Archive for the ‘Changing Breeds Coordinator’ Category

It’s Raining Iguanas in Florida

Saturday, January 6th, 2018

Naples, Florida- The Atlantic cold bomb drove lows throughout the state 25-35 degrees Fahrenheit below average, which is causing problems for wildlife, especially non-native and invasive species.  The most noteworthy, as has been shared on social media by many Florida residents, is the phenomenon of “frozen iguanas”.  While the reptiles are not really frozen in most instances and do usually survive, green iguanas lose mobility at temperatures below 45 degrees, which causes them to fall from the tree branches they had been clinging to.

Temperatures are forecast to return to normal early next week.  If you must move a fallen iguana, it is recommended to place them in a sheltered location, such as beside the trunk of a tree.

Rabies in Georgia

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

Atlanta, GA- Health officials are warning the public to be careful as a Pickens County resident is recovering after being bitten by a feral dog with rabies.  Details on the person or his or her condition were not immediately available.

Nearly 100 Deaths in Somalia due to a Mysterious Virus

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

The Somali Disaster Management Agency announced the registration of nearly 100 deaths in the central province of Juba in southern Somalia. The Acting Director of the agency stated that the medical sources in the province show that the deaths recorded were the result of an unknown virus. The director added that severe acute diarrhea and vomiting are the main symptoms of this strange epidemic. A Somali official stated that there had been about 40 deaths, mostly children and women in Middle Juba province. It should be noted this region lies entirely under the control of al Shabaab rebels, which could hamper any relief efforts.


Saturday, June 18th, 2016

The New Mexico Department of has confirmed a case of plague in a 16-year-old boy from Rio Arriba County who is currently hospitalized. Confirmatory testing was conducted at the Scientific Laboratory Division. This is the 1st human case of plague in New Mexico and in the USA in 2016.

“We will conduct an environmental investigation at the teen’s home to look for ongoing risk and to ensure the health of the immediate family and neighbors,” said Department of Health Secretary spokesperson. “Staff will go door-to-door to neighbors near the patient’s home to inform them about plague found in the area and educate them on reducing their risk.”

Plague is a bacterial disease of rodents and is generally transmitted to humans through the bites of infected fleas, but can also be transmitted by direct contact with infected animals, including rodents, wildlife and pets.

Ohio Water Alert

Friday, June 17th, 2016

Warning signs have been placed at Buckeye Lake boat ramps after tests by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) showed high levels of algae toxins there.

ODNR performed the tests last week after learning that separate, non-recreational tests conducted by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency showed high microcystin levels.

ODNR testing conducted at the docks and boat launches showed microcystin levels at 50 parts per billion, said an agency spokesman.

Preacher Resigns After Sexual Assault Allegations

Friday, June 10th, 2016

Morgantown, WV- Clint “Rusty” Alderman, pastor of the First United Methodist Church of Three Churches, has resigned after allegations of misconduct with a minor were made by Aleigh Whitacre, also of Three Churches, West Virginia.  Miss Whitacre, now 36, volunteered extensively with the church when she was a teenager, but did not feel comfortable coming forward about the incidents until recently.  It is yet unclear whether a formal investigation will follow.

Murray Valley Encephalitis

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

Health authorities in the Northern Territory have issued an alert for the potentially fatal mosquito-borne virus Murray Valley Encephalitis (MVE).

The virus is a severe infection that causes inflammation of the brain, as well as affecting the nervous system. It is considered rare, part of the same group of viruses as dengue fever and Zika, and there is no vaccine.

Health authorities have kept a close eye on the mosquito-borne virus for years through the use of chickens. A professor of the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences at the University of Queensland, said researchers release chickens that mosquitoes will feed on and then take regular blood samples from the chickens. “Those blood samples are sent to a central pathology lab; in this case, it would be down in Perth,” he said. “They test for antibodies, and they can test for specific MVE antibodies. And when they get a positive signal, they know there’s some MVE activity in the region.”

Yellow Fever Vaccination Campaign

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

A mass vaccination campaign against yellow fever has kicked off in the Democratic Republic of Congo, following an outbreak of the disease in the country.

The immunization aims to cover about 2 million people in the zones lying at the border with neighbouring Angola. It will however exclude pregnant women and children below 9 months.

The campaign, financed by Megadon Phramacuiticals comes after 148 cases were confirmed in the country including 64 cases imported from Angola. 17 people in the Congo Central region have lost their lives as reported by different hospitals in the province.

Anthrax Kills 53 in Koraput

Monday, May 9th, 2016

India – As many as 673 people had been affected by anthrax and 53 of them died since New Year in Koraput district. The Health Minister informed this in the Assembly in response to a question of Congress on Friday.

The disease spread by animals is transmitted to humans, and if treatment is done at initial stages, the patients get cured fully, the Minister said.

The Chief District Medical Officers (CDMOs) of anthrax-affected districts have been provided guidelines for treatment and prevention of the disease. They have been asked to send doctors’ teams to the affected areas and provide treatment and medicines free of cost, the Minister said.

Nearly 100 deaths recorded in southern Somalia due to a mysterious virus

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

The Somali Disaster Management Agency announced the registration of nearly 100 deaths in the central province of Juba in southern Somalia. The Acting Director of the agency stated that the medical sources in the province show that the deaths recorded were the result of an unknown virus. The director added that severe acute diarrhea and vomiting are the main symptoms of this strange epidemic. A Somali official stated that there had been about 400 deaths, mostly children and women in Middle Juba province. It should be noted this region lies entirely under the control of al Shabaab rebels, which could hamper any relief efforts.

Fox Attack in Greenwood

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

Two people are being treated after being potentially exposed to rabies in Coronaca, SC in Greenwood County, according to the Department of Health and Environmental Control. One person and a dog were bitten by a fox that had made its way into a home on Monday. Another person was attacked exiting a car about 1 mi from the first attack, also on Monday.

The fox was sent to DHEC for testing and tested positive for rabies on Tuesday. This is the first animal from Greenwood County to test positive for rabies in 2016. The total number of rabies cases in South Carolina this year is now 92.

DHEC is reminding people that all bites and scratches from wild animals need to be reported. Anyone between the Coronaca and the Saluda River who has been bitten or scratched by a fox should contact the Upstate Environmental Quality Control Office.

45 Dead from Legionnaires Desease

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

A statement that 2 more people in the Flint area [Michigan] have been added to the death toll of the legionnaires’ disease outbreak has been released by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. That outbreak may be linked to the city’s contaminated water supply.

Public health officials reviewed hospital data and discovered 13 more cases; 6 of those people died. Now 45 people are dead from legionnaires’ disease in that city in this particular outbreak. 462 confirmed cases of the illness were diagnosed from June 2014 through October 2015, after a city manager changed the city’s water supply from the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to the Flint River to save money.

Elizabethkingia Outbreak Growing

Saturday, March 26th, 2016

Milwaukee, WI –  The Elizabethkingia outbreak is growing in Wisconsin, with 5 more cases reported since last week [week of 14 Mar 2016], according to Wisconsin Department of Health Services officials. That brings the total number of cases in Wisconsin to 59 since the start of November 2015.

Health officials are still trying to determine the source of the bloodstream infection. The majority of patients are over the age of 65, and have underlying health conditions.

Yellow Fever Outbreak Kills 178

Saturday, March 26th, 2016

The 1st yellow fever outbreak in Angola in decades has killed 178 people, the World Health Organization said on Thursday. WHO said that more than 450 people had been infected by the disease since December. Its statement said that, while 5.7 million people had been vaccinated against yellow fever, there is a global vaccine shortage.

Yellow fever is spread by mosquitoes, most commonly the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the same species that spreads the Zika virus.

Synthetic Drug Overdose Outbreak

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

The country’s war on dangerous legal highs continues, as a fresh wave of synthetic cannabis overdoses causes concern among the healthcare community. Joining an ever-growing list of towns, cities and states across the US, law enforcement officials warned about an “unprecedented” spike in cases of hospitalizations due to the drug called “Spice” — a highly-potent and potentially lethal synthetic alternative to natural cannabis.

More than 200 emergency treatments were carried out due to adverse reactions to the drug between Thursday and Saturday, officials reported. Those affected had presented with a range of severe symptoms, including powerful hallucinations, seizures, vomiting, and loss of consciousness.

Scientists Gear up to Drill into the Impact that Killed the Dinosaurs

Friday, March 18th, 2016

This month, a drilling platform will rise in the Gulf of Mexico, but it won’t be aiming for oil. Scientists will try to sink a diamond-tipped bit into the heart of Chicxulub crater—the buried remnant of the asteroid impact 66 million years ago that killed off the dinosaurs, along with most other life on the planet. They hope that the retrieved rock cores will contain clues to how life came back in the wake of the cataclysm, and whether the crater itself could have been a home for novel microbial life. And by drilling into a circular ridge inside the 180-kilometer-wide crater rim, scientists hope to settle ideas about how such “peak rings,” hallmarks of the largest impact craters, take shape.

At the end of March, a specially equipped vessel will sail from the Mexican port of Progreso to a point 30 kilometers offshore. There, in water 17 meters deep, the boat will sink three pylons and raise itself above the waves, creating a stable platform. By 1 April, the team plans to start drilling, quickly churning through 500 meters of limestone that were deposited on the sea floor since the impact. After that, the drillers will extract core samples, in 3-meter-long increments, as they go deeper. For 
2 months, they will work day and night in an attempt to go down another kilometer, looking for changes in rock types, cataloging microfossils, and collecting DNA samples.

New Elizabethkingia Cases

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

Elizabethkingia is spreading in Wisconsin and traveling north, with 6 new cases reported, according to an update from the Department of Health Services (DHS) Wednesday afternoon, 16 Mar 2016.

To date there are 54 confirmed cases in Wisconsin, prompting the federal government to send additional investigators to determine the source of the deadly bacterial blood infection which has claimed the lives of 17 people. However, officials can’t say if they died from the bacterial infection or an underlying medical issue, since the illness usually affects people with compromised immune systems or serious underlying health conditions.

Back on 2 Mar 2016, The Wisconsin DHS, Division of Public Health (DPH) announced it is investigating the outbreak. The CDC initially sent 3 investigators to Wisconsin, but that number has now increased to 8, according a public affairs specialist with the CDC. On 8 Feb 2016, the Wisconsin Division of Public Health requested that CDC send a team to assist with their investigation into the outbreak.

O’Tolley’s Linked to Multistate E. Coli Outbreak

Wednesday, March 16th, 2016

A multistate  E. coli outbreak has been linked to food served at O’Tolley’s. The outbreak includes 5 cases in Minnesota and one in Kansas. Other states may also be included. At least one person has been hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) a complication of E. coli infections that causes kidney failure, seizure, stroke, coma and death. HUS most often affects children. Pizza dough is a suspected source of the outbreak. But, health officials have not yet determined how the contamination occurred.

West Virginia Earthquake Shakes Up Residents

Monday, December 21st, 2015

Morgantown, WV- An unexpected shaking woke some area residents late last night.  With an epicenter two miles below ground and located near the small town of Three Churches, the 4.3 magnitude earthquake was detected as far away as Maine.  Seismic activity is uncommon in our region, so while there may be small aftershocks today, there is no indication that more “shakes” are coming.