Tag Archives: SARS

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

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

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

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

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

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

Novel Coronavirus:

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

Dr. Volker Thiel

Dr. Volker Thiel

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

Rabies:

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

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

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

Oregon’s young Wolves moving to new areas; Bear-Hunting.Org to release guide on how to avoid a Bear attack; Coyotes take another pet in California’s Laguna Woods; Southeast Asian countries testing grounds for new Dengue vaccine; MIT scientists develop new drug that can cure nearly any viral infection; West Nile Virus reports from CT, & IL; and Rabies reports from MA, & WI. Travel Warnings for The Bahamas.

OR-3, a three-year-old male wolf from the Imnaha pack. Image captured by an Oregon Dept. of Fish & Wildlife employee on May 10, 2011, in Wallowa County.

Oregon 08/08/11 state.or.us: News Release – The Imnaha wolf pack had at least one pup this year. Footage captured July 16, 2011 by an ODFW employee show a black-colored pup travelling with the Imnaha pack’s alpha female (its mother). So far, photographs and visual observations have turned up only one pup for the Imnaha pack this year, but more pups may be found.  Young wolves will naturally leave a pack and move to new areas. Several members of the Imnaha pack dispersed from the pack in the past few months.  Three-year-old male wolf OR-3 (named because he was the third wolf collared in Oregon) was located by ODFW southeast of Fossil (Wheeler County) on July 30, 2011. ODFW searched the Fossil area using radio telemetry after a member of the public captured the image of a wolf on his trail camera in the west Blue Mountains. OR-3 had last been located north of Wallowa on May 10 when he was captured in a video.  OR-3 is now west of the Hwy 395-78-95 boundary, in the part of the state where wolves are protected by the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA), in addition to Oregon’s ESA. Time will tell if OR-3 stays in the Fossil area, moves on or even goes back to Wallowa County.

The Imnaha wolf pack had at least one pup this year. Footage captured July 16, 2011 by an ODFW employee show a black-colored pup travelling with the Imnaha pack’s alpha female (its mother).

A second collared wolf, two-year-old male OR-9, swam across the Brownlee Reservoir into Idaho on July 18. ODFW notified wildlife managers in Idaho about his presence.  This brings to three the number of wolves known to have dispersed from the Imnaha pack. OR-5 went to Washington State last winter when she was 1.5 years old.  ODFW does not have evidence that any of these three collared wolves (OR-3, OR-5, OR-9) have joined a new wolf pack yet.  Other uncollared members of the Imnaha pack may have dispersed with the radio-collared wolves or gone their own way. The latest observations and data suggest the Imnaha pack now has four adult wolves (three of them collared), plus the new pup.  “Wolf packs are dynamic and rarely stay the same size over time,” noted Russ Morgan, ODFW wolf coordinator. “A pack can be healthy despite these natural fluctuations in numbers, as long as a breeding pair of wolves, the alpha male and female, is maintained.”

Trail cameras also captured images of four adult wolves from the Wenaha pack travelling in the Wenaha unit of the northern Blue Mountains area during the summer. No pups were seen on the footage. ODFW will continue to monitor this pack for pups and to try and collar members from this pack.  Wolf pups are born in mid-April, with litters typically averaging four to six pups. The pups go outside the den and become more active beginning in June. ODFW devotes part of the summertime to determining if wolf packs have reproduced.

Global 08/10/11 benzinga.com: With the recent media coverage on the death of a boy during a bear attack in Norway, Bear-Hunting.Org, an educational portal for hunters to get information on bear hunting, has decided to release a guide on how to avoid a bear attack. Noah Riddle of Bear-Hunting.Org had this to say: “We hope this guide will help educate people prevent bear attacks and if in the situation of a bear attack, be able to defend themselves.” Bear-Hunting.Org claims that most bear attacks are due to sows (female bears) defending their cubs. They expect to release the full guide sometime in the middle of August and will offer it for free on their website. However, they wanted to release some information to the public today to help educate people who may be in an area or situation where they might encounter a bear. Below are the tips that Bear-Hunting.Org released out of their guide.

1. If you’re going to be in an area or situation where you have the possibility of coming across a bear, you should make sure you carry a can of bear pepper spray. Keep this readily available since an attack will be sudden and sometimes without notice.

2. Do not make eye contact with a bear; this is considered threatening to them. Also to appear less threatening, bend at the knees to appear smaller and turn sideways.

3. If a bear happens to attack you, it’s vital that you protect your chest and abdominal area. You can do this by falling on the ground and assuming the fetal position. Use your hands to protect the back of your neck, and try to stay still until the bear leaves.

Bear-Hunting.Org recommends checking with your state’s department of wildlife and natural resources for more information on preventing bear attacks and learning about recent bear attacks in the area. Be sure to visit their bear hunting website to obtain the guide when it’s released.

California 08/10/11 patch.com: by Rich Kane – Another coyote attack in Laguna Woods has left yet another resident of the retirement community petless. Joan Cierzan, 82, went to let her dog Mocha, a poodle mix, outside her residence on Saturday morning. Though Mocha was leashed, when Cierzan opened her patio gate, she felt a strong yank on the tether, which caused her to fall to the ground. The attack was swift—all that was left was an empty dog collar. The incident was the worst of many human-versus-coyote encounters during the seven-day period of August 3-9. A perusal of the public police calls log at the Laguna Beach Police Department—whose three-person animal services division handles Laguna Woods—revealed at least 10 reports of coyote sightings, primarily in Laguna Woods, but at least one within the Laguna Beach city limits as well. The Laguna Woods city council voted July 28 to hire armed exterminators to kill coyotes. So far, at least five of the animals have been eliminated.

Global 08/10/11 philstar.com: by Ding Cervantes – A vaccine against dengue developed by a French pharmaceutical firm was tested on some 2,000 children in Laguna (the Philippines) last month and was found to be effective. Health Assistant Secretary Enrique Tayag revealed this during the recent 10th Blood Galloner Awards held in Malolos City, Bulacan. Since the long-awaited dengue vaccine may yet be available by 2014, Tayag said the public must continue to observe usual precautions against the mosquito-borne disease that has led to many deaths over the years. Tayag said tests on about 2,000 children in Laguna last month proved the vaccine to be both safe and effective. He said clinical trials were also done in Cebu City. Still, Tayag said the vaccine still has to pass all evaluation and more tests before its target release in 2014. Researchers worldwide have been working on a dengue vaccine for almost 60 years, and for the first time, the vaccine is being tested in the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Global 08/10/11 mit.edu: News Release – Most bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics such as penicillin, discovered decades ago. However, such drugs are useless against viral infections, including influenza, the common cold, and deadly hemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola. Now, in a development that could transform how viral infections are treated, a team of researchers at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory has designed a drug that can identify cells that have been infected by any type of virus, then kill those cells to terminate the infection. In a paper published July 27 in the journal PLoS One, the researchers tested their drug against 15 viruses, and found it was effective against all of them — including rhinoviruses that cause the common cold, H1N1 influenza, a stomach virus, a polio virus, dengue fever and several other types of hemorrhagic fever.

Dr. Todd Rider

The drug works by targeting a type of RNA produced only in cells that have been infected by viruses. “In theory, it should work against all viruses,” says Todd Rider, a senior staff scientist in Lincoln Laboratory’s Chemical, Biological, and Nanoscale Technologies Group who invented the new technology. Because the technology is so broad-spectrum, it could potentially also be used to combat outbreaks of new viruses, such as the 2003 SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak, Rider says. (For complete news release go to http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2011/antiviral-0810.html )

Fairfield County

Connecticut 08/08/11 ct.gov: News Release – The Connecticut Mosquito Management Program announced Aug. 8 that mosquitoes trapped in nine towns from July 25 to Aug. 1 tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV). These results represent the first positive mosquitoes identified in Danbury, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Hamden, Litchfield, New Canaan, Stratford, and Woodbridge by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) this year.  In 2011, WNV-positive mosquitoes have been trapped in 15 municipalities: Bridgeport, Danbury, Darien, Easton, Fairfield, Greenwich, Hamden, Litchfield, New Britain, New Canaan, Orange, Stamford, Stratford, Westport, and Woodbridge. No Connecticut residents have been identified with illnesses related to WNV infections this year. In 2010, WNV-positive mosquitoes were trapped in 24 municipalities with eleven reported human cases.

American Goldfinch is in CDC's mortality database

“As expected, we continue to find mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus in more locations in lower Fairfield County and are now seeing an expansion into other areas of Connecticut,” said Dr. Theodore G. Andreadis, Chief Medical Entomologist, CAES. “Over the next few weeks and into early fall, we expect to see further build-up of West Nile virus with increased risk for human infection throughout the state, especially in densely populated communities.

Will County

Illinois 08/10/11 suntimes.com: A collection site in south Naperville last week brought the number of Illinois counties reporting West Nile virus activity this summer to an even dozen. The Will County Health Department announced Wednesday that a monitoring station operated by the city reported the county’s first confirmed activity of the virus for 2011. The mosquito samples were collected Aug. 1, and presence of the virus was confirmed the following day. Will County reported at least 18 WNV-positive mosquito batches during 2010, including 15 from sites operated by Will County Environmental Health, a division of the Health Department. Will was the 12th Illinois county to report West Nile activity this summer. No Illinois human cases have been reported, but many mosquitoes and four birds have tested WNV-positive so far. For more information, visit http://www.idph.state.il.us.

Massachusetts 08/09/11 salemnews.com: by Ethan Forman – A rabid skunk came out of the shrubs and sank its teeth into the leg of a 3-year-old boy who was playing in his backyard Friday. “To the horror of the parents, the skunk hung on,” said Peter Mirandi, the public health director. The parents were able to kick the skunk off their son and take him to the emergency room. The skunk was tested over the weekend, and yesterday Mirandi learned it had rabies. The boy is already receiving the necessary shots to ward off the disease. The incident took place Friday at approximately 1 p.m. in a small neighborhood just up the road from the Hathorne fire station on Maple Street and Supino’s Restaurant off Route 1, Mirandi said.

Brown bat

Wisconsin 08/09/11 todaystmj4.com: by Jesse Ritka – A number of rabid bats are turning up in southeast Wisconsin. And you could be bitten without even realizing it. In the last month, rabid bats have bitten a man in Erin and a dog in Hartford. Environmental Health Specialist Margaret Anderson said this is not typical. “That is unusual for us to have two, especially this close together.” Jenna Giese of Fond du Lac survived rabies in 2004, but health officials don’t want people to let their guard down. “Rabies is still considered a fatal disease in humans once they contract it so it’s best to take all the precautions you can to avoid getting bitten by a rabid animal,” says Anderson.

Travel Warnings:

The Bahamas 08/10/11 thenassauguardian.com: by Chester Robards – The United States Embassy in Nassau issued an emergency e-mail message yesterday warning potential visitors about the outbreak of dengue fever in The Bahamas. “U.S. citizens should be aware of the recent dengue fever outbreak in The Bahamas,” said an official e-mail from the embassy received by The Nassau Guardian. “In the past few weeks, over 200 cases have been reported and almost 1,000 cases have been reported of individuals suffering from symptoms that match dengue.”