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Vector Articles

Video produced by AMCA reveals emotional and real impacts of mosquito-borne diseases

Posted on February 8th, by alovell in 2014. No Comments

Th AMCA has produced a video to put a human face on the mosquito-borne virus statistics that we see every summer.  It is pretty powerful.

The video was produced in an effort to encourage public support of personal protective measures and community mosquito control.  For more information, visit the I’m One Program web site.

Update on Rabies and Raccoons in Alabama

Posted on August 1st, by admin in 2011. No Comments

Since intensive oral rabies vaccination (ORV) efforts were conducted in central Alabama in 2005, new rabies cases in rac-coons and foxes have popped up in Elmore and Autauga counties, areas that were con-sidered to be raccoon-rabies-free. The USDA is considering these positive cases as “breaches” of the Alabama-Coosa river system, a natural, geographic “barrier” for the endemic occurrence of raccoon-variant rabies within Alabama.
Currently, USDA Wildlife Services and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) are working to identify the extent of the recent outbreak using trapping, night surveys, and enhanced surveillance of reportedly sick or dead animals.

Meanwhile, plans are underway at the national level to administer more ORV baits to these areas to stop the further migration of the disease and eliminate it from the area. Baits will likely be distributed with helicopters and targeted toward dense rac-coon population areas. … Read More »

Vector Spotlight: Raccoon

Posted on August 1st, by admin in 2011. No Comments


Procyon lotor


Masked Bandit


Raccoons (Procyon lotor) are medium-sized and stocky-built animals (23.7 to 46.5 in.) with long bushy tails that have five to seven black rings. The head is broad in the rear and narrows to a short, pointed nose. The feet have hairless soles and claws that are non-retractable. Raccoons are similar to humans in that they are plantigrade, a term used to describe animals that walk on the soles of their feet. The front feet have long, thin flexible fingers that are opposable to some degree and are very sensitive to touch. They have the capability of grasping or holding onto food or other objects. The face has a very notice-able black mask across the eyes and cheeks that is outlined with white. The fur is a coarse gray, brown, and black with lighter shades on the … Read More »

Armadillos Linked to Leprosy in Humans

Posted on August 1st, by admin in 2011. No Comments

According to an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine (364:1626-1633, April 28, 2011), researchers have discovered using genetic sequencing that armadillos infected with leprosy and some human patients diagnosed with the illness share a common strain of a leprosy-causing bacteria.
The finding provides the strongest evidence to date that armadillos could transmit the illness to humans, according to the study. Armadillos can be found in 10 U.S. states, and are the only animals other than humans that have been shown to be carriers of leprosy.
To preview the article for free, visit http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1010536

AVMS Editor’s Husband “Ticked Off”

Posted on June 1st, by admin in 2011. No Comments

G. Lovell, a fisheries biologist with ADCNR, was thankful his wife Ashley was familiar with the tell-tale signs of erythema migrans. Thanks to her 11-year membership in AVMS, she recognized this rash when it appeared in the summer of 2010 and took him to the doctor for treatment. He was likely exposed to the tick while electrofishing in the streams of Central and South Alabama. He completed a 3-week course of doxycy-cline and seems to be symptom-free.