Tag Archives: West Nile Virus

Spray for MOSQUITOES that carry ZIKA VIRUS kills millions of HONEYBEES ~ MOSQUITOES carrying ZIKA VIRUS confirmed in FLORIDA ~ NEVADA county reports 2nd case of ST.LOUIS ENCEPHALITIS ~ WEST NILE VIRUS deaths in MS, ND & TX ~ RABID CAT reports from CA & PA.

 

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Image courtesy of U.S.D.A.

South Carolina 09/02/16 cnn.com: by Sandee LaMotte – The pictures are heartbreaking: Millions of honeybees lie dead after being sprayed with an insecticide targeting Zika-carrying mosquitoes. “On Saturday, it was total energy, millions of bees foraging, pollinating, making honey for winter,” beekeeper Juanita Stanley said. “Today, it stinks of death. Maggots and other insects are feeding on the honey and the baby bees who are still in the hives. It’s heartbreaking.” Stanley, co-owner of Flowertown Bee Farm and Supply in Summerville, South Carolina, said she lost 46 beehives — more than 3 million bees — in mere minutes after the spraying began Sunday morning. “Those that didn’t die immediately were poisoned trying to drag out the dead,” Stanley said. “Now, I’m going to have to destroy my hives, the honey, all my equipment. It’s all contaminated.” Stanley said Summerville Fire Capt. Andrew Macke, who keeps bees as a hobby, also lost thousands of bees. She said neither of them had protected their hives because they didn’t know about the aerial spraying.

Honeybees Mortality in the Netherlands Imker Henk Brouwer laat dode bijen op de honingraat zien

“Andrew has two hives,” Stanley said. “He didn’t know they were going to spray. His wife called him. His bees are at their porch right by their home, and she saw dead bees everywhere.” It’s a tragedy that could be repeated across the country as cases of Zika continue to rise and local mosquito control districts struggle to protect their residents and ease local fears. The spray fell from the skies between 6:30 and 8:30 a.m. Sunday. It was the first aerial spraying in 14 years, according to Dorchester County Administrator Jason Ward, part of the county’s efforts to combat Zika after four local residents were diagnosed with the virus. “We chose Sunday morning because few people would be out and about that early on a weekend,” Ward said. “To protect the bees, you don’t want to spray after the sun has been up more two hours, so we scheduled it early.”

Rare Black Bees in the UK

The county used a product called Trumpet, which contains the pesticide naled, recommended by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for control of adult Aedes aegypti, the mosquito that transmits Zika. According to the manufacturer’s label (PDF), Trumpet is “highly toxic to bees exposed to direct treatment on blooming crops or weeds. To minimize hazard to bees, it is recommended that the product is not applied more than two hours after sunrise or two hours before sunset, limiting application to times when bees are least active.” “We followed that recommendation,” said Ward, “which is also the policy laid out by the state, using a pesticide the state has approved for use.” Ward says the county also notified residents of the spraying by posting a notice on its websiteat 9 a.m. Friday, two days before the spraying. He added that it alerted beekeepers who were on the local mosquito control registry by phone or email, a common practice before truck spraying. – For complete article and video see http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/01/health/zika-spraying-honeybees/index.html

4e02d4cc-78d5-46f5-9fdb-8a4d4ea435be-large16x9_ZikaFloridaFlorida 09/01/16 cnn.com: Mosquitoes carrying the Zika virus have been identified in Miami Beach, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said Thursday. It’s the first finding of Zika-carrying mosquitoes in the continental United States. The three mosquito samples that tested positive were from the area in Miami Beach that waspreviously identified as an area of local transmission. Ninety-five other samples tested negative, according to the department of agriculture.- See http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/01/health/florida-zika-mosquitoes/index.html

St. Louis Encephalitis:

476669_GNevada 09/02/16 ktnv.com: The Southern Nevada Health District is reporting the second human case of St. Louis Encephalitis in Clark County. The individual is male, 50 years of age or older, and did not have the more serious neuroinvasive form of the disease. The Health District will not be providing additional details regarding this individual. – See http://www.ktnv.com/news/health-district-reports-second-st-louis-encephalitis-case

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Mississippi 09/01/16 djournal.com:  The Mississippi State Department of Health says a Hinds County resident has died from the West Nile virus. It’s the first human death of 2016. In addition to the Hinds County death, state Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said two new human cases of West Nile have been reported in Lee and Marion counties, bringing the 2016 total to 18 in Mississippi. So far this year, human cases of West Nile have been reported in Calhoun, Chickasaw, Copiah (2), Hinds (5), Grenada, Lamar (2), Lee, Leflore, Lowndes, Marion, Perry and Rankin counties. – See https://djournal.com/news/health-official-1st-west-nile-virus-death-reported-mississippi/

07cd7361057a7994e7e590e1fb0d3868ed6ff5ad-1North Dakota 09/01/16 shorelinemedia.net: An eastern North Dakota man has died from West Nile virus. It’s the first death in the state this year from the virus that’s transmitted by mosquitoes. The Health Department says the victim was a man older than 60. Officials did not identify him. Last year, 23 people in North Dakota tested positive for the virus. Eight were hospitalized and one died. – See http://www.shorelinemedia.net/ludington_daily_news/news/state/eastern-north-dakota-man-dies-from-west-nile-virus/article_ef07a7ab-1bcd-5fef-91c4-78c637f174f0.html

Texas 09/02/16 mycentx.com: by Roland Richter – The Waco McLennan County Public Health District has confirmed one person has died after contracting West Nile Virus. Officials are only saying the victim was a male patient, but are not releasing any other details about the victim because of privacy considerations. There have been a total of five cases of West Nile Virus reported in the county. – For complete article see http://www.mycentx.com/news/waco-news/west-nile-virus-death-in-mclennan-county

Rabies:

California 09/02/16 lostcoastoutpost.com: by Hank Sims – Today, the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) Public Health Laboratory confirmed that a cat in Orleans tested positive for rabies. – For complete article see https://lostcoastoutpost.com/2016/sep/2/orleans-cat-tests-positive-rabies-becomes-second-o/

Rabid cat found in Elizabethtown.

Rabid cat found at Elizabethtown

Pennsylvania 09/01/16 http://lancasteronline.com/: by Tom Knapp – An employee of a local animal rescue group has started a series of rabies shots after being exposed last week to an infected cat in Elizabethtown. Connie Kondravy, director of the Organization for the Responsible Care of Animals, is worried that people in the neighborhood where the cat was found might also have been scratched or bitten — or that other stray and feral cats in the area might also be infected. Kondravy said her employee responded to a call at Buttonwood Drive on Aug. 25. The call, Kondravy said, was for “a beautiful white cat … with a bloody wound on her side.” . . . After the cat tried to escape through an open window and tried to attack an employee, Kondravy made the decision to euthanize the cat and have it tested for rabies. The test came back positive on Tuesday, she said. – For complete article see http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/rabies-warning-issued-after-infected-cat-is-found-in-elizabethtown/article_786f6d9e-7068-11e6-904e-6f69e77bd1ca.html

 

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.

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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

 

 

WASHINGTON woman dies after contracting STREP bacteria from a HORSE ~ CDC issues warning for second ZIKA zone in FLORIDA ~ WEST NILE VIRUS claims lives in AZ & WA ~ RABID CAT reports from GA(2) & SC

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Image: bohringer friedrich WikimediaCommons

Washington 08/17/16 healio.com: In a rare case, investigators say a woman died after contracting Streptococcus zooepidemicus from a sick horse in Washington state. The woman, aged 71years, died within a week after having close contact with a horse that later tested positive for S. zooepidemicus, a subspecies of S. equi, the investigators said. “S. zooepidemicus is a zoonotic pathogen that rarely causes human illness and is usually associated with consuming unpasteurized dairy products or with direct horse contact,” they wrote in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. “In horses, S. zooepidemicus is a commensal bacterium that can cause respiratory, wound, and uterine infections.” The woman was visiting her daughter’s horse boarding and riding facility in King County, Washington, where three of the facility’s six horses later tested positive for S. zooepidemicus, including the one that infected her. The daughter also was infected by one of the horses and developed a mild sore throat and cough, but recovered. Soon after, on Feb. 29, she began administering 10 days of sulfa-based antibiotics to a horse that showed symptoms of S. zooepidemicus infection, and the horse fully recovered. Her mother, who had symptoms consistent with an upper respiratory infection at the same time her daughter was ill, had contact with one of the horses on at least Feb. 25 and Feb. 29 and later developed vomiting and diarrhea on March 2, the investigators said. She was found unconscious the next day and died after being transported to a hospital. According to the investigators, a blood culture from the woman and throat culture from her daughter both grew isolates of S. zooepidemicus that matched isolates from two of the horses at the facility. They said the woman’s age and possible upper respiratory infection might have made her more vulnerable for invasive disease by S. zooepidemicus- See http://www.healio.com/infectious-disease/zoonotic-infections/news/online/%7B3a92fc1f-94ce-4a16-9f59-1225489258c6%7D/woman-dies-after-contracting-s-zooepidemicus-from-horse

Zika Virus:

4e02d4cc-78d5-46f5-9fdb-8a4d4ea435be-large16x9_ZikaFloridaFlorida 08/19/16 cdc.gov: Media ReleaseThe Florida Department of Health has identified two areas of Miami-Dade County where Zika is being spread by mosquitoes. In addition to the previously identified area in the Wynwood neighborhood, there is now mosquito-borne spread of Zika virus in a section of Miami Beach. This guidance is for people who live in or traveled to the identified area of Miami Beach any time after July 14. This guidance also still applies for those who live in or traveled to the previously identified Wynwood area any time after June 15. These timeframes are based on the earliest time symptoms can start and the maximum 2-week incubation period for Zika virus. Pregnant women and their partners who are concerned about being exposed to Zika may want to consider postponing nonessential travel to all parts of Miami-Dade County. – For complete release see http://www.cdc.gov/zika/intheus/florida-update.html

West Nile Virus (WNV):

Arizona 08/18/16 azcentral.com: Health officials say Maricopa County has reported its first two deaths this season from the West Nile virus. There have been 26 human cases of West Nile so far this season in Arizona’s most populous county. The two people who died both were over 50 years old — the age group most at risk for serious complications of West Nile virus. Last year, Maricopa County had 62 West Nile cases with two deaths. – For complete article see http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/phoenix/2016/08/18/2-deaths-from-07cd7361057a7994e7e590e1fb0d3868ed6ff5ad-1west-nile-virus-in-maricopa-county-this-season/88967118/

Washington 08/17/16 http://kimatv.com/: by Hannah Vogel – The Washington State Department of Health confirmed the first death in our state from the West Nile virus. Officials say a 70-year-old woman from Benton County died after being exposed to infected mosquitoes. – For complete article see http://kimatv.com/news/local/health-officials-west-nile-virus-claims-life-of-benton-county-woman

Rabies:

FeralCats681508/18/16 whitecountynews.net:by Debbie Gilbert – A woman in the Sky Lake community in northern White County is receiving medical treatment after being bitten by a rabid cat on Saturday, Aug. 13. Sean Sullivan, White County environmental health manager, said the woman is an animal devotee who recently began feeding a stray cat that showed up near her home. “But after a day or two, it bit her,” Sullivan said. “I don’t think she had the cat long enough to know its normal behavior, so she may not have recognized symptoms of rabies.” He said the woman began receiving prophylactic medical treatment on Sunday, even before tests results were available, to prevent her from possibly developing rabies. Sullivan sent the cat’s remains to the Georgia Public Health Lab, but did not receive confirmation of rabies until Wednesday. On Thursday, he began posting signs in the Sky Lake area, alerting residents that there had been a rabies case in the vicinity. – See http://www.whitecountynews.net/breaking-news/rabid-cat-bites-woman-sky-lake

Georgia 08/17/16 http://wfxl.com/:by Kerri Copello – A case of rabies has been confirmed in the City of Cordele (Crisp County). The Cordele Police Department confirms that a stray kitten died suddenly and positively tested for rabies. The Cordele Police Department and animal control want to remind everyone of the importance of getting your pets vaccinated every year for rabies because it is the law. Sgt. Jeremy Taylor, with the Cordele Police Department, wants to remind people not to approach a stray animal. If citizens see strays, even baby animals, call The Cordele Police Department and let animal control pick them up. – See http://wfxl.com/news/local/kitten-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-cordele

0South Carolina 08/18/16 indexjournal.com: Four people have started treatment after potentially being exposed to rabies by a pet cat with the disease in Troy, according to a release from the state Department of Health and Environmental Control. The cat began to act irregularly Aug. 11 and died the next day, the release said. It was confirmed to have rabies Monday. The people were bitten or exposed to the cat’s saliva while trying to provide it with care. The cat is the fifth animal in Greenwood County to test positive for rabies this year. – See http://www.indexjournal.com/news/RABIES-ALERT–Cat-likely-exposes-four-people-to-disease-in-Greenwood-County-17841766

BEAVER attacks two people in CONNECTICUT ~ COYOTES attack humans in CALIFORNIA, PENNSYLVANIA and RHODE ISLAND ~ COLORADO reports first WEST NILE VIRUS fatality of 2016.

 

597px-American_BeaverBySteveWashDCWC

Image: Bing.com Free Use License.

Connecticut 08/10/16 http://wtnh.com/: Two people were attacked by a beaver on the Quinebaug River near the Pomfret/Killingly line. DEEP officials are warning swimmers and boaters to stay away from the area.  “It appeared to be one animal that bit and injured two people,” said Dennis Schain the Communications Director with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Karen Greb and Gahrett Bond were attacked Monday evening as they were standing in the river.

Greb wrote in this Facebook post:

“Beavers do attack. I was swimming in the Quinebaug River just standing there when something clamped down on my rib cage. I shoved my hand in its mouth to get it to release me and tore the ligament in my thumb.”

Her boyfriend Gahrett Bond jumped in to help her and that’s when the beaver attacked Bond latching onto his leg.

“We did nothing to this beaver. But they do attack viciously just be careful. This is truly what nightmares are made of.”

Forest_Animals_Wallpaper_-_BeaverThe couple ended up in the hospital with serious injuries. “Both of them required them multiple stitches and we understand the woman who was attacked actually is going to need on surgery her hand. Depending on where you got bitten and how prolonged an attack was which is even rare to happen the injuries could be serious,” said Schain. As a precaution, the couple is undergoing treatment for rabies. “This attack was very unusual. Healthy beaver usually don’t go after people and beaver don’t often get infected with rabies,” said Schain. DEEP officials did encounter a beaver with aggressive behavior, but have been unable to capture the animal. – See http://wtnh.com/2016/08/10/beaver-attacks-two-people-on-the-quinebaug-river/

Coyote Attacks:

127e83b7d11bf0a4e4d2de638e42016fCalifornia 08/09/16 .latimes.com:  by Erica Evans – Police have ordered the closure of a popular Montebello park and petting zoo after three people were attacked recently by coyotes. Although incidents of coyotes attacking small dogs and cats are a fact of life in Southern California, attacks on people are rare, and officials and neighbors alike expressed worry Tuesday over the animals’ brazen behavior. Two of the victims were forced to seek treatment for possible rabies infection. “People are not food for coyotes,” said Andrew Hughan, information officer for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “Generally, they’re afraid of us.” Wildlife personnel shot and killed four coyotes at Grant Rea Park Monday night and one more Tuesday evening, officials said. They also set up traps with bait but did not capture any animals that way. The park, a grassy recreational area that covers about one square mile at 600 Rea Drive, features a petting zoo filled with ducks, goats, donkeys, sheep and other animals, as well as a playground, several baseball diamonds and picnic tables. Officials ordered the park closed Monday night and said it will remain closed until the Department of Fish and Wildlife determines that it is safe for the public.  The three victims — two men and a teenage girl — all suffered unprovoked attacks. – For complete article see http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-coyote-attacks-20160809-snap-story.html

coyote-2Pennsylvania 08/09/16 post-gazette.com: by Andrew Goldstein – A coyote that tested positive for rabies was shot and killed hours after it bit a man Monday night in Lincoln Borough, according to the Allegheny County Health Department. The coyote was shot Tuesday by officers with the Lincoln Police Department, the county said, and Pennsylvania Game Commission employees took its carcass to the health department lab, where it tested positive for rabies. The bite victim, who was identified only as an adult male, has already begun post-exposure treatment, the health department said. Even though the rabid coyote was killed, the health department warned that because coyotes are pack animals, others may be infected. – For complete article see http://www.post-gazette.com/local/south/2016/08/09/Coyote-tests-positive-for-rabies-after-attacking-Lincoln-man/stories/201608090198

WLD-08-RK0017-01PRhode Island 08/08/16 http://turnto10.com/news: by Jessica A. Botelho – A Warwick apartment complex is warning residents to be aware of coyotes after police said they received reports that a person was bitten in the area. “Over the last 24-48 hours, we have received multiple reports of coyotes approaching buildings, pets, and humans in the areas of buildings 1-8,” Cowesset Hills Management wrote in a letter to residents Monday. Cowesset Hills, which is located on Greenwich Bay at 3595 Post Road, also told NBC 10 News during a brief phone interview that management is working with Warwick police and environmental authorities “to resolve the issue as fast as possible.” Police confirmed that they received reports that a coyote bit someone at the complex on Sunday. Authorities said they were again called to the area on Monday, as a coyote was behaving erratically. According to police, the coyote was shot and killed as a result, and the Department of Environmental Management is investigating whether it was the same coyote. – For complete article see http://turnto10.com/news/local/person-reportedly-bitten-by-coyote-at-warwick-apartment-complex-authorities-say

West Nile Virus (WNV):

West-Nile-death-1024x576Colorado 08/11/16  denverpost.com: by John Ingold – Thirteen people in Colorado have tested positive for West Nile virus so far this year, including one who died from the disease, the Colorado Health Department announced Wednesday. Three of the cases were in Boulder County, according to a news release by that county’s public health department. The cases in Boulder County involved a 74-year-old woman, a 47-year-old man and a 13-year-old boy. None of the three were hospitalized. It is unclear where the other cases have been reported, and health officials would not release more information about the death. The first case of West Nile virus was reported this year in June in Larimer County, said Jennifer House, the state public health veterinarian. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said in its announcement Wednesday that people, animals or mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile in 14 counties: Adams, Arapahoe, Bent, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, El Paso, Gunnison, La Plata, Larimer, Mesa, Morgan, Rio Blanco and Weld. – For complete article see http://www.denverpost.com/2016/08/10/west-nile-cases-death-colorado/

Study shows CARDINALS are “Super-Suppressors” of WEST NILE VIRUS ~ CALIFORNIA and northern TEXAS report first WEST NILE VIRUS deaths of 2016 ~ More than 1,000 new cases of ZIKA weekly in PUERTO RICO ~ UTAH reports second HANTAVIRUS death of 2016 ~ RABID PET reports from PA, SC.

Northern cardinal pair photo by Ilona L on Flickr noncommercial use permitted with attribution  share alike.

National 08/08/16 seeker.com: Authors of a new study took a closer look at a puzzling circumstance in Georgia: low rates of human infection with the West Nile virus (WNV), even as about a third of Atlanta’s birds carry the disease. The same situation — many infected birds, not so many infected people — applied to the broader American southeast, a team of researchers from Emory University, Texas A&M, the University of Georgia and Georgia’s department of transportation noted. Indeed, they said, Georgia’s WNV infection rate, over the last 15 years, was only about 3 people per 100,000.

Northern cardinal; photo by Jen Goellnitz on FlickTo try to shed light on the discrepancy, the scientists spent three years testing birds and mosquitoes for WNV in Atlanta, analyzing the blood of the insects to determine on which birds they had fed. The scientists were keeping a sharp eye for the number of American robin infections. They consider that species a “super spreader” of WNV, for its capacity to store enough of the virus in its blood to pass along to other mosquitoes. While robins were certainly carriers, the researchers found a twist in the tale, one concerning a favorite of backyard birders everywhere: the cardinal.

Cardinal.female.atoztheusa.com.blog“What we found is that, for some unknown reason, around the middle of July, mosquitoes in Atlanta seem to decide that they have had their fill of robins and they switch to feeding on cardinals,” said the study’s lead author, Rebecca Levine, in a statement.  “But cardinals, even though they can be infected with West Nile virus, are much less likely to have enough virus circulating in their blood to transmit the disease back to feeding mosquitoes,” said Levine, now with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention but at Emory University during the research. “That is why we called them ‘super suppressors’.” . . . But, her team’s findings don’t suggest cardinals are a magic red bullet against WNV, Levine said. The birds might not have the same roles elsewhere, depending on the local ecosystems in which they live.  Findings from the study have just been published in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.  – For complete article see http://www.seeker.com/cardinals-super-suppressors-of-west-nile-virus-1964581023.html

West Nile Virus (WNV):

07cd7361057a7994e7e590e1fb0d3868ed6ff5ad-1California 08/05/16 mercurynews.com: by Tracy Seipel –  California public health officials on Friday said that an elderly Sacramento County resident is the state’s first confirmed death from West Nile virus this year. No other information about the victim was provided. susceptible, as this unfortunate fatality illustrates,” Dr. Karen Smith, director of the California Department of Public Health and the state’s health officer, said in a statement. “West Nile virus activity in the state is increasing, so I urge Californians to take every possible precaution to protect themselves against mosquito bites.” The state reported 53 deaths from West Nile virus in 2015, the most since California began recording West Nile cases in 2003. – For complete article see http://www.mercurynews.com/health/ci_30210998/sacramento-county-senior-citizen-is-californias-first-west

imagesCAWX5STJTexas 08/09/16 nbcdfw.com: Dallas County health officials confirm the first death related to West Nile virus for the 2016 season in North Texas. The victim – a person in their 60s – lived in the 75006 ZIP code in Carrollton and was previously diagnosed with the West Nile neuroinvasive disease, officials said in a press release Monday afternoon. – See http://www.nbcdfw.com/news/health/Dallas-County-Confirms-First-West-Nile-Virus-Death-of-2016-389529131.html

Zika Virus:

dt_160309_puerto_rico_map_zika_mosquito_800x600Puerto Rico 08/05/16 npr.org: by Jason Beaubien – The Zika virus outbreak in Puerto Rico is expanding rapidly. Recently, the island has been reporting more than a thousand new cases of Zika each week. The situation is expected to get worse before it gets better. “We are right now probably in the month or 6 weeks of peak transmission,” saysTyler Sharp the lead epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Zika operation in Puerto Rico. Previous outbreaks of dengue fever and chikungunya, which are transmitted by the same mosquito as Zika, Aedes aegypti, suggest the hot, wet summer months in Puerto Rico now are just right for Zika to flourish, Sharp says. “The more rains you get, the more mosquitoes you get. The more mosquitoes, the higher the rate of transmission,” he says. “And also the mosquitoes like warmer temperatures and are able to replicate the virus more efficiently at at least slightly higher temperatures.” He calls August in Puerto Rico the “Goldilocks zone” for Zika virus replication. The island has already had more than 8,000 confirmed cases of Zika. The CDC predicts that by the end of the year, 20 percent to 25 percent of the roughly 3.5 million people on the island could be infected with the virus. – For complete article see http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/08/05/488864340/zika-cases-surge-in-puerto-rico-as-mosquitoes-flourish

Hantavirus:

892008Utah 08/09/16 utahcountyonline.org: Media Release – Utah County Health Department (UCHD) officials are investigating the death of a female Utah County resident related to hantavirus. The female was between the ages of 18 – 44, from Utah County, and had no other apparent health issues. This is the second death related to hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in the state in 2016, and tenth case since 2006. Hantavirus infection is a virus transmitted by infected rodents through fresh urine, droppings or saliva. The main way the virus is spread to people is when they breathe in the air contaminated with the virus. Other transmissions can include an infected rodent biting a person, touching objects or eating food contaminated with rodent urine, droppings, or saliva from an infected rodent. – For complete release see http://www.utahcountyonline.org/dept2/health/UtahCountyHantavirusDeath2016Aug9.pdf

Rabies:

5731289-very-cute-child-with-a-cat-in-armsPennsylvania 08/05/16 wearecentralpa.com: A cat in Huntingdon County has tested positive for Rabies. We’re told a family in who lives on Metztown Road in Brady Township took their unvaccinated farm cat to a veterinary clinic after they say it started to act restless and panting. The veterinary told them to keep the cat contained, but the next day the cat escaped  the enclosure they had it in and bit a child. At that point the cat was euthanized and submitted for rabies tests. They came back positive. Several people are receiving post exposure treatment for rabies. – See http://www.wearecentralpa.com/news/cat-tests-positive-for-rabies

555f5f5South Carolina 08/05/16 wyff4.com/ : At least five people were potentially exposed to rabies by a puppy that tested positive for the disease in Chesnee, the Department of Health and Environmental Control reported today. The puppy was a Germany Shepherd-mix puppy that was being sold at Burr’s Trading Post on Old Stage Road, June 20 from an individual not affiliated with the store. The puppy began to show neurological symptoms at the end of July, and was submitted to DHEC’s laboratory for testing on Aug. 1. DHEC said several other puppies were for sale. DHEC recommends that anyone who obtained or was exposed to a puppy there around this time should watch the animal for signs and symptoms of rabies and immediately seek veterinary care if the animal becomes ill. – See http://www.wyff4.com/news/upstate-dog-potentially-exposes-at-least-5-people-to-rabies-dhec-says/41072124

WEST NILE VIRUS partially paralyzes ARIZONAN ~ RABIES test strips found unacceptable ~ RABID CAT reports from CT, NJ & PA.

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Arizona 07/05/16 nydailynews.com: by Keri Blakinger – An Arizona father is partially paralyzed after contracting West Nile virus from a mosquito bite. “It was extremely terrifying — and it still is,” Nick Cornelius told the Daily News. Problems started after the Phoenix man got a mosquito bite one day when he was tinkering with a project in his garage. “It was not an average mosquito bite. It pinched and it hurt,” the 32-year-old said. But he didn’t really think anything of it. A few days later he got sick. At first, it seemed like it was just the flu — so he went to urgent care. Doctors there told him it was probably a sinus infection and sent him home with some meds. “I thought it would be gone in a couple days,” he said. But when he woke up the next morning, his legs didn’t work. He was vomiting and spiked a 103-degree fever. His wife had to carry him to the car so they could go to the hospital. Doctors did some tests and found that he was having a rare reaction to West Nile.

wnv1_clip_image002At least 70% of people infected with the virus have no symptoms, while around 20% have nothing more serious than fever and vomiting, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Less than 1% develop severe symptoms, like the paralysis that struck Cornelius. There is no cure for the virus. Now, a month after the initial bite, he’s home from the hospital and on the mend. He’s already regained motion in his right leg and he can wiggle his toes on his left foot.  “They said that they can’t guarantee anything, but the best chance he has of walking again is with inpatient therapy — which we can’t afford,” his wife Tiana Spitali told the News.  The family launched a GoFundMe page to help pay for his overwhelming medical bills. So far, it has raised close to $4,000. With Cornelius unable to walk, the family has been forced to hire a nanny to care for their 5-month-old and the 3-year-old Spitali has from a previous relationship.  “It’s put a huge burden on our family,” Cornelius said. “It’s heartbreaking. Something like this can just end everything.”  – For video see http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/arizona-man-paralyzed-west-nile-virus-bug-bite-article-1.2699676

Rabies Test Strips:

how_to_recognize_a_false_positive_pregnancy_testGlobal 07/04/16 http://archynety.com/: by Jesse G. McNeil Jr.  Rabies kills about 60,000 people annually, most of them children in Africa and Asia. Rapid tests for that infection are badly necessary for poor nations. The research, the authors authored, wasn’t completed to discredit rapid tests “but rather to inspire producers to substantially improve and assure the caliber of their items.” But diagnostic test strips produced by six companies for this function are “unsatisfactory” and “cannot be suggested,” based on recent evaluations by researchers in the Friedrich-Loeffler Institute in Germany. The kits are utilized to test your pet, not the bite victim. It should be found and wiped out so a dilution of their brain could be dripped into the well from the package. No six testing kits, made as a result of an appeal in the World Health Organization, had high false-positive rates. However, they had unacceptably high false-negative rates, and therefore someone bitten by a rabid animal may not be found to want treatment. The evaluations were detailed recently in PLOS Neglected Tropical Illnesses. In poor nations, the price of treatment varies enormously, but it’s sometimes greater than a family earns in several weeks. Treatment frequently involves five doses of vaccine into the arm over several days, and often several shots of immunoglobulin into the wound. Within the U.S., that may easily cost $3,000. Test results varied by batches, the evaluators found, recommending that some producers had low-quality control. The kits were created by companies in China, Germany, India, Columbia and also the U.S., and price $3 to $11. – See http://archynety.com/global-health-rabies-test-strips-are-found-to-be-unsatisfactory/

Rabid Cats:

kid and kitten - googleConnecticut 07/07/16 theday.com: Police are warning residents to avoid contact with stray animals after a badly injured cat that bit a person Tuesday morning tested positive for rabies. According to police, Animal Control Officer Karen Stone responded to the North Chestnut Street area of Wauregan around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday after a caller reported that a badly injured cat had bitten a resident. The cat, which was captured and euthanized, was then sent to the state lab for testing. The state lab confirmed on Wednesday that the cat had tested positive for the rabies virus. – See http://www.theday.com/policefirecourts/20160707/police-cat-that-bit-plainfield-resident-has-tested-positive-for-rabies

girl-kittenNew Jersey 07/08/16 nj.com: by Sallie Graziano – A cat found in the area of Frontage Road in Union Township on Thursday tested positive for rabies, according to a notice on the Health Department’s website. A few days earlier, Clinton Police reported a rabid cat had been found in downtown Clinton. The cat in Union Township was female, mainly black with white on the front (tuxedo-like markings). Residents who may have contacted the cat between June 18 and July 4 should notify a doctor to see if treatment is advised. – See http://www.nj.com/hunterdon/index.ssf/2016/07/another_rabid_cat_found_in_hunterdon_caution_urged.html

cat-breeds-kids-250x150Pennsylvania 07/08/16 post-gazette.com: A small tabby kitten found Sunday, July 3, in the parking lot of the Penn Center West Office Complex in Robinson has tested positive for rabies. Anyone who may have come in contact with the kitten is asked to the county health department at 412-687-2243. – See http://www.post-gazette.com/news/health/2016/07/08/Kitten-in-Robinson-tests-positive-for-rabies/stories/201607080186

NEW YORK couple attacked by RABID BOBCAT ~ Another BOBCAT in NEW YORK tests positive for RABIES ~ Researchers discover how WEST NILE VIRUS triggers memory loss ~ Case of ROCKY MOUNTAIN SPOTTED FEVER in MICHIGAN first since 2009.

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Bobcat. Courtesy National Park Service.

New York 06/23/16 timesunion.com: By Lindsay Ellis – A bobcat attack in New Scotland left a husband and wife with deep cuts Wednesday afternoon, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said. Both are being treated for non-life threatening injuries at St. Peter’s Hospital. A deputy responded to Rock Hill Road at about 4 p.m., where a man and woman were bleeding and a bobcat was shot dead on a house’s deck, Apple said. The woman, sitting outside a neighbor’s house, had heard a hissing noise, Apple said. The bobcat then lunged to bite her multiple times in the arms and legs. Her husband, hearing screaming, left the neighbor’s house, and the animal bit him multiple times. The homeowner, after trying to pin down the bobcat, shot it in the head, Apple said. Apple called the attack “an extremely atypical incident.” – See http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Bobcat-attacks-New-Scotland-couple-is-then-shot-8319752.php

Author’s Note: According to Spotlight News ” A necropsy was performed Thursday morning at the DEC’s Wildlife Health Unit at the Wildlife Resources Center in Delmar; the adult male bobcat smelled of skunk spray and its face was covered in porcupine quills. Its head was sent to the NYS Rabies Lab at Wadsworth Lab in Guilderland, where it tested positive for the disease (rabies).” – See http://spotlightnews.com/news/2016/06/23/new-scotland-couple-attacked-by-rabid-bobcat/

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Bobcat. Courtesy National Park Service.

New York 06/22/16 wbng.com/news: A Bobcat has tested positive for rabies in the town of Tompkins, Delaware County. This is the first animal that has positive for rabies in 2016, according to Delaware County Public Health Services. According to a news release, the Bobcat was sent to NYS State Rabies Laboratory for testing. The positive test results were received Thursday June 22, 2016, 2016. There was no human exposure, officials said. – See http://www.wbng.com/news/local/Bobcat-tests-positive-for-rabies-in-Delaware-County-384014311.html

West Nile Virus (WNV):

breakingnews-360wNational 06/22/16 http://medicalxpress.com/: Media Release – Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have discovered how the most severe forms of West Nile virus cause memory loss and mood disorders, opening the door to potential new treatments for the mosquito-borne illness. The study, published in the journal Nature, says 50 percent of patients who survive the most damaging kind of West Nile infection often go on to develop memory loss, learning difficulties, a lack of concentration and irritability. Exactly why this happens has been a mystery until now. Researchers discovered that the virus doesn’t kill off neurons but sparks inflammation that prunes synapses, the connections that carry messages between nerve cells. “What we found in mice, and later confirmed in humans, is that it’s not the death of cells that causes memory loss, it’s the loss of nerve cell connections,” said study co-author Kenneth Tyler, MD, chairman of the department of neurology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “The viral infection activates microglial cells and complement pathways which are helping to fight the infection but in turn end up destroying synapses.” – For complete release see http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-06-west-nile-virus-triggers-memory.html

Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF):

P_infectionK_rockymount_01 (2)Michigan 06/21/16 healthline.com:  by Emily Gadd  –  Besides sunburn and dehydration, there is another thing for hikers and parents to worry about this summer. Michigan has confirmed  that a child has been diagnosed with the state’s first case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) since 2009. RMSF is a tick-borne illness caused by the Rickettsia rickettsii bacterium. Its most distinctive symptom is a red, spotted rash that doesn’t itch. However, not every person who comes down with the infection will get a rash. Other early symptoms include headache, abdominal pain, fever, and confusion. People who receive prompt treatment usually make a full recovery. Untreated,RMSF can cause serious damage to internal organs such as the kidney and heart. Three different types of ticks carry the R. rickettsii bacteria: the American dog tick, the Rocky Mountain wood tick, and the brown dog tick. RMSF is considered a  rare disease, but according to Dr. Dana Hawkinson, an infectious diseases physician at the University of Kansas Hospital, rare is a matter of where you are. – For complete article see http://www.healthline.com/health-news/concerns-resurface-over-rocky-mountain-spotted-fever#1