Tag Archives: St. Louis Encephalitis

Dead DEER in New Jersey may be victims of MIDGE FLIES; Arizona MOUNTAIN LION population growing; California trapper gets MOUNTAIN LION that killed two steers; Idahoan rescues DOG from MOUNTAIN LION; North Carolina man and dog injured by BLACK BEAR; West Virginia DEER hunting regs reflect presence of CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE; Florida officials confirm ST. LOUIS ENCEPHALITIS in SENTINEL CHICKENS; WEST NILE VIRUS reports from CT, FL, ID, MS, & OR; and RABIES reports from NY, & CA. Follow-Up Reports: Patient in Minnesota diagnosed with inhalational ANTHRAX recovering.

Whitetailed Buck. Courtesy National Park Service.

New Jersey 08/31/11 nj.com: by Matt Fair – A virus known in the past to severely affect white-tailed deer populations in New Jersey may be making a reappearance, with an added boost from Hurricane Irene. The virus, known as Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), was responsible for killing more than 4,000 deer in Burlington and Salem counties in 1999. It killed about 50 deer in Salem County last year, according to the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. Officials in the department say they’ve had reports of dead and possibly infected deer in northern portions of Hopewell Township. Sightings have also occurred in East Amwell in Hunterdon County and Hillsborough in Somerset County. “We’ve had people report seeing up to 30 dead deer,” said Larry Herrighty, assistant director of the department’s division of fish and wildlife. However, he added, only two possible cases have been identified so far. “We don’t have any confirmation yet, but we did send two samples to the laboratory.”

Midge fly carries EHD

Herrighty said the virus is carried by the bites of tiny midge flies that, according to some theories, can be carried into the region by air currents. The disease is typically observed in August and September. “There’s some theories that midges infected with this virus get blown in on summer thunderstorms,” he said, adding that the passage of Hurricane Irene could have carried more of the insects into the Mercer area. “This is a disease that is common in the Southern U.S., and the deer there seem to be fairly immune to it,” he said. The midges die off when cold weather arrives.

Infected deer generally die within five to 10 days of contracting the virus. Symptoms include loss of appetite and a feverish condition that causes them to seek out water sources either for drinking or bathing. The animals grow progressively weaker, they tend to salivate excessively, and they often lose their fear of people. “They’re in a feverish state of mind, and you may be able to approach them without them running away,” Herrighty said. “They won’t get aggressive or anything like that.” The virus can’t be transmitted to humans and doesn’t pose a public health risk, authorities said. Still, Herrighty said, it is important to report animals that might be infected. “Even though deer are overabundant in some of these areas, it’s important to monitor any of these diseases,” he said. “From a recreational value and a health scenario, we need to know what’s going on.” In one year, he said, the disease resulted in a 30 to 40 percent reduction in the deer harvest, although the decreases generally don’t last more than a single year. “In the areas that we saw a 30 percent drop, the population came back within a year or two and the harvest rebounded,” he said. “It hasn’t affected any herd in the long term.”

Arizona 08/28/11 azstarnet.com: by Mark A. Hart, PIO for Arizona Game & Fish Department in Tucson – Western wildlife agency managers believe that mountain lions appear to be more secure as a species now than ever before in recent history. Between 2,500 and 3,000 mountain lions live in Arizona. Current habitat estimates suggest that approximately 67 mountain lions live in the Santa Catalina, Rincon and Little Rincon mountain ranges east to the San Pedro River. That figure is consistent with a large white-tailed deer population there, which has been growing since the late-1990s to mid-2000s, when major fires improved habitat. Other factors make the ranges good mountain lion habitat; for example, the remoteness of some parts of Saguaro National Park East, which is closed to hunting, and of Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, where discharge of firearms is prohibited.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department in Tucson fields approximately 100 calls about mountain lions annually, many of them from the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area and the Foothills. The vast majority are sightings, classified by a department response protocol as a visual observation of a lion, or a report of lion tracks or other sign. There has never been a fatal mountain lion attack in recorded Arizona history. But there have been two attacks causing injuries in the state, and numerous reports of “close encounters” here and throughout the U.S. and Canada. Meantime, a recently completed Game and Fish study with the University of Arizona using radio collars shows mountain lions ranging widely throughout the mountains surrounding Tucson, and using travel corridors to routinely move about Southern and Central Arizona. All this makes situational awareness in the wilderness vitally important.

If a mountain lion is seen, experts advise:

• Do not approach the animal. Most mountain lions will try to avoid a confrontation. Give them a way to escape.

• Stay calm and speak loudly and firmly.

• Protect small children so they won’t panic and run.

• Do not run from a mountain lion. Running may stimulate a mountain lion’s instinct to chase. Stand and face the animal. Make eye contact.

• Appear larger. Raise your arms. Open your jacket if you are wearing one. Throw stones, branches, or whatever you can reach without crouching or turning your back. Wave your arms slowly. The idea is to convince the lion that you are not easy prey and that you may be a danger to it.

• Maintain eye contact and slowly back away toward a building, vehicle, or busy  area.

• Fight back if attacked. Many potential victims have fought back successfully with rocks, sticks, caps, jackets, garden tools, their bare hands, and even mountain bikes. Since a mountain lion usually tries to bite the head or neck, try to remain standing and face the animal.

Given a mountain lion’s instinct to chase, trail runners and bikers need to be especially cautious, and avoid using headsets or other devices that prevent hearing what is going on around them. In addition, those who encounter a mountain lion should not stop to take photos, but instead take action to deter an incident or attack. Mountain-lion sightings, encounters, incidents and attacks -especially in neighborhoods, recreational areas, and schools – should be promptly reported to Game and Fish at 628-5376 during regular business hours, or 1-623-236-7201 any time. For more information, see www.azgfd.gov/w_c/urban_lion.shtml

California 08/30/11 hollisterfreelance.com: by Kollin Kosmicki – A county-designated trapper caught a mountain lion Tuesday after an Aromas rancher reported two steers killed the previous day, the agriculture commissioner said.  A rancher off Anzar Road on Monday discovered two dead steers of about 450 pounds each. He suspected a mountain lion may have been responsible and reported it to the agriculture commissioner’s office.  On Monday night, a county-hired expert with the U.S. Department of Agriculture put out a trap, and there was a mountain lion in the cage Tuesday morning, said Ron Ross, San Benito County’s agriculture commissioner.  The male lion was about 100 pounds and has been euthanized, which is a state requirement when the big cats are captured after such encounters.  There have been occasional reports from local ranchers of possible cougar attacks – some officials have expressed concern about a growing population and needing a statewide count of the species – but it is uncommon around here to actually capture one in a trap, or large cage with a door that shuts when an animal enters.  “To my knowledge, this is the first time (with a capture) on the San Benito County side of Aromas,” Ross said.  The area where the trapper caught the lion is mostly rural with pockets of residential neighborhoods nearby. The trap was located about 100 yards from a residence, according to officials.

Idaho 08/29/11 localnews8.com: by Kylie Bearse – Living right next to the mountains has its perks, but it also comes with its fair share of danger. One Swan Valley man and his pet had a close encounter over the weekend with one very big cat. Lynn Dixon has lived in Swan Valley for 26 years, the first time he saw a mountain lion was Friday – with his Yorkie, Sammy, in tow. “I ran over there, as fast as I could go,” said Dixon. “I got over there and I kicked her, tried to get her to let go of the dog. I started chasing her toward the river. I lost my balance and fell into the river then I looked around and saw the dog lying 4 or 5 feet away from me in the shallow part of the river.” Sammy miraculously survived. “She’s got puncture wounds to her forehead and damage to her left leg,” said Dixon. “She went through a lot of trauma but I tell ya she’s a tough little dog.”

Yorkshire terrier

There are still signs of a struggle here where the lion jumped over the fence with the dog in her mouth. And while what Dixon did was incredibly heroic, it was also very dangerous. “Even though your first instinct might be to get between the two of them it’s the last thing you should do,” said Gregg Losinski. “If I’d have thought I wouldn’t have chased the cat, it’s that simple,” said Dixon. “But you don’t think, you just try to save your dog.” Mountain lion sightings are not unusual, especially near the mountains. “Mountain lions are felines so they often act like your house cats, they like to sun themselves, they like to get up on a wood pile maybe,” said Losinski. If you do find a cat on your porch: “the term ‘Fraidy Cat’ applies even to mountain lions,” said Losinski. “They don’t want to mess with people, if you get out there and start yelling at it generally it’ll run of.” And after Lynn’s close encounter, he’s just grateful. “For what she went through, it really is a miracle,” said Dixon. If you do take actions into your own hands and kill a mountain lion in self defense, be sure to report it to Idaho Fish and Game immediately.

North Carolina 08/31/11 wbtv.com: A North Carolina man and his dog are recovering from wounds after a run-in with a bear in their backyard. The Asheville Citizen-Times reported Wednesday that Rick Hall suffered cuts to his chest and a puncture wound to his left cheek after trying to scare a black bear from his property in Candler. His Scottish terrier Baxter suffered six to eight deep puncture wounds. Hall’s wife Caroline says her husband and dog are recovering. Pat Conner says her son-in-law let the dog outside before dawn Tuesday, and the animals came muzzle-to-muzzle in the backyard. Wildlife Resources Commission biologist Brad Howard says bears are roaming the mountains at this time of year, so people should look outside and make sure it’s clear before letting dogs out.

West Virginia 08/31/11 wvdnr.gov: News Release – The discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in Hampshire County, West Virginia, represents a significant threat to the state’s white-tailed deer. The disease does not create an immediate widespread die-off of deer, but if allowed to spread, will cause long-term damage to the herd. The DNR is taking action to gather more information on the prevalence and distribution of the disease in the area surrounding all known infected deer. The DNR also discourages supplemental feeding and baiting of deer statewide, and bans these practices in Hampshire County. In addition there are restrictions on the disposal and transport of deer carcasses from within the containment area in WV, VA and MD where CWD has been detected. There are no proven solutions to combating CWD once present in free-ranging deer. Thus, future management actions will be adaptive and based on the findings of current and future surveillance. The Containment Area includes all of Hampshire County, that portion Hardy County north of Corridor H and W.V. Rt. 55 from Wardensville to the Virginia Stateline and that portion of Morgan County which lies west of US Rt. 522. It is illegal to bait or feed deer or other wildlife in the “Containment Area”.

Pinellas County

Florida 08/31/11 tampabay.com: For the first time in six years, St. Louis encephalitis has shown up in Pinellas County. The mosquito-transmitted disease that attacks the central nervous system disappeared in Pinellas when West Nile virus came to town in 2005. But Tuesday, county officials announced they had confirmed St. Louis encephalitis in four sentinel chickens. The chickens are kept in eight locations in the county and tested weekly to detect the presence of mosquitoes carrying diseases. Two chickens in Walsingham Park in Largo and two chickens at the North Highway Maintenance Yard in Clearwater tested positive.

Connecticut 08/31/11 ct.gov: News Release – The State Mosquito Management Program today announced that a Stamford resident has tested positive for West Nile virus (WNV) infection. In addition, mosquitoes trapped by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES) between August 15 – 22, 2011, have tested positive for WNV in four new municipalities this year: Hartford, Meriden, North Haven and Tolland.

Duval County

Florida 08/30/11 jacksonville.com: The Duval County Health Department announced another confirmed (human) case of West Nile virus, involving a 79-year-old female. This most recent case brings the total to nine confirmed with one reported death associated with the virus.

Gem County

Idaho 08/31/11 idahostatesman.com: by Katy Kreller – A man living in Southeast Idaho has a confirmed case of West Nile virus, according to a release from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare. The man was hospitalized last week.  Officials say there is other evidence the virus still is active in the area. The mosquito abatement district in Gem County reported mosquitoes there tested positive for the virus.

Mississippi 08/29/11 ms.gov: News Release – Today the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports two new human West Nile virus (WNV) cases in Forrest and Rankin counties, bringing the state’s total to 18 for 2011. So far this year, cases have been confirmed in Coahoma, Forrest (3), Hinds (4), Jones (3), Pearl River (4), Rankin, Tallahatchie, and Wayne counties. One death has been confirmed in Jones County. In 2010, Mississippi had eight WNV cases and no deaths.

Oregon 08/30/11 kgw.com: by Frank Mungeam – Health officials say the first mosquitoes of the season with West Nile virus have been detected in the Jordan Valley of Malheur County in Eastern Oregon.

New York 08/30/11 watertowndailytimes.com: The U.S. Department of Agriculture will begin its distribution of oral vaccine baits Wednesday in St. Lawrence County to help stop the spread of raccoon rabies. The baits will be distributed in Gouverneur, Heuvelton, Canton, Ogdensburg and Waddington. Two rabid raccoons were found in DeKalb, near Richville, one on May 26 and one on Thursday. Two rabid bats were reported in August in Madrid. For information on free rabies clinics for pets call the county Public Health Department at 386-2325.

California 08/30/11 the-signal.com: by Cory Minderhout – An eighth rabid bat was found in the Santa Clarita Valley this year, a county Health Department official said Tuesday. The bat was found alive at a school in Valencia on Thursday about 8:15 a.m., said Dr. Karen Ehnert, acting director for the veterinary public health and rabies control program for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. “We were lucky there we no exposures,” Ehnert said. “Adults saw the bat before school started and kept the kids from it.” “We want to remind children to always tell an adult if they see sick wildlife and to not touch (the animal),” Ehnert said. Health Department officials did not reveal the name of the school at which the bat was found. The Health Department does not release the exact location of rabid bat findings so that people will not be discouraged from reporting them, Ehnert said. So far this year, 21 rabid bats have been found in Los Angeles County, a Health Department website said. Normally, eight to 10 rabid bats are found in L.A. County each year. The exact reason for the increase in rabies among the county’s bat population this year was unknown, Ehnert said in a previous interview. Bats live in colonies, and the Santa Clarita Valley is a favored place for them, she said earlier. Anyone who sees a dead or live bat should cover it with a box and call animal control, which will pick the animal up and take it to the Health Department for rabies testing, Ehnert said. “We want to remind people to never touch a live or dead bat and to get their pets vaccinated against rabies,” Ehnert said.

Follow-Up Report:

Minnesota 08/26/11 state.mn.us: News Update – (See August 16, 2011: Minnesota investigates apparent case of inhalational Anthrax) The Minnesota Department of Health in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been investigating a case of inhalation anthrax. The individual, a man in his 60s, had traveled through several states in July and early August, where anthrax is known to be in the soil and to have caused infections in animals, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. He was hospitalized in early August with pneumonia, was determined to have inhalation anthrax and is now recovering. The Bacillus anthracis strain isolated from the patient was found by genetic testing to be similar to other strains isolated in North America. The individual had a prior chronic lung condition, which may have made him more susceptible to infection with anthrax, and had multiple exposures to soil and animal products. No other human cases of anthrax have been reported in 2011.


World Mosquito Day, August 20, 2011; Rhode Island finds Highlands J Virus in mosquitoes collected at Chapman Swamp in Westerly; What Is Highlands J Virus?

Sir Ronald Ross (1857-1932)

World Mosquito Day

August 20th  is World Mosquito Day, marking the date in 1897 when Sir Ronald Ross made the discovery of malaria cells in the stomach of a mosquito, establishing the link between the two and identifying mosquitoes as the vectors of a disease that was previously thought to emanate from contaminated air (“Mal Aria”). The LSHTM Malaria Centre is proud to continue the tradition of the Ross Institute’s annual Mosquito Day celebrations.

Rhode Island 08/16/11 ri.gov: News Release – The Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announces this season’s first mosquito-borne virus isolation. The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) Laboratory isolated Highlands J (HJ) virus from a pool of 17 mosquitoes collected August 9 at Chapman Swamp in Westerly. HJ is a disease of birds; it does NOT affect humans. The presence of HJ virus indicates that environmental conditions are appropriate for transmission of other mosquito-borne viruses, such as Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) and West Nile Virus (WNV). The finding is not unexpected at this time, as mosquito-borne viruses become more prevalent during the late summer and early fall every year.

With the recent heavy rainfall, DEM and HEALTH officials remind Rhode Islanders to protect themselves by eliminating mosquito breeding grounds and avoiding mosquito bites. Personal protection is the first line of defense against mosquitoes that can carry diseases such as WNV and EEE and is by far the most effective way of avoiding infection. Eliminate mosquito breeding grounds from yards by removing anything that holds standing water, such as old tires, buckets, junk and debris, clean gutters so that they drain correctly, and properly maintain swimming pools. Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Just one cup of standing water can produce hundreds of mosquitoes. Avoid mosquito bites by using screens on windows and doors, covering up at dawn and dusk, and putting mosquito netting over playpens and baby carriages when they are outside. Also, use mosquito repellent, but with no more than 30 percent DEET. Do not use repellent on infants.

Mosquitoes are trapped every week statewide by DEM staff and tested at HEALTH’s laboratory. DEM will normally report mosquito test results once a week on a routine basis, with additional reports as necessary. Test results from mosquitoes trapped this week will be included in next week’s announcement. Positive mosquito test results will generally trigger additional trapping to assess risk. This year, to date in Rhode Island, no mosquitoes have tested positive for West Nile Virus or Eastern Equine Encephalitis. # # # End of News Release

University of Florida, IFAS Extension http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in515 :

What is Highlands J Virus?

Dr. C. Roxanne Rutledge

By C. Roxanne Rutledge, associate professor and extension medical entomologist at the University of Florida/IFAS Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory.

Highlands J virus (HJ) is a mosquito-transmitted alphavirus that is similar to eastern equine encephalitis virus (EEE) in its natural cycle; it is transmitted from Culiseta melanura mosquitoes to songbirds in freshwater swamps. It has a low pathogenicity in mammals and is rarely seen in humans or horses. There have been outbreaks reported in penned birds but the symptoms are mild compared to EEE.

Reports of Highlands J Virus in Animals. Reports of animals infected with HJ virus are not uncommon. Mortality in animals associated with an infection of HJ virus include domestic turkeys at a commercial facility and young broiler chickens in an experimental setting. In 1964, the cause of death of one horse in Florida was attributed to western equine encephalomyelitis virus (WEE). However, in 1989, researchers used new techniques to re-examine the virus that was isolated from the horse’s brain. They identified the isolate to be a strain of HJ virus that is distinct from WEE.

Scrub jay

Many animals have antibodies to HJ (are sero-positive for HJ) without any signs or symptoms of disease. This means that they were exposed to the virus, likely through the bite of an infected female mosquito, but there was no illness associated with the infection. Researchers in Florida reported antibodies to HJ in about 15% of the blue jays and scrub jays tested in Lake Placid, Florida, during 1994-95. In a sero-survey of small mammals in Indian River County, FL, one cotton mouse and one cotton rat had antibodies to HJ.

Mosquito Species Testing Positive for Highlands J Virus.

Reports of mosquito species that have tested positive for HJ virus include Aedes cinereus, Aedes canadensis, Aedes cantator, Aedes vexans, Culex pipiens, Culiseta melanura, and Culiseta morsitans.

Is Highlands J Virus a Problem for Humans?

During the 1990-91 St. Louis encephalitis (SLE) outbreak in Florida, four patients were reported to be dually infected with SLE and HJ; however, exposure to HJ virus has not been directly associated with human illness.

Even though HJ virus is not a major pathogen for humans, it is always prudent to be aware of current conditions in any part of Florida where humans may be exposed to mosquito bites. HJ is present in Florida and there will always be a small number of humans exposed to this virus. A rise in the number of humans infected with HJ would have to be considered a potentially dangerous situation due to the potential for HJ to cause more disease in people whose immune system has been weakened, i.e., the elderly and those who are immunocompromised.

Pay attention to medical alerts from the local and state health departments, and refer to the Encephalitis Information System, or EIS. (http://eis.ifas.ufl.edu). The EIS was created and is maintained by experts at the UF/IFAS Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory. The system provides current information on risks of exposure to the primary Florida mosquito-borne diseases (eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis, and West Nile viruses). EIS addresses each of the major mosquito-borne diseases of concern to Florida citizens and will include HJ if this virus increases in its effect on Florida’s human population. The EIS is regularly updated to provide current information.

Protection from mosquito bites is very important, especially during times of high risk of exposure to infected mosquitoes. Refer to the Mosquito Repellent fact sheet at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/IN419 for more details.


Day, J. F., L. M. Stark, J. T. Zhang, A. M. Ramsey, and T. W. Scott. 1996. Antibodies to arthropod-borne encephalitis viruses in small mammals from southern Florida. J. Wildl. Dis. 32:431-436.

Garvin, M. C., K. A. Tarvin, L. M. Stark, G. E. Wollfended, J. W. Fitzpatrick, and J. F. Day. 2004. Arboviral infection in two species of wild jays (Aves: Corvidae): evidence for population impacts. J. Med. Entomol. 41:215-25.

Karabatsos, N., A. L. Lewis, C. H. Calisher, A. R. Hunt, and J. T. Roehrig. 1988. Identification of Highlands J virus from a Florida horse. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 19:603-606.

Meehan, P. J., D. L. Wells, W. Paul, E. Buff, A. Lewis, D. Muth, R. Hopkins, N. Karabastos, and T. F. Tsai. 2000. Epidemiological features of and public health response to a St. Louis encephalitis epidemic in Florida, 1990-91. Epidemiol. Infect. 125:181-188.


  1. This document is Fact Sheet ENY-720, one of a series of the Entomology and Nematology Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Date first published: October 2004. Revised July 2009. Please visit EDIS Web site at http://edis.ufl.edu.

Excerpt from Carl Zimmer’s new book A Planet of Viruses; UI researchers find dramatic increase in U.S. hospitalizations due to Dengue Fever; Montana woman dies of Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome; Connecticut man attacked by Coyotes; South Carolina woman suggests fashion world could decimate Coyote population; Rabies reports from Alabama, Oklahoma, & West Virginia; & a Coyote report from Indiana.

National 04/25/11 audubon.org: by Alisa Opar – In his fascinating new book, author Carl Zimmer explores the viruses living within and around us. With lively writing and fascinating details—if you put all the viruses of the oceans on a scale, they would equal the weight of 75 million blue whales—it’s a gripping and educational read. The book is available May 1, but you can enjoy a sneak peek below.

Becoming an American: West Nile Virus. Excerpted from A Planet of Viruses, by Carl Zimmer. The University of Chicago Presss, 109 pages.

In the summer of 1999, Tracey McNamara got worried. McNamara was the chief pathologist at the Bronx Zoo. When an animal at the zoo died, it was her job to figure out what killed it. She began to see dead crows on the ground near the zoo, and she wondered if they were being killed by some new virus spreading through the city. If the crows were dying, the zoo’s animals might start to die too. Over Labor Day weekend, her worst fears were realized: three flamingoes died suddenly. So did a pheasant, a bald eagle, and a cormorant. McNamara examined the dead birds and found they had all suffered bleeding in their brains. Their symptoms suggested that they had been killed by the same pathogen. But McNamara could not figure out what pathogen was responsible, so she sent tissue samples to government laboratories. The government scientists ran test after test for the various pathogens that might be responsible. For weeks, the tests kept coming up negative.

Carl Zimmer

Meanwhile, doctors in Queens were seeing a worrying number of cases of encephalitis—an inflammation of the brain. The entire city of New York normally only sees nine cases a year, but in August 1999, doctors in Queens found eight cases in one weekend. As the summer waned, more cases came to light. Some patients suffered fevers so dire that they became paralyzed, and by September nine had died. Initial tests pointed to a viral disease called Saint Louis encephalitis, but later tests failed to match the results. As doctors struggled to make sense of the human outbreak, McNamara was finally getting the answer to her own mystery. The National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Iowa managed to grow viruses from the bird tissue samples she had sent them from the zoo. They bore a resemblance to the Saint Louis encephalitis virus. McNamara wondered now if both humans and birds were succumbing to the same pathogen. She convinced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to analyze the genetic material in the viruses. On September 22, the CDC researchers were stunned to find that the birds were not killed by Saint Louis encephalitis. Instead, the culprit was a pathogen called West Nile virus, which infects birds as well as people in parts of Asia, Europe, and Africa. No one had imagined that the Bronx Zoo birds were dying of West Nile virus, because it had never been seen in a bird in the Western Hemisphere before. Public health workers puzzling over the human cases of

Dr. Ian Lipkin

encephalitis decided it was time to broaden their search as well. Two teams—one at the CDC and another led by Ian Lipkin, who was then at the University of California, Irvine—isolated the genetic material from the human viruses. It was the same virus that was killing birds: West Nile. And once again, it took researchers by surprise. No human in North or South America had ever suffered from it before. (For complete review go to http://magblog.audubon.org/book-excerpt-planet-viruses-carl-zimmer )

Global May 2011 cdc.gov: The results of a recent study published in the May 2011 issue of CDC-EID found a dramatic increase in the number of hospitalizations for patients with dengue fever in the United States. This increase is not surprising considering that 1) the number of cases in disease-endemic regions has increased in recent years, and 2) a substantial number of travelers annually enter the United States from the tropics and subtropics. Although infrequent, severe consequences of dengue infection may occur in returning travelers. As individual travelers increasingly make multiple visits to dengue-endemic areas, the risk for severe dengue infections may similarly increase. A survey of 219 travelers who received treatment for dengue in Europe showed that 23 (11%) had severe clinical manifestations, including internal hemorrhage, plasma leakage, shock, and marked thrombocytopenia. We were unable to ascertain whether mosquito-borne hemorrhagic fever (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, code 065.4) also increased because the code appears quite infrequently, making statistical inferences unreliable. We also attempted to use deaths as a marker for disease severity, but we could not detect an increase in disease severity in our analysis because number of deaths was insufficient to accurately estimate a mortality rate. Dengue and dengue hemorrhagic fever have been described as potential public health threats for residents of the US mainland. Despite the proximity of circulating dengue virus to the continental United States and the spread of the vector mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus) to at least 26 states, autochthonous cases in the continental United States have been relatively rare until the recent Floridaoutbreak. The increase in reported cases that we have documented highlights a potential risk for dengue spread within the United States. Although

Dr. Judy Streit

dengue fever was previously classified as reportable in some states, it did not become a reportable illness at the national level until 2010. Thus, some time is required before cases reported to public health departments can be used to establish reliable statistical estimates of national trends. Furthermore, the number of cases may not be linked to other relevant clinical data. The major limitation to our study is that we used administrative data, and thus we did not have access to laboratory data or patients’ travel histories. In addition, milder cases treated on an outpatient basis were not captured. Nevertheless, our results indicate that the decision to make dengue fever a reportable disease in the United States was warranted and that increased vigilance focused on these new surveillance data is needed. In addition, administrative data, as we describe here, can be used to estimate the effects and severity of illness attributable to dengue.

Dr Judy A. Streit is an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Iowa where she an infectious disease specialist and the director of the travel medicine clinic. Her research interests include tropical medicine and related phenomena.

Montana04/25/11 kxnet.com: Park County health officials say a 46-year-old

Deer mouse feeding pups.

Livingston-area woman has died of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome. Coroner Al Jenkins tells the Livingston Enterprise that Hillary Johnson died on April 8 while she was being transported to a Billings hospital. Johnson had visited Park Clinic on April 7 with symptoms including a high fever, muscle fatigue and an extreme headache. She checked into the emergency room the next day also suffering from shortness of breath and extreme congestion. Hantavirus can be contracted through inhaling the droppings or urine of deer mice or touching the droppings or urine and then touching one’s eyes, nose or mouth.

Connecticut 04/25/11 courant.com: by Hillary Federico – Old Lyme – A man was attacked by a coyote while mowing his lawn Sunday, but was able to drive himself to a local clinic, according to a spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection. The victim, who lives on Tantummaheag Road, was not seriously injured. He received a few cuts and scratches, said Dennis Schain, DEP spokesman. “There is a certain chance [that the coyote may have been rabid]. This is really the first instance of a coyote attacking a person since I’ve been here,” Schain said. “It is highly unusual.” Schain said there has not been a coyote attack on a human within Connecticut since 2006, when a coyote attacked two men in Washington. One of the men was jogging when he was attacked but was not seriously injured. The second man was attacked by the same coyote later in the day while walking his dog. He, too, was not seriously injured. “It turns out that the coyote did have rabies and was [killed],” Schain said. Local police alerted neighbors of the attack and warned them to take precautions. The risk of a coyote attacking a person is extremely low, though Schain noted the risk can increase if coyotes are intentionally fed. If this is the case, the animal begins to associate people with food.

Alabama 04/25/11 gadsdentimes.com: Two dogs in the Coates Bend area have been quarantined after they fought with a raccoon that tested positive for rabies, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. Dr. Dee W. Jones, state public health veterinarian, in a press release said the raccoon was killed April 19, and that this is the first laboratory-confirmed case of animal rabies in Etowah County this year. He said the dogs were quarantined according to state regulations for rabies observation. For more information, contact the Alabama Department of Public Health, Bureau of Communicable Disease, Division of Epidemiology, at 1-800-677-0939, or the Etowah County Health Department at 256-547-6311.

Indiana 04/26/11 nwitimes.com: by Vanessa Renderman – A St. John family is mourning the loss of a pet that was snatched from its backyard by a pack of coyotes Sunday night. John Melendez, who lives in the Renaissance subdivision, said he wants residents to be aware of the threat the predators pose. “These things aren’t only a nuisance but are quite detrimental to the area,” he said. The attack happened about 11 p.m. Sunday, when the family let two of its miniature pinschers outside in the 9100 block of West 96th Place. One ran back into the garage, acting strangely. There was loud yelping and snarling. When John’s wife, Debbie Melendez, checked on the commotion, she saw what she described as a pack of wolves in possession of the dog, St. John Animal Control Officer Rick Conaway said. “There are no wolves in Northwest Indiana,” Conaway said. “They’re coyotes.” John Melendez said that when his wife approached the pack, they began growling at her. The animals were the size of German shepherds. The miniature pinscher’s disappearance and presumed death adds to the grief the family already was going through, after having to euthanize another pet dog Wednesday, John Melendez said. Conaway said the Sunday incident is the second of its type to happen in town since 2009, although the dog in the first incident later was found alive. He cautioned that pets less than 25 pounds should not be left unattended at any time of day. Coyotes hunt around the clock and feed on squirrels, raccoons, rabbits and other small animals. “A coyote will eat anything from a grasshopper to a groundhog,” he said. The subdivision where Sunday’s incident happened is near Clark Middle School — where the mascot is a coyote — and near a large undeveloped area.

Oklahoma 04/25/11 sequoyahcountytimes.com: by Dianna F. Dandridge – Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Department last week reported being called to a residence west of Sallisaw where a skunk had attacked a dog. Deputies destroyed the skunk and sent the remains to the Oklahoma Public Health Laboratory for analysis. The dog was placed in quarantine. Cox said that the incidence of rabies in Sequoyah County has traditionally been extremely low, but that Sebastian County, Ark., is already seeing a number of cases.

South Carolina04/25/11 thetandd.com: by Beth Richardson – Over the past decade and longer, coyotes have migrated into South Carolina from western states. Don’t worry; the coyotes did not jump over Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. The coyote is not native to the southeastern United States. Coyotes are meat eaters and will eat anything that is easy to catch. Research at the Savannah River Site clearly shows that one of the coyote’s favorite meals is the fawn. The coyote population and fawn depredation have reached a point where it has affected the number of deer allowed to be shot on the property. So far, research on other animals has not been completed, but one may be able to carry this research to other animals, thus, turkey, rabbits, and other small animal populations may be affected by the coyotes. There is an answer to the problem and the answer has worked in years past. The answer is … are you ready???? WOMEN! Yeah, I know, you did not see that coming, but keep reading.

Coyote fur outfit

Back in the 19th and early 20th century, women wore bird plumes in their hats. In fact, some plumes were in such demand that certain populations of bird species were driven close to extinction if not to extinction. It was the women’s fashion world that made it chic to wear beautiful plumes in their hats. This made the birds valuable; this meant that the hunters of these birds made enough money to warrant their catching/killing the birds to retrieve the plumes. Ergo, this fashion, because of women, created a supply and demand. The demand was so great that some of these birds did not make it, such as the Carolina parakeet. So, the plan is, if we can get the women fashion designers of New York and Paris to design the new accessories (the coyote tail cap, scarf, wrap and belt) and get it sold to the “in crowd” as an environmental statement of protecting native animals and fauna against non-native species, then there would be a value to the coyote. That value would be high enough whereby people could make a living off of trapping and shooting coyotes; thus, decimating the coyote population where it is not native. Beth Richardson is an agent with the Clemson Extension Service in Orangeburg County.

West Virginia 04/2/11 newstribune.info: by Liz Beavers – A recent rabies case has been confirmed in the Painter Hollow Road area near Fort Ashby, according to the Mineral County Health Department. The raccoon submitted tested positive for rabies. For further information, or to report any suspicious animals, call the health department at 304-788-1321.

West Nile Virus reports from Florida, Louisiana, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas (2); Lyme disease report from Maine; and St. Louis Encephalitis report from Texas.

Clapper Rail above (Photo Credit Univ of Vermont), and other birds below, are a few of 326 bird species reported to CDC's West Nile Virus avian mortality database from 1999-present.

 Florida 10/28/10 cape-coral-daily-breeze.com: The Lee County Health Department reports that a Lee County man has been diagnosed with West Nile Virus.  The man, said to be “middle-aged,” works outdoors and went on three recent hunting trips outside of Lee County, officials said, adding it is not possible to determine if he was infected in Lee County or elsewhere in southwest Florida.  This is the first human case of WNV in Lee County this year.  Lee County Mosquito Control District is actively monitoring and spraying area surrounding his residence. People who are concerned about excessive mosquito activity in their neighborhood should contact Lee County Mosquito Control at 694-2174.

Louisiana 11/01/10 the advertiser.com: by William Johnson – After a

Eastern Kingbird. Photo Credit DJ Stanley, Tennessee Tech.

relatively mild year in 2009, West Nile disease cases are increasing in both number and severity.  With two new cases reported this week, one each in East Baton Rouge and Iberia parishes, the state has now seen a total of 31 confirmed cases, already well ahead of last year’s total of 21 cases.  This year is also seeing a significant increase in the neuroinvasive infection rate, the most serious form of West Nile that can lead to brain damage or death.  “Both of the latest diagnoses are of the most serious, neuroinvasive illness,” said Herff Jones with the Iberia Parish Mosquito Abatement District, who urged people to use caution when outside. “It is imperative that citizens keep insect repellent handy, wear light-colored clothing with long sleeves and long pants when outdoors and get rid of mosquito breeding sites near the home.”  Health officials characterize West Nile infections three ways: neuroinvasive, West Nile fever and asymptomatic.  A neuroinvasive illness is severe and typically results in a swelling of the brain or spinal cord that can lead to death.  West Nile Fever is less severe, with most people only suffering mild, flu-like symptoms.  According to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals most people who contact the disease won’t even know they have it.  Asymptomatic individuals don’t become ill and are only discovered to have the West Nile virus in their blood when blood work was done for some other reason, such as a blood donation.  This year, West Nile is most prevalent in East Baton Rouge Parish, which has reported 14 cases so far. Of those cases, nine are of the more serious neuroinvasive infection.  This week’s report brings to three the number of neuroinvasive cases in Iberia Parish.  According to the DHH, residents who are 65 and older are at higher risk for complications, but everyone is at risk for infection.

Maine 11/02/10 wabi.tv: Health officials in Maine are expanding their efforts

Deer Tick

to track the spread of deer ticks that carry lyme disease.  The Maine Medical Center Research Institute and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention are urging residents, veterinarians, and doctors to submit ticks to the research institute in an effort to better map the location of deer ticks and learn more about the spread of lyme disease.  But they need your help.  The state would like more information from Aroostook, Piscataquis, Penobscot, Somerset, Franklin, and Oxford Counties.  Directions on how to submit deer ticks for identification can be found on the institute’s web site at www.mmcri.org/lyme .

New York 10/28/10 longislandpress.com: by Tom Bolger – A second Suffolk

Black-Throated Blue Warbler. Photo Credit springvalleypark.org

County resident has died of the mosquito-borne West Nile virus, bringing the death toll on Long Island to five this year.  Suffolk health officials said the victim, whose identity was not released, was an Islip town resident over the age of 55 who suffered from an underlying medical condition and died Oct. 14. The victim was hospitalized Sept. 13 after experiencing West Nile-related symptoms.  The virus claimed a Brookhaven town resident who died Sept. 23 and three elderly Nassau County residents before that. State health officials say 57 Nassau residents, 25 Suffolk residents and 87 people statewide have contracted the virus this year.  The only fatal cases statewide so far this year have been on Long Island. This is the sixth fatal case in Suffolk since the virus first emerged in 1999, including two each in 2002 and 2003.

Pennsylvania 11/02/10 whptv.com: York County has its first positive human case of the West Nile Virus.  According to the state’s West Nile Virus control program, the person affected was a woman.  One more person in Lancaster County is also listed as positive for the virus, bringing the county’s total to six.  Twenty-nine people have tested positive for the West Nile Virus throughout the state.

Texas 11/02/10 caller.com: Corpus Christi – For the second time this year, a Nueces County man is being treated for St. Louis encephalitis, a disease transmitted through mosquito bites.  The man was hospitalized, but has been released, according to the Nueces County Public Health District. His name and details of his illness were not released.  Two weeks ago, health officials determined a man who originally tested positive for West Nile virus actually had St. Louis encephalitis, officials said. That man has since recovered.  Symptoms of St. Louis encephalitis include headache, irritability, fever, confusion and hallucinations, personality changes, double vision, seizures, rash and loss of consciousness.  It is time to see a doctor if you experience altered levels of consciousness or hallucinations, muscle weakness, loss of feeling or seizures.  Since 1990, 74 people in Texas have tested positive for St. Louis encephalitis, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. Unlike West Nile virus, St. Louis encephalitis comes in spurts, and most years, there are no cases of the mosquito-borne disease found in humans, according to state records. The last Texas death from the virus was in 1995.

Texas 10/28/10 khou.com: The West Nile Virus took the life of a Montgomery County resident I September, the first death from the illness in Texas since 2008.  Officials said 80 percent of people infected with the illness, which is spread by mosquitoes, never have any symptoms. Furthermore, just one in 150 end up developing a severe illness.  The United States saw 3,000 cases and 250 deaths in 2002 and 2003. That number dropped to 386 severe cases in 2009.

West Nile Virus reports from California (4), Florida, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, and Texas (2); an Eastern Equine Encephalitis report from Florida; and a St. Louis Encephalitis report from Texas.

The Northern Mockingbird (above) and the birds depicted below have been reported to CDC’s West Nile Virus avian mortality database from 1999 to present.

California 10/09/10 mydesert.com: by Keith Matheny – The Coachella Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District announced Friday it has received confirmation of the first West Nile virus positive dead bird in the Coachella Valley this year.  The bird, a northern mockingbird, was found Sept. 23 in the Palm Springs area, and was confirmed infected with the virus by the California Department of Public Health.  The district will increase adult mosquito surveillance and control measures in this area, officials said, as mosquitoes are the carriers of West Nile virus.  There have been no human cases of West Nile virus reported in Riverside County this year; but 66 human infections with the virus have been reported so far in 2010 in other parts of the state, according to the public health department.

California 10/12/10 ocregister.com: by Courtney Perkes – Public health

Chimney Swift

officials on Tuesday reported Orange County’s first human case of West Nile Virus.  An unidentified adult man was hospitalized in September and is now recovering at home, the county’s Health Care Agency said Tuesday.  The man might have been exposed outside of Orange County. Statewide, there have been 66 cases this year and one death.

California 10/12/10 contracostatimes.com: by Paul Burgarino – The Contra Costa Mosquito and Vector Control District plans to fog for mosquitoes here Thursday to help prevent the spread of West Nile virus.  The fogging by truck will take place around dusk in the area between Hillcrest Avenue and Deer

Pinyon Jay

Valley Road to Sunset Lane from east to west and Tregallas Road to Burwood Way and Brookside Drive from north to south.  The fogging is meant to control the high number of adult mosquitoes because of the detection of West Nile virus in the area, district officials said in a news release.  For more information, visit the district’s website at www.ContraCostaMosquito.com.

California 10/12/10 balita.com: West Nile virus has been found in mosquitoes who can transmit to humans in Cerritos, Whittier, Rowland Heights, Encino and Reseda, making 47 cases in Los Angeles County in 2010.

Florida 10/09/10 miamiherald.com: Two chickens in Hernando County have tested positive for West Nile Virus, and in Hillsborough County, health officials say a suspected case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis has cropped up.  Health officials in both counties issued statements about the mosquito-borne illnesses Friday.  Seven cases of West Nile Virus have been reported in Florida in humans this year.

Cliff Swallow

Massachusetts 10/12/10 wbztv.com: Boston health officials say a 75-year-old man has become the second city resident to test positive for West Nile Virus this year.  The Boston Public Health Commission announced Tuesday that the man has improved and is recovering at a Boston-area hospital. Officials withheld his identity, citing privacy laws.  In August, a 46-year-old Boston woman was diagnosed with West Nile Virus and has since recovered.  West Nile is spread by mosquitoes that often pick up the virus from birds they bite. Severe symptoms include neck stiffness, disorientation, coma and paralysis. Most cases occur in July through September.  Six West Nile cases have been confirmed this year statewide.

Mississippi 10/12/10 whlt.com: Health officials say one new case of West Nile virus has been reported in Mississippi, bringing the state total to six so far this year.  The Mississippi Department of Health said in a news release that the new case occurred in an adult in Leflore County. So far this year, there have been three positive WNV cases reported in Leflore County, and one each in Coahoma, Calhoun and Scott counties.

New Mexico 10/11/10 currentargus.com: The New Mexico Department of Health says it has 13 confirmed cases of West Nile virus that includes one case in Eddy County.  In addition to the one case in Eddy County, Dona Ana County had five and San Juan County had four cases. Chaves, McKinley and

Elf Owl

Curry counties each had one confirmed case.  State health officials said 10 of the patients had the more serious West Nile neurological disease, including meningitis and encephalitis, and were hospitalized. Three of the cases had the less severe West Nile fever. All infected patients survived and are recovering.  “New Mexico is a great place to enjoy outdoor activities, but everyone needs to be aware that mosquito bites can lead to illness,” said State Epidemiologist C. Mack Sewell in a press release. “The virus is one of the few diseases where people can take a few simple precautions like using a repellent when outdoors.”  According to the department, New Mexico typically sees most of its West Nile cases in August and September. There were eight human cases of West Nile each year in 2009 and 2008.

New York 10/11/10 empirestatenews.com: Suffolk County Commissioner of Health Services James L. Tomarken, MD, reported that the New York State laboratory has confirmed another case of West Nile virus.  The individual, who is over 55 years of age and from Town of Huntington, began experiencing fever, chills and altered mental status on September 18. The individual is currently in the hospital.  The total number of confirmed human cases of West Nile virus in Suffolk County to date this year is twelve – seven from the Town of Babylon, three from the Town of Huntington, one from Brookhaven and one from Islip. Of the twelve cases, there has been one death. There have been a total of five deaths associated with West Nile virus in the county since the virus was first detected in 1999: two in 2002, two in 2003 and one in 2010. 

Carolina Chickadee

North Carolina 10/12/10 myfox8.com: The Rockingham County Health Department has issued a warning after a horse tested positive for West Nile Virus.  Officials did not specify where in the county officials found the infected horse.  Although no cases of West Nile Virus have been identified in humans in North Carolina since 2008, the first equine case in a horse in Rockingham County highlights the fact that the disease is present.

Texas 10/12/10 lubbockonline.com: by Sarah Nightingale – The City of Lubbock Health Department confirmed Tuesday the first case of St. Louis Encephalitis virus for 2010. It is Lubbock County’s the first case since 2004.  The department has also seen seven cases of West Nile virus this year, including one death, said Beckie Brawley, public health coordinator for the Health Department.  St. Louis Encephalitis virus (SLEV) and West Nile virus are both spread to humans by infected mosquitoes.

Texas 10/11/10 newdesignworld.com: Researchers with a conservation

Blue Quail

alliance based at Texas Tech have found a quail loaded with high levels of the antibody that fights West Nile virus.  The small bird, known as a scaled or blue quail, was captured in Potter County by a team from Quail-Tech Alliance, a partnership between Texas Tech’s natural resources management department and Quail First, a Dallas-based non-profit quail conservation organization  “The high level of detectable antibody is indicative not only of a possible current infection, but to past viral exposure,” said Kristyn Urban, a doctoral research assistant from the university’s Institute of Environmental and Human Health. “The presence of antibodies to West Nile virus suggests that quail might show resistance to this virus or perhaps be another host to the life cycle of the virus.”

Lyme disease report from Massachusetts; Eastern Equine Encephalitis reports from Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia; and West Nile Virus reports from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Virginia.


Whitetail deer herd.

Massachusetts 08/26/10 examiner.com: by Robert Herriman –  Areas outside Cape Cod are seeing big increases in Lyme disease, places where the bacterial infection was once considered rare like Charlton and Northborough.  Historically people in the state that contracted Lyme disease had previously visited the Cape Cod area. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health says cases have increased 4-fold in Middlesex, Norfolk, and Worcester counties since 2000.  Some experts believe the increase in Lyme disease is attributed to an increase in the deer population throughout the state and the closer proximity to humans.

Massachusetts 08/27/10 gazettenet.com: Officials say the virus that causes Eastern equine encephalitis as well as the West Nile virus have been found in mosquitoes collected in Bolton. James Garreffi, director of the Nashoba Associated Boards of Health, says the state Department of Public Health confirmed the discovery of EEE on Wednesday.  A horse in nearby Lancaster died from EEE earlier this month.  Tim Deschamps of the Central Massachusetts Mosquito Control Project tells WTAG-FM that West Nile virus was confirmed Thursday.

Michigan 08/27/10 hastingsbanner.com: The Michigan Department of Community Health has confirmed three human cases of Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) in Southwest Michigan. In Barry County, a 52-year-old woman contracted the illness and is now recovering in a rehabilitation center. Her condition is unknown at this time.  In Kalamazoo County, two cases have been confirmed; a 61-year-old man is home recovering from the illness, while a 41-year-old man is in intensive care in a Kalamazoo County hospital. All human cases have a history of local exposure to mosquitoes. These are the first human cases reported in Michigan since 2002. No further details about the cases are being released.  The MDCH and the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) are continuing to receive reports of cases of EEE in horses in Southwest Michigan, including Barry, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, and St. Joseph counties.  Eastern equine encephalitis is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the U.S., killing one-third of those hospitalized with the infection, and often leaving survivors with lasting brain damage. In the face of this ongoing outbreak, Michigan residents are urged to take precautions against mosquito bites.  In addition to the human cases, 18 horses have tested positive for the virus, and the MDA has received more than 50 additional reports of horse deaths.

New Hampshire 08/25/10 theunionleader.com: by Beth Lamontagne Hall – Mosquitoes infected with the West Nile virus have been

Mosquito breeding ground.

found in the city and a hotline has been set up to answer residents’ questions.  The insects were collected in Manchester on Aug. 17 and subsequent tests showed they were carrying the virus.  “Although the finding of (West Nile virus) in the community is not unexpected, there is still a significant amount of time before the first frost,” said public health director Tim Soucy. “As such, everyone must be vigilant in eliminating mosquito breeding areas and taking personal precautions to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes.”

New Jersey 08/24/10 njherald.com: by Bruce A. Scruton – Three samples of mosquitoes taken from the same location in Hardyston have tested positive for West Nile virus, according to Sussex County Health Department officials.  The samples were collected Aug. 9 and tested at the state laboratory last week, said Herb Yardley, administrator of the Sussex County Department of Environmental and Public Health Services, which oversees the Office of Mosquito Control.  He said the mosquito trap is near the county’s sewage treatment plant off Route 94 and accounted for the three “pools” that tested positive. A “pool” is a specified number of mosquitoes taken from a trap and counted as a separate sample. While August is the peak of the West Nile season, Yardley said, “the county has been lucky this year — we haven’t seen a lot of West Nile activity nor a lot of mosquito problems.”  The latest state Health Department report, using lab tests through Friday, shows West Nile virus has shown up 399 times in 19 of the state’s 21 counties with Bergen, at 66, having the most positive results. Other active counties include Gloucester with 60 positives, followed by Hudson with 54 and Middlesex with 43.  Of the neighboring counties, Warren has two positive results, Passaic has 5 and Morris has recorded 12.  However, the state notes there have been no confirmed cases of the virus in humans. Three other forms of mosquito-borne viruses, Eastern equine encephalitis, St. Louis encephalitis and La Crosse encephalitis, can also cause sickness in humans and horses and are regularly tested for by the state.  While no human cases have been confirmed with those three diseases, the state has confirmed 12 positive tests of Eastern equine in mosquito samples. Neither La Crosse nor St. Louis strains have been found.

New York 08/26/10 syracuse.com: by James T. Mulder – Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a potentially deadly virus, has been discovered in mosquitoes in Cicero.  The Onondaga County Health Department said today mosquitoes collected Aug. 19 in a trap at Oneida Shores tested positive for EEE. The department said it received test results from the state Wednesday.  The finding of EEE in mosquitoes is not unusual. A pool of mosquitoes on the north shore of Oneida Lake near Toad Harbor Swamp tested positive last month. The Oswego County Health Department sprayed that area earlier this month.  In rare cases, people can be infected with the EEE virus, which causes inflammation, swelling of the brain and can be fatal. An Oswego County resident died of EEE last September, the third recorded EEE death in New York state.  The Onondaga Health Department said the mosquitoes that tested positive in Cicero are primarily bird biters.

Virginia 08/26/10 dailypress.com: by Cara R. Anthony – Suffolk has received positive confirmation of the West Nile Virus and Eastern Equine Encephalitis in mosquitoes and sample chicken flocks.  No human cases of WNV or EEE have been reported, but the city wants

Mosquito breeding ground.

local residents to take precautions.  Mosquito collections and sampled chicken flocks in the areas of Market Street, Pine Street, Freeney Avenue, Lloyd Street, Lake Kennedy area, Suburban Woods, Wonderland Forest, Burbage Grant, and the Great Dismal Swamp have tested positive for the West Nile Virus (WNV).  Mosquito collections and sampled flocks in the Lake Kennedy area, Suburban Woods area and the Great Dismal Swamp have tested positive for the Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). Mosquito testing is used to determine periods of increased risk of contracting West Nile Virus.  Mosquito Control operations are intensifying their efforts in these areas as a result of the WNV and EEE positive test confirmations. Increased mosquito surveillance, treatment of standing water, and evening spray applications for adult mosquitoes are being administered.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis reports from Alabama, Florida (5), Indiana, Massachusetts (4), Michigan (4), New York, and Virginia; West Nile Virus reports from Florida, and Massachusetts (3); and St. Louis Encephalitis report from Texas.

301 cases of EEE nationally in 2009

Alabama 08/11/10 al.com: by Casandra Andrews, Press Register – A sentinel chicken from the Elberta area has tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis, according to the Baldwin County Health Department.  In June, EEE was detected in sentinel chickens in the Orange Beach area and in July in the Magnolia Springs area. Ongoing public health surveillance has detected no mosquito-borne virus activity in humans in Baldwin County this year, health officials said in a written statement.

Florida 08/12/10 panhandleparade.com: This is to advise that there has been increased mosquito-borne disease activity in areas of Jackson County. Four horses around the County have tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) with the most recent one being located on Syfrett Rd., Northwest of Alford.  The risk of transmission to humans has increased.

Florida 08/12/10 wpbf.com: Stuart – A horse in Martin County has tested positive for eastern equine encephalitis.   The Martin County Health Department said Thursday that the 3-year-old horse living on a farm west of Hobe Sound was euthanized during the weekend after testing positive.

Florida 08/07/10 heraldtribune.com: Alachua County is under a mosquito-borne illness advisory.  Two animal cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis have been confirmed on opposite ends of the county. The illness is a viral disease that affects the central nervous system. It is transmitted by infected mosquitoes.  A sentinel chicken near the Waldo area and a horse in southern Alachua County between Gainesville and Micanopy both tested positive for the illness.  The horse had to be euthanized.

Florida 08/06/10 firstcoastnews.com: Jacksonville — Chicken flocks in various locations in Duval County have tested positive for Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus, according to the county’s health department.

Florida 08/05/10 wctv.tv: by Candace Sweat – Tallahassee – Health Department officials released an advisory alerting residents about two horses in Jefferson County that had recently tested positive for Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus and the West Nile Virus.

Indiana 08/12/10 wsbt.com: Indiana state health officials issued a warning Thursday, noting Eastern Equine Encephalitis has been found in mosquitoes in Elkhart County.

Massachusetts 08/15/10 cw56.com: Boston – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and Rhode Island HEALTH today announced the first case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in a person. The patient, a male in his 20s from Newport County in Rhode Island, is listed in critical condition. His exposure to a mosquito carrying EEE likely occurred in the southeastern section of Massachusetts that has been identified as an area of elevated risk.  The onset of his symptoms occurred on August 5, prior to that evening’s start of aerial spraying in southeastern Massachusetts. Symptoms usually present themselves within two to 10 days of exposure. Further details on his identity are not being released due to patient privacy considerations.  Our thoughts continue to be with this patient and his family, said Director of Health David R. Gifford, MD, MPH. While we have not had any mosquitoes test positive for EEE in Rhode Island; this case is a reminder that everyone should continue to take steps to prevent mosquito bites and get rid of standing water on their property.  Aerial spraying in southeastern Massachusetts conducted from August 5 – 7 has reduced the overall mosquito population in southeastern Massachusetts (including the likely location of exposure in this case) by 80 percent and the number of mammal-biting mosquitoes by 90 percent. Mammal-biting mosquitoes pose the greatest risk to humans.  This is a tragic reminder of the very real threat of EEE that were facing in Massachusetts, said DPH Commissioner John Auerbach, Now more than ever, its important that each of us take the simple, very effective steps to protect ourselves from getting bitten by mosquitoes.  The last human case in Massachusetts was in 2008 and in Rhode Island. Massachusetts has confirmed 47 positive EEE pools in 2010. Rhode Island has not identified any EEE-positive mosquitoes. EEE is usually spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. It is a serious disease in all ages and can even cause death in some cases.

Massachusetts 08/14/10 boston.com: by Stephen Smith – For the first time this summer, mosquitoes carrying West Nile virus have been discovered in Boston, public health authorities reported yesterday.  The infected insects, which can spread the virus to people through bites, were found in the northern part of Dorchester.  No human cases of West Nile have been reported so far this year in Boston or elsewhere in Massachusetts. The most recent human case of the disease in the state was reported in 2008.  No human cases of Eastern equine encephalitis have been diagnosed in the state since 2008. From 2004 through 2006, there were 13 cases, resulting in six deaths.

Massachusetts 08/12/10 insidemedford.com: by Allison Goldsberry – A batch of Medford mosquitoes tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV), according to the state department of public health and the Medford Board of Health.

Massachusetts 08/12/10 telegram.com: The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported Aug. 4 that a 4-year-old horse from Warren has been diagnosed with eastern equine encephalitis (EEE). EEE infection was confirmed by the State Laboratory Institute. The horse developed symptoms on July 31 and had to be euthanized on Aug. 1.  The most recent case of EEE infection in a horse in Worcester County occurred in 2003 in Brimfield.  There was one human case of EEE in Massachusetts during 2008; however, 13 cases occurred with six deaths from 2004 through 2006.

Massachusetts 08/12/10 southcoasttoday.com: by Anika Clark – A third horse has fallen ill to eastern equine encephalitis and more population pools have tested positive for the deadly virus, the state Department of Public Health reported Wednesday. Experiencing an onset of symptoms on Aug. 2, the Plympton horse was the third reported this year with the brain-swelling sickness, following horses in Middleboro and Warren.  The first two were euthanized, but the “latest horse with EEE has actually survived so far and has improved somewhat,” Catherine M. Brown, state public health veterinarian, wrote in an e-mail Wednesday evening. Also Wednesday, the state reported three more pools testing positive for EEE in Plympton and Halifax, after the mosquitoes were collected on Monday. The day before, the state finished expansive aerial spraying of much of Southeastern Massachusetts with pesticide in an attempt to reduce mosquito populations and keep the virus at bay.  Since 2001, 27 horses have been reported infected with EEE, according to a recent press release from the state Department of Agricultural Resources, which emphasized the importance of vaccinations and preventative measures such as ridding properties of standing water.  The latest three infected pools bring the state’s total to 47, all of which have been trapped in Bristol and Plymouth counties. Plympton and Middleboro have seen the highest number of positive pools, with 12 and 11, respectively. Of all of the state’s positive pools so far, 28 have consisted of a primarily bird-biting species, Culiseta melanura, whereas 18 have contained the people-biting Coquillettidia perturbans. Ochlerotatus canadensis, also people-biters, were collected in a EEE-positive pool in Plympton on July 25.

Massachusetts 08/06/10 telegram.com: by Jan Gottesman – The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) announced Wednesday that West Nile virus (WNV) has been detected in mosquitoes collected from Berlin. The sample was taken near the Hudson line.   The Central Mass. Mosquito Control Project set out traps in the Sawyer Hill Road area.

Michigan 08/13/10 wndu.com: by Jeff Blevins – High mosquito activity is causing a rise in Eastern Equine Encephalitis. So far 67 horses have died in Michigan.  That’s the most cases in the state in 30 years. Most of those deaths have been in the southwest part of the state.

Michigan 08/13/10 grandhaventribune.com: Kalamazoo –  Health officials are warning people about the danger of contracting a form of encephalitis from mosquito bites.  The Detroit News

It's as simple as this!

reported Friday that two Kalamazoo County residents have contracted Eastern equine encephalitis, a disease seen in horses but rarely seen in humans.  The virus is transferred to humans through infected mosquitoes. Some people who are infected suffer from headaches, fever, chills and vomiting. It also can lead to disorientation, seizures, coma and even death.  Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Manager Michelle Thorne said one case involves an adult man who collapsed and was hospitalized. No information was available about the other case.

Michigan 08/12/10 mlive.com: by Rosemary Parker – As many as 67 horses have died in one of the worst outbreaks of  Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Michigan  in 30 years, and most of the cases have occurred in Southwest Michigan.  Barry County seems to be the center of the outbreak, with incidents also reported in Cass, St. Joseph, Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties, said Michigan Department of Agriculture state veterinarian Steven Halstead.  A Kalamazoo County man was hospitalized in July with a suspected case of the EEE, though the Centers for Disease Control has not yet confirmed that diagnosis, said Kelly Niebel, Michigan Department of Community Health.  Only 15 of the cases in horses have confirmed positive test results for the disease, Halstead said. The other 52 include horses that have died after exhibiting symptoms of the disease but that were not tested, and those dead horses that have test results pending. The Michigan Department of Community Health has assigned a student employee to make weekly calls to veterinarians to track cases.  Recent years have only had a handful of EEE reports; state records show there were 93 confirmed cases in 1980 and 55 cases in 1981.

Michigan 08/12/10 hastingsbanner.com: A 12-month-old Arabian male horse from Barry County is one of three horses in Michigan that has tested positive for the mosquito-borne disease Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), according to a press release from the Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA).  In that press release, a spokesperson said that a 3-month-old Percheron filly from Calhoun County also has tested positive. The MDA was notified July 20 of a third case from a 4-year-old mixed-breed mare from Cass County by the National Veterinary Services Laboratories. This horse was displaying signs of neurologic disease typical of EEE, including staggering and depression, as well as fever.  The department also has been informed that several additional horses in Cass County are highly suspect for the disease and are awaiting test results.

New York 08/08/10 examiner.com: by Deb Eldredge, Utica Pet Health Examiner – Just a week ago, we reported that no EEE (Eastern Equine Encephalitis) virus was detected in mosquitoes in Oneida County. Those results are now changed.  A mosquito trap set up in a swampy area near Vienna (northwestern Oneida County) came up with 28 mosquitoes that tested positive for EEE.  The Oneida County Health Department has 12 traps set up around the county to monitor the presence of certain mosquito borne illnesses EEE as reported earlier is a virus whose first choice host is a bird.

Ringneck Pheasant

Pheasants and ducks are often thought of as the ideal hosts for this virus.  Unfortunately the virus will rarely be transmitted to other species. Horses are very susceptible and a yearly vaccine has been developed for them. Certainly if your horses have not yet been vaccinated, you need to do so! Horses are infected when a mosquito of the proper species bites an infected bird and then feeds on a horse as well. Only a few types of mosquitoes can transmit the virus to people and horses. Dogs and cats are infected even less commonly and tend to do well.  The last case in Oneida County came in 2006 when a pony near Vienna died of EEE. Sadly, EEE is usually fatal in horses but the vaccine prevents this – especially important since we can’t keep our horses in a mosquito free environment. EEE is about 30% fatal in people, with residual neurologic effects seen in most people who recover. New York has had two human cases from 1964 to 2008.   

Texas 08/10/10 caller.com: by Rhiannon Meyers – Corpus Christi – Two pools of mosquitoes collected in Corpus Christi have tested positive for St. Louis encephalitis, a viral infection that can cause brain inflammation, but there have been no reports of the disease in humans.  This is the first instance of St. Louis encephalitis found in mosquitoes statewide this year, said Chris Van Deusen, spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services.  Since 1990, 72 people in Texas have tested positive for St. Louis encephalitis, according to state health department records. The records don’t indicate how many of those people died from the disease or where the cases were.  The virus comes in spurts, and most years, there are no cases of the mosquito-borne disease found in humans, according to the records. Human cases of St. Louis encephalitis have been reported in Texas in only eight of the past 20 years.  “While we can expect to see West Nile virus in Texas every year, St. Louis encephalitis is not something we see every year, but it certainly crops up from time to time,” Van Deusen said. “Most people exposed to the virus won’t get sick, and the vast majority that do get sick will recover. But it certainly can be dangerous, and older adults especially should take precautions.”  Mosquitoes that tested positive in Corpus Christi were collected Aug. 3 from two traps less than two miles apart in the 2900 block of Lawton Street and in the 4500 block of Castenon Street.  This is the first time in at least 10 years that mosquitoes collected in Corpus Christi have tested positive for the disease, said Dr. William Burgin Jr., Corpus Christi-Nueces County Public Health District health authority.

Virginia 08/16/10 hamptonroads.com: Richmond – Virginia has recorded its first case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in 2010.  The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said Monday that it confirmed an 18-month-old female mustang from Suffolk had the disease. The horse was euthanized July 26.  Eight cases were confirmed in 2009, most in the Hampton Roads area.