Click to Translate to English Click to Translate to French  Click to Translate to Spanish  Click to Translate to German  Click to Translate to Italian  Click to Translate to Japanese  Click to Translate to Chinese Simplified  Click to Translate to Korean  Click to Translate to Arabic  Click to Translate to Russian  Click to Translate to Portuguese


Forum Home Forum Home > General Discussion > Latest News
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - Is There a Killer Squirrel Virus?
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

Online Discussion: Tracking new emerging diseases and the next pandemic.

Is There a Killer Squirrel Virus?

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
Author
Message
OriginalHappyCamper View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: December 25 2013
Location: Silverton, Or
Status: Offline
Points: 2850
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote OriginalHappyCamper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Is There a Killer Squirrel Virus?
    Posted: July 09 2015 at 3:13pm
http://www.medpagetoday.com/InfectiousDisease/GeneralInfectiousDisease/52512

Three squirrel breeders in Germany likely died of a novel virus they caught from the animals, researchers said.

Over a 2-year period, the three men developed progressive encephalitis or meningoencephalitis that led to 

death within 2 to 4 months, according to Martin Beer, DVM, of the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut in 

Greifswald-Insel Riems, Germany, and colleagues.

The men, all from the German state of Saxony-Anhalt, bred variegated squirrels, a species native to 

Central and southern North America that is kept as an exotic pet in Europe, Beer and colleaguesreported in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Genomic analysis found a previously unknown bornavirus in a contact squirrel and in brain tissue from

 the three men, the researchers reported, and it is the "likely causative agent" in their deaths.

The known bornavirus species infect a range of warm-blooded animals, from birds to primates, 

and are currently not thought to be responsible for human disease, Beer and colleagues noted.

But the new virus -- dubbed variegated squirrel 1 bornavirus (VSBV-1) -- is separate from the other species. "VSBV-1 is likely to be a previously unknown zoonotic pathogen transmitted by the variegated squirrel," they stated.

The investigation began in late 2011, when three men in succession (ages 63, 62, and 73, respectively) 

developed similar symptoms including fever, shivers, or both; progressive psychomotor slowing; confusion; 

unsteady gait, and myoclonus, ocular paresis, or both.

All three also developed bilateral crural-vein thrombosis, with a subsequent pulmonary embolism in two.

Finally, they lapsed into coma and died, Beer and colleagues reported, despite anti-infective chemotherapy.

The three men were friends, members of the same squirrel-breeding association, and often traded animals.

While they were alive, their cerebrospinal fluid showed pleocytosis, and MRI showed growing lesions 

in the cerebral cortical areas and basal ganglia or meninges.

While that finding is consistent with a viral infection, doctors were unable to find an infectious agent, 

despite detailed investigations of cerebrospinal fluid samples, biopsy samples, and serum, the researchers 

reported.

Analysis of the affected brain areas showed tissue swelling and necrosis, glial activation, and lymphocyte 

infiltration, but no viral inclusions or microorganisms, they said.

Beer and colleagues thought the squirrels might have played a role in the disease.

To investigate, they tested for a range of pathogens using a squirrel owned by the third patient, but when 

that screening came up negative they went on to analyze samples from the animal using metagenomic 

sequencing.

That analysis detected five RNA sequence fragments that were similar to a known bornavirus, Mammalian 1 

bornavirus, in liver, lung, and kidney tissue and in chest-cavity fluid.

Using polymerase chain reaction methods, Beer and colleagues found similar RNA in other samples from the

 squirrel and in fresh-frozen brain tissue from all three patients.

Control tissues from patients with unrelated brain diseases and from healthy people did not contain any of 

the viral RNAs, they reported.

Deep sequencing of RNA from the squirrel and the third patient showed the two viral sequences were nearly 

identical and had a standard bornavirus genomic structure. Analysis showed the novel virus is a separate 

lineage from the known bornavirus species.

Finally, Beer and colleagues found that the third patient had antibodies to the virus in his serum and cerebrospinal fluid.

Taken together, the evidence isn't enough to prove that the novel virus caused the three deaths, Beer and colleagues concluded, but they argued it was highly suggestive of a novel zoonotic illness.

They added that the route of transmission from squirrels to patients "remains uncertain" although family 

members reported that two of the patients had been bitten or scratched.

They also noted that all three of the patients were older than 60 and had pre-existing medical conditions -- 

hypertension, diabetes, or obesity -- that might have "conferred a predisposition to clinical infection with this 

unusual agent."

It also remains unclear whether the virus was imported with the squirrels or whether it originated in mammals 

that were in contact with the breeding facilities, Beer and colleagues said.

Jesus Christ died and was raised on the third day, the only "God" to overcome death.
Back to Top
LOPPER View Drop Down
Guest Group
Guest Group
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LOPPER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 09 2015 at 3:39pm
I knew squirrels were no good.
Back to Top
Technophobe View Drop Down
Senior Moderator
Senior Moderator
Avatar

Joined: January 16 2014
Location: Scotland
Status: Offline
Points: 23690
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 09 2015 at 4:07pm
Any comment, Hazlepad?
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
Back to Top
Johnray1 View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: April 23 2006
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 8159
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnray1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 09 2015 at 6:27pm
Technophobe,if squirrels in West Virginia,USA, are infect with a deadly virus.All of my survival plans are ruined.I really like to eat squirrels and planned to use them as my primary source of meat.This could be a disaster for many people.Johnray1
Back to Top
Hazelpad View Drop Down
Guest Group
Guest Group
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hazelpad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 09 2015 at 6:36pm
Technophobe

Listen, and understand! That squirrel is out there! It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until we are dead. ( terminator).

However we must try and to beat the squirrel we must become the squirrel. Technophobe I nominate you for this important mission.....now do you own a fur coat by chance.

Back to Top
onefluover View Drop Down
Admin Advisor Group
Admin Advisor Group
Avatar

Joined: April 21 2013
Location: Death Valleyish
Status: Offline
Points: 20151
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote onefluover Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 09 2015 at 8:20pm
Squirrel stew is popular out in the Virginias and elsewhere. I suppose you'd of heard something by now, JR. Though they, like rats and mice and prairy dogs and possums all look like they carry bugs.
"And then there were none."
Back to Top
Carbon20 View Drop Down
Guest Group
Guest Group
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carbon20 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 09 2015 at 10:23pm
I understand that squirrels carry bubonic plague,
Back to Top
Technophobe View Drop Down
Senior Moderator
Senior Moderator
Avatar

Joined: January 16 2014
Location: Scotland
Status: Offline
Points: 23690
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Technophobe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 10 2015 at 1:40am
Yes Hazlepad, I do.  It was my mum's and is a bit battered.  I suppose a few pelts would repair it.

Everyone else:  Unless it is a prion disease, cooking well solves all problems.  If it is a prion disease, the less well related you are the harder it is to catch.  So eat the squirrels and leave the bunnies alone.  (Rabbits are an extreme form of primate - according to genetic testing - and squirrels are rodentia.)
Absence of proof is not proof of absence.
Back to Top
WillobyBrat View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: January 21 2014
Location: Scotland
Status: Offline
Points: 1290
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WillobyBrat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 10 2015 at 1:50am
Hi Hazlepad.  I love squirrels.  I care about them so much that I think all the ones in my woodland should be inoculated.  I find a 22 caliber inoculates them against all the trials and tribulations of life.  Then I lay them on their little furry backs. unzip their little jackets (which make excellent gloves( then having cleaned and dismembered them, I soak them overnight in salt water, cover them in spicy batter and deep-fry.  They are quite delicious.  that is why I am so fond of them.  

Unfortunately, for some unknown reason they all seem to have left my woodland.  I know this because I can no longer see them or find the chewed out pinecones and nuts.  Oh well!  I suppose I'll just have to live off of wood pigeons.  I have a great recipe for them too.  I'm sure Johnray would like it.
I like Ike
Back to Top
Hazelpad View Drop Down
Guest Group
Guest Group
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hazelpad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 10 2015 at 9:39am

The news on grey squirrels just keeps getting worse...

This article out last month

Quote:

Grey squirrels’ role as hosts of Lyme disease bacteria under the spotlight

Grey squirrels have been described as one of the ‘world’s worst invasive species’ and have caused a decline in indigenous red squirrel populations and damaged forestry in the UK.

Now the role of this invasive species in hosting the bacteria which causes Lyme disease in humans has come under the spotlight.


http://www.gla.ac.uk/news/headline_403105_en.html

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/grey-squirrels-can-spread-lyme-9090382


Hi WillobyBat,

Quote:

"Unfortunately, for some unknown reason they all seem to have left my woodland"

...cause they have all hop tailed it down to my neck of the woods where the only danger they encounter is my neighbours home baking....which she lovingly puts out for them in little pink and blue bowls. She is passed a point of no return for the furry tree rats have utterly brainwashed the woman.

I alone resist I am divergent and after my £3000 bill last year my attic is secure....for now !!!!!

Hz


Back to Top
CRS, DrPH View Drop Down
Expert Level Adviser
Expert Level Adviser


Joined: January 20 2014
Status: Offline
Points: 13040
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 10 2015 at 3:02pm
Squirrels are filthy with tularemia.  We discovered this from false alarms with the US bioterrorism warning system, "BioWatch."  

CRS, DrPH
Back to Top
Hazelpad View Drop Down
Guest Group
Guest Group
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Hazelpad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 10 2015 at 4:36pm
Yep Chuck totally agree. Tularemia is bad bad news. I know very little about bioterrorism, however I was at a conference about 8 years ago with a guest speaker from the UK ministry of defence. He was telling us what it was like to work within the military lab environment, compared to the normal run of mill labs we normal lowely academic researchers inhabit. He talked about the equipment and security precautions etc. It was very interesting.   

Then it got scarey, he talked about working with your tularensis bacterium ( tularemia), one of the most infectious agents known to man. Showed us demonstrations of its replication etc. He talked about it as a candidate bioterror weapon, and demonstrated the different ways it could potentially be weaponised by different groups depending on skill levels available. He then discussed all the different strategies that they could deploy to counteract such changes. He was very passionate about his work in the counter bioterrorism group, and had come straight from the lab that afternoon.   Needless to say noone wanted to sit next to him at dinner that night. Guess who drew the short straw.

You are right squirrels do carry it and I think the aerosoled version is the most deadly to humans. Wasn't there a case of someone mowing over a dead squirrel carcass and spilling the bacteria into the air killing 2 and sickening others.

In 2014 they found that there could be subclinical infections in gray squirrels. This study was done in Washington State, a geographical area with endemic tularemia in wildlife. Great Vernon carrying a lethal bacteria while staying well themselves.

Quote:

Francisella tularensis is the causative agent of tularemia, an important bacterial disease with zoonotic potential. This highly pathogenic, Gram-negative, 0.1–3 µm, pleomorphic obligate aerobic coccobacillus requires only 10–50 colony forming units (CFU) for an infectious dose in immunocompetent human beings. The bacteria can be transmitted by aerosolization, ectoparasite vectors, ingestion, and direct inoculation into cutaneous or mucocutaneous wounds.4 The bacterium is considered a List A select agent by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with potential for use as a biological weapon

(http://www.cdc.gov/Tularemia/).


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24557750


Nasty disease, nasty rodents.

Thanks for the info interesting read.

Hz
   



Back to Top
Johnray1 View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: April 23 2006
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 8159
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Johnray1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 10 2015 at 9:51pm
WillobyBrat,I would like your recipe for Wood Pigeon.But I do not think that we have any Wood Pigeon in this area. Maybe the same bird by a different name.

As far as the squirrels go, I have never heard of them carrying the Plague. Prairie Dogs do carry the Plague and there are a dozen or so case in the South Western,USA every year. We have no Prairie Dogs within several hundred miles of where I live. I have probably eaten thousands of squirrels and most people that I know have to,the older folks practically lived on them.

I know that a new disaease can infect any animal any time,but I have not heard of any one in this area getting sick or dying from eating squirrel. This may be because all of the old time cooks who cooked any meat to death and I would recommend cooking any wild meat very well.I will watch closer for any reports of humans getting sick or dying from eating squirrel. But any one who will not eat squirrel,rabbit,raccoon, ,or any thing else that they can catch or kill, or trap
will be glad to eat them after a month or so of surviving in the woods.

I prefer to kill squirrels with a .22cal rifle also ,but they are trapped much easier and quieter. Just dig a small area ,big enough to get a Number 1 or a Number 1 1/2 trap into. Just as you would dig a small area to make a dirt hole set for foxes.Cover the trap lightly with dirt. The squirrels can not stay away from it. No bait needed. They think they are stealing a nut that another squirrel buried. All you have to do is check your traps twice a day and move your traps when the catch falls off.

I learned this by accident. I was trapping foxes and I set some traps in the woods. My traps always held squirrels. I had to go back to trapping foxes in the open fields.Johnray1
Back to Top
FluMom View Drop Down
Senior Admin Group
Senior Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: February 11 2008
Status: Offline
Points: 17391
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FluMom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 10 2015 at 10:11pm
We have tons of rabbits and in Colorado we have lots of rabbits with tularemia. In the last week I have been seeing lots of dead squirrels in my area. Not sure why maybe they have tularemia.

I guess the big question is if TSHTF how would we know if rabbits or squirrels have tularemia?

Here is what I learned:

"Heat kills F. tularensis, so cook meat to the right temperature — a minimum of 165 F (73.8 C) for ground meat and game meat — to make it safe to eat.

Tularemia can be effectively treated with antibiotics such as streptomycin or gentamicin, which are given by injection directly into a muscle or vein. Depending on the type of tularemia being treated, doctors may prescribe oral antibiotics such as doxycycline (Oracea, Vibramycin, others) instead.

You'll also receive therapy for any complications such as meningitis or pneumonia. In general, you should be immune to tularemia after recovering from the disease, but some people may experience a recurrence or reinfection."

So if it you get antibiotics and you get cured you most likely will not get it again.

Let's face it if TSHTF we will need to eat rodents to survive if we have a long term survival situation.


Always Be Prepared
Back to Top
CRS, DrPH View Drop Down
Expert Level Adviser
Expert Level Adviser


Joined: January 20 2014
Status: Offline
Points: 13040
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 10 2015 at 10:18pm
Tularemia is right up there with smallpox & Ebola, it is a Category A Bioterror agent:


It only takes a single bacterium to trigger a human infection!  

However, unless aersolized, it enters the body through an abrasion or cut, which is why we are supposed to be careful when cleaning bunnies.  I eat bunnies, but not squirrels.  Nasty little buggers that eat my bird seed.
CRS, DrPH
Back to Top
Ms.Mary.Malone View Drop Down
Adviser Group
Adviser Group
Avatar

Joined: May 18 2015
Location: California, USA
Status: Offline
Points: 4605
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ms.Mary.Malone Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 12 2015 at 2:32pm
Lets just hope Killer Moose don't evolve....
"We are only seeing the ears of the hippo"
--Dr. David Jambai (Head of Sierra Leone's Disease and Prevention Control
Back to Top
DANNYKELLEY View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: May 01 2007
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 2785
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DANNYKELLEY Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 12 2015 at 3:53pm
WHAT TO DO????
Back to Top
FluMom View Drop Down
Senior Admin Group
Senior Admin Group
Avatar

Joined: February 11 2008
Status: Offline
Points: 17391
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FluMom Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 12 2015 at 4:31pm
Hey DrPH I take it that if we wear rubber gloves we will be ok when cleaning bunnies.    If we need to use the fur off of the already eaten rabbit do we need to use gloves to scrape it and stretch it or will be bacterium be dead?
Always Be Prepared
Back to Top
CRS, DrPH View Drop Down
Expert Level Adviser
Expert Level Adviser


Joined: January 20 2014
Status: Offline
Points: 13040
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote CRS, DrPH Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 12 2015 at 5:20pm
Originally posted by FluMom FluMom wrote:

Hey DrPH I take it that if we wear rubber gloves we will be ok when cleaning bunnies.    If we need to use the fur off of the already eaten rabbit do we need to use gloves to scrape it and stretch it or will be bacterium be dead?

Thanks FluMom!  I'm no expert, but I've always worn rubber gloves when taking care of Peter Cottontail.  
This advice sounds about right:

Hunters should avoid eating rabbits that appear in the field to be “lazy” or do not act “normal.” During the cleaning process, be sure to wear gloves, and hunters should examine the external surfaces of the rabbit for any infected areas. 


ALWAYS check the liver for the appearance of white or yellow spots. Even if the liver appears bright, does not have spots, and the rabbit appeared healthy in the field, make sure to cook the meat thoroughly; F. tularensis are killed by heat above 160 F.


http://www.outdoorhub.com/how-to/2013/02/25/rabbit-hunters-take-note-steps-to-avoid-tularemia/

CRS, DrPH
Back to Top
Johnray1 View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: April 23 2006
Location: United States
Status: Offline
Points: 8159
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Johnray1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 12 2015 at 8:08pm
CRS,DrPH,Excellent advice. Always look at the liver of any animal and if it does not look healthy,consider just how hungry you really are.Johnray1
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  12>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down