Tag Archives: Salmonella

Scientists say SWINE FLU H1N1 VIRUS that caused 2009 pandemic becoming resistant to treatment ~ Scientists discover VIRUS behind mystery HORSE disease ~ FDA warns of SALMONELLA from handling RODENTS, REPTILES, & AMPHIBIANS ~ FOLLOW-UP REPORT: Hundreds evaluated for RABIES exposure in 5 states after death of kidney recipient.

Piglet. Wikimedia Commons. PD.

Piglet. Wikimedia Commons. PD.

Global 03/18/13 independent.co.uk: by Michael McCarthy & Samantha Hunt – The virus responsible for the “swine flu” pandemic of 2009 is becoming increasingly resistant to the main drug used to treat it, new research has shown. An increasing number of cases of the virus, H1NI, are being found with developing resistance to oseltamivir – trade name Tamiflu – which was stockpiled in large amounts by Governments, including the British Government, when it was feared the new swine flu mutation would irresistibly sweep the world.

Dr Aeron Hurt, of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza

Dr Aeron Hurt, of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza

First detected in Mexico, the 2009 virus was a new strain of H1N1 – itself responsible for the disastrous flu pandemic of 1918 – which combined with a Eurasian pig flu virus to become newly potent. The resultant pandemic struck over 74 countries, and although deaths were initially assessed by the World Health Organisation at 18,500, the WHO later admitted this was probably a gross underestimate. A 2012 medical study by the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases suggested that in fact it may have caused the deaths of up to 579,000 people.

tamifluTamiflu, made by the giant Swiss pharmaceutical company, Hoffman-La Roche, was the main drug against the outbreak – but now Australian scientists are finding that it is encountering increased resistance. – For complete article see http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/virus-responsible-for-swine-flu-pandemic-becoming-increasingly-resistant-to-tamiflu-8539601.html

Mystery Horse Disease:

rinderp1Global 03/18/13 nature.com: by Ed Yong – For almost 100 years, veterinarians have puzzled over the cause of Theiler disease, a mysterious type of equine hepatitis that is linked to blood products and causes liver failure in up to 90% of afflicted animals. A team of US scientists has now discovered that the disease is caused by a virus that shares just 35% of its amino acid sequences with its closest-known relative. The team named it Theiler disease-associated virus (TDAV), and published the discovery in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dr. Amy Kistler

Dr. Amy Kistler

Led by Amy Kistler at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research in Emeryville, California, the team responded to an outbreak of Theiler disease at a farm in which eight horses had suddenly developed hepatitis after being injected with an antitoxin to prevent them from developing botulism. The researchers used next-generation sequencing to analyse RNA samples from the antitoxin and from two of the horses, and assembled the complete genome of the new virus. The virus was found in every one of the eight horses, as well as in the animal (from a different farm) that was the source of the contaminated antitoxin. – For complete article see http://www.nature.com/news/distinctive-virus-behind-mystery-horse-disease-1.12624


ISDH_salmonella-billboard_rdax_100Global 03/18/13 fda.gov: The Food and Drug Administration is giving consumers, especially reptile owners, tips on how to prevent Salmonella infection from handling feeder rodents and reptiles. Feeder rodents are mice and rats—both frozen and live—used to feed some reptiles, such as certain snakes and lizards, as well as some amphibians. People may become infected with Salmonella after handling feeder rodents, reptiles, or amphibians, surfaces that have been in contact with these animals, or the environment in which the animal lives. – For complete news release see http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm344344.htm?source=govdelivery

Follow-Up Report:

(See MARYLAND resident dies of RABIES posted 03/14/13, and Fatal HUMAN RABIES case in MARYLAND due to kidney transplant posted 03/17/13)

imagesCAAZ72UBMaryland 03/17/13 foxnews.com: Public health agencies in five states are assessing the rabies risk for hundreds of people who may have had close contact with an infected organ donor and four transplant recipients, one of whom died, officials said Saturday. About 200 medical workers, relatives and others were assessed for potential exposure in Maryland, where the man who received an infected kidney died, state veterinarian Katherine Feldman said. She said fewer than two dozen were urged to get the rabies vaccine as a preventive measure. In Florida, about 90 people were identified as potentially exposed, and three were offered the rabies vaccine as of Friday, state health department spokeswoman Ashley Carr said.

TAL06181Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said the only potential exposures there were people who worked with the patient or the transplanted organ. She said only the organ recipient is receiving rabies treatment. Health officials in Georgia and North Carolina are also involved in the epidemiological investigation prompted by the Maryland man’s death from rabies in late February, nearly 18 months after he got the kidney from a donor in Pensacola, Fla. However, officials in those states didn’t respond to requests from The Associated Press about the number of people they’re assessing.- For complete article see http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/03/17/hundreds-checked-for-rabies-after-transplant-death/

SALMONELLA cases in WASHINGTON linked to contact with HEDGEHOGS ~ Scientists find more WEST NILE VIRUS in orchards and vineyards.

Hedgehog. Courtesy CDC.

Hedgehog. Courtesy CDC.

Washington 01/31/13 doh.wa.gov: News Release – Seven cases of Salmonella infection in Washington residents have been linked to a national outbreak traced to contact with hedgehogs. The Department of Health is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of Agriculture (USDA), and other states to investigate Salmonella illnesses associated with hedgehogs. The seven Salmonella illnesses linked to exposure to hedgehogs, including one death, were reported to the Department of Health WAdoh-square-fbover the past year. Tests have shown the specific type of Salmonella matches that found in 20 people from seven other states across the country. Pet hedgehogs can carry Salmonella and other diseases, even if the animals do not appear to be sick. People can be infected during routine pet care for their pet hedgehogs, which can shed bacteria that can contaminate cages, toys, bedding, or household surfaces. Even without touching a hedgehog, people can be infected by touching objects contaminated by infected hedgehogs. The cases in Washington have come from King, Pierce (2), Thurston, Whitman, Clark, and Spokane counties. – For complete release see http://www.doh.wa.gov/Newsroom/2013NewsReleases/13112SalmonellaHedgehogs.aspx

West Nile Virus (WNV):

washington-state-university-pullman-logoNational 01/30/13 eurekalert.org: Washington State University researchers have linked orchards and vineyards with a greater prevalence of West Nile virus in mosquitoes and the insects’ ability to spread the virus to birds, horses and people. The finding, reported in the latest issue of the journal PLOS ONE, is the most finely scaled look at the interplay between land use and with the virus’s activity in key hosts.

Dr. David Crowder

Dr. David Crowder

By giving a more detailed description of how the disease moves across the landscape, it opens the door to management efforts that might bring the disease under control, says David Crowder, a WSU entomologist and the paper’s lead author. Since it was first seen in New York in 1999, West Nile virus has reached across the country and shown few signs of abating. Last year, the Centers for Disease Control had the highest number of reported cases—5,387, including 243 deaths—since 2003. – For complete article see http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-01/wsu-rsm012913.php

CDC reports 149 persons in 28 states infected with SALMONELLA by handling small TURTLES ~ CALIFORNIA man attacked by MOUNTAIN LION near Nevada City ~ WYOMING confirms young male injured by BLACK BEAR ~ WASHINGTON’s Spokane County sees first WOLF attack on LIVESTOCK since 1950 ~ COYOTE attacks on PETS in CA, & ME ~ MOUNTAIN LION sightings in CA, & CO ~ EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS reports from GA, & LA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS reports from AZ, CA, IN, GA, MI, MN, MS, NY, & OH ~ RABIES reports from NC, & WI.

Photo courtesy Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

National 06/29/12 cdc.gov: News Release – A total of 149 persons infected with outbreak strains of Salmonella Sandiego, Salmonella Pomona, and Salmonella Poona have been reported from 28 states. Results of the epidemiologic and environmental investigations indicate exposure to turtles or their environments (e.g., water from a turtle habitat) is the cause of these outbreaks.

  • The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Alabama (2), Alaska (2), Arizona (5), California (26), Colorado (5), Delaware (3), Georgia (3), Illinois (1), Indiana (1), Kentucky (1), Massachusetts (3), Maryland (6), Michigan (2), Minnesota (1), New Jersey (7), New Mexico (4), New York (25), Nevada (6), North Carolina (1), Ohio (2), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (14), South Carolina (4), Tennessee (2), Texas (17), Vermont (1), Virginia (3), and West Virginia (1).
  • 28 ill persons have been hospitalized, and no deaths have been reported.
  • 64% of ill persons are children 10 years of age or younger, and 28% of ill persons are children 1 year of age or younger.
  • 94% of ill persons with turtle exposure specifically reported exposure to small turtles (shell length less than 4 inches). Thirty-three percent of ill persons with small turtles reported purchasing the turtles from street vendors, and 22% reported purchasing small turtles from pet stores.
  • Small turtles are a well-known source of human Salmonella infections, especially among young children. Because of this risk, the Food and Drug Administration has banned the sale and distribution of these turtles as pets since 1975. Turtles with a shell length of less than 4 inches in size should not be purchased as pets or given as gifts.

For further details see http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/small-turtles-03-12/index.html

California 07/02/12 sacbee.com: by Matt Weiser – A 63-year-old man was attacked by a mountain lion near Nevada City early Sunday while sleeping alongside a tributary of the Yuba River. The California Department of Fish and Game confirmed the unusual attack after investigating the scene and the man’s injuries. Fish and Game said the man, who is from the Bay Area, was traveling through Nevada County on a planned hiking trip when he decided to stop for the night to sleep. He laid a sleeping bag out on the ground and went to sleep. Around 1 a.m., he was attacked in the sleeping bag by a mountain lion for what he described as 90 seconds to 2 minutes. The man said the animal bit and clawed him through the sleeping bag, through a cap he was wearing and through his clothes. The lion ceased the attack, looked at him from 15 feet away for another 15 to 30 seconds, then ran into the night. The man drove himself to a hospital in Grass Valley, where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries and later released. Game wardens responded to the hospital and verified that the man suffered severe scratches and puncture wounds. They collected several articles of clothing and the sleeping bag, which were analyzed at Fish and Game’s forensics laboratory in Sacramento. At the scene, wardens found mountain lion tracks. They used trained dogs in an attempt to track the lion but were unsuccessful. However, they did find the remains of a domestic cat which had injuries consistent with a mountain lion attack. An effort to track the lion continues. Fish and Game counts this as the 15th confirmed mountain lion attack in California since 1890.

Wyoming 07/02/12 tetonvalleynews.net: by Rachael Horne – Public Information Specialist Mark Gocke with the Wyoming Game and Fish Department confirmed there was a bear attack on the Aspen Trail involving a male subject early Saturday morning June 30. He said from reports and enforcement officers sent to the scene, a young male individual likely surprised a bear in an area with heavy forest cover and low visibility. “It sounded like a surprise encounter,” said Gocke. “The bear reacted and charged.” Gocke said from reports, it sounded like the male subject attempted to climb a tree. The bear was then able to get a hold of his foot and pull him from the tree to the ground. It was believed the bear then took off and hasn’t been seen again. Gocke said it was believed to be a black bear based on hair found at the scene and tracks. He said it looked like a bear had been digging and rolling rocks near the scene of the incident. “It was doing what bears do,” said Gocke. “He was able to spook it and the bear charged, which is a normal reaction for a bear at close range.” Gocke said they have no plans to trap the bear. Last week, two bears believed to have been habituated to human food in Teton Canyon were euthanized. Captain Tripp Wilson from the Teton County Wyoming Sheriff’s office said his officers assisted in a search for a missing minor, but said he could not make a statement on the events because it was being handled by the Caribou-Targhee National Forest Service District. Forest service officials also confirmed there was an incident, but were not yet releasing information. Signs have been posted in the area warning visitors of bear activity, but there have been no trail closures.

Washington 06/30/12 spokesman.com: by Daniel Person – A wolf killed one sheep and injured two others on a small Nine Mile Falls ranch earlier this month, the state’s wildlife agency said Friday, marking the first wolf attack on livestock in Spokane County since at least the early 1950s. Steve Pozzanghera, eastern region director for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, said Friday two brothers woke up June 16 to see their flock of about 15 sheep in the pasture and away from the pen area where they normally gather in the morning. The men, who are not identified in the incident report, rode four-wheelers out to the flock, where they said they saw a lone wolf chasing one of the sheep. The animal then ran away. A subsequent investigation by the Fish and Wildlife Department determined that the predator was a gray wolf, Pozzanghera said. Helping confirm that it was a wolf kill was the severity of the wounds – wolves have “incredible jaw strength” – and tracks found in the area, he said. “You’re not talking about a dog-size track,” Pozzanghera said. The incident report lists the location of the attack as 11000 N. Pinebluff Road. The department announced that it had confirmed the predation as a wolf kill on Friday. – For complete article see http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2012/jun/30/wolf-kills-one-sheep-injures-two-others-in/

Coyote Attacks:

California 06/29/12 San Anselmo, Marin County: A 2-year-old cat is recovering after his owner rescued him from the mouth of a coyote in the backyard of their Rosemont Avenue home on Wednesday. – See http://www.marinij.com/sananselmo/ci_20974519/san-anselmo-cat-survives-coyote-attack?source=most_emailed

Maine 06/30/12 Kennebunk, York County: A family dog is recovering after being rescued from a coyote by her owner Thursday night. – See http://www.wcsh6.com/news/article/205698/2/Tipper-the-dog-survives-coyote-attack

Mountain Lion Sightings:

California 06/30/12 Woodside, San Mateo County: A mountain lion was seen walking along a trail in Huddart Park at 1100 Kings Mountain Road Friday night. – See http://www.mercurynews.com/peninsula/ci_20979832/mountain-lion-seen-walking-along-woodside-park-trail

Colorado 07/02/12 Loveland, Larimer County: A man working in his yard near 41st Street and Taft Avenue reported a mountain lion resting in a tree above him. – See http://www.reporterherald.com/news/loveland-local-news/ci_20991215/mountain-lion-hangs-out-loveland-yard

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

Georgia 07/02/12 Lakeland, Lanier County: Health officials have confirmed another case of EEE in a horse. This is the fourth case in a horse found in South Georgia this year. – See http://www.wtxl.com/content/topstories/story/Horse-tests-positive-for-EEE-in-Lanier-Co/vHxNMsPo3kW7_03QSuANZg.cspx

Louisiana 07/02/12 Iberia Parish: The state veterinarian’s office has reported a horse infected with EEE in the parish. – See http://www.katc.com/news/west-nile-detected-in-iberia-parish/

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Yavapai County

Arizona 07/03/12 Yavapai County: A large body of standing water tested positive for WNV. Health officials and the property owner are working to resolve the situation, which was due to improper irrigation techniques and/or faulty ditch gates. – See http://verdenews.com/main.asp?SectionID=1&SubSectionID=1&ArticleID=48914

California 07/02/12 Los Angeles County: WNV has been found in mosquitoes in Newhall, Encino and Silverlake. A dead crow was found to be infected with the virus in Toluca Lake. This is the first time the virus has been detected in Rowland Heights this year. – See http://www.sgvtribune.com/news/ci_20991276/west-nile-virus-detected-mosquitoes-collected-rowland-heights

Marion County

Indiana 07/02/12 Marion County: Public health officials said two samples of mosquitoes, one taken from Warren Township and another in Perry Township, tested positive for the WNV. – See http://www.fox59.com/news/wxin-health-officials-confirm-mosquitoes-carrying-west-nile-virus-found-in-marion-co-20120702,0,3929153.column

Iberia Parish

Louisiana 07/02/12 Iberia Parish: Officials have found WNV in mosquito samples. – See http://www.katc.com/news/west-nile-detected-in-iberia-parish/

Michigan 07/02/12 Saginaw and Washtenaw counties: A mosquito abatement commission in Saginaw County tested a mosquito pool and detected WNV, officials said. Also, a wild turkey in Washtenaw County that displayed signs of the virus was checked at Michigan State University, and it tested positive. – See http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2012/07/precautions_against_west_nile.html

Minnesota 07/03/12 South-Central: A human case of WNV has been confirmed in a St. Louis County after visiting a south-central part of the state. He was hospitalized and is recovering. – See http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/health/161234225.html

Mississippi 07/03/12 Lauderdale County: District health officials have confirmed a human case of WNV in the county. – See http://www.wtok.com/news/mississippiheadlines/West_Nile_Virus_161254665.html

New York 07/03/12 Long Island: A mosquito sample taken from Gardiner County Park in Islip, and a dead crow found in Northport, have both tested positive for WNV. – See http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/07/03/west-nile-virus-discovered-on-long-island/

Lake County

Ohio 07/02/12 Lake County: State health officials have confirmed a mosquito pool has tested positive for WNV. – See http://news-herald.com/articles/2012/07/02/news/doc4ff1f98f423b0283927825.txt


North Carolina 07/02/12 Silver Valley, Davidson County: A fox that ran from a resident’s garage and attacked him has tested positive for rabies. – See http://www.the-dispatch.com/article/20120702/News/307029988

Wisconsin 07/02/12 Wausau, Marathon County: The Marathon County Health Department is requesting help from the public in the search for a dog who bit a woman at Sunny Vale Park Sunday. The dog is a 6- or 7-year-old black lab mix and is not wearing a collar. The department needs to verify the dog’s vaccination status to prevent the woman from having to endure rabies shots. If you have information about this dog or know who owns it, contact the Marathon County Health Department at 715-261-1908, the Marathon County Dispatch at 715-849-7785 or the Humane Society at 715-845-2810.

CANADA: ONTARIO struggling under weight of CANADIAN GOOSE poop ~ MAINE reports LYME DISEASE and other TICK-related illnesses on the rise ~ MASSACHUSETTS reports TICK-borne diseases doubled last year ~ TEXAS health official confirms WEST NILE VIRUS in HORSE ~ TENNESSEE county detects WEST NILE VIRUS in seven zip codes ~ CDC researchers estimate nearly 1 million U.S. illnesses from WEST NILE VIRUS since 1999.

Canada goose. Photo by Robert Lawton. Wikimedia Commons.


Photo by D. Gordon & E. Robertson. Wikimedia Commons.

Ontario 05/29/12 ottawacitizen.com: by Tom Spears – (Excerpts) “For much of the 20th century, southern and eastern Ontario had almost no Canada geese. Then in the late 1960s and early 1970s, wildlife managers decided to reintroduce the species — just a few geese here and there.  The population has since exploded. They’re everywhere”.

“Health research is pointing to geese as sources of bacteria. A 2005 study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes: ‘The large amount of feces produced by geese congregating around surface water bodies is a source of environmental contamination and, potentially, zoonotic pathogens. Feces from large flocks are major contributors to fecal coliform levels in reservoirs that supply drinking water for some cities, and free-living bird populations can serve as reservoirs for pathogenic bacteria, such as salmonella, Escherichia coli (E. coli), campylobacter, listeria, and chlamydia. Thus, wild bird populations can amplify and eventually transmit infectious microbes to humans by directly contaminating agricultural fields or surface waters used for drinking, recreation, or crop irrigation. Free-living and domestic bird populations can also be reservoirs of drug-resistant bacterial pathogens or resistant genetic elements.’

Photo by Walter Siegmund. Wikimedia Commons.

‘It’s a huge problem. Big ecological problem for the river,’ says Dan Brunton, a naturalist who lives a short walk from the Ottawa River.”  (according to National Geographic magazine) “ . . . a flock of 50 geese will deposit 2.5 tonnes of droppings annually.” – For complete article see http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Temperatures+soaring+geese+dropping/6691859/story.html

Black Legged or Deer Tick.

Maine 05/30/12 bangordailynews.com: by Jackie Farwell – The tiny deer ticks marching northward through Maine may be hard to spot, but the diseases they carry are hard to miss. Maine is recording increasing numbers of illnesses transmitted by the bite of the eight-legged deer tick, including two lesser-known germs following in Lyme disease’s footsteps. Cases of anaplasmosis, which affects white blood cells, have spiked from nine in 2007 to 26 in 2011, according to state epidemiologist Dr. Stephen Sears. Already in 2012, 15 cases have been reported. “Although those numbers are very small compared to Lyme, the fact that it’s increasing, and it seems to be increasing pretty significantly each year, suggests to me that we really all need to become aware of all these diseases,” Sears said. Also on health officials’ radar is babesiosis, a less common but potentially serious tick-borne disease in which microscopic parasites infect red blood cells. It can especially sicken those with weak immune systems and people who have had their spleen removed.

Both anaplasmosis and babesiosis cause fever, headache, and muscle aches, though some people infected with babesiosis experience no symptoms. “If [people] get fevers and chills in the summer and they don’t have a rash, that could be Lyme disease without a rash, it could be anaplasma, it could be something else,” Sears said. “If they had tick exposure, that’s especially important.” The deer tick can transmit Lyme, anaplasmosis and babesiosis. With one bite, a tick could infect its host with all three diseases. The dog tick, meanwhile, which is larger with characteristic white markings, can carry Lyme but doesn’t transmit it.

Numbers wise, anaplasmosis and babesiosis still pale in comparison to Lyme disease. The most conspicuous of the tick-borne diseases, Lyme sickened about 1,000 Mainers in 2011 and more than 180 so far this year. But the two emerging diseases are shadowing Lyme’s progression from southern to northern New England. “Anaplasmosis and babesiosis are emerging in southern Maine the way we saw Lyme disease emerge several decades ago,” said Susan Elias, a clinical research associate at Maine Medical Center’s Vector-borne Disease Laboratory in South Portland. “We’re now seeing those two diseases moving inland and up the coast in the same pattern as Lyme.” – For complete article see http://bangordailynews.com/2012/05/30/health/lyme-disease-and-other-tick-related-illnesses-on-the-rise-in-maine/

Massachusetts 05/30/12 wbur.org: by Carey Goldberg – Surely you know that Lyme Disease is endemic all across Massachusetts. Surely you didn’t need any further incentive to guard against tick bites — to wear insect repellent, do tick checks after being outdoors, and more. But just in case, I’m passing along some worrisome statistics I just learned from Dr. Catherine Brown, the state public health veterinarian, about the rise of two other tick-borne diseases. They’re both far rarer than Lyme Disease but don’t relax; they’re also both potentially fatal. They’re called babesiosis and anaplasmosis, and confirmed cases of both effectively doubled from the 2010 numbers to 2011. They still remain extremely uncommon. Even after the doubling, there were 191 confirmed Massachusetts cases of babesiosis in 2011, and 140 confirmed cases of anaplasmosis. But when numbers rise so dramatically, Dr. Brown said, “It makes us notice.” – For complete article (with map and graphs) see http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2012/05/tick-borne-disease-babesiosis

Parker County

Texas 05/30/12 Parker County: State epidemiologist Jim Schuermann confirmed a case of West Nile Virus in a horse earlier than normal.

– See http://weatherforddemocrat.com/top-news/x1561295105/West-Nile-virus-case-reported-in-Parker-County-horse

Shelby County

Tennessee 05/30/12 Shelby County: The mosquito-borne virus that causes West Nile disease has been found in seven county zip codes. It was initially detected on May 8th, the earliest it has ever been found in the county. – See http://www.wbir.com/news/article/221407/2/Earliest-ever-detection-of-West-Nile-virus-in-Shelby-County

National 05/29/12 umn.edu: News Scan – Extrapolating from surveillance data, US researchers estimate that, from 1999 through 2010, more than 3 million Americans were infected by West Nile virus (WNV), which resulted in 780,000 illnesses and more than $800 million in medical costs. Writing in Epidemiology and Infection yesterday, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Fargo, N.D., San Francisco, and Madison, Wis., noted that the nationwide ArboNET surveillance system has detected 12,823 cases of West Nile neuroinvasive disease (WNND) since 1999. They point out that a 2012 study in Emerging Infectious Diseases on blood donors in North Dakota suggested that, for every WNND case detected, 213 to 286 infections likely occurred. From these statistics, the investigators estimated that almost 2.8 million WNV infections occurred in the study period in adults. They note that estimates of infection rate vary for children, but, if they assume the rate to be similar to the adult rate, the number of US WNV infections grows to about 3.2 million. Assuming that 26% of infections lead to clinical disease, they estimated about 780,000 cases of WNF, for a total acute-care medical cost of about $832 million. May 28 Epidemiol Infect abstract April Emerg Infect Dis report on WNND cases

CHICKENS and ZOONOTIC DISEASES ~ RABIES reports from NORTH CAROLINA, RHODE ISLAND, & VIRGINIA ~ CDC Reports: ZOONOTIC DISEASE summary for week ending February 4, 2012.

Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Global 02/16/12 mikethechickenvet.wordpress.com: Excerpts – “Bird flu is a concern, but it is a risk that is minimal in North America.  We have never had a bird-human transmissible flu virus on the continent.  If we ever get ‘bird flu’ in Canada, I will bet my next paycheck that it arrives on an airplane, carried by an infected person….likely from a country that is already dealing with a human outbreak.


There are risks with having backyard chickens, however.  Having birds in your backyard means having poop in your backyard, and in your coop.  Having poop in your backyard and coop means you have bacteria in your backyard and coop.  Bacteria will occasionally make you sick, if you get it in your body.  Salmonella, E.coli, and Clostridium are all types of bacteria that can live in chickens that are a threat to human health.

The nice thing about eggs is that there is only really one bacteria that will contaminate the interior of an egg before it is laid.  Salmonella enteritidis can live in the ovary of the hen, and be incorporated in the egg.  The unfortunate thing is that S.e. doesn’t necessarily make the hen very ill….so you could possibly eat an egg from a contaminated hen without knowing it.  The amount of money and time spent controlling this bacteria by professional farmers is staggering.  We have programs of regular testing, and plans for what to do if the bacteria is ever found….even if we just find it in the environment, and NOT in any eggs.  This makes our commercially available, graded eggs very safe.  In your backyard, it is much more difficult to be sure….  It is expensive and technically difficult to isolate S.e. from a contaminated hen….let alone one who might, or might not have it.  The thing to keep in mind is if anyone in your household, or anyone who eats eggs from your hens, gets sick with diarrhea (especially bloody) or a high fever, PLEASE let your doctor know that you have hens, and eat ungraded eggs…..catching an infection like this early is very important.”

“As I said above, the only real risk for contaminating the inside of the egg is Salmonella, but eggs come out of the hen moist and warm (>40 C).  That means that if the egg lands in a contaminated spot, it can “suck” bacteria (especially E.coli) through pores in the shell, as it cools.  It is crucial to keep the nest boxes clean, and be very careful with any egg that is not laid in the nest box.  Also, the shell is a very good barrier to infection, but if the egg is cracked, contamination is a much bigger risk.  Once a few bacteria get in through the shell’s defences, it is an ideal spot for the bacteria to thrive, and the number of bacteria will grow exponentially if the conditions are right.”  – With a checklist to decrease human health risks for urban farmers. – See complete article at http://mikethechickenvet.wordpress.com/2012/02/16/zoonotic-diseases-and-chickens/

North Carolina 02/16/12 Carrboro, Orange County: A raccoon that was killed by a vaccinated dog near Borland and Old Woods roads tested positive for rabies. See http://www.carrborocitizen.com/main/2012/02/16/positive-rabies-test-2/

Rhode Island 02/16/12 Pawtucket, Providence County: Animal Control officials have confirmed that a raccoon captured in the Manton Street area tested positive for rabies. See http://news.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/2012/02/pawtucket-racco.html

Virginia 02/16/12 Newport News: Local officials are looking for a dog described as a dark brown boxer with a black face that allegedly bit a person in the vicinity of Jefferson Avenue and Main Street. If the dog is not found, the victim may have to undergo PEP rabies treatment. See http://www.wavy.com/dpp/news/local_news/newport_news/health-department-searches-for-animal

CDC Reports:

CDC MMWR Summary for Week ending February 4, 2012:

Published February 10, 2012/ 61(05); ND-58-ND-71

Anaplasmosis . . . 2 . . . New York (2),

Ehrlichiosis . . . 2 . . . Georgia, North Carolina,

Giardiasis . . . 110 . . . Alabama (2), Arizona, Arkansas (4), California (12), Florida (25), Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Maryland (5), Michigan, Missouri (6), Nebraska (2), New York (22), Ohio (12), Oregon (2), Pennsylvania (7), Vermont, Virginia, Washington (4),

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

Lyme Disease . . .  92. . . Delaware (3), Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Maryland (2), New Jersey (39), New York (21), North Carolina, Pennsylvania (18), Rhode Island, Virginia (3), Wyoming,

Rabies (Animal) . . . 27. . . Arkansas, Florida (10), Maine (2), New York (7), Texas (5), Vermont, West Virginia,

Spotted Fever (Confirmed) . . . 1. . . Georgia,

Spotted Fever (Probable) . . . 7 . . . Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia.

USGS study finds Lichens may be key to fighting Chronic Wasting Disease; CDC learns pet Frog breeder source of Salmonella outbreak; FDA approves new test for Toxoplasmosis; Hantavirus reports from Colorado, and Maine; a Coyote report from Mississipppi; Lyme Disease forums to be held in New Hampshire, and New Jersey; and Rabies reports from New Jersey, Texas, and Virginia. Travel Warnings for Dominica.

Bull moose. Public domain photo. Wikimedia Commons.

National 05/18/11 eurekalert.org: Certain lichens can break down the infectious proteins responsible for chronic wasting disease (CWD), a troubling neurological disease fatal to wild deer and elk and spreading throughout the United States and Canada, according to U.S. Geological Survey research published today in the journal PLoS ONE.  Like other “prion” diseases, CWD is caused by unusual, infectious proteins called prions. One of the best-known of these diseases is “mad cow” disease, a cattle disease that has infected humans. However, there is no evidence that CWD has infected humans. Disease-causing prions, responsible for some incurable neurological diseases of people and other diseases in animals, are notoriously difficult to decontaminate or kill. Prions are not killed by most detergents, cooking, freezing, or by autoclaving, a method used to sterilize medical instruments.

Dr. Christopher Johnson

“When prions are released into the environment by infected sheep or deer, they can stay infectious for many years, even decades,” said Christopher Johnson, Ph.D., a scientist at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center and the lead author of the study. “To help limit the spread of these diseases in animals, we need to be able to remove prions from the environment.” The researchers found that lichens have great potential for safely reducing the number of prions because some lichen species contain a protease enzyme (a naturally produced chemical) capable of significantly breaking down prions in the lab.

Whitetail deer with CWD

“This work is exciting because there are so few agents that degrade prions and even fewer that could be used in the environment without causing harm,” said Jim Bennett, Ph.D., a USGS lichenologist and a co-author of the study.  CWD and scrapie in sheep are different than other prion diseases because they can easily spread in sheep or deer by direct animal-to-animal contact or through contact with contaminated inanimate objects like soil. Chronic wasting disease was first diagnosed in the 1960s and has since been detected in 19 states and two Canadian provinces. CWD has been detected in wild elk, mule deer, white-tailed deer and moose in North America.  Lichens, said Johnson, produce unique and unusual organic compounds that aid their survival and can have antibiotic, antiviral and other chemotherapeutic activities. In fact, pharmaceutical companies have been examining the medicinal properties of lichens more closely in recent years.

Lichens on rocks.

Lichens – which are often mistaken for moss – are unusual plant-like organisms that are actually a symbioses of fungi, algae and bacteria living together. They usually live on soil, bark, leaves and wood and can live in barren and unwelcoming environments, including the Arctic and in deserts.  Future work will examine the effect of lichens on prions in the environment and determine if lichen consumption can protect animals from acquiring prion diseases. Contact: Gail Moede gmrogall@usgs.gov 608-270-2438 United States Geological Survey

National 05/20/11 cdc.gov: mmwr 60(19);628 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is collaborating with state and local public health departments in an ongoing investigation of human Salmonella Typhimurium infections associated with African dwarf frogs (ADFs). ADFs are aquatic frogs commonly kept in home aquariums as pets. From April 1, 2009 to May 10, 2011, a total of 224 human infections with a unique strain of S. Typhimurium were reported from 42 states. This outbreak likely includes considerably more than the 224 laboratory-confirmed cases reported to CDC; only an estimated 3% of Salmonella infections are laboratory confirmed and reported to surveillance systems.

The median age of patients in this outbreak was 5 years (range: <1–67 years), and 70% (156 of 223) were aged <10 years. No deaths have been reported, but 30% (37 of 123) of patients were hospitalized. Sixty-five percent (56 of 86) of patients interviewed reported contact with frogs in the week before illness; 82% (45 of 55) reported that this contact took place in the home. Of those who could recall the type of frog, 85% (29 of 34) identified ADFs. Median time from acquiring a frog to illness onset was 15 days (range: 7–240 days).

African Dwarf Frog

Samples collected during 2009–2011 from aquariums housing ADFs in six homes of patients yielded the S. Typhimurium outbreak strain. Traceback investigations conducted during 2009–2011 from 21 patient homes and two ADF distributors identified a breeder in California as the common source of ADFs. This breeder sells ADFs to distributors, not directly to pet stores or to the public. Environmental samples collected at the breeding facility in January 2010, April 2010, and March 2011 yielded the outbreak strain. Based on these epidemiologic, traceback, and laboratory findings, the breeder voluntarily suspended distribution of ADFs on April 19, 2011. Public health officials are working with the breeder to implement control measures.

Distribution of ADFs currently is unregulated by federal or state agencies. To prevent infection, the public needs to be aware of the risk of Salmonella infections associated with keeping amphibians, including frogs, as pets. Education of consumers, health-care professionals, and the pet industry is needed. Persons at high-risk for Salmonella infections, especially children <5 years, pregnant women, and immunocompromised persons, should avoid contact with frogs, water used by the frogs, and their habitats. Additional information is available at http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/water-frogs-0411.

National 05/19/11 usnews.com: A new test to detect whether a toxoplasmosis infection has been acquired within the past four months has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Vidas Toxo IgG Avidity Assay — approved for people with a toxoplasmosis infection confirmed by other methods — can be used to validate whether infection by the Toxoplasma gondii parasite is less than four months old. Human antibodies triggered by the parasite behave differently after four months than they do initially. Toxoplasmosis, sometimes called “cat scratch disease” can be passed from mother to unborn child. The infection can cause miscarriage, stillbirth or an abnormally sized fetal head. In the child’s later life, it can lead to vision loss, mental impairment or seizures, the FDA said in a news release. While exposure to cats and used cat litter are primary methods of transmission, toxoplasmosis also can be transmitted by other animals and birds. And the parasite can be acquired by eating raw or undercooked meat. Typical warning signs among people include swollen lymph nodes and flu-like symptoms, the FDA said. The test is produced by bioMerieux Inc., based in Hazelwood, Mo.

Colorado 05/19/11 epcan.com: by Janet Huntington – Elbert resident Nikki Clark wasn’t thinking about Hantaviruswhen she cleaned out her tack room. It was simple spring cleaning at the Clark residence. When she first began to feel ill on April 17, Clark assumed she had the flu. She was still able to work, but within three days she had developed pneumonia-like symptoms and was home in bed. Another three days passed and she was admitted to the hospital. Four days later her blood work showed she had Hantavirus and Clark and her husband, realtor Pete Clark, learned her life was in danger. “This disease attacks your lungs and heart. It is imperative that you get oxygen into your system…The statistics are, of the people entering the hospital for this virus, 50% don’t make it,” Clark said in a written statement. “My recovery has been very slow, but I see

Deer mouse

an improvement every day. Because of the low recovery rate, the doctors don’t know too much about normal recovery time,” she added.

Maine 05/18/11 bangordailynews.com: A 70-year-old Somerset County man who has the dubious distinction of becoming Maine’s first-ever case of Hantavirus has survived thanks to a quick medical response, according to an article written by Meg Haskell and published in the Bangor Daily News.  Dr. Stephen Sears, Maine’s state epidemiologist, said the man was treated in the intensive care unit of a local hospital and is now recovering in a rehab facility.  Dr. Sears said state inspectors found the man’s home was contaminated with mice.  Hantavirus is associated with deer mice and other rodents.

Mississippi 05/17/11 sunherald.com: by Mary Perez – Biloxi – Coyotes are killing pets and scaring residents throughout the city and Councilman Tom Wall said Tuesday the city has to find some way to deal with them before a child is mutilated or killed. “It seems to be a growing problem,” said Paul Mallery, one of a half-dozen residents who came to Tuesday’s Council meeting with their concerns.  “I’ve seen them in the street,” Mallery said.  One neighbor saw a coyote at the back door and he said a friend in the Woolmarket area watched a coyote grab his dog and carry it into the woods. Mallery said the city also has red foxes, which carry disease. “It’s like we’re under siege,” he said. Biloxi Police Lt. Harold Windom said he doesn’t know how to get rid of coyotes. Experts with the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries told the police three effective methods are traps, poison and snares.  But Windom said these solutions, or shooting the animals, can’t safely be used in a city near so many children and pets. Windom said he would continue to look for some way to get the coyotes out of city neighborhoods.

New Hampshire 05/20/11 cabinet.com: by Sarah Clough – There will be a Lyme disease awareness evening Monday, May 23, at 6:30 in the Merrimack High School Little Theater. “Under Our Skin” will be shown, followed by a Q-and-A session with David Hunter, facilitator of the Greater Manchester Lyme Disease Support Group. Admission is free. For more information, e-mail sarah.clough@merrimack.k12.nh.us.

New Jersey 05/19/11 nj.com: The Salem County Health Department has confirmed the first case of rabies in the county for the year. A stray cat attacked a Pilesgrove woman here on May 15 at her home while she was taking out her recyclables. The cat bit the woman’s leg and latched on until the woman kicked the cat off, officials said in a press release on Wednesday. The cat hid until Ned Shimp, animal control officer, came to retrieve it. Shimp euthanized the cat and sent it to the state for testing, according to the release. The state confirmed that the stray cat was positive for rabies. The woman immediately went to South Jersey Healthcare-Elmer Hospital for post-exposure rabies treatment. For more information, please contact the Salem County Health Department at (856) 935-7510, ext. 8484 or visit www.cshealth.org .

New Jersey 05/19/11 northjersey.com: River Vale – On Wednesday, May 25, “ABC’s of Lyme Disease and Other Tick Borne Illnesses” will be presented at the River Vale Community/Senior Center. The free program, which will run from 7 to 8:30 p.m., will be presented by Kim Uffleman, a former board member of the Lyme Disease Association of New Jersey. For more information visit http://www.rivervalenj.org or call the health department at 201-664-2346.

Texas 05/18/11 kwtx.com: A skunk found a week ago in the backyard of a home on Regina Drive in Hewitt has tested positive for rabies, police said Wednesday. Hewitt police and Woodway animal control officers were attempting Wednesday to contact residents whose pets might have come into contact with the skunk. The effort is primarily focused on an area of Hewitt that includes the 600 block of Regina Drive and the 1000 and 1100 blocks of Dendron Drive.

Virginia 05/18/11 suffolknewsherald.com: by Tracy Agnew – A dog bitten by a fox in the Person Street area of Suffolk last week had to be euthanized after the fox tested positive for rabies, according to the Suffolk Health Department. The dog had not been vaccinated for rabies. The owner, who was also bitten, has started a course of treatment to prevent rabies. The incident happened in the same area as a series of events May 6-7 in which a rabid fox attacked two children and a dog before being killed by the dog.

Travel Warnings:

Dominica 05/19/11 stabroeknews.com: The Government of Dominica has warned about an outbreak of Leptospirosis which has claimed the lives of the Director Agriculture on the island and another man, according to the Caribbean Media Corporation. CMC said that the director Richard Allport, died from the disease this week. The disease is most often transmitted in floodwater through contact with rat urine. Guyana had a serious outbreak of this disease in 2005 during the Great Flood. “The Ministry of Health in Dominica wishes to inform the general public that the outbreak of Leptospirosis announced by the Ministry last year has not yet subsided,” a Dominica Government statement said, according to CMC.

Five in Rhode Island exposed to rabid Fox; Utah county scrubs plan to reintroduce Black-footed Ferret; NASPHV recommends measures to prevent disease associated with animals in public settings; and Rabies reports from Florida, South Carolina, and Texas.

Red fox. Courtesy National Biological Information Infrastructure.

Rhode Island 05/06/11 projo.com: Hopkinton – Five people are being treated for rabies exposure after having contact with a fox in unprovoked attacks in Hopkinton, the state Department of Environmental Management reported Thursday. The DEM said in a news release that four incidents involving the fox took place Sunday near Marshall Driftway and Canonchet Road in the town’s Hope Valley section. A fox was shot and captured, but “the specimen was insufficient for testing,” the DEM said. Although there have been no additional fox-related reports in the area this week, the DEM said, it is unclear whether one fox was responsible for all the incidents. Anyone who could have had potential contact with a fox in that area should contact the state Department of Health’s Division of Infectious Diseases at (401) 222-2577 for evaluation. Those in Hopkinton should be particularly aware, and report any contact to the DEM’s environmental police at (401) 222-3070.

Utah 05/05/11 sltrib.com: by Brandon Loomis – Rich County commissioners have opted not to allow reintroduction of the endangered black-footed ferret into a prairie dog colony on private land in northern Utah, according to the County Clerk’s Office. The county was considering a plan by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources to place 20 ferrets a year onto the LDS Church-owned Deseret Land and Livestock ranch, which had approved the idea as long as neighboring landowners didn’t object. The state and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service had agreed to treat the new ferret population as experimental and not impose land-use restrictions if the population spread to neighboring private or public lands. But most neighbors did object, and commissioners said they couldn’t support the plan because of fears that environmentalists or government agencies might later impose restrictions under the Endangered Species Act. Rich County’s approval wasn’t technically required for a reintroduction, though state officials said they wouldn’t proceed without it. Commissioners voted 3-0 against the plan Wednesday. Black-footed ferrets were thought extinct before a population was discovered in Wyoming in 1981 and brought into captivity for breeding. They have since been placed in 19 locations in the Great Plains, Southwest, Canada and Mexico — including one in Uintah County’s Coyote Basin in eastern Utah.

National 05/06/11 cdc.gov: Compendium of Measures to Prevent Disease Associated with Animals in Public Settings, 2011 – National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, Inc. (NASPHV) –

This report has been endorsed by CDC, the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, the United States Department of Agriculture-Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, the American Association of Extension Veterinarians, and the American Veterinary Medical Association.  Corresponding preparer: John R. Dunn, DVM, Co-chairperson, NASPHV Animal Contact Compendium Committee, Tennessee Department of Health, 425 5th Avenue North, Cordell Hull Building, 1st Floor, Nashville, TN 37243. Telephone: 615-741-5948; Fax: 615-741-3857; e-mail: John.Dunn@tn.gov.

Summary – Certain venues encourage or permit the public to be in contact with animals, resulting in millions of human-animal interactions each year. These settings include county or state fairs, petting zoos, animal swap meets, pet stores, feed stores, zoologic institutions, circuses, carnivals, educational farms, livestock-birthing exhibits, educational exhibits at schools and child-care facilities, and wildlife photo opportunities. Although human-animal contact has many benefits, human health problems are associated with these settings, including infectious diseases, exposure to rabies, and injuries. Infectious disease outbreaks have been caused by Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella species, Cryptosporidium species, Coxiella burnetii, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, ringworm, and other pathogens. Such outbreaks have substantial medical, public health, legal, and economic effects.

This report provides recommendations for public health officials, veterinarians, animal venue staff members, animal exhibitors, visitors to animal venues, physicians, and others concerned with minimizing risks associated with animals in public settings. The recommendation to wash hands is the most important for reducing the risk for disease transmission associated with animals in public settings. Other important recommendations are that venues prohibit food in animal areas and include transition areas between animal areas and non-animal areas, visitors receive information about disease risk and prevention procedures, and animals be properly cared for and managed. These updated 2011 guidelines provide new information on the risks associated with amphibians and with animals in day camp settings, as well as the protective role of zoonotic disease education. (For complete report go to http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr6004a1.htm?s_cid=rr6004a1_e&source=govdelivery )

Florida 05/03/11 usda.gov: News Release – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) will distribute oral rabies vaccine baits beginning on or around May 9 to reduce the incidence of raccoon rabies in parts of west-central Florida as part of ongoing cooperative rabies control efforts aimed at raccoon rabies elimination.

In cooperation with the Pasco County and Pinellas County Animal Services, 2,700 oral rabies vaccination (ORV) baits targeting raccoons will be distributed by bait stations in four nine-square-kilometer areas.  The area includes southern Pinellas County and the J. B. Starkey Wilderness Area in Pasco County.  Up to 60 bait stations (a distribution mechanism for ORV baits) will be positioned strategically where raccoons are likely to travel in southern Pinellas County.  Personnel from USDA’s wildlife services program will be asking residents of southern Pinellas County locales for permission to place the stations on their properties to effectively test the stations.

ORV baits are coated with a fishmeal attractant and will be packaged in one-inch square cubes.  Humans and pets cannot get rabies from contact with the baits. The public is asked to leave the baits undisturbed should they encounter them.  This vaccine has been shown to be safe in more than 60 different species of animals, including domestic dogs and cats.  Dogs that consume large numbers of baits may experience an upset stomach, but there are no long-term health risks. (For complete News Release go to http://www.aphis.usda.gov/newsroom/2011/05/oral_rabies_florida.shtml )

South Carolina 05/05/11 scnow.com: An Horry County man who was bitten and scratched by a stray cat is under the care of a physician after the animal tested positive for rabies, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control reported today. This is the first confirmed rabid animal in Horry County in 2011. Last year, there were seven rabid animals confirmed in the county. In 2010, there were 106 confirmed cases of rabies in animals in South Carolina. So far this year, there have been 29 confirmed cases in animals in the state. For more information about rabies, see DHEC’s webpage at: http://www.scdhec.gov/rabies or contact DHEC’s Horry County Environmental Health Office (843) 915-8801.

Texas 05/05/11 brownwoodnews.com: by Lisa Tipton – Brownwood Animal Control received the first positive confirmation of rabies of 2011 inside the city limits on Wednesday, May 4th. A skunk was collected from the 400 block of 4th Street and determined to be rabid. Texas recognizes five animals at high risk for rabies transmission:  skunks, bats, foxes, coyotes, and raccoons.  If any of these or any other animal is seen acting strangely, please contact Animal Control as soon as possible at 325-646-2525.