Pomeranian tested a ‘weak positive’ for virus after owner was infected, authorities say.
The Guardian | by Helen Davidson | March 4, 2020
Hong Kong authorities have warned people to avoid kissing their pets, but also to not panic and abandon them after a dog repeatedly tested “weak positive” for coronavirus.
The Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said experts unanimously agreed the results suggested the dog had “a low-level of infection and it is likely to be a case of human-to-animal transmission”.
The Pomeranian’s owner was infected with Covid-19 but the dog itself was not showing symptoms, authorities said.
Medical experts, including from the World Health Organization (WHO), had been investigating the case to determine if the dog was actually infected or had picked it up from a contaminated surface. The WHO has said there is no evidence animals like dogs or cats can be infected with the coronavirus.
“Pet owners need not be overly concerned and under no circumstances should they abandon their pets,” said Hong Kong’s department of agriculture.
Authorities warned pet owners in the city, where 103 people have been infected with Covid-19 and thousands are in self-quarantine, not to panic.
“Pet owners are reminded to adopt good hygiene practices (including hand washing before and after being around or handling animals, their food, or supplies, as well as avoiding kissing them) and to maintain a clean and hygienic household environment,” the department said.
“People who are sick should restrict contacting animals. If there are any changes in the health condition of the pets, advice from a veterinarian should be sought as soon as possible.”
The Society for the Protection of Animals in Hong Kong said being infected was not the same as being infectious, and capable of spreading the virus.
“While the information tells us that the dog has a low-level of infection members of the public should note that the dog is showing no symptoms whatsoever. We have been informed the dog is currently very healthy and doing well at the quarantine centre.”
The world organisation for animal health also emphasised there was no evidence pets spread the disease, or even get sick themselves.
“There is no justification in taking measures against companion animals which may compromise their welfare,” it said.
The Hong Kong Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department has been contacted for further details.
The animal was first tested on 26 February and showed low levels of the virus the following day. Tests were repeated on 28 February and 2 March, returning “weak positive” results.
It was in quarantine and would continue to be tested until it returned a negative result, and could be returned to its owner, the department said.
After playing around a popular Upstate creek on the Laurens County/Newberry County line, two yellow Labs fell ill and die.
WIS News 10 | By Renee Wunderlich|August 30, 2019
WHITMIRE, S.C. (WYFF) -Deanne Wishert tells WYFF News 4 that, on Aug. 4, her two yellow Labrador retrievers, Max and Ellie, started shaking and foaming at the mouth after playing around Duncan creek off Little North Carolina Road, on the Lauren’s County/Newberry County line.
“They went from healthy to dead in 30 minutes,” said Wishert.
Max died on the way to the vet, and Ellie had to be put down.
A Laurens County sheriff’s deputy went to the scene on the 14th, and noted in their report that the water was ‘stagnant and green.’
At first, Wishert wondered if blue-green algae was to blame, but the toxicology report shows carbamate and carbofuran — insecticides that can be deadly to pups and people. “There’s someone here every day,” said Wishert “The children come down here and swim. And then would swim with my dogs down here.”
Wishert is hoping someone will come forward, or that investigators will figure out why this poison was in an area where dogs and children play.
“Right now, I can’t tell you who did this, but I would hate for this to happen to somebody else!” she said.
Newberry County sheriff Lee Foster tells WYFF News 4 that his office spoke with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources on this matter, and that it is not uncommon for farmers or deer hunters to bait coyotes during this time of year.
Sheriff Foster tells WYFF News his office has no evidence, but it is reasonable to believe that the dogs could have accidentally come across poison meant for a coyote.
Both Newberry County and Laurens County sheriff’s offices do not have suspects at this time.
There is a $1,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest.
Clemson Regulatory Services Criminal Investigative Unit oversees the sale, use and distribution of pesticides, as well as their illegal misuse within the state of South Carolina.
A day after this story aired on WYFF News 4, deputy director Mike Weyman told reporter Renée Wunderlich that the agency has opened up a parallel criminal investigation.
Weyman said that this particular product is an extremely toxic agricultural pesticide. He said, had it been in the water, any fish, bugs or other living things would have been killed.
He told Wunderlich that there is reason to believe the pesticide that killed Max and Ellie was put there on purpose – perhaps as a bait for a predator like a coyote or a fox – but that that the investigation is just beginning.
Weyman said this pesticide is highly regulated, and that placing it in an area like this without the proper permission is a both a state and federal violation of the law.
The person or persons responsible for this crime could face both state and federal charges.
The Center for Disease Control and Protection is warning residents in the United States about a deadly bug that has made its way to 12 different states including Indiana. An insect know as a Triatominae, has been known to bite people in the face and infecting them with disease called Chagas. This disease has been dubbed as the deadly “Kissing Bug.”
These insects are not something to mess around with. Some of the symptoms of Chagas are fever, fatigue, swelling and a rash but it can be more serious causing strokes or even heart failure. Your pets aren’t even safe from the triatomine insects, as Chagas can actually give your pets heart disease.
I found what looked like a Triatominae in my house the other day. I can’t say for sure if it was, but it certainly looked like one. These bugs, when found inside your home, are typically located near the places your pets sleep, in areas of rodent infestation, and in/around beds and bedrooms (especially under or near mattresses or night stands.
The one I found was on my night stand. I didn’t take my chances, so I squished it…which apparently you aren’t supposed to do if you find one. According to the CDC:
If you find a bug you suspect is a triatomine, do not touch or squash it. Place a container on top of the bug, slide the bug inside, and fill it with rubbing alcohol or, if not available, freeze the bug in the container. Then, you may take it to your local extension service, health department, or a university laboratory for identification.
Surfaces that have come into contact with the bug should be cleaned with a solution made of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water (or 7 parts ethanol to 3 parts water).
If you want to take precautions to keep the triatomine bug out of your house, the CDC recommends that you contact a licensed pest control operator before you use any insecticides to kill triatomine bugs. It should also be noted that roach hotels or other “bait” formulations do not work against these bugs. Other precautions to prevent house infestation recommended by the CDC include:
Sealing cracks and gaps around windows, walls, roofs, and doors
Removing wood, brush, and rock piles near your house
Using screens on doors and windows and repairing any holes or tears
If possible, making sure yard lights are not close to your house (lights can attract the bugs)
Sealing holes and cracks leading to the attic, crawl spaces below the house, and to the outside
Having pets sleep indoors, especially at night
Keeping your house and any outdoor pet resting areas clean, in addition to periodically checking both areas for the presence of bugs
Many triatomine bugs carry the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes Chagas disease.
San Benito woman warns about potentially deadly Chagas disease spread by ‘kissing bug’
For Lisa Leal’s dog, a bug bite became the kiss of death.
A triatomine bug — commonly called a kissing bug — bit her 8-month-old dog.”I feel bad because she’s been given, literally, a death sentence,” said Leal, who lives in San Benito.
Many triatomine bugs carry the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which causes Chagas disease.
“The bugs are found in houses made from materials such as mud, adobe, straw, and palm thatch. During the day, the bugs hide in crevices in the walls and roofs,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. “During the night, when the inhabitants are sleeping, the bugs emerge. Because they tend to feed on people’s faces, triatomine bugs are also known as ‘kissing bugs.'”
Chagas disease may later cause intestinal and cardiac complications, including sudden death.
Leal’s dog is already suffering heart problems.
Veterinarian Noel Ramirez said there’s no sure way to avoid Chagas disease.
“It happens within city limits. It happens out in the country,” Ramirez said. “There’s not a whole lot of prevention that we can do.”
In humans, Chagas disease can be diagnosed with a blood test. Treatment varies depending on the symptoms.
December 4, 2015 | by Dr. Peter Hotez, President of Sabin Vaccine Institute
Experts at the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine have been studying Chagas disease and working on a therapeutic vaccine for it. Here are the important things to know about the kissing bug and about Chagas disease:
1. Chagas disease, also known as American trypanosomiasis, is a serious infection caused by a parasitic microorganism, Trypanosoma cruzi, and is transmitted by kissing bugs.
2. Chagas disease is a leading cause of heart disease resulting in a debilitating and often fatal condition known as Chagasic cardiomyopathy. One in six people with Chagasic cardiomyopathy will die within five years.
3. An estimated 9 million people are infected in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in impoverished areas. According to the World Health Organization, the largest number of people living with Chagas disease are in poor areas of Argentina, Brazil and Mexico, while Bolivia has the highest percentage of people infected.
4. The infection can be passed from mother to baby. There are an estimated 40,000 pregnant women in North America alone who have Chagas, and they will transmit the infection to their babies around 5 percent of the time.
5. The CDC estimates that 300,000 cases occur in the United States, mostly imported from Latin America.
6. Scientists at the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor, including Drs. Kristy Murray and Melissa Nolan Garcia, have uncovered a previously unrecognized level of transmission in the state of Texas.
7. A high percentage of the kissing bugs in Texas are infected with the trypanosome parasite and show evidence of feeding on human blood.
8. Dogs, cats and horses also can be infected.
9. Researchers are finding cases among hunters and campers, as well as people who live in poverty in Texas. Those with extended outdoor exposure appear to have the greatest risk of acquiring the disease.
10. Repeat exposures are likely necessary to acquire infection.
11. Drug treatments are available, but they do not always work and are highly toxic. In collaboration with the Sabin Vaccine Institute and the Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development, the National School of Tropical Medicine is developing a new therapeutic vaccine for Chagas disease.
About Dr. Peter Hotez, president of Sabin Vaccine Institute: The US Science Envoy, Dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine, Texas Children’s Hospital Chair in Tropical Pediatrics and President-Sabin Vaccine Institute.
As in most states, regulators in California measure the effect of only one pesticide at a time. But farmers often use several pesticides together—and that’s a big, toxic problem.
“Acting together, these effects multiply. So even pesticides that don’t cause cancer on their own might do so together by interfering with or overwhelming the body’s ability to clear toxic substances, or harming DNA and then blocking mechanisms to repair it.”
February 23, 2016 | by Liza Gross | The Nation
California officials have long touted their pesticide regulations as the toughest in the nation. But a new report from the University of California, Los Angeles, reveals a major flaw in the state’s approach to evaluating safety, one that has broad implications for the way pesticides are regulated nationally: Regulators assess pesticide safety one product at a time, but growers often apply pesticides as mixtures. That’s a serious problem, the authors argue, because pesticide interactions can ratchet up toxic effects, greatly enhancing the risk of cancer and other serious health conditions.
“The federal EPA and California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) have not adequately dealt with interactive effects,” says John Froines, a report coauthor and a chemist with decades of experience assessing health risks of toxic chemicals as a scientist and regulator. “People are exposed to a large number of chemicals. You can’t simply look chemical by chemical to adequately address the toxicity of these compounds.”
Fumigants, used to combat a range of pests and diseases, are among the most toxic chemicals used in agriculture. They are a staple of high-value crops like tomatoes and strawberries. Studies in humans and animals have linked them to acute respiratory and skin damage and serious chronic health problems, including cancer and neurological and reproductive disorders.
To get around the state’s failure to collect data on cumulative exposures to these fumigants, Froines and his colleagues drew on what’s known about the chemical and biological properties of three of the most heavily used fumigants in California: chloropicrin, Telone (the trade name for 1,3-dichloropropene), and metam sodium.
Individual fumigants are highly reactive chemicals that damage DNA and interfere with proteins that perform critical cell functions. Acting together, these effects multiply. So even pesticides that don’t cause cancer on their own might do so together by interfering with or overwhelming the body’s ability to clear toxic substances, or harming DNA and then blocking mechanisms to repair it.
These interactive effects would not be detected in studies of individual pesticides.
Pesticide regulators are aware of the report, says California DPR spokesperson Charlotte Fadipe, but adds that the agency rarely comments on such studies because “the information often lacks the extensive rigorous science for a regulatory department to make regulations.” What’s more, she notes, “DPR has the most protective and robust pesticide program in the country.”
Froines, who served as director of the Office of Toxic Substances at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration under President Jimmy Carter and has led several scientific review panels at the state’s request to assess chemical toxicity, has revealed flaws in pesticide regulations before. In 2010, he headed a California scientific review panel that deemed chloropicrin—one of the fumigants studied in the current report—a “potent carcinogen.” State officials ignored the panel’s advice and decided the evidence was ambiguous. The same year, he chaired another review panel that calledthe fumigant methyl iodide a “highly toxic chemical” that poses a serious threat to public health. This time, manufacturers withdrew the product from the market.
With few restrictions on combining pesticides, growers often use multiple-chemical formulations or apply different fumigants to adjoining fields or in close succession. That exposes people who live, work, and go to school near these fields to several fumigants at once, despite growing evidence that these chemical concoctions pose even greater health risks.
As reported by the Food & Environment Reporting Network and The Nation last April, residents of Oxnard, a strawberry-growing stronghold in Southern California where most residents are Latino, had worried for years about the risks of heavy exposure to fumigants.
Rio Mesa High School students were twice as likely as white kids to go to schools near heavy fumigant use. And though regulators admitted as much in addressing a complaint filed by several parents, they did little to restrict fumigant use near schools. In fact, the year after EPA officials dismissed the families’ complaint, growers dramatically increased their use of toxic fumigants around Rio Mesa.
Less than a month after the Nation story ran, the Department of Pesticide Regulation announced it would revisit restrictions on pesticide use near schools after seeking public input through statewide workshops. Officials promised to deliver new rules last December, then pushed back the date, saying they hadn’t reviewed all the public comments. DPR spokesperson Fadipe says they’re still working on draft regulations but can’t say for sure when they’ll issue the draft rules.
The UCLA report shows that going to school at Rio Mesa still poses a health risk. The authors used standard EPA air dispersion models and pesticide use data collected by state regulators to simulate likely fumigant dispersion patterns around the school. They chose Rio Mesa in part because an on-site air monitor shows that fumigants are escaping into the air. As expected, their modeling results show that overlapping exposures occur at Rio Mesa—two years after EPA dismissed community concerns—and at other locations, including schools and daycare centers.
These results underscore the importance of establishing no-spray zones around schools and other sensitive sites as soon as possible, activists say.
“This new report on fumigants is a stark reminder that regulatory agencies have largely failed to regulate toxic chemicals,” says Bruce Lanphear, professor of health sciences at Simon Fraser University and an expert on the impacts of toxic exposures on the developing brain who was not involved in the report. “We are all exposed to a cocktail of dozens, if not hundreds of chemicals, which can have similar detoxification mechanisms and modes of action.”
Regulators must consider synergistic effects of pesticides in risk assessments, the authors say. They contend that a California law requires state agencies to consider cumulative impacts and that interactive effects from pesticides fall under that law. They urge state officials to make several changes to pesticide regulations to uphold their mission to protect public health.
February 23, 2016 | by Julie M. Rodriguez | Inhabitat.com
Bad news, New Yorkers — if you like to take long walks or pay visits to your local park, you’ve probably been exposed to glyphosate, the cancer-linked main ingredient of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. In response to concerned citizen groups, the New York City government released a report last year detailing pesticide use by its agencies. And now, if you’d like to see whether you’re at risk, Reverend Billy & The Stop Shopping Choir have created a disturbing new map that charts every park and public area known to be treated with the toxic compound. You can view the map here.
The data shows that in 2014 alone, the city applied glyphosate 2,748 times within the city. While the recent numbers are alarming enough all on their own, what’s even worse is the fact that glyphosate use within the city seems to be increasing — the amount sprayed jumped 16% from 2013 to 2014.
Why is NYC drenching its parks in a chemical that World Health Organization classes as a probable carcinogen? Studies have repeatedly linked the herbicide to cancer dating back to the 1980s, and farmers have even filed suit against Monsanto alleging that exposure to glyphosate caused them to develop the disease. The company, naturally, has fought back against this research by suing states that try to regulate the use of the herbicide.
Glyphosate is BANNED in France, Netherlands, Bermuda and Sri Lanka. Switzerland and Germany begin to REFUSE stocking Roundup.
While cities like NYC and San Francisco may have no problem with spraying this controversial chemical all over their streets, other governments are beginning to crack down on glyphosate use. France has banned the sale of the herbicide over the counter, along with the Netherlands, Bermuda, and Sri Lanka. In Switzerland and Germany, major retailers have begun refusing to stock Roundup even in the absence of government regulation. The evidence of Roundup’s toxic effects is strong enough for the leaders of these nations and corporations to pull it from the shelves, and New York City needs to stand up and take note.
The cause of Chagas disease is the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, which is transmitted to humans from a bite from an insect known as the triatomine bug. These insects can become infected by T. cruzi when they ingest blood from an animal already infected with the parasite.
This video was produced by Dirceu Esdras Teixeira, Marlene Benchimol, Wanderley de Souza and Paul Crepaldi on August 30, 2012.
Music and song lead the message and movement to help each other. Radiate positive vibes with the smash-hit song “All Walls Down”.
Enjoy this smash-hit song written by KiltronX and Joe Beaty [Mind Like Water] and produced and recorded by Tony Bongiovi at the famous Power Station Studio. This song was created to bring awareness of the risk of Chagas disease through bedbugs and kissing bugs (aka “love bugs”).
Chagas disease has already affected as many as 50 million people in the world and as many as 1.5 million people in the U.S. alone.
We are all connected. If the poor are more exposed to the deadly Chagas disease then we ALL are. The free roaming love bugs & kissing bugs and undercover bedbugs do not discriminate – nor do they ask for a financial statement before sucking the blood of their victims.
Bedbugs can be found in all states and all cities and love bugs and kissing bugs have spread outward and up through all states bordering the Gulf of Mexico, along the Atlantic coast, the West coast and north.
Dr. Peter Hotez of the National School of Tropical Medicine says “low-income neighborhoods … are at greater risk for infection”. Because of their predilection for the poor, Hotez calls these infections “the forgotten diseases [Chagas] of forgotten people”.
Chagas disease not only affects humans but also their pets – be it horses, dogs, cats, livestock. Our pets are among the most innocent and have no protection.
Awareness and preparedness are crucial to saving lives.
(AUSTIN, TX) – Kissing bugs continue to creep across the state and experts say the threat these insects can carry may be worse than expected.
“I am really amazed to read that 64% of them have Trypanosoma cruzi,” said Nancy Moran, a professor of Integrative Biology at University of Texas-Austin.
Trypanosoma cruzi is a parasite that can lead to Chagas disease, a potentially deadly disease that can cause heart failure.
In response to the report that 64 percent of kissing bugs carry the parasite, Moran said, “It suggests that a lot of Texans could be afflicted with Chagas disease possibly without being properly diagnosed.”
In humans, the infection can start with flu-like symptoms–fever, body aches, nausea, vomiting–but the infection can also stay silent for decades. Heart and intestinal complications can surface years after a person is infected, or not at all.
“We’ve tested a few dogs that we may have been suspicious of,” said veterinarian, Dr. Amber Breclaw.
“It is a scary prospect that yes these bugs can bite your animal and cause a disease that leads to heart failure,” Breclaw said.
“experts say the threat these insects can carry may be worse than expected.”
In Texas, the kissing bugs are most commonly found in the southern part of the state. Indigenous to Latin America, the threat kissing bugs pose is fairly new to Texas, but it’s a threat that continues to spread.
In dogs, the infection can be a little more difficult to spot. Symptoms start with a loss of energy and a decrease in appetite and if the infection is not caught early, there is no treatment to save the animal.
Blood tests are the only way to confirm if a person or pet has been infected.
Breclaw and Moran said they don’t want people to panic, but it us important for Texans to be aware that kissing bugs are out there.
The nocturnal insects are most active at night and typically live beneath porches, between rocks, under cement and brush piles.
To best protect yourself and your pets, keep dogs inside at night.
If you think your or your animal has been bit by a kissing bug, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.