Tag Archives: ticks

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

a.black_vs_brown-ID_AlaskaFishGame.gov

Image courtesy Alaska Fish & Game.

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

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

Ticks:

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

 

American Dog Tick2

American Dog Tick

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

 

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE):

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

West Nile Virus (WNV):

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

Rabies:

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

Canada:

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

 

 

Latest ConsumerReports ratings for INSECT REPELLENTS ~ LONE STAR TICK invading MICHIGAN ~ SOUTH CAROLINA vets urge HORSE owners to vaccinate against EASTERN EQUINE ENCEPHALITIS ~ DEER tests positive for RABIES in FLORIDA ~ ALASKAN survives BROWN BEAR attack.

mosquito-repellent

Global 2016 consumerreports.org: Consumer Reports’ tests have found several insect repellents that provide excellent or very good protection against mosquito and tick bites. Consumer Reports’ insect repellent reviews will give you honest advice that you can trust. Use their insect repellent buying guide to discover what to consider, including whether you need protection from mosquitoes or ticks, or both pests, and how long you’re going to be out of doors. They also provide unbiased insect repellent Ratings and reviews to help you choose the best insect repellent for your needs, including whether you should buy a product containing the ingredient deet. That chemical can help keep mosquitoes and ticks away, but our safety experts worry that the products might pose risks to people and the environment. Recommended insect repellents are both aerosols and pump sprays, and all provide at least five hours of protection against bites from Aedes and Culex mosquitoes and deer ticks. – See http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/insect-repellent.htm

Lonestartick.usda.A female Lone Star tick is on the right, a male is on the left.

Lone Star Tick – Female on left, male on right.

Michigan 05/23/16 mlive.com: by John Agar –  A tick that can cause meat allergies is turning up in Michigan more frequently, an entomologist says. The Lone Star tick, found in the South and eastern part of the U.S, was once rarely found Michigan’s Lower Peninsula but is now becoming more common, the Associated Press reports. It is a concern because it appears to cause a meat allergy for some who get bit, Howard Russell, a Michigan State University Extension entomologist, told the Times Herald of Port Huron. He told the newspaper that he has received almost daily complaints about the ticks. Jean Tsao, an associate professor in the Departments of Fisheries and Wildlife and Large Animal Clinical Sciences at Michigan State University, says Lone Star ticks have been moving to the North, the AP reported. According to MSU Diagnostic Services, Amblyomma americanum gets its common name because a silvery spot on females looks to some to be shaped like Texas. The bite is considered “quite severe,” and is followed inflammation and lesions. It is linked to tick paralysis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and a bacterial disease. It is not known to spread Lyme Disease. – See http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2016/05/tick_that_can_cause_meat_aller.html

thumbnailCAL5IYPMSouth Carolina 05/24/16 wfxg.com: by Dal Kalsi – South Carolina veterinary officials are urging horse owners to vaccinate their animals after an unusually early case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis was discovered on the coast, according to a report from Clemson University. “This is the earliest in the spring that we’ve seen this disease in many years,” said Adam Eichelberger, a veterinarian overseeing animal health programs for Clemson University Livestock-Poultry Health.  He said a horse in Horry County was euthanized after becoming infected with the mosquito-borne illness in horses that can also affect humans. In unvaccinated horses, Eastern Equine Encephalitis is almost always fatal. “Nine of 10 exposed, unvaccinated horses will succumb to the disease. However, with proper vaccine use the risk of disease is minimized,” Eichelberger said. – For complete article see http://www.wfxg.com/story/32051724/sc-horse-vaccinations-against-deadly-mosquito-borne-illness

White-tailed deer fawn_NPSFlorida 05/27/16 wfla.com:  Health officials have issued a rabies alert in a Sarasota subdivision after a deer tested positive for rabies. The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County received laboratory confirmation on Monday, May 23,of rabies in a fawn that was found by a property owner in the Myakka Valley Ranches Subdivision on Monday, May 16. A local veterinarian who lives in the area considered that this low-risk animal could be rabid. She recalled that Sarasota County had two low-risk goats test positive for rabies last spring. There was no obvious injury to the fawn. However, the animal was showing signs of illness including twitching in the face, poor muscular coordination, salivating and had no apparent fear of humans. The deer was euthanized and tested positive for rabies. At this point, authorities are not sure how the deer contracted rabies. DOH-Sarasota has issued a rabies alert for 60-days in the Myakka Valley Ranches Subdivision.

Brown_Bear_-_Ursus_Arctos_600Alaska 05/22/16 abcnews.go.com: by Aditi Roy and Emily Shapiro – An Alaska man says he feels lucky to be alive after coming face-to-face with a brown bear and surviving its terrifying attack. Kenny Steck, his wife Hannah and six family members were hiking in Southeastern Alaska May 13 when he encountered the predator while filling up water bottles. Steck, an experienced outdoorsman, had left his bear repellent back at camp. The massive animal then came charging at him. “It was a feeling of complete hopelessness and helplessness, really. I felt like I couldn’t do anything to make it stop or make the outcome change,” he told ABC News today. When Steck lifted his leg up to protect himself, the bear clawed it. He tried yelling, but the bear crushed his shoulder and put Steck’s head in his mouth. “All I could do was just hope and pray,” he said. “It was terrifying.” Then suddenly the bear let go and ran away. Luckily, his wife and three other family members on the trip are nurses and were able to treat his wounds right away. Steck suffered injuries to his leg, shoulder and head, but the bear miraculously avoided his skull, his wife Hannah said. He’s expected to make a full recovery. – For complete article, photos and  video see http://abcnews.go.com/US/man-survives-terrifying-bear-attack-alaska-miracle-wife/story?id=39289589

MOSQUITOES carrying ZIKA expected in U.S. next month ~ NEW MEXICAN and COLORADAN die of HANTAVIRUS ~ TICKS with LYME DISEASE increasing in NORTHERN NEW ENGLAND ~ WISCONSINS fear CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE spinning out of control.

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National 05/22/16 kticradio.com: With “well over 500” cases of the Zika virus currently in the U.S., Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on “This Week” Sunday that “forceful preparation” will be critical to preventing further spread in the U.S. this summer. “We already have Zika in the United States. But it is travel related,” Dr. Fauci said on ABC’s “This Week.” “The concern is that we will have local transmission; in other words, people who get infected in the United States, get bitten by a mosquito, but who have never left the continental United States. We fully expect that that will happen as we get to the more robust mosquito season in the next month or so.” “We need to make sure that those local outbreaks don’t become sustained and don’t become disseminated,” Fauci added. “That’s the reason why we need to have a very, very forceful preparation right now before that happens.” The Centers for Disease Control released new figures on Friday showing that 157 pregnant women in the continental U.S. show evidence of possible Zika virus infection, all related to travel outside the U.S. President Obama has requested Congress to allocate $1.9 billion in emergency funding to combat the spread of the virus. “This is something that is solvable. It is not something that we have to panic about. But it is something that we have to take seriously,” President Obama said Friday after meeting with Fauci and other top advisers tackling Zika. “This is not something where we can build a wall to prevent – mosquitoes don’t go through customs. To the extent that we’re not handling this thing on the front end, we’re going to have bigger problems on the back end.” A vaccine to combat Zika would be the main focus of government funding, according to Fauci, saying “We’re right now very aggressively developing the vaccine.” – For complete article see http://kticradio.com/abc_health/dr-fauci-forceful-preparation-key-to-combating-zika-spread-in-us-abcid35694201/

Hantavirus:

New Mexico 05/18/16 krqe.com: State health officials say a 30-year-old man from San Juan County has died of hantavirus. New Mexico Department of Health officials also announced Tuesday that an 84-year-old man from Santa Fe County currently is hospitalized with hantavirus. It’s the third and fourth cases of hantavirus in New Mexico this year. An environmental investigation will be conducted at each patient’s home to help reduce the risk to others. Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. Authorities say the deer mouse is the main carrier for the hantavirus strain found in New Mexico. – For complete article see  http://krqe.com/2016/05/18/state-health-dept-san-juan-county-man-dies-of-hantavirus/

Peromyscus maniculatus

This undated photo provided by the National Park Service, a deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus). The deer mouse helps spread hantavirus to humans. Its head and body are 2-3 inches long, and the tail adds another 2-3 inches. Its coat varies from gray to reddish brown, depending on the animal’s age. Found almost everywhere in North America, the deer mouse likes woodlands but also turns up in desert areas. An investigation of the hantavirus outbreak blamed for three deaths at Yosemite National Park recommends that design changes to tent cabins and other lodging run by private concessionaires first be reviewed by National Park Service officials. (AP Photo/National Park Service, John Good)

Colorado 05/19/16 denver.cbslocal.com: by Matt Kroschel – Public health officials confirmed that a man from Rio Grande County who had been exposed to hantavirus has died. Co-workers told CBS4 on Wednesday that Mark Jones, a local Architect and Philanthropist who friends say is responsible for the recent downtown revitalization in Del Norte, died after being diagnosed with hantavirus. “Speaking of Mark Jones he definitely has left a huge footprint on the town,” said Jones’ friend Kevin Haas. “I think the repercussions will be vast and I think we’ll feel it for a very long time.” The rare respiratory disease case is the second in the San Luis Valley this year. A Saguache County resident died from hantavirus exposure last month. Their deaths have prompted warnings from local health officials about the virus. Another person exposed to the virus is recovering in Montrose County. –  For complete article see http://denver.cbslocal.com/2016/05/19/man-dies-after-hantavirus-exposure-2nd-in-san-luis-valley-this-year/

 

Lyme Disease:

green-tick-logoNorthern New England 05/18/16 washingtontimes.com: by Lisa Ratke – Ticks that carry Lyme disease have reached into northern Maine and are increasing in Vermont, where the state’s entomologist expects cases of the disease to continue to rise and the insects to inhabit new areas. Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire are among 17 states with high-risk counties for Lyme disease. The reasons for the increase in populations are varied: climatic factors, land development patterns and hosts like deer and rodents. “Lyme disease is a real concern,” said Vermont state entomologist Alan Graham, who hopes to do a statewide survey of ticks this year. New Hampshire had one of the one of the highest incidence rates of Lyme disease in the country, with an estimated 1,373 cases identified last year, according to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. – For complete article see http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/18/vermont-expects-lyme-disease-cases-to-rise/

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD):

Response_img_070111Wisconsin 05/18/16 hostmadison.com: by Steven Elbow – Matt Limmex has been hunting deer on his family’s land near Spring Green his entire life. But in recent years the satisfaction of bagging a buck has been tainted by concerns about chronic wasting disease. “An older buck, you’re almost certain it’ll be positive,” said the 52-year-old Iowa County dairy farmer. “Or you’ll be surprised when it isn’t.” For Limmex the annual bounty of the deer hunt has become an exercise in carcass disposal. In recent years he’s been spotting “the droolers and the shakers” with increasing frequency. At the request of the DNR, he has shot down deer that were too sick to run away, and more often than not, they test positive for the disease, which destroys the nervous systems of cervids — elk, deer and moose — reducing them to bony shadows of their former selves. He hasn’t kept track of the numbers, but he estimates that he and his family have killed more than three dozen CWD-positive deer, at least a dozen of them in the last two years. And that, he said, has taken its toll on the once-sublime experience of shooting a deer for the family table. “It’s not much fun to be shooting sick deer,” he said.

20110816__Identity_HuntHarvestHelpLimmex lives smack in the middle of a 144-square-mile cauldron of deer and disease centered in Iowa County’s Wyoming Valley and stretching into western Dane County, one of the most CWD-infected areas in the nation. According the most recent monitoring data, if he shoots a doe, there’s roughly a one-in-four chance that it’s going to have CWD. If he shoots a buck, it’s essentially a flip of the coin. In the Wyoming Valley, the prevalence of the disease among adult male deer — those 2 ½ or older — has seen an annual growth rate of 23 percent since it was discovered in 2002. By 2006, 6 percent of bucks tested had the disease. By 2010, it was 20 percent. In 2015, more than 40 percent. Prevalence among does, for reasons still under study, is lower: just over 25 percent, but growing at a faster clip. The zone is so polluted with the disease that it’s in the soil, likely taken up in plants that deer feed on. And CWD’s geographic reach is expanding, stretching for the first time last fall to the Northwoods at a hunting preserve in Oneida County and popping up at an Eau Claire County deer farm in west central Wisconsin last summer. It’s been found to exist in 18 Wisconsin counties, but because of close proximities to the sick deer, 41 of the state’s 72 counties are banned from baiting and feeding deer in an effort to reduce deer-to-deer infection. Its global reach is expanding as well. It’s been detected in 24 states — up from 18 in 2010 — two Canadian provinces, South Korea, and most recently last year in Norway. – For complete article see http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/environment/some-fear-that-chronic-wasting-disease-is-spinning-out-of/article_fdd10051-8542-577c-84ed-81d83335cced.html

Invasive TICK species moving into MICHIGAN ~ NEW MEXICAN dies of HANTAVIRUS ~ PENNSYLVANIA reports number of DEER with CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE doubled in 2015 ~ APPALACHIAN TRAIL shelter in NORTH CAROLINA closed after BEAR bites camper ~ Five VIRGINIANS exposed to RABIES by STRAY DOG.

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Image compliments of CDC.

Michigan 05/17/16 wwmt.com: A new tick species is spreading throughout Michigan. Entomologists say the Lone Star tick is relatively new and can spread diseases like the Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia and can cause tick paralysis. Experts are also warning of increase tick activity during the warmer months. This is because of the resurgence in the white-tailed deer and wild turkey populations which can serve as hosts for the ticks. – See http://wwmt.com/news/local/new-tick-spreading-in-michigan

Hantavirus:

hantavirus.339988iidNew Mexico 05/17/16 kcbd.com: State health officials say a 30-year-old man from San Juan County has died of hantavirus. New Mexico Department of Health officials also announced Tuesday that an 84-year-old man from Santa Fe County currently is hospitalized with hantavirus. It’s the third and fourth cases of hantavirus in New Mexico this year. An environmental investigation will be conducted at each patient’s home to help reduce the risk to others. Hantavirus is a deadly disease transmitted by infected rodents through urine, droppings or saliva. Authorities say the deer mouse is the main carrier for the hantavirus strain found in New Mexico. – For complete article see http://www.kcbd.com/story/31998276/state-health-dept-san-juan-county-man-dies-of-hantavirus

 

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD):

HEADERPennsylvania 5/12/16 pennlive.com: by Marcus Schneck – In announcing that a record 12 white-tailed deer were found to be infected with chronic wasting disease in 2015, the Pennsylvania Game Commission said targeted removal of deer may be on the table as it considers options to fight the spread of the disease. The commission outlined possible “active control measures” that could involve targeted removal of deer in locations where CWD-positive animals have been found. The 12 free-ranging deer with CWD were found in Disease Management Area 2, which last year covered all or parts of Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Fulton, Huntingdon and Somerset counties, but has now been expanded by 437 square miles. Special rules regarding the hunting, transport and feeding of wild deer apply within all DMAs. CWD is an always fatal neurological disease of white-tailed tree and other members of the deer family. – For complete article see http://www.pennlive.com/pa-sportsman/2016/05/with_deer_disease_doubling_in.html

Bear:

black-bear-backcountry-movie_hNorth Carolina 5/12/16 wlos.com: by Krystyna Biassou & Rex Hodge – A backcountry camping area in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is closed after a bear attack on a hiker. Rangers say 49-year-old Bradley Veeder of Las Vegas was bitten on his leg late Tuesday night while sleeping in his tent near the Spence Field shelter. That’s along the Appalachian Trail. Fellow hikers rendered aid. “He had 2 puncture wounds on his leg and we just did some First Aid, wrapped it up, called the park rangers, let them know it wasn’t life-threatening. They came in on horses in the morning and picked him up and brought a horse for him to ride down,” says Derek Roecklein. Veeder, an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, was transported out of the backcountry by horseback and taken to Blount Memorial Hospital by Rural Metro Ambulances Service on Wednesday. The bear initially ran off, but returned and tore up two tents. – For video and complete article see http://wlos.com/news/local/shelter-closed-after-bear-bites-sleeping-hiker

Rabies:

Dog_1Virginia 5/13/16 scnow.com: Five people have been referred to their health care providers for consultation after potentially being exposed to rabies in the Lynchburg area of Lee County by a stray dog that tested positive for the disease, the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) reported Friday. The stray dog began showing neurological symptoms and was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on May 9. Rabies was confirmed in the dog on May 11. During care and handling of the dog, a total of five people were potentially exposed. It is unknown how the dog contracted the rabies virus, however, bite wounds were discovered on the animal. In addition, five pet dogs were potentially exposed to the rabies virus by the stray dog. None of these pets was current on its rabies vaccination and is required to undergo a 180-day quarantine period or be euthanized per the Rabies Control Act. – For complete article see http://www.scnow.com/news/local/article_ed05db96-1944-11e6-9e7c-4f06dc166821.html

 

New strain of LYME DISEASE complicates diagnosis ~ Mayor of HAWAII COUNTY declares State of Emergency due to DENGUE epidemic

Lyme-Disease-Word-Cloud_Borders-620x330

National 02/10/16 startribune.com: by Allie Shah – Mayo researchers have discovered a new strain of Lyme disease that is raising concerns because it does not produce the bull’s-eye rash that typically alerts people to the condition. The culprit is a new species of bacteria found in the Upper Midwest and reported in the online medical journal, the Lancet Infectious Diseases. “It was a fortuitous discovery,” said Dr. Bobbi Pritt, director of the Clinical Parasitology Laboratory at Mayo Clinic in Rochester. “We weren’t setting out to find a new organism.” Before the discovery, scientists believed that only one species of bacteria — called Borrelia burgdorferi — caused Lyme disease in humans. But when scientists tested samples from patients for evidence of Lyme disease they found a new bacteria in a small number of the cases. It is carried by the black-legged tick, or deer tick, as it’s commonly known. Most of the patients infected with the new bacteria showed different symptoms than the classic Lyme disease signs. A low-grade fever, body aches and chills are common symptoms. But the new bacteria caused many of the patients to experience nausea and vomiting too. “One of the most important differences was their rash,” Pritt said. Most of the patients infected with the new bacteria suffered from a diffuse rash all over their body instead of the typical bull’s-eye rash. – For complete article see http://www.startribune.com/new-strain-of-lyme-disease-produces-different-symptoms-that-could-complicate-diagnosis/368313801/

TERC_logo

Author’s Note: Are TICKS active in the winter? See the Univ. of Rhode Island TickEncounter Resource Center Winter 2016 Newsletter at https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/152cc1ac26833141

DENGUE FEVER:

 

dengue_alert548HAWAII 02/08/16 staradvertiser.com: by Craig Gima – Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi declared a state of emergency today. The emergency proclamation stated that there have been 250 confirmed cases of dengue fever on Hawaii island since Oct. 29 and that state and county officials are working on mosquito control and public education measures to break the cycle of dengue infection and transmission. The mayor said the state of emergency is needed to prevent the spread of the outbreak and eliminate dengue fever virus from the island. The immediate effect of the proclamation is to suspend a county law that prohibits the acceptance of tires at county landfills. The emergency period is in effect for 60 days and could be extended. (Governor) Ige said in a news release that the state will issue an emergency proclamation if certain conditions are met, including requiring additional resources beyond current levels; the outbreak spreading to other islands; the outbreak expands to include zika and other diseases; if there’s a need to waive laws and regulations; and if the state needs federal assistance. – For complete article and declaration see http://www.staradvertiser.com/breaking-news/hawaii-county-mayor-declares-state-of-emergency-over-dengue-fever-outbreak/

OPOSSUMS eat TICKS and FOXES eat RODENTS so both help control LYME DISEASE ~ 55 cases of CHIKUNGUNYA imported to U.S. so far this year ~ Is CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE a threat to HUMANS? ~ U.S. healthcare worker with EBOLA in Sierra Leone to be treated at NIH Bethesda, MARYLAND ~ RABIES reports from SC & Canada-ON.

Red fox chasing mouse. Courtesy State of Connecticut.

Red fox chasing mouse. Courtesy State of Connecticut.

Global 03/14/15 poughkeepsiejournal.com: by John Ferro – They come out at night. They have scary teeth. They have a weird name with an extra vowel most people don’t pronounce. And they are where Lyme disease goes to die. Say hello to the opossum, the American marsupial with a pointy nose and prehensile tail that dines on ticks like a vacuum dines on dust. (Most people drop the first vowel when speaking of ‘possums, but possums actually belong to a different species native to Australia.) . . . (T)iny adolescent ticks that carry Lyme disease bacteria are most active during the late spring months, typically May and even as early as April during warmer years. But whereas these ticks can be found in large numbers on mice, shrews and chipmunks, they are eaten in large numbers by opossum. Research led by scientists based at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook placed different species into cages, covered them with ticks and waited for the biting arachnids to jump off. The scientists then counted how many survived. Opossums can eat or remove as much as 96 percent of the ticks that land on them.

Virginia opossum

Virginia opossum

Cary scientists are continuing to examine the correlation between the frequency of different types of mammals, and the infection rates of ticks found in the same area. The initial thought? Where foxes thrive, Lyme doesn’t. That’s because foxes are good hunters of the small mammals that serve as the most effective reservoirs of the Lyme pathogen. – For complete article see http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/tech/science/environment/2015/03/14/lyme-disease-opossum-ticks/70221442/ and for relative video about foxes see http://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/videos/news/health/lyme-disease/2014/10/27/18000483/

CHIKUNGUNYA:

States reporting imported ChikV.

States reporting imported ChikV.

National 03/12/15 outbreaknestoday.com: by Robert Herriman – In an update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week, there has been a total of 55 chikungunya virus disease cases that have been reported to ArboNET from 14 U.S. states, as of Mar. 10. Of the 55 travel associated cases seen this year, 60 percent of cases are from three statesFlorida, New York and Maryland. No locally-transmitted cases have been reported from U.S. states. Chikungunya became a nationally notifiable disease in the United States in 2015. Last year, there were 2,481 travel associated cases reported from all states except, North Dakota, Wyoming and Alaska. Eleven locally-transmitted cases were reported from Florida. – See http://outbreaknewstoday.com/us-reports-55-imported-chikungunya-in-2015-to-date-89590/

CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE:

thumbnailCA84UOUZGlobal 03/11/15 virology.ws: Dr. Vincent Racaniello, Professor of Microbiology & Immunology in the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columba University, and author of the Virology Blog, has posted a blog about Chronic Wasting Disease, a prion disease of deer, elk and moose. Hunters and others who have an interest in the topic will want to read it. – See http://www.virology.ws/

EBOLA VIRUS:

ebola-virus32Maryland 03/12/15 medscape.com: by Robert Lowes – An American healthcare worker who has tested positive for the Ebola virus is expected to arrive tomorrow from Sierra Leone at an infectious-disease containment unit of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, the federal agency announced today. The American had been volunteering in an Ebola treatment facility in Sierra Leone, one of three nations bearing the brunt of the disease’s outbreak in West Africa since it began in December 2013. A chartered aircraft will transport the individual while in isolation to the Special Clinical Studies Unit (SCSU) at the NIH Clinical Center. The NIH did not release any further details about the identity of the American. The SCSU is one of a handful of high-level containment units in the country designed to treat patients with a virulent infectious disease such as Ebola and prevent further disease transmission. The healthcare worker, due to arrive tomorrow at the SCSU, will be the second patient with Ebola treated there. – See http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/841408?src=wnl_edit_newsal&uac=218349HV

RABIES:

rabiesAlert521d4-1South Carolina 03/11/15 Abbeville County: A stray cat found in the City of Abbeville that came in contact with at least four people has tested positive for rabies. – For further information see http://www.wyff4.com/news/dhec-cat-exposes-south-carolinians-to-rabies/31743790

Canada:

help7689Ontario 03/12/15 Grey Bruce Health Services: Officials are looking for the owner of a cat that bit a man in Owen Sound on Saturday. Staff at the health unit need to confirm that the cat, found in the 1500 block of 3rd Ave. E. at approximately 12:30 p.m., has had a current rabies vaccination. The grey cat was hiding under a vehicle and when the man reached under the vehicle to remove it, he was bitten. The cat is believed to be an indoor cat. If it is determined the cat has been vaccinated, the man can avoid post-exposure rabies treatment. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the health unit at 519-376-9420. – See http://www.owensoundsuntimes.com/2015/03/12/health-unit-seeking-cats-owner

Packs of WOLVES, COYOTES and FOXES are roaming NEW JERSEY city’s streets ~ COYOTES moving into GEORGIA city neighborhoods ~ TEXAS reports first case of MURINE TYPHUS in 80 years ~ NEW YORK scientist reports TICKS carrying LYME DISEASE emerging earlier ~ RABIES report from TEXAS.

Wolf pack. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife.

Wolf pack. Courtesy U.S. Fish & Wildlife.

New Jersey 02/20/15 nj.com: by Jenna Pizzi – Packs of wild animals including wolves, coyotes and foxes are running around on city streets after dark and residents are raising concerns about their safety, according to a Trenton councilman. Councilman George Muschal said he received reports from residents about the animals and saw a gray fox cross in front of his truck last Tuesday at the corner of Hudson and Broad Streets. “If a child is out there or a dog in the yard it might be a problem,” said Muschal, speaking during a council meeting Thursday night Muschal said residents have also emailed and called his office reportedly seeing wolves in the city. Wolves haven’t been spotted in the wild in New Jersey in more than 100 years. According to information on the state Department of Environmental Protection’s website, wolves have become larger and in varying colors in the Eastern United States due to past inbreeding between coyotes and wolves. Muschal said he is not sure if it was a coyote or a wolf that was spotted by residents, but said he only took the individuals that called into this office at their word. “They just know that it doesn’t belong there,” Muschal said. “I’m not gonna say that there’s not a wolf.” Councilman Zachary Chester said he has received concerns from residents about coyotes and foxes — but not wolves. – See http://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2015/02/wolves_coyotes_and_foxes_roaming_trenton_streets_c.html

1179coyoteGeorgia 02/24/15 myfoxatlanta.com: by Jaclyn Schultz – A number of coyotes have recently been spotted around busy neighborhoods in metro Atlanta. One woman, however, said a coyote attacked her pets. “The coyote came here close to the house. There were feathers all over the yard,” said Jennifer Ellis, who lives in Grant Park with her pet chickens, dog and rabbit. “There’s never been an attack like this one.” One Grant Park neighbor said off camera, his dogs scared another coyote away. Other neighbors said word has gotten around about other sightings. “They start to associate food with humans and remove their natural wariness,” said Professor Chris Mowry of Berry College, who started the Atlanta Coyote Project. The project has surveyed thousands of metro Atlanta residents who have reported seeing a coyote, and is trying to study if more are moving into busy urban areas. Mowry said reports of coyotes, though, have increased. He says too many people living around in-town Atlanta make their homes appealing to wildlife, such as leaving out pet food and exposing trash. “They walk by and see an easy meal and will try to take it,” he said. Though trapping a coyote is always an option for a resident, Mowry said another coyote will move in afterwards. He said the most effective prevention is eliminating what coyotes could eat on your property, installing motion sensor lights, and hanging wind chimes to create noise. He also said fencing should be higher than six feet tall and should even extend below ground to prevent digging. Pets should also be supervised while outside. – For video see http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/28182721/coyotes-spotted-in-atlanta-neighborhoods

MURINE TYPHUS:

453723837Texas 02/16/15 healio.com: Scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch say murine typhus has been identified in Galveston signaling the re-emergence of the disease. Of 18 adult patients evaluated, seven cases of the disease were confirmed. Fleas that infest rats, opossums and cats are likely to be spreading the disease. Blanton LS, et al. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015;doi:10.3201/eid2103.140716. – See http://www.healio.com/infectious-disease/zoonotic-infections/news/online/%7B47c536b9-6693-4cac-abc0-1fa1a88a933e%7D/first-cases-of-murine-typhus-in-8-decades-reported-in-texas

LYME DISEASE:

logo66874New York 02/18/15 newsday.com: A Hudson Valley researcher says ticks that carry Lyme disease are emerging earlier in spring and spreading into new geographic regions, a trend corresponding with data on climate warming trends. The conclusions were based on 19 years of data collected at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook in Dutchess County, a hotbed of tick-borne disease. Biologist Richard Ostfeld at the Cary Institute says nearly two decades of data revealed climate warming trends correlated with earlier spring feeding by nymphal ticks, sometimes by as much as three weeks. – See http://www.newsday.com/news/health/ticks-carrying-lyme-disease-are-emerging-earlier-researcher-says-1.9949893

RABIES:       

635603854191973597-rabiesdogTexas 02/24/15 kvue.com: A dog that visited Austin’s Zilker Park Dog Park off leash between 3 and 6 p.m. on February 8th has been diagnosed with rabies. The black-and-white Border Collie mix was seen about 50 yards from the park’s sand volleyball courts and reportedly had contact with other dogs at the park. Anyone who came in contact with this dog, or whose pet did, should seek immediate medical advice. – See http://www.kvue.com/story/news/health/2015/02/24/officials-warn-of-possible-rabies-exposure-at-zilker/23946897/