June 26, 2007

Lyme Disease Is More Prevalent in Natick and Other Suburbs
Natick Bulletin & Tab - townonline.com
22 Jun 2007
P Ellertson
Area: Massachusetts USA

"It really is a problem in the suburbs…it’s not like…years ago when you had to go down to the Cape to get it…it’s really here," said Roger Wade, director for public health in Natick. "It" is Lyme disease. And not only is it here, it is infecting more Natick residents than ever. Last year, 42 cases of Lyme disease were reported. That is a 21 percent increase from last year.

The increase is a trend reflected state-wide. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported that in 2005 there were 2,341 reported cases. This represents nearly a 50 percent increase in the number of cases over the previous year. The state numbers for 2006 have not been tallied yet, but chances are they will be on the rise as long as human’s back yards abut wildlife’s front yard.

Deadly Bird Flu Kills Six Wild Birds, Germany Says
Reuters (Posted by alertnet.org)
25 Jun 2007
Area: Germany

Six dead wild birds have tested positive in Germany for a lethal strain of bird flu, but authorities said on Monday they did not expect the disease to spread outside the southern region where it was discovered over the weekend. On Sunday, three wild birds found dead in Nuremberg in the southern state of Bavaria tested positive for the deadly H5N1 strain of the disease. The number of cases has since risen to six, with five swans and one goose infected, the Friedrich Loeffler Institute, a veterinary institution, said. Authorities continued to investigate the outbreak, the first in Germany this year, which was discovered as part of a national testing programme for dead birds.

The government did not expect the outbreak to spread to other regions of the country, a spokeswoman for the Agriculture Ministry said. Investigations were focusing on how the disease entered Germany. It was possible it spread from the Czech Republic, where an outbreak was reported recently, the spokeswoman said. "But this is only conjecture," she said.

The Insect Vector Always Bites Twice
Institut de Recherche Pour le Développement (Posted by sciencedaily.com)
10 Jun 2007

The reality of the threat from vector-borne diseases has been recognized and the problem is prompting research scientists to take a strong interest. Most of these infections, classified as emerging or re-emerging diseases, are linked to ecosystem changes, climatic variations or pressure from human activities. Malaria, sleeping sickness and so on lead to the death of millions of people in the world. African countries are particularly strongly hit. The expansion of Dengue fever and the recent epidemics of Chikungunya and West Nile disease illustrate the trend.

The pathogens responsible for these diseases can be viruses, bacteria or protozoans which are passed on to humans by an arthropod vector, most often a dipteran insect. This becomes infected when it feeds, taking blood from an infected vertebrate host. The pathogenic agent finds conditions to reproduce and proliferate in the vector's body. In most cases, the parasite moves back into the vector's salivary glands in order to be transmitted to the human host when the insect bites again to take another blood meal.

Other Wildlife Disease News

111th Annual Meeting of the USAHA/AAVLD

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