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 for 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 necropsy 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.
Colorado 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
Global 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.
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/
Massachusetts 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
North 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
Texas 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