July 25, 2007

Germany Reports Increase in Hantavirus
Stars and Stripes
25 July 2007
N Montgomery
Area: Germany

In May, a U.S. teacher in Stuttgart contracted the hantavirus, possibly after sweeping out a shed. He underwent treatment at a German hospital, and the high school was closed for a thorough cleaning. The teacher remains the only American recorded stricken with the rodent-borne disease, according to Jeri Chappelle, spokeswoman for the European Regional Medical Command. But German health officials are reporting a huge increase in their number of cases — especially around Heidelberg and Stuttgart.

Cases of hantavirus, caused in humans by inhaling tiny particles of aerosolized waste from infected rodents, increased by 400 percent between January and April of this year more than the same periods in the past five years, according to the Robert Koch Institute, the German equivalent of the national U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most of the cases — 127 — were reported in Baden-W├╝rttemberg. Bavaria was the next most affected, with 19 cases.


Disease Threatens Bighorn Sheep: Bacteria May Be Transmitted from Domestic Animals
Statesman Journal
25 July 2007
Area: Hells Canyon, Oregon, USA
Photo courtesy of Dean Biggins, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Images


Bighorn sheep in the Hells Canyon area of northeast Oregon are undergoing a die-off that researchers believe could be a result of bacterial pneumonia passed from domestic sheep. "I don't have a figure on how many sheep have died at the present time, but I know that the lamb survival is just terrible," said Ron Anglin, the chief of the Wildlife Division at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. "And some of the lambs that we've collected as part of this study are showing positive for the Pasteurella complex. And if they've got it, they won't make it."
The Hells Canyon sheep are part of an introduction effort that has been ongoing for more than a decade, said Craig Ely, the department's Northwest Region manager. "We had some initial success bringing some sheep in from other places," he said. "But what we've experienced now -- and one of the efforts of the (Hells Canyon Sheep) Initiative now is to determine what's causing some of the mortality of bighorns throughout northeast Oregon.



Idaho Regains Brucellosis-Free Status
Associated Press (Posted by Forbes.com)
24 July 2007
Area: Idaho, USA

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has declared Idaho free from brucellosis, ending the need for cattle to be tested for the disease before being shipped to other states, Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter said Tuesday. Otter said Idaho won back its brucellosis-free status because of cooperation among cattle producers, the Governor's Brucellosis Task Force and the state departments of Agriculture and Fish and Game.

"This announcement is great news for Idaho cattle producers," Jeff Faulkner, president of the Idaho Cattle Association, said in a statement released by the governor's office. Brucellosis, a bacterial disease, is rarely transmitted to humans but can cause spontaneous abortions, infertility, decreased milk production and weight loss in cattle, elk, bison and other mammals.



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