Tag Archives: Rabies

Spray for MOSQUITOES that carry ZIKA VIRUS kills millions of HONEYBEES ~ MOSQUITOES carrying ZIKA VIRUS confirmed in FLORIDA ~ NEVADA county reports 2nd case of ST.LOUIS ENCEPHALITIS ~ WEST NILE VIRUS deaths in MS, ND & TX ~ RABID CAT reports from CA & PA.

 

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Image courtesy of U.S.D.A.

South Carolina 09/02/16 cnn.com: by Sandee LaMotte – The pictures are heartbreaking: Millions of honeybees lie dead after being sprayed with an insecticide targeting Zika-carrying mosquitoes. “On Saturday, it was total energy, millions of bees foraging, pollinating, making honey for winter,” beekeeper Juanita Stanley said. “Today, it stinks of death. Maggots and other insects are feeding on the honey and the baby bees who are still in the hives. It’s heartbreaking.” Stanley, co-owner of Flowertown Bee Farm and Supply in Summerville, South Carolina, said she lost 46 beehives — more than 3 million bees — in mere minutes after the spraying began Sunday morning. “Those that didn’t die immediately were poisoned trying to drag out the dead,” Stanley said. “Now, I’m going to have to destroy my hives, the honey, all my equipment. It’s all contaminated.” Stanley said Summerville Fire Capt. Andrew Macke, who keeps bees as a hobby, also lost thousands of bees. She said neither of them had protected their hives because they didn’t know about the aerial spraying.

Honeybees Mortality in the Netherlands Imker Henk Brouwer laat dode bijen op de honingraat zien

“Andrew has two hives,” Stanley said. “He didn’t know they were going to spray. His wife called him. His bees are at their porch right by their home, and she saw dead bees everywhere.” It’s a tragedy that could be repeated across the country as cases of Zika continue to rise and local mosquito control districts struggle to protect their residents and ease local fears. The spray fell from the skies between 6:30 and 8:30 a.m. Sunday. It was the first aerial spraying in 14 years, according to Dorchester County Administrator Jason Ward, part of the county’s efforts to combat Zika after four local residents were diagnosed with the virus. “We chose Sunday morning because few people would be out and about that early on a weekend,” Ward said. “To protect the bees, you don’t want to spray after the sun has been up more two hours, so we scheduled it early.”

Rare Black Bees in the UK

The county used a product called Trumpet, which contains the pesticide naled, recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for control of adult Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that transmits Zika. According to the manufacturer’s label (PDF), Trumpet is “highly toxic to bees exposed to direct treatment on blooming crops or weeds. To minimize hazard to bees, it is recommended that the product is not applied more than two hours after sunrise or two hours before sunset, limiting application to times when bees are least active.” “We followed that recommendation,” said Ward, “which is also the policy laid out by the state, using a pesticide the state has approved for use.” Ward says the county also notified residents of the spraying by posting a notice on its websiteat 9 a.m. Friday, two days before the spraying. He added that it alerted beekeepers who were on the local mosquito control registry by phone or email, a common practice before truck spraying. – For complete article and video see http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/01/health/zika-spraying-honeybees/index.html

4e02d4cc-78d5-46f5-9fdb-8a4d4ea435be-large16x9_ZikaFloridaFlorida 09/01/16 cnn.com: Mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus have been identified in Miami Beach, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said Thursday. It’s the first finding of Zika-carrying mosquitoes in the continental United States. The three mosquito samples that tested positive were from the area in Miami Beach that waspreviously identified as an area of local transmission. Ninety-five other samples tested negative, according to the department of agriculture.- See http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/01/health/florida-zika-mosquitoes/index.html

St. Louis Encephalitis:

476669_GNevada 09/02/16 ktnv.com: The Southern Nevada Health District is reporting the second human case of St. Louis Encephalitis in Clark County. The individual is male, 50 years of age or older, and did not have the more serious neuroinvasive form of the disease. The Health District will not be providing additional details regarding this individual. – See http://www.ktnv.com/news/health-district-reports-second-st-louis-encephalitis-case

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Mississippi 09/01/16 djournal.com:  The Mississippi State Department of Health says a Hinds County resident has died from the West Nile virus. It’s the first human death of 2016. In addition to the Hinds County death, state Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said two new human cases of West Nile have been reported in Lee and Marion counties, bringing the 2016 total to 18 in Mississippi. So far this year, human cases of West Nile have been reported in Calhoun, Chickasaw, Copiah (2), Hinds (5), Grenada, Lamar (2), Lee, Leflore, Lowndes, Marion, Perry and Rankin counties. – See https://djournal.com/news/health-official-1st-west-nile-virus-death-reported-mississippi/

07cd7361057a7994e7e590e1fb0d3868ed6ff5ad-1North Dakota 09/01/16 shorelinemedia.net: An eastern North Dakota man has died from West Nile virus. It’s the first death in the state this year from the virus that’s transmitted by mosquitoes. The Health Department says the victim was a man older than 60. Officials did not identify him. Last year, 23 people in North Dakota tested positive for the virus. Eight were hospitalized and one died. – See http://www.shorelinemedia.net/ludington_daily_news/news/state/eastern-north-dakota-man-dies-from-west-nile-virus/article_ef07a7ab-1bcd-5fef-91c4-78c637f174f0.html

Texas 09/02/16 mycentx.com: by Roland Richter – The Waco McLennan County Public Health District has confirmed one person has died after contracting West Nile Virus. Officials are only saying the victim was a male patient, but are not releasing any other details about the victim because of privacy considerations. There have been a total of five cases of West Nile Virus reported in the county. – For complete article see http://www.mycentx.com/news/waco-news/west-nile-virus-death-in-mclennan-county

Rabies:

California 09/02/16 lostcoastoutpost.com: by Hank Sims – Today, the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) Public Health Laboratory confirmed that a cat in Orleans tested positive for rabies. – For complete article see https://lostcoastoutpost.com/2016/sep/2/orleans-cat-tests-positive-rabies-becomes-second-o/

Rabid cat found in Elizabethtown.

Rabid cat found at Elizabethtown

Pennsylvania 09/01/16 http://lancasteronline.com/: by Tom Knapp – An employee of a local animal rescue group has started a series of rabies shots after being exposed last week to an infected cat in Elizabethtown. Connie Kondravy, director of the Organization for the Responsible Care of Animals, is worried that people in the neighborhood where the cat was found might also have been scratched or bitten — or that other stray and feral cats in the area might also be infected. Kondravy said her employee responded to a call at Buttonwood Drive on Aug. 25. The call, Kondravy said, was for “a beautiful white cat … with a bloody wound on her side.” . . . After the cat tried to escape through an open window and tried to attack an employee, Kondravy made the decision to euthanize the cat and have it tested for rabies. The test came back positive on Tuesday, she said. – For complete article see http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/rabies-warning-issued-after-infected-cat-is-found-in-elizabethtown/article_786f6d9e-7068-11e6-904e-6f69e77bd1ca.html

 

National Park employee in MONTANA recovering after BEAR attack ~ Exotic TICKS appear to be establishing themselves in ALASKA ~ EEE infects 1 HUMAN and 7 HORSES in NORTH CAROLINA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS fatality in SOUTH DAKOTA ~ RABID HORSE in FL, CAT in ON-CANADA.

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Image courtesy Alaska Fish & Game.

Montana 08/29/16 dailyinterlake.com: by Sam Wilson – An off-duty employee of Glacier National Park was injured by a bear Saturday evening on the east side of Glacier, according to a park spokesman. Public information officer Tim Rains said the employee was picking berries a quarter mile off the trail near Red Rock Falls in the Many Glacier area when she surprised the bear, believed to be a grizzly sow. He declined to name the employee, but said the bear injured her leg and hands. The injuries are not life-threatening. Rains said she was hiking with a companion and was carrying bear spray, but did not have an opportunity to discharge the canister.

map-many-glacier-south“She walked most of the way back, and then was carried on a litter the remaining portion of the [Swiftcurrent] Trail,” Rains said. “We believe it was a grizzly — there was a sow and her cubs noticed in the area, but we do not have a definitive confirmation.” She was first taken by Glacier County EMS to Browning for medical attention before being transported to Kalispell Regional Medical Center, where Rains said she is currently being treated for her wounds. Because the attack resulted from a surprise encounter, Rains said park officials are not actively searching for the bear. – For complete article see http://www.dailyinterlake.com/news/local_montana/bear-injures-glacier-park-employee/article_0ec2595a-6e16-11e6-b709-63cb5cb9d2d3.html

Ticks:

asset_upload_file730_103598Alaska 08/27/16 adn.com/alaska-news: by Ned Rozell – While Alaskans have long endured dense mosquitoes and frigid air, we’ve always had the absence of venomous snakes and dog ticks. But the latter may be establishing themselves here. Ticks that infest red squirrels, snowshoe hares and a variety of birds have always been present in Alaska, but a team of biologists and veterinarians recently found five non-native ticks on Alaska dogs and people. In a recent study published in the Journal of Medical Entomology, researchers identified brown dog ticks, American dog ticks, Rocky Mountain wood ticks, deer ticks and Lone Star ticks in Alaska. A few of those creatures hitchhiked up on animals and humans that had recently visited the Lower 48. But some had not.

 

American Dog Tick2

American Dog Tick

“It appears the American dog tick is established in Alaska,” said Kimberlee Beckmen, a wildlife veterinarian with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game and a co-author of the study. “Some of the dogs (with the tick) had not traveled or hadn’t had contact with traveling dogs.” “That is not a good thing,” said Randy Zarnke, Beckmen’s predecessor at the Department of Fish and Game. He wrote a 1990 paper about the potential for some harmful ticks to survive our winters should they reach Alaska. “(The American dog tick) attaches to humans and can spread diseases that we haven’t had to worry about up until now.” The American dog tick can transmit the bacterium that causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever and can secrete a toxin that can cause tick paralysis in dogs and humans, said Lance Durden of Georgia Southern University, lead author on the paper. Tick paralysis can be fatal if it affects breathing muscles. – For  complete article see http://www.adn.com/alaska-news/science/2016/08/27/exotic-ticks-appear-to-be-establishing-themselves-in-alaska/

 

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

EEE_400x300North Carolina 08/26/16 wect.com: Seven horses and one human have been infected with mosquito-borne eastern equine encephalitis this summer in North Carolina. The disease, also known as EEE or ‘Triple E,’ can cause inflammation of the brain. There is a vaccine for horses, but there is none for humans. State Health and Human Services’ Division of Public Health officials noted there was a single case affecting a human reported in North Carolina. Cases affecting horses were reported in Brunswick, Hoke, Onslow, Pitt, Robeson, Sampson and Wake counties.  “Triple E is not communicable between horses and people,” said State Public Health Veterinarian Carl Williams, DVM. “It is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. While Triple E is very rare in humans, when it does occur it is a serious illness, so it is very important to take protective measures against mosquito bites.” Symptoms for EEE in humans may include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, and sore throat. Those at highest risk live in or visit woodland habitats. – See http://www.wect.com/story/32851133/mosquito-borne-virus-infects-seven-horses-one-human-in-nc

West Nile Virus (WNV):

07cd7361057a7994e7e590e1fb0d3868ed6ff5ad-1South Dakota 08/30/16 siouxlandmatters.com: by Lukas Voss – The South Dakota Department of Health has confirmed the first death of West Nile Virus in the state in two years and this season. The individual has not been identified but placed in the age group between 80 and 89. This marks the 74th confirmed case in the state with most of them being diagnosed with the common West Nile fever, 12 percent were found to suffer from the more severe neuro invasive diseases. – For  complete article see http://www.siouxlandmatters.com/news/local-news/one-dead-of-west-nile-virus-in-south-dakota

Rabies:

Horse%20MouthFlorida 08/31/16 clickorlando.com: by Dawn Brooks – After a horse tested positive for rabies Tuesday, the Florida Department of Health in Brevard County issued a rabies alert for the Weber Road area in Malabar. Officials said all residents should be aware that rabies is present in the wild animal population and that domestic animals are at risk if not vaccinated.  – See http://www.clickorlando.com/news/rabies-alert-issued-for-part-of-brevard-county

Canada:

Ontario 08/29/16 cbc.ca/news: The rabid cat found in Haldimand-Norfolk last week did in fact come from rural Ancaster, the city confirmed Monday, marking Hamilton’s first case of domestic rabies in over two decades. “The Canadian Food Inspection Agency confirmed today that this cat was infected with the raccoon rabies strain,” city spokesperson Aisling Higgins said in a statement. “During the course of the investigation fewer than five people have been identified in Hamilton as having had exposure to the rabid cat.” – For complete article see http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/news/rabies-cat-1.3740478

 

 

BEAR mauls two guides hired by cruise line in ALASKA ~ FDA advises testing all blood donations for ZIKA ~ FLORIDA governor confirms ZIKA is spreading ~ ST. LOUIS ENCEPHALITIS case confirmed in NEVADA ~ RABID CAT reports from Canada- ON, NJ, and VA.

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Alaska 08/25/16 washingtonpost.com: A bear that mauled two cruise ship wilderness guides during a hiking excursion in Alaska attacked so quickly that there was little time to defend against the animal, the CEO of the cruise ship company said. The attack occurred after the guides and a group of hikers from the cruise vessel Wilderness Explorer rounded a “semi-blind corner” and found themselves between the bear and her cub, UnCruise Adventures CEO Dan Blanchard told the Juneau Empire in an interview published Tuesday. “I can’t express enough about how rapidly this happened,” Blanchard said. The guides are crew members of the 74-passenger vessel and receive training on bear safety and other topics each spring, he said. The Coast Guard rescued the injured guides, who were identified by Alaska state troopers as 41-year-old Anna Powers of Hawaii and 26-year-old Michael Justa of Juneau. Justa was treated and released the in Sitka. Powers was in satisfactory condition Wednesday at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The Aug. 18 hike in Tongass National Forest has been part of the Wilderness Explorer’s regular eight-day itinerary since the early 2000s. – For complete article see https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/cruise-line-ceo-details-alaska-bear-mauling-of-2-workers/2016/08/24/c8d5535e-6a5d-11e6-91cb-ecb5418830e9_story.html

Blogger’s Note: According to an earlier report, the guides were attacked by a Brown bear.

Zika Virus:

a_us$1_zika_test_in_the_worksx_could_be_available_within_months.jpg_1718483346National 08/26/16 fda.gov: Media Release – As a further safety measure against the emerging Zika virus outbreak, today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a revised guidance recommending universal testing of donated Whole Blood and blood components for Zika virus in the U.S. and its territories. “There is still much uncertainty regarding the nature and extent of Zika virus transmission,” said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “At this time, the recommendation for testing the entire blood supply will help ensure that safe blood is available for all individuals who might need transfusion.”

US-fdaThe FDA first issued guidance on Feb. 16 recommending that only areas with active Zika virus transmission screen donated Whole Blood and blood components for Zika virus, use pathogen-reduction devices, or halt blood collection and obtain Whole Blood and blood components from areas of the U.S. without active virus transmission. All areas with active transmission in the U.S. are currently in compliance with this guidance. The revised guidance announced today recommends that all states and U.S. territories screen individual units of donated Whole Blood and blood components with a blood screening test authorized for use by the FDA under an investigational new drug (IND) application, or a licensed test when available. Alternatively, an FDA-approved pathogen-reduction device may be used for plasma and certain platelet products.

The FDA is updating its guidance after careful consideration of all available scientific evidence, consultation with other public health agencies, and taking into consideration the potential serious health consequences of Zika virus infection to pregnant women and children born to women exposed to Zika virus during pregnancy. Testing of donated blood is already underway in Florida and Puerto Rico, as well as in other areas, and it has shown to be beneficial in identifying donations infected with Zika virus. Expanded testing will continue to reduce the risk for transmission of Zika virus through the U.S. blood supply and will be in effect until the risk of transfusion transmission of Zika virus is reduced.

GM-mosquito-release.zika.flFlorida 08/23/16 tampabay.com: by  Christopher O’DonnellMichael Auslen and Megan Reeves – Health officials on both sides of Tampa Bay are scrambling to contain a potential new outbreak of the Zika virus after the first locally transmitted infection was confirmed in Pinellas County Tuesday. The Florida Department of Health is planning to conduct door-to-door testing and outreach in the neighborhood where the infection was detected. However, officials do not plan to reveal the location unless more cases are discovered. The effort to track down people who had contact with the infected person, known as an epidemiological investigation, will also extend into Hillsborough County, officials said. Targeted mosquito spraying to limit the spread of the virus is also taking place both in Pinellas and at an undisclosed Hillsborough County location.

afp_2d56e5b2c324070551df8a44124ce4835f24ad0b-e1472053951402-640x480Gov. Rick Scott announced the new infection, the first locally transmitted case of the virus confirmed outside South Florida, at a Zika roundtable with Pinellas County health officials and political leaders Tuesday. “This person did not travel to an infected area with Zika; we are looking at a number of locations,” Scott said. “Hopefully something good will happen and it will just be a single case. But if we do find out, what we will do is we will be very aggressive.”

No information was released about the infected resident who Scott referred to as “she.” Dr. Celeste Philip, the state surgeon general, said the resident likely contracted the virus, which is also sexually transmitted, through a mosquito bite. Yet, the state does not believe mosquitoes are actively spreading Zika in the county. That won’t be known for certain until the state’s investigation is complete, which could take a week or more.- See http://www.tampabay.com/news/politics/stateroundup/gov-rick-scott-confirms-non-travel-zika-virus-case-in-pinellas-county/2290623

St. Louis Encephalitis :

Title_St._Louis_EncephalitisNevada 08/26/16 dailyprogress.com: Las Vegas health officials say they’ve identified the first human case of St. Louis encephalitis in nearly a decade. The Southern Nevada Health District on Friday announced that a man over the age of 50 has been infected by a more serious, neuroinvasive form of the mosquito-borne virus. The man who isn’t being identified has already been treated and released from the hospital. He marks the first human case of St. Louis encephalitis in Clark County since 2007. – See http://www.dailyprogress.com/vegas-case-of-st-louis-encephalitis-is-the-first-in/article_6d22465a-f13d-5fcd-837b-c804c0763790.html

Rabies:

Canada:

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Not a photo of the cat in this report.

Ontario 08/26/16 ctvnews.ca: Health officials say an Ontario man is undergoing treatment after being bitten by a cat that tested positive for rabies. The Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit says it was notified Thursday by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that a stray cat had bitten someone in Caledonia. They say they are working with Hamilton Public Health to see if anyone else was exposed to the same cat because it came from a rural part of the city.- See http://www.ctvnews.ca/health/cat-with-rabies-bites-man-in-hamilton-ont-1.304600

New Jersey 08/26/16 shorenewstoday.com: A kitten that had been taken in and cared for by a Hammonton couple has been confirmed as Atlantic County’s ninth rabies case of the year. The Atlantic County Division of Public Health reports that the couple’s outdoor cat brought home three kittens in June that were cared for by a couple living on Washington Street. One kitten became ill and was taken to a veterinary hospital for treatment on August 18. It displayed neurological symptoms consistent with rabies and soon died. It was confirmed positive for rabies by the state lab on August 24.- See http://www.shorenewstoday.com/mainland/hammonton-kitten-confirmed-as-th-rabies-case/article_77a95bfa-6aea-11e6-a1e3-13828b61db0f.html

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Not a photo of the cat in this report.

Virginia 08/26/16 wishtv.com: by Kevin Green – A cat that reportedly chased and a bit a person in Chesapeake tested positive for rabies, health officials confirmed Thursday. Officials say a cat “aggressively chased and bit” at least one person in an industrial park in the Greenbriar section of the city. “He saw the cat and kinda dismissed it, turned around and started walking away,” Abe Rivera, who worked with the man said. “It came up behind him and bit it him on the leg.” The cat was reportedly captured and is no longer a threat, but officials say it tested positive for rabies. Officials say there are numerous feral cats and animals in the area that could have been exposed. “Those cats like go to the same food sources, they mate, they fight, so yes we are concerned about maybe more,” Lisa Engle of the Chesapeake Health Department said. – See http://wishtv.com/2016/08/25/rabid-cat-aggressively-chases-bites-person-in-virginia/

WASHINGTON woman dies after contracting STREP bacteria from a HORSE ~ CDC issues warning for second ZIKA zone in FLORIDA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS claims lives in AZ & WA ~ RABID CAT reports from GA(2) & SC

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Image: bohringer friedrich WikimediaCommons

Washington 08/17/16 healio.com: In a rare case, investigators say a woman died after contracting Streptococcus zooepidemicus from a sick horse in Washington state. The woman, aged 71years, died within a week after having close contact with a horse that later tested positive for S. zooepidemicus, a subspecies of S. equi, the investigators said. “S. zooepidemicus is a zoonotic pathogen that rarely causes human illness and is usually associated with consuming unpasteurized dairy products or with direct horse contact,” they wrote in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. “In horses, S. zooepidemicus is a commensal bacterium that can cause respiratory, wound, and uterine infections.” The woman was visiting her daughter’s horse boarding and riding facility in King County, Washington, where three of the facility’s six horses later tested positive for S. zooepidemicus, including the one that infected her. The daughter also was infected by one of the horses and developed a mild sore throat and cough, but recovered. Soon after, on Feb. 29, she began administering 10 days of sulfa-based antibiotics to a horse that showed symptoms of S. zooepidemicus infection, and the horse fully recovered. Her mother, who had symptoms consistent with an upper respiratory infection at the same time her daughter was ill, had contact with one of the horses on at least Feb. 25 and Feb. 29 and later developed vomiting and diarrhea on March 2, the investigators said. She was found unconscious the next day and died after being transported to a hospital. According to the investigators, a blood culture from the woman and throat culture from her daughter both grew isolates of S. zooepidemicus that matched isolates from two of the horses at the facility. They said the woman’s age and possible upper respiratory infection might have made her more vulnerable for invasive disease by S. zooepidemicus- See http://www.healio.com/infectious-disease/zoonotic-infections/news/online/%7B3a92fc1f-94ce-4a16-9f59-1225489258c6%7D/woman-dies-after-contracting-s-zooepidemicus-from-horse

Zika Virus:

4e02d4cc-78d5-46f5-9fdb-8a4d4ea435be-large16x9_ZikaFloridaFlorida 08/19/16 cdc.gov: Media ReleaseThe Florida Department of Health has identified two areas of Miami-Dade County where Zika is being spread by mosquitoes. In addition to the previously identified area in the Wynwood neighborhood, there is now mosquito-borne spread of Zika virus in a section of Miami Beach. This guidance is for people who live in or traveled to the identified area of Miami Beach any time after July 14. This guidance also still applies for those who live in or traveled to the previously identified Wynwood area any time after June 15. These timeframes are based on the earliest time symptoms can start and the maximum 2-week incubation period for Zika virus. Pregnant women and their partners who are concerned about being exposed to Zika may want to consider postponing nonessential travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County. – For complete release see http://www.cdc.gov/zika/intheus/florida-update.html

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Arizona 08/18/16 azcentral.com: Health officials say Maricopa County has reported its first two deaths this season from the West Nile virus. There have been 26 human cases of West Nile so far this season in Arizona’s most populous county. The two people who died both were over 50 years old — the age group most at risk for serious complications of West Nile virus. Last year, Maricopa County had 62 West Nile cases with two deaths. – For complete article see http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2016/08/18/2-deaths-from-07cd7361057a7994e7e590e1fb0d3868ed6ff5ad-1west-nile-virus-in-maricopa-county-this-season/88967118/

Washington 08/17/16 http://kimatv.com/: by Hannah Vogel – The Washington State Department of Health confirmed the first death in our state from the West Nile virus. Officials say a 70-year-old woman from Benton County died after being exposed to infected mosquitoes. – For complete article see http://kimatv.com/news/local/health-officials-west-nile-virus-claims-life-of-benton-county-woman

Rabies:

FeralCats681508/18/16 whitecountynews.net:by Debbie Gilbert – A woman in the Sky Lake community in northern White County is receiving medical treatment after being bitten by a rabid cat on Saturday, Aug. 13. Sean Sullivan, White County environmental health manager, said the woman is an animal devotee who recently began feeding a stray cat that showed up near her home. “But after a day or two, it bit her,” Sullivan said. “I don’t think she had the cat long enough to know its normal behavior, so she may not have recognized symptoms of rabies.” He said the woman began receiving prophylactic medical treatment on Sunday, even before tests results were available, to prevent her from possibly developing rabies. Sullivan sent the cat’s remains to the Georgia Public Health Lab, but did not receive confirmation of rabies until Wednesday. On Thursday, he began posting signs in the Sky Lake area, alerting residents that there had been a rabies case in the vicinity. – See http://www.whitecountynews.net/breaking-news/rabid-cat-bites-woman-sky-lake

Georgia 08/17/16 http://wfxl.com/:by Kerri Copello – A case of rabies has been confirmed in the City of Cordele (Crisp County). The Cordele Police Department confirms that a stray kitten died suddenly and positively tested for rabies. The Cordele Police Department and animal control want to remind everyone of the importance of getting your pets vaccinated every year for rabies because it is the law. Sgt. Jeremy Taylor, with the Cordele Police Department, wants to remind people not to approach a stray animal. If citizens see strays, even baby animals, call The Cordele Police Department and let animal control pick them up. – See http://wfxl.com/news/local/kitten-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-cordele

0South Carolina 08/18/16 indexjournal.com: Four people have started treatment after potentially being exposed to rabies by a pet cat with the disease in Troy, according to a release from the state Department of Health and Environmental Control. The cat began to act irregularly Aug. 11 and died the next day, the release said. It was confirmed to have rabies Monday. The people were bitten or exposed to the cat’s saliva while trying to provide it with care. The cat is the fifth animal in Greenwood County to test positive for rabies this year. – See http://www.indexjournal.com/news/RABIES-ALERT–Cat-likely-exposes-four-people-to-disease-in-Greenwood-County-17841766

Study shows CARDINALS are “Super-Suppressors” of WEST NILE VIRUS ~ CALIFORNIA and northern TEXAS report first WEST NILE VIRUS deaths of 2016 ~ More than 1,000 new cases of ZIKA weekly in PUERTO RICO ~ UTAH reports second HANTAVIRUS death of 2016 ~ RABID PET reports from PA, SC.

Northern cardinal pair photo by Ilona L on Flickr noncommercial use permitted with attribution  share alike.

National 08/08/16 seeker.com: Authors of a new study took a closer look at a puzzling circumstance in Georgia: low rates of human infection with the West Nile virus (WNV), even as about a third of Atlanta’s birds carry the disease. The same situation — many infected birds, not so many infected people — applied to the broader American southeast, a team of researchers from Emory University, Texas A&M, the University of Georgia and Georgia’s department of transportation noted. Indeed, they said, Georgia’s WNV infection rate, over the last 15 years, was only about 3 people per 100,000.

Northern cardinal; photo by Jen Goellnitz on FlickTo try to shed light on the discrepancy, the scientists spent three years testing birds and mosquitoes for WNV in Atlanta, analyzing the blood of the insects to determine on which birds they had fed. The scientists were keeping a sharp eye for the number of American robin infections. They consider that species a “super spreader” of WNV, for its capacity to store enough of the virus in its blood to pass along to other mosquitoes. While robins were certainly carriers, the researchers found a twist in the tale, one concerning a favorite of backyard birders everywhere: the cardinal.

Cardinal.female.atoztheusa.com.blog“What we found is that, for some unknown reason, around the middle of July, mosquitoes in Atlanta seem to decide that they have had their fill of robins and they switch to feeding on cardinals,” said the study’s lead author, Rebecca Levine, in a statement.  “But cardinals, even though they can be infected with West Nile virus, are much less likely to have enough virus circulating in their blood to transmit the disease back to feeding mosquitoes,” said Levine, now with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention but at Emory University during the research. “That is why we called them ‘super suppressors’.” . . . But, her team’s findings don’t suggest cardinals are a magic red bullet against WNV, Levine said. The birds might not have the same roles elsewhere, depending on the local ecosystems in which they live.  Findings from the study have just been published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.  – For complete article see http://www.seeker.com/cardinals-super-suppressors-of-west-nile-virus-1964581023.html

West Nile Virus (WNV):

07cd7361057a7994e7e590e1fb0d3868ed6ff5ad-1California 08/05/16 mercurynews.com: by Tracy Seipel –  California public health officials on Friday said that an elderly Sacramento County resident is the state’s first confirmed death from West Nile virus this year. No other information about the victim was provided. susceptible, as this unfortunate fatality illustrates,” Dr. Karen Smith, director of the California Department of Public Health and the state’s health officer, said in a statement. “West Nile virus activity in the state is increasing, so I urge Californians to take every possible precaution to protect themselves against mosquito bites.” The state reported 53 deaths from West Nile virus in 2015, the most since California began recording West Nile cases in 2003. – For complete article see http://www.mercurynews.com/health/ci_30210998/sacramento-county-senior-citizen-is-californias-first-west

imagesCAWX5STJTexas 08/09/16 nbcdfw.com: Dallas County health officials confirm the first death related to West Nile virus for the 2016 season in North Texas. The victim – a person in their 60s – lived in the 75006 ZIP code in Carrollton and was previously diagnosed with the West Nile neuroinvasive disease, officials said in a press release Monday afternoon. – See http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/health/Dallas-County-Confirms-First-West-Nile-Virus-Death-of-2016-389529131.html

Zika Virus:

dt_160309_puerto_rico_map_zika_mosquito_800x600Puerto Rico 08/05/16 npr.org: by Jason Beaubien – The Zika virus outbreak in Puerto Rico is expanding rapidly. Recently, the island has been reporting more than a thousand new cases of Zika each week. The situation is expected to get worse before it gets better. “We are right now probably in the month or 6 weeks of peak transmission,” saysTyler Sharp the lead epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Zika operation in Puerto Rico. Previous outbreaks of dengue fever and chikungunya, which are transmitted by the same mosquito as Zika, Aedes aegypti, suggest the hot, wet summer months in Puerto Rico now are just right for Zika to flourish, Sharp says. “The more rains you get, the more mosquitoes you get. The more mosquitoes, the higher the rate of transmission,” he says. “And also the mosquitoes like warmer temperatures and are able to replicate the virus more efficiently at at least slightly higher temperatures.” He calls August in Puerto Rico the “Goldilocks zone” for Zika virus replication. The island has already had more than 8,000 confirmed cases of Zika. The CDC predicts that by the end of the year, 20 percent to 25 percent of the roughly 3.5 million people on the island could be infected with the virus. – For complete article see http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/08/05/488864340/zika-cases-surge-in-puerto-rico-as-mosquitoes-flourish

Hantavirus:

892008Utah 08/09/16 utahcountyonline.org: Media Release – Utah County Health Department (UCHD) officials are investigating the death of a female Utah County resident related to hantavirus. The female was between the ages of 18 – 44, from Utah County, and had no other apparent health issues. This is the second death related to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in the state in 2016, and tenth case since 2006. Hantavirus infection is a virus transmitted by infected rodents through fresh urine, droppings or saliva. The main way the virus is spread to people is when they breathe in the air contaminated with the virus. Other transmissions can include an infected rodent biting a person, touching objects or eating food contaminated with rodent urine, droppings, or saliva from an infected rodent. – For complete release see http://www.utahcountyonline.org/dept2/health/UtahCountyHantavirusDeath2016Aug9.pdf

Rabies:

5731289-very-cute-child-with-a-cat-in-armsPennsylvania 08/05/16 wearecentralpa.com: A cat in Huntingdon County has tested positive for Rabies. We’re told a family in who lives on Metztown Road in Brady Township took their unvaccinated farm cat to a veterinary clinic after they say it started to act restless and panting. The veterinary told them to keep the cat contained, but the next day the cat escaped  the enclosure they had it in and bit a child. At that point the cat was euthanized and submitted for rabies tests. They came back positive. Several people are receiving post exposure treatment for rabies. – See http://www.wearecentralpa.com/news/cat-tests-positive-for-rabies

555f5f5South Carolina 08/05/16 wyff4.com/ : At least five people were potentially exposed to rabies by a puppy that tested positive for the disease in Chesnee, the Department of Health and Environmental Control reported today. The puppy was a Germany Shepherd-mix puppy that was being sold at Burr’s Trading Post on Old Stage Road, June 20 from an individual not affiliated with the store. The puppy began to show neurological symptoms at the end of July, and was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on Aug. 1. DHEC said several other puppies were for sale. DHEC recommends that anyone who obtained or was exposed to a puppy there around this time should watch the animal for signs and symptoms of rabies and immediately seek veterinary care if the animal becomes ill. – See http://www.wyff4.com/news/upstate-dog-potentially-exposes-at-least-5-people-to-rabies-dhec-says/41072124

CDC reports it’s likely four cases of ZIKA VIRUS in FLORIDA were locally acquired ~ RABID DOG report from CA – RABID CAT reports from AZ, MD & NY.

Florida+Zika

Florida 07/29/16 cdc.gov: Media Release – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been informed by the State of Florida that Zika virus infections in four people were likely caused by bites of local Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.  The cases are likely the first known occurrence of local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission in the continental United States.  CDC is closely coordinating with Florida officials who are leading the ongoing investigations, and at the state’s request, sent a CDC medical epidemiologist to provide additional assistance. State officials have responded rapidly with mosquito control measures and a community-wide search for additional Zika cases.  Under the current situation, there are no plans for limiting travel to the area.

“All the evidence we have seen indicates that this is mosquito-borne transmission that occurred several weeks ago in several blocks in Miami,” said Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., director of the CDC. “We continue to recommend that everyone in areas where Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are present—and especially pregnant women—take steps to avoid mosquito bites. We will continue to support Florida’s efforts to investigate and respond to Zika and will reassess the situation and our recommendations on a daily basis.”

zika-and-pregnancyZika virus spreads to people primarily through the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito (Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus), but can also be spread during sex by a person infected with Zika to their partner.  Most people infected with Zika won’t have symptoms, but for those who do, the illness is usually mild.  However, Zika infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect of the brain called microcephaly and other severe fetal birth defects.

“We have been working with state and local governments to prepare for the likelihood of local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission in the continental United States and Hawaii,” said Lyle Petersen, M.D., M.P.H., incident manager for CDC’s Zika virus response. “We anticipate that there may be additional cases of ‘homegrown’ Zika in the coming weeks.  Our top priority is to protect pregnant women from the potentially devastating harm caused by Zika.” – For complete release see http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0729-florida-zika-cases.html

Rabies:

555f5f5California 07/28/16 northcoastjournal.com: by Kimberly Wear – Health officials are stressing the importance of vaccinating pets after a Humboldt County dog tested positive for rabies for the first time in more than five years. “The animal is known to have traveled to several locations throughout the county. Public Health officials are working to assess the possibility of exposure to other domestic animals and humans,” a release from the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services state. DHHS reported the dog is believed to have been exposed during a fight with a rabid skunk.

UPDATE:
The 11-month-old dog that was euthanized after contracting rabies earlier this month had undergone its first round of rabies vaccination, which starts at around 3 months old with series of subsequent boosters, and was “legally vaccinated for its age,” said Amanda Ruddy, consumer protection supervisor with the division of Environmental Health. – See http://www.northcoastjournal.com/NewsBlog/archives/2016/07/28/humboldt-dog-tests-positive-for-rabies

Arizona 07/29/16 tucsonnewsnow.com: by Elizabeth Walton – Several months ago a skunk tested positive for rabies, according to the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office at a property south of Sierra Vista off of San Mateo and now the county has its first domestic animal with the virus.  CCSO and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife returned to the area where the skunk was found and trapped several feral cats and a kitten.  According to a recent CCSO release the animals were tested for rabies due to their proximity to the rabid skunk and the kitten was found to be positive for the rabies virus.   The resident at the location had repeated contact with the kitten and is undergoing rabies vaccinations. – See http://www.tucsonnewsnow.com/story/32576987/kitten-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-cochise-county

Looking-for-Kittens-001Maryland 07/21/16 oceancitytoday.net: by Greg Ellison – One rabid cat in West Ocean City, and the fate of other feral cats at the same location have generated hundreds of emails and even spurred a small protest by feline protection activists last Thursday at the government center in Snow Hill. During Tuesday’s Worcester County Commissioner meeting, however, Worcester County Health Officer Debbie Goeller said the department plans to remove and euthanize a colony of feral cats near the Ocean Village condominiums in West Ocean City. The rabid cat reported to the department came from that colony. Goeller said her department was contacted on June 11 by a veterinarian’s office after a cat that appeared to be rabid was spotted by a family renting an Ocean Village unit. “This cat needed to be euthanized and was sent to the state rabies laboratory for testing.” Four days later, the state confirmed that the cat was rabid, Goeller said, at which time her department posted rabies advisory notices in the complex. – See http://www.oceancitytoday.net/p/following-confirmed-rabies-case-county-to-raze-colony/1551118

New York 07/22/16 .localsyr.com: The Oswego County Health Department issued a warning that two adults and a pet dog were recently attacked by a rabid cat on DeMass Road near the Durham Bus Garage in Minetto. The small black female cat was captured and euthanized, and test results showed it was infected with the rabies virus. The dog, which had not been vaccinated for rabies, will need to be quarantined for six months or euthanized, in accordance with New York State Public Health Law. – See http://www.localsyr.com/news/rabid-cat-found-in-minetto-clinics-for-pet-vaccinations-offered-

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

deer-ticks-carry-Lyme-disease-Louisville.jpg

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

Rabies:

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