Archive for the ‘Viruses’ Category

Viral Diversity of Tick Species Parasitizing Cattle and Dogs in Trinidad and Tobago

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-46914-1

Published:

Viral Diversity of Tick Species Parasitizing Cattle and Dogs in Trinidad and Tobago

Stephen SameroffRafal Tokarz,Roxanne Albertha Charles,Komal JainAlexandra Oleynik,Xiaoyu Che,Karla Georges,Christine V. Carrington,W. Ian Lipkin &Chris Oura

Abstract

Ticks are vectors of a wide variety of pathogens that are implicated in mild to severe disease in humans and other animals. Nonetheless, the full range of tick-borne pathogens is unknown. Viruses, in particular, have been neglected in discovery efforts targeting tick-borne agents. High throughput sequencing was used to characterize the virome of 638 ticks, including Rhipicephalus microplus (n = 320), Rhipicephalus sanguineus (n = 300), and Amblyomma ovale (n = 18) collected throughout Trinidad and Tobago in 2017 and 2018. Sequences representing nine viruses were identified, including five novel species within Tymovirales, Bunyavirales, Chuviridae, Rhabdoviridae, and Flaviviridae. Thereafter the frequency of detection of viral sequences in individual tick species was investigated.

__________________

**Comment**

Understatement of the year: “Viruses, in particular, have been neglected in discovery efforts targeting tick-borne agents.”

What happens when a person contracts Lyme disease and tick-borne viruses at the same time?
Answer: Nobody knows.

Fact from the past: Dr. Allen Steere, the first to be on the scene in Connecticut’s outbreak, first believed the outbreak to be viral:  https://sites.google.com/site/jerryleonard999/home/allen-steere-psychopath-at-large#  He also insisted that Ixodes ticks are the only ones capable of transmitting Lyme and that any long-term damage was due to the patient’s immune system. Dr. Burrascano demonstrated that Steere’s patients that were treated and stated to be “cured,” were still infected by biopsies, cultures, and DNA probes. Steere’s stance is one and the same with the IDSA and the CDC.

Are viruses an unknown entity in Lyme/MSIDS that few have considered?
Answer: I’ve heard enough to make me wonder.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deadly Mosquito-borne Virus That Causes Brain Swelling in Humans Found in Florida

https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/28/health/eastern-equine-encephalitis-mosquito-outbreak-chickens-florida-trnd/index.html

A deadly mosquito-borne virus that causes brain swelling in humans has been detected in Florida

(CNN) Florida health officials are warning of an uptick in a mosquito-borne virus known as Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE).
Several sentinel chickens tested positive for EEE, which can spread to humans via infected mosquitoes and cause brain infection and swelling, the Florida Department of Health in Orange County said in a Thursday statement. Sentinel chickens are fowl that are tested regularly for the West Nile virus and EEE. Their blood can show the presence of the diseases, but they don’t suffer from the effects of the viruses.
Following the positive tests for the sentinel chickens in Orange County, the health department said “the risk of transmission to humans has increased.”
Only about seven cases of the EEE virus in humans are reported in the US each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
However, the disease can be fatal: about 30% of people who contract it die, according to the CDC. Many survivors have ongoing neurologic problems.
People develop symptoms about 4 to 10 days after they are bitten by an infected mosquito, the CDC says. Signs include sudden onset of headache, high fever, chills and vomiting. More severe symptoms include disorientation, seizures and coma.
With summer in full swing, mosquitoes are buzzing around at peak populations. Officials warned people to avoid being bitten by draining standing water around their homes, covering skin with clothing or repellant, and using screens to cover doors and windows.
___________________

New Hampshire Man Tests Positive For Jamestown Canyon & Powassan Viruses

http://indepthnh.org/2019/08/08/dhhs-kingston-man-tests-positive-for-rare-viruses-carried-by-ticks-mosquitoes/

DHHS: Kingston Man Tests Positive for Rare Viruses Carried By Ticks, Mosquitoes

Public Domain photo

NH health officials say protect yourself from mosquito bites.
Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced that an adult from Kingston, NH tested positive for both Jamestown Canyon virus (JCV) and Powassan virus (POW), the first time these vector-borne diseases have been identified in the State in 2019.JCV is transmitted by infected mosquitoes and POW is transmitted by infected ticks. There are no vaccines to prevent JCV or POW and treatment consists of supportive care.

“From spring until fall, New Hampshire residents and visitors are at risk for a number of different infections from the bite of mosquitoes and ticks, and this case highlights the risk from both,” said Dr. Benjamin Chan, State Epidemiologist.

“In addition to Jamestown Canyon virus and Powassan virus, there are a number of other viral and bacterial infections that can be transmitted by mosquitoes and ticks in New Hampshire, and we recommend that residents and visitors continue to take basic steps to prevent mosquito and tick bites in order to stay healthy.”

Jamestown Canyon virus is a mosquito-borne pathogen that circulates widely in North America primarily between deer and a variety of mosquito species, but it can also infect humans. First reported in the early 1970s, reports in humans are rare but have been increasing over the last several years. This is New Hampshire’s seventh case of JCV since the first report of the disease in 2013. Most reported illnesses caused by JCV have been mild, but moderate-to-severe central nervous system involvement has been reported.

Powassan virus infection is similar to mosquito-borne viruses like JCV, West Nile virus (WNV), and Eastern equine encephalitis (EEE), but is transmitted to people by infected ticks. POW was identified as a cause of human illness in the late 1950’s. In the last decade, 144 cases of POW have been detected in the United States. This is New Hampshire’s fourth case of POW, also since 2013. In New Hampshire, the blacklegged tick is the most likely to transmit this virus to people. A tick needs to be attached to a person for only 15 minutes to transmit POW. Some people who are infected may experience mild illness or no symptoms. Powassan virus can also infect the central nervous system causing brain inflammation, which may be disabling or fatal.

The Kingston resident had no recent history of travel outside our state and spent a great amount of time outdoors. Residents and visitors to New Hampshire should protect themselves and their family members by:

·         using an effective mosquito and tick repellant containing DEET (20-30%), Picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus

·         wearing protective clothing, tucking shirts into pants and pants into socks

·         removing standing water from around your house so mosquitoes do not have a place to breed

·         being mindful of tick habitat keeping grass cut short, and

·         performing frequent and daily tick checks with immediate tick removal.

Vitamin B, ultrasonic devices, incense, and bug zappers have not been shown to be effective in preventing mosquito- or tick-borne diseases.

Other mosquito- and tick-borne illnesses that have been documented in New Hampshire include WNV and EEE from mosquitoes, and Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, babesiosis, and Borrelia miyamotoi from ticks. Biting mosquitoes will continue to be a disease concern until there are two, statewide, hard frosts. Risk of tick bites exists when temperatures are above freezing and ticks are not covered by snow.

People can be infected and not develop any symptoms, or only develop very mild symptoms. Early symptoms can include flu-like illness including fever, muscle aches, headaches, and fatigue. People infected with JCV, EEE, WNV, and Powassan can develop more serious central nervous system disease, including meningitis or encephalitis. If you or someone you know is experiencing flu-like symptoms, including fever and headache, contact your local medical provider.

Anyone with questions about vector-borne illnesses can call the DHHS Division of Public Health Services Bureau of Infectious Disease Control at (603) 271-4496 between 8 AM to 4:30 PM, Monday through Friday. More information can also be found online at www.dhhs.nh.gov and www.cdc.gov.

News story here:  https://www.wmur.com/article/new-hampshire-adult-infected-with-jamestown-canyon-virus-powassan-virus/28647142

________________

**Comment**

Pathogens have a certain proclivity for their vectors. It’s always interesting to me to entertain the possibility that perhaps there is cross over.

For instance, borrelia has been found in mosquitoes and many patients claim to have become infected with Lyme after a mosquito bite:

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2018/11/07/are-mosquitoes-transmitting-lyme-disease/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/26631488/  Excerpt:

…results show that DNA of Borrelia afzelii, Borrelia bavariensis and Borrelia garinii could be detected in ten Culicidae species comprising four distinct genera (Aedes, Culiseta, Culex, and Ochlerotatus). Positive samples also include adult specimens raised in the laboratory from wild-caught larvae indicating that transstadial and/or transovarial transmission might occur within a given mosquito population.

BTW: THE LAST STUDY ON THE POTENTIAL OF OTHER BUGS TRANSMITTING LYME (MINUS THE GERMAN STUDY ON MOSQUITOS) WAS DONE OVER 30 YEARS AGO.  AND, WHILE NO SPIROCHETES WERE ISOLATED FROM THE HAMSTERS, ANTIBODIES WERE FOUND – EVEN BACK THEN.

Therein lies the hang up. The presence of antibodies does not prove infection. It’s interesting that the current CDC 2-tiered testing relies upon antibodies…..

The transmission of Bartonella from ticks is also still being quibbled about with some just stating emphatically that it is:  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2016/01/03/bartonella-treatment/ while others take a more conservative approach and say the science isn’t settled: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/07/13/suspected-insect-and-arthropod-vectors-for-bartonella-species-galaxy/

This issue of what is being transmitted by whom seems to me to be a very important and practical issue.  Why isn’t the science being done?

Also, while the media continues to inform us all of this is “rare,” please remember that many of these pathogens are not mandatorily reported, and we have no idea on prevalence. Coppe Lab out of Wisconsin emphatically states Powassan is NOT rare:

http://www.coppelabs.com/blog/why-is-powassan-virus-infection-still-described-as-rare-and-mysterious/  Please read the following excerpt by Coppe Lab here in Wisconsin,

For the last two years, Coppe Laboratories has dedicated a significant amount of time and resources to dispelling the myth that infection with Powassan virus, a virus transmitted by tick bite, is rare. The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) reports only 100 cases of Powassan virus infection in the United States in the last 10 years. Indeed, that statistic gives the illusion that Powassan infection is rare. However, did you know that the only infections reported to CDC are those that are life-threatening, particularly cases causing severe inflammation of the brain like the case reported in LiveScience? Coppe has published three new papers in the last year that clearly show Powassan virus infection is not rare are at all,and until testing for this virus is included as part of tick-borne disease screening panels infections will continue to be underreported. Coppe’s Powassan Guide, which can be downloaded from the website, summarizes the findings from both tick and human Powassan prevalence studies, as well as defining the patient populations that would benefit most from Powassan testing.

To my knowledge, not only are there few current studies on what transmits what, but nothing has been done  on transmission time when multiple pathogens are being transmitted concurrently. Everyone’s stuck on climate change….

 

 

 

 

Heartland Virus Detected in Ticks From Kankakee County, Illinois

http://outbreaknewstoday.com/heartland-virus-detected-in-ticks-from-kankakee-county-illinois-90991/

Heartland virus detected in ticks from Kankakee County, Illinois

August 17, 2019
By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

In a follow-up on the report of a Heartland virus case reported in a Kankakee County, Illinois resident last year,  the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) collaborated with the Illinois Natural History Survey Medical Entomology Laboratory (INHS MEL) and Kankakee County Health Department to conduct the first environmental health investigation to a novel tickborne disease case and found Heartland virus was detected in Lone Star ticks collected from Kankakee County.

Amblyomma americanum–The Lone Star Tick/CDC

Bites from Ticks can result in multiple types of infections, which can cause serious illness in some people,” said IDPH Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike. “It is important to take precautions and protect yourself from tick bites by using insect repellent and checking regularly for ticks when in wooded areas or high grass.”

Heartland virus was first identified in 2009 when two Missouri farmers who had been bitten by ticks were admitted to a hospital. Heartland virus is a viral disease that can be spread to people through the bite of an infected Lone Star tick. Reported cases of Heartland virus disease are relatively rare, however almost all individuals with Heartland virus have been hospitalized. Although most people infected have fully recovered, a few have died. There are no vaccines to prevent Heartland virus infections.

Signs and symptoms of infection are similar to those of other tickborne diseases and can include fever, headaches, fatigue, muscle aches, and diarrhea. Most people have reported becoming sick about two weeks after being bit by a tick. And while there is no treatment, doctors can treat some of the symptoms. If you have been bitten by a tick and think you may have Heartland virus or another tickborne illness, visit a health care provider. Other tickborne illnesses Illinois residents have been diagnosed with include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, and tularemia. Health care providers should consider Heartland virus in patients who have compatible symptoms and are not responding to other treatments.

Ticks are commonly found on the tips of grasses and shrubs. Lone Star ticks are found throughout Illinois. Ticks crawl―they cannot fly or jump. The tick will wait on the grass or shrub for a person or animal to walk by and then quickly climb aboard. Some ticks will attach quickly and others will wander, looking for places like the ear, or other areas where the skin is thinner.

Simple tips to avoid tick bites include:

  • Wear light-colored, protective clothing—long-sleeved shirts, pants, boots or sturdy shoes, and a head covering. Treat clothing with products containing 0.5 percent permethrin.
  • Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus (OLE).
  • Walk in the center of trails so grass, shrubs, and weeds do not brush against you.
  • Check yourself, children, other family members, and pets for ticks every two to three hours.
  • Remove any tick promptly by grasping it with tweezers, as close to the skin as possible and gently, but firmly, pulling it straight out. Wash your hands and the tick bite site with soap and water.

___________________

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

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2017/08/02/heartland-virus-in-arkansas/

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

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/06/15/therapeutic-efficacy-of-favipiravir-against-bourbon-virus-in-mice/

Doctor’s Advocates Frustrated By Inaction on Tick-borne Diseases Report

https://poststar.com/news/local/doctors-advocates-frustrated-by-inaction-on-tick-borne-diseases-report/article

Doctors, advocates frustrated by inaction on tick-borne diseases report

5cc360779d9a8.image

Ticks spread the widest variety of diseases that are harmful to humans, including Lyme disease. This is an image of a blacklegged (deer) tick nymph. 

Congress has had over six months to review a federal report on tick-borne diseases, which includes action items for prevention, diagnosis and treatment, and both doctors and researchers are frustrated that nothing has been done so far.

The report was written by a working group under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to address the growing number of tick-borne diseases in the United States. It was delivered to Congress in December.

The diseases, especially Lyme disease, are wreaking havoc on the Northeast and New York. About 400,000 new cases of Lyme disease are reported nationwide annually.

About one-fourth of those cases are from New York alone.
Deadlier diseases are also spreading. Just last month, a Kingston resident died of Powassan virus.
Despite the trend in New York, lawmakers did not put funding in this year’s state budget for tick-borne illness research, either.
5c82ef099a60e.image
The $1 million the state Senate had put back into the budget for studying Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses is no longer there.

The seemingly lack of action by state and federal lawmakers has frustrated advocates like Holly Ahern, an associate professor of microbiology at SUNY Adirondack. Ahern was also on the testing and diagnostic subcommittee of the federal tick-borne disease working group.

She was approached by the New York State Academy of Family Physicians, and Ahern and the academy’s director, Barbara Keber, wrote an op-ed column for Newsday, calling for a multi-billion dollar “national public-private partnership — an initiative that must address more than just Lyme disease and must go beyond the current low-impact strategy of telling the public to beware of ticks, wear white socks or shower after being outdoors.”

“This wasn’t just a ‘sit around and do a report’ kind of body,” Ahern said about the working group, in a phone interview Thursday. “This was, ‘Do a report and make recommendations and do what you find.’ … With that in mind, there’s accountability there. We sent the report to Congress, and Congress should take that report and should be acting on that.”

5b117d388d743.image
The modern history of Lyme disease starts with an outbreak in the early 1970s in Lyme, Connecticut of a mysterious illness that afflicted chil…

It isn’t often that physicians and advocates work together when it comes to Lyme disease, Ahern said. She was a bit surprised when the New York State Academy of Family Physicians reached out to her with similar frustrations about the lack of action.

Keber, who is a physician at Glen Cove Hospital, said doctors face many challenges when it comes to diagnosing and treating tick-borne illnesses.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Massachusetts: 1st Human Case Reported Since 2013

http://outbreaknewstoday.com/eastern-equine-encephalitis-in-massachusetts-1st-human-case-reported-since-2013/

Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Massachusetts: 1st human case reported since 2013

August 11, 2019

By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

For the first time in six years, Massachusetts state health officials report a confirmed Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) virus infection in a human. The patient is a male over 60 from southern Plymouth County.

Massachusetts/National Atlas

The risk level in nine communities has been raised to critical as a result–Carver, Lakeville, Marion, Middleborough, Rochester, and Wareham in Plymouth County and Acushnet, Freetown, and New Bedford in Bristol County.

“Today’s news is evidence of the significant risk from EEE and we are asking residents to take this risk very seriously,” said Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel, MD, MPH. “We will continue to monitor this situation and the impacted communities.”

Aerial spraying began August 8 in specific areas of Bristol and Plymouth counties to reduce the mosquito population and public health risk and is expected to continue throughout the weekend during evening and overnight hours.

Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) is spread to horses and humans by infected mosquitoes, including several Culex species and Culiseta melanura.

Symptoms of EEE disease often appear 4 to 10 days after someone is bitten by an infected mosquito.

EEE is a more serious disease than West Nile Virus (WNV) and carries a high mortality rate for those who contract the serious encephalitis form of the illness. Symptoms may include high fever, severe headache, stiff neck, and sore throat. There is no specific treatment for the disease, which can lead to seizures and coma.

___________________

For more:  https://www.vdci.net/vector-borne-diseases/eastern-equine-encephalitis-virus-education-and-integrated-mosquito-management-to-protect-public-health

 

Deadly Germ Research Is Shut Down At Army Lab Over Safety Concerns

While I’ve already posted the information that research at the military’s leading biodefense center in Fort Detrick, Maryland is being suspended due to problems with disposal of dangerous materials,  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/08/07/fort-detrick-lab-shut-down-after-failed-safety-inspection-all-research-halted-indefinitely/, this article includes a list of select agents and toxins considered a potential severe threat to human and animal health.  Article found here:  https://ww w.nytimes.com/2019/08/05/health/germs-fort-detrick-biohazard.html

The institute, which has about 900 employees, studies germs and toxins that could be used to threaten the military or public health. It also investigates disease outbreaks and carries out research projects for government agencies, universities and drug companies, which pay for the work. 

The select agents and toxins list is found here. According to the NBACC website, the facility conducts research on pathogens for which there is no vaccine or treatment.  https://www.selectagents.gov/SelectAgentsandToxinsList.html

Interestingly, the following from the list are transmitted by ticks:

For more: https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/07/31/tick-expert-admits-to-working-on-ticks-dropping-them-out-of-airplanes/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/07/19/biological-warfare-experiment-on-american-citizens-results-in-spreading-pandemic/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/07/21/got-15-minutes-the-officially-ignored-link-between-lyme-plum-island/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/08/08/kris-newby-interview-the-real-news-network-is-the-rise-in-lyme-disease-due-to-weaponized-ticks/

https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/08/04/lyme-disease-amendment-passes-house-tells-dod-ig-to-investigate-the-bioweaponization-of-ticks/

It is interesting the lab is suddenly closing down at the exact time an amendment passes the House telling the Department of Defense to investigate tick bioweaponization….

Burgdorfer, the discoverer of the Lyme bacterium, was a key member of this project team. He worked on weaponizing ticks and teamed up with fellow tick expert James Oliver at the Ft. Detrick bioweapons headquarters to develop ways to mass produce infected ticks so that they could be dropped from airplanes on enemy territory. These claims are backed up by interviews with these scientists, as well as with extensive government documentation from multiple reliable sources, all listed in BITTEN…(the book by Kris Newby).

Dr. Burgdorfer, “was engaged for 3 years on classified projects (Army) from which findings could not be published because of their impact on national defense.”  https://madisonarealymesupportgroup.com/2019/08/06/kris-newby-responds-to-telfords-criticism-of-bitten/

Another article on the lab assisting the FBI: http://www.progressive-charlestown.com/2017/06/just-hold-your-breath.html