Alaska reports Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning; California reports 38 Rodents with Hantavirus in San Diego County so far this year; West Nile Virus reports from California, Missouri, and Ohio; and Rabies reports from North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. CDC zoonotic disease summary for week ending June 11, 2011. Travel Warnings for India, and St. Lucia.

Illustration courtesy National Institutes of Health.

Alaska 06/23/11 state.ak.us: Epidemiology Bulletin –  On June 6, 2011, the Alaska Section of Epidemiology (SOE) received a report that a person had been medevaced from Metlakatla to Ketchikan due to possible paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP).  SOE personnel conducted interviews and collected shellfish from ill persons and at implicated beaches. As a result, eight probable and five confirmed PSP cases were identified in Metlakatla. Additionally, while the epidemiologists were in Metlakatla, two persons were hospitalized in Ketchikan with suspected PSP. Subsequent active case finding in Ketchikan identified five more probable cases. One other confirmed case of PSP in Ketchikan had been reported to SOE in May. In total, 21 cases of PSP were identified in Southeast Alaska during May and June, 2011. Of these 21 cases, 15 (71%) were associated with cockles, four (19%) with blue mussels, one (5%) with butter clams and cockles, and one (5%) with unspecified clams. Four of the 21 (19%) ill persons were hospitalized; none died. Eight of the 21 (38%) ill persons had laboratory-confirmed PSP.

Metlakatla, Alaska

Implicated shellfish collected from both Metlakatla and Ketchikan tested positive for high levels of saxitoxin. PSP is a potentially fatal neuroparalytic condition that results from ingestion of saxitoxin, a marine toxin produced by dinoflagellate algae, that accumulates in bivalve mollusks. PSP can result in mild symptoms, such as short-lived parasthesia of the mouth or lips, or can cause severe illness with respiratory or cardiac involvement that can be fatal. Symptoms occur within minutes to hours of consumption.

Deer mouse

California 06/22/11 sdcounty.ca.gov: Press Release – Six rodents trapped during routine monitoring in the last week in North County and East County have tested positive for the potentially-deadly hantavirus. Infected rodents rarely pose a danger to people if they are in the wild and there has been just one non-fatal human case in the county, in 2004. But people can inhale hantavirus by stirring up rodent droppings, then get sick and even die. There is no treatment, vaccine or cure for hantavirus infections, which are deadly in 38 percent of cases. “People should never sweep up or vacuum rodent droppings or nesting material when they find it,” said Jack Miller, director of the County Department of Environmental Health. “Instead, they should ventilate closed areas for at least 30 minutes, and then carefully use bleach or a full-strength disinfectant before removing them.”

California vole

The best way people can prevent the disease is to keep mice out of houses, garages and sheds by sealing holes larger than the size of a dime, County officials said. Hantavirus can cause hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), which begins with flu-like symptoms but can grow into severe breathing difficulties and even death. The rodents that tested positive during the last week included: two deer mice from Campo; one deer mouse each from Carlsbad and Escondido; one harvest mouse from Oceanside and a vole from Carlsbad. Thirty-eight rodents have tested positive for hantavirus in the county this year, compared to 21 in 2010. For more information, contact the County Department of Environmental Health at (858) 694-2888 or visit DEH’s Hantavirus page.

California 06/23/11 sacbee.com: by Bill Lindelof – Another dead crow suspected of carrying the West Nile Virus has been found in the Sacramento area. The bird was found in the Arden-Arcade neighborhood. Earlier, it was confirmed that a dead crow in Elk Grove had tested positive for the West Nile virus. In 2010, six deaths and 111 human West Nile Virus cases were reported in the state. To report dead birds, call the California Department of Public Health hotline at (877) 968-2473.

Missouri 06/23/11 st-louis.mo.us: Department of Health Press Release – Mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus have been discovered in communities ranging from Lemay to Florissant, although no human cases have been reported, according to the Saint Louis County Department of Health. Positive results have also been reported in mosquitoes in Mehlville, Richmond Heights, Clayton, Hanley Hills and Manchester.

North Carolina 06/22/11gastongazette.com: by Wade Allen – A Gastonia man killed a raccoon Monday that has tested positive for rabies, marking the third documented rabies case in Gaston this year. The raccoon attacked a dog belonging to Darren Wells, who lives on Acapulco Drive. The neighborhood is off Monterey Park Drive. He killed the raccoon Monday and contacted the Gaston County Animal Control officials, who investigated and sent the carcass to the State Diagnostics Lab in Raleigh. Wells declined to comment on the incident or the dog he turned over to Animal Control for euthanasia; it had not been vaccinated for rabies. In February, a rabid puppy was found off Hickory Grove Road near McAdenville, marking the first documented rabies case in 2011. The second involved a rabid raccoon that attacked farm animals at the Stanley home of Linda Burchfield. This marks the 23rd documented case of rabies in Gaston County since 2006.

Ohio 06/23/11 dispatch.com: by Molly Gray – Two pools of mosquitoes collected by Columbus Public Health have tested positive for West Nile Virus. These are the first reported cases found in the city and state this season. The positive tests were collected from areas south of Downtown that were recently sprayed. For more information on West Nile Virus and weekly fogging schedules, go to www.publichealth.columbus.gov .

Pennsylvania 06/22/11 necn.com:  A fox is being tested for rabies after it bit a central Pennsylvania woman and attacked a wildlife officer who killed the animal after he was called in by local police. Blair County Wildlife Conservation Officer Stephen Hanczar tells the Altoona-Mirror that the animal “came directly at me” Tuesday. He had to knock the animal far enough away with the butt of his shotgun so he could kill it without destroying the animal’s head. The head was needed to complete tests for rabies, canine distemper and other diseases. Police in Logan Township, near Altoona, are not identifying the 23-year-old woman who was bitten on the heel by the fox while taking her dog outside Tuesday morning. She’s being treated for rabies as a precaution.

CDC-MMWR Week ending June 11, 2011 /60(23); 789-802:

Zoonotic disease cases in the U. S. by state reported to the CDC for the week ending June 11, 2011:

Babesiosis . . . 2 cases . . . New York (2);

Brucellosis . . . 1 . . . North Dakota;

Q Fever . . . 1 . . . Florida;

Tularemia . . . 1 . . . Indiana;

Ehrlichosis . . . 12 . . . Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Missouri (4), New York, Tennessee (3), Virginia;

Anaplasmosis . . . 4 . . . Maine (2), New York (2);

Giardia . . . 147 . . . Alabama (2), Arizona (2), California (15), Colorado (17), Florida (23), Georgia (12), Iowa, Idaho (2), Maine, Maryland (10), Michigan (3), Missouri (5), Nebraska (2), Nevada (2), New York (27), Ohio (6), Pennsylvania (3), Vermont (2), Virginia (3), Washington (7), Wisconsin (2);

 Lyme Disease . . . 233 . . . California, Connecticut (2), Delaware (7), Florida (4), Maine (2), Maryland (12), Michigan, New Hampshire (2), New Jersey, New York (56), Pennsylvania (118), Tennessee, Texas, Vermont (5), Virginia (16), Wisconsin (4);

Rabies, Animal . . . 62 . . . Alabama, Arizona, Kansas (2), Maine (2), Michigan, New York (9), North Dakota (3), Utah, Virginia (12), West Virginia (30).

Travel Warnings:

India 06/24/11 gulfnews.com: by Lata Rani –  Health experts have finally identified the “killer disease” which has killed close to 40 children, aged between two and eight years, in the past week, creating panic among the families in Bihar. The experts came to this conclusion after two days of extensive examination of victims in city hospitals and a study of symptoms noticed in them. All the victims had displayed high fever and bouts of unconsciousness as well as convulsions. “Right now we can say the reason for the deaths of children is encephalitis but at this stage it’s difficult to say what kind of encephalitis it is — whether Japanese or viral one. This can only be ascertained after a detailed clinical test,” Dr I.P. Chaudhary, a member of three-member central team from Federal Health Ministry, told the media Thursday.

St. Lucia 06/23/11 jamaicaobserver.com: Public health officials have warned of “disturbing” levels of dengue fever and leptospirosis cases on the island. The warning came as the health department launched a public education and clean-up campaign to rid the island of disease-carrying mosquitos and rats. Public health officials attributed the exceptionally high number of infections to the rainy weather in the aftermath of Hurricane Tomas in 2010, they told journalists yesterday.  Last month, there were over 40 recorded cases of dengue fever, which is spread by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito. So so far this year there were 169 reported cases of dengue fever as compared to 95 cases in 2010 and only 18 in 2009, she said.

Beaver. Courtesy U.S. Geodetic Survey.

Alaska 03/27/11 newsminer.com: by Dan Joling – (Excerpt) Inupiat Eskimo villagers in the Chukchi Sea village of Kivalina rely on wild animals to survive, but a recent arrival associated with climate warming is causing health concerns. Beavers have colonized the Wulik River, Kivalina’s main source for water. Beaver feces carry a microscopic protozoa that can cause giardia, known to campers elsewhere in Alaska as “beaver fever.” Diarrhea and vomiting are symptoms. Kivalina hunters using the Wulik as a corridor to inland caribou herds have been warned to boil water before drinking it. Beavers are among the unwelcome changes associated with climate change, said Michael Brubaker, lead author of reports documenting how two northwest villages have been affected. The appearance of North America’s largest rodent was a signal that a traditional water source had changed. “It’s a new health issue,” Brubaker said. “It affects people’s behavior. It can affect people’s health and it also affect s the cost of running water facilities.” Brubaker is director of community environment and safety for the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, a health organization managed by tribal governments and their regional health organizations. (For complete article go to http://newsminer.com/view/full_story/12520450/article-Warming-brings-unwelcome-change-to-Alaska-villages?instance=home_lead_story )

Florida 03/26/11 naplesnews.com: A bat found in Isles of Capri in Collier County recently tested positive for rabies, a potentially fatal disease of the nervous system. Although no humans were exposed in this case, county health officials want residents to know that rabies, which is transmitted through bites or scratches, is present in the wild animal population.

Maryland 03/26/11 times-news.com: Oakland – A raccoon that was involved in an incident with a dog in the Shady Dell Road area tested positive for rabies and is the first confirmed case in the county this year, according to Environmental Health Services of the Garrett County Health Department. The incident occurred Tuesday and the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Rabies laboratory in Baltimore confirmed the positive result for rabies Wednesday.  The health department will hold its first round of low-cost rabies clinics throughout the county in May. Questions regarding rabies can be directed to 301-334-7760 or 301-895-3111.

Tennessee 03/28/11 wkrn.com: A legislative bill that would allow commercial deer farming in Tennessee is scheduled for discussion by a House subcommittee on Tuesday. A state wildlife conservation group opposes it, saying it could spread chronic wasting disease. The bill would require state agriculture officials to license breeding operations to raise white-tail deer, primarily for hunting on private ranches, reports The Commercial Appeal. CEO Mike Butler of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation says the spread of disease isn’t the only problem with the proposal, contending that shooting farm-raised deer isn’t sporting. Knoxville Republican Frank Nicely sponsored the bill and the newspaper says he didn’t return its call. A call offering Nicely an opportunity for comment was left at his office on Monday by The Associated Press.   

Texas 03/26/11 boernestar.com: This year’s first case of rabies was confirmed this week when remains of a cat killed by a property owner in the Marquardt Road area near Comfort tested positive for the viral infection. Kendall County Sheriff Department Chief Deputy Matt King said the homeowner was working in his goat pens March 23 when the cat attacked him and his dog. The homeowner is being treated by his family physician and the dog was given a booster for its current rabies vaccination. The cat’s remains were tested at the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District.  Report any suspicions or concerns about an animal to the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office at 830-249-9721 or the Kendall County Animal Shelter at 830-537-3430.


Ontario 03/27/11torontosun.com: by Ian Robertson – Coyotes — like the one seen Sunday in the Beach area — are pleasing animal lovers and spreading fear among pet-owners. One living in the Neville Park Ave. ravine recently brought howls of protest from an owner who scared it into dropping her dog, residents said. The poodle-mix is back roaming its yard with a stitched-up neck, but is watched more carefully by his owner, who does not want to be named.

Residents have called the coyote Neville for years, but others roam Toronto parks and wooded ravines. “I like the coyote because it kills squirrels, which are vermin,” Neville Park resident Richard Milne said. “I saw a coyote in my back yard … it’s a pretty animal.” This is mating season and the grey-and-sandy-hued cousin of the Gray Wolf become bolder, hunting food for pregnant mates.

A coyote in 2009 ate a chihuahua in the Beach area, a Maltese pup was snatched in Pickering last February, and police killed a coyote in Whitby one month later. Some residents demand the city trap coyotes, but wily Neville evaded capture last year. Others like having the animals in their neighbourhood. If removed, others would take their place in “naturalized areas,” Deputy Mayor Doug Holyday said. “I certainly sympathize with anyone who has lost a pet, but it would be impossible to trap and get rid of all the coyotes in the city,” he said. “If we want natural areas, it’s going to attract wildlife.” While walking her dogs along Queen St., Sonia Funk said “I’d be more worried about cars than coyotes.”

Watching one sunning in her ravine rock garden Sunday, Elizabeth Berry said: “They’re so beautiful, you want to reach out and pet them, but …” Berry said she appreciated receiving a city pamphlet last month, with tips to avoid coyotes, but does not want to scare Neville away. “Some people are concerned about them attacking their children and small pets,” she said. But Berry, an artist who has painted Neville several times, said she knows neighbours “who put left-overs out.” Experts say coyotes rarely approach people but are attracted to readily-available food.

Travel Warnings:

Brazil 03/28/11 brazzilmag.com: by Carolina Pimentel – At the moment, a new type of dengue has returned to Brazil – type 4. Health officials are concerned as type 4 dengue has not been seen in Brazil for almost three decades. Celso Granato of the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp) explains that type 4 is not more dangerous, infectious or fatal than other types, but as it has not circulated for so long, people are not immune to it. As a result, people who have had other types that have been in circulation recently face the possibility of more serious consequences if they get type 4. “Some people can get dengue for a second or even a third time, after having type 1 or 3 (which are more common in Brazil). Unfortunately, they will be more susceptible to type 4,” says Granato.

An infectious disease expert, Edmilson Migowski, at the Rio de Janeiro Federal University (UFRJ), says that because the type 4 has been absent from Brazil for so long it could easily become an epidemic. “If nothing is done to increase mosquito control, we could have a drastic situation in the summer of 2012. A dengue type 4 epidemic will not spare anyone,” declared Migowski. Data from the Ministry of Health shows that around 80% of all dengue cases in Brazil are type 1. So far, according to a ministry survey, dengue type 4 has been found in a little over 5% of cases in three states: Roraima, Amazonas and Pará (all three states are in the northern part of the country, in the Amazon region). Cases have also been reported in Rio de Janeiro, Bahia and Piauí. Brazil’s Ministry of Health has recognized that dengue type 4 poses a threat and has requested that state authorities increase mosquito control and expand urban clean up operations. The ministry has also made notification of dengue type 4 cases mandatory.

Brazil 03/28/11 vietnamnet.vn: According to the city’s Health Secretariat, in less than three months, the number of confirmed dengue fever cases in Rio reached 10,158, exceeding the figures registered in the entire years of 2009 (2,723) and 2010 (3,120). In Rio de Janeiro state, the number of confirmed dengue fever cases reached 20,150, and the death toll rose to 18. This week, the first two cases of type-4 dengue fever in Rio de Janeiro state were confirmed in the city of Niteroi. The type-4 dengue fever is not more dangerous than the other types, but as the disease had not been registered in the region before, the local population has no immunity to it. As there are four different types of dengue fever, a person can develop the disease several times. The last epidemic of dengue fever in Rio de Janeiro state occurred in 2008 when 174 people died of the disease and some 250,000 cases of dengue were registered

Paraguay 03/26/11 mercopress.com: “We have 18 dengue deaths confirmed in Paraguay and 2.500 infected of which 1.300 are hospitalized” said Ivan Allende head of the Sanitary Vigilance Department in Asuncion. He also called on the population to immediately report to a clinic or hospital on suspicion of having contracted the disease, which again reappeared with extreme force in late December with the rainy season. “In previous years we never had so many people hospitalized” added Allende who indicated that only zero temperatures can help eliminate the mosquito larvae. “Until then we must insist people must collaborate watching out for stagnant water in bottles, old tyres, and flower pots and obviously in toilets and sewage”.

In Bolivia the death toll has climbed to 20 and the number of infected totals 1.670. Furthermore areas in the east of the country, Santa Cruz de la Sierra, bordering with Brazil and Paraguay have been declared under “sanitary emergency”. “We’ve registered a peak in the epidemics this year compared to 2010, which was quite mild compared to the record year of 2009 with 22 dengue deaths and 50.000 infections with the disease”, said Bolivian Health minister Nilda Heredia. However she also pointed out that local health officials have been successful in containing the spread of the disease in the province of Beni bordering with Brazilian Amazon. The operation took place last December. Nevertheless there is concern “since we believe a new strain of the disease has entered Bolivia from Brazil. This strain is different to the one from the two previous years and is more aggressive”, said Ms Heredia. Dengue transmitted by the aedes aegypti mosquito causes high fever, head aches, faintings, vomiting, skin eruptions and the haemorrhagic version is deadly.

Meantime from Venezuela the latest Epidemiologic report from the Ministry of Health shows that 124.931 cases of dengue were reported last year which is almost double the 65.869 from 2009. In 2010 haemorrhagic dengue was detected in 10.279 cases. The report also admits that the disease has spread to the country’s 24 provinces, although in 22 the tendency is to decrease. The areas with the greatest numbers are the most populated including metropolitan Caracas, Merida and the states of Miranda and Zulia, concludes the report.

The nymphal stage of the deer tick appears to be responsible for most cases of Lyme disease in the northeastern U.S. The adult, about the size of a sesame seed, prefers to feed on white-tailed deer. Photo by Forest Wander Nature Photography. Wikipedia Commons.

National 03/15/11 infectioncontroltoday.com:  Researchers recently developed novel diagnostic tools able to distinguish between the various strains of bacteria responsible for causing Lyme disease. For more than a decade, only one strain of B. burgdorferi (Lyme bacteria) had been sequenced (mapped), and although that helped research efforts, it was not sufficient to understand the relationship between geographic variations in strains and disease characteristics. Scientists have suspected different strains may infect different parts of the body, causing different symptoms.  The recent completion of the genome sequencing of 13 additional isolates will greatly contribute to the improved understanding of the origins and effects of Lyme disease. Described as a “superb discovery tool,” Journal of Bacteriology 2-2011, sequencing will also provide a more solid foundation for detection, diagnostic, and prevention strategies. The study was led by Dr. Steven Schutzer, Dr. Claire Fraser-Liggett, and Dr. Sherwood Casjens.  The Lyme Disease Association (LDA) says it is encouraged that this latest accomplishment will provide a more in-depth understanding of Lyme disease, which in turn will lead to improved patient care. LDA funding often helps to start a project or complements federal funding such as that from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which was the case here. LDA continues on its mission, having raised over $ 5 million to date for Lyme-related research and education, with 100 percent of incoming funds slated for research going directly to projects such as this latest genome sequencing effort.

Alabama 03/16/11 al.com: by Ben Flanagan – Federal agricultural and state health officials are increasing surveillance after finding two raccoons positive for rabies in Autauga and Elmore counties.  The raccoons were in a typically rabies-free area, which is leading the USDA Wildlife Service and the Alabama Department of Public Health to conduct active surveillance for rabid creatures in the area.  The surveillance will concentrate on areas including Prattville, Marbury, Pine Level, Autaugaville, Posey Crossroads, Booth and Wadsworth, according to The Prattville Progress.  According to Dr. Dee W. Jones, Alabama State Public Health veterinarian, people should avoid any wild animal that is acting strangely. This includes a normally nocturnal animal such as a raccoon or fox seen during the day, which is unusually docile, or which approaches humans.  “This active surveillance should not be alarming to anyone,” Jones said in an Alabama Department of Public Health press release. “Rather it is just a reminder of the importance of vaccinating animals and pets.”  Every year the state health lab tests around 2,300 animal specimens resulting in approximately 80 positive cases, almost always in wildlife.

Arizona 03/15/11 kpho.com: by Cara Liu – Wildlife officers are investigating a possible coyote problem in North Phoenix.   A spokesperson for Arizona Game and Fish said officers are looking into several reports of coyotes “exhibiting bold behavior” in recent weeks. One of the reports is of a coyote charging at a boy.  Kim Smith said her 10-year-old Maltese mix, Muffin, was killed by a coyote Sunday afternoon. She had been hosting a housewarming party at new home near 12th Street and Greenway when she realized Muffin was missing.   “I was looking around there calling her name and that’s when I saw a coyote (just beyond my backyard),” said Smith. “He didn’t even run away from me and at that point, I knew. Something in my heart told me he’d gotten my dog.”   Muffin’s body was eventually found in a neighbor’s yard.

South Carolina 03/15/11 thetandd.com: by Dionne Gleaton – Citing confirmed cases of the rabies virus, Sidney Goff Jr., an environmental health manager at the Orangeburg County Health Department, said getting rabies vaccinations is very critical.  “Locally so far this year, the rabies virus has been confirmed in two different raccoon species. These cases have resulted in extended quarantines of pets. Having pets inoculated as required by law is protection for pets, pet owners and everyone else,” Goff said.  Current South Carolina law requires every cat, dog and ferret to be vaccinated against rabies by a licensed veterinarian. The owner of a domestic pet that has not been vaccinated may be found guilty of a misdemeanor and fined up to $ 500, or imprisoned up to 30 days.  The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control reports that annually, approximately 400 South Carolinians undergo preventative treatment after being bitten by a rabid or suspected rabid animal.

Vermont 03/16/11 seattlepi.com: Bennington – A Vermont neighborhood is being stalked by a renegade gray squirrel.  Several people in Bennington say they’ve been attacked by a squirrel over the last few weeks.  Kevin McDonald tells the Bennington Banner he was shoveling snow when the squirrel jumped onto him. He says he threw the animal off, but it twice jumped back onto him. A game warden says there have been other reports, too.  One woman is being treated for exposure to rabies, but Vermont Public Health Veterinarian Robert Johnson says there’s never been a case of a squirrel passing rabies to a human.  Johnson says it’s possible the squirrel was raised as a pet and lost its fear of humans. He says the squirrel might “go ballistic” when it encounters people it doesn’t recognize.


British Columbia 03/14/11 canada.com: by Judith Lavoie – Victoria –

Canadian Grey Wolf.

Diseases, some of which can be lethal, are being passed between dogs, wolves and people in remote B.C communities where there is a dearth of veterinary care, a new study has found.  The report by researchers from Raincoast Conservation Foundation and the University of Calgary, which was published in the Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research, tested dogs in five remote communities in British Columbia — Hartley Bay, Klemtu, Ocean Falls, Bella Bella and Oweekeno.  The diseases could threaten wolf populations and pose a human health hazard, the study found.

Researchers found that dogs that are often allowed to run free and come into contact with wolves and bears have been sharing more than scent messages with their wild relatives, and diseases are being transmitted between populations.  “Uncontrolled disease in domestic animals is an issue of animal welfare,” said one of the study’s authors, Paul Paquet, Raincoast senior scientist.  “Some of the diseases we detected, notably parvovirus and distemper, can be lethal and have been linked with population declines in wildlife.”  Humans, and especially children, who come into close contact with dogs are also at risk, said lead author Heather Bryan,

Black bear.

Raincoast biologist and doctoral candidate at the University of Calgary.

Diseases identified that could infect people include leptospiral bacteria that can cause kidney or liver diseases, water-borne parasites giardia and cryptosporidium that cause diarrhea, toxocara canis, a roundworm that can cause tissue damage in the eyes, and the tapeworm echinococcus — found in dogs and wolves — that forms cysts in organs.  A canine respiratory virus that was only recently identified in North America was also found in some of the communities, Bryan said.

“It’s amazing how quickly diseases can be transmitted . . . A big part of it is making people aware of these risks and they really need regular veterinary services,” Bryan said. “Dogs need to be dewormed and vaccinated regularly to prevent these diseases.”  Scientists were helped in their research by the Big Heart Rescue Society, a group that goes to some of the remote communities every year and provides vaccinations and medical care.  “But they really need more support for that kind of program and for services like sterilization, which, at the moment, is fairly intermittent,” Bryan said.

In Oweekeno, several organizations got together to organize a sterilization clinic and, in some communities, Big Heart flies dogs to Vancouver for sterilization and then flies them back, but more is needed, Bryan said.  “Perhaps more awareness and recognition of the importance of the issue might help,” she said.  Judith Smits, University of Calgary scientist and an author of the report, said data from the study can be used to monitor future disease threats.  “Monitoring disease is important because rapid expansion of human activity in coastal B.C. could introduce new pathogens or change the dynamics of existing pathogens in ways that would affect dogs, people or vulnerable wildlife,” she said.

Ontario 03/16/11 wingham.com: by Pat Bolen – At the March 9 Huron County council meeting, Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh Reeve Ben Van Diepenbeek told the council the county coyote problem is continuing to grow and noted a full-grown cow had been killed by coyotes in Dungannon recently.   “They’re not going away,” said Van Diepenbeek.  Warden Neil Vincent said in response to a recently provincial environmental bill of rights, which is in a 45 day comment period until April 11, he met with animal control officer Bob Trick, who suggested one solution to the coyotes might be a dual bounty system for different times of the year. But Bluewater Mayor Bill Dowson replied he didn’t favour such a system as it would be tough to pick a date and wouldn’t be fair to farmers or hunters.  Dowson added that at the recent Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) conference, he hadn’t been impressed with Ministry of Natural Resources Minister Linda Jeffrey, who he said didn’t try to answer any questions and appeared not to have any strong feelings on any of the issues.


Cryptosporidiosis:  A diarrheal disease caused by microscopic parasites, Cryptosporidium, that can live in the intestine of humans and animals and is passed in the stool of an infected person or animal. Both the disease and the parasite are commonly known as “Crypto.” The parasite is protected by an outer shell that allows it to survive outside the body for long periods of time and makes it very resistant to chlorine-based disinfectants. During the past 2 decades, Crypto has become recognized as one of the most common causes of waterborne disease (recreational water and drinking water) in humans in the United States. The parasite is found in every region of the United States and throughout the world. 

Cryptosporidium lives in the intestine of infected humans or animals. An infected person or animal sheds Crypto parasites in the stool. Millions of Crypto germs can be released in a bowel movement from an infected human or animal. Shedding of Crypto in the stool begins when the symptoms begin and can last for weeks after the symptoms (e.g., diarrhea) stop. You can become infected after accidentally swallowing the parasite. Cryptosporidium may be found in soil, food, water, or surfaces that have been contaminated with the feces from infected humans or animals. Crypto is not spread by contact with blood.

(For more information about crypto go to http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/crypto/gen_info/index.html )

Beaver Den

Beaver Den

American Beaver

American Beaver

Giardiasis(GEE-are-DYE-uh-sis), also known as Beaver Fever, is caused by a microscopic parasite, Giardia intestinalis, and can result in a diarrheal illness in humans. It is the most commonly reported pathogenic protozoan disease in the U.S. and is particularly prevalent among hikers and campers. After infecting a person or animal, the parasite lives in the intestine and is passed in feces. It has a protective outer shell and can survive in the environment for periods up to months or longer.  During the past 20 years, Giardia infection has become a common cause of waterborne disease in humans in the United States.  The parasite is found worldwide and within every region of the U.S.

 Giardia is commonly found on surfaces or in soil, food, or water that has been contaminated with feces from infected hosts, which can include humans, domestic animals, and most wild animals.  It can be be spread by

  • Accidentally swallowing the parasite after picking it up from contaminated surfaces such as bathroom fixtures, changing tables, diaper pails, toys, or from people or animals that are ill with the disease, etc.

  • Drinking contaminated water or using contaminated ice.

  • Accidentally swallowing contaminated recreational water in swimming pools, water parks, hot tubs or spas,  fountains, lakes, rivers, springs, pond, or streams.

  • Eating uncook contaminated food.

 Symptoms of Giardia normally begin 7 to 14 days following infection and can include diarrhea, flatulence, greasy stools that tend to float, stomach or abdominal cramps, and upset stomach or nausea. Symptoms may last 2 to 6 weeks and sometimes longer.  The illness may lead to weight loss and dehydration.  About half of those who become infected have no symptoms.

Prescription drugs such as tinidazole and nitazoxanide are available to treat Giardia infection.  Cure rates with single-dose tinidazole range from 80% to 100%.  Consult a  physician for diagnosis and treatment.

In 2008, there were 18,908 cases of Giardiasis nationally that were reported to the CDC.  As of August 15, 2009, there have been 9,727 cases reported nationally.  States with the highest number of reported cases thus far in 2009 include New York 1,185 (of these 463 were reported in New York City); Florida 1,184; California 1,018; Georgia 595; Ohio 477; Pennsylvania 457; Michigan 347; and Massachusetts 318.  (Note: The disease is not reportable in Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, and North Carolina.)

(Sources: CDC and Giardiasis.org)