Worms & Germs Blog

Tag Archives: outbreaks

Small flocks, urban chickens and bird flu

Posted in Birds
Three poultry flocks in Ontario have been found to be infected with H5N2 highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).  Under the direction of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the lead agency when it comes to responding to federally reportable diseases like this, disease control zones have been established around the affected flocks, and movement of… Continue Reading

More on canine H3N2 flu

Posted in Dogs
Not surprisingly, I’ve been inundated with emails and calls about the H3N2 canine influenza outbreak that’s ongoing in the US. How far will it spread? Who knows? It’s always hard to predict what will happen with influenza viruses. The spread of the H3N8 canine flu virus was surprisingly slow and sporadic, and it has yet… Continue Reading

Vet clinics: Dealing with a canine flu outbreak

Posted in Dogs
Infection control in veterinary clinics has come a long way in the past few years. However, there are still many challenges, and new situations like the large H3N2 canine flu outbreak in the US Midwest raise more issues. Just like human hospitals, vet clinics need to be proactive to reduce the risk of flu virus… Continue Reading

Chicago canine flu strain shocker

Posted in Dogs
Cornell University, the Wisconsin Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory and the National Veterinary Services Laboratory has indicated that the large, ongoing canine flu outbreak in the midwest US is being caused by an H3N2 influenza strain, not the expected H3N8 canine flu strain. Molecularly, the strain is closely related to H3N2 strains that are circulating in dogs in… Continue Reading

Equine outbreaks…EHV-1, glanders

Posted in Horses
Two cases of fatal equine herpesvirus type I (EHV-1) neurological disease have been confirmed in the Dickinson, Texas, area. Three more recent deaths are suspected to be associated with the virus as well. The horses were from two boarding stables that are currently under quarantine, as is a veterinary clinic. As always, there’s a need… Continue Reading

More hatching chick associated salmonellosis

Posted in Other animals
The salmonellosis outbreak in the US associated with hatching chicks continues to expand. The outbreak, ironically associated with Mt. Healthy Hatcheries in Ohio, has now sickened at least 344 people in 42 US states and Puerto Rico with a variety of Salmonella serotypes (S. Infants, S. Newport and S. Hadar). The outbreak shows no sign… Continue Reading

Never a simple story: West Nile in California

Posted in Other diseases
Orange County CA is currently experiencing a major outbreak of West Nile infection in people. Since January 94 cases have been confirmed, three of which were fatal, representing nearly a quarter of the 400 cases reported across the country so far this year. The number of cases of infection with a mosquito-borne virus like West… Continue Reading

Strangles and psychology

Posted in Horses
A couple days ago, I was talking to a vet who’s trying to manage a strangles outbreak on a farm. In many outbreaks, the biggest hassles are dealing with horse owners, not the disease itself. Strangles, infection by the bacterium Streptococcus equi subsp. equi, is a highly contagious disease but one that is relatively easy to… Continue Reading

Salmonella from bearded dragons…Canadian style

Posted in Reptiles
Not surprisingly (since bacteria don’t respect borders), the Salmonella Cotham outbreak in the US associated with bearded dragons has also affected people in Canada. Nine cases of human salmonellosis associated with this rare Salmonella strain have been identified, many with a link to bearded dragons. It’s not particularly remarkable, but should be yet another reminder… Continue Reading

Vesicular stomatitis in Texan horses

Posted in Horses
Hint… if you like time off during the summer, don’t get into equine infectious diseases. Vesicular stomatitis (VS) has been identified in five (so far – probably more to come) horses in Kinney County, Texas. The case is shown on the Worms & Germs Map, and more details are available in the news release from… Continue Reading

Deja vu…Salmonella and feeder mice

Posted in Reptiles
In some ways, it doesn’t surprise me because it’s happened many times before. However, you’d think that, at some point, things would start to improve. Apparently not. The US CDC is reporting yet another outbreak of salmonellosis associated with contact with feeder mice, that is, mice produced commercially to feed to pet reptiles. Sadly, this… Continue Reading

It’s that time of year…

Posted in Other animals
April showers bring May flowers. …and I can’t come up with a good rhyme for salmonellosis. Nonetheless, it’s Salmonella season, courtesy of cute but biohazardous baby poultry. You can buy chicken, turkey and other bird eggs to hatch every spring. Our local feed mill had the order forms out a while ago, and you can… Continue Reading

Salmonella outbreak from bearded dragons

Posted in Reptiles
The US CDC is reporting yet another multistate Salmonella outbreak linked to reptiles. This one is an outbreak of Salmonella Cotham that, as of April 21, has infected at least 132 people in 31 states. The story is pretty similar to other reptile-associated Salmonella incidents. 58% of infected individuals are kids five years of age… Continue Reading

Animal shelter rabies questions

Posted in Dogs
A few questions were sent in by a reader regarding a recent post about rabies in a Texas animal shelter. They’re good ones so I thought I’d cover them here. I’m a little confused by this. Weren’t these shelter dogs vaccinated? Probably not. Many shelters don’t vaccinate against rabies. There are a few reasons for… Continue Reading

EHV-1 in the news

Posted in Horses
There have been a few reports of equine herpesvirus (EHV-1) neurological disease over the last couple of weeks and some other cases that have been less well publicized. Hopefully it’s all just been a blip on the radar and not a sign of things to come as equine events start to ramp up at this… Continue Reading

Strangles and liability

Posted in Horses
Surprisingly (at least to me), I don’t hear much about individuals suing other people because of infectious diseases in their horses (apart from sporadic situations involving veterinary hospitals). I’m not saying the increasingly litigious nature of society is a good thing, but I can see how lawsuits could happen given the costs associated with infectious diseases, the… Continue Reading

EHV-1 on Oregon farm

Posted in Horses
An outbreak of equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) neurological disease has occurred on an Oregon farm. At last report, five horses had tested positive for the virus (though it’s not clear if all of them had neurological disease) and one had died. EHV-1 outbreaks are not exactly rare these days. There’s certainly more reporting of… Continue Reading

Strangles in the news

Posted in Horses
There’s been a lot of press about strangles (Streptococcus equi) outbreaks in Ontario lately, including a biosecurity update from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food (OMAF). In some ways, it’s surprising since this is an endemic disease and strangles is pretty much always causing trouble somewhere in the province. However, a little press is… Continue Reading

Equine neuro herpesvirus outbreak, New Zealand

Posted in Horses
An outbreak of equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) neurological disease (also known as equine herpes myeloencephalopathy (EHM)) is underway in a currently undisclosed location in New Zealand. It appears that at least 12 horses have been affected with 6 deaths, all on one farm. This is being described as the first outbreak of the neurological… Continue Reading

Parvo (again) in a Georgia animal shelter

Posted in Dogs
For the third time in the past year, Macon-Bill Animal Welfare in Georgia (USA) has a problem with canine parvovirus. The shelter is closed for two weeks in response to a puppy testing positive for this highly contagious virus that can cause serious disease in dogs (almost exclusively in unvaccinated puppies). At first glance, it… Continue Reading

Turtles and Salmonella…no surprise there

Posted in Reptiles
Pet aquatic turtles have been implicated in three outbreaks of salmonellosis involving 43 US states over the past year and a half.  Disappointing, but not surprising. Disappointing, obviously, because people are getting sick. Disappointing also because these outbreaks have occurred over and over, despite availability of good information on how to reduce the risks. It’s… Continue Reading

Feeder rodent Salmonella alert, Ontario

Posted in Pocket pets
A local county newspaper had a front page headline about a zoning amendment that was approved to allow for a feeder rodent facility that will produce about 10 000 rodents a week (I know, apparently there aren’t a lot of big things happen around here). Co-incidentally, a couple days later, I received an alert and fact… Continue Reading

Ohio dog disease mystery might be answered

Posted in Dogs
I’ve been holding off on writing about this one for a while since it’s been unclear what’s happening, but a strange disease situation appears to be ongoing in Ohio dogs. There’s old adage in medicine: an uncommon presentation of a common disease is much more likely than presentation of an uncommon (or new) disease. aka… Continue Reading

Equine flu at Hastings BC racetrack

Posted in Horses
Hastings Racecourse cancelled racing last Saturday because of an outbreak of equine influenza in horses at the track. A recent CBC news report indicates that things started a week and a half earlier, with 150 horses affected when the race cancellations were announced. That’s a pretty impressive outbreak. There’s no information about the response, beyond cancelling… Continue Reading