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August 16, 2019

Bulgaria: African Swine Fever

Bulgaria's Food Safety Agency (BFSA) said it has confirmed 3 new cases of African swine fever [ASF] in wild boar in the provinces of Smolyan, Shumen, and Veliko Tarnovo.

These are the first confirmed cases of ASF in wild boar in Smolyan and Shumen, the agency said in a statement Aug. 8.

Earlier this week, Bulgaria's agriculture ministry said that the country will receive 2.9 million Euros ($3.2 million) from the European Commission to finance the prevention of ASF spreading further.

Bulgaria's current event, which reportedly started uly 3, has already caused 43 outbreaks, affecting both domestic pigs as well as wild boars. The disease spread from the Romania border.

Bulgaria's first ASF event took place September 2018 - June 2019.

 

Australia: Leptospirosis

The University of Sydney has reported 6 confirmed cases of leptospirosis in dogs in the inner west. All the dogs died or were euthanized.

The specific suburbs where leptospirosis has been reported are Surry Hills, Glebe and Darlinghurst.

While it is thought the recent outbreak could be due to major construction occurring in Sydney and therefore increased exposure to rats and contamination of subterranean water, the current source of infection and the strain of bacteria involved are unknown.

The current recommendation is for all dog owners in inner Sydney and the inner west to have their dog vaccinated at their local vet.

The City of Sydney is doubling the number of rat bait stations. Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the City of Sydney is taking action to tackle the problem.

"We have been very concerned by the recent cases of leptospirosis in Sydney, affecting dogs in our local area so have decided to double the number of rat bait stations in public areas and increase inspections to monitor rat activity," the Lord Mayor said.

"We can't fight the rat problem on our own, because we can only install rat baits on our own land. The City has written to Sydney Trains, Property NSW, Sydney Water and NSW Land and Housing Corporation to urge them to increase baiting and monitoring of rats on their land.

 

Canada: West Nile Virus

A horse in Princeton, in B.C.'s South Okanagan, has tested positive for West Nile virus.

The Cascade Veterinary Clinic, operated by Dr. Ryan Ridgway and Dr. Lynn Smart, shared the information in a post on social media, along with a warning for horse owners to get their animals vaccinated.

"Thankfully it [the horse] was vaccinated, so it was not fatal. Had it not been vaccinated, it most likely would not have survived, or if it had, it would have had severe neurological issues. This is spread by mosquitoes, and all horses are at risk of contracting this often fatal disease," the post stated.

West Nile virus is a disease spreading from infected corvid birds (crows, ravens, magpies, and jays) to humans through mosquito bites.

Pakistan: Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever

A teenage boy succumbed to Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) in the metropolis on Aug. 9.

The teenager, who was admitted 4 days ago in the Jinnah Hospital, was identified as a resident of Orangi Town.

 

United States: Tularemia

The Larimer County, Colo. Department of Health and Environment reported Aug. 9 that tularemia, also known as "rabbit fever," has been found in a rabbit in northern Larimer County.

Tularemia-causing bacteria from the droppings or urine of sick animals, usually rabbits, can contaminate soil and spread the disease, according to a news release from the health department.

A recent die-off of rabbits suggested a possible tularemia outbreak among the animals in that area, the agency said.

"Because tularemia is naturally occurring in Larimer County, precautions should always be taken to prevent infection, public health director Tom Gonzales said in the release. "It is important to keep children and pets away from wild animals."

In recent years, most human tularemia cases along the Front Range have been attributed to activities involving soil and vegetation, the health department said. The county has seen 18 human cases since 2009; 35 animals have tested positive for the disease since 2009.

 

Italy: Tularemia

An 18 month old girl suffered swollen lymph nodes and fever after being bitten by a tick. The child had always been previously in good health.

A tick bit her at the left shoulder, during a trip to a Dutch island was reported in June 2019. The tick was completely removed the following day, but she developed fever and rash 2 days later. No other signs or symptoms followed until approximately 30 days after the tick bite a supraclavicular swelling appeared. This initially showed intact skin, but progressive increased in size and the overlying skin developed hyperemia. Three days latter a left axillary swelling occurred as well. Since the child was temporarily in Italy, she was admitted at the Meyer Children's University Hospital in Florence.

Serology test for tularemia carried out at Meyer Children's Hospital and at Careggi Hospital in Florence were both positive. The molecular test carried out at the Microbiology Laboratory of the National Institute for Infectious Diseases "L. Spallanzani" in Rome detected the presence of Francisella tularensis in surgical drainage. Further microbiological and molecular investigations are ongoing.

 

United States: Anthrax

North Dakota agriculture officials say anthrax has been confirmed in a group of cows in a pasture in eastern Billings County. The case was confirmed Aug. 9. It is North Dakota's first reported case of anthrax this year.

North Dakota state veterinarian Susan Keller says producers in Billings County and surrounding areas should check with their veterinarians to see if they should start vaccinating their cattle for anthrax. Anthrax vaccines are readily available, but it takes about a week to establish immunity, and the vaccine must be administered annually. 

Anthrax is caused by bacterial spores that can lie dormant in the ground until they are activated by heavy rains, flooding or drought. Scattered heavy rains may have triggered the recent case. No anthrax cases were reported in North Dakota last year.

 

Spain: Tularemia

The detection of 3 new cases of tularemia in Villarramiel, Osorno and Palencia, brings to 23 the number of people affected by this disease associated with the overpopulation of voles in the province of Palencia, where they are studying 32 other possible cases.

The Epidemiology Surveillance Network of the Junta de Castilla y León confirmed on Aug. 12 3 new cases of tularemia in the province of Palencia, where 23 people have been affected since July 3, as reported by the territorial delegation of the Board in Palencia. The last confirmed cases have been detected in the Palencia towns of; Villarramiel, where there are already 4 people affected by tularemia; the basic health area of rural Palencia where the 2nd case has been detected; and Osorno, which recorded the 1st confirmed case of this sickness.

In total, the Epidemiology Surveillance Network has confirmed 12 cases of tularemia so far in August were added to the 11 confirmed throughout the month of July. The most affected localities are Paredes de Nava, with 11 confirmed cases, and Villarramiel with 4, while the basic areas of Saldaña, Palencia and Cervera de Pisuerga have confirmed 2 cases each and Villada and Osorno a single case in each locality. Only one of the people affected, in Cervera de Pisuerga, has needed hospital admission but has already been discharged.

In addition there are 32 other suspicious cases that are being studied while an active search for this disease, associated with overpopulation of voles, continues.

The Health Service does not expressly cite the overpopulation of voles that are currently in the province of Palencia, mainly in the region of Tierra de Campos, as a cause of this disease and points out that "environmental exposure could be the main factor."

 

India: Scrub Typhus

Scrub typhus has killed 4 people in Himachal Pradesh while 241 others have tested positive. Scrub typhus is an acute illness caused by a bacterium Orientia tsutsugamushi, which is transmitted by the bite of an infected mite larva [chigger] present in the soil having scrub vegetation. Himachal Pradesh is an endemic region as it has a large scrub vegetation.

Of the total deaths reported this year so far, 1 death has been reported from Mandi district, while 3 deaths have been reported from Shimla district. An 8-year-girl from Lakkar Bazar in Shimla died on Aug. 5. She was admitted to the hospital on Aug. 4 with the complaint of high fever and was in serious condition.

Of the total cases that have so far tested positive, 91 cases have been reported from Bilaspur district, followed by 47 cases from Hamirpur district and 43 cases from Kangra district. Mandi district has reported 31 positive cases while Shimla and Solan districts have reported 10 positive cases each. Chamba district has reported 6 positive cases while Kullu, Kinnaur, and Sirmaur districts have reported 1 positive case each.

Senior medical superintendent of Indira Gandhi Medical College and Hospital, Shimla, Dr. Janak Raj said that people should observe some precautions while going to the fields including wearing full-sleeved clothes as scrub typhus spreads during monsoon. He added that people should also cut grass around the houses and in case of fever, they should go for medical examination to the nearest health institute.

 

Nepal: Anthrax

Anthrax spores have been detected in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, a sanctuary to a huge population of protected species of wild buffaloes, raising alarm among conservationists. The finding came following the test of blood samples collected from dead cattle found in the reserve. Some 44 cattle were found dead in the grassland here on Aug.  8.

Dr. Sanjaya Kumar Yadav of Livestock Disease Research Laboratory, Biratnagar, confirmed the bacteria in the dead animals. "Anthrax is an infectious disease and can spread from cattle to cattle and even to humans. As the disease can kill the patient if timely treatment is not provided, we must be cautious," said Dr. Yadav.

According to Dr. Manoj Kumar Mahato of Veterinary Hospital and Livestock Expert Center, Inaruwa, his office is all set to launch a campaign to stop the bacteria from spreading further. "The bacteria can easily spread from one place to another through wind, soil or water. To stop the disease from spreading further, it is necessary to inoculate all the livestock found in the wildlife reserve," he said. Mahato added that hardly any symptoms are seen before the infected cattle dies from bleeding from all orifices.

 

Ireland: Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease

Rabbit hemorrhagic disease (RHD) a disease which is fatal to rabbits and hares but of no risk to humans, has been confirmed in the wild in Ireland for the first time.

RHD causes death within a few days of infection, with sick animals having swollen eyelids, partial paralysis and bleeding from the eyes and mouth. In the latter states close to death, animals exhibit unusual behavior such as emerging from cover into the open and convulsing or fitting before dying.

Irish domestic rabbits were first reported to have the disease in 2018, but it has now been confirmed in the wild from a rabbit in Co Wicklow and another in Co Clare. On Aug. 9, a hare in Co Wexford was also found to be infected by the virus.

In all cases individual animals were tested at Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine laboratories where RHD2 was subsequently confirmed. The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) is asking the public to report any suspected cases to them.

While all 3 locations continue to support apparently healthy wild populations, NPWS conservation rangers continue to monitor the situation.

The disease is highly contagious and can be spread directly between animals and in the feces and urine of infected animals, as well as by insects and on human clothing. In addition, the incubation period may last several days and seemingly uninfected animals may in fact be carriers.

 

Zambia: Foot and Mouth Disease

Foot and mouth disease [FMD] has broken out in Shamabele area in Chikankata district of Southern province. And Ministry of Livestock officials in Southern province have with immediate effect closed the famous Turn Pike Bata Co-operative Society Abattoir following the outbreak of disease.

This has been confirmed by Bata Co-operative Society Chairperson for Hides and Beef Traders Association, Daniel Bweupe in an interview with the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) in Chikankata district in Southern province over the weekend.

Mr. Bweupe said cattle farmers are currently battling to contain FMDE using salt to treat their animals.

He revealed that the disease is suspected to have manifested from the abattoir and spread to Shamabele and the surrounding areas.

 

United States: Eastern Equine Encephalitis

A man in Massachusetts has been infected with a mosquito-borne virus called eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), health officials confirmed Aug. 10. It's the first human case reported in the state since 2013.

At least 9 towns are at "critical risk" of exposure to the rare but potentially fatal virus, which can cause brain swelling, according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

It's the latest in a series of warnings from state officials about the virus, which has been detected in 227 samples of mosquitoes in 2019, the health department said.

Florida and Delaware issued similar advisories after the virus was detected in sentinel chickens, though neither state has seen any cases reported in humans.

Any virus transmitted from an insect bite is a big deal, but what is EEE, and what risk does it pose?

The virus isn't common, but it is serious. Every year on average, 7 cases are reported but about 30% of all cases are fatal, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

EEE causes inflammation of the brain, which is often preceded by a high fever, chills, and vomiting. As the illness progresses, patients might experience seizures or a coma that can cause varying degrees of brain damage, the CDC said.

 

Sweden: Tularemia

Swedish health authorities have warned an outbreak of rabbit fever (tularemia) is expected to grow, with hundreds of people affected so far.

A total of 212 confirmed cases have been reported to The Public Health Agency of Sweden so far in 2019, sharply increasing from late July 2019. That is twice as many as in a normal year.

But Sweden has not yet seen the end of it, the authority warned on Aug. 12. "Since the number of cases (of rabbit fever) is usually at its highest in September, the outbreak is expected to grow further in the coming weeks," it wrote in a statement.

Most cases have been reported in Dalarna, Gavleborg, and Orebro counties in central Sweden, but in the past week Vasterbotten and Norrbotten have also seen an increase, often limited to a specific area.

Many of those affected by the disease have been infected via mosquito bites.

 

Nigeria: Yellow Fever

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) is aware of a suspected outbreak of yellow fever in Ebonyi state and has had a rapid response team supporting Ebonyi state's response in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO).

Following a report of cases and deaths from fever of unknown origin in Izzi local government area (LGA) in Ebonyi state, the state public health team commenced an investigation. As of July 31, three cases had tested positive for yellow fever at NCDC's national reference laboratory, which triggered an immediate response.

The Ebonyi State Epidemiology Team is leading the response with support from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), and the World Health Organization (WHO). In the course of investigation, it was discovered that between May 1 and Aug. 7, there had been cases that fit into the case definition for yellow fever and 20 deaths in Izzi LGA, Ebonyi state, indicating that the outbreak may have been going on for a few months, undetected by local health authorities. It was too late to collect samples for confirmation from these cases.

Yellow fever virus is spread through bites of an infected mosquito. There is no human-to-human transmission of the virus. Yellow fever is a completely vaccine-preventable disease, and a single shot provides immunity for a lifetime

 

Madagascar: Plague

In Madagascar, the plague season has started. The first 3 cases of bubonic plague have just been recorded 50 km west of the capital. No deaths have occurred for the moment, but the Ministry of Health is watching. As every year, awareness campaigns have started. The goal: to prevent the spread of epidemics like that of 2017, the black year, which had more than 200 victims and 2,400 people infected by the bacterium throughout the Malagasy territory.

"Do not repeat the mistakes of the past" is the stated ambition of the Ministry of Health. Contacted by telephone, the Director General of Preventive Medicine, Dr. Fidiniaina Randriatsarafara, said that "information and awareness activities have started. Radio clips are being broadcast on local radio stations to remind the public that the appearance of swelling, sudden fever, or chest pains require an immediate visit to the nearest health center. Clinics are sometimes several hours walking distance away, and patients more easily consult traditional healers.

At present, health centers in plague-endemic areas are all expected to be provided with drugs, since treatment exists to treat both forms of plague on the island. However, some clinics are still awaiting them, according to a ministry official.

Another important preventive measure is the requirement for road transport companies to register the name and telephone number of all passengers during the plague season. In 2017, it was a sick traveler who transmitted the pneumonic plague to other passengers, extending the epidemic to Tamatave. However, according to a regional carrier, many companies do not register passengers and are not sanctioned.


August 9, 2019

Greece: West Nile Virus

Two people over 80 were the first victims of West Nile virus in Greece this year, according to the weekly epidemiological surveillance report published by the National Public Health Organization.

From the beginning of epidemiological surveillance, 25 cases of West Nile virus infection have been diagnosed and studied in Greece. In 17 of the patients reported, the central nervous system was affected (encephalitis and/or meningitis/acute flaccid paralysis), while 8 had mild symptoms, such as fever.

The median age of patients with CNS symptoms is 77 years old. Of the 25 patients, 10 are hospitalized.

The areas where virus cases have been recorded in the country are Pieria, Katerini, Pella, Xanthi, Kavala, Larissa, Karditsa as well as East Attica and Mesogia.

West Nile virus is spread mainly through the bites of infected mosquitoes, experts say.

The implementation of mosquito control and personal protection programs is most appropriate for controlling the disease.

 

Uganda: Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever

One person has been confirmed dead and 49 others currently are isolated following an outbreak of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) in Lyantonde District.

According to the Lyantonde District Health Officer, Dr Moses Nkanika, a businessman dealing in cattle succumbed to the deadly disease on July 31.

"The blood samples we got from the deceased in Kasagama Sub County have tested positive for CCHF, not Ebola as earlier suspected," Dr Nkanika told Daily Monitor.

He said 49 residents who got in close contact with the deceased are currently isolated to avoid contacts with other people as health workers continue to monitor their health conditions.

"These people are expected to remain in isolation for 40 days until they are cleared by ministry of health," he said. He advised residents to be on alert and report any emergencies to the nearby health centers.

Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Ministry of Health spokesperson, said he was not aware of the outbreak, but promised to crosscheck with other responsible authorities to confirm.

 

United States: Vesicular Stomatitis Virus

More than 250 animals have been quarantined after a viral disease was discovered in 14 counties, the Colorado Department of Agriculture said. Vesicular stomatitis [VSV], which primarily affects horses, spreads through insect bites.

Cases of the disease have been found in Adams, Archuleta, Boulder, Broomfield, Conejos, Delta, Jefferson, La Plata, Larimer, Mesa, Montezuma, Montrose, Morgan and Weld counties. A total of 93 cases were confirmed in Larimer County as of 1 Aug 2019, and 48 cases were found in Boulder County, officials said. Weld and La Plata counties had 43 and 42 cases, respectively.

Vesicular stomatitis primarily affects horses and cattle but can spread to goats, sheep and other livestock. The only bovine case was found in Boulder County. It's rare for humans to contract the disease. Symptoms of the disease include excessive salivation and blisters around the ears, tongue, muzzle, teats and coronary bands. The disease can cause the animals to refuse to drink and eat.

 

Vietnam: Avian Influenza

Vietnam's southern Ba Ria Vung Tau province has seen its first outbreaks of A/H5N6 bird flu, which have led to the culling of 10,500 chickens, local media reported Aug. 6.

The outbreaks were spotted in 2 communes in Xuyen Moc district, and then tests confirmed that some chickens were infected with the bird flu virus, Vietnam News Agency quoted the provincial Department of Livestock and Animal Health as reporting.

Relevant local agencies have culled 10,500 chickens raised by 2 households in the 2 communes, disinfected surrounding areas, and intensified vaccination among fowl in the district.

In late July 2019, the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that the outbreaks of A/H5N6 and A/H5N1 bird flu had been reported in 13 communes of 11 localities from the start of 2019, leading to the culling of more than 23,000 poultry.

The bird flu is forecast to widely spread in the remaining months of this year due to changing weather and surging poultry transportation in time ahead of the lunar new year holiday.

 

Pakistan: Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever

A suspected Congo virus [Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever] patient brought to Quetta's Fatima Jinnah Chest Hospital passed away on Aug. 3, while another believed to be suffering from the disease was admitted.

The patient belonging to Loralai district was admitted to the hospital on Aug. 1 bleeding from mouth and nose and with high fever. A blood sample of the patient had been dispatched to Karachi for diagnosis but he did not survive and died before the results were concluded.

Another patient from Pishin district suffering from the same symptoms was brought to Fatima Jinnah Chest Hospital and had been diagnosed with Congo virus, the Head of the Congo ward said.

In the last 4 months, 25 patients suspected of having Congo fever have been brought to the hospital from different areas of the province and 12 of them have been confirmed as suffering from the disease after diagnosis.

In recent years, the Congo virus has hit Balochistan on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha [Festival of the Sacrifice], as most of the affected patients had been engaged in the business of herding.

Although the current Balochistan government has yet to take any serious measures to counter the disease, governments in the past have been taking preemptive measures to stop the spread of the virus including spraying in cattle markets.

 

United States: Eastern Equine Encephalitis

A horse in Cumberland County, N.C. was euthanized after contracting a mosquito-borne disease, the state's Department of Agriculture said. The horse, a 4-year-old mare, was not vaccinated against eastern equine encephalomyelitis (EEE). It was the first case of the disease in North Carolina this year, the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said.

The disease causes inflammation of the brain and is usually fatal. It can take between 3 and 10 days for signs to show after a horse has been bitten by an infected mosquito. Signs include impaired vision, aimless wandering, inability to swallow, irregular gait, paralysis, convulsions and death.

State Veterinarian Dr. Doug Meckes said in a statement any horses with such signs to contact a veterinarian immediately. "It is imperative horse owners keep their vaccines current, talk to your veterinarian about vaccinating them as soon as possible against EEE and West Nile virus," Meckes said. He recommended a booster shot every 6 months.

Because mosquitos breed in puddles, removing standing water can reduce the chance of exposure to the disease. While people, horses and birds can become ill from an infected mosquito, there is no evidence horses can transmit the virus to other horses, birds or people through direct contact.

 

Japan: African Swine Fever

A Vietnamese exchange student has been arrested by police in Japan for illegally carrying fermented pork rolls containing the African swine fever [ASF] virus into the country. Hac Thi Phuong Linh, 23, is being held at a police station in Tokyo for violating the quarantine law, her family said.

Vietnamese newspaper VnExpress reported that she was caught at Haneda International Airport on trying to bring in 10 kg of the pork rolls and 360 fetal duck eggs into Japan without declaring them. Both items require quarantining before entry into Japan.

After testing, Japanese authorities revealed that the pork rolls contained the virus that causes ASF. This is the first case of pork containing the virus caught in Japan.

Tokyo Broadcasting System Television has reported that Ms. Linh told the police that the pork rolls were made by her mother for personal use, but the police suspected they were for selling to others. During the interrogation, she admitted that she was planning to sell the rolls online.

After ASF broke out in Vietnam last February, several countries, including Japan, imposed a ban on pork products from the country.

Passengers carrying raw or processed foods to Japan from Vietnam must have a certificate of safety, failing which they face 3 years imprisonment or a fine of one million yen ($9,413).

 

Congo: Ebola

The deadly Ebola virus has taken the lives of more than 500 children in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Save the Children said Aug. 6, with the number of deaths accelerating over the past 6 months. In total, around 737 children have been infected with the disease since Ebola surfaced in the DRC.

Today's figures show how the spread of the disease has accelerated: in the first 6 months after Aug. 1, 2018, just under 100 children died of Ebola. In the 6 months that followed, over 4 times as many children lost their lives.

Heather Kerr, Save the Children's Country Director in DRC, said: "This is another grim milestone in a crisis that is devastating children in its path, especially the youngest. Some 40% of children who have contracted the disease are under the age of 5, and many of them have died.

"The spread of Ebola is having a wider impact on children as well; because of the high fatality rate in this outbreak, thousands of children have lost at least one of their parents to the disease or were separated from their parents.

"The virus puts children at risk of being stigmatized, isolated or abandoned, in addition to suffering the unbearable trauma of losing a loved one. Children who are on their own face the very real danger of all kinds of abuse and exploitation, or of being recruited by armed groups.

Children aren't going to school because their parents have died and those taking care of them can't afford the school fees, or schools are closing due to insecurity.


August 2, 2019

Uganda: Elephantiasis

The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga has directed the Health Minister Jane Aceng to dispatch a team to Kamwenge and Kitagwenda districts to respond to increasing cases of elephantiasis in the area.

Elephantiasis, also known as lymphatic filariasis, is one of the neglected tropical diseases caused by parasitic worms such as Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi, and Brugia timori, all of which are transmitted by mosquitoes. It causes the affected area, mostly the limbs or parts of the head, to swell abnormally.

During the plenary session on July 24, Kamwenge Woman MP Dorothy Azairwe Nshaija said that despite the matter being brought to the attention of the Ministry of Health, nothing has been done. Nshaija says that 12 people are reported to have died in the past few weeks.

Nshaija appealed for government's intervention in the affected areas of Busiriba Sub-County in Kamwenge District and Sub-Counties of Ntara and Buhanda in the new district of Kitagwenda. Kadaga directed Aceng to travel to Kamwenge and Kitagwenda districts to establish the causes of the disease and report back to Parliament on July 31.

Reports indicate that several farmers in the affected areas have abandoned their gardens due to the disease. Contrary to reports that elephantiasis was being caused by mosquitoes and worms, a 2015 study by the Ministry of Health indicated that volcanic minerals in soils were causing elephantiasis in Kamwenge. The study described the disease as a result of chronic exposure of skin to irritant minerals in volcanic soils causing itching and pain.

The Health Ministry then reported that 52 cases of people with elephantiasis had been identified and that these had the disease since 1980 since it takes longer for someone to realize it due to lack of awareness and its risk increases with older age. The report said that women were 5 times more affected than men since they move barefooted and spend more time in the farms touching the volcanic soils with minerals that cause this disease.

 

Venezuela: Malaria

More than 10 cases of malaria have been reported in the Boyaca III sector of Barcelona (Anzoategui, Venezuela) in the past 2 weeks. Of these cases, 2 are young children aged 1 and 2 years old, infected after the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

Maria Febres, a nurse and resident of the community, states that the malaria outbreak is due to the lack of weeding and cleaning in the channel that crosses the Boyaca III sector, where more than 500 families reside.

"We have 12 cases of malaria in the sector. We need them to come clean the canal, which has not received adequate maintenance for 2 years, putting many families at risk of contracting malaria due to the proliferation of mosquitoes," she said.

The nurse told the city correspondent] of El Pitazo, Eduardo Mora, that the sector has not been fumigated since 2018, and called on Public Health and Malariology officials to visit the area and verify what is happening.

"The most affected area is Boyaca III sector II, because we have a Simoncito [children's center -- so-called in honor of Simon Bolivar] there and the children who go every day are the ones most at risk of being bitten by an infected mosquito and, thus, getting malaria," said Maria.

 

Pakistan: Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever

The number of deaths caused due to the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, CCHF has increased to 5 in Sindh. With Eid ul Azha drawing closer, a rise is observed in the number of Congo virus cases, which is mainly caused by ticks that inhabit the skin of different animals.

According to a report released by the Sindh health department, 8 cases of Congo virus have been reported in the province this year. Of these, 3 were brought to the Aga Khan University Hospital [AKUH] for treatment, 2 to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC), 2 to Dr. Ruth Pfau Civil Hospital and 1 to Dr. Ziauddin Hospital. All the patients who were being treated at the AKUH and JPMC succumbed to the disease.

The first death caused by Congo virus was reported in early June.

The 2nd death reported was of 36-year-old who hailed from Quetta. Complaining of high fever and bleeding from the mouth and nose, he had come to Karachi for treatment and was diagnosed with Congo virus.

He died on June 6, during treatment at the AKUH. About a week later, a third death was reported. The 20-year-old youth was a resident of Taiser Town and died during treatment at the AKUH on June 12.

Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, commonly known as the Congo virus, causes bleeding in the human body. In case of excessive bleeding, death of an individual is likely to occur.

 

Greece: West Nile Virus

The number of people infected by the West Nile virus in Greece has risen to 10, the National Public Health Organization (NPHO) announced on July 25.

According to NPHO, 5 cases were recorded in only the past 5 days, while the first confirmed case was in late June. There have been no deaths linked to the virus so far.

It noted that the patients were all over 50 years old. The cases were reported in areas of northern Greece, while the Attika region was just added to the list.

The virus is reported to use wild birds as a main reservoir and was passed to humans via mosquito, rather than from or between infected humans.

Greek experts advised the public to take precautions against mosquitoes. The higher risk group that may exhibit more symptoms [includes] elderly people, patients with a suppressed immune system, and those with chronic illness.

In 2018, a record of 316 people were infected by the virus in the country, resulting in 50 fatal cases.

 

Singapore: Leptospirosis

It was supposed to be a fun school camp. Instead, the outdoor adventure turned into a harrowing ordeal for a 14-year-old student in Singapore when he contracted an unusual infection, likely from camp activities.

Weeks following his contact with murky water, the boy showed up at KK Women's and Children's Hospital (KKH) with fever, stomach pain, nausea and jaundice. Tests also showed a swollen liver and spleen. On the second day, his condition worsened and he was transferred to the intensive care unit. The infection causing his misery? Leptospirosis, a disease more commonly seen in rodents, livestock, dogs and cats but can also spread to humans.

As families spend time bonding on holidays overseas and adrenaline-seekers head outdoors and go on off-the-beaten tracks, health experts raised the possibility that they could expose themselves to less commonly seen infections such as leptospirosis.

In the last two years, 96 human cases of leptospirosis were notified in Singapore, based on data published by the Ministry of Health. It was added to the list of notifiable infectious diseases in September 2016.

The Leptospira bacteria, which is commonly found in tropical countries, can enter the body through cuts on the skin, the eye, or mucous membranes that line body parts such as the mouth, nose and windpipe. Associate Professor Chong Chia Yin, senior consultant at KKH's infectious disease service, said that besides exposure to urine or bodily fluids from infected animals, people may also get the disease if they are exposed to contaminated water during recreational activities such as swimming, water sports and rafting in contaminated lakes and rivers.

Dr. Chan Si Min, head and consultant at the division of pediatric infectious diseases at National University Hospital, said that leptospirosis can range in severity, from mild or asymptomatic (no symptoms) to severe and life-threatening, resulting in jaundice, kidney failure and bleeding in the lungs. It can also affect other organs such as the liver and heart. Assoc. Prof. Chong said that about 5% to 15% of cases will have life-threatening consequences. Death rate is the highest among people above 60 years old.

 

United States: Eastern Equine Encephalitis

South Carolina's state veterinarian announced July 22 that the state's first case this year 2019 of eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) has been confirmed in Chesterfield County. The infected horse, a year-old Appaloosa colt, had not been vaccinated and did not survive.

"This is a clarion call for vaccinations against diseases like EEE and West Nile virus (WNV)," said Boyd Parr, South Carolina state veterinarian and director of Clemson University Livestock Poultry Health, a state agency responsible for protecting the health of animals and consumers through control of disease and inspection of meat and poultry products. "Horse owners should check with their veterinarian to be sure their horses' vaccinations are up-to-date."

The EEE and WNV viruses are mosquito-borne and fast acting. Symptoms of EEE in horses usually develop from 2-5 days after exposure. The signs include stumbling, circling, head pressing, depression or apprehension, weakness of legs, partial paralysis, the inability to stand, muscle twitching, or death.

"These diseases have a very high mortality rate in infected, unvaccinated horses: between 30% and 40% for West Nile and 90% for EEE," said Sean Eastman, veterinarian and director of field services for the Livestock Poultry Health Animal Health Programs. "Although not directly communicable from horses to people, both EEE and WNV have a human health significance, and cases can be prevented through effective vaccination and mosquito management strategies."

 

United States; Vesicular Stomatitis Virus

A virus making horses ill in Colorado has been found in 11 counties; Larimer County is the hardest-hit area, with 70 confirmed cases of vesicular stomatitis [VSV].

Other counties are Adams, Archuleta, Boulder, Broomfield, Delta, La Plata, Mesa, Montezuma, Morgan and Weld, according to a Colorado Department of Agriculture news release.

Vesicular stomatitis can make eating and drinking painful for the horses, and they and other affected animals are quarantined. One bovine case in Boulder County has been confirmed.

"We understand that the VSV outbreak and quarantines are impacting the ability for people to bring their horses and livestock to fairs and shows," said Dr. Keith Roehr, Colorado State veterinarian, in the release. "The quarantines and hold orders must be followed, however, for the health and protection of all equine and livestock in Colorado."

Boulder County has logged 40 confirmed cases, and Weld County 29 cases, state officials said. The other counties had lower numbers as of July 26.

The first case of vesicular stomatitis in Colorado this year was reported July 3 in Weld County. There are no USDA-approved vaccines for the virus, which likely is spread by insects.

 

India: Melioidosis

The cause of the death of 2 children at Badiyadka here a few days ago is suspected to be melioidosis, an infectious disease caused by a gram-negative bacterium, Burkholderia pseudomallei, found in soil and water, according to an official press release here.

An 8-month-old child and a 4-and-a-half-year-old boy, siblings, died on July 23 and 24, respectively, after they had been admitted to a hospital in Mangaluru following fever.

Health Department officials here said their preliminary assumption, based on the test results done at Father Mueller Hospital in Mangaluru, was that the deaths were caused by melioidosis, not by any viral infection. However, the disease would be confirmed only after the test results from the National Institute of Virology in Pune. The District Medical Office here said there was no need for panic as viral infection was not confirmed in the tests done in Mangaluru. Melioidosis could be treated if patients seek treatment in the early stages. People with compromised immunity, especially children, pregnant women, aged people and others with chronic diseases, are vulnerable to contracting melioidosis. The disease could be treated with antimicrobial drugs in normal patients.

The release said health workers, led by epidemiologists, examined the house of the deceased children and nearby areas to find the source of the bacterium. Animal Husbandry officials collected samples from domestic animals and soil samples for testing. Parents and relatives of the deceased children were being monitored at the Kannur Government Medical College Hospital at Pariyaram. At present, they had no health issues, they added.

 

Zimbabwe: Typhoid Fever

Officials in the capital city of Zimbabwe, Harare, report seeing 858 new typhoid cases in the last 6 months, with the suburbs of Glen View and Budiriro hit the hardest according to a report in The Herald. No deaths have been recorded.

The reason for the outbreak is failure to constantly supply clean water and delays in attending to sewer bursts or leakages, local authorities state. Harare Town Clerk Engineer Hosiah Chisango said: "The drivers for water-borne diseases (cholera and typhoid) have been water cuts or availability of municipal water, contaminated water, sewer bursts or leakages, use of shallow wells, illegal vending of cooked food, attending gatherings during an outbreak, poor hygiene practices, and household contact to a case."

Typhoid fever is a potentially life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi. Salmonella Typhi lives only in humans. Persons with typhoid fever carry the bacteria in their bloodstream and intestinal tract. In addition, a small number of persons, called carriers, recover from typhoid fever but continue to carry the bacteria. Both ill persons and carriers shed S. Typhi in their feces.

 

China: African Swine Fever

China's pig herd could halve by the end of 2019 from a year earlier as an epidemic of African swine fever [ASF] sweeps through the world's top pork producer, analysts at Dutch bank Rabobank forecast July 30.

The bank said China's herd, by far the world's biggest, was already estimated to have shrunk by 40% from a year ago, well above official estimates which have ranged from 15% to 26%.

The forecast comes amid industry speculation that the decline has been much worse than confirmed by agriculture officials, who this month launched an investigation of local authorities' efforts to contain the disease.

Rabobank said China's pork production in 2019 was expected to fall by 25% from the previous year, a smaller drop than pig herd loss due to the large number of animals slaughtered in 1st half of 2019.

Output of pork, China's favorite meat, will likely drop by a further 10% to 15% in 2020, it said in a report.

 

India: Malaria

Over 80 cases of malaria have been reported in Delhi this year so far, and about 39 of them have been recorded in July.

Doctors have advised people to take precautions and urged them to wear long sleeves and use mosquito nets. Water coolers should be dried up when not in use, as mosquitoes that carry the malaria parasite and transmit malaria between people usually breed there, a doctor said. Civic bodies had also organized a workshop recently on prevention of vector-borne diseases.

Mosquito-breeding has been reported in at least 48,039 households, and 46,580 legal notices have been issued this year.

 

India: Anthrax

Anthrax is suspected to be spreading its tentacles in the tribal areas of Koraput district, and 199 persons have become victims of the dreaded disease in the last 4 years. According to reports, the disease has assumed endemic proportions in spite of several awareness programs being undertaken in the district.

In the past couple of days, at least 20 persons have been reportedly affected by anthrax at Rupuguda in Mathapada panchayat of Boipariguda block. The affected villagers have developed swellings and blisters on their limbs, with pus oozing out of the sores. The affected persons include children and elderly persons.

According to health officials, the bacterium lies in the soil and affects cattle that consume it along with grass while grazing. The tribals collect beef from the carcass of the cattle and dry it under the sun for consumption throughout the year. The food habit of the tribals leads to the spread of the diseases among them.

Reports from the chief district medical officer’s office indicate that in 2016, the disease affected 67 persons, and one died from it. Similarly, in 2017, 75 persons were affected, and one person died of the disease. There were no deaths in 2018 and 2019, but 24 and 33 persons have been afflicted by the disease in 2018 and 2019, respectively. However, a private estimate said the actual number of affected persons and toll could be more than the stated government figures.

 

Ivory Coast: Yellow Fever

In recent weeks, 89 people have contracted yellow fever, and one person has died during an outbreak in Ivory Coast, the health ministry said July 30.

Most of the confirmed cases were in the West African country's economic capital Abidjan, the ministry said in a statement. It recommended that any unvaccinated people be vaccinated against yellow fever.

"The outbreak occurs in the context of a dengue outbreak," the ministry said, adding that dengue and yellow fever are viral diseases transmitted by the same mosquito.

"The vector control measures that have been implemented to deal with dengue also work for the yellow fever outbreak."

In early June, 130 cases of dengue were reported, including 2 deaths, with the authorities launching a major mosquito-control campaign.

Abidjan is going through the end of its rainy season, which spurs mosquito breeding.

 

United States: Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease

The Washington State Department of Agriculture has confirmed rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus 2 in 3 feral domestic rabbits found dead on Orcas Island. The findings are part of the ongoing investigation into a case of the disease confirmed on the island earlier this month in a pet rabbit that died suddenly.

RHD is a viral disease that causes sudden death in rabbits and can be spread through contact with infected rabbits, their meat or their fur, or materials coming in contact with them. It poses no human health risk.

The Orcas Island outbreak response began on July 9 when the state vet's office received a report of a dead domestic pet rabbit from a veterinarian clinic on Orcas Island

 

Congo: Ebola

The epidemiological situation of the Ebola virus disease in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri dated July 30:

Since the beginning of the epidemic, the cumulative number of cases is 2,701, of which 2,607 are confirmed and 94 are probable. In total, there were 1,813 deaths (1,719 confirmed and 94 probable) and 776 people cured.

There are 293 suspected cases under investigation.

There have been 11 new confirmed cases, including 3 in Vuhovi [North Kivu], 1 in Mandima [Ituri], 1 in Mambasa [Ituri], 1 in Kalunguta [North Kivu] and 1 in Nyiragongo (Goma, [North Kivu].

There are 10 new deaths of confirmed cases, including 2 community deaths: -- 1 in Beni [North Kivu] and 1 in Mandima; 6 ETC deaths -- 3 in Beni, 2 in Mabalako and 1 in Butembo; 2 deaths at the CT of Beni.


July 26, 2019

United States: E. coli

Three people have been confirmed to have E. coli in Westminster, Col.; all ate at the same Westminster Red Robin. Two of them were hospitalized.

According to a news release from the Tri-County Health Department, the restaurant closed voluntarily for cleaning and sanitizing, food safety training for employees, and testing for employees who handle the food.

One adult and 2 children tested positive for the bacteria E. coli O157:H7, and all 3 had eaten at the restaurant, according to the release. The Tri-County Health Department says none of the individuals are related to each other, and all visited the restaurant on different nights in late June 2019.

A food safety inspection showed improper employee hand washing, improper cleaning and sanitizing of food preparation surfaces, and cross-contamination between raw meat and other prepared food, according to the release. The restaurant was cited with 5 critical health violations.

Ashley Richter, communicable disease epidemiology manager at the Tri-County Health Department, said the source of the E. coli has not been determined, but the Tri-County Health Department and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are investigating the outbreak.

The departments ask people to contact their doctors or healthcare providers if they ate at that Red Robin since June 1 and developed an illness within 10 days of eating at the restaurant.

 

Northern Ireland: African Swine Fever

Traces of African swine fever (ASF) virus have been found in meat that was brought into Northern Ireland illegally by passengers in the month of June [2019].

In total, airport authorities seized over 300 kg [661 lb] of illegal meat in June. The Northern Irish Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) said a sample of these seizures was tested at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), resulting in the detection of ASF virus DNA fragments. A DAERA spokesman confirmed: "DNA fragments of ASF were detected in a sausage from Asia."

DAERA said that while this type of discovery in itself does not pose a significant threat to the animal health status of Northern Ireland, nor does it affect the disease-free status from ASF, it does reinforce the importance of the controls on personal imports of meat and dairy products enforced by DAERA officials.

DAERA chief veterinary officer Dr. Robert Huey warned that it is illegal to bring certain food and plant products back into the country to avoid the risks of importing animal or plant disease. "I make no excuses for repeating this message," he said. "The greatest risk is to our agri-food industry and our environment, as any introduction of pests, diseases, and non-native species can have a potentially devastating impact."

DAERA warnings are clear at points of entry into Northern Ireland. They emphasize that meat and dairy products should not be brought into Northern Ireland in passenger's luggage, as such items may be seized by portal inspection branch staff at local ports and airports.

 

Kenya: Anthrax

One person has died of suspected anthrax and another is hospitalized in Kisumu, officials say. The disease was reported in Mowlem, Kisumu County government said in a statement released July 12.

"We have cases of suspected anthrax in the county. Two people were admitted to the hospital Thursday, and one has since died," Dr. Jonathan Billis, health officer in Kisumu Central Sub-county, said.

Dr. Billis called on all health workers in the county to be on high alert for patients exhibiting symptoms such as sores, swellings, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pains. He urged locals to watch out for signs and symptoms, including face inflammation, breathing problems, and unexplained wounds.

Anthrax is caused by Bacillus anthracis bacterium. It affects livestock, wild animals, and humans and can kill within 24 hours.

 

Ireland: E. coli

A total of 16 children have been diagnosed with the bacterial infection, and concerns have been raised that tourists may spread it further, RUV [the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service] reports. The outbreak is purported to have originated in Efstadal 2, a farm and restaurant near Laugarvatn, after a group of schoolchildren visited the place, with some of them contracting Escherichia coli infection. To be clear: none of the food nor any of the employees tested positive for E. coli. Rather, it is all but certain the bacteria originated from the fecal matter of calves on the farm.

Health authorities have pointed out that there are many rural restaurants in Iceland that are located near farms, prompting a more thorough investigation into stopping the infection's spread. Further, these locations are visited by many tourists, which could potentially increase the risk of spreading E. coli. As it stands now, Efstadal 2 is [said to be] safe to visit; the cow sties have been quarantined and the restaurant is clean.

 

India: Japanese Encephalitis

With the death of 5 more patients on July 14, the toll in Japanese encephalitis (JE) cases in Assam rose to 76, a National Health Mission (NHM) bulletin stated. The registered positive JE cases across the state also increased to 348 from 334 on July 12. The 5 deaths were reported from Darrang, Nalbari, Tinsukia, Kamrup and Udalguri districts, the bulletin said.

Giving the cumulative figures for JE/AES (acute encephalitis syndrome), the bulletin said there [had been] 1,350 such cases since January, with 177 deaths.

Measures to control the mosquito-borne disease that affects the brain continued to be taken across the state, which is currently undergoing a transmission season for JE, NHM sources said. Health minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma has said the emergency measures taken to combat the JE/AES situation would exist till Sept. 30. Union health minister Harsh Vardhan had dispatched a central team to review the situation in the state. The health minister also said that his ministry is providing all logistical and technical support to the state government in terms of surveillance and diagnostic kits to strengthen their efforts in addressing JE.

Noting that community participation and empowerment are the most crucial in JE prevention, Vardhan urged all the stakeholders to start rigorous awareness campaigns regarding the preventive steps to be taken by the communities. For rehabilitation of JE-disabled patients, the central government has provided funds for the strengthening of 2 physical medicine and rehabilitation departments at Dibrugarh Medical College and Guwahati Medical College.

 

Congo: Ebola

The epidemiological situation of the Ebola virus disease in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri dated July 14:

Since the beginning of the epidemic, the number of accumulated cases is 2,501, including 2,407 confirmed and 94 probable. In total, there have been 1,668 deaths (1,574 in confirmed and 94 in probable cases) and 700 cases have recovered.

There are 292 suspected cases under investigation.

United States: Vesicular Stomatitis

The Colorado Department of Agriculture [CDA] has confirmed more cases of vesicular stomatitis (VSV) in La Plata, Larimer, and Weld counties. The Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Fort Collins has been activated through the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) to receive and test samples for VSV suspect horses.

The total count of premises under quarantine for VSV by county is 2 in La Plata County, 5 in Larimer County, and 8 in Weld County. None of the animals in quarantine have yet been released.

"Horse and livestock owners should check with their veterinarian prior to traveling to another state," said Colorado state veterinarian Dr. Keith Roehr. "Many states have imposed import requirements for animals coming from VSV-affected states."

The first case of VSV in Colorado was reported on  July 3 in Weld County by a field veterinarian from the State Veterinarian's Office at the Colorado Department of Agriculture. An incursion of VSV-infected insect vectors is the likely source of infection. There are no USDA-approved vaccines for VSV.

 

Iran: Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever

The Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus has been the cause of 100-plus human infections in Iran annually since it was first reported about a decade ago. Sine March, the Ministry of Health has reported 54 CCHF cases, including 5 deaths, The Tehran Times reports.

Behzad Amiri, head of zoonotic diseases department at the Ministry of Health noted the disease incidence is especially high over warm seasons because the ticks become more active. According to WHO, CCHF is a widespread disease caused by a tickborne virus Nairovirus of the Bunyaviridae family. The CCHF virus causes severe viral hemorrhagic fever outbreaks, with a case fatality rate of 10-40%.


July 19, 2019

United States: E. coli

Three people have been confirmed to have E. coli in Westminster, Col.; all ate at the same Westminster Red Robin. Two of them were hospitalized.

According to a news release from the Tri-County Health Department, the restaurant closed voluntarily for cleaning and sanitizing, food safety training for employees, and testing for employees who handle the food.

One adult and 2 children tested positive for the bacteria E. coli O157:H7, and all 3 had eaten at the restaurant, according to the release. The Tri-County Health Department says none of the individuals are related to each other, and all visited the restaurant on different nights in late June 2019.

A food safety inspection showed improper employee hand washing, improper cleaning and sanitizing of food preparation surfaces, and cross-contamination between raw meat and other prepared food, according to the release. The restaurant was cited with 5 critical health violations.

Ashley Richter, communicable disease epidemiology manager at the Tri-County Health Department, said the source of the E. coli has not been determined, but the Tri-County Health Department and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment are investigating the outbreak.

The departments ask people to contact their doctors or healthcare providers if they ate at that Red Robin since June 1 and developed an illness within 10 days of eating at the restaurant.

 

Northern Ireland: African Swine Fever

Traces of African swine fever (ASF) virus have been found in meat that was brought into Northern Ireland illegally by passengers in the month of June [2019].

In total, airport authorities seized over 300 kg [661 lb] of illegal meat in June. The Northern Irish Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) said a sample of these seizures was tested at the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), resulting in the detection of ASF virus DNA fragments. A DAERA spokesman confirmed: "DNA fragments of ASF were detected in a sausage from Asia."

DAERA said that while this type of discovery in itself does not pose a significant threat to the animal health status of Northern Ireland, nor does it affect the disease-free status from ASF, it does reinforce the importance of the controls on personal imports of meat and dairy products enforced by DAERA officials.

DAERA chief veterinary officer Dr. Robert Huey warned that it is illegal to bring certain food and plant products back into the country to avoid the risks of importing animal or plant disease. "I make no excuses for repeating this message," he said. "The greatest risk is to our agri-food industry and our environment, as any introduction of pests, diseases, and non-native species can have a potentially devastating impact."

DAERA warnings are clear at points of entry into Northern Ireland. They emphasize that meat and dairy products should not be brought into Northern Ireland in passenger's luggage, as such items may be seized by portal inspection branch staff at local ports and airports.

 

Kenya: Anthrax

One person has died of suspected anthrax and another is hospitalized in Kisumu, officials say. The disease was reported in Mowlem, Kisumu County government said in a statement released July 12.

"We have cases of suspected anthrax in the county. Two people were admitted to the hospital Thursday, and one has since died," Dr. Jonathan Billis, health officer in Kisumu Central Sub-county, said.

Dr. Billis called on all health workers in the county to be on high alert for patients exhibiting symptoms such as sores, swellings, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pains. He urged locals to watch out for signs and symptoms, including face inflammation, breathing problems, and unexplained wounds.

Anthrax is caused by Bacillus anthracis bacterium. It affects livestock, wild animals, and humans and can kill within 24 hours.

 

Ireland: E. coli

A total of 16 children have been diagnosed with the bacterial infection, and concerns have been raised that tourists may spread it further, RUV [the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service] reports. The outbreak is purported to have originated in Efstadal 2, a farm and restaurant near Laugarvatn, after a group of schoolchildren visited the place, with some of them contracting Escherichia coli infection. To be clear: none of the food nor any of the employees tested positive for E. coli. Rather, it is all but certain the bacteria originated from the fecal matter of calves on the farm.

Health authorities have pointed out that there are many rural restaurants in Iceland that are located near farms, prompting a more thorough investigation into stopping the infection's spread. Further, these locations are visited by many tourists, which could potentially increase the risk of spreading E. coli. As it stands now, Efstadal 2 is [said to be] safe to visit; the cow sties have been quarantined and the restaurant is clean.

 

India: Japanese Encephalitis

With the death of 5 more patients on July 14, the toll in Japanese encephalitis (JE) cases in Assam rose to 76, a National Health Mission (NHM) bulletin stated. The registered positive JE cases across the state also increased to 348 from 334 on July 12. The 5 deaths were reported from Darrang, Nalbari, Tinsukia, Kamrup and Udalguri districts, the bulletin said.

Giving the cumulative figures for JE/AES (acute encephalitis syndrome), the bulletin said there [had been] 1,350 such cases since January, with 177 deaths.

Measures to control the mosquito-borne disease that affects the brain continued to be taken across the state, which is currently undergoing a transmission season for JE, NHM sources said. Health minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma has said the emergency measures taken to combat the JE/AES situation would exist till Sept. 30. Union health minister Harsh Vardhan had dispatched a central team to review the situation in the state. The health minister also said that his ministry is providing all logistical and technical support to the state government in terms of surveillance and diagnostic kits to strengthen their efforts in addressing JE.

Noting that community participation and empowerment are the most crucial in JE prevention, Vardhan urged all the stakeholders to start rigorous awareness campaigns regarding the preventive steps to be taken by the communities. For rehabilitation of JE-disabled patients, the central government has provided funds for the strengthening of 2 physical medicine and rehabilitation departments at Dibrugarh Medical College and Guwahati Medical College.

 

Congo: Ebola

The epidemiological situation of the Ebola virus disease in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri dated July 14:

Since the beginning of the epidemic, the number of accumulated cases is 2,501, including 2,407 confirmed and 94 probable. In total, there have been 1,668 deaths (1,574 in confirmed and 94 in probable cases) and 700 cases have recovered.

There are 292 suspected cases under investigation.

 

United States: Vesicular Stomatitis

The Colorado Department of Agriculture [CDA] has confirmed more cases of vesicular stomatitis (VSV) in La Plata, Larimer, and Weld counties. The Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory in Fort Collins has been activated through the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) to receive and test samples for VSV suspect horses.

The total count of premises under quarantine for VSV by county is 2 in La Plata County, 5 in Larimer County, and 8 in Weld County. None of the animals in quarantine have yet been released.

"Horse and livestock owners should check with their veterinarian prior to traveling to another state," said Colorado state veterinarian Dr. Keith Roehr. "Many states have imposed import requirements for animals coming from VSV-affected states."

The first case of VSV in Colorado was reported on  July 3 in Weld County by a field veterinarian from the State Veterinarian's Office at the Colorado Department of Agriculture. An incursion of VSV-infected insect vectors is the likely source of infection. There are no USDA-approved vaccines for VSV.

 

Iran: Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever

The Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus has been the cause of 100-plus human infections in Iran annually since it was first reported about a decade ago. Sine March, the Ministry of Health has reported 54 CCHF cases, including 5 deaths, The Tehran Times reports.

Behzad Amiri, head of zoonotic diseases department at the Ministry of Health noted the disease incidence is especially high over warm seasons because the ticks become more active. According to WHO, CCHF is a widespread disease caused by a tickborne virus Nairovirus of the Bunyaviridae family. The CCHF virus causes severe viral hemorrhagic fever outbreaks, with a case fatality rate of 10-40%.

 


July 5, 2019

India: Japanese Encephalitis

The National Health Mission said 45 people have died since the outbreak of Japanese encephalitis in Assam.

Most of upper Assam districts, including Jorhat, Golaghat, Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur, and the lower Assam district of Kamrup have been affected by the mosquito-borne disease.

"Assam is undergoing the transmission season for Japanese encephalitis cases. A total number of 45 Japanese encephalitis deaths have been reported, in the state," the National Health Mission (NHM) said in a statement.

It, however, said the situation in the state is under close watch and all preventive measures are being taken to combat the situation.

Diagnostic services for Japanese encephalitis with ELISA kits have been made available in all district hospitals and government medical college hospitals, awareness programs intensified, and fogging operations stepped up in areas from where Japanese encephalitis cases have been reported.

The NHM also said that free transportation is being provided to patients with suspected JE fever through 'Mrintunjoy 108 Ambulances'.

The Assam government is ensuring that treatment and diagnostic cost at medical colleges and district hospitals are borne by the state while a certain number of beds there have been reserved for Japanese encephalitis patients.

A round-the-clock central control room has been opened to deal with and monitor the situation and all deputy commissioners have been directed to step up surveillance activities.

 

Bolivia: Bolivian Hemorrhagic Fever

In 2019, a small outbreak of Bolivian hemorrhagic fever was reported at a hospital in La Paz. The following background data on Bolivian hemorrhagic fever are abstracted from Gideon www.GideonOnline.com and the Gideon e-book.

Bolivian hemorrhagic fever (BHF) is caused by Machupo virus (Arenaviridae, Tacaribe complex, Mammarenavirus). The disease was initially described in 1959 as a sporadic hemorrhagic illness in rural areas of Beni department, eastern Bolivia, and the virus itself was first identified in 1963. BHF is most common during April to July in the upper savanna region of Beni. Principal exposure occurs through rodents ([the large vesper mouse] Calomys callosus), which enter homes in endemic areas.

BHF is one of several human Arenavirus diseases reported in the Americas: Argentine hemorrhagic fever (Junin virus), Brazilian hemorrhagic fever (Sabia virus), lymphocytic choriomeningitis, Venezuelan hemorrhagic fever (Guanarito virus) and Whitewater Arroyo virus infection.

Infection of C. callosus results in asymptomatic viral shedding in saliva, urine, and feces; 50% of experimentally infected C. callosus are chronically viremic and shed virus in their bodily excretions or secretions. C. callosus acquires the virus after birth, and start shedding it through their urine and saliva while suckling. When mice acquire the virus as adults, they may develop immunity and no longer shed the virus.

Although the infectious dose of Machupo virus in humans is unknown, exposed persons may become infected by inhaling virus in aerosolized secretions or excretions of infected rodents, ingestion of food contaminated with rodent excreta, or by direct contact of excreta with abraded skin or oropharyngeal mucous membranes. Nosocomial and human-to-human spread have been documented. Hospital contact with a patient has resulted in person-to-person spread of Machupo virus to nursing and pathology laboratory staff.

 

Canada: Equine Infectious Anemia

An equine infectious anemia (EIA)-affected premises has been identified in the province of Alberta. On June 28, a positive EIA result was confirmed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) national reference laboratory for a horse located on a premises in the County of St. Paul, in the province of Alberta.

The horse had been sampled by an accredited veterinarian because it was exhibiting clinical signs compatible with EIA infection. A CFIA investigation is underway and as per program policy, a quarantine has been placed on the infected horse and its on-premises contact animals. Initial reports indicate there are several equines on the affected premises.

The quarantine will remain until all disease response activities have been completed, including follow-up testing and ordering the destruction of positive cases. Trace-out activities may require the CFIA to undertake actions at additional premises as outlined in the current policy.

 

Zambia: Trypanosomiasis

A 19-year-old German woman was diagnosed with East African trypanosomiasis during a stay in Zambia.

The patient had been working since August 2018 in a school project close to Kabwe. From May 29 to June 4 she visited South Luangwa National Park. On May 31, she received a mildly painful insect bite on her calf during an afternoon game-viewing drive from Kafunta River Lodge.

She recalled seeing numerous tsetse flies during this drive but was told there had not been any cases of trypanosomiasis for years in this area. The bite initially healed well and she returned to Kabwe.

On the evening of June 11, she developed high fever, rigors, and severe headache. The site of the insect bite on her calf was swollen and showed livid discoloration. Several point-of-care tests for malaria were negative.

Antibiotic treatment at a local hospital led to no improvement of her symptoms. On June 16 she was admitted to Lusaka Coptic Hospital where African trypanosomiasis was diagnosed by blood microscopy. Central nervous system involvement was ruled out by spinal tap, and treatment with suramin was started on June 17. The patient returned in stable condition to Germany on July 2 where she sought further treatment and follow-up.

 

Bulgaria: African Swine Fever

The Bulgarian Food Safety Agency on July 5 confirmed a second outbreak of African swine fever [ASF] in domestic pigs in 3 days, and the third since 2018.

The disease was located in a backyard pig farm in the village of Novachene near the Danube River, only 16 km southeast of the village of Zhernov, where the previous case was confirmed, the agency said in a statement.

The BFSA took the necessary measures for the control and eradication of the disease according to the European and national legislation, the statement said.

Earlier on July 5, at a meeting of the Management Board of the State Fund Agriculture, the country's Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, Desislava Taneva, called for rigorous implementation of prevention and control measures.

According to Taneva, this is a very dangerous disease that spreads quickly and easily; "there is no cure and vaccine for it, and the economic losses are enormous.''

The first outbreak of African swine fever in domestic pigs in Bulgaria was confirmed last August in the village of Tutrakantsi, some 250 km southeast of Novachene.

 

United States: Vesicular Stomatitis Virus

The Colorado Department of Agriculture reported that on July 3 the National Veterinary Services Laboratory reported positive test results for vesicular stomatitis virus on samples submitted from 2 horses in Weld County.

The 2 horses reside on separate locations in Weld County, and they both have been placed under quarantine. Both premises are private residences with horses as the only livestock species present.

The initial Colorado disease investigation was completed by a field veterinarian from the State Veterinarian's Office at the Colorado Department of Agriculture.

The index premises has one horse presenting with lesions on his sheath and no history of recent movements on or off the premises.

The subsequent positive premises has one of 3 horses presenting with lip and tongue lesions, and the only history of movement off the property was pleasure riding near the home premises 2 weeks prior to onset.

There are no additional animals at either location currently showing clinical signs of vesicular stomatitis.

Both premises are under state quarantine and will remain so until at least 14 days from the onset of lesions in the last affected animal on the premises.

 

Bolivia: Hantavirus

The Villa Montes municipal health technician, Samuel Quintasi, stated that a person from a rural area contracted a hantavirus infection and was sent to a third level hospital, although he did not specify whether it was in Tarija or in Santa Cruz del la Sierra.

Due to timely medical attention for the patient, this individual is in stable condition and has been released from the hospital with recommendations to avoid new infection on returning home.

"Health personnel have visited the area, where we are carrying out epidemiological surveillance," the municipal official explained.

Hantavirus infection causes an emerging zoonotic disease that is transmitted by rodents, including mice and rats. The disease is characterized by presentation of fever, muscle pain, and gastrointestinal disturbance, followed by the beginning of respiratory difficulty and hypotension.

Cases of hantavirus infection in humans in general occur in rural areas where one can encounter rodents that have the virus, but transmission is also possible in urban areas.

 

United States: White Nose Syndrome

For the first time, an invasive fungus that causes a deadly bat disease has been detected in California.

White-nose syndrome, one of the most consequential wildlife diseases of modern times, has killed more than 6 million bats in North America since it was first discovered in New York in 2006.

The disease, which has devastated bat populations in Pennsylvania, New York, and elsewhere in the Northeast, is caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans. It is not known to be harmful to people or common house pets.

Environmental officials discovered low levels of the fungus in samples collected from little brown bats, a common hibernating species, in the Plumas County town of Chester, about 65 miles northeast of Chico. Four bats have been found with traces of the fungus, one in 2018 and 3 this year.

"We decided, 2 years in a row, even though they are low-level detection, we ought to call it. The fungus is here," said Scott Osborn, a senior environmental scientist with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

White-nose syndrome is a fungal infection that grows on the skin of bats while they hibernate. Osborn describes it as an "all-body case of athlete's foot." The infection irritates the bats, waking them from what should be a deep slumber.

They then use up their stored energy by grooming themselves. Because it's winter, most of the bugs and insects that make up their food supply aren't available, and the bats can't replenish themselves. They die of starvation.

 

Latvia: African Swine Fever

This year's first African swine fever  infection for domestic pigs has been registered in Latvia. The illness was uncovered in an enclosure in Durbe Parish, Vecpils County. A total of 49 pigs have been killed to halt the spread of the disease, as reported by Food and Veterinary Service.

The affected farm has been put under quarantine - a protection zone in a 3 km radius and an observation zone in a 10 km radius around it. All other enclosures in this area will be put under intense supervision for compliance with bio-security measures. Transportation of pigs and pork to and from this area will be put under increased control as well.

 

United States: Anthrax

Since June 19, the Texas Animal Health Commission (TAHC) has received confirmation of 3 additional anthrax cases in the area of Texas where anthrax is historically found. The first anthrax case of the year was confirmed in one captive antelope on a premises in Uvalde County on June 19. Since that time, anthrax was confirmed in goats on a new Uvalde County premises on June 24, one Sutton County horse was confirmed to have anthrax on July 3, and cattle were confirmed to have anthrax on a separate Sutton County premises on July 4.

All of the premises have been placed under quarantine, and producers were advised on vaccinating exposed animals and the proper disposal of affected carcasses, as outlined by TAHC's rules. Typically, quarantines are lifted 10 days from vaccination or the last death loss.

"It is common to see an increase in anthrax cases after periods of wet, cool weather, followed by hot, dry conditions," said Dr. Andy Schwartz, TAHC Executive Director. "During these conditions, animals ingest the anthrax bacteria when they consume contaminated grass and hay, or inhale the spores. Outbreaks usually end when cooler weather arrives."

 

Australia: Leptospirosis

At least 50 people have contracted a highly-contagious and potentially life-threatening disease spread through rat urine.

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease having already claimed the lives of 7 dogs in the last year in inner-Sydney, New South Wales [NSW], but experts said it's now infecting people, Daily Telegraph reported.

University of Sydney professor of veterinary microbiology and infectious diseases Jacqueline Norris said the disease is 'shed out in the urine' and spreads easily from animals to humans.

'We haven't seen this disease in New South Wales in decades so it's a high likelihood there's a common environmental source,' she said.

'You can get direct contact, so directly splashed urine into a mucosal surface like your eye, mouth, or skin. But most frequently it's accessing the same external indirect surface, so out in the environment.'

Symptoms in humans vary, and can range from mild headaches to blood in the urine and skin hemorrhages.

Data from the National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System showed there have been 50 cases of leptospirosis this year and 144 last year, with most cases originating in Queensland, as the bacteria thrives in warm and humid climates.

A NSW Health spokeswoman said most cases reported are from regional areas 'often in association with floods or mouse plagues'.

'The most effective way to prevent any transmission from infected pets or another source of the infection to humans is for people to wash their hands with soap after touching animals,' she said.

'Keep cuts and scratches covered when there is a chance they could come in contact with animal urine.'

 

United States: West Nile Virus

Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship State Veterinarian Jeff Kaisand has confirmed 2 cases of West Nile virus (WNV) have been detected in horses living in the southern part of the state. These are the first confirmed cases of WNV in Iowa horses this year [2019].

The Equine Disease Communication Center (EDCC) reported last week that cases were confirmed in Davis and Union counties.

In Davis county, a 15-year-old thoroughbred mare began displaying clinical signs, including hind-limb ataxia and muscle fasciculations on June 24, the EDCC said. Diagnostic testing confirmed WNV on June 28.

"The horse is being treated and reported (to be) recovering," the EDCC said. "The mare was not vaccinated for WNV this year but has a history of vaccination 2 years ago."

In Union county, a 2-year old quarter horse gelding in Union county tested positive for WNV on June 19. The gelding was displaying mild clinical signs and had no history of vaccination against WNV.

 

Vietnam: African Swine Fever

African swine fever (ASF) has hit Vietnam's southern Tay Ninh province, Vietnam News Agency reported on July 7.

A herd of 16 pigs raised by a household in Tay Ninh's Chau Thanh district have been tested positive to ASF virus, and then culled to prevent the disease from spreading.

ASF has spread to almost all cities and provinces across Viet Nam, leading to the culling of over 2.84 million pigs or 10.3 percent of the country's total pig population.

Vietnam will focus on developing cattle, poultry, and aquatic breeding to compensate for a shortage of pork which is expected to hit the country this year due to ASF, its Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said late last month.

Vietnam reported the first ASF outbreak in February in northern Hung Yen province.

ASF is a severe viral disease affecting domestic pigs and boars which can be spread by live or dead pigs and pork products. The ASF virus is harmless to humans, but causes hemorrhagic fever in pigs and wild boars that is almost fatal.

 

Belgium: African Swine Fever

For the first time, Belgium has reported a week without new cases of African swine fever (ASF) in its wild boar population. That was shown in the latest report to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

Ever since mid-May the total number of infected animals had been relatively low. Over the whole of June, only 8 infected wild boar were found in Belgium's province of Luxembourg -- the lowest monthly score since the virus was discovered in September 2018. The total number of infected wild boar therefore remains 824. In total, 799 were found dead in the forest; an additional 25 were shot dead.

About 2 weeks ago, there also was a moment when there was no news about ASF from Belgium. That was caused by the fact that there was no update on the situation in Belgium reported to the OIE. Due to the presence of the virus, however, Belgium has to give updates, irrespective of new cases being found or not. There was an update about last week -- and that one, for the 1st time, was "empty."

Belgium recently announced it started shooting the remaining wild boar in the inner zone of the infected area. In doing so, Belgium follows EU policy to keep the virus concentrated in one zone as much as possible.

A similar approach proved to be successful in the Czech Republic, where the virus, just like in Belgium, was found only in the wild boar population. In total, in the Czech Republic, 230 wild boar died of ASF in Zlin province between June 2017 and April 2018. In February, the European Commission declared the Czech Republic to be free from ASF again. In doing so, the Czechs have been the only country in recent years to have done so.


June 28, 2019

South Africa: African Horse Sickness

Across Gauteng, a total of 236 cases of African horse sickness (AHS) have been reported between between Jan. 1 and June 18, according to the Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development -- and the illness has also hit closer to home.

The historic and internationally recognized horses of the South African Lipizzaners non-profit organisation (NPO), located in Kyalami, have been affected by the virus. So far, 4 Lipizzaners have died and one has managed to survive with treatment.

The NPO is appealing to the public for donations so they can buy medication and insect repellent needed to prevent further deaths at both the venue in Kyalami and at the organization's stud farm, where females and foals are kept.

"We've lost young and old horses so far," explained Dr. Karen Bohme, who is the head rider and veterinarian for the South African Lipizzaners. "We lost 2 brood mares. We also lost 2 colts within a day of each other in late April," she added.

AHS is caused by a virus that appears seasonally in warmer weather and is transferred by biting midges, according to a statement by Steve Galane of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, which receives official reports of the disease. Galane added that AHS was particularly present in the country this year due to climatic factors such as rainfall and temperature.

"In most of South Africa, except for a part of the Western Cape province, AHS is endemic and the area is known as an AHS-infected zone. Unfortunately, outbreaks of AHS are expected to occur in the AHS-infected zone from November to May, often with a peak from February to April," the statement read in part.

 

United States: Anthrax

The Texas Department of State Health Services is reminding Texans to avoid sick or dead wildlife after 18 recent animal deaths in Uvalde County, including 2 which were confirmed anthrax-related cases.

The first anthrax case of the year in Texas was confirmed in a captive antelope on a premises in Uvalde County on June 19 -- in a triangular area of southwest Texas where anthrax is historically found in the soil. Since then, another anthrax-related case has been confirmed, and officials reported 18 recent animal deaths.

 

Uganda: Ebola

The epidemiological situation of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) in the provinces of North Kivu and Ituri dated June 27:

Since the beginning of the epidemic, the cumulative number of cases is 2,297, of which 2,203 are confirmed and 94 are probable. In total, there were 1,553 deaths (1,459 confirmed and 94 probable) and 641 people recovered.

A total of 364 suspected cases are under investigation.

There have been 13 new confirmed cases, including 7 in Beni, 3 in Masereka, 1 in Mabalako, 1 in Biena and 1 in Kulunguta.

There are 13 new confirmed case deaths: 4 community deaths, including 3 in Beni and 1 in Biena; 9 deaths in Ebola treatment centers (ETCs), including 3 in Beni, 2 in Mabalako, 2 in Butembo and 2 in Katwa.

Four people recovered from ETCs, including 3 in Beni and 1 in Butembo.

 

India: Japanese Encephalitis

A man died on June 28 at Guwahati's Nemcare hospital where he had been undergoing treatment for Japanese encephalitis for the past 8 days. He was a resident of Guwahati's Birkuchi area.

It should be noted that this is the first death reported in the city due to the brain infection this year. However, across Assam, 10 people have died because of the disease so far, and 35 more are infected with it.

Although most of the recent cases of Japanese encephalitis (JE) and acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) have been reported from Bijar state so far this year, Assam state is also endemic for JE.

 

United States: E. coli

The connections between the death of a 2-year-old boy and the violent illness suffered by 3 other children earlier this month weren't at first apparent. But on June 28, public health officials zeroed in on the common denominator: all 4 tested positive for E.coli bacteria and all 4 had visited animals at the San Diego County Fair.

The discovery prompted the closure of all animal exhibits, a safety measure that will remain in effect through the remainder of the fair's 2019 run set to end July 4. While the cluster of cases has not yet been definitively linked to fair animals, in part because testing is not yet complete, the decision to shut down the public livestock exhibits, including the popular petting zoo, seemed prudent. The livestock auction, which took place in a different area and does not allow the public to have direct contact with animals, went forward as scheduled.

"We have taken this step to restrict access to animals at the fair in an abundance of caution," Dr. Eric McDonald, a county public health official, said at a news conference. "We may find, as the investigation develops, as we develop genetic fingerprints of these organisms, that these cases are not related, that these just happened to be cases that occurred during the summer when it's more common for these types of cases to occur."

 

Brazil: Yellow Fever

The origin of the virus responsible for the ongoing yellow fever epidemic in Brazil, the worst for 40 years, has just been identified by scientists affiliated with 2 Brazilian institutions: Adolfo Lutz Institute (IAL) and the University of Sao Paulo (USP).

By means of a molecular study of yellow fever viruses found in dead monkeys and in mosquitoes, the group discovered that the strain behind the current epidemic originated in Para state in North Brazil in 1980.

The virus infected monkeys in Para and spread from there throughout the Amazon region until it reached Venezuela and Suriname. From 2000 on, always via infection of monkeys, the disease migrated to the Center-West and Southeast of Brazil, finally reaching Sao Paulo state in 2013. The first deaths of humans in Sao Paulo occurred in 2016.

Findings of the study, which was supported by Sao Paulo Research Foundation.

The investigation was led by Mariana Sequetin Cunha, a researcher in IAL's Vector-Borne Disease Group. Scientists at the University of Sao Paulo's Tropical Medicine Institute, the Federal University of Para and the Federal University of Sao Paulo also took part. The project was also funded by Brazil's National Council for Scientific and Technological Development.

 

Germany: Tuberculosis

Since the beginning of 2018, the health authorities in 2 districts of Lower Saxony (LK) have frequently registered cases of tuberculosis (TB) illness among slaughterhouse workers, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reports

Thirteen employees had become infected and one person had died as a result of the disease. The persons infected are predominantly Romanian workers.

During 2018 and up to Feb. 28, 7 slaughterhouse workers who slaughtered and processed pigs were diagnosed with active pulmonary TB, 3 of them in September and October 2018. One of the patients died in November 2018 as a result of TB.

In the neighboring district, 6 slaughterhouse workers with active pulmonary TB who were employed in slaughterhouse B were reported since the beginning of 2018. Slaughterhouse A and B are about 40 km apart.

After the infection became public, extensive investigations by health authorities followed. Of the 96 contact persons tested at slaughterhouse A, 59 (61%) showed a positive test result. At slaughterhouse B no additional case of TB requiring treatment were detected.

 

United States: White Nose Syndrome

The National Park Service says the fungus that causes a deadly disease in bats has been discovered in North Dakota.

The Bismarck Tribune reports the fungus was discovered after swab testing of a bat that was captured at Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site near Stanton.

The fungus causes white-nose syndrome, which can lead to dehydration or other conditions that kill bats.

To date, 33 states have confirmed the disease since it was found in 2006 in New York. US Fish and Wildlife Service wildlife refuge specialist Catherine Hibbard says 4 states, including North Dakota, have discovered only the fungus.

South Dakota identified the fungus and disease for the 1st time last year.

Humans can transmit the fungus but aren't affected by it. It is spread easily among bats.



 

  

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