September 20, 2007

Keeping the Enemy at the Gate
The Sidney Morning Herald -
20 Sep 2007
Photo courtesy of CSIRO
Area: Australia

. . .In 2002 SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome, emerged in China and quickly spread. "It demonstrated just how easily a new virus can travel around the world in 24 hours," Jeggo says. After first suspecting civet cats in the markets of Asia as the source of the virus, CSIRO scientists at Geelong identified horseshoe bats as the natural hosts in 2005. "That alerted us to the possibility of viruses emerging from wildlife," Jeggo says.

The deadly H5N1 strain of avian influenza was the next to surface and remains a threat on our doorstep, with human-to-human transmission confirmed in Indonesia. If the virus mutates so it is passed more easily between people, it could cause a worldwide pandemic. Jeggo says the biggest concern for the spread of infectious diseases is the rapid global movement of people, animals and products, as well as the encroachment of humans into previously uninhabited areas. "As we take up more of the planet, it exposes us to viruses that may be happily living in one species, but when they get the opportunity to cross to a new species, they take it up."

Outdoors: With CWD, Each State Charts Its Own Course
The Capital Times -
19 Sep 2007
T Eisele
Area: Wisconsin USA

Bryan Richards, CWD project leader for the National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, keeps track of research and management of CWD throughout the nation and provides guidance to states. Richards, who holds degrees in wildlife ecology from UW-Madison and Southern Illinois University and then worked for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission as a deer ecologist, has worked for the National Wildlife Health Center for three and a half years. Richards does not takes sides in issues with different states, and does not make recommendations to states. He points out differences and lets states know what is taking place in other states.

"Everybody is in a different boat and their management philosophies are different and each state must determine its own course of action," Richards said. Thus, Wisconsin should not automatically accept actions just because other states are doing or not doing them. Richards says that baiting and feeding restrictions are up to individual states, but now that it has been confirmed that contact with saliva from an infected animal can lead to a new infection in another animal, any situation that artificially congregates animals enhances the chances of disease transmission. Similarly, whether or not deer farms are allowed to exist are up to individual states.

Duck Mortality in Lake Saint-Pierre [Press Release]
CNW Group -
18 Sep 2007
Area: Quebec Canada

Environment Canada's Canadian Wildlife Service is reporting the presence of dead or dying ducks in Lake Saint-Pierre. Over the last few weeks, more than 100 dead ducks have been found in the Anse-du-Fort area (between the Yamaska River and Baie-du-Febvre), on the south shore of Lake Saint-Pierre. Consequently, Environment Canada is asking hunters to neither kill nor eat ducks showing signs of illness, such as obvious weakness or abnormal thinness. An analysis by veterinarians at the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Saint-Hyacinthe identifies botulism as the main cause of death among the ducks collected in Anse-du-Fort.

Is a Deadly Viral Disease Stalking South Carolina's Deer?
The Island Packet -
20 Sep 2007
P Frost
Area: South Carolina USA

A viral disease has killed thousands of white-tail deer in the eastern half of the United States within the past three months in what biologists say is the most severe outbreak in decades. Positive cases of hemorrhagic disease, which stems from groups of viruses transmitted by biting midges -- also known as sand gnats or no-see-ums -- have been confirmed in New Jersey, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Indiana. Dozens more cases are pending confirmation, including samples from South Carolina. While the disease cannot be spread to humans or pets, biologists advise against eating deer determined to be sick or potentially affected by the disease.

Within the last three weeks, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources has sent three deer carcasses, including one from nearby Hampton County, to be tested at the Southeast Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study in Athens, Ga., said Charles Ruth, a DNR biologist. "It's really flared up around the Southeast in the last few weeks," Ruth said. "There's no question it's out there." Hemorrhagic disease attacks cells in blood vessels, leading to internal bleeding and severe fluid build-up in glands. Outward signs can include mouth ulcers, abrasions or sores on the stomach and legs, loss of appetite and abnormal hoof growth.


Rabies Rare, but Still There

West Nile Virus Monitor: 2007 Human Surveillance


The Potential Role of Swift Foxes (Vulpes velox) and Their Fleas in Plague Outbreaks in Prairie Dogs [online abstract only]
J Wildl Dis. 2007; 43(3): 425-431
DJ Salkeld et al.

Feasibility of Using Coyotes (Canis latrans) as Sentinels for Bovine Mycobateriosis (Mycobacterium bovis) Infection in Wild Cervids in and Around Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba, Canada [online abstract only]
J Wildl Dis. 2007; 43(3): 432-438
C Sangster et al.

No comments: