus. The disease is fatal in 30 percent of cases and there is no known treatment. There have been 39 deaths in the US since 2008 attributed to Powassan, named images542487after a town in Ontario where it was first observed. Scientists say a person can be infected 15 minutes after a tick attaches, but symptoms do not appear for one to three weeks afterwards. – For complete article see http://www.dailyfreeman.com/articles/2013/08/17/news/doc520f70d66dbd1465488059.txt

Lyme Disease:

lyme-awareness5128National 08/19/13 cdc.gov: Preliminary estimates indicate that the number of Americans diagnosed with Lyme disease each year is around 300,000. The preliminary estimates were presented Sunday night in Boston at the 2013 International Conference on Lyme Borreliosis and Other Tick-Borne Diseases. This early estimate is based on findings from three ongoing CDC studies that use different methods, but all aim to define the approximate number of people diagnosed with Lyme disease annually. Each year, more than 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported to CDC, making it the most commonly reported tick-borne illness in the United States. The new estimate suggests that the total number of people cdc_logodiagnosed with Lyme disease is roughly 10 times higher than the yearly reported number.  This new estimate supports studies published in the 1990s indicating that the true number of cases is between 3- and 12-fold higher than the number of reported cases. – For complete news release see http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p0819-lyme-disease.html

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

delawarehealth_logoDelaware 08/18/13 DE Health: State officials have confirmed that two sentinel chickens in the Cypress Swamp area of Sussex County have tested positive for EEE. See http://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/php/alerts/dhan100.html

nh-medicaidNew Hampshire 08/19/13 NH Dept of Health: State officials have confirmed that mosquitoes trapped in Exeter have tested positive for EEE. This is the first finding of EEE in the state this year.  This is in addition to the 6 batches of mosquitoes that have tested  positive  for WNV so far this season in New Hampshire. – See http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/media/pr/2013/08-aug/08192013eee.htm

NJDOH-LogoNew Jersey 08/16/13 state.nj.us: State officials have confirmed the state’s first human case of WNV in a 55-year-old male from Burlington County. He was hospitalized and now is at home recovering.  He was exposed while gardening and conducting other outdoor activities around his home. WNV has been identified among mosquitoes in all New Jersey counties except Cumberland and Salem. – See http://www.state.nj.us/health/news/2013/approved/20130816a.html


Second RABID lactating RACCOON found in D.C.’S Georgetown neighborhood, but no CUBS found ~ Other RABIES reports from FL, NJ, NCx2, & VA ~ NEW HAMPSHIRE man positive for rare JAMESTOWN CANYON and POWASSAN VIRUSES ~ Another POWASSAN report from NEW YORK ~ OHIO resident hospitalized with symptoms of LA CROSSE ENCEPHALITIS ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS reports from MAx2, & NC ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CA, CO, CT, DE, ILx4, MA, NE, NV, NH, NM, NY, PA, SD and CANADA: ONTARIO.

Photo by Tobias Mercer. Wikimedia Commons.

Photo by Tobias Mercer. Wikimedia Commons.

District of Columbia 07/29/13 DC Department of Health: A lactating raccoon found in the Georgetown neighborhood tested positive for rabies on July 29th. It’s likely that her cubs, which were not found, are also infected with the virus. Another lactating rabid raccoon was found about three blocks away in the vicinity of 34th and R streets, NW, ten days ago. – See http://georgetown.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/rabies-confirmed-in-another-georgetown-lactating-raccoon

Other Rabies Reports:

Little Brown Bat 2Florida 07/30/13 Duval County: Health officials have issued a Rabies Alert after a bat in the Mandarin neighborhood of Jacksonville tested positive for rabies. The alert area is bordered on the south by Julington Creek at the Duval and St. Johns county line, north by Loretto Road at San Jose Boulevard, west by Orange Picker Road at Mandarin Road and east by Julington Creek Road at Aladdin Road. – See http://jacksonville.com/community/mandarin/2013-07-30/story/mandarin-rabies-alert-follows-rabid-bat-discovery

angry-foxNew Jersey 07/31/13 Ocean County: A fox that bit a 4-year-old girl at her home in Lakewood on Saturday has tested positive for rabies. Police said the fox scratched the girl’s arm, leg, and lips before a man kicked the animal away. It then hid under a deck but attacked police and animal control officers when they arrived. Police shot the fox at the scene. – See http://www.app.com/article/20130730/NJNEWS/307300108/Fox-bit-Lakewood-girl-had-rabies?nclick_check=1

North Carolina 07/30/13 Guilford County: A Rabies Alert has been issued after two new rabies cases were reported. A fox found on Whipporill Drive in Greensboro, and a raccoon found on Bentham Road in Gibsonville have both tested positive for the virus. – See http://myfox8.com/2013/07gray-fox54216/30/new-rabies-cases-reported-in-guilford-county/

North Carolina 07/30/13 Durham County: A fox that attacked a vaccinated dog in the backyard of the Tilley family in Bahama on July 11 has tested positive for rabies. Mrs. Tilley, then 9-months pregnant, was potentially exposed to the virus when she came in contact with blood while checking her dog, which had been bitten on the mouth. Both of the Tilley’s were treated as a precaution. – See photos, video, and complete article at http://www.wral.com/expectant-mother-exposed-to-rabies-virus-in-durham-county/12722682/

grounded%20batVirginia 07/31/13 Loudoun County: Reports that several teenage girls handled an injured or dead bat at the Potomack Lakes Sportsplex at 20280 Cascades Parkway in Sterling has officials concerned that the teenagers may have been exposed to rabies. Anyone who had contact with the bat should seek immediate medical advice. – See http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/loudoun-officials-seek-teens-who-handled-a-bat/2013/07/31/4f25d0f2-fa52-11e2-a369-d1954abcb7e3_story.html

Jamestown Canyon Virus (JCV) & Powassan Virus Cases:

hillsborough cty NHNew Hampshire 08/01/13 Hillsborough County: State health officials have confirmed that a male resident of the county has tested positive for both Jamestown Canyon (JCV) and Powassan viruses. This the first time either of these vector-borne diseases has been identified in the State.  JCV is transmitted by infected mosquitoes and Powassan is transmitted by infected ticks. “While this is our first announcement of Jamestown Canyon virus and Powassan virus in New Hampshire,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DHHS, “these have been in the U.S. for a while and Powassan was found in Maine and Vermont previously so this is not entirely unexpected.

deerwhitetailnpsBecause these viruses are very rare, there is not a lot known about the illness they cause, where they are located in the environment, and how many people may have already been infected. JCV is a mosquito-borne pathogen that circulates widely in North America primarily between deer and a variety of mosquito species, but it can also infect humans. Reports in humans thus far of JCV are unusual and have been confined to the Midwestern and northeastern states. Most reported illnesses caused by Jamestown Canyon virus have been mild, but moderate-to-severe central nervous system involvement has been reported.

Blacklegged tick

Blacklegged tick

Powassan virus infection is caused by an arbovirus, which is similar to the mosquito-borne West Nile virus, but it is transmitted to people by infected ticks. Fewer than 60 cases of the disease have been detected in the United States and Canada since its discovery in 1958. In New Hampshire, Ixodes scapularis, or the blacklegged tick or more commonly deer tick, is capable of transmitting the virus to people. A tick needs to be attached to a person for a sufficient amount of time before it can cause disease. The time interval for Powassan virus is not known, but it is likely shorter than the time needed for Lyme disease (24–48 hours). Some people who are infected may experience mild illness or no symptoms. Powassan virus can also infect the central nervous system and cause brain inflammation. – For complete press release see http://www.dhhs.state.nh.us/media/pr/2013/08-aug/08012013-viruses.htm

Another Powassan Report:

saratoga county_NYNew York 08/01/13 Saratoga County: A county resident is recovering from Powassan virus, which is a tick-borne illness that has killed 30% of those infected statewide since 2004. There is no treatment for the disease. – See http://life.nationalpost.com/2013/08/01/deadly-tick-borne-powassan-virus-surfaces-in-new-york-state-kills-30-of-those-infected/

La Crosse Encephalitis (LACV):

An Aedes triseriatus, commonly known as the "treehole mosquito".

An Aedes triseriatus, commonly known as the “treehole mosquito”.

Ohio 07/31/13 Delaware County: A resident of Ostrander has been hospitalized and health officials say the patient’s symptoms indicate La Crosse Encephalitis, a mosquito-borne virus, will be the final diagnosis. – For complete article see http://www.dhhs.state.nh.us/media/pr/2013/08-aug/08012013-viruses.htm and for further information about LACV see http://www.cdc.gov/lac/

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

d98b45080e6bba0549d1647bc320576aMassachusetts 07/31/13 Hampshire County: Public Health officials have confirmed that a horse stabled in Belchertown has tested positive for EEE. This is the first case of EEE in a horse statewide so far this year. – See http://www.lowellsun.com/news/ci_23769067/first-2013-case-eee-mass-found-belchertown-horse

EEE54fgh84Massachusetts 07/30/13 Hampshire County: Health officials have confirmed that mosquitoes trapped in the town of Amherst on July 23rd have tested positive for EEE.– See http://www.wwlp.com/dpp/news/massachusetts/eee-found-in-western-mass-mosquitoes

Eastern-Equine-EcephalitisNorth Carolina 08/01/13 Cumberland County: State health officials have confirmed that a 5-year-old female quarter horse stabled in the county was euthanized on July 24th testing positive for EEE. This is the state’s fifth case of EEE and the third in the county so far this year. – See http://www.wral.com/state-s-fifth-case-of-eastern-equine-encephalitis-reported/12730264/

West Nile Virus (WNV):

CA-Sacramento-YoloCalifornia 07/30/13 Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito & Vector Control District: Sacramento County: 2 human cases, 74 dead birds and 204 mosquito samples, 1 horse, 2 chickens have tested positive for WNV to date. Yolo County: 1 human case, 43 dead birds, 138 mosquito samples, 1 chicken have tested positive for WNV to date. – See http://www.fightthebite.net/west-nile-virus-activity/

Larimer_County.COColorado 08/01/13 Larimer County: Health officials have confirmed two new human cases of WNV in the county, bringing the statewide total to three. Two people, one from Loveland and the other from Fort Collins, have been hospitalized with serious forms of the infection. – See http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_23769288/west-nile-virus-larimer-county-2-seriously-ill

Fairfield cty CTConnecticut 08/01/13 Fairfield County: Health officials have confirmed that mosquitoes trapped in Stamford on July 22nd have tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/West-Nile-Virus-Detected-in-Mosquitoes-in-Stamford-217925011.html

DNRECDelaware 07/30/13 DE Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control: Officials announced Monday that sentinel chickens at monitoring stations in Leipsic (Kent County) and Georgetown (Sussex County) have tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.sacbee.com/2013/07/30/5607612/west-nile-virus-detected-in-sentinel.html

contactusidphIllinois 08/01/13 Bay and Midland counties: Crows found in Bay City and Hope Township have tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.mlive.com/news/bay-city/index.ssf/2013/08/west_nile_virus_now_found_in_b.html

Lake cty ILIllinois 07/31/13 Lake County: Health officials have confirmed that mosquito batches collected in Deerfield and Lake Villa Township have tested positive for WNV. – See http://lakezurich.patch.com/groups/summer/p/west-nile-virus-found-in-lake-county-mosquito-pools

Zn map_of_naperville_ilIllinois 07/31/13 DuPage and Will counties: Mosquitoes trapped in Seager Park at 1163 Plank Road in Naperville have tested positive for WNV this week. – See http://naperville.patch.com/groups/politics-and-elections/p/west-nile-virus-found-again-in-mosquitoes-at-naperville-park

macon cty_ILIllinois 07/30/13 Macon County: Health officials have confirmed that 23 batches of mosquitoes trapped in the county have tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.wandtv.com/story/22963309/west-nile-virus-in-macon-county

Hampshire_County_MAMassachusetts 07/31/13 Hampshire County: Health officials have confirmed that mosquitoes trapped in Northampton on Tuesday have tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.gazettenet.com/home/7868640-95/west-nile-virus-found-in-mosquitoes-in-northampton-eastern-equine-encephalitis-in-amherst

Douglas_County.NENebraska 07/29/13 Douglas County: Health officials have confirmed the county’s first human case of WNV this year in an elderly male. This is the 4th human case of WNV in the state so far this year. – See http://www.omaha.com/article/20130729/LIVEWELL01/130728832/1016

imagesNevada 07/30/13 NV Department of Agriculture: Officials have confirmed that a mosquito trapped in Carson City has tested positive for WNV. In addition, WNV-infected mosquitoes have been found in Washoe, Douglas, and Lyon counties. On Monday, of 54 Washoe County water bodies tested, insects in six of them tested positive for WNV. Three water areas in Lyon County’s Mason Valley also tested positive. – See http://www.kolotv.com/news/headlines/West-Nile-Virus-Confirmed-in-Washoe-County-217474521.html

hillsborough cty NHNew Hampshire 08/01/13 Hillsborough County: Health officials have confirmed that two batches of mosquitoes trapped recently in the town of Pelham have tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.dhhs.state.nh.us/media/pr/2013/08-aug/08012013-wnv.htm

san juan cty NMNew Mexico 07/30/13 San Juan County: Health officials announced Monday that a 13-year-old boy has been diagnosed with WNV. He was hospitalized but is now at home recovering. This is the first human case of WNV reported in the state this year. – See http://www.demingheadlight.com/ci_23763217/west-nile-virus-reported-new-mexico?source=most_viewed

Oswego_County_svgNYNew York 07/31/13 Oswego County: Health officials have found evidence of WNV in mosquitoes collected July 24th near the village of Central Square. – See http://oswegocountytoday.com/?p=123481

lehigh cty PAPennsylvania 07/31/13 Lehigh County: State DEP officials reported today that a mosquito trapped in Salisbury Township has tested positive for WNV. This week, 23 mosquitoes tested positive for WNV in the county. – See http://salisbury.patch.com/groups/around-town/p/west-nile-virus-found-in-salisbury

SD-CA4MR6ELSouth Dakota 07/30/13 SD Department of Health: As of 23 July, health officials have confirmed 12 human cases of WNV in the state. Counties with WNV detections (human or animal) include Brookings, Brown, Buffalo, Codington, Davison, Dewey, Edmunds, Faulk, Hand, Hughes, Jones, Lincoln, Marshall, Meade, Minnehaha, Pennington, Sanborn, Spink, Union and Walworth. – See http://doh.sd.gov/diseases/infectious/wnv/


algoma publichealthOntario 07/3/13 Algoma Public Health: Lab analysis of two dead birds found in Sault Ste. Marie on July 17th has confirmed the birds of WNV infection. – See http://www.sootoday.com/content/news/details.asp?c=59967