Archive for the ‘Tularemia’ Category

Tularemia: Hunting Dogs as Possible Vectors

http://outbreaknewstoday.com/tularemia-hunting-dogs-possible-vectors-infectious-disease-59510/

Tularemia: Hunting dogs as possible vectors for the infectious disease 

Press Release

January 20, 2018

Tularemia is an infectious bacterial disease that is life-threatening for rodents, rabbits and hares, but which can also infect humans and dogs. While contact with contaminated blood or meat makes hunters a high-risk group, the frequency of infections among hunting dogs has not been much studied. Researchers from Vetmeduni Vienna have now confirmed a relevant prevalence of infections in Austrian hunting dogs following a serological study in which seven percent of the animals tested positive. This could lead to more intense debate as to whether the often asymptomatic animals represent an additional risk of infection for people.

The frequence of Dogs infected with Tularemia pathogens is higher than previously thought. (Photo: Elli Winter/moorhunde.de)
The frequence of Dogs infected with Tularemia pathogens is higher than previously thought. (Photo: Elli Winter/moorhunde.de)

Tularemia, also known as rabbit fever, is an infectious disease that is usually lethal for wild animals such as rabbits, hares and rodents. As a zoonotic disease, however, it also represents a serious health risk for people. Tularemia is caused by various subtypes of the pathogenic bacteria Francisella tularensis, which can be transmitted by biting and stinging insects or directly through contaminated hay, infected blood and other fluids. The raw meat of diseased animals is also associated with a high risk of transmission of the pathogens, which can infect dogs as well as other animals.

Austrian hunting dogs infected more frequently than previously thought

Without secondary disease, however, dogs usually exhibit no or only few symptoms and tend to have a high natural resistance to low levels of the bacteria. As a result, little attention has been paid to dogs in scientific study. Nevertheless, there are theories that canines may act as interim hosts and a further source of infections. Like hunters, dogs can come into direct contact with infected animals (e.g. when retrieving the game). The prevalence of infections among these animals is therefore an important question to be answered.

Scientists from the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology at Vetmeduni Vienna for the first time investigated blood samples from 80 Austrian hunting dogs from rural areas known to be endemic for tularemia.

“After two independent analyses, five dogs clearly tested positive,” says first author Annika Posautz.

The study thus showed that dogs in those areas of Austria in which rabbit fever is endemic, i.e. in which it regularly occurs, show a more frequent rate of infection.

Risk of transmission from infected dogs possible, but not confirmed

“The frequency of about seven percent shows that hunting dogs can also become infected regularly. As vectors of the disease, even without symptoms, the animals must also be considered unexpected carriers,” Posautz adds.

Clear scientific evidence is still missing, however, the researchers say. Other factors, such as age – young dogs could come into more frequent contact with game for training purposes – or the question whether dogs represent a potential source of infection for people, must be addressed in future studies.

The blood samples were tested using two different agglutination tests to detect antigens on the surface of the bacteria or antibodies produced by the immune system. “Agglutination works by specifically clumping these proteins to make them visible under the microscope. In the case of suspected tularemia, more than one of these tests is necessary due to the possibility of cross-reactivity with other pathogens. If all tests are positive, the disease can be confirmed without a doubt. This was the case with five animals,” the researcher says.

Related: 

Canna-Pet

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**Comment**

I purposely left the “related” section at the bottom as a clear reminder that Tularemia has been bioweaponized.  This isn’t theoretical, it’s fact.

For more:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/10/25/of-rabbits-and-men/

Tularemia, brucella, certain Rickettsia’s, numerous viruses, some chlamydia’s, and of course mycoplasma have all been weaponized.

Regarding the weaponization of tick pathogens: https://www.lymedisease.org/lymepolicywonk-questioning-governments-role-lyme-disease-make-conspiracy-theorist/

Some state Lyme (borrelia) has also been bioweaponized:

For a lengthy but informative read on the Lyme-Biowarfare connections: CitizensAlert_Bob13 (Scroll to page 44 to see an executive summary. Please notice the names of Steere, Barbour, Shapiro, Klempner, and Wormser, the first four are affiliated with the CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS). Wormser, lead author of the fraudulent Lyme treatment guidelines, lectures as an expert on biowarefare agents and treatments).

Everyone keeps yammering about climate change despite the fact ticks are extremely ecoadaptive but nobody is talking about ticks tweaked in a lab with bioweaponized pathogens.

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/02/27/tularemia-infected-ticks-found-on-sorrento-valley-trail-in-ca/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/03/07/hantavirus-tularemia-warnings-issued-in-san-diego-county/

Oklahoma-Ehrlichiosis Central

https://www.tulsaworld.com/news/local/oklahoma-is-ehrlichiosis-central-and-common-lone-star-ticks-which/article_408eed87-5b3e-5b3e-a829-9d7802ad578b.html

Oklahoma is ‘Ehrlichiosis Central,’ and common lone star ticks, which carry it, are ‘most active’ now

Flu-like illness spread via tick

By Kelly Bostian Tulsa World

July 4, 2018

Oklahoma ticks

The female lone star tick (left) is easily identified by the pronounced white dot or star in the center of her back. The species’ male is on the right. Courtesy/Rick Grantham, OSU

Correction: An infobox with this story contained incorrect numbers for tick-borne illnesses in Tulsa County. It has been corrected.

__________________________________________________________________________

Texas may be the Lone Star State, but late June through August is prime time for the real lone star to shine in Oklahoma — the lone star tick, that is.

Chances are this summer you have heard of someone in your circle of Oklahoma friends — or someone who knows someone — who has come down with ehrlichiosis (sounds like “air-leaky hoses).”

Along with the spotted fevers (rickettsioses), it is one of the most common tick-borne diseases in Oklahoma. It is primarily shared to Oklahomans through the lone star tick (the one with the white spot on its back), and the heat of summer is the time the lone star tick is most active, according to Oklahoma State University entomologist Justin Talley.

“We’ve had two people in our building and some in other departments come down with it recently, as well,” he said. “A lot of ticks are out right now, and it seems to be getting passed around for some reason, but that’s also pretty typical. We’ve always had it here in Oklahoma.”

The flu-like bacterial infection is passed from “reservoir species” such as white-tailed deer and coyotes through the lone star tick to humans.

While northeastern states are the prime areas for Lyme disease, Oklahoma is Ehrlichiosis Central.

“When you look at the Centers for Disease Control data, there are three states that are the hotbed for it: Oklahoma, Missouri and Arkansas,” Talley said.

It can prove fatal if left untreated, especially for very young or elderly patients. Fatal cases are not limited to but most often hit children younger than 10 and people over 70, Talley said.

“The summer is definitely a problematic time of year. Highest risk is April to October, but we really encourage people to be aware of tick-borne diseases like ehrlichiosis year around and statewide,” said Rachel Clinton, epidemiologist with the state Department of Health Acute Disease Service. “Each year we continue to see a lot of cases statewide.”

Diagnosis of ehrlichiosis can be tricky because people may think they have the flu and may not realize or recall that they were bitten by a tick up to two weeks earlier — especially people who spend a lot of time outdoors for their work or recreation, she said.

“It’s especially important for parents to check children for ticks every day, and if you’re working outdoors in a high-concentration area, you should inspect twice a day,” Clinton said. “Small children need to be looked at closely because they just don’t know they’ve been bitten. The hairline is an especially important place to look.”

Talley said the most important things are awareness, taking steps to prevent bites, and proper removal and documentation after being bitten.

“That’s the biggest thing. The lone star is the most active tick right now, especially east of I-35, Tulsa and southeast. You can go out anywhere and get one on you, even in your backyard,” he said.

Talley advised gentle, slow pulling of the tick straight away from the skin for removal, preferably just with tweezers or fingernails so as not to cause the tick to regurgitate back into the wound.

Tick-removal devices can be good, too;

“just don’t use anything that requires a twisting motion,” he said. “You want to lift it straight up, slowly, so a tool that is like a bottle-opener is OK.”  “Whatever you do, do not put a hot match or anything on the tick,” he said. “Just pull it off.”

The best thing then is to mark a calendar or put a date on a zip-seal bag, drop the tick in the bag and put it in the freezer. That can help with identifying the tick if something arises and, in rare cases, it could help solve a medical mystery.

“You can get the little brown seed tick, too, and it can be just a smaller lone star tick,” he said. “We can tell what it is under a microscope.”

Lone star ticks are not the only ticks in Oklahoma, but they are the ones most commonly associated with ehrlichiosis — as well as tularemia, southern tick-associated rash illness, the rare Heartland virus and the alpha-gal or meat allergy.

Dog ticks are the second most active now. They are most closely associated with Rocky Mountain spotted fever but also may be a vector for tularemia.

 

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More on Ehrlichosis:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/03/09/dogs-ehrlichiosis/

https://www.lymedisease.org/ehrlichiosis-tick-borne-disease-no-one-heard/

More on Tularemia:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/10/25/of-rabbits-and-men/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/02/27/tularemia-infected-ticks-found-on-sorrento-valley-trail-in-ca/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/03/07/hantavirus-tularemia-warnings-issued-in-san-diego-county/

More on RMSF:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/07/10/first-rmsf-death-in-wisconsin/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/06/12/georgia-mom-warns-others-after-son-contracts-rocky-mountain-spotted-fever-after-tick-bite/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/10/21/mom-got-rocky-mountain-spotted-fever-while-picking-pumpkins/

More on Heartland Virus:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/08/02/heartland-virus-in-arkansas/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/11/01/heartland-virus-ravages-mans-body/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/07/01/surveillance-for-heartland-bourbon-viruses-in-eastern-kansas/

Where Ticks Are and What They Carry – Science Conversation With Dr. Cameron

http://danielcameronmd.com/lyme-disease-science-conversation-ticks-diseases-they-carry/  Approx. 50 Min

Dr. Daniel Cameron, a leading Lyme disease expert, discusses where are the ticks and what are the diseases they carry.

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**Comment**

The word is finally getting out.  TICKS ARE EVERYWHERE!

Beaches:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/06/07/ticks-on-beaches/

Rocks and picnic benches:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/03/13/ticks-found-on-rocks/

Caves:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/04/23/tick-borne-relapsing-fever-found-in-austin-texas-caves/, and https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/10/27/israeli-kids-get-lyme-disease-from-ticks-in-caves/

Birds:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/08/17/of-birds-and-ticks/

California:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/05/19/infected-ticks-in-california-its-complicated/

In the South:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/05/31/no-lyme-in-the-south-guess-again/, and https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/10/06/remembering-dr-masters-the-rebel-for-lyme-patients-who-took-on-the-cdc-single-handedly/, and https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/03/02/hold-the-press-arkansas-has-lyme/

Southern Hemisphere:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/02/06/lyme-in-the-southern-hemisphere-sexual-transmission/

Australia:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/11/03/ld-not-in-australia-here-we-go-again/

And everywhere else…..

Remember, there are 300 strains and counting of Borrelia worldwide and 100 strains and counting in the U.S.  Current CDC two-tiered testing tests for ONE strain!  Do the math….

For more:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/05/27/study-conforms-permethrin-causes-ticks-to-drop-off-clothing/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/06/06/mc-bugg-z/

 

 

 

 

Natural Compound Deters Lone Star Tick Larvae

https://entomologytoday.org/2017/12/07/natural-compound-deters-lone-star-tick-larvae/

Natural Compound Deters Lone Star Tick Larvae

by Leslie Mertz

lone star tick adult femaleA botanical compound called p-anisaldehyde has been found to have deterrent properties on the larval stage of lone star ticks (Amblyomma americanum). The effects on nymphal and adult (shown above) stages of the lone star tick have yet to be tested, however. (Photo credit: Dr. Amanda Loftis, Dr. William Nicholson, Dr. Will Reeves, Dr. Chris Paddock, via CDC Public Health Image Library)

A naturally occurring botanical compound found in anise, fennel, vanilla, and cranberries is effective in deterring one of the major human and livestock pests, according to research by scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS).  The study showed that the botanical compound called p-anisaldehyde fends off the larva of the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum), which is one of the most prevalent ticks in the southeastern and south-central United States. Not only does the lone star tick parasitize cattle, horses, goats, dogs, and many other animals, but it is also the most frequently reported tick species to bite humans in those regions of the country, and it can transmit diseases such as erhlichiosis, spotted-fever rickettsiosis, tularemia, and protozoan infections, according to Allan Showler, Ph.D., research entomologist at the USDA-ARS Knipling-Bushland U.S. Livestock Insects Research Laboratory in Kerrville, Texas, and lead author of a study on the subject published in October in the Journal of Medical Entomology:  https://academic.oup.com/jme/article-abstract/55/1/200/4344918?redirectedFrom=fulltext

“This tick is problematic anywhere there are a lot of host animals. For instance, on the east Texas coastal plains, you have turkey and white-tailed deer, as well as other large ungulates like feral nilgai antelope, all running around hosting ticks. That’s in addition to the domesticated livestock, such as cattle, that are ranging out there. So, anytime humans go hunting or hiking or otherwise go out into these areas, they might pick up a tick,” Showler says.

Making matters worse, all three life stages in three-host tick species—the larvae, nymphs, and both adult males and females—bite. The larval tick climbs onto low vegetation and waits (the wait is called “questing”). When a host animal happens by, it gloms on, finds a vulnerable spot, and sinks its mouthparts into the skin to begin feeding. “Once it becomes replete with blood, it will drop off and become a nymph,” Showler describes. The process repeats with the nymph questing, feeding and dropping off to become an adult, and with the adult repeating the process. When the adult female drops off the host, she lays her eggs. (In one-host tick species, such as the southern cattle fever tick, all three mobile life stages feed on the same host without dropping off.)

Showler has been interested in “more organic, greener, less-toxic-to-humans approaches for tick repellency and tick control, but when it comes to many of the botanicals, it’s kind of a crapshoot,” he says, explaining that many have not been thoroughly tested on different pest species. “I started out with a number of different botanicals that might bear something out in pilot studies. And while the other ones weren’t so interesting, p-anisaldehyde was.” He found studies showing that this compound disoriented mosquitoes but was an attractant for certain other insect species and was toxic to others. “It was really curious, so we decided to just give it a go on these ticks and see what happened,” he remarks.

Specifically, he and co-author Jessica Harlien, who is also a USDA-ARS researcher, tested various formulations and treatments of p-anisaldehyde on lone star ticks (Amblyomma americanum). “What jumped out at us more than anything else was its deterrence or repellency,” he says. The two are different: A deterrent causes the target species to avoid a compound, while a repellant actually drives the tick away. “We’re pretty sure that p-anisaldehyde is a deterrent, at least on lone star tick larvae.” They also found that the compound is lethal to the ticks if they are immersed in certain concentrations and that exposure of adult females to sublethal concentrations reduced egg production.

allan-showler

Allan Showler, Ph.D., research entomologist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, is the lead author of a new study reporting that a naturally occurring botanical compound is effective in repelling larval lone star ticks. (Photo credit: Allan Showler, Ph.D.)

So far, they have conducted all of their deterrence and repellency tests of p-anisaldehyde on larval ticks. “Part of the reason is the larvae tend to be more vulnerable because they’re smaller, so it’s a good place to begin,” he says, noting that they will start testing repellency on nymphs and adults soon.

“When it comes to botanicals, I know some people like to say it’s been done to death, but it’s the opposite. Actually most of the studies stop where we stopped: We make a discovery, but now someone else has to take the reins and develop it into a commercial product,” he explains. “What we’ve done in this study is report that p-anisaldehyde looks to have lethal (contact) properties on lone star tick larvae, and it has deterrent properties against larvae, but, as far as how it might be formulated and applied in an economically feasible way for use on humans or other animals, that is something that has yet to be developed.”

Beyond lone star ticks, the researchers are also running tests on other pest species, notably house flies and selected biting flies. “We’ve got some really good preliminary information,” he says, adding that they hope to publish those results soon. As another teaser of his work, he adds, “Without divulging anything, we’re working right now on something that, at least in the laboratory, is knocking these lone star ticks dead really fast. I can’t give any more details because we’re still in the middle of the study, but hopefully that’s coming soon.”

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**Comment**

This work is a year old but holds promise for action against the Lone Star Tick which is responsible for transmitting the Alpha-gal (red meat) allergy, ehrlichiosis, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Tularemia, and STARI, a Lyme-like illness that they keep insisting isn’t Lyme but every patient claims looks, acts, and smells just like Lyme.

More on Alpha-gal:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/05/04/arkansas-woman-develops-deadly-meat-allergy-after-tick-bite/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/04/08/novel-viruses-found-in-lone-star-american-dog-black-legged-ticks/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/05/04/in-tick-management-species-matters/

In Tick Management, Species Matters

https://entomologytoday.org/2018/05/03/tick-management-species-matters-blacklegged-lone-star-american-dog-ticks/https://entomologytoday.org/2018/05/03/tick-management-species-matters-blacklegged-lone-star-american-dog-ticks/

In Tick Management, Species Matters

three tick species
No single tick-management method works perfectly, and one factor plays a key role in how well any particular tick-management method might work: Which tick species is it best suited for? A new guide in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management reviews research on tick management tools and their effectiveness on three tick species (shown here, left to right): the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis), the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum), and the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis). (Image credits, L to R: Lennart Tange/Flickr, CC BY 2.0; Dr. Amanda Loftis, Dr. William Nicholson, Dr. Will Reeves, Dr. Chris Paddock, CDC Public Health Image Library; James Gathany, CDC Public Health Image Library)

In any part of the United States where ticks are present, awareness and personal protection are the first steps to avoiding tick bites and the potential disease pathogens they transmit: Using repellent and conducting frequent tick checks, especially after venturing into wooded or brushy areas, will help in avoiding ticks of all varieties.

But, for managing ticks more broadly, such as in yards and park spaces or at the community or regional level, the problem gets more complicated. No single method works perfectly, and one simple factor plays a key role in how well any particular tick-management method might work: Which tick species is it best suited for?

As part of a new special collection on Integrated Tick Management in the open-access Journal of Integrated Pest Management, Alexis White and Holly Gaff, Ph.D., of Old Dominion University have written a guide to tick control technologies that delineates their varying levels of effectiveness against the three dominant disease-carrying tick species in the eastern half of the United States: the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis), the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum), and the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis).

To the casual observer, a tick is a tick, but entomologists and public health professionals know different tick species behave in different ways.

“Most of the host-targeted methods … are tailored more toward one or two specific species of ticks because of tick-host preferences,” says White. “For example, lone star ticks are not known to feed on rodents, so bait boxes and tick tubes would not be an effective control measure for this species.

Host-targeted methods aim to reduce the tick population by recruiting the animals that ticks feed on to the effort. For instance, bait boxes attract rodents and bring them into contact with acaricide (a tick-targeted pesticide), while tick tubes provide acaricide-laden nesting material for rodents. Both are tailored well to blacklegged ticks and American dog ticks, which commonly feed on rodents.

Lone star ticks, meanwhile, commonly feed on larger animals such as deer. A device known as the “4-poster” works similar to the rodent bait box, attracting deer with food placed in the center of four posts with rollers laden with acaricide that the deer rub against while feeding.

White and Gaff examined existing research on these tick-management methods as well as several others: habitat modification, controlled burns, broadcast acaricides, deer removal, deer fences, and even a semi-autonomous robot known as “TickBot” that lures ticks toward acaricide as it patrols a prescribed path.

“Based on current literature, broadcast acaricides consistently reduce human and domestic animal tick encounters at least for a short period of time,” says Gaff. “However, these chemicals are known to be harmful to other invertebrates in the environment and cannot be applied in all areas because of legal restrictions.”

For the typical homeowner in tick-prone regions, though, White says a few methods offer the best combo of practicality and effectiveness across species. “Our recommendation is for homeowners with property adjacent to woods to maintain regular mowing and leaf litter removal throughout the yard and also install a mulch barrier between the edge of their yard and the forest to serve as a reminder of the tick dangers along that edge,” she says.

In the course of their review of existing research, they noted that, due to its role as the primary vector of the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, the blacklegged tick has been the subject of far more research than other species. However, as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes in a new report released Tuesday, both the volume and variety of tick-borne diseases is on the rise, with afflictions such as anaplasmosis/ehrlichiosis, babesiosis, Powassan virus, spotted fever rickettsiosis, and tularemia added to the list alongside Lyme disease.

Gaff says more research is needed, and integrated tick management (ITM) efforts must aim to employ a variety of practices to reduce the threat of tick-borne diseases.

“ITM needs to focus on creating areas with reduced tick populations rather than eliminating all ticks from the environment. Ticks do serve a purpose in the ecosystem, but we do not have to be their next blood meal,” she says.

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**Comment**

Being involved with Integrated Pest Management (IPM) I’ve heard recent discussions about this “mulch barrier” actually drawing ticks similarly to leaf litter.  The mulch retains moisture, which ticks like.  Unfortunately, ticks have been found right in play grounds that use mulch as the flooring. Due to this, I would not advise using mulch as a plan for controlling ticks.

 

PCR of Skin Infections With Eschar on Travelers – Rickettsia Most Detected

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/29501703/

Seek and Find! PCR analyses of skin infections in West-European travelers returning from abroad with an eschar.

 Travel Med Infect Dis. 2018.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Skin infections are among the leading causes of diseases in travelers. Diagnosing pathogens could be difficult.

METHOD: We applied molecular assays for the diagnostic of a large collection of skin biopsies and swabs from travelers with suspected skin infections. All samples were tested by qPCR for Coxiella burnetti, Bartonella sp., Rickettsia sp., Borrelia sp., Ehrlichia sp., Tropheryma whipplei, Francisella tularensis, Mycobacteria sp., Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, Leishmania spp., Ortho poxvirus and Para poxvirus and then screened for the presence of bacteria by PCR amplification and sequencing, targeting the 16S rRNA gene.

RESULTS: From January 2009 to January 2017, 100 international travelers presenting with a suspected skin infection were enrolled. We detected 51 patients with an identified pathogen on skin samples. Travelers presenting with eschars were more likely to have a positive PCR sample (n = 44/76, 57.9%) compared to other patients (n = 7/24, 29.2%). Spotted fever group Rickettsia (n = 28) was the most frequently detected pathogens (19 R. africae, 6 R. conorii, 3 R. mongolitimonae); S. aureus were detected in 11 patients; S. pyogenes in 3; Leishmania sp.; M. leprae and B. henselae in 1 patient, respectively.

CONCLUSION: By targeting the most commonly encountered causative agents of travel-related skin infections, our strategy provides a sensitive and rapid diagnostic method.

 

 

Hantavirus & Tularemia Warnings Issued in San Diego County

http://outbreaknewstoday.com/hantavirus-tularemia-warnings-issued-san-diego-county-78987/

Hantavirus, tularemia warnings issued in San Diego County

March 1, 2018

In a follow-up on two infectious disease issues in San Diego County, mice with hantavirus and tularemia positive ticks, San Diego County Vector Control has issued some updated information and warnings for the public.

Image/Thadius856
Image/Thadius856

Vector Control officials said five Western harvest mice caught in routine trapping in open fields in 4S Ranch and in the rural Black Mountain area have tested positive for hantavirus, bringing this year’s total number of rodents to test positive to 17. That is the highest number of rodents to test positive in San Diego County since 2012, when 35 mice and one meadow vole tested positive over the course of the year.

Vector Control officials said the high number was not a cause for alarm. Hantavirus is common in San Diego County, but it is mainly carried by wild mice that do not live around humans so people are rarely exposed to the virus. In addition, the 17 rodents that tested positive represent 4.8 percent of the 351 wild rodents that Vector Control has trapped  and tested this year, a figure within normally-expected ranges.

Still, officials said people should remember to protect themselves from potentially being exposed to hantavirus. The virus can cause deadly infections in people and there is no vaccine or cure for it.

Hantavirus:  An interview with Dr. Paul Ettestad (Approx. 10:30 Min)

In addition, County Vector Control officials said Friday that several more batches of ticks trapped along Lopez Canyon Trail in Sorrento Valley have tested positive for tularemia, a potentially dangerous bacterial disease also known as “rabbit fever.”

County officials are reminding people again to protect themselves and their pets from ticks — which can transmit tularemia and other diseases when they bite people — whenever they are hiking, bicycling or walking in grassy backcountry areas, on trails or in the wild.

Vector Control officials said last week that several batches of ticks trapped in routine monitoring in the area of Lopez Canyon Trail had tested positive for the disease. Because they are small, ticks are “batched” together into larger groups to conduct testing.

County officials said they posted signs warning people to protect themselves from ticks last week and have posted additional signs in the wake of the new find.

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**Comment**
While Tularemia is spread by ticks, Hanta virus so far is not:
http://health.gov.on.ca/en/public/publications/disease/hanta.aspx; however, it is interesting that this virus loves mice and well…..ticks love mice.  Time will tell.
https://securitystudiesonline.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/potential-uses-of-the-hantavirus-as-a-biological-weapon/   As it turns out, the hantavirus is not a new disease and is far more widespread than previously suspected in the United States. For example, tissues analysis has revealed that the earliest proven case of hantavirus occurred in Utah in 1959, and has been found in 32 states….From 1993 to 2004, there were 362 cases of HPS diagnosed[1] with 132 fatalities in the US alone.[2] However, HPS is also found throughout Latin America. Panama, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Argentina have had reported cases of HPS.[3] From 1993 to 2004, there have been 1548 cases and 252 deaths throughout Latin America.[4] The hantavirus is newly discovered by modern science, but people have lived with it for years previous…..However, because USAMRIID was involved and conducted the research at Fort Detrick, HTN was grandfathered into the ongoing US bioweapons program. Despite its ability to effect military operations as demonstrated in the field, military studies of hantavirus do not appear to have gone past the research stage.[6]…the hantavirus will enter a host cell and replace itself with a negative strand of messenger RNA (mRNA), so when the mRNA brings the genetic information for reproduction, the virus is reproduced instead of the original host cell’s molecule. As the cell reproduces more hantavirus, the hantavirus kills the host cell and infects others. As this spreads throughout the body, the internal structures fail and can lead to death….It is a virus that does not skip any demographic, is found naturally, and has a 50% mortality rate. These factors frighten some who worry about its use as a bioweapon.
Hantavirus has not been known to be weaponized or used for bioterrorism, but it is recognized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a Category C Agent.2 Its presumed ease of production and dissemination, as well as its high potential for severe morbidity and mortality, raise concern for the possibility that this emerging pathogen could be engineered for future mass exposures.2
Although no cases of human-to-human transmission have been identified in the United States, investigation of an epidemic in Argentina in 1995 provided strong evidence for person-to-person transmission; strict barrier nursing techniques are now recommended for the management of suspected cases.
Prevention – stay away from mice and their droppings.  Since people often catch the virus by breathing it into their lungs, don’t use anything that allows particles from mouse droppings to get into the air (like sweeping with a broom).  Soak droppings down with a good disinfectant for 20 min and then wipe up with a mop.  In Spring, open doors and windows to sheds and allow them to air out well before entering.
Let’s pray ticks and other insects can not transmit Hantavirus and that it’s not been tweaked for biowarfare purposes.
Tularemia:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/10/25/of-rabbits-and-men/  Tularemia, in aerosol form, is considered a possible bioterrorist agent that if inhaled would cause severe respiratory illness. It was studied in Japan through 1945, the USA through the 60’s, and Russia is believed to have strains resistant to antibiotics and vaccines. An aerosol release in a high population would result in febrile illness in 3-5 days followed by pleuropneumonitis and systemic infection with illness persisting for weeks with relapses. The WHO estimates that an aerosol dispersal of 50 kg of F. tularensis over an area with 5 million people would result in 25,000 incapacitating casualties including 19,000 deaths.
https://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/publications/disease_emergence/Chapter6.pdf  Scroll to page 237 for Table 6.1 which shows Tularemia was used in Europe during WWII.  Debate remains whether massive outbreaks of Tularemia on the Eastern Front was a biowarfare application against German troops or occurred naturally.  Then on page 246 Table 6.3 shows confirmed applications of Tularemia during wartime, by terrorists, and/or as criminal activity.23,33,37,179, as well as it’s an agent produced for weapons use by nations with biowarfare programs.14,22,23,33,52.  It is a category A agent, which is of highest priority and a critical biological agent for public health response activities.
Hantavirus is not listed on page 250 Table 6.5 as a biowarfare agent, but mosquito transmitted Yellow Fever Virus is.